Sink of Tonda Settlement in Valley of Man | World Anvil
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Sink of Tonda

by hughpierre


Tonda is not the most developed of the Sinks. Though it started out at around the first wave of colonizers, its efforts were stymied when a particularly frozen lot of swamp was discovered directly in front of their settlement, making extraction close to impossible.


Unable to expand in the other directions without coming into conflict with other cities' Sinks; Protilla soldiered on. Emptying their jails and temples to get as much man power into Tonda as they could; and calling out to risk takers as far as the valley floor and directing their serfs and slaves down as well.  

Step Guests

To further encourage participation, sons and daughters from prominent families were sent as supervisors who may or may not have engaged themselves with the former captives. The population of Tonda is summed up as diverse, but the lack of reliable censuses in the past leaves holes as to the specificity.


Sinks more successful than Tonda have complicated and dynamic systems of autonomous governance. As it stands, Tonda has a rolling period of leaders, styled as 'Trusts', appointed by the 'Mother' and 'Father' of the mother city. Nominally, these 'Trusts' are in control of the welfare of the colony, but in practice, it is largely delegated to the Old Priests.


Grass Wall

Like all Sinks, Tonda is serpentine in shape; pressed right up to the Bad Step's base with its mother city: Protilla 4000 ft above it and beyond view. As a result, there are large sections that are in need of defenders but there is literally more area open to the Wilds than the current population can devote. Failing in that, barricades and watch towers built out of grass trunks are a quick and cheap, early warning system.  


Currently, an increasing population, plus interest from Protilla has restarted adequate funding and reinvigorated a sense of pride in the Sinklings; such that they have taken it upon themselves to start work on a trench network surrounding Tonda.

Industry & Trade

In years previous, there wasn't much of an industry.


Inhabitants ventured into the immediate Wilds to collect whatever could be easily acquired. Therefore, exports have been inconsistent and vary widely; or might not happen at all for the needs of the colony to sustain itself.  


Current changes, however, aim to better organise and facilitate ore mining and tree harvesting. This was made all the more easier by the inexplicable and steady warming of the in the Wet Wilds.


Tonda did not develop very far, so there is not much in the way of stone constructs. At most, a common home has walls of tightly bound grass trunks and pelt roofs imported from above.  

Admin Building

Amongst the first and longest lasting buildings built in the initial investment; Admin is part erected stone and part sculpture. Construction was started over a medium sized hole in the mountain base, which led to caverns that became extended rooms; chiseled and reworked from the sharp walls into smooth and livable areas. The outside was extended some way by stacked blocks of bedrock raised three levels and decorated with tiny to small holes along the top rim, but otherwise closed off from much of the cold.



The overall shanty appearance of the town's exterior, even the Admin building to an extent, leaves much to be desired. Regardless of the lack of regular building material, many family groups make do in constructing their homes with shards of hot-rocks piled into a bone shaped base where grass trunks were jabbed into pre-made holes around the base's circumference; and insulated with dried mud and clay walls and pelt roofs.   Hot-rocks break along slates which leaves Tonda homes having exterior walls with spike directed outwards. Neighbourhoods of cencalli have been called stone gardens for they resemble field of black and graying flowers sprouting from the barren ground.

Guilds and Factions

Temple of Learned Arts

A Community School as Step culture once knew. The sole repository of formal education for the enlightenment of future priest in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and glyph writing. It is they, through their mystical knowledge, who understand the will of the Gods. At least until the precedent set by the White Case many years ago diminished their influence. One temple haphazardly established in Tonda exerts considerable power over the colonists, through the children they teach. However, new priests sent from on high, have recently upset the dynamics within the school and triggered aggressive moves from the old Sinkling priests.  

Labour Camp

A rather disorganized gathering of the laymen responsible for the extraction and shipment of raw materials. Members, however, typically do such work when they feel like it contributing to the inefficiency of Tonda and the leading to the assignment of proper supervisors by Protilla. Often times, the old priests would use their members as its own strong arms (unofficially) to facilitate nightly patrols and internal security.


For a long time, the families of the Cavern Cities were well aware of the riches to be had in the swamp below. Brave explorers delve down to try to make a living but without any permanent settlement, real sustainable profit was impossible.  


It became the custom for adventure groups to pool resources together, namely slaves, and send massive caravans and excursions to extract and map the terrain. there were many things that could kill a man in the swamp , there were many methods by which to forestall such events. The problem was the hiking down and back up again with lots of equipment and resources. There were many falls that cause human avalanches for the returning caravans and resulted in quick losses.   Then Mytenii, with its over flowing prisoner population, promised limited freedom and a home if they could successfully partake in the swamp settlement and deliver. Of which they were markedly successful. This success started the "Race to the Bottom". Any and all of the cavern cities that had prisoners endeavored them to follow the Mytenii model, with many more similar successes. Protilla's efforts, however, were amongst the failed.   Observed from on high, there are clearly warm pockets of habitations located sporadically throughout the deeper swamp. The Wet Wilds, which would have been Tonda's preeminent extraction site, experiences large tracks of warming followed by rapid cooling. It was initially thought that this would play to Protilla's advantage, but the constant melting and refreezing discouraged game hunting, destroyed the grass trunks and repeatedly collapsed the earth beneath the colonists' feet.  


Protilla's citizen became increasingly frustrated and discouraged when Mytenii up-ed the stakes when it deployed a a duel pulley system to connect and make transportation easier for its Sink. Quadruple the actual height of the drop; it was clear that the cavern city of Protilla could not compete, especially when others, more successful, began to follow suit.   Eventually, the project was given up and Tonda's prisoners were forced to scratch out a living with what they had. Over the subsequent years, Tonda's people grew and continues to grow both naturally and via further deliveries of criminals, war captives and other undesirables of Protilla. It perhaps, should be acknowledged that though many forced into Tonda had escaped dire faiths up-top; being confined to a cold colony so far away from the world you once knew. Literally, 8000 feet (what a fall), a sinkling might look up at the grey black wall and think disparagingly of what they lost.


Distinguishably different from the carved-out homes of their respective mother city. Sinks follow a common formula of compacted purple salt sandwiched between hollow grass trunks supporting thatched roof; all built around the black hot-rock outcropping. The valley above had no use of the stonecutter's stone mounds, but they are used by the rich in constructing stone homes or by the leadership in building up their defenses.   Tonda did not develop near as far, so there is not much in the way of stone constructs.


The foundation of every Sink is build atop and around the largest hot-rock outcrops explorers could find that were closest to the mountain's base to Protilla.

Alternative Name(s)
National Territory
Inhabitant Demonym
Location under
Owning Organization
Long Step
Organization | Jun 2, 2024
Purple Salt
Material | Nov 15, 2019

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