Underworld

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Lying at the lowest roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, the Underworld is the massive plane in which the soulbleed, the energy lost in transit to the realm of Lord Thoth, coalesces into undead beings. The former Lord of the Undead guard Lord Kemnast and the Death Knight guards could be found here as well as Ugrach's five Ur'Vampire lieutenants: Gerzson, Asztrik, Tizane, Prioska, and Zigana. The Magisterion, three Tsol'dasi archmages, have also managed to find their way here. They are known as Dominar, Jor'keth, and Pryla'ket.


Landforms

Unsguul Mountains

Many different landforms adorn this bleak plane. The vast Unsguul Mountains span the entirety of the northern section of the plane from east to west, and in fact loop back upon themselves. The narrow and undead-littered paths leading up through this mountain range may be confusing at times, and only one leads to the fortresses of the King and Prince of the Underworld. At the foothills of this range lie the Damienne Forest and Tenungick Swamp.

Damienne Forest

The hollow Damienne Forest is one of petrified wood whose dead xylem and phloem have probably never felt the spark of life. The blighted, blasted landscape here appears as if a source on par with the Morning Star blasted it to desiccated trunks and scattered eaves, but in reality, such an energy source would be rare indeed, if not an impossibility in the apathetic landscape of the Underworld. As with the nearby Tenungick, the Damienne is devoid of structures of any sort, as those seem to cluster at the southern and northern extremities of the realm. To the north of the Damienne Forest is the Unsguul Mountain range, while to the east and west lies the Tenungick Swamp and to the south, the Shtlenii River.

Tenungick Swamp

The fetid Tenungick Swamp composes one half of the midsection of this realm, joining with the Damienne Forest in the east and west and the Unsguul Mountains in the north. The Shtlenii River cuts through its southern end. Within the Tenungick, bubbles of noxious poison gas push and plop to the sludge-coated surface, formed by the subterranean workings of the swamp. It is here that adventurers first find themselves upon entering the Underworld, as this is where the Temple of Unlife's root of Yggdrasil leads. At the southern end of the swamp, on the southern banks of the Shtlenii, the dread Prylator Pit plunges into the bowels of the realm.

Shtlenii River

South of these is the abnormal Shtlenii River, serving as the barrier between the central and southern sections of the Underworld. Its banks fall so steeply that they suggest unnatural origins, as the river bed is as dead as the Damienne Forest, Tenungick Swamp, and Abhal Tornu Desert through which it runs.

Abhal Tornu Desert

The barren Abhal Tornu Desert composes one third of the southern part of the Underworld, bordered by the Anthrish Plains in the east and the Ruakh Dead Sea in the west. While many Prime Material deserts might be considered "bleak," they pale in comparison to the utter desolation of the Abhal Tornu. Dry husks of weeds adorn the cracked, barren earth, and jagged stone shards reach up abruptly through the sands. Two structures have found their way to the Abhal Tornu Desert: the Magisterion towers Elniftor and Granniftor.

Anthrish Plains

The eerily still prairie known as the Anthrish Plains serves as one third of the southern border of the plane, joining with the Ruakh Dead Sea in the east, the Abhal Tornu Desert in the west, and the Shtlenii River and Tenungick Swamp in the north. Dotting the landscape here may be seen strange, simple shrines of rocks and stones, erected in tribute to some unknown force or being. At the southern end of the plains lies the foreboding Modyara Obelisk, and further southeast is Osterrych Citadel, dwelling place of the Death Knights.

Ruakh Dead Sea

The Ruakh Dead Sea is a great dead sea, larger than all but the largest lakes, which extends from the Anthrish Plains in the west to the Abhal Tornu Desert in the east. "Dead" is probably a misnomer since, as is often the case with this plane, the sea never seems to have been quite alive to begin with. At the south end lie the Ur'Vampire fortresses Moldova and Nemuritoare, while to the east is the Abhal Tornu Desert and to the west, the Anthrish Plains.


Structures

Bolgukova Fortress

Within the Anthrish Plains lies the hillside Bolgukova Fortress of the Ur'Vampiress Prioska. Hidden guard stations with Death Knights and vampires abound in this fortress, and during some stretches, the main hall itself seems to twist, melt, and vary in length. Prioska herself dwells in a room just off the very end of the main hallway.

Modyara Obelisk

Of note within the Anthrish Plains is the Modyara Obelisk where the Ur'Vampiresses Tizane and Zigana reside. Modyara is an undead research facility where arcane, esoteric devices of unknown purpose and origin whiz and whirl mechanically. Clear tubes pulse and drip noxious fluids into beakers, and even stranger devices busy themselves with tasks too strange to imagine, all in pursuit of some secretive undead goal.

Nemuritoaure Fortress

Nemuritoaure is a roughly spiral-shaped fortress in the Ruakh Dead Sea in the Underworld. It is the home of the Ur'Vampire Gerzson who resides at the spiral's very centre. The entrance to Nemuritoaure is east of that of Moldova.

Moldova Fortress

At the south end of the Ruakh Dead Sea is the fortress Moldova, home of the Ur'Vampire Asztrik. Curiously, Asztrik has taken to growing plants, though, as with anything growing in the Underworld, they have their own unique blight to them. The exterior of Moldova appears at first shattered and in ruins; Asztrik himself dwells further in, beyond the rubble.

