The Laughing Caves Myth in Dark-Fall | World Anvil

The Laughing Caves

Abandoned mines shrouded in myth

The Laughing Caves is a common story and myth to tell around the campfire during dark nights. It's a story told all over Dysvoll but especially in Kanden, due to it's geographical closeness to the origin of the myth.  
The myth of the Laughing Caves is one of the stories we always tell the kids during the weekly summer bonfires.   It's a community favorite since it has elements of something that could be scary, but it never truly is. Instead, it's simply intriguing and mysterious!
Ilk-nean Elder of Alinage

The Myth of the laughing caves

Common renditions of the myth are told in a way where a nameless "elder" or "inhabitant" of the place has gone on an adventure in their youth where they happened upon the caves in some way. Most of the versions end up with the elder and their friends not going into the caves since one or more are sure it's a trap or somehow cursed. A common theme is that others visiting after the group has come back do go into the caves, and are never seen again.   The myth, therefore, advises against going into strange areas that might be a magical trap set up by either an evil Spell-caster or dark entities. Of course, not all believe spell casters are evil, but most do, and therefore that is a normal lesson to draw from the myth.  
An elder of this town once went on an adventure in their youth with their friends. They decided to go on a reckless adventure in the Ellecran Forest, even though it was overrun with dark creatures at night.   They trekked for days until they were met with a wondrous sight. A glimmering white city overgrown by vines and slowly decaying in the middle of the forest. Here they spent days exploring the abandoned big buildings and beautiful halls.   During each night, they heard the unmistakable sounds of music and laughter, something along the lines of a ball. But each night they were too scared of coming face to face with a dark creature, and they didn't go to investigate.   However, on the third night, they decided to go see what was happening.   Following the sounds of joy lead them to the abandoned caves and mines that lay under the city. It was from here that the music and laughter streamed cane from. One of the friends wanted to go in, but the others advised against it. What if it was a trap?   They left the same morning, wanting to get as far away from the enchanting place as possible.   Many have since gone to see the city, and each of them says the same.   And they were right in staying away because every single person who has gone to see what truly happened in the mines has never come back out. Some say the magic took them, others say it was the fae or the ghost of Isadore.
— citizen of Flottkiping

Origin of the Myth

The myth originates from the Ruins of Neklian, which is the old city state of Neklian that is now abandoned and crumbling away in nature. Neklian was build on top of a cave-system called The Glittering Caves. These caves, and the mines established in them, were the source of the Neklians riches and the reason they all could live such a comfortable life.  

Events that lead to the myth

Neklian was abandoned slowly over the years after the disappearance of their last Refined Servant called Isadore Ravenswood. Isadore and his entire court dissapeared one night after festivities held in The Glittering Ballroom which is located in the glittering caves.   The ballroom itself is also a part of the myth, and it's widely accepted that it isn't real. However, it is very real, and the site of where Isadore and the Court of Isadore went missing.  


After the city dwindled into nothing and then was fully abandoned, many went on adventures to hike through the crumbling city. Others went to see if they could get lucky in the mines and maybe find some valuables.   Many of these people came back and reported hearing sounds all around the city, but mostly from the caves themselves where both laughter, music, and festivities were heard over the years.  


Multiple theories have been presented over the years to explain these odd phenomena. Some explain it away as simply being a story, but those who have witnessed it or fully believe it have actual theories.  


Some believe it is the ghosts of Isadore and his court, and that they were actually murdered on that fateful night.   However, no bodies were ever found and hundreds of people, including earth magic users, were out looking. There is no way they could have missed over two dozen corpses strewn about.

Otherworldly Creatues

Others are sure that otherworldly creatures inhabit the mines. Either Dark Entities who make noises to signal comfort and fun to draw you in and kill you.   Others think it could be the fae, who borrow the mines for their festivities. However, this theory is usually laughed at and seen as highly improbable. '
Date of First Recording
1402 ADF
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The Glittering Caves
Geographic Location | Jul 16, 2021

The Gem Caves of Neklian, which have been funding the city-states expenses for hundreds of years. Now they are abandoned along with the rest of Neklian.

Cover image: by Ninne124


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Jul 13, 2021 15:02 by Avalon Arcana

Oh, I love this one too. I want to know where the laughing is coming from. Is it really ghosts? Is it otherworldly creatures? Is it something else? Amazing job :D

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Jul 14, 2021 17:19

I already have written out everything about that, and I'm not sure whether to add it or not because.... secreeeeets XD   But thank you so much Avalon!

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Jul 13, 2021 18:51 by Caitlin Phillips

Ooooh, this is so intriguing! I think I'd have loved listening to this as a child - although it probably would have gjven me nightmares. I love all the theories surrounding it. Excellent job!

Cait x
Jul 14, 2021 17:19

thank you! ^-^   I definitely would have nightmares as well, I don't do well with creepy stories XD

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Aug 9, 2021 11:36 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I'm going to go with the fae. It's probably fae.   Such a creepy myth. I think I would have nightmares if I heard about it whilst sitting around a bonfire at night.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet