1. Terrasquestone and the Gygaxian Gyre

The city of Terrasquestone is widely regarded to be the greatest city to ever stand, though that assertion comes more than a thousand years after the fall of storied Palisander. Many of the oldest structures in the city date back to the time of the Sorcerous Empires, and the Gygaxian Gyre under the main keep was known during those days. It was little more than a mining and adventurer's camp then. In the intervening centuries, men, women, demihumans, demigods, wondrous beasts, and more flocked to Terrasquestone. The main keep of the city is the actual Terrasquestone, and while the city shares the name colloquially, the usage is incorrect. The city is divided into different administrative zones. The Quarters represent almost purely residential zones, and most habitations are two to three story affairs, with the ground floor being stonework, and the upper floors being more traditional stickbuild. Wards are also technically residential, but they are more aligned to a certain purpose, occupation, or organizational force, such as the Shovel Ward being located next to the vast stone Behemoth Stables. There are also a large number of remarkable structures through the city, that were they not sitting in the shadow of the enormity of the fortress, would be the wonder of the city. These also tend to have a few wards near them, to service them and their specific needs.

It is commonly accepted that Terrasquestone was built over the dungeon known as the Gygaxian Gyre, and that over centuries, it grew tremendously. This is slightly true, as the original settlement over the Gyre was human built. In time, the attentions of humans, and then others coming to the Gyre, many fleeing the fall of Palisander, and other calamities at the end of the Age of Sorcerers, fed the dungeon. The Gyre itself bloated in power, and did something that very few dungeons do, it pushed up and reached the surface, and claimed the entirety of the encampment as its domain and first floor. The city rapidly grew after this because the dungeon core used its massive power and influence to guide and control the growth of buildings, along with a cadre of 'dungeonborn', sentient beings who were caught on the cusp of death and offered a chance to be restored to life, but only at the cost of becoming an agent of the dungeon itself. 

The Gyre itself is a twisting helix of a vertical passage that leads down into the dungeon proper beneath Terrasquestone. The dungeon retains a largely wild ecology and has not adopted any natural sort of traditional stonework/sewer/castle dungeon appearance, it is caves. The exploration of the dungeon caverns is challenging and demanding. Exploiting dungeon resources is likewise difficult as almost every attempt to tame the dungeon has failed, and there are no conveyors, lifts, or any other mechanical contrivance to extract the wealth of the dungeon. Everything that comes out is carried on the back of a hero who had to scale vertical passages to bring it out.

2. Quarters, Wards, Weirdings, and Amnesia

As mentioned, Terrasquestone is a monstrous keep surrounded by a huge city. It has more than four Quarters and dozens of wards. The city also has an inner wall that surrounds the fortress proper. The grounds between the keep and the inner wall are a massive park, complete with its own dangers. People passing through are advised to not leave the marked roadways, as they are protected there. People foolish enough to brave the wilds might find things worth a fortune, encounter a magical beast, or a horrific one. The wilds are wild.

Weirdings are a different matter. Terrasquestone is not a normal, mundane, boring city. It has a calendar marked by a variety of holy days and dark days. While the holy days follow the predictable pattern of Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox, and sundry days associated with Gods, times of harvest, and so forth, the Dark Days are more pressing. Labyrinth Night is a time of fear as the city is 'punished' for its filth and transgressions. Weak monsters and weak undead push up from the dark places to harrow the residents. Some work year round to keep the city clean, and maintain law and order. Heroes have nighttime parties where they race to see who can kill the most weak monsters. The great houses hire bands to clear out their below ground levels through the evening and night while the mighty keep dusts itself off and prepares to fight an internal war. Monsters left trapped in crofts, basements, or catacombs don't vanish, they accumulate. Periods of chaotic or evil disposition in the city strengthen the monsters, as do long neglect and the accumulation of refuse in the streets.

Amnesia is an entirely different realm of WTF. The people who live in Terrasquestone are blind to the changes the dungeon core makes in the city. An entire new ward could spring up, pushing between a monument and a residential Quarter, and no one would notice. This is because of a single horrific fact, the vast majority of sentient beings that live in Terrasquestone belong to the dungeon. Children born within the boundaries are technically dungeonborn, anyone who falls seriously ill or injured and is healed in the city, also becomes indebted to the dungeon. When a weirding coincides with the appearance of a new part of a city and an influx of a new race, freshly churned from the dungeon itself, no one notices.

