The lost city of Nazerak is all but forgotten throughout the Tyr region of Athas. On most maps it is little more than a marker: sometimes a city, other times a tomb. Maps prized for their accuracy will usually include the symbol for poisoned water. Such is the fate of the city as seen by most, and they are not too far off from the truth. Poisoned it is, cursed by the very tyrant who ruled there, Gagnasdiak lord of time and space. He came to the city of eladrin through the Lost Gate facing the endless dunes, and beheld the last vestige of their greatest city they called Mithrendoom. Outsider, desert-born, he rose among them to control vast amounts of arcane power stolen from their forgotten tomes. The high elves of Mithrendoom had given up much of their magic to stave off the sundering of the feywild, and what little magic these forgotten fey wielded, they did so in secret, preserving. Gagnasdiak used defiling magic and took control of the city when he slew its hereditary ruler. This alone would have granted him naught but a swift death, for even as his poisoned blade pierced the eladrin kings heart, shafts of shadow were winding their toward the usurper. By seizing the ancient scepter of Eldar kings never touched by mortal ere now, and somehow mastering its energies did Gagnasdiak escape his destined fate. The arrows launched at the deceiver were struck down, and the eladrin knew then they had a new lord and master.
The people bent to his will and sacrificed greatly in the coming decades, as they toiled under his clenched fist. He raised armies of fey. Many dark pacts were forged those years, even under the light of ever fading Dark Sun. The fairy realm pumped her precious water into the sands of Mithrendoom to keep the fountains and gardens of the Tyrant fresh. His armies marched forth and he conquered great swaths of land, much of it now covered by the endless sea of dust. The tyrant himself rarely left his palace, as he oversaw the great ziggurat being raised in the city center. Those too sick or frail for battle toiled like slaves under the sun in the city, now called Nazerak.
For many long years he ruled, conquering lands and reaping them of all value. The lands around Mithrendoom suffered for his neglectful defiling, and he had to send his armies out in ever widening arcs of conquest. Eventually Gagnasdiak was away with his army and after years of victory, his army was tired, wasted away, and suffering his disregard, came to great peril far from the safety of Nazerak. The tyrant knew if his army was defeated, his rule would come to a swift end. Leaving his army to die in a slow, doomed retreat into the deep desert, he returned to the city seeking a solution. It was then he made the final pact with the realms of madness outside our own. The Far Realms heard his beseeching cries, and ever interested in corrupting the inner worlds, the Far Realm heeded Gagnasdiak. They gave him power over time and space, but foretold the only way to survive his predicament was to use his new powers to return to an earlier time, before he launched his army on its suicidal march. The only catch was that the older Gagnasdiak would have to slay his younger self to seal the pact. He readily agreed, impatiently waiting as they described the importance of not allowing his past self to see him or discover the truth of his fate.
But when the fateful time came, Gagnasdiak took pity on his younger self. He had always loved himself the most, and for long moments pondered the idea of ruling side by side with this young upsart before him. It was then that his heart grew hard again and he crept up behind… He could almost remember the night, so long ago…
At the last moment, his heart betrayed him, for even the greatest of evils have their weaknesses, and it is always that which they despise most. For many it is love, and it was Gagnasdiaks love for himself that caused his demise. He slid the poisoned blade between his own youthful ribs, and felt the same stab given as he gave. He whispered in young doomed Gagnasdiaks ear that it would be all right, for it was he, Gagnasdiak the elder, come back to take the lead from his inexperienced younger self. Far from appeasing the dying thoughts of his own younger self, the knowledge of his doom cracked the covenenant and madness from the Outer Realms flowed through the trap they had laid. Gagnasdiak and his rule was short-lived and his army perished in the sands on their return home. Gagnasdiak, mad with rage, mind warped by his unnatural powers, and his hopes dashed, returned to Nazerak with the intent to destroy it for all time. He did so, and cursing it, he too was cursed. He fled into the desert alone and in rags, much as he had come so long ago.
the Buried City and its Environs
Now the city lies in ruins, half buried beneath the sands, the broken roofs of estates and crumbling ruins rise up out of the blistering heat. The forest ring which once sheltered the city and anchored its foundations in the fey wild, is now petrified, crumbling and cracking apart in the desert winds. The trees were instantly turned to stone as the Outer Realms energies warped the ties to the near realms. Trees like columns, or limbs like falling boulders come crashing down periodically through this wasteland. The Shadowfell seeped into the basements and cellears of Nazerak and now it too is warped by the madness of the Far Realms. Death awaits those who linger after the sun sets in Nazerak, for then the denizens of the dark Nazerak of the Shadowfell rule the night.
When the tyrant fled, the city descended into chaos and civil war, as two factions fought for control. The madness of the Far Realms had sunk deep into Nazerak by now, and the sun-maddened Eladrin forgot their wisdom of ages and fought tooth and nail. Eventually even the knowledge of what they fought for was lost, and the tribes, that of Mithrendoom and Albrion became ancestral enemies. The curse warped their very existence. Their lives became short and brutish and children became more plentiful than ever. Raging street battles were fought between gangs of youths barely into their teens. As they fell, they were reborn at night as shadow fey. These cruel beings were strange even to the day-born, but over time, they came to respect and admire the wild ferocity of their shadow brethren.
For generations, centuries, the tribes of Mithrendoom and Albrion have fought. Their finest Mameluk Camel Knights charge into battle against the Princess of Flame and her Jalalabar Sand warriors down the sun-dazzled boulevards of the ruined city. On the other hand, wells and false oases that by day hold poisonous water, by night are fed by the fairy realms and yield the finest freshest water. It is this lure that keeps bringing adventurers to the lost city of Nazerak, whether they know it or not. There is water in Nazerak, and where there is water, there are those who defend and claim to possess this rarest of resource.
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