Brechtür » Rzhlev » Edarlaskyy

The province of Edarlaskyy includes the ancient Mount Edar and the surrounding smaller mountains. Mount Edar was the capital of an ancient dwarven kingdom, dating back from before the humans came to Cerilia, and most of the capital was buried in the stone when the Great earthquake of the Battle of Deismaar happened. Despite the collapse of the dwarven kingdom, the humans thrived, and slowly took back and restored what they could of the ancient halls of the The city of Rzhlev. Many years after the empire, necromancer king Harold Ulfer moved the capital back in Edar, and restored many other halls, looking for ancient secrets to help him become a lich. His demise moved back the capital again, but many treasures and forgotten dwarven knowledge were dug up during his realm, so the Gray City thrived even more.

[top]The Swumsy

The Swumsy (/Swumsɨ/, approx. *sw-OOM-sy*) is a shanty town at the feet of the great stair leading to the Gray City. The term is a bastardization of Slumsy (slums) and Swuz (serf), indicating that mostly free Brecht people live here. Many homes and taverns are built from ancient dwarven barracks, who used to guard the city, but many more are made of wood or mixed up bricks stolen from excavations and digs of the old city. Any adventurer or small time merchant visiting the great bazaar who cannot afford to sleep inside will usually sleep here, with an eye open, as the ~150 people living here are mostly undesired thieves or beggars. Often a patrol or two of guards will come to the Swumsy to look out for thieves or the occasional Ayiarden Vierklevven trying to infiltrate the city.

On the right side of the stairs, there is the Stone Market, where marble and granite coming from Duarlavka or Steppegrad is sold along with coal and sulfur.

[top]The Gray City

The Gray City of Edar has its massive doors always open at the end of the aforementioned stairs. Any usable surface of the dwarven city has been utilized by humans, and, while most of the halls are used for business matters, the community living inside works just like any regular vos settlement, with the exception of being dependent from the outside for supplies.

[top]The Great Bazaar

The highest floor of the Gray City is now entirely covered by a permanent market known as the Great Bazaar. This is the core of Rhzlev internal trade and it is so vast that until now revenues from this place had replace to tsars or tsarinas any need for a guild. The great hall in the center is the Fresh Market where grains and occasionally fruits from the surroundings are sold in what was a great receiving hall, now filled with stands and stalls. This is where spices are sold, such as salt, pepper, saffron, or even dwarven deg. When raids are successful, you may even find sugar from the southern lands.

[top]The Fresh Market and the Travellers' Quarters

Two great corridors start from the Fresh Market, to the left and the right, filled with small merchants and stalls selling literally anything, in a chaotic matter. The corridors take a right-hand turn, leading to the soldiers barracks along with stairs going down. The corridors continue and rejoin into the travellers' quarters, where the ancient living quarters of the dwarves were turned into taverns and inns. Most residents sleep here, and a small building in the leftmost corner is reserved for important visitors, such as zhupans or the tsarina herself. Behind the quarters there is another square, now called the Wooden Market, where furniture and anything made of wood is sold.

One of the most famous stall in the market is the Southerner's Stall, managed by Yusuf Khaled, one of the few khinasi present in all Rzhlev. Yusuf sells all kind of wares, even magical sometimes, and is secretly a Storyteller of the Ayarden Vierklevven, always eager to help any adventurer with a just cause.

[top]The second level

The stairs converge toward the center of the mountain in the second level which is built on four large quarters standing together.

[top]The vos quarters

The northeast square is the living quarters of the Zhupan Dimas Lowstar, who lives surrounded by barracks of guards and soldiers. In the summer, half of these quarters are empty as the soldiers are either on a raid or training outside the mountains, in the nearby plains of Steppegrad or Nyurehv. Lowstar got the Gray City as a reward from the tsarina for a successful raid against Grabentod. Most of the time he has to act as a sheriff preventing the occasional theft or murder from becoming a full-on rebellion. The social conflict here is at its fullest as the tsarina's law is applied to the letter.

[top]The Pit

The northwest quarters are used as storage for food and water. Between the storage and the Vos quarters there is an ancient temple, once devoted to some forgotten dwarven deity, now used as a Pit of Belinik for the rites regarding the Vos. Since Alaric Baraknov became an itinerant warpriest, Dimas' brother Pyotr Lowstar has become in charge of the cult.

