District - Donigarten

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District - Donigarten

Post by Admin on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:29 am

At the smoothest, lowest end of the city’’s cavern is a natural lake or pond, Donigarten. Its chill waters serve vital food needs for the drow, nourishing fish and eels (taken from the waters by fisher-goblin slaves), flowing into carefully irrigated dungfields (where orcs tend mushrooms and other edible fungi, renewing and expanding the fields with excrement brought in wagonloads from the city proper), and supporting two moss beds. The large bed on the shore holds moss eaten by drow as delicacies; the second bed covers an island, and feeds a herd of deep rothe confined there by the waters of the pond and by the diligence of orc slave-shepherds. On the Isle of Rothe, rothe are reared for the tables of Menzoberranzan. Small pens on the shore nearby allow the orcs to tend other animals (notably captured or purchased surface-world delicacies such as mountain sheep, or edible monsters brought back by drow hunting bands), and to breed rothe away from the crowded isle.

The slaves pole rafts about the pond. They are allowed to swim, and even to dive with spears or to tow nets if fish are needed in a hurry, but are forbidden to explore the pond’s murky, muddy bottom. Legends of lurking, water-dwelling ropers and worse make the rounds regularly, but most wise orcs suspect that any pond monsters are deliberately-placed guardians, and the real reason for the prohibition is to keep slaves from finding magical items and valuables lost to the drow in long-ago days, when two customs filled the pond waters with treasures. It was the custom in those times to consign the bodies of Matron Mothers of the eight ruling Houses, and drow heroes favored by Lolth, such as warriors who perished in achieving victories, to the waters of Donigarten. The corpses were dressed and adorned in finery (gems, magic, and all), then lashed to a stone spar of strong adamantite content and dweomer radiations. This made the bodies sink, and concealed the precise whereabouts of the magic from would-be thieves, masking the area with many flickering magical dweomers.

The second custom was unofficially but much more enthusiastically pursued; ambitious drow who murdered friends, rivals, or kin would often sink them in Donigarten, in haste and with all valuables that could be identified as theirs, so that they disappeared tracelessly into the tangle of other corpses below. Something below Donigarten’s inky black surface devours drow corpses, and orc and goblin slaves do disappear from time to time, but the slaves who swim and dive do not fear attack; it never comes (at least, not in front of witnesses).
Even drow children have heard persistent, age-old rumors of flooded tunnels that link Donigarten to an underwater kingdom, or a lost temple of a god older than Lolth, or a warren of watery caves inhabited by creatures more powerful than kuo-toa. No sane drow tries to investigate such tales; the magical chaos at Donigarten’s bottom hopelessly confuses all scrying attempts, and explorations must be made directly.
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