It felt as if the city itself was screaming. A constant, terrible grating— as if great teeth were clenched in anger somewhere below the earth— seemed to poison the air wherever I traveled.
— A Rektouzk trader
  The cursed city of Shoal'Ghnu stands as the final remnant of the long lost civilization which the Kub-Glorrha once belonged to. It stands like a bleached skeleton of some long-dead beast on the hot, arid island of Nyeul— keeping the cursed people at arm's length from their contemporaries.  

A Prison of Flesh and Stone

Long ago— in a time long since forgotten by the rest of the world— the Kub-Glorrha made a dire, unforgivable mistake. They had tried to ascend to godhood, and stole the blessed child of their patron deity, Ytnolshola to do so. However their betrayal was no surprise to the great being. Ytnolshola knew before the thought first flashed in their minds, before they were even born— and even before the universe itself came into existence. It was preordained. It was destiny.
  As the heretics formed around the newly constructed obelisk which towered over the city, and began to chant those cursed words and rites, the ground beneath them shook. Rather than take note of this portentous event, they carried on with their ritual. Soon, all living creatures besides the Kub-Glorrha fled the area. Yet this only caused their chanting to grow in volume. Finally, the shrill, horrid cries of the great being's offspring sounded from the towering obelisk in front of them.
  The leading priest stepped forward, expecting to find a small creature on the ground— but there was no such thing. Instead, the poor man found himself picked up by an outside force, held high above the congregation, and sapped of his energy. His body was torn and twisted every which way at impossible angles— limbs inexplicably phased through one another as if his body was merely air— until even screaming was too much to bear. Finally, the unseen force released him— and the grey, unrecognizable husk fell to the ground— dead. This, unfortunately, was not the end.
  No, death was a mercy that would not be granted to the Kub-Glorrha. The grey husk burst through the chest of another priest, who, too, soon underwent the same horrid twisting and warping experienced by the first. This chain of horrible warping and twisting continued until every last denizen of the city was changed into the grotesque forms seen today— their deformed heads stuck facing the skies containing the being they wished to defy, never allowing them to forget their mistake.
Ytnolshola! Ytnolshola! Yn'arght phtnga snguo'l, Ytnolshola! Translation: Ytnolsolha! Forgive us! Forgive our misdeeds!
— A common prayer
  From that day on, the Kub-Glorrha would be unable to experience the sweet release of death— and would be forever chained as servants to the great, terrible power of Ytnolshola. Over the many years of their undeath, the civilization they were once proud citizens of fell, and others rose in its place. Few venture in or out of the city, as death often awaits in the great desert to the west, and the waters around them had become a graveyard of sunken vessels.
  Yet some manage to escape, and ships will inexplicably find themselves at the city's shores— never having embarked with the purpose of arriving there. What, exactly, enables passage seems entirely unknown— as Yntshola's reasoning cannot be understood.      

Governing Structure

After the previous events, a new head priest was chosen. Though she did not wish to earn this position— and was chosen by force. A small child by the name of Aeol had been chosen as a sacrifice for the ritual which cursed the city's denizens, but soon after found herself revived— as a permanent living fixture somewhere halfway up that terrible looming obelisk in the center of the city.
  Yntshola speaks through the obelisk by sending otherworldly reverberations from above which reach her ears— in her death she learned this infernal language, and acts as a translator and mouthpiece for the being.
  All matters of governance are passed through her, minor complaints and quarrels are expected to be dealt with by those involved. The law has been left to interpretation, and changes depend greatly on the girl's mood and opinion of those involved. Most minor quarrels and issues are left to the general populace, as Aeol considers them boring, and unworthy of her time.
  Gifts are commonly given to the Aeol to win her favor, acts of worship are taken— and humiliating displays where an individual will harm themselves or another are often performed for her entertainment.  

An Alien Construction

The structures around the city— like the people who reside within them— were warped into unrecognizable shapes and forms in the aftermath of the ritual. The ground beneath them turned took on a sickly, lifeless grey coloring, and the grand majority of plant and animal life withered and died away.  
Sharp spires of sickly green pumice-like stone with numerous large spherical holes jut from beneath the island like spears pinning the island in place. Originally, the architecture of the city was made of many rotund, tall structures of stone.
  Images of their deity appeared throughout, on facades, statues, and fence-toppers. Now cursed and twisted, these images seem as if to breathe— and one could swear their eyes glow in the night.
Many buildings seemed to wilt— sides of some sinking into the ground yet producing no visible cracks as they did so— as if they were melting. Some bent to the side, appearing like strange stone noodles, and others shifted on their foundations— left standing diagonally.
  The surfaces of all took on a strange metallic purple hue with blue cracks throughout, these structures are hot to the touch regardless of the time of day or year.
  Great churches formed from strange polyhedrons have sprouted throughout the city— destroying the old ones in their place— and the residents are expected to worship more fervently than previously. Under the watchful eye of Aeol, and undoubtedly Ytnolshola themselves— few would dare to deny this expectation.
Inhabitant Demonym

Constant starvation

Isolated from trade, and their land now left infertile— the Kub-Glorrha are constantly faced with the reality of starvation. They are often emaciated, and on the brink of death— often fighting each other over food.
  When one dies, they are painfully reborn through the holes in another Kub-Glorrhan's chest— a terrible experience most try their best to avoid if at all possible.
  Strange methods of cooking have been thought up to keep death at bay, some boiling sand, eating wooden pieces of their homes, leather still left behind, and some even resort to chopping off parts of one another for use in their cooking.  

Chosen emissaries

Ytnolshola exerts influence along greater avenues than the small island upon which Shoal'Ghnu is built upon— and every now and then a Kub-Glorrha is chosen to wander the outside world.
  How they are chosen is inconsistent— some will be called upon by Aeol, and given a clear goal. Others will exit their homes to find themselves within a strange, unfamiliar place. Some will travel in their dreams— and some will simply be able to escape the island.
  Regardless of the method of travel, they will find themselves in close proximity to something Ytnolshola desires. Upon which they are predestined to encounter.

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