Abandonment of Solnis' Ruins

Abandonment of Solnis' Ruins

Postby Celery » June 28th, 2017, 1:01:31 pm

Traveling into the ruins is no easy task- the land is ruggedly chopped with ancient rivers carving deep canyons into the land. If traveling by foot, extensive maps are needed to find the few crossings over otherwise churning rapids and up the steep cliff sides. Spare forest can be found here, mixed in with clumps of stout-brush and yellow grass, with the occasional massive lone oak tree that rises high into the sky, its branches forming a shady canopy over the soil. Closer to the waters and dry washes, the air gets cool and breezy as trees are more apt to grow here. Chunks of tan rock stand out on the canyon rims, with the walls built upon stacks of sedimentary rock. It is from these stones the Solni people constructed their famous ruins.

If a traveler has made sense of the turns and twists in this rocky section of the desert, they will be handsomely rewarded by the towering beauty of the standing ruins. Regardless of the strong winds blowing from the Etainian sand dunes, lanky pillars support bridges spanning the sides of the city. They draw the eye up to the terraces of bricked walls that form the shelters of the Solni, with square holes left to filter in light. Designated courtyards and wide open plazas line the ground level of the city, and remnants of wooden support beams are strewn about in the sand. The ruins are supported by a narrow valley, with one entrance leading out into the vast sand dunes, the other into the canyons that provided the necessary water sources for fruit orchards and gardens.

The smell of dust and ripening fruit lays heavy in the air, plants long left untended reclaiming the walls and paved walkways. Thin leaves sprout out through the cracks, fig trees casting long shadows across the ruins, and trumpet-shaped flowers reaching up to the sunlight. This vegetation thickens around the central part of the forgotten city, in which an attractive circle stone forms a lip around a basin. The journey has been long and strenous, with an unrelenting sun, so perhaps a refreshing drink is in order.

Sitting on benches about the well, a lovely mineral wafts up through the depths of the cenote. This natural springwater carries the aroma of fresh rains, of cool dewy mornings, and makes parched mouths feel drier than ever before. Shading your eyes against the blazing sun, a placid reflection can be seen in the well's clear, shaded water. Ancient buildings tower about you, seen in the mirror of the water. The water's surface is begging to be broken with a bucket or canteen, or even a scoop of a hand to taste a refreshing, impossibly cold drink.
Yet travelers must beware this well.
The water's tantalizing grasp upon any thirsty creature comes with a heavy price. Stories have circulated over the generations of an unknown sickness plaguing travelers returning from Solnis' Ruins, and connections have been made back to the water. A poison, untreatable, has ravaged the lives of explorers, rendering them unintelligible before they lose control of other parts of the brain. Speculations have been made that this cursed well was the reason why the ancient city has been abandoned.

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