Crystalline Cadences II
Undercity Khurest is the most “cosmopolitan” of the Dwarven Undercities, in that Khurest actually has dwarves who interact with peoples of other races (humans mainly) on a regular basis. Khurest is thus one of two dwarven centers of economic power, the other being Khurdad, the city of mines.
Among the dwarves, Khurest is known particularly for its beauty and its peculiarity. Unlike the usual undercity design, which is created by shaping and connecting series of smaller caverns, Khurest is carved from a great series of gradually descending cliffs within a massive cavern. The ready ability to carve both vertically and horizontally allowed the dwarves much leeway for artistic impulses. This is bolstered by the fact that the dwarves also sculpted to make great aesthetic (and of course practical) use of the great river Odun and its cascading falls as it flows through the cliff city down to Barathal, the great underground lake.
The city is divided into three major areas. The poorer upper city, where most of the lower clans make their homes, is divided from the lower city by the tallest and sheerest drop in this series of cliffs. The only way from the lower city to the upper city is via the many long stairways that have been hewn into the cliffside over hundreds of years of development. The lower city houses the government buildings and the great marketplace, where grain from Jermiah ultimately arrives and is packaged for trade to the other Undercities. The lake level is divided into two sides corresponding to two sides of the lowest jutting cliff face. One side houses the docks which receive water traffic from downriver. The other side faces out onto placid Barathal. There, on Barathal’s shores sits Great Shrine at Khurest.
The lake Barathal itself is considered sacred to the Dark Maiden, and the shrine at Khurest on the edge of the lake is one of the largest dedicated Khurfel religious structures. Because of this, while similar to most of other dwarven undercities in that Khurest is controlled largely through power politics between families and clans, the priests and priestesses of the Dark-shrine at Khurest often play a larger role in politics than is otherwise customary.
The current Jarl’s clan has lead Khurest for the last four hundred years (roughly three generations); because of this, his clan has had time to use his authority to thoroughly entrench itself in the power channels of the city’s social infrastructure. Very little passes without the Jarls’ knowledge.
This is Temmak Silverbender’s home city.