The ruins of Old Erinor are the ultimate expression of the horrors unleashed by the Cataclysm. Its ruins are inhabited by restless spirits, magically warped abominations, and wild essence storms that rage unchecked across the city. It was also one of the richest Alliance cities on Aetaltis, and many adventurers believe that it's filled with treasure for anyone brave enough to take it.
At the height of the Alliance’s power, the city of Erinor (known as Old Erinor today) was second only to the Alliance capitol of Atlanor in its richness and beauty. Graceful curving canals wound between majestic marble buildings. Sunlight played off magically enhanced fountains, and the market along the bay was constantly abuzz with activity and travellers from distant lands. At the city center stood its World Gate, the busiest on all of Aetaltis.
The cataclysm brought it all to a terrifying, nightmarish end. A wave of wild essence blasted out of the World Gate and engulfed the unsuspecting populace. In some parts of the city, reality warped creating a state of ever-changing physical chaos, while in others whole swaths of the city were replaced by terrain from an unknown world. The people were equally changed, some melding with animals, inanimate objects, or even one another. It is hard to say if those that survived were the lucky ones.
Today few people travel willingly into the ruins of Old Erinor, save adventurers. Most never return.
Lay of the Land
The city of Erinor was home to almost 500,000 people before its destruction. It was constructed in a series of concentric circles, one set within the other, with wide canals separating them. On a hill at the center of the city stood the forum, and at its heart, the city's World Gate. Today the majority of the city lies in ruins. Most of the bridges that crossed the canals have collapsed, and many of the rune inscribed towers have fallen. Stranger still, portions of the city disappeared during the Cataclysm, replaced instead by an odd, alien cityscape seemingly from another world.
Unique and Interesting Features
Runeboats once plied the canals of Erinor, carrying travelers around the city in magical comfort. Powered by dwarven runes, these marble ships were enchanted to float and were self-propelled. Explorers report that some of these magical vessels are still in operation.
The beastfolk are the only creatures that can stay in the ruins for extended periods of time without losing their minds. These beastfolk, born from the same magical chaos that grips Old Erinor today, adapt easily to the bizzare, ravaged landscape. Adventurers beware! The beastfolk don't look kindly on trespassers in their territory.
Besides the wide variety of monsters that inhabit Old Erinor, the beastfolk have peppered the ruins with traps. Some of these are set to keep greedy adventurers out, but many are designed to defend against the other monsters that live there.
Legends and Lore
As the wave of pure essence passed over the city, it trapped some of its victims in time. These tortured souls are forced to replay the city’s final moments in a ghastly parody of life. Unwary adventurers may find themselves trapped in this realm as well, and failure to escape before the disaster is replayed makes the adventurer a permanent fixture in the eternal drama.
In some parts of the city, people were melded with their surroundings creating new and terrible creatures. Men mixed with stone, multiple people melded into lumbering many-headed monsters, or a person merged with a nearby flame. The descendants of these mad monstrosities roam the ruins to this day.
The city of Erinor had an extensive network of underground passages and halls constructed by the Alliance’s dwarven allies. Some of these are even said to connect to the Deeplands. Due to the dangers of entering the ruins, no Warder has verified whether the seals on these entrances still hold.
No one is sure what happened to Erinor’s world gate. Most gates were physically destroyed when the cataclysm struck, but a few are known to have survived. While none of these have been salvageable, the gate at Erinor was large enough that there is a chance it is intact. If so, the possibility exists that it could be reactivated. Unfortunately, no one has reached the center of the city, leaving this a tantalizing mystery that has yet to be solved.
ART & ILLUSTRATION
- Map by Nate Mangion
JOIN TALES OF THE FREE KINGDOMS
Help to support Aetaltis while taking part in our Tales of the Free Kingdoms interactive adventure game! Click here for more information on the Tales of the Free Kingdoms game!
To learn more about the World of Aetaltis, check out a full index of our past content posts here!