< greengranolaguy >
The Thermal Caves of Daryaa are inhabited primarily by gnomes, though there is a significant minority of dwarfs concentrated in the Dwarven Enclave. The Caves derive their name from the proximity to thermal and tectonic vents and springs due to the thinness of the crust. The caves formed from large salt deposits when prehistoric Daryaa was submerged in the ocean. The seas receded, due to a reverse global warming effect, drying out the land and burying the salt underground. Once the rock solidified, the salt was mined by the original gnomes and dwarfs of the area. As the salt was softer than surrounding rock, the vacancies eventually became caves that the small-kin inhabited and developed their culture. They live mostly secluded from the rest of society, mingling little with the wild surface dwellers in the region. They, as yet, are not affected by the coming of the Claacos. The Thermal Caves of Daryaa are home to The Magic Institute of Tapey.
The inhabitants of the Thermal Caves refer to their fellow residents as “caves-men.” Modern gnomes living in the Thermal Caves do not refer to it as a ‘country’ per se, but as a system of ‘Caves’. Hence, the patriotic term for the gnomish population from a fellow gnome is ‘Caves-men’.
< greengranolaguy >
Leading up to the caves, the terrain gets increasingly rocky until vast gashes in the land appear with molten lava visible at the bottom sending noxious fumes up into the air. The entrances to the caves themselves are incredible. The caves are walled in completely. In contrast to a normal city which must have a finite height to its peripheral wall, the entrances to the are completely blocked off. Normal siege tactics of mobbing the walls with ladders would not work in this case since there is no top of the walls. The walls are peppered with arrow slits. There are some larger openings where an invader might attempt to attack with men on ladders, but they are few and even a small force could defend them well.
Though the air outside the caves stinks of fumes, there is always a breeze of fresh air blowing out from the caves. Once inside, the air is noticeably better. Only occasionally is there a whiff of toxic fumes.
Notable sights, institutions, and businesses:
- The Magic Institute of Tapey
- Thermal Caves Temple of Gohkul
- Thermal Caves Temple of Wheyfus
- Thermal Caves Temple of Oetheni
- Thermal Caves Temple of Anahita
- Statue of Oldoran Damaneces
- Graeson’s Forge
- Oeval’s Forge
- Uldon’s Emporium
- Alcon’s Alchemy Agora
- Hell’s Gate
- Hammer of Wheyfus
Detailed maps of the Caves are hard to come by, as the gnomes like to keep their secrets.
Arex Redrum of the Elder Regiment harrasses Quorpan’s staff for any maps they might have. All he gets is maps of the city proper and the sewer map. All pipes drain downward. Arex is told there’s a vertical shaft below the city that descends to a smoldering lava pit. All of the sewage goes there to be incinerated. The army has no other maps. The staff shuffle their feet with embarrassment as Arex berates them. “We’re sorry, the clans control the mines, the temples control the crypts, if there are maps, they haven’t shared them with us.”