The Catacombs [Chat]

Gemethyst -Memoriam Account -

The Best Dagger is the Hidden One
Okay, guys, here is the description that exists in my little head for the Catacombs. These details are things I have heard mentioned here and there over the past 11 years of roleplay in the AOL and DM rp communities. I am putting all I have heard together in one description. I am willing to alter it if it is grossly diametrically opposed to what you all think of as the Catacombs. I know it's a long description, and I'm sorry for that. Lemme know what you think. Not sure how to make this a vote, so I leave that in your capable hands, La Mel!


The Catacombs:

Like a sprawling family of conjoined octopi the Catacombs lay beneath Rhydin city and outwards, spanning great distances with its coiling tunnels and stone rooms, leading miles and leagues away to destinations for the most part unknown. It is thought in some circles that these ancient stone byways existed long before the city itself was built, perhaps even before the nexus spawned to life in this realm. No one knows who crafted them. No one knows what their original purpose was. All that is known for certain is that they are indeed there, laying below the city and used by its denizens for purposes both noble and wicked.


Cut from living stone, the Catacombs are long, twisting tunnels and chambers that are, for the most part, dry and dusty. In some places, though, they are damp; moisture lies underfoot and moss grows on all surfaces in those areas. The air is dank and the vague scent of age alternates with an occasional whiff of the sea or forest. In some portions of the rooms and tunnels the rocky surfaces are utterly smooth and worked with a sublime skill, while other areas are rather treacherous to the user of the halls, being uneven and roughly carved rock. The tunnels zig and zag, curl back on themselves, or randomly snake back and forth as if whoever designed them had been seriously impaired by something like Sid’s infamous Rot Gut. They rise and fall, as well, nearing the surface in some places and in others descending far below it.


Scattered throughout the long corridors are areas that were clearly used as burial chambers, for they are stuffed and littered with the dry, desiccated skeletons of the dead placed directly into the walls themselves. It is surmised in some quarters that these are the bodies of the workers whose lives were spent hewing out the ways that eventually became their tombs.

There is an utter absence of light down in these tunnels, for nothing filters down from the surface except in those places where the rock has caved in or been damaged, leaving a tunnel usually cut off when this happens. There are torch holders built into the very walls, though these are usually empty. Those who use the Catacombs on a regular basis and need light to see have been known to leave behind fresh torches here and there for future use, but it is not something to be relied upon.

At various intervals there are wooden doors, some locked while others are not. Many of these lead to the surface, disgorging the user into various destinations in the city, such as alleys or even inside certain buildings. Some of these doors empty out into areas in the wilderness around the city, and some connect to other tunnels that lead to a warren of other halls. Tucked here and there are secret stone doors carved into the living rock, made to slide smoothly aside into the walls they were crafted from, leading to chambers whose initial use can only remain unknown.

These echoing halls of living rock go from one side of the city to the other, and many of the corridors lead away from the city to all points of the compass. Some of these meander to the sea and the harbor and have been used as a route for smugglers for ages. Some tunnels are known to lead to the Underdark. The Catacombs have occasional connections to the sewers of the city; merely entering this ancient set of tunnels is a grave risk. Drow stalk the ways, along with thieves, assassins, smugglers, and all manner of unsavory characters. Spiders and huge rats, snakes and far, far worse things reside in and use these chambers and corridors.

There is an odd thing to take note of about the Catacombs. Those who use these byways often have a feeling of distortion when using them, in that traveling the lengths of those halls often seems to cover far more area than the same distance walked covers on the surface. For example, a person who is using a tunnel to walk to the other side of the city arrives a considerable amount of time before another person walking the same route and distance on the surface does. Like the Catacombs themselves, it’s a mystery that has never been explained.
 
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