Structure of the City Beneath the Sand

See also City Listing

Maintaining a small surface presence, the city welcomes all at least as far as the first two levels of the city. Strong defenses deter any attacks on Arranoon, and her Assembly Consuls and aldermen have engineered massive collapsing tunnels that lead into the city proper: the third through sixth levels. Or at least they have engineered so many legends and myths about the extant defenses that none have ever tried in earnest to take the city itself.

A system of lighting is connected to the surface via “sun chimneys” up through the ground, mirrors and magnifying “sun crystals” redirect the light to the underground levels of the city that sprawl off the central shaft of the sinkhole. These also help provide the farmers lights for their crops and warm the citizens.


The surface of the city consists primarily of two watchtowers—vaguely at the northern and southern compass points. The towers are erroneously named in that they are more like small keeps rather than towers, but the name stuck because of the sky-scraping minarets that top them. Called the Two Brothers, the towers are visible for miles in the desert. Small, almost village-like communities have formed around base of each of the Brothers. Guards serve at each of them, and they are the home camps for the Overland Rangers who protect the area.


Leading down from each of the brothers in a semi-spiral are gentle slopes to the first level of the city and another to the second. These levels are primarily commercial—trader’s posts, marketplaces, and the famous Enthar Bazaar, a massive collection of shops, stands, and kiosks that sell practically any good available. Strong defenses are present and visible on these levels. Massive crowds build at the gates around the paths to and from the surface. Customs is perhaps the single most powerful entity on these levels, maintaining a militia as well as directing the all-to visible guards, the Gold Cloaks.

The entrance to the City proper (the lower levels) is a single massive keep, controlled by the City guard, a completely separate group whose twofold mission is to prohibit entry to Arranoon and maintain order on these public levels. Called the Gold Cloaks because of their distinctive uniforms, this group boasts the single highest pay rate of any military force in Arranoon—the theory is that high pay will yield a loyal guard above the interests of those who would bribe them. For the most part it works, for the most part…


The four lower levels contain what is considered the City Proper by the inhabitants. It houses the entire population, the work places of all but the traders: farm caverns, reservoirs, massive storehouses that are rotated and maintained in case of invasion, irrigation channels, palaces, industry, all that has made Arranoon legend.


Aside from one section partitioned for the City’s cemetery, the seventh level of Arranoon doesn’t technically exist—it is merely caverns and blowholes near the bottom of the sinkhole including the “ground floor.” Generally it is occupied by outcasts and those hard on their luck. Regions are unexplored simply because of the manpower required. Legends of lost treasure, fearsome monsters, and terrifying creatures echo. Without the benefit of the “sun crystals” the lowest level is dark except for the outcast’s Shantytown and the cemetery.

Some ideas of what Arranoon might look like (imagine it without the Star Wars tech and with elves and dragons and stuff…) ;-)

Images take from Wookiepeida and flickr.

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Structure of the City Beneath the Sand

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