The sole connecting tissue between the civilized and the corrupted, the Yhkuh crosses the abyss, Ulinta.


Just like the City of Sornata, the Yuhkuh is made of an unknowable material. And like the city, it is ancient beyond dating methods. It can be understood to be stone of various materials all throughout its core, but an enchantment keeps the structure. Well, what’s left of it.


Silicon, Kolzire, iron, orik, all kinds of elements have been found to make up the bridge. It seems more like a natural land-bridge, like those found in Raehyr than manufactured. But, as anyone can attest who’ve stepped foot on it, it is most certainly made by an intelligence. Surveys onto the Yuhkuh have made a fairly detailed geographical and geological map of the parts closest to Kald. Further on the bridge is less explored, for fear of the unknown and for fear of one’s life.


The bridge is wider than any natural or manufactured structure. It spans the length of a small mountain range, with cracks, fractures, and pits running up and through its body. It is just as deep as well, peaks stretching their tips deep into the abyss. It is no guess to say that the bridge does not touch the bottom, nothing does. Some areas that have been separated from the main bridge have their bottoms visible, being held aloft like stones can be. Scientists are unsure if this levitation is an enchantment or a natural occurrence. Likely, it’s both.

As the bridge progresses, so too does its deterioration. Cracks become chasms, holes become seas, the bridge itself becomes dust. It does not end, however. While no one who has crossed it has been heard from again, expeditions are readily set forth. Modern techniques prove fruitless as much as the ancient. One particular expedition, expecting the participant to die ended in much more tragedy than anything that simple. See the sidebar for that story.
The bridge has many outposts readied at the neck, surveyors that come from across the world to study and armed forces from the surrounding nations. While not often, a rarity in fact that the last sighting hasn’t been for decades, the civilized world must ready themselves for whatever horror finds its way across. The last incident, dated Nejuz, Noorz 7825, time 2:38:92, ended with the fall of a nation. The behemoth, a grotesque creature beyond description with limbs where the do not belong and muddy blood spilling from half-formed veins one day dragged itself across the stone. No mind-breaker could enter without losing sanity. No powerful sage could, together, bring it down. No heroes could save thousands of lives. What brought it down, in the end, was the united effort of several armies from the most powerful of nations. It is a blessing, from whatever faith you observe, that Ovald does not turn its malformed eye towards us.

The Abyss, Ulinta

I hate even being near the abyss. I crossed some of the bridge by foot, of course, just to get a better understanding of it. The bridge itself is sturdy, unwilling to part with any arcanities. It’s that awful pit below that unsettles me. To know, one step on rubble could have me fall and never be seen again, flight not a savior. It is the muzzle over a cruel end.
— Witch of Knowledge
The Yuhkuh is the only structure large enough to cross the abyss. Even then, due to its ruined state, it does not cleanly connect the land of Kald to the Ovald. Attempts to fly over the gaps lead to those people falling. And, like getting to the other side, all those who fall to the abyss never return. A silver lining to the abyss is that there haven't been anything that have come up from it. Though, some say it has grown darker.


Records through all written history and geological dating have no memory of its creation. Like several things in the world, it’s impossible to judge their relative oldness. Are the Tuumon Kova older than the City of Sornata? Globe trekkers who go with their gut say the Yuhkuh is maybe somewhere between. It is, at the very least, older than the oldest mountains.

The only notable events stemming from the bridge are the crossings of Ovald creatures. Some wreck more havoc than others, one record tells of one falling to the abyss itself. No living creature is safe.


As with any natural formation, or unnatural formation, cultures inhabit and take from the Yuhkuh. Smaller faiths, pagans, worship the structure as a bridge to the afterlife, a holy site, a diety itself. Worship does not mean love. Many cultures have oral traditions of the horrors the Yuhkuh bring, now known as life from the other side of the world.

It is a harbinger of death, the allowance of an endless war with Ovald. Among the stories, the boogie men or beasts behind trees of the surrounding cultures identify them as those who cross the bridge. Your child won’t explore too far if they know that a terrible monster is waiting them from across the bridge. Amusing to the cynical, many cultures of the areas abstain from building or crossing bridges.

