A Tour of Kheol

The docks are where most mortals (and many dead) arrive in Kheol. Getting to the city is… difficult, and access to it, or the Underworld in general, often requires specific rituals in specific places. Most involve travel upon a river in the land of the dead, and all of those rivers lead to these docks. Though there are boats coming and going at all hours, the docks always seem empty and devoid of activity, silent save for the muted sounds of water.

The market of Kheol sits next to the docks, apart from the river, and consists of buildings, arcades, and plazas holding tents and stands, while itinerant merchants spread their wares out on carpets. Merchants come here from myriad places to trade in things that might not go over so well in the worlds of the living. The main draw, of course, are those merchants selling ghost lotus, spiritum, or items made from these rare materials.

The residential area of Kheol, which is “above” the market is ironically called Necropolis. It is a confusing jumble of homes and small dwellings, primarily built into the arching wall of the cavern-like Underworld. Narrow streets and stairways wind though the densely packed area, which contains a number of small restaurants, shops, privies and bath houses.

Funeral Street runs along the length of Kheol, providing the main thoroughfare connecting the docks to the rest of the city. It is also home to the city’s temples, to a bewildering array of gods both large and small. All worship is legal in Kheol, but those gods who dislike undeath are forewarned: any offense against the city’s undead residents will be met with expulsion of that god and its followers. The Yamas make a point to distinguish between the acts of a temple, and the acts of its followers though.

Across Funeral Street from the market squats the Scriptorium Sepulcher of Sanguineous Tehom. Tehom is a powerful necromancer and lich, who has maintained a sprawling manor that is part library, part graveyard, and part home. He is an important person within Kheol, and has been for a very long time. He welcomes those who seek knowledge found within his library, but does not allow anyone to make copies of his books. They are free to remember what they can though.

Fundo Mortuorum sits across from Necropolis, behind the temples of Funeral Street. Like most places in Kheol it is a quiet, somber building. Better known as simply “the monastery,” it is wide, windowless, and domed. Inside the monastery clerics maintain daylight spells, as it is here that all food is grown for the mortals of Kheol (though some does come in from the worlds of the living via the Docks). Daylight spells are illegal in the streets of Kheol, which is why the farms are inside. The farms are maintained by monastics and clerics, who are beholden to no god as a whole, but who serve whichever gods feel fit to send adherents there to toil.

Artwork:Watering-Place,” by Myles Birket Foster, from Pictures of rustic landscape, by John Davidson, 1895.


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