The vibe here would only be noticed by powerful magic users, who are likely already invested with dungeon lore, truly new arrivals, or people starting to lose their sanity. This breaking can also happen to sentient beings birthed from the dungeon as they realize that they are artificial creations and their whole life and past are a lie. They are a new start and will start breeding true, or crossing, but this is typically the will of the dungeon because it wanted whatever this new race would add to its vast metropolis.

3. Dungeon Ores and Crystal

The great wealth of Terrasquestone comes from the Gygaxian Gyre. Miners who are willing to brave the difficult descent into the cave can find mining sites and shafts tunneled into the stone, and there make tremendous discoveries. The dungeon is rife with valuable ores, nuggets of pure metals, precious and semi-precious stones, and wonders of the depths.

Tarasceen ore is smelted to create Tarasceen Steel, widely considered to be possibly the finest non-alchemical steel alloy. This steel surpasses many of the basic alchemical iron alloys, and when itself is treated with said alchemies can be turned into vorpal steel. The metal has a lustrous purple sheen, a pattern like Damascus steel, and retains its edge and resists corrosion with ease. It is also highly receptive for enchanting purposes, easily lending itself to magic swords and magic armor.

Estracuprum ore is easily found, looking like coiled snakes or bulging roots, it is a curious copper ore. When refined (only in Terrasquestone) it can be formed into the magical materials of dragon bronze and dragon brass. This material is good for fire enchantments and is used accordingly. The city also likes to make use of dragon brass for its currency, as it is nearly impossible to counterfeit.

Paladin's gold can be found in nugget form (white gold, tremendous magic potential)

Rose gold can also be found in nugget form, which is highly valued for its use in magic rings. A common tradition in the city is for wedding rings to be made of rose gold, and over time they will link man and wife so that the wearers know the general health, mood, and direction of their significant other. A number of pieces of royal jewelry are also accordingly made of rose gold, with the link being between the item and the city.

Storm gold, or green gold, is also very rarely present in the dungeon. This metal is receptive to storm and electric magics.

The gems produced by the dungeon should rightly be their own entire submission.

Oh, look it is. I already did that. Dungeon Gemstones

There is a specific reason the dungeon is rich with these valuable materials, they are completely non-valuable to the dungeon and actually represent it's waste/respiration cycle. Despite a thousand years of mining has not seriously impacted the treasures being found, because the flow of energy and waste energy through the dungeon refill the deposits, and the dungeon core itself can influence what is found and generally where. This is normal for all dungeons, as they cycle through natural earth essence. The addition of monsters, heroes, and the entire dungeon ecosystem increases the flow of power through the core, hence the reason the dungeons grow and flourish. The more that they are explored, the more vital the dungeon becomes. The main difference between Terrasquestone and other dungeon cores is the strength and variety that it produces. Most dungeons manage a relatively small range of materials produced, such a single metal ore/metal, which is also the most common material used to equip the monsters of the dungeon, and similar with precious stones. A dungeon that is fire aspected might only have a flavored copper ore and a red topaz as its stone, so the goblins and whatnot are all clad in bronze and leather armor, with bronze spears and axes, and the dungeon mages have topaz staves and throw fire.

The Dungeon Wights (there are no lowly goblins under Terrasquestone) are minimally clad in behemoth leather and Tarasceen steel armors, and have weapons of Tarasceen steel, or dragon brass, or moonsilver, or orichalcum, or black gold, or starmetal, because the dungeon is that potent. The same goes for its magic users and their access to precious stones.

4. The Devouring Deep

There are other ways down into the depths of the dungeon proper, and the most easily overlooked are the Devouring Deeps. The dungeon likes to keep its surface city clean, but there is not a river. Most such cities would have used their river as a sort of open sewer to dump its waste and let it float away. Lacking flowing water, the dungeon opened up a few Devouring Deeps near the edges of its domain. These are vast natural cesspits and sucking swamps. Anything dumped into them is pulled down into the muck and vanishes. The city is well aware of these deeps and they use them as waste dumps. Everything from manure from the streets to unclaimed corpses is thrown into the pits, often by the cartload. Thus, the city is kept clean and sanitary.

