The Shattering of Netehiri

Once splendid, this ancient city-state is now but a broken jewel.


  Once a jewel of the cavern world and a city-state of great wealth and power, Netehiri is now little more than a cautionary tale. The dead city rests in a sunken and Blighted gorge on the surface. The broken bones of the underground city lies in a tumbled mess across its grave and spilling out onto the wasteland around it. The city is centered around a massive crag of obsidian, serving as the Netehiri's tombstone   With truth long since obscured into legend, the shattered city has become the obsession of adventurers and scavengers who seek its fabled treasures.    
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by Jorge Jacinto
   

A Brief History

 

In the Beginning

Avarice and Perseverance   The city-state of Netehiri was founded in the lower Outer Shells near a titanic volcanic rift. Early prospectors and miners were drawn by an abundance of ore. Soon, clever engineers tamed the flow of magma to fuel forges and factories. What was first a mining outpost became a village, then a city. In these early days, it was a lawless and violent state but wealth attracted power and it did not take long before the first warlords made their claims.   In an unusual act of foresight and restraint, these first proto-rulers came together and agreed that the bounty would be enough to satisfy even the greediest among them. Rather then risk losing it all, they banded together and formed an alliance. As the warlords became warrior-merchants, Netehiri became a city-state and the envy of its peers.    

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by Yeonji Rhee

   

Heights of Glory

  Renown for its magma-forges and metalwork, the city-state of Netehiri had become one of the central points of trade in the Outer Shell. Even the devastating earthquakes that would rock the city every decade or so could do little to slow the flow of wealth and hopeful migrants. It acquired a reputation as unconquerable when during a great siege the engineers of Netehiri turned the city's lava into a weapon by channeling it into a rolling wave of molten stone that buried the invaders beneath it.    

The End Approaches

 

May the magma ever flow

A common greeting in Netehiri   By the end of the Netehiri's third century, the rivers of magma had begun to slow and in some parts cool. The earthquakes had cut off some of the arteries and vents that fed the great burning chasm. Too many hungry forges and too many ravenous merchants were straining what remained. With a lull in seismic activity, a desperate plan was agreed upon: to reopen the veins of the world and force it to bleed fire once again.   In one of the greatest feats of engineering ever seen or rivaled since, the city employed thousands of workers to dig, drill and tunnel under the supervision of master-engineers. Vast channels were excavated to bent the flow, cutting new volcanic vents out of the rock and redirected others to reignite the great chasm. In what was seen as a most fortuitous twist, the project not only worked but seemed to have cured the city of its constant seismic woes.    

The Great Rift

   
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    For a time, the plan seemed to work. Minor seismic changes required further and further correction, but the masters of Netehiri were pleased. The forges blazed anew and business boomed. Only years later were the cracks beginning to show as vents and fissures that had been redirected or blocked showed stress from the engineering work forced upon them.    


As with every other aspect of Netehiri's fall, a great deal of legend and myth-making surround the day when the city was shattered and cast out. Terrors from beyond the Far Deep, thaumaturgy gone far awry or intentional works of sabotage by envious foes have all been blamed. Whatever happened was buried in Blight with the rest of the city.


When calamity struck, there was little that the city could do. The earthquakes had stopped but without release, the tectonic pressures had only grown and grown until it was finally it be held back no longer.   While the Shattering is commonly told as a single day of destruction, the city's destruction took more than a full month.   It began with a rift in the chasm, then an eruption as decades of pent-up seismic stress broke loose. The ground beneath the city heaved and the cavern ceilings split, the shifting and breaking stone throwing the dying city further and further out.

    When the earth had spent its anger, the fire-gem of the depths had not merely been shattered but had been disgorged onto the surface in a massive tectonic shift.   Some of its citizens managed to escape the destruction by taking to the tunnel. Though legend often depict the wailing and suffering citizens languishing on the cruel surface beneath the sun and stars, none still lived when the city had emerged fully into the wastelands.  

Present Day

 

Shattered Jewel

  Since then, Netehiri has passed into legend. The fate of the city has been told and retold in countless ways, and the city have been attributed as everything from the birthplace of civilization to possessing marvelous unrivaled technology, and everything in between. The city still rests in the irradiated wasteland, waiting to be picked clean by enterprising scavenger. The buildings have been jumbled by the eruption that brought it to the surface and skewered by spires of obsidian now solidified in the sun.   There it waits, fading ever-further into myth.    

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City-State of Netehiri

  At its peak, Netehiri was home to well over a hundred thousand and could claim a dozen or so tributaries from surrounding villages and minor cities. An important center of industry and commerce, Netehiri's destruction plunged the political order around it into chaos from which it took decades to stabilize. Without its parent-city, its colonies withered or were conquered by rivals.    
Hidden By Storms   Netehiri lies deep within the Howling Plains, an ancient ocean bed now parched and haunted by near endless storms. The region has earned its name from the winds that rage across the broken expanse, sharp enough to flay the unwary alive at its most violent. Netehiri hides behind these storms and a maze of shifting Blight.   Read more about the Howling Plains
   

Danger and Opportunity

  Despite the danger, many still seek the fabled city. Tales of its vast riches are still told and any lesson on the dangers of greed that may have ended the city are lost to many who hear it. Much of the city's wealth still remains, waiting to be claimed. Fortune and glory awaits those who succeed.   Read the Journey to Netehiri: An example adventure    
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by Vennom
   

Life in the Ruins

  In the centuries since its cataclysmic rise, others have claimed the ruins as their own. The Exiled who have found their way past the storms seek shelter in the ravaged ruins and tribes carve out small parts of it for themselves. Most stay in the sections of the city where the Blight is tolerable, but some have mutated so far to be barely recognized as humans.   Read more about the Tomb of Netehiri    
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    And they are not alone.   Creatures that lurk beneath the sand and hide in the howling storms have come to nest in the ruins. They prey on the Exiled, who survive by hunting them in turn. Any wanderer who find the ruins must be watch their steps, for either would devour them.   Read more about the Exiled    

Lights in the Sky

  For centuries, there have been strange sighting in the sky above the dead city. Roaming, unnatural lights and thunderous noise accompany the disappearance of both Exiled and beast.   Small craters of blasted glass and slowly growing crystals are the only hints left behind. Some who are taken by the light wander back into the ruins, days or weeks after, irrevocably altered by whatever took them. Others are never seen again, their fate unknown.   Read more about the Q'x    
Heralds from Beyond

Comments

Author's Notes

Changelog:   2018-07-14: First draft. Hope you like it! Let me know what y'all think!


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14 Jul, 2018 12:24

I seem to be drawn to article that share a similarity to mine today! My ancient kingdom was a shattered city-state too... remarkable coincidences today. This article has a very nice flow to it, helped muchly by its layout and the pictures do add a certain something. Great work :)

14 Jul, 2018 12:43

Be sure to link me when it's done! Be real interesting to see how different writer tackle the same sort of concept! :)

14 Jul, 2018 12:47

Already is! Soloon Republic [I really hope that works, first time using it in a comment haha]

14 Jul, 2018 13:29

Love the layout! Plenty of pictures that match the context which I always love to see.

14 Jul, 2018 13:47

Thanks! I'm getting better at the layout. :)   Much mystery!

14 Jul, 2018 14:38

That's what I call a spectacular ending. Beautiful work and very imaginative idea sir.

14 Jul, 2018 14:52

Thank you kindly. :D I appreciate it!   I wanted to avoid the traditional "they dug too deep and unleashed something terrible! then collapsed deep down!" so I twisted it. My notes call it "reverse-Atlantis", haha