Thursday, January 9, 2014

[Urbis] Aranea's Lair and First City Spa

In the mountains to the west, a lone aranea has made her home. The home itself is a small earthen hut with an overgrown wooden roof, and filled with all sorts of herbs and mysterious ingredients - a typical "witch's cottage". To visitors, the aranea will appear as a middle-aged native woman, and will be polite if she is treated polite in turn. She will offer tea for drink, but no food - the dessicated animal corpses that result from her own meals are chucked into a nearby ravine, and to visitors unaware of her own nature she will claim that she has just eaten and that she doesn't entertain visitors often. She is always interested in trading knowledge of magic - her main reason for coming this far south, away from her peers in the Northern Woodlands, as she serves as a teacher for local shamans and in turn has amassed considerable magical knowledge from them (the older shamans are generally aware of her true nature, but don't see her as a threat - which she isn't). Foreign spellcasters will fascinate her, and she will be especially interested in trading knowledge with them. Once the colony is established, she might very well move there.

The southwestern slopes of the inland volcano are dotted with numerous hot springs. The First City colony used these to establish a spa, creating several artificial basins filled with the hot, smelly water which are largely intact to this day. The Old Native civilization added their own sweat lodges to the facility, though these have largely crumbled into overgrown ruins. Today, the facilities are uninhabited except for a mated pair of mist drakes which use the concealments of the mists emerging from the hot water to stalk any intruders. There are also several still-active permanent programmed illusions left from the First Age - an elven woman at the entrance who introduces them in the language of the First City (similar to Elvish - something that will be of a lot of interest to scholars, since there are no known surviving examples of First City speech) as well has halfling servants explaining specific locations in the same language.

Note: A complete list of all Urbis-related posts can be found here.