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The Hidden Ruins of Magara'lin

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Hidden Kingdom of Magara’lin


Spoiler

 

Context Lore

 

The mountains of Ceru are a cold, inhospitable place. The peaks compete amongst themselves to see which jagged, snow-capped rock face can reach closest to the moon. Little can grow on these towering mounds, and time has eroded away what once revealed the gateway of the secret world that resides in deep cavern halls beneath them…

 

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Origin

 

The city was once known as Magara’lin, the land of caves. Founded by Veluluai after her exile to the cold wastes of Ceru, it flourished for millenia during the ancient history of Axios as the homeland and refuge of the Dark Elven people. Over the centuries, the Mali’ker expanded deeper and deeper into the mountains, discovering vast underground lakes and caverns in which they built their subterranean homes. Grand arenas were built to house lavish spectacles involving wild cave beasts and austere temples were erected, dedicated to Luara- the spirit of the moon.

 

However, this age of prosperity was not to last.

 

Alienated by the policies of servitude his mother held towards the Moon Spirit, Azul, the firstborn son of Luara poisoned the Dark Elven Matriarch. This began a war that spanned decades and tore Magara’lin asunder. Thousands upon thousands died in the brutal house-to-house fighting that occured hundreds of feet below where the sun could shine. The Vindicators of Veluluai would eventually capture Azul and hammer and his followers into submission. Azul was presented to the moon spirit Luara, who cursed him with eternal life and beast-like insanity. He was chained deep in the core of the mountains, where he still is, screaming and foaming at the mouth as he attempts to escape his bonds as he has done for a thousand years.

 

All who followed Azul were exiled from Magara’lin. Those who remained decided that the land was cursed, in falling out of favour with the Moon, and with Veluluai no longer there to guide them, the Mali’ker led an exodus from the cavern kingdom to join their woodland kin above-ground in far off Aegis. Magara’lin was abandoned, and soon all memory of it faded away. It is a ruin now, hidden away deep beneath the earth where none of Axio’s current inhabitants know of its existence.

 

Locations

 

Once the voices of haggling merchants echoed across the great halls and lamps of moonlight essense illuminated even the most remote corners of the subterranean kingdom. No longer. Magara’lin has fallen into disrepair, but in doing so has taken on a quieter, eerie beauty. Some areas remain as they were before the fall, as beautiful as ever.

 

Lake of Luara

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This body of water is the largest of its kind beneath the surface. A huge subterranean lake with several tributary cavern valley rivers that empty out in its basin. For all of Veluluai’s reign, this reservoir served as the main source of water for the many mali’ker inhabitants of Magara’lin. Towering aqueducts that stretched for miles upon miles were built to carry water from Luara’s lake to the homes of dark elves throughout the land.

 

Naturally, with the caverns abandoned, those aqueducts have fallen into disrepair and have been consumed by the overgrowth of fungi and vegetation. Nature has reclaimed the lake, its shorelines have become blanketed in a vibrant moss that blooms in deep reds, golds and oranges. When reflected off the water, it can be the closest thing the deep underground knows to a sunset.

 

Sulsiru Fields

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Fungi grows rapidly and frequently inside caves, and within the realm of Magara’lin there existed many different species of them. When the mali’ker first began to settle the deep, they began cultivate the land and selectively plant the mushroom species that bore the most consuming, among other uses. The result were huge fields of fungi farms, with Mushrooms as big as trees or small as bugs blooming for miles in the cavernous depths, dark elven farmers tending to them meticulously.

 

In the centuries following the exodus, with no farmers left to tend to them, the fungi have grown wilder and untamed. Some species have mutated wildly, and the result are vast fields filled with vibrant and alien-like fungal overgrowth. The Sulsiru fields can be found all over what was once Magara’lin, in all bewildering shapes and sizes. Some mushrooms emit a bright eerie glow, lighting the way for any would-be explorers.

 

Palace of Veluluai

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Deep in the cliffside of a chasm in the heart of Magara’lins wide, winding caves, the Palace of Veluluai lies nestled. In its heyday, the grand palace was the centre of governance for all of Magara’lin and dark elf kind, as well as the home of Veluluai and her family. From atop the moonlit throne, Veluluai ruled her people wisely, ensuring her nation grew, and that the many ancient clans did not consume one another in their squabbles.

 

The palace’s Austere beauty has not been affected by centuries of abandonment, and although its halls are overgrown or flooded, and some pillars crumbled, the palace still stands strong, stubbornly refusing to erode away with time. A testament to the will of the dark elven people, and the glory that was once their homeland.

 

Temple of the Moon

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Magara’lin was indeed deep underneath the mountains. However, there were still pockets in which light could filter in from the surface. Specifically, moonlight. It was here that the mali’ker built their grand temple, a house of prayer dedicated to Luara, the spirit of the moon. For the dark elves were a race that had been cursed with instability of the mind, and it was only their service to the moon spirit and her blessing in return that staved this off.

 

The temple was built directly under a hole in the cavern roof which revealed a glimpse of the surface. It had an open roof, so moonlight could filter directly onto the central dias built in the middle of the building’s grand courtyard. Here mali’ker would kneel and pray to Luara while basking in the glow of the moon, its light cleansing the dark elves from the plagues of insanity.

