The Great Bazaar
– a feast as fantastic for the eyes as it is for all the other senses. Here the buyer is invited not only to look, but also to touch, taste, and smell the myriad goods on offer. Far removed from the long arm of the Allirian Merchant Council, Bhathairk is strong and established enough as a trade city to impose its own laws on trade, and, indeed, does. Thus the sight of exotic luxruries, foods, and people on sale might seem odd to a traveler from the Allirian reach; someone from beyond the Spine
, on the other hand, will find the sight completely normal.
– The foundations of Bhathairk go deep, but there is deeper still. There are only a few ways into the Undercity. Most are known only to a few. Some have been sealed by superstitious Orcs despite requests from scholars to investigate. More of these openings have appeared since the Fall of Neha. The first level of its foundations were ripped either to the surface or destroyed entirely. However, the first few cautious adventures back below have revealed that a city
that had once dwelt far deeper has now been revealed. The lava
continues to flow down here and forms odd pools
and waterfalls. For the more astute it would seem as though all of these currents were stemming from somewhere far deeper and further to the North...
– is neither bald nor a mountain, but the name simply stuck. Called Gharnamh Cuir
in the tongue of Orcs, the hill makes Bhathairk a hunchback amongst cities. It rises a hundred feet above the Elders' longhouse atop Gharnamh Bhaith
and casts long shadows down the streets after the sun dips past the zenith. Despite the copse of trees that stubbornly belies its name, Bald Mountain is well-deserving of the many tales that surround the origins of the stronghold itself. To this day, the Circle of Shamans
perform all their rites on its heather slopes. From beneath the depths, forced up with Neha's rise, had come other odd pieces of architecture that spoke of a long forgotten orcish time. The historians and shaman's puzzled over the old glyphs and tried to place these new buildings from their annuals. One such building had arisen from the previous Bald Mountain. Once the ash had cleared and the debris had begun to be cleared around the mountain that had been cracked like an egg to reveal the horrendous beast, from within the broken shell of Earth had emerged a Temple
thought to be several centuries old. The Circle of Shaman's have dedicated most of their time since its discovery trying to uncover its secrets.
– while a great many beast-tamers and rearers make their home in the steppes around Bhathairk, none are quite so famous as Mhartoc himself. The Orc has long gone to the eternal hunting grounds, but his many sons and daughters have continued the family tradition throughout the centuries. Their skill with all manner of mounts and familiar is nearly unparalleled. There is good reason for the well-known proverb 'Ride on a Mhartoc, and you will only have to ride halfway'.
Mothers Meadow & The Black Tree -
At the centre of the city now stands the Black Tree
. It stands on its own island seemingly made entirely of its own roots which delve deep below the lava rivers to the realms below. Its red leaves are a stark contrast to the sleep black bark that twists and twines its way into the sky. Since its arrival it has not deemed anybody else worthy of one of its strange fruits, which it keeps hidden out of view and reach no matter how high someone climbs. The other 'gift' left by Neha is not so unreachable and frightening. The Mothers Meadow has become a small oasis in the middle of the chaos. Beautiful flowers sprout here and attract interesting new wildlife such as Lava Butterflies and Fire Moths. Whenever one is plucked three more grow in its place. The size of a small national park, it is easy to find a brief moment of peace here despite the destruction and hubbub of the rest of the city.