Down Where The Golden Dwell Myth in Istralar | World Anvil

Down Where The Golden Dwell

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I remember being your age, you know. My mother caught me playing in one of the mineshafts with a few friends - oh my, the tanning she gave me! But that came after the screaming and crying, and when my poor bottom had recovered, she sat us down and told us what I shall tell you now... she told us of the Goldendwelt.
  Myths and stories of the Underdark are a near-universal aspect of Istralar, owing to the cavernous area's inherent dangers. The dark influence of Rovagug and whatever other fell energies twisted the blackest corners of Istralar's depths still remain from the various Wars that the land has gone through. Most myths, however, revolve around the drow, duergar, svirfneblin, or other deep-dwelling Underdark native species. It isn't like the Underdark has a shortage of horrors, after all.   Things are different on Iskaldhal. There, very few have even heard of the other species that supposedly make their homes in the great Beneath. Instead - they learn of the Goldendwelt.


The Goldendwelt are, allegedly, a race of mechanical beings created by the clockwork goddess Brigh. They lurk in the Iskaldhan Underdark for the most part, their true purpose (if they exist) unknown. Something is said to have gone wrong in their creation, twisting them against the progression of Iskaldhal's technology: they are said to come for any who go 'too far'.   What this actually means is left to the individual storyteller. Polyhedra uses the Goldendwelt as a motivating force to maintain moral standards, whilst Yksinka uses them to caution against the use of any technology.

Historical Basis

Surprisingly, it seems that the myth of the Goldendwelt has some factual basis. Freelance miners and those breaking new ground will often bring up strangely complex pieces of glittering-gold machinery from their mines, and some claim to have even met with the alleged guardians of Iskaldhal's innards.   However, no claim has ever been verified with scientific levels of accuracy. Pieces of machinery go missing when due to be inspected. Sketches and diagrams are lost or damaged. Personal accounts are forgotten and distorted. This odd aura of uncertainty inspired the foundation of the Order of Unknowing - a research-based group based in Volkur - though thirty years of study have proven nothing except that the Goldendwelt seem to be willing to go to any means to conceal their existence.
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