The bustling streets of Bhathairk circle round and round a quarried hillock that has long disappeared under the weight of buildings, and the buildings atop them, and the walls, and the canopies, and bridges, and scaffolding that weave a dense, intricate web. Locals navigate it with the deftness of a spider; an outsider, however, might find himself quickly walking in circles, if not altogether lost.
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.
– 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.
– 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'.