Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #206
July 25th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Ulono Atu – The Curse of the Inexorable Cacophony
Location: Central Wastelands west of the Ulu Maug range
Population (approx.): None within or outside
Brief: The City of Night and the Cathedral of Poul were quiet and shuttered during daylight hours, but when the first phase of the night, dusk, arrived the city awoke with sound and activity. Blessed by the stars overhead, the faithful went about their business under the night sky until dawn arrived and with it a cruel wind channeled by some powerful incantation from the City of Air. The breeze brought noise, terrible, keen and ever-changing. The traditional sound-deadening blinds over windows were but paper to the sound. No device or spell could reduce or alter the cacophony. Walls of earth or water could not block the inexorable curse. The populace could not sleep, could not think and fled the city with ears bleeding and heads pounded in fear of going mad. Windows, ceramics and other fragile things shattered and exploded about them as they ran away. All that remained were a few fortunately deaf persons and a city soon to be overgrown with flora.
Those that survived made it northward to the mountains and The Citadel of the Five Passages of Night (#34). Fewer still lived beyond the battles around the Citadel during Ta’arna’s death throes. Centuries later, a small devout community remains protected by Poul’s shroud.
Zia Uem, 24, female Human, is a devoted mother of two children, Sosar, 7, and Mei, 1. Zia has long dark hair and dim hazel eyes. The features of her face give her a drawn look. Zia is a sincere worshipper of the Church of the Night. She wears long robes inscribed with runes that she purchased from the local cleric that she hopes will add fervor to her prayers.
Zia feels like she is at her wit's end as Mei was born a year ago with no ear lobes and was totally deaf. After going to the usual round of healers, herbalists, and a few charlatans, nothing seems to help Mei. Then she went to central chambers of Citadel of the Five Passages of Night, and the local cleric suggested she undertake a journey to the edge of the City of the Night. Once there, she should go to where the din of the noise can just be heard and bring an offering. Zia will place Mei where she can feel the vibrations of the noise and see if that helps.
Zia is a single mother to both Sosar and Mei. Her former husband, Shiap, 27, male Human left as soon as he saw Mei. Zia is doing odd jobs and helping people for food. She has a small tent that the three of them live in. While Zia and Mei are on their journey, Sosar is back at the Cathedral of the Night, in the care of the priests.
Geography: The City of Night occupies the south district of Ulono Atu. After centuries suffering unending noise, the entire area is devoid of all Kin and fauna. Many buildings have disappeared beneath years of growth, some collapsing bricks and stone weakened by continuous vibration. Observers have rarely seen movement in the city, possibly animals or beings unaffected by sound. An infrequently used campsite can be found south of the encircling avenue about Ulono Atu. Visiting pilgrims and clerics, usually from the Citadel, pray to Poul for relief. As with the Priests of Vai, they regularly test the strength of the Curse and have noted similar results.
Next Article: The City of Six Curses – The Third Curse