Deepwater’s Restless Dead

The massive, sprawling city of Deepwater is a dark and brooding place. No single power has been able to wrest control of it for centuries, and numerous factions and houses constantly vie for mastery of the docks, sewers, and streets of the town. The boundaries of the city's districts are in a near-constant state of flux as the seats of power struggle and bargain, rise and fall.

Deepwater is peopled primarily by humans, dwarves, elves, and their half-breeds, and its islands and harbors are home to several tribes of sahuagin, but a darker element has eked out a place here as well. A centuries-old plague of lycanthropy has touched all of Deepwater's races. Some of its victims do their best to hide their animalistic nature and intermingle with the city's other residents, while others revel in the strength and savagery imparted by the disease. Most of this latter group live on Deepwater Mountain, rarely showing themselves in the city proper, but some still prowl the streets and back-alleys of Deepwater, seeking a foothold to establish themselves as a true power within its walls.

Darker creatures exist here too, if superstitious whispers and alehouse tales are to be believed. Stories of shadows that steal away from the walls to mercilessly strike before melting back again, barely dead creatures that still walk the streets for reasons known only to themselves, devious vampire lords that use their supernatural charms to bend others to their will, and powerful necromancers that employ the darkest of arcane arts to call forth the restless dead chill the marrow of men and babes alike. In the mysterious district known as The City of the Dead, restless spirits carry on with their existence long after the spark of life has fled from their mortal husk. Some hope to avenge their death or complete some task set to them, while others trapped by some cruel twist of fate simply linger on until they go mad.

Deepwater is a bleak and unforgiving place, but it is the only place that most of its denizens will ever know. Terrible wraiths, twisted dark treants, and the bones of near-mythic dragons still animated by the power of their ancient minds terrorize the forests surrounding the city. Travelers by land are exceedingly rare, with almost all trade and traffic going by water. Passage out of Deepwater can be had, but the price is steeper than most within the city walls could ever hope to afford, and a terrible curse is said to haunt those who dare to leave.

This is a place of rampant treachery, where the few that dare to proclaim themselves heroes are most like to perish with nary a poem recited nor verse sung to their names. Only those possessed of the stoutest heart, greatest strength, and the wisdom to tread with the utmost care are able to carve themselves a niche out of the ever-encroaching darkness. Of course, those lucky enough to find a rare blade of shining Valeryian silver, stave of ancient white weirwood, or patch of hide or scale from a long-dead dragon to cobble themselves some protection are likely to have a far better chance than most!

-- A short history of Deepwater, author unknown

Original graphic for header image can be found here.

Deepwater's Restless Dead

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