Introducing to Lo-Nakar...the legendary lost city of the Old Suel Imperium, rumored by intrepid adventurers for centuries to still survive beyond the Sea of Dust...brave the wastes if you dare.
An Overview of Lo Nakar
By: Nellisir (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
Lo Nakar is the last surviving refuge of the Suel Imperium, that ancient empire that was destroyed in the Rain of Colorless Fire a millenium ago. Prior to that occurrence, Lo Nakar was small but enduring trading town, a point of embarkment for caravans to the Utter West and the western reaches of the Baklunish Empire, as well as a recruiting station for the humanoid tribes that inhabited the mountains to the north.
Lo Nakar survived the Rain of Colorless Fire only through the intervention of Wee Jas, the Suel goddess of magic, who created a magical shield of force that protected the city and the land west of it from the worst effects of the Rain. It is not known what price was paid for such an action, but likely possibilities include the preservation of the Tovag Baragu in the Plains of the Paynims, or the possibility that Wee Jas took advantage of a "unsupervised" moment, as it were, to divert a portion of her power to Oerth without interference from the other powers (certain sages consider this unlikely and cite Wee Jas' unyielding devotion to law, but the truth remains that only the Dark-Eyed Lady herself knows the answer.)
Lo Nakar became a refuge for the survivors of the Rain, attracting many mages and other people of skill and power that had survived the Rain. Under the impetus of the priests of Wee Jas, and after a decree from the goddess herself, the city was organized into castes, with the ruling family at the top, followed by wizards and mages, priests of Wee Jas, soldiers and learned scholars, businessmen and landowners, commoners, and ordinary slaves. The bottommost caste was the of the bakalun, made up of Bakluni and their associates. Members of this class were life-long slaves, with no chance of freedom (unlike their immediate superiors, the uidenum, who could buy their freedom.) The city was ruled by a Duarchon & Duarchona, siblings descended from the original rulers of the city, who were selected by Wee Jas herself.
The first centuries after the Rain were a struggle for survival, as humanoids, tribesmen, Bakluni refugees, and monstrous new creatures from the Sea of Dust were drawn by the fertile valley of Lo Nakar. Dangerous winds carried poisonous air from the desert, and strange magical effects seeped into the realm, causing insanity and madness in those vulnerable to the radiations. Slowly, though, the city evolved defenses against these threats. Trails northward, to the Plains of the Paynims and the humanoid hordes, were sealed and warded with potent magical glyphs. A great wall, the Whispering Wall, was erected to protect the approach from the Sea of Dust, and hundreds of magical wards protected the city from the worst effects of the twisted energies of that desert. The wizards assayed briefly into the desert, retrieving magical lore and artifacts thought destroyed by the rest of the world. Only the Forgotten City proved beyond their grasp, and after three mages failed to return, all further attempts were abandoned.
Nowadays, Lo Nakar is an isolated, insular, metropolis. Wizardry and secrecy protect it from the outside, and the mages of the aisun caste pursue other avenues of research than conquest and destruction, expressing their bloodlust in horrific ceremonies of invocation and summoning, the better to gather information on the greater realms beyond Oerth. No contact is maintained with any culture outside of the immediate area, but the city is selfreliant, and does not feel the lack. What little they know comes from either the aisun mages, or via the Suel tribesmen of the surrounding mountains, who trade with the older Lannur peoples, who in turn trade with the Paynim nomads when the opportunity presents itself.
No demihuman races inhabit the area of Lo Nakar, except for a few underearth enclaves of duergar, and the derro who haunt the sunken realms beneath the Sea of Dust. Barbarian suel tribesmen live in the surrounding mountains adjacent to Lo Nakar and the desert, and a race known as the Lannur live further west, a people not dissimilar to the Flan. Hidden in secretive vales and the higher mountain peaks are a third race of human, but rare indeed are the times that one of the haunted Naen comes to the Rainbow City of the Suel.
All of the surviving Suel gods are worshipped in Lo Nakar, though Wee Jas is obviously the power of choice. Only Fortubo eschews any connection here, and his faith has died out for lack of support (Bralm has usurped the faith of the miners and delvers that were once his.) In addition, various cults worship tanar'ri and baatezu lords, as well as minor demipowers such as Urourabaeg, the Lord of the Wastes (the Sea of Dust), a popular deity with the local humanoids. Finally, a few priests cling to the worship of powers that fell during the great Suel – Bakluni conflict, particularly Ainatet and Noss.
It is unlikely that things will remain as they have been for much longer in this lost city. The rise of Evil in the Flanaess has had its own sinister reverberations here, and the Scarlet Brotherhood has recently become aware of the existence of this bastion of true "sueldom". Furthermore, the forces within Lo Nakar that promote isolation and retreat have been weakening for many years now, and even the houji may be overthrown when the stresses within the city come to a head.