The Lost City

Look what I found while digging through a box of old papers.

This Dwarf city does not appear to be underground.

This Dwarf city does not appear to be underground.

Back in the day I used to like to draw fantasy maps and dungeons and stuff.  As you can see, I am no artist, but the ideas are clear enough.

There are no notes to go along with the city plan.  I don’t recall ever using the city of Kha-Vrinn in a gaming session.  I had forgotten that I even had this pic.

This must be a very early drawing because at some later time I had decided that the Qabala Tree of Life plan would be the basic city plan for all the Naga cities, not the dwarf cities.  For those of you not into the mystic Qabala, that occult symbol looks like this:

cabala tree

Do you see the concentric circles in the lower right corner of the diagram?  At some later time, my thoughts on how Dwarves built their cities switched to this model of concentric rings, and that is the city plan offered in my Dwarf World module.

The crenelated line around the city is obviously the fortified city wall.  It is interesting that these Dwarves didn’t try to fortify the lake.  The city is wide open to invasion in that one spot only.

Note the arrow pointing north.  The city has an east-west basic axis, but even that is not true east and west, but slightly tilted.  It shows the Dwarves don’t really care about astronomical calculations.  Most likely it shows that the tree pattern is long in one direction and short in the other, and I matched it to the paper I was drawing on.  But I wonder why I put the N arrow in on a slant.

Interesting notes: The city is built in a forest with caves and rough terrain nearby.  There is access to the underground world, but it is not were the Dwarves live.  At some later time when I did The Toughest Dungeon in the World I imagined another Dwarven city–Hael’ku which also was not underground, but was surrounded by cliffs and connected to a labyrinth of underground tunnels.  Apparently my early thoughts about the Dwarves had them as a surface-dwelling race who liked to have ready access to underground places.

The numbered circles on the tree are all major buildings.  Number 7 is shown as the King’s Palace; number 9 is shown as the Queen’s Palace.  This is the only indication that Dwarves even have kings and queens.

Location number 5 is shown as a square and labeled Temple of Khazath.  That would make Khazath the god of this particular group of Dwarves,  The idea that Gristlegrim created the Dwarves and was their god goes way back with me.  This must be earlier still.  I currently have no idea who Khazath is or was.  Not too far from the island temple are the Priest’s Quarters–a whole section of the city devoted to housing the clergy, and near that are the cemetery vaults, probably indicating that the priests were also the undertakers.  Location number 8 is probably some kind of holy mortuary.  This association of the priesthood with the dead is rather Egyptian in concept.

When I drew this map, probably back in the mid-seventies some time, I don’t think I gave a single throught to why things were the way they were.  I just labeled sections as they occurred to me.  Using some analysis now, I would say that Kha-Vrinn was probably a small place, and in decline.  The fields that used to feed the city are extensive but now overgrown with weeds and brush.  Food supply has moved inside the walls to the City Gardens area.  There is a section of orchards that also seems to provide food.  Access to a forest on the south side of the city would also imply that the Dwarves hunted animals for meat.  There is no evidence of herding or of a slaughterhouse in the city.  My guess is that most Dwarves were vegetarians.

There may be more than one brand of Dwarves on Trollworld, but they are all stout fighters.

There may be more than one brand of Dwarves on Trollworld, but they are all stout fighters.

The KH phoneme in the name of the city and the god is characteristic of the peoples in the Dragon’s head and breast area.  It seems likely that that Kha-Vrinn was located somewhere on the escarpment near the old forest of Shancinar.  I was putting everything into that part of the world during the earliest days of Tunnels and Trolls.

And that’s it.  Feel free to use the place in your own fantasy campaigns if you wish.  I may show it to my Official Cartographer and see if I can’t get the lost Dwarven city o Kha-Vrinn included on the final map for Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls.

If you ever designed a Dwarf city, or even visited one, why not leave a comment?


This entry was posted in Dwarves of Trollworld, Ken St. Andre, Lost Cities, Tunnels and Trolls and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Lost City

  1. stefanorenco says:

    You have too many discussion boards, Ken! I never saw this one until your twee today.

    This map would make great discussion fodder on the main T&T board.

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