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The Gilded City

Just because no one has found it yet doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.   Perhaps it is just waiting for me to find it.   ~ Common thoughts of a treasure hunter
  If one believes even half of the stories told about the fabled Gilded City, one would surely come to the conclusion that the city it is without the doubt the single greatest concentration of precious metals in all of Cenorad, given that even the bugs which crawl over the gold paved streets of the city are said to be coated in several layers of pure gold.   While the perceived worth of gold greatly varies between different cultures, the fact that many individuals are willing to trade copious amounts of other valuable items for a few grams of gold makes this mythical city an irresistible target even for species that normally don't regard the shiny, golden metal as especially valuable.   Due to this, the list of individuals that have searched or are that are still searching for the location of this city, is constantly growing in length, even though many individuals have to be stricken from the list every day as they either abandon the search or join the list of people that died during their hunt for the city.  

A Place for a City

Everyone keeps saying that the city is located in the A'irtap basin, but the old map I managed to acquired clearly shows that the city is actually located in...   ~ Every treasure hunter looking for founding
  While it is commonly assumed that the Gilded City is located either within the extensive rainforests of the A'irtap basin or the cloud forests of the nearby Anotal Islands, a great number of individuals have come up with their very own theories regarding the true location of the city.   Similar to the supposed locations within the rainforests, these places generally turn out to be a metaphorical as well as a literal a dead-end, though in some cases particular lucky individuals actually managed to discover something of value there.

Historical Basis

If one more outsider asks me if I happen to know the location of a city made of gold, I am going to have a brand new bed of bone-fertilized Goldcorn Flowers.   ~ Annoyed Curnias farmer
  The tales about golden cities hidden within the steaming jungles are likely based upon the various City-States of the Curnias, given that it is quite easy to mistake the amber and resin-filled pools used by them to temporarily suppress their affliction with pools of molten gold, especially if one is currently suffering from Greenstripe fever.

Profitable Rumors

While the city might only be a myth, the profits we gained through it are most certainly real.   ~ Jinzi, Yinmoujia Merchant
  One of the main reasons for the continued popularity of the myth of the Gilded City is the fact that it is actively kept alive by various Yinmoujia Trade Companies given that the selling of relics, which allegedly stem from the Gilded City is still highly profitable.   Additional most of the equipment parts utilized by many would-be treasure hunters are sold either directly or indirectly by the Yinmoujia.   With the idea of alternative locations outside of the rainforests becoming more popular in recent years, they have also begun to create fabricated maps and diaries in order to direct treasure hunters towards specific locations whose exploration are assumed to be highly beneficial to their company's profit, but which are too dangerous to risk the well-paid lives of their own employees.  

Silence is Golden

  While numerous treasure hunters keep searching for the Gilded City one particular member Ausuvir species, known commonly as the "King in Gold" is actually able to create such a mythical place.   While a village or city visited by the Golden King might at first glance appear to be coated in a glistening layer of gold, a second glance quickly reveals the far more horrid truth.   For this presumed treasure is not made from gold or any other metal but instead consists of a revolting mass of dried up pus and ichor that has been secreted from the skins of the King's unfortunate victims.

Cover image: by geralt


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