The City of the Living Dead

The unnamed City of the Living Dead lies deep in the Underdark below the far north of the Eurasian Steppes. It has eight outposts corresponding to the points of the compass. The major points (North, South, East, West) are well over 150 miles from the centre and are the largest outposts, and the remainder are smaller & about 50 miles from the centre. The northmost point is under the Artic, and the southernmost point borders the Eurasian Steppes. To look at initially the city would look dead, though what is apparent there is dull ghostly lights flickering in and around it.   This city is controlled by undead. At the heart of it is a Lich, one of the Council of Thirteen and possibly the most powerful out of all of them. He has surrounded himself with all manner of undead servants and a few constructs. A slow but steady stream of living creatures are brought into the city on a regular basis, acting as livestock for the Vampires that are aligned to the Necrocult, and for sacrifice. The latter is split either to feed the phylacteries of the Liches, or as payment to evil gods. These are brought from all over Asia & Europe, and from below the sea, being that the northern outpost is situated below the Artic, and the undead don't need to breathe.   As for layout, the city is a maze of crypts, graves, cairns, and charnel houses carved out of different types of rock, all in different designs. These are placed in a haphazard way, marking out rough alleyways & roads around & to the edges of the city, and the centre of the city. At the centre is a massive tower about 4 miles high, and almost the same deep. This is surrounded at the base with a citadel containing troops quarters, sacrifice chambers, study halls, and libraries. A steady supply of sacrifices are led into the building constantly. At the base of the tower there is a library containing some of the foulest books on magic in existence. At the centre is a sacrificial dais with a throne 2 metres behind it. The Lich that rules here uses it to rule it's subjects. About halfway up the tower is a personal laboratory of the Lich, filled with personal spell books, and torture devices. Sometimes meeting between the Council is conducted here in private using magic. At the top of the tower is the Lich's personal chambers where his darkest secrets lie. Very personal papers adorn here with all manner of personal items that the Lich has collected. A spiral set of stone stairs lead up the inside of the tower on the inner wall. Bits & pieces of skeletons are built into the wall, along with heavy blocks of stone.   To the south of the city is a cavern where a Dracolich lives and regularly patrols around the outside & over the city itself. Pyramidal structures act as gates at the roads that come from the outposts, and every 10 miles of these. Where these roads come in, they travel to the centre without interruption. Two small towers stand at each side of these with a Vampire in each claiming it as their own domain. A part of the citadel has been given over to administration, and all kinds of intelligent undead roam the halls here acting out necessary functions. Many of them are Deathlocks, Deathlock Masterminds, and Mummy Lords, who all act as a council along with elder Vampires as a makeshift council for the Lich. A few Liches sometimes can be found here acting as liaisons for other masters, or to glean knowledge & wisdom from the secretive head of the Council. Sometimes a Demilich will act as messengers with promises to help restore them back to full lichdom.   Below the tower is a set of catacombs where many buried undead road, with traps and carrion crawlers common here. At the very centre of it is the Liches Phylactery along with any other Liches that are currently residing in the city. The whole part of this structure is about 4 miles deep and avoided by any living creature that can burrow. The stench of rot & death, along with the sheer amount of undead keeps any of the sentient Underdark creatures away. Indeed, according to the takes, the Black Elves, Deep Gnomes, and different Dwarven clans avoid anywhere that is marked with the golden skull with glowing eyes motif that the city uses as it's symbol. Even more so with it showing a crown as part of it. Magic is sometimes used to help to prevent any creature attacking or entering a part of the city, though a few times lower forms of life can be found in and around the region helping to keep enemy numbers down, and even keeping the lesser undead numbers too when they get too much.   Raids are regularly carried out by the inhabitants, whether against the surface world or against other powers residing in the Underdark. The purpose primarily seems to be for sacrificial victims, bodies needed for reanimation, or to reduce numbers of possible enemies. Sometimes it is to gain supplies if any are lacking and/or treasure if other creatures have got their hands on anything interesting or needed. The more death & destruction caused the better.   The city itself has never been named, at least with any name known by outsiders. Nobody is sure exactly how old it is either, but appears absolutely ancient in design. Many of the structures looks as if they were built by human or humanoid hands originally and then converted to it's present use over millennia, or possibly even millions of years. Because of the nature of the inhabitants, and those that have any knowledge of the city it got its name of the City of the Living Dead. Most who do know of it is well aware to stay away from it all costs, along with the regions around the outposts too. Rumours persist that there is a portal to a land of the dead somewhere in the centre of the city, specifically the tower complex, and it bleeds entropic energy into the world.
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