[top]The Steel Market

The southern quarters are the Steel Market where weapons, armor, or even simply iron ingots are sold. The market was placed here as the lower levels tend to be too hot and the zhupan wanted good weapons ready should any trouble may come. The southernmost quarter is used as living quarters for the Brecht who run any business in the Gray City.

There are four main stairs in this level, each to a cardinal point, however while the eastern and western stairs go back to the highest level, only the southern stairway goes down to the (presumed) third level - the northern stairs are entirely collapsed and no one bothered to dig the east and west stairs. There are a number of passages behind the Vos quarters who were left unfinished by previous excavations.

[top]The third level

[top]The Fire Market

Climbing down the ladders you reach the Fire Market, right in front of the Forges. Once abandoned, the forges have been turned on by the Grovnikken Stohlevvskyy dwarven guild, and that's the sole concession Lowstar made to the guild here. Masterwork weapons, small magical artifacts and gems may be bought here.

The air here is a bit more dense, despite the fact that the Vos had restored the dwarven air circulation system, and much hotter, because of the forges. Only the southern area has been restored, and the corridors do not go further than a few hundred meters each to both the west and east. Bornvikk Glössevik, a representative of the guild, has often said that the air is not hot because of the forges, but because Edar is in fact an ancient volcano and the forges are near a lava stream.

[top]The Waterfall

The western passage goes to a small cavern with a patch of grass and fungi, where a waterfall flows down from inside the mountain to a system of pipes leading the water to the forges. This is the main water system of the mountain - or the one left anyway. This waterfall is famous among the Brecht for being the place where Harold Ulfer was defeated in single combat by her distant nephew Alisse Ulfer, some say with the help of the ghost of the last dwarven king Edarr. The tunnel continues only a few meters after - Harold was killed before reaching the western stairs.

The eastern passage leads further down. Part of the eastern staircase up is intact, but leads to a fall.

[top]Fourth and fifth level

[top]The Wartos Slumsy

The fourth level is the least explored of all. The old miners quarters here, designed to be temporary rest places, became the permanent Wartos Slumsy, the Slave Quarters. An iron gate with guards stand right after the eastern stairs - slaves are searched before entering or exiting the quarters, and a curfew is set so they are not free to go after night. Since the guild came, the hateful practice of using iron to mark the slaves with the guild symbol, like cattle, has been introduced, to avoid slaves mixing up with the free people - a practice performed only in the Gray City but bound to spread along the realm. Everard Ströhkken is the de-facto leader of the slaves, trying to maintain a resemblance of dignity in such a place.

Along the walls of the quarters there is a stone passage - with marble tiles - dug up by Harold Ulfer but leads only to an empty wall.

[top]The mines

The fifth level, also accessible by the eastern stairs only, is composed by the mines. The mines are spread all along the base of the mountain, and they are rich in iron, coal and even salt. Sometimes even gems may come out. Anything mined belongs to the zhupan, who gives a small sum in return - deducing all the cost of living and using tools of course, which leaves most slaves in their social rank for their lives. Sometimes explorers or guards are sent below, as the north area, where diamonds are rumoured to be found, is also the most dangerous one - no one dares to go inside. Executioner Pyotr Lowstar does not tolerate such cowardice, and sends warriors after warriors to investigate. Few return, speaking of horrible creatures with hooks instead of hands, or they even report orog patrols. Many other guards, however, felt to traps and ambushes by the slave themselves.

[top]Behind the curtain: how big is Edarlaskyy exactly?

Looking at the original AD&D 2E maps, it is clear that the borders of the province are missing. While this is probably a mistake by the authors, since there is no explanation whatsoever in neither HotGB or any official product, an alternative explanation is given here: Edarlaskyy is actually a Urban province as dictated by BRCS 3E rules. This is explained by Mount Edar being an enormous ancient dwarven capital, maybe even bigger than what's depicted here, and the fact that the Gray City actually requires external resources to survive.

For the province to be an urban province, rules dictate that a trade route would normally exist: maybe the Granite Road goes from Steppegrad to Edarlaskyy before turning to Rzhlevskyy, or maybe a Trade chain per 2E additional rules or finally there is a new trade route altogether between the capital and the mountain.

An alternative to the urban province is to alter the map and cut land from both Evuarr and Nyurehv.

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