The Preserve

“South of the City of Iron Towers, north of the ancient plains where long forgotten races wandered before the Gating, there is the Preserve. The Preserve is a massive mesa, several hundred miles in area. It’s northern edge slopes softly away into what was once the alpine forests of Fallinor, which long ago were burned and replaced by the steel smokestacks and concrete offices of the Iron Orchards. The mesa itself is riddled with caves and mine-shafts, for the Preserve itself is directly over the greatest deposit of metals known to the Salastan Sphere. These tunnels delve deep into the Underdark, and underneath the iron and copper veins that form the mineral strata is a grand city of the Drow; Erazodenfar, whose name means ‘Root of Magic.’

The preserve itself is a mystery. It is surrounded entirely by a glittering black curtain of negative energy known colloquially as the ‘Veil of Night.’ Perhaps this is the reason that the City of Iron Towers has come to be known as the City of Dusk by those that dwell there; As the aggressive expansion of the so-called ‘Duskmage’ swallows up the natural land surrounding the Preserve, it is almost as if this smoggy, ugly city with it’s industrial towers and steel rails sits upon the boundary between day and night.

Of course, this strange border was not always there. Some of the oldest elves of the continent claim that once the Preserve was a huge jungle, empty except for a few ruins of an ancient civilization. So the questions that must be asked about the preserve is not so much ‘What lies beyond the Veil of Night,’ but rather ‘Why would whatever power placed the Veil choose such an unremarkable location?’ The two most notable features of the area are not even within the veil! They are south of the mesa itself.

The first notable is a gigantic protrusion of shiny black rock known in the ancient records as the Obsidian Court. Eight miles directly south of that great slab is the second feature, a massive unworked stone pillar known only as the Monolith of the Long Night. Although no-one has been able to approach the Monolith without meeting their demise, it is estimated to be about a mile tall, and it can be seen from anywhere on the plains. The oral accounts of the ‘Salastese’ (the natives of the Salastan Sphere, who lived here before the people of ancient Ă–erth ever knew of it’s existence) say that this is the dwelling place of the Gods of Death, and that those who approach it are walking into the land of the dead.

Interestingly, the phrase the natives use to describe this land of the dead is ‘Pollo ven Destu,’ which translates exactly into ‘City of Dusk.’"

- Trefflefizz DePluppin, on the geography around the City of Dusk, taken from an excerpt of A City Doomed to Fail: Why the Duskmage’s Reach Exceeds Their Grasp, ca. 3450 AG

The Preserve

City of Dusk Valarian Valarian