Osterrych Citadel

Located on the south end of the Anthrish Plains, the Osterrych Citadel serves as the barracks for Lord Ugrach's Death Knight forces. Obviously, Death Knights abound, but one denizen of note is the feared Lord Kemnast, Mightiest of the Death Knights. Many concealed exits and hidden Death Knight guards make this easily one of the most dangerous places in the Underworld.

Elniftor Tower

Rising up through the clouds above the Abhal Tornu Desert in the Underworld, the tower Elniftor was once the fortress and study of the Tsol'dasi Magister Dominar. Now it sits largely abandon, its former master having departed.

Granniftor Fortress

Piercing the clouds over the bleak Abhal Tornu Desert is Granniftor Fortress. This massive serpentine tower was the stronghold of the Magister Jor'keth, acknowledged as the greatest of the Magisterion. The grisly Sangrim Climb, a grim spiral staircase constructed of stacked humanoid thigh bones, winds its way up through the fortress's interior.

Prylator Pit

At the south end of the Tenungick Swamp sits the Prylator Pit, a dread crypt that begins with a pale, simple mausoleum and plunges headfirst into the bowels of the Underworld. Paintings dot the walls, whether they be scenes depicting obscene suffering and torture, or mere portraits of the Magisterion before their Tsol'dasi forms were bent by undeath. Each room is polygonal shaped, the number of walls increasing as the depth increases, until one comes to the chamber where once dwelt the Magister Pryla'ket herself.

Cor Kanth

Cor Kanth is the former fortress of Lord Ugrach, King of the Undead, in the imposing crags of the Unsguul Mountains. The Dead Stairs within lead up a tower to the Lord's quarters. A grand hall, with murals depicting historic events in Underworld history, may be found in this fortress. Naturally, Ugrach's grand throne rests here in Cor Kanth, and it is rumoured that the legendary Soulbleed Nexus, the point of highest soulbleed concentration, lies somewhere within as well.

Cor Triphyn

Cor Triphyn, the vacated fortress of former Prince Slith, son of Ugrach, has been empty since the Chaos Wars. Understandably, it lies in disarray and ruin. It is roughly northwest of his father Ugrach's fortress, Cor Kanth, and the two entrances lie next to each other in the jagged peaks of the Unsguul Mountain range.

History

As the first undead to coalesce from soulbleed and gain sentience, Ugrach claimed dominion over his lesser brethren, the ghosts, wisps, and ictheli of the land. After a time, he came upon the secret of creating, bypassing the need to wait for coalescence to occur. Skeletons, zombies, ghouls, vampires, and wights were his creations. Finally, he created his crowning achievement, whom he titled "Vampreny." Vampreny would create for him, giving Ugrach time to grow in power. However, Vampreny disappeared from the Underworld after awhile.

Some time before the Chaos Wars, the Gedtet, a race of undead hunters, was exterminated by King Ugrach. The exact nature of the Gedtet remains a mystery, hinted at in passing by works of undead art.

During the War of Humanity, Prince Slith of the Underworld, then at his father Ugrach's side, decided to aid the forces of the Triumvirate, eager to fight against the hated Thoth. Furious, Ugrach cast Slith and his followers from the plane and made a declaration of neutrality in which he stated that he wished not to butt heads with the gods, least of all Thoth, who is Death Himself. Among those followers was General Zsarachnor, Slith's chief advisor. Later, at the Battle of Nishnatoba, Slith quit the battlefield sensing his defeat, opting instead to return to the Underworld to reconcile differences with his father. However, his excursion was short-lived; at the close of the war, Ayar exiled Slith to the Chaos Plane, where he and Zsarachnor brooded for untold centuries. This is the last bit of action the Underworld saw in quite some time.

In more recent years, the Underworld was rediscovered in 338 AF thanks to the opening of a previously sealed section of the lower level of Azdun. Brave adventurers may seek entry by going to the Temple of Unlife and touching the massive root of Yggdrasil which the Temple is built around.

In the Year 717AF after the death of Lord Thoth who was slain by Prince Slith, the gods held a trial to decide the Prince's fate. In the middle of the trial Ugrach appeared and pleaded for his son's life, in bargain struck between him and the gods. Slith was to remain in the Underworld while Ugrach was to take Thoth's place in the Halls of Thoth, and the realm of the Underworld would be ruled by the Pantheon instead.



Landforms: Abhal Tornu Desert, Anthrish Plains, Damienne Forest, Rhuakh Dead Sea, Shtlenii River, Tenungick Swamp, Unsguul Mountains.

Structures: Bolgukova Fortress, Cor Kanth, Cor Triphyn, Elniftor Tower, Granniftor Fortress, Modyara Obelisk, Moldova Fortress, Nemuritoare Fortress, Osterrych Citadel, Prylator Pit.

Famous Residents: Asztrik, Dominar, Gerzson, Kemnast, Jor'keth, Prioska, Pryla'ket, Tizane, Slith, Zigana.

Lesser Denizens: Death Knights, ghosts, ghouls, icthelis, skeletons, vampires, wights, wisps, zombies.