Maps of Khor'minos
At the foot of the winding path lies Khor'minos in all its sprawling metropolitan glory. Beautiful, luxurious villas are surrounded by smaller residential buildings that line the paved roads with a gigantic oval-shaped building as its centerpiece, the size of which defies belief. That must be the legendary Colosseum you've heard so much about, where bloody gladiatorial combat and wild chariot racing takes place.
Further inspection reveals a large — though nowhere near the same scale as the Colosseum — building that can only be the Pantheon, where worshippers attend to pray for divine favor. Divided into seven sections, you suppose each one must be for a specific god.
Khor'minos is the legendary city of the Minotaurs, hidden away to the east of Hawkethorne. Ruled by King Kelsaz, it is the largest city in the Frost Marches. Deep under the mountain, roughly two handred and fifty thousand people are supported by marvelous feats of ingenuity and engineering. However, the demonic invasion has forced everyone within the city itself, causing the magnificent city to groan under the weight. King Kelsaz instituted a strict quarantine, but there are fears that demons have been able to infiltrate the city and are silently spreading their corruption.
"This is the greatest city in the northern world. The largest by far, too. While it stands, the demons' chances of conquest beyond the Marches are slim; if it falls, so too will the rest of the north."
"I've seen a lot of empty land since I got here, even though it looked like it used to be developed," you note. "What's going on?"
"Ah, well," he says, hesitating, then sighs. "Damn king's really got people riled up with the isolation. Families been moving away from the outskirts and back into the city proper, giving up their land 'n all to be closer to the army. Keeps talkin' 'bout some 'outside threat'." He shakes his head. "Reckon the only threat to the kingdom is the idiot runnin' it. Not many people comin' through those caves."
The Khor'minos Outskirts are a series of farms and smaller residences on the outer of the city. By the time you arrive, most of the residents have fled further within the city. What's left is a sizeable military presence, merchants and peddlers looking to sell their wares, as well as farmers unwilling or unable to leave their land for the safety of the city walls.
Points of Interest
The crossroad is a bustling hive of activity at all hours, carriages and people travelling to who-knows-where carrying loads of tradable goods and weapons. Not many take the road leading out of the outskirts, and those that do are heavily armed or accompanied by what looks like mercenaries. You can hardly blame them.
The other roads stretch to the east and west, containing the vast majority of goings-on. The crossroads are overseen by a towering statue of a Khor'minoan soldier, girded in his heroic panoply and plumed helm, but holding up a stone torch instead of the traditional sword of the legions. A radiant blue light shines from the torch like a beacon, illuminating the caves nearby.
There's a caravan here, though it clearly hasn't been in use recently. The horses meant to be pulling it are grazing from the overgrown grass by the roadside, and there's a group of what looks to be centaurs sitting down some distance away.
To the west, along the residential street just north of the crossroads, you can find a group of centaur merchants who've sold all the goods they came to Khor'minos with and found something else to sell.
The north road leads to what this sign claims — as far as you can read it anyway, it's written in Minoan script — is the rear entrance of Khor'minos.
To the north of the Abandoned Caravan, you find Rooh and his friend guarding the entrance to the read of the city. You presently lack the accreditation to enter, but you can have a little fun with the guards while you wait for the entrance to be implemented.
There is something else that catches your attention, though. To the east, over a wooden fence, lies a property that looks like a farm — except it's covered in large, slick puddles of what looks like goo. Is this one deserted too? What are those puddles? Is that slime?
You wander off the beaten path, following the direction on the posted sign. It leads you to a shack in approximately the middle of nowhere — more exactly, it looks like a farmer's storehouse. There's even another scrawled sign out the front, laid against the door.
To the north and east of the slime farm, you encounter Nash, a very reputable merchant selling corrupted transformatives at very inflated prices.
This road leads to a village. It's a winding dirt path with a couple of minotaurs on it, and you can see more downhill. Looks like a proper community what with the proximity of all the houses. The people look even closer.
You open the door into deafening noise and blinding light, your eyes prickling as they adjust after being in the relative darkness of the wall's entryway. The din of people chattering crowds your ears but you can still pick out the sound of a blacksmith's hammer, shouting from a barracks, and a faint roar from across the city that you can only guess is from the colosseum. The city is full of the sounds of life.
Khor'minos Main Street is the heart of the city, bustling with activity, illuminated by street lanterns, and filled to the brim with people of all races and backgrounds. In the centre is the grand Colesseum, though the streets are lined with shops and attractions for the inquisitive adventurer. Safely within the city walls, Main Street is seemingly as far away from the demonic incursion as it is possible to be.
Points of Interest
You follow the road away from the gates in your curiosity, noting a building resembling a wooden barn amidst a grassy field down the way. Drawing closer you find that not only is the building a barn, it's not for animals — it's for people.
A public service provided for the populace by decree of the King.
The Wild Stallion
There's an inn here — "The Wild Stallion". There's a silhouette of the horse's head on the sign. It's seen better days. Actually, the text is pretty close to illegible. It does seem loud and lively inside, though.
Vixen's Arcane Arsenal
One of the shops on the street here has a sign hanging over it, depicting a fox carrying a bladed staff in its mouth. Khor'minoan, Belharan, and Jassiran characters are etched below the picture in sharp, clear lines: "Vixen's Arcane Arsenal."
On the other side of the road there's a shop with tremendous arches protecting a veranda, on which several small tables have been set up. A handful of minotaur youths and young women are hanging around the porch, but most of the traffic seems to be content to come and go with small bags loaded down with glass and pouches. Must be the local pharmacist.
There's a peculiar... musk, and sweetness to the air as you go past the next building. You're brought almost immediately to a halt by the sight of the brothel; sat outside on a little bench is a cute cowgirl with black makeup, wavy hair, and a pretty black silk dress. It's a rather modest affair, despite the sexual nature of the building behind her, and the sated bull sauntering out behind her.
The interior of the taphouse is warm in every respect: a great firepit dominates the center of the main room, surrounded by trestle tables on all four sides. Round tables with red coverings cluster around a small stage where one of the local minstrels is plying her trade, singing a local epic and strumming a lyre. The far wall is dominated by a bar flanked by crimson tapestries, each embroidered with gold thread and depicting images of Khor'minoan heroes and mythic beasts brawling — imagery straight from local legend. The other walls are decorated with frescoes, huge illustrations of salamanders wielding flaming spears and hammers.
Upon reaching it, however, you're able to see written on a sign just above the door the words, "Salamander Smithing," written in Khor'minoan and Belharan. On one side of the lettering, a crossed hammer and chisel stand out, while on the other is the tip of a tail with the shape of a flame atop it, exactly like the eponymous salamander's tail.