Day 59. We have been encamped in Fjafev for five days. The men are becoming uneasy. Whispers abound - cursed, they say. We... fear the night. Behind every ruined pillar, eyes watch us. In the south, they say the Strangers are but a myth. You do not lose four beardogs and one injured scout to a myth. Even in the daylight, they crawl among the dark recesses of the ruins. I'm beginning to think the men are right: this city is cursed, and perhaps it was right to be abandoned.On the northern coast of the Oru Sea sit the ruins of a once mighty city. It was the home of the Takits and the seat of their empire. The city hosted a vast library and a scientific institute ahead of its time that studied astronomy and theology. Then, around 2000 years ago, the residents suddenly abandoned the city. No one knows why or where the residents went. All Takit cities were emptied around this time. Explorers to the city have found carts abandoned in the street and charred remnants of food in ovens. It is as if the residents simply vanished into thin air. Explorers are cautioned, however. These days, Fjafev and the area around it is swarming with Strangers.
Most of the remains of the city are stone, though it's believed spruce wood and bronze were once used in construction as well. The majority of buildings were built on stilts of stone, with above-ground basements walled-off with simple wooden boards. Elevating the living spaces kept the buildings from melting the permafrost and causing destabilization, as well as creating a cold sink below the house. Surviving bronze arches indicate that the unpaved streets were covered by a lattice of woven wood supported by a bronze framework, at least along the main roads. This would have kept the streets clear of snow. These streets were very wide, with wooden boardwalks along the sides and steps leading up to the second-storey entrances of buildings. The major decorative style consists of curving shapes, interwoven lines, and patterns taken from nature.
Fjafev is located on the coast of the Oru Sea. It partially freezes over in the winter. The terrain around the city is sparse boreal forest with the ground rising slowly to the north, toward mountains. Today, the forest has reclaimed the city and pine trees grow around the ruins. It is covered in snow throughout the winter, but throughout the summer, flowers bloom below the spruce trees. During its peak, most of the land around it was fields for crops, but today it is all forest.
Between 2000 and 1500 BR