|Inhabitants:||Humans, Jardoun, Undead|
|Located:||Valley of Dust|
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Sadar is called the City of the Dead. Long, long ago the high plains were under the dominion of a great Kingdom ruled by a series of Pharaohs who were God and King. When a Pharaoh died, their priests carried them away with a train of slaves and treasure to the great necropolis of Sadar to be interred with honor and reverence. When the last Pharaoh of the Thirteenth Dynasty died, the Kingdom was swept away in a tide of chaos and terror. Foolish plunderers broke the seals of the priests and revealed that the generations of slaves that marched out with the priests had been interred as undying warriors, placed as guardians. All who trespassed fell to the undead mamluks or the traps and pitfalls of Sadar itself, and joined the ranks of its guardians.
Sadar is a vast complex of temples and pyramids over an endless array of crypts and treasuries. There is a small, safe area intended for the use of priests and pilgrims to leave gifts for the Pharaohs, where one can find water; otherwise the city is a veritable death sentence and irresistible to adventurers and tomb robbers. It is said for every thousand who die, one might leave with a king's ransom.
The so-called Corpse Kings, the mummified 143 Pharaohs of the Thirteen Dynasties are the gods of Sadar. Their priesthood has mostly passed from this world, but a few die hard descendants eke out a hardscrabble existence here, tending to the safer surface shrines. They do not tolerate robbers any more than the mamluks.
Locations of Note Edit
The Triumph of Seth-Menkaura as it's so called is a weathered shrine complex; comprised of a main structure of red granite, with a hexagram base that tapers to a pyriamid-like apex, surrounded by a circular gallery of white granite, with arcades flaring off the gallery in the cardinal directions. The arcades are filled with crumbling statuary, each wing depicting people in the dress of the lands in the appropriate direction such as mailed Knights of the Stallion in the northern wing. The gallery is full of relief depictions of battles between pharaonic armies and a variety of foes. Each of the entrances into the main structure boast a spacious receiving room with a shrines, and bronze doors that lead further into the complex.
The complex is sometimes used as an entry into the larger underworld of Sadar by would-be tomb robbers, as there seem to be fewer Mamluks and other undead here, but it is not without its own magic and curses. First, the site is surrounded by a constant sandstorm by day, capable of scouring exposed flesh. Curiously the bronze doors resist all harm, are difficult to open, and swing shut the moment they are unattended, regardless of whatever might be used to hold them in place (ropes, heavy stones, pitons driven into the floor, etc.). Most sinister of all however, is the art. By the light of the moon, the shadows cast by the statues take on a life of their own, and whatever reliefs touched by moonlight spawn ghostly versions of the warriors or creatures depicted; these shades and phantoms attack all trespassers within the arcade or gallery. A few of the statues have been destroyed, but legend says that those vandals and iconoclasts met gruesome ends.
The Ascendancy of Ikhnaton is a suspiciously exposed treasure of Sadar. It is a towering obelisk of pure, white granite, some 600 feet tall. On each side is a recessed panel, plated in gold that bears tiny hieroglyphs and is decorated with many gemstones that only appear by the light of the sun. Ambitious magicians (or would-be spellcasters) seek out monument, for each set of hieroglyphs is the formula for a single spell mastered by Ikhnaton, any one of which alone would make a person who mastered it a worthy peer to the lesser pharaohs. Thieves seeks out the obelisk for its trove of gems, which only become more valuable the higher one climbs.
As with most things in Sadar, the monolith is cursed: the higher one climbs, the hotter it gets, but the heat is only felt to a point. A climber might get so high, be sweating and feel the first hints of a sunburn on their back, but that's it. The heat is in fact, much greater. People who linger too long actually catch fire, remaining ignorant unless someone else points it out, or until the flame has spread from their backside to their frontside. The curse also subtly rotates the obelisk if a gem should be disturbed on a side not facing the sun, moving it until the thief is caught directly in the light.