The Lost Nation of Ur'agthl

Contents

A silence blanketed the ruins, as if all the air had been drawn out of the surrounding area. I couldn't so much as hear my heart beat. I decided that whatever was there wasn't worth it— and left immediately.
— A lost traveller
  Masked by the darkness of Tchaoxlik lies a great, forgotten city. The last surviving monument to a civilization long forgotten, that of Ur'agthl. Yet something stirs within it, luring travellers to its doorstep. Wild tales of strange pale beings within a warped time are told breathlessly by those who return— and are often discarded.    

Silent Spires

Wanderers who find themselves within the ruins of Ur'agthl report a cold, lonely feeling emanating from the dark structures surrounding them. Sound is nigh inaudible, and only the loudest of noises can be heard— as faint whispers. Tall spires dominate the skyline, made of twisted, rough-hewn obsidian peppered with great circular cuts and sharp edges— as if they were carved by the hands of giants. Yet the beings who once populated the strange, deep-cut pathways in the stone beneath were clearly not giants. Judging by the height of the many warped doorways throughout the city, they must have only been around nine feet tall— giant in comparison to many humans, but not to such an extent that they could have carved the looming spires themselves.  
  Some believe that, perhaps, the spires had been carved by something yet unknown— and the Ur'agthlians came after. Their structures, twisted and warped like gelatin, are also carved from obsidian— but done so from small, careful circular carving quite unlike the spires. Whatever furnishings must have been within have weathered away over the untold centuries since their disappearance, all that remains are the cold, empty obsidian shells that once held them. Despite the amount of time spent underground, they gleam as if they had been polished yesterday— allowing them to be distinguished from the nigh endless blackness of the cavern they now quietly reside in.   Some, even, are polished enough to act as mirrors— on occasion returning a curious wanderer's stare with a strange, alien version of themselves. Those who are unlucky enough to face this visage are haunted by them for the remainder of their lives.  
Don't turn around...please, he's there. Waiting for you.
— An unlucky individual
  For those who don't flee, and walk deeper into the ruins, they will come upon an alluring door. This door can appear anywhere deep within the city, taking the place of another. Instead of an opening to a structure, one is faced with a brilliant kaleidoscopic light that undulates like liquid as they approach. Some speak of the doorway singing to them, even— beckoning them to enter.  
It...sings to me. They want me to bear witness to their elation, their perfect world, and share their teachings...I must enter.
— A lost traveller
   

The Forever Day

Colorful, kaleidoscopic light and fractal patterns will flood the vision of one who enters the doorway, as they shortly find themselves on the other side— within the Ur'agthl of the past. The obsidian walls beside them glow with dark blue hues, with flecks of black dancing across their surfaces. In time, they will step out of this structure, into a great plaza lit by floating spherical braziers made of gold. Above them, a golden fractal sky shines, spins, and warps slowly. Their attention is shortly grabbed by something stranger, however— a live Ur'agthlian, waiting for them.  
They stood before me, that pale-red being. It seemed to tower above me in height, its torso was about the size of my own but its thin limbs hung below it as if they had been stretched. Each ended in a sharp, bony point rather than hands or feet. Upon its skull were no features I could easily recognize, no ears, mouth, eyes, nose, or even hair— in their place was instead a constantly evolving collection of geometric forms not unlike those in the sky above me.   As I tried to make out some constant within the shapes, my mind grew weary— and I had to resign to staring just below their head as they addressed me. "Come." They said, in a language I did not know— but nevertheless, I understood, and obeyed.
— A lost traveller
  The denizens of Ur'agthl are trapped, willingly it would seem, within a continuously looping day. Originally this had been a punishment, as they tried to leverage an eldritch being's power for themselves— but over the centuries of their imprisonment they have reached a sort of peaceful equilibrium and refuse to step out of their realm. Travellers are lured to their city simply so that their faith can spread, they have come before now— and well beyond. One who enters Ur'agthl has always entered Ur'agthl that day, and they always will— for eternity.    

Governing Structure

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Ur'agthl was governed by the Thilgos— an Ur'agthlian with a burning red tesseract for a head. The Thilgos was not appointed, but was born from the head of the last upon their death. While they could not speak, nor move at all for that matter— their word was understood through the tesseract's movement. The Thilgos was an absolute monarch, whose rule was further enforced by a fleet of priests always at their disposal.   These priests possessed supernatural abilities, which were both feared and respected by the general populace— allowing them to enforce the Thilgos' law as necessary. As far as visitors have been able to glean, there is no history of betrayal, coups, or priests acting on their own— the Thilgos' rule was absolute and those who reported to them did not go astray.    

Religion

The faith held by seemingly all Ur'agthlians is extraordinarily esoteric to humankind. Visitors are always assigned a priest, who will attempt to teach them their ways so that they may in turn spread their word to their present world.
Life is about being, twisting and turning and becoming numerical— you cannot stand straight if you do not accept that it is always golden. This is a fundamental law, and when the vapors reach your ears you will taste of their sweet nectar— stand still, bear it. Float, always, and point to that which shirks from the golden lights as sinful.
— An Ur'agthlian priest
However, very few have been able to actually understand their faith. While the Ur'agthlians have had untold eons to ponder the nature of the universe— most sentient life dies well before they see a single century. A fair number of those who return from Ur'aghthl go insane, and those who do truly understand sound as if they are.
Uhr-ahg-th-uhl

Unknown - Unknown

Type
Geopolitical, Country
Demonym
Ur'agthlian
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute

Nest of none

Nothing lives in or near the silent ruins of Ur'agthl.   No plants grow, no water drips— even monsters make a point to avoid the area.  
It's as if all life has shunned these forsaken obsidian structures, its masters are gone, but so too are those who would normally happily reclaim it.   It is almost as if even the earth itself has forgotten Ur'agthl.   I fear that if I stand upon this ground too long, I too, shall be forgotten.
— A Lliaqeu scholar
 
 
 

From another time

As the city is always living the same day, visitors, too arrive and leave in the same day.   Regardless of when they had first come.   An ancient progenitor may meet a relative from centuries after their death, and in similar fashion—
one today may meet another from centuries yet to come.   Of course, it is difficult for visitors to avoid asking of their futures.  
"An ocean? Chluetichlon is a lake!"   He laughed at my confusion, and continued.   "We travel across both land and sea on great metal discs, the rains above pour down as burning fire— and few remember the art of calligraphy.   Instead, we communicate through many thin threads embedded into all beings, floating always around us."   I couldn't believe the strange looking man— if it weren't for the thin threads dangling from his fingertips as he waved them at me.
— Visitors conversing
  More often than not, this information is from too far in the future to be of much use to someone from the present day.   If any inventions have been a result of these conversations, however, they have gone largely unnoticed— or slipped into daily use unknowingly.

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