The Devouring Deeps are sinkhole systems that the dungeon has created so that the waste of the city is thrown into them. Once the materials are drawn down far enough, the core breaks them down into their component essence. The purified essence is passed through the core, and then back out through the dungeon. The waste essence is pumped through the cavernous passages and settles to condense into the dungeon ores and stones. In times of war and strife, the pits feed well and the dungeon burgeons in power. In times of extreme threat to the city, things can come up from the devouring deeps and drag foes kicking and screaming down into the ooze and filth to be devoured by the hungry core.

5. Cultivation and Mana

Terrasquestone is a place of unfathomable power. This is nowhere more apparent than down in the caverns themselves. Magic users find their access to magical essence is drastically increased. In technical terms, if they take a short rest, it counts as a long rest, and taking a long rest doubles all recoveries. Wounds heal quicker, spells are more potent, and restoring mana occurs faster. A magic user can make a meditation/cultivation check and have it count as a short rest for resetting their spells and special abilities.

This is a function of the dungeon's essential cultivation. It concentrates and distills all the essence around it, and the caverns are its functional storage receptical. This ambient essence also sustains and feeds the non-sentient creatures in the dungeon, and the dungeonspawn are completely reliant on it to survive. A dungeonspawn that leaves the dungeon is functionally a fish out of water. They might be able to eat and drink to sustain their body, but the longer they are away, the slower their body heals from injuries and very specifically, their reserves of mana or essence do not refill. A regular application of mana potions can offset this, but this is brutally expensive, and dangerous, as consuming liquid mana is its own risk.

On the surface, the common people have a not so common vitality. This ambient essence also creates and abnormally high number of innate magic users, sorcerers and the like. Wizardly magic is also dramatically easier, especially the gathering of essence to cast said spells. With the regular appearance of new races, crossbreeding is also common within the city. People who have spent generations living in the city have a different look to them. Humans start tending towards being taller and more aquiline in their appearance, almost becoming heroically elfin in appearance. Orcs become more refined and more resemble muscular greco-roman demigods than slavering brutish monsters. Elves become more and more fair and terrible in their countenance. If they arrived as Dragons of Autumn Twilight, after a few generations, they are Feanor and the Noldor.

Terrasquestone radiates power.

6. Fountains of Wondrous Effect

The outflowing power of Terrasquestone started as heroes found pools of wondrous liquids through the dungeon caverns. Some pools were literally filled with healing tonic, others glowed and were found to be distillates of liquid essence. As time passed and the core became more powerful, these pools became more difficult to find, but their power was made greater. As the city lacked access to a river, one day fountains just appeared in the city. Most of them fill with clean, clear water. A special few fill with something else, on specific times and dates. The most common wondrous effect is the appearance of healing waters. This can be distilled into healing potions with ease. If consumed as is, the waters are a strong restorative. Sometimes a fountain will glow as essence suffuses the water. Magic users calculate when these appearances will occur so that they can be present to gather the precious liquid.

There have been other wondrous effects that have appeared, but would require their own entry to cover.

Down in the caverns, there are pools of healing that restore life to the dead. There are pools that heal the insane, or can grant magic powers to the mundane who drink them.

7. The Vault of Heroic Dead

There is a tradition of not interring the dead in Terrasquestone. There are no graveyards or cemeteries in or around the city. The standard tradition is the use of catacombs, dug under churches and the palatial homes of the nobility. There are also a few 'commoner's catacombs' where residents who are not wealthy can be properly laid to rest. It is also tradition to have the dead buried not in funeral attire, but in the equipment they would require to carry on their duty. Thus, men are buried in their work boots, or their armor, and are invested with the tools of their respective trades. Superficially this should resemble the funerary techniques of the Egyptians, minus the Canopic jars and organ removals.

In the past, in times of great need and dire threat, the dead have risen from their vaults to carry out their great tasks. Old heroes have taken up ancient weapons in skeletal hands to slay a terrible foe. After an unimaginable disaster, long dead carpenters and stonemasons have pushed off the shackles of death to appear and start fixing broken things. Most of the time, after the peril has passed, the undead quietly return to their vaults and resume the timeless sleep of death. Twice in the city's history a hero has not just returned as undead, but returned to full life to manage things until it was okay for them to return to their deathless slumber. 

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