The World Born Dead
The White City of Arkanast
The White City of Arkanast is one of the few intact cities left from the lost empire of Bael Turath. The city sprawls 37.5 miles² from the tower Malphas il’sol, the ancient cathedral to Erathis, that casts its shadow over the center of White City to the nine brass gates in its fifty foot tall iron spiked walls. Like most Turathi cities, Arkanast was constructed using conjured metals such as bronze, brass, and iron from such magics as Wall of Iron. Much of the metal architecture was plated with white gold, silver, and electrum in the ancient times, though today little of those treasures remain today after centuries of looters. Usually only the tallest towers retain any veneer of precious metal.
Like many Turathi cities, Arkanast was once a tropical jungle paradise built on an island in inland sea, now the sea is no more than cracked mud and shifting sands. The island rises from the center of dry sea bed, like a rocky mesa in the desert and its jungles have withered away.
Arkanast is located some 80 miles west of the lake of acid, Cantrum, and the Necropolis of Agamentar, where it is rumored that dead have been crossing over from Shadow or perhaps simply being animated. None are sure which. The White City is 120 miles north of the blasted ruins of Vor Kragal, the City of Ash and former gem of the empire of Bael Turath, and the city is some 100 miles south of the equally intact but sparsely populated Harrack Unarth, the City of Curses in Sunderhart valley.
The Nerathi legions have a fortified domed outpost inside the walls of the White City. The outpost is called the Rookery by the locals, and was built on hallowed ground with stones mortared with gorgons blood. The outer dome is some 40 feet thick and much of the outpost is underground to counter divination magic. The outpost maintains permanent teleportation circles keyed to other strategic cities in the Nerathi Empire as well as boasting a standing guard of 120 legionnaires, 80 support personnel, 3 warmages, and an undisclosed number of clerics, all under the command of legate Rubric Augustus Cato. The Rookery was constructed with the intention of housing as many as five hundred soldiers among its four subterranean barracks and like most outposts of the Nerathi legion, it is said to be prepared for a long siege with supplies stocked up for a whole year. Normally, the legion allows traders to make use of the teleportation circles to trade their good across the empire. However, recent events have forced the Nerathi temporarily halt this practice out of caution.
Even in the cities much reduced circumstances, Arkanast is still a major trading center. The population numbers at 7,273 citizens, which is quite high for a city in the Eastern Provinces. Travelers come to the White City from all over the region to trade furs, exotic spices, green steel weapons, magical items, and tapestries in the Moon bazaar. As one of the few eastern cities with a gladiatorial arena, Arkanast also does a brisk trade in monsters for gladiators to fight its blood sports. The city really becomes active as the sun sets, and night falls. As the moon rises ghostly white sparks of light spring from many of the ancient ruins, illuminating the cities dark streets with flickering white light. These enchantments give the White City its name. As the metal spires and towers in the city cool, the light brightens and grows more reliable.
The desert cities wells have all long since run dry and so they have become dependent on the Empire to transport water to the cisterns beneath the White City. Water is a valuable commodity in the White City, often its valued at a silver a gallon but when shipments are late and the cisterns run low it can often rise as high as a gold piece per gallon. It might rise even higher were it not for the presence of magic users capable of conjuring clear drinking water from thin dry desert air.
The city has a gold piece limit of 13,500 gp. Nothing that costs more than 13,500 gp is usually ever available for purchase in that Arkanast. Anything having a price under that limit is most likely available, whether it be mundane or magical. Items valued at more than 13,500 gp are seldom brought to the city by traders, who simply know that there isn’t a market for them.