Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #242
August 31st, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: The Borderlands – Part 4
Location: In the Borderlands south of Ulono Atu
Population (approx.): 1?
Brief: In the depths of the Borderlands lays an array of regularly spaced structures. Once perhaps cylindrical or conical, time and weather wore the stone to irregular “Domes” about 20 foot in diameter and perhaps 30 feet high.
These structures predate all who lived in or crossed the plains of Ta’arna before it became the Borderlands. Their lore suggests something lies within these domes, but no one has seen one hatch or open. As Ta’arna decays, windstorms scour the plains and cover the domes with fresh layers of dust and debris. When the weather clears, sometimes a dome vanished, replaced by a pile of rubble.
Other domes have collapsed, revealing featureless square chambers within. These are sometimes used as nests or lairs for other beasts of the Borderlands or even homes to the strange hermits who have anointed themselves guardians of "the resting place" as they call it.
Grendar Burrowhelm, 205, male Dwarf is a guardian of this resting place. He is short and thin and has gray hair and a long beard. Grendar keeps his mustache waxed and is highly sensitive about it. He likes to wear long linen pants with an over-tunic. He has a gnarled staff made of oak with various valuable runes on it.
Grendar is the current self-declared guardian of the Domes, a series of what appear to be dome-shaped piles of stone that look curious to most people. These Domes are the shells of former land tortoises that have come here to rest in their later years. The tortoises have historical significance in that they remember their entire life. Grendar has the unique ability to talk to them and record all that the tortoises have seen and heard.
Grendar lives in one of the old tortoise shells and has quite a nice setup. One of Grendar's friends, Emmur Deepboot, 200, hikes through the Borderlands and brings him food and news every few weeks. The two take this time to play chess and swap stories the tortoises have told Grendar about the latest happenings in the world. Grendar doesn't get lonely; he talks to the remaining tortoises daily and cares for them.
Geography: The resting place is about a week's hike split between the Wastelands and Borderlands south of Ulono Atu (#204). The site, consisting of a last count over two hundred intact Domes and many more collapsed or empty Domes, is spread over several hundred square yards. Twenty feet in diameter and about thirty feet high, the dirt and stone caked Domes don’t appear to resemble any creature or monster currently known, but there are clues in the ancient writing of the priests of Pala, the Earth God.