Not fifty years ago, Melankul was the carefully guarded jewel of the desert elves. Non-elf travelers were forbidden from approaching the city’s alabaster walls that contained within one of the wonders of the magical world – the Frozen Lotus of Laleiven. This 200’-wide lotus bud was encased in a clear block of pure ice that, despite the heat, never melted. The condensation that gathered on its surface from the little ambient moisture was carefully harvested and used to irrigate crops, water animals, and provide the only luxury the desert elves could regularly enjoy – baths.
The lotus, the ice, and the strange obelisks surrounding it had existed in the city long enough for their origins to be lost to antiquity. Most of the monks who attended the lotus believed the warded obelisks were the reason why the ice never melted. In fact, it was quite the opposite – the wards on the obelisks were what kept the ice from spreading. And then, one winter’s night a half century ago, the wards failed.
Rulers: Cathis Icewarden – elven monk. Mirwo Deepspit – dwarven chief. Sister Ginthe – human priest
Flag: A green lotus bud on centered on a bisected field of blue and black, surrounded by two rings of white and red. The green lotus represents growth, the black represents the dwarves, the blue represents the ice and water, the white ring represents the elves, and the red ring represents the humans.
Population: 8,429 (3,542 humans, 2,307 dwarves, 1,493 elves, 1,087 other)
Industry: Water, Glass, Tourism
Melankul is a thriving city, or rather three cities, contained within two concentric rings of stone walls. The innermost wall contains the Old City, home of the elves and of the Frozen Lotus itself. The wall of this city is made of one seamless 60’ tall sheet of alabaster that rises from the sheer face of the red mesa at its base. The buildings of the Old City laid out like a carefully curated garden of arches, courtyards, and narrow roads designed for food traffic, not for horses and carts. It is a place of leisure, study, and reflection.
Beneath the mesa that supports the Old City, the Underwarren is a twisting mass of tunnels and caverns housing Melankul’s dwarven populace. Though the dwarves have no trouble navigating the odd switchbacks and corners, outsiders can get hopelessly lost if they aren’t careful. Many believe the confusing nature of the place was intentional, however the dwarves maintain they simply followed the paths organically provided by the stone.
Lastly, Newchance houses most of the city’s human citizens along with any other humanoids not welcome in the Old City or the Underwarren. The outermost wall of the city is hewn from the very same red rocks as the mesa it surrounds. Though this wall is only 30’ high, the top is wide enough for ballistae and trebuchets to move past each other with ease should anyone be foolish enough to lay siege to the city. Though comprised of three distinct areas, the citizens do not consider themselves or each other as anything but Melankulians.