Swrahk

Kecia rises like a wave, each level higher, grander than the last. Carved of living rock and wreathed in darkness, it is the greatest city of the under world. Like spokes of a wheel, the caves of the Dorcia spread in every direction from its center, and in its shadow strange things crawl.
Onia the Navigator
  Below the ancient volcanos of Skjaldkong, a great complex of caves riddles the earth like a tumor. These are the Swrahk, known to humans as the Under Caverns. The largest of these caverns stretch miles high, housing entire cities, and the smallest are fit only for insects; eternally dark, the Swrahk form one of the most complex labyrinths in the world, and though a natural formation, the caverns have been inhabited for centuries by the Dorcia and greatly expanded in a quest to reach the wealth of the deep.  

Inhabitants

The Dorcia have carved many cities from the stone of the Swrahk over the centuries, the greatest of which is their capital of Kecia. Between their cities, fungi farms spread through the caverns, and even the most traveled thoroughfares are little more than single file roads, winding over, under and around great rock formations. The only traffic on these roads is solitary convoys, carrying ore and crystals to the surface world each trading festival. Sometimes, the air is broken by the rare visit of a dragon or a human explorer foolhardy enough to come venture to the mysterious depths. But the Dorcia are not an inquisitive species, and they remain satisfied in their cities.   Outside their carved walls, the darkness boils with oddities and dangers. Odd fauna and flora grow in the darkness, feeding on flesh or magic alike. The great Walking Mushrooms with aphrodisiac venom, the Dark Wolves, not really wolves at all, that will tear flesh apart, and stranger yet that are rarely seen and scarcely catalogued.  

Dark Corners

The Swrahk are mysterious even to the An alternate name of the Dorcia, the human-dragon hybrids who call the Swrahk their home.. Though lovers of darkness themselves, the Dorcia have long known there are things in the reaches of the under caverns that are far darker than themselves or their dragon kin. Beyond their cities and the fungi farms, the caverns are never bathed in even the light of a torch.   Shelgoth, formless spirits, and solitary Immortal are just some of the more common inhabitants of the remotest regions. But in this pure darkness, there are whispers that things worse than any of those dwell; strange and eldritch beings. Mere rumour or more substantiated claim?   Not even the bravest scholar has tried to find out, or at least none who made the foolhardy quest have returned sane enough to say. Humans are prone to taking that trip, never listening to the warnings, dismissing the elder's words. Mere superstition, they call it. Superstition doesn't consume the flesh and rot the mind.

Alternative Name(s)
the Under Caverns, the Deep, the Abyssal Maze
Type
Cave System

Comments

Author's Notes

Written for the Dark Places Lightning Challenge 23/08/18


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23 Aug, 2018 05:57

This would make a great quest hook. It dares you to explore it, though at the same time tells you it will probably be a one-way trip.   The quote at the start is great!   What's the farthest anyone has gone? At least, so far as anyone knows.

23 Aug, 2018 06:14

Hmm. The Dorcia don't really keep good records except of the routes between their cities and mines, and humans tend to inevitably get lost, die or go mad. So I'm not quite sure. Honestly, probably not very far.