 

Like everything else, it has been long abandoned. The temple is in disrepair, and the hole to the surface above has been caved in and blocked. Moonlight has not shone its rays on Luara’s faithful for a millenia now.

 

Flora and Fauna

The era of Mali’ker dominance inside the cavern depths is over, and the torch has been passed back to nature. Many different forms of life inhabit the abandoned halls and mossy caves of the ancient dark elven homeland. From apex predators to plant life to the smallest of insect, these are what make up the circle of life within the deep.

 

The Talar’onn

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The Talar’onn are reptilian hunters that prowl mainly in the more open areas of Magara’lin. As hinted at by their name in the ancient tongue, which means ‘born of stone’, the Talar’onn have a thick hide which is nearly impossible to penetrate. They are mainly herbivores, feeding on the moss and algae around Magara’lins subterranean lakes. Before the exodus, they were commonly tamed and used as mounts by the dark elves.

 

The Dry Octopus

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The Dry Octopus is a predatory creature that inhabit the deepest crevices and darkest burrows. This beast hunts larger prey such as the Talar’onn, among others, and sucks out their blood and moisture. These creatures were feared by the Dark Elves, who called them el’Ullran- the monsters.  Even armed parties of trained vindicators had a hard time smoking out their nests, and now the mali’ker are gone, the dry octopus is the apex predator of the caves

 

The Lurker

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Lurkers inhabit only the largest cavern opening and widest valleys in Magara’lin, and given their size, it is easy to see why. These arthropod/centipede hybrids can grow up to sixty feet long. Before the exodus, the dark elves achieved partial success in domesticating these colossal insects, herding them with the use of mirrors and flashing lights. Their thick hide, when tempered correctly, was perfect for bonemold armour, and the flesh of their underbelly, while toxic, could be a powerful medicine if prepare correctly. The Lurkers roam free now, across the abandoned ruins.

 

The Silu

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Fungi come in all shapes and sizes in the caverns under the Ceru mountains were used for many purposes by the mali’ker before their exodus from the lands. Now nothing keeps them cultivated, they grow wild, and have overtaken many cave openings and valleys.

 

The Remnant

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Not all mali’ker left. Some clung to the memory of Veluluai, refusing to exodus with the rest.

 

Naturally, the decision to abandon a home that their people had lived in for a thousand years was not one that was made with unanimous support. Even after Veluluai was gone, and Luara turned her favour away from the dark elven people, some clung to Magara’lin, refusing to make the exodus with their brothers and sisters to greener pastures above ground. These mali’ker and their children became known to themselves as the Remnant.

 

The Remnant are few and far between. Once there were close to a million mali’ker deep under the mountains. But now, post exodus, a couple thousand remain at most. They live in small tribal bands of a few hundred at most, wandering nomadically amongst the colossal husks of subterranean city ruins made by their forefathers.

 

In better days, the mali’ker were merchants, artisans, musicians and guildsmen. Now with so few left, their society has devolved into a tribal affair. Hunting, gathering and rudimentary farming now make up their lifestyle, as bands of the remnant subsist by hunting the animals their ancestors domesticated, and foraging for the fungi their ancestors cultivated.

 

Despite this, these mali’ker remain very conscious of their past and ancestral ties to Veluluai and Luara, the moon spirit. They consider themselves the last true dark elves and fiercely worship both. Any outsiders who find themselves in the ruins of Magara’lin are swiftly terminated.

 

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A Remnant warrior clad in the tempered carapace of a lurker.

 

One may wonder why the Remnant refuse any discovery and kill all who find the ancient derelict kingdom they call home. Perhaps they are simply trying to keep people out out of a desire to live in isolation. Or, perhaps they are trying to keep something in…

 

The Cursed One’s Prison

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Azul and his followers, a thousand years before the present day.

 

Azul, the firstborn of Veluluai, poisoned his mother under the light of the moon, and proceeded to lead a rebellion against her world order. Fighting a bloody war against his father, the vengeance driven widower of Veluluai, he was eventually captured. Azul was brought before Luara, spirit of the moon, and cursed with eternal life and beast-like insanity. Before the dark elves made their exodus out of Magara’lin, Azul was chained in the deepest pit of the caverns, to suffer for eternity.

 

Even the Remnant mali’ker of the current day, fierce as they are, don’t venture that deep. No fungi grow so far down, and the fiercest of octopii and largest of lurkers stay away. Any foolish enough to venture down the winding cavern paths to the darkest depths of Magara’lin will hear howling. Howling of a withered mummy of a man with the mind of a beast. A man bound to the stone with a hundred chains.

 

With the dangers of the darkness, and the tribal remnant fiercely guarding the ruins of Magara’lin, it is unlikely an outsider will ever get close. But, one can only try to avoid wondering what would happen if such an immortal, deranged prisoner were freed...

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

Magara’lin is already accepted lore in the form of the origin history of the dark elves. But everything other than the confirmation of its existence still needs to be judged/passed.

 

Possible location for a Magara’lin build on Ceru.

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There's a severe lack of ancient Dalma treasure vaults in this post

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yeeeeeaaa

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As someone with a dark elf named Magara I approve of this.

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b- b- buh

 

muh drow

 

kidding. 9/10 lore tbh, just a little too unoriginal(dunmer?), still +1 tho

 

 

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