Long ago, when the Ice Queen raged across the land leading The Frozen Empire at her back, people fled. Some fled south to the islands, some fled east hoping her reach wouldn’t make it to the other side of The Ridge. Yet still others fled down, burrowing into the ground like moles, going deeper and deeper till tumbling into large, uncharted caves. They set of, slowly building little buildings, exploring the caves, developing their little, underground world. Over the years the little settlement grew and expanded, spilling into other, connecting caves as their strength grew. Slowly but surely, others began to trickle down, either by getting lost in caves or running from a life they wish they could forget, they came, joining their growing underground world. Now the people have forgotten what the sky looks like, forgotten what the wind and sun on their faces feels like, even that the upper world exists. Some remember, some have chosen to forget, and some do everything in their power to keep the upper and lower worlds separated for the rest of time.
At first there were mainly dwarves, Dragonborns, and trolls with the occasional elf tagging along, though now there are large sects of humans, fairies, and even some Earth Genasi. They spread all over the cave floor, mixed and co-existing pleasantly in most cases. Those closer to the hearth stone are commonly in better shape financially, and are sometimes viewed as upper class.
The rules are rather lax, but the people are gather together to support their community. Taxes are lax seeing as most people pave thier own way in terms of survival. They grow their own foods and mine their own wells, making their own tools for the most part. This works well for the people, preferring to not have anyone else get in their own business. The gathering, a group of representative chosen for each sector of the city, goes tot he hearth stone whenever there are any large scale problems that need to be discussed.
Their location is their defense. No one attacks them if no one knows they exist. There is a police force of sorts to protect the city from within and from any animal dangers from the rest of the caves, like say, a lost wyvern or something.
Industry & Trade
The people support themselves, doing everything on their own. For cloth they utilize the cave spiders silk, for food they grow what they can in the dark and thin soil, for light they use the crystals. They do everything on their own, asking help from no one but ready to give it out to any who look like they may need it.
Buildings are made of stone, either carved into the cave wall or stacked on top of each other. However refined and worked the stone is is up to the owner of the building. There are large, natural, crystal tubes filled with water that twist all through the the city making it Mer friendly.
Tourism doesn’t exist, outsiders are not welcome. You come down this deep, you stay this deep. The only exception are the Mer-Folk. Mer-folk regularly swim in the crystal passages, through the vast expanse of the underground. This is only tolerated because mer-folk regularly live this deep in the oceans as well as near the surface.
the underground, much like its name says, is deep underground in a colossal cave system of the same name. The caves expand past even the city limits, leaving plenty of room for it to expand in the years to come. Unlike The Underdark, the underground is brighter and has its own natural light through special crystals and algae.