Tome of Dorgoth

Lloridan

Lloridan (from elven llor is light and -dan source), also called the City of Light or the Light Source, is one of the major cities in Zhai. Located a hundred miles southeast of the Broadest Bridge, Lloridan lies in the middle of the jungle. The city is well-known for its religious sites, including the Grand Temple of Justice, the Gull Shrine, the House of Thought, the Pools of Zodan and the Sun Temple of Lloridan. It is traditionally home to both solitary wizards and wizard communities, a vibrant shelter in the middle of the jungle, and itis the only elven city in Zhai.

City layout

Most of Lloridan lies on a plateau on the main hill, with both aqueducts and building lining the hill downwards. The plateau houses a higher, rocky hill known as Monkey Hill, that houses the Sun Temple. Water flows from Monkey Hill down a steep cliff where it collected in the Pools of Zodan, but also channeled into nearby houses and served onto the main city and the lower hill slums.

The main city is divided in districts that are mostly walled – these districts were once in the hands of wizards communes that did not always trust each other. The many walls are one of the reasons why navigating Lloridan is hard and most people stick only to their own district. Portals, okytals, magic items such as carpets of flying and in some cases giant birds are used by those who do wish to traverse the city.

A wide network of aqueducts spans not only the city, but spirals down the main the hill in a construction of arches. People live inside this lower portion of the aqueducts, in so-called medeshum: water houses. These are the slums of the city, where only poor people live and have gardens that they use for sustenance.

Monkey Hill

Named after the groups of monkey that lived there before anyone else did, and who still roam the hill, Monkey Hill is some 150 meters higher than the plateau on the main hill. It is located on the west side of the plateau and measures about 1.5 km in width. A staircase hewed from the rocks leads upwards from its northern side, leading to the Sun Temple of Lloridan, a building fashioned from clear white stone, adorned with a golden dome.

According to mythology, Llorix appeared on Monkey Hill when Zhai was still young, to rest from his travels across the heavens. Everywhere he came, he could not drink, as the water would disappear before he could touch it. On the hill, however, monkeys had collected so much water that it could not dry, and so Llorix rested with them. Still, clear and cold water springs from the hilltop, running down the east-facing cliff as a waterfall.

Legend has is that if there are no more monkeys on Monkey Hill, Llorix will not be able to rest and there will no more nights.

Halfway Monkey Hill, rich clergy, wizards and merchants live in rock-hewn houses that are cool and are provided with the freshest of water. Nearby, the cavernous Pools of Zodan serve as a temple to Zodan and a bathing place for the well-off. The Pools accomodate for both cold and warm baths, and serve as the first hub in the city's aqueduct network that runs into the main city.

Main city

See main article: Main city of Lloridan

Some 130 - 200 meters lower than the Sun Temple, a plateau that measures eleven kilometers from east to west and 9 nine kilometers from north to south houses the main city of Lloridan. While called a plateau by the inhabitants, the floor height of Lloridan varies a lot, with the northwestern district being the most elevated and towering above the rest of the city. Naturally, the higher districts receive the fresher water through the aqueduct system, which is a complex network of streams that connects the different districts.

The city is divided in several districts, and each of them contains some important locations.

The Trading District

  • Fortune Hall
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Bazaar Exotica
  • The Sun God's Meathouse
  • The Warehouse
  • Violet Garden
  • City Balcony

Garden District

  • Zhidarim Park
  • Bathaniel Park
  • Valgyth Park
  • Zodan's Tear
  • Common District

History

Tenth century

In the ninth century, Lloridan had grown to be one of the largest cities of the Northern Arm, though it was nothing compared to Jepri and Peshgulu. In 900 LC, it came under attack by the Labarean Empire during the Labarean Invasion of Zhai, leading to a prolonged siege that ended in early 902 LC and led to Labarean occupation of the city, although this occupation was never without resistance.

Lloridan was orginally built around the Sun Temple on Monkey Hill and consisted of concentric fortifications that ran all the way down the 400 meter-high hill and doubled as aqueducts. Stone arches were stacked in such a way that they provided shaded living accommodations to the poor living on the outskirts of the city, with some people using the space for horticulture that was irrigated by the aqueduct streams. The water, that originates from the Pools of Zodan, reaches the lower sites dirty and warm, while it provides cooling and is still fresh in the upper tiers of the city. During the invasion, Labareans confiscated the lower houses and stationed their man their, leading to a complete encirclement of the city while the main city on top of the hill was attacked.

It is possible to walk up Monkey Hill through the concentric, interconnected arched buildings that line the lower parts, but there is also a stairway leading up. The highest circle, which is a stone wall with large gates on the north and south, surrounds the main city, which is eleven kilometers in diameter and consists of buildings of varying height, some of them magically transcending the laws of gravity. The stone wall was breached by Labarean catapults and bombardments during the invasion, leaving large swaths open to this very day.

The main city used to be adorned with cobblestones radiating light in the darkness, roofs glowing with comfortable light and streetposts emanating colorful rays. The first thing the Labarean invaders did after conquering Lloridan, however, was destroy these clearly magical objects.

Inside the main city, spiraling staircases and roads on top of flat-roofed houses make the city as difficult to navigate vertically as it is horizontally, where narrow alleyways are sometimes the only way to get to important squares and buildings. The labyrinthine layout is worsened by magical portals, disappearing alleyways and shifting walls, which have always given an edge to anti-Labarean resistance. As a consequence, the Labarean Empire razed whole housing blocks in 904 LC, to improve navigability for their troops.

Around the same time, the Grand Temple of Justice became a hotbed of resistance and attracted paladins and priests of Ush to fight against the Empire.