Worse Than Death

The plan was convoluted and doomed to fail from the start. An intrepid or foolhardy drake by the name of Tagao volunteered. The pool was small, the researchers of the Great Koagn Library using one of their own pupils for the task. She grew up there, though explored the world with her mentor before returning after an adult life of adventure.
Her experience, her strength, and her aptitude of the soul made her the perfect choice. She would die for the knowledge. Then, she would be reborn with it. Reincarnation is not a simple science, everything had to be perfect otherwise they would lose her forever.
The research team primed her with a soon to be born drake from her next. They would have to time it perfectly, so that she would die as soon as her sister would be born. The better choice would have been to perform this when the fetus would be prime to take in a soul, but that was no exact science. Instead, they barred the unborn from obtaining a soul, encasing the womb in material found at Aldr K-kep. They would bring the to-be mother and her to-be-daughter on the expedition. They had to be close physically, so they would bring the mother as far along the bridge as was safe. There rest would be up to Tagao.
She would have to cross the bridge alone, none else being so suicidal. She would reach the other side, and die before anything could claim her. They had measurements of when that would be, but a strict time schedule would be kept to ensure the death would happen at the same time as the birth. When she died, the small strand of soul she attached to the unborn would suck her in. Then, when she would be old enough to speak, they might have her spark memories, specific ones, for her previous life. The likelihood of success at any front was slim.
Everything had gone to plan. Things couldn’t have gone more wrong.
The monitor of her soul connecting to the unborn blared at her death, about twenty days after she vanished from view. The soul rushed along the strand, filling the chamber in the mother. The mother bore her single pup, tailored and unnatural, along the way to the base. The girl was fit, breathing, alive.
They raised the child as any child would be raised, though paired with another clutch since she had none to herself. Something was off about her, a disturbance no one could quite tell. She grew and years later, she could speak. The waited a while before continuing the experiment, observing what this strangeness might be. She spoke of nothing out of the ordinary; it was the way she said it. She was corrupted.
It was unexplained, the soul had both set correctly and incorrectly within the body. It was Tagao, but a perversion of her. And soon, it mad it physically evident.
Her body morphed, scales dropped like rain and limbs grew crooked. She grew an additional head, begging for gray, before it melted off her as she lapped it from the floor.
They continued with the experiment, calling forth her memories before they might vanish. They received one: a vast yon-bound landscape of things that could not be made sense of, dotted with what must have been life.
They had to put her down, to let her soul melt into the Suzal, to be at peace. Murmurs of those with the fewest scruples wish to try again. No further experiments of that kind have ever been enacted.


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 2, 2021 09:08

Very interesting; I especially like the description of what is beyond from that poor reincarnated Drake! I'm really curious how mind-breaker and heroes fit into the setting here too..   Great stuff :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Dec 3, 2021 12:12

Thank you, and yes, the poor drake, just wanted to explore. Heroes and mind-breakers really aren't too special. Heroes are like any other, someone who performs heroics when other's wont. Mind-breakers are a bit more unique, they're people who are trained to, well, break minds! Just force your way into someone's conscious and start wrecking havoc.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Jan 4, 2024 17:53

The side story makes this thing more horrifying than even the details of the bridge itself - though I do like everything that had been added. That poor drake! All that prep and it turned out in something monstrous and sad. I like the monstrous unknowable - the sort of undefined terror the world doesn't know what to do with. Sometimes it is concepts, like hell, but in this case it is a very real place and a thing. Something that people can travel and look at, which might be worse in some respects. Especially when things crawl across and raze the countryside.

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
I'm a Comment Caroler! Click to learn more
Jan 7, 2024 18:07

Thank you! Yeah, it's not really the bridge itself but what it represents or gives connotation to. It was in the name of science. And as science fiction goes: how far will people go in the name of science. I'm glad you like the story!   Yeah, I want to one day have a story of a creature crossing, but generally I want to leave this area ambiguous. It's not meant to be understood fully! It might be the worst "place", but it may not be the worst concept.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.