June 16, 2019

Types of Lost Cities on Maruzar

First Empire Cities
First Empire cities are sprawling, unwalled, complexes of colossal towers often more than a thousand feet tall and several hundred feet on each side. The towers are built of fused stone and glass, in an airy and open style with clean flowing lines, elaborate surface decoration, and terraced landing pads for private aircraft on most floors. Many towers are built with complex polygonal cross-sections, and delicate-looking yet sturdy aerial bridges link many of the buildings. The cities however extend as much downward as upward, for their foundations are honeycombs of tunnels, machine rooms, armories, and reservoirs. Quite a few of these ruins still contain a water supply in their depths -- not enough for resettlement, but enough to sustain some Dryland wildlife and even tribes of feral humans. Save for some battle damage incurred in the Nightfall Wars, First Empire structures are usually preserved in excellent condition.

Latter Empires Cities
Ruins of the Latter Empires are either walled imitations of First Empire architecture with its towers and terraced landing pads, or partially, even fully, subterranean. Many are set into remote and hidden or easily defended locations -- hanging off a vertical cliff face, built into a mountain, hidden in the walls of a chasm or sinkhole, and so on. The structures are of stone or brick, with a wide range of quality and decoration -- some towers look like rude bandit strongholds, while those of the rulers may be entirely faced with marble, their delicate windows, minarets and buttresses rife with carvings and inlays of semiprecious stones. Latter Empires towers are always square or round, with a massive, heavy look instead of the towering delicacy of First Empire architecture.

Bandit Kingdoms Strongholds
Bandit Kindom strongholds are usually quite small, built on easily-defended heights or in desert oases, and of crude, blocky architecture as befitted their builders. Many were abandoned when their sole water supply was cut off, and so are good for no more than a night's shelter. A few lost strongholds however may hold interesting surprises. Because of their crudeness, Bandit Kingdom era strongholds are usually found in terrible condition, with many collapsed and dangerously unstable sections. 

Lairs of the Sorcerer Kings
The palaces and fortresses of some sorcerer-scientist kings still lie inviolate in the remotest corners of Maruzar. Most date back to after the Shattering, but some are even older than the First Empire. These ruins vary widely in architectural style, often hinting at the madness of their builders and rulers, and may still hold working arcane technology, stockpiles of treasure or weapons, or even living remnants of the sorcerer-scientists' breeding experiments and transdimensional trapping. Some may even have automated defense systems that still work. 

Anuuran Cities
Anuuran cities, built by slaves for the apparently amphibious Anuuran race, are entirely subterranean save for monuments and possibly religious arrangements of black monoliths at ground level. In most Anuuran sites these monoliths have been cast down or destroyed without a trace, as many human settlements are built over Anuuran warrens.  Surviving monoliths are often said to give off disturbing psychic resonances or worse. Belowground, Anuuran sites are confusing mazes of curving and criss-crossing tunnels, many with canals built into them, and there is always a massive reservoir at the very bottom. Some Anuuran cities have never been fully explored or destroyed, and there are persistent, hushed rumors that this evil race of telepaths may not yet be extinct as most of Maruzar believes.

Neshemite Necropolises
The Neshemites were a pre-First Empire human culture that dominated what is now the northern Drylands. While the cities the Neshemites lived in are now gone or built over by other cultures, many of their necropolises, on which they seem to have lavished most of their art and energies, remain. These necropolises are always set in remote hilly areas and are composed of massive flat-topped pyramidal tombs hewn out of the native rock. Monumental statuary, specially of mythical guardian beasts, surround each tomb and mark the gates of each. Unless previously looted, Neshemite tombs will be found hermetically sealed and guarded by devilish traps and sometimes even by robotic sentinels. 

Eshkorian ruins are among the most haunting on all Maruzar. Once a mighty coastal empire, Eshkor's cities line the old shorelines of the Opaline Sea. Their simple, elegant architecture can still be seen in what were once verdant garden temples, colonnades, and sprawling palaces artfully blended into the landscape, with many courtyards enclosing pools and fountains -- stark reminders of Maruzar's gentler, wetter past. Eshkorian ruins are considered holy sites in the Irajin, Keshai and Marazhiran cultures, but Spaceclan greed for artifacts has led to renewed exploration and plundering of the ruins. 

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