Bregos' Cave Routes Geographic Location in Symbols of Power | World Anvil

Bregos' Cave Routes

The hidden ways in and out of the mountainside city

While the city-state of Bregos was thriving before the High Rust, people from the rest of the island used to not to mind them a lot: These folk kept to their own things and never caused problems as long as you were not trying to mess with them, which their surrounding neighbours, the Kingdom of Merthiorn never did, as their location was far too inconvenient for any kind of "colonisation" efforts.   This was because Bregos was located at the sides of a small group of mountains, with houses that were hanging from the rock, just looming over the precipice of the mountainside, and only small bridges and extremely steep roads led from one place to another in the city, or out of it. However, some small amount of trading between the people of Bregos and the closest settlements happened from time to time, which always puzzled the Merthionites: The "closest settlements" were more than a dozen kilometres away and packed with mountains and wilderness, yet the merchants seemed to make a fast enough route to make it profitable to buy and sell foodstuffs, and insisted on being them who travelled to Merthiorn, and not the other way around.  
"It is too steep and wild for your people, we would hate to lose you on the way here. Let us come instead."
— A Breguine merchant, trying to hide a smile
  After the High Rust completely decimated the city-state and killed most of its population, the suspicions grew even further: the few dozens of folk that survived and made their way to lower lands did so very fast, and usually without any signs of rust on their bodies. After the fall of Bregos, it was known that a very small group of people continued living there and trading with the newly created nation of Thaur, and some of the immigrant survivors travelled back and forth to retrieve personal items, make proper funerals for their dead, or help the remaining citizens... and they did so fast, tidily and mostly without issues.  

The Discovery

These coming and goings from the too-mysterious refugees started itching their new neighbours more and more, until a small group of Thaurians decided to follow, at a safe distance, a couple formed by a mountain lion man and a bighorn sheep woman. At first, they took an expected route: Between two branches of the Delta of Many Birds started a broad passageway between two clusters of mountains. If followed far north, it would lead to the remains of Goldwaste City, but on the way to it, they would be a small set of mountains away from Bregos.   The couple left their alzufhars on one of the few traveller's refuges that remained on the path to GoldWaste, and less than a kilometre after that, they took a sudden turn right, straight into the base of a mountain which they started climbing through an easy, but seemingly unmarked path. Puzzled, the thaurines followed closer and found the couple talking to an old man with signs of rust in a small but quite complete hidden post next to a tiny course of water. The couple left a bag of supplies to the man and quickly got into the guts of the mountain through a passageway that was very difficult to notice. The thaurines waited for the man to go inside his very small hut and followed through, making their first mistake.  

The Accident

The thaurines found themselves into a gigantic, intricate cave system inside the mountains. It was dark, but the bregan couple had lit before them a series of small braziers, that were prepared with small piles of combustible materials, oil flasks and ignitors at their sides. The caves were tidy and it was clear that they started out as natural formations but were slowly being developed by societarian hands. However, it was also clear that it was not developed with everyone in mind: The Breguine were all people of phenotypes adapted to climbing and jumping, and the thaurine... weren't. Not too far into the mountain, one of the girls fell trying to climb one of the passageways and made a loud cry as she broke something in her leg. The cry echoed into the silent cave, and soon enough the bregan couple was sprinting back on their tracks, and upon finding the intruders they became enraged, calling them stupid and careless. They carried the injured girl and told the thaurines to follow them closely, as they dove deeper on the intricate cave system.   Eventually, they reached a discreet opening that went into the side of a mountain. The thaurines could see Bregos city hanging from the mountainsides in the distance. At the side of the opening, another traveler's post received the girl to take care of her, and the bregan couple, still very pissed off, made the thaurians go back with them all the way to the entrance, where they deposited them on their way back to Thaur.  

The Hidden Roads

  The girl was healed and then taken back by one of the keepers of the road back to Thaur. People demanded explanations on all sides, and the people of Bregos simply explained that the routes were there for them, and were not safe for anybody else. With the secret being out in the open, it is now known that at least half a dozen of people from Bregos are still working as Keepers of the Cave Routes, but there were dozens in the past. The routes are filled with hidden signals and codes marking the way, and go both to the Goldwaste passageway and the east side of the mountain range down to the Delta of Many Birds.   Thaurians mostly leave them alone, but the few that try to find and follow them usually find a bad end.
By Bradley Dunn
Cave System
Location under
The Haan Archipelago
Portrait of Danae, a holding his peace bird pen and a book containing a map
Danae by Naelin
The cartographer Danae from the City of Birdland in Thaur was commissioned to draw a map of the Haan Archipelago for the second edition of The Book of the Habits and Beasts, published in the 3rd of Birthing, 3 E.Ru.   Danae took advantage of the enclyclopaedia's team of researchers to gather precise information and went himself into research expeditions to survey remote areas. His work resulted in what is considered the most accurate and widespread map of the Archipelago to this day, which details even most of the coasts of the Savage Isles.
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Cover image: Bregos Banner


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13 Dec, 2020 22:02

This is really cool - I like that the tunnels are only really safe for people of a certain phenotype. I can see why they were kept secret in the past, but I think it is a good thing that they are at least out in the open now. Hopefully not too many people try to follow them.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet