Population: 50,000 (60% Human – Mulan, 15% Human – Chondathan, 25% Human – Tethyrian)
Luthcheq has, like most Chessentan settlements, a mixture of Mulan, Chondathan, and Tethyrian heritage for its population. Luthcheq has a majority Mulan population like most of the southern and eastern cities of Chessenta.
Ruler: Maelos Karanok (LE, Human – Mulan, Expert 9)
Luthcheq is one of the oldest and few surviving settlements from the Empire of Akanu, its original name is lost but its current name is a corruption of a common moniker it acquired from its most famous resident; the Ulgariph Ram-Chesq. Luthcheq is derived from the ancient Untheric words Luut and Chesq meaning literally the Home of Chesq. Ram-Chesq was born here and after Gil-Geamesq became God-King of Unther he relocated back to his birthplace (bringing his most prized possessions with him).
Luthcheq is divided into several sections; the Palace Heights, Temple Square, the Port Quarter, and the Slave Farms (known locally as the Rope Maker’s Quarter). Palace Heights sits atop a large bluff made of black rock and is the oldest quarter of the city. At the base of the hill sits Temple Square, dominated by a black glass hemisphere known as the Temple of the Dark Moon, along the shoreline is the Port Quarter, and on the opposite side of the hill outside the city walls are the Slave Farms.
Luthcheq is ruled over by the insane Karanok family who maintain absolute power within the city and harshly enforce their magic-phobic laws. Life in Luthcheq is difficult for those who are not nobles, merchants, or servants of the Karanoks, for slaves, demi-humans, magic-users, and anyone allied or associate with magic-users life is impossible and terminally short.
Life and Society
Luthcheq has long been rather metropolitan in its approach to religion, the shrines of Faerunian, Mulhorandi, and Untheric deities could often be found among the streets of the Port Quarter and Palace Heights.
Since the arrival of Entropy in 1346 DR, the Karanoks have pursued an unofficial policy of exclusion, with many accidents, administrative errors, and executions plaguing the followers of other churches in the past decade.
The Church of Entropy: This newly formed church (which has yet to extend its reach much beyond Luthcheq) is the official state church of Luthcheq. Members of the Karanok family hold all the senior positions in the hierarchy of this church, while the more junior members are aspiring recruits from other noble or merchant families.
Berem Duntrel (N, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 8): Berem Duntrel is one of the senior wizards of the Magus Society and an oddity amongst the magic using community. Berem believes that musical notes can augment magic and specialises in crafting spellsongs that can open portals, shut down magical wards, and inflict damage upon the unwary. Berem is using his theories to counter the “wards” of the Trade Centre, and can often be found singing or harping at the entrance to the centre.
Maelos Karanok (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 9): Maelos Karanok is a grizzled old veteran of Luthcheq politics who has led the Karanok clan for more than 30 years. He has recently begun to show the signs of age and has started talking to himself or making impulsive decisions but he still commands the respect and loyalty of the Karanok family.
Saestra Karanok (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 6): Saestra Karanok is one of the premier members of the Karanok clan, grand daughter of the patriarch Maelos Karanok. She is a leader of the inquisitor squads that root out magic users in Luthcheq, although she is widely regarded by the general populace as the least bloodthirsty of the Karanok’s.
Palace Heights: This district forms the bluff that towers over much of the city of Luthcheq and is the original heart of Luthcheq. Millennia ago this bluff was a great steppe pyramid that was abandoned during the age of the Second Untheric Empire when many warlords rose to carve out a portion of Akanu for themselves.
This bluff was the true home of Ram-Chesq, and it is to here that he moved his most prized possessions when Gil-Geamesq abandoned Akanu to rule Unther. The pyramid was made of black crystal mined from the volcanic mountains to the east, it has started to crumble after centuries of weathering and a sheer northern face now forms the distinctive black cliffs of Luthcheq.
The Palace Heights district is now composed of modified Luut style manses which have been built upwards on several levels (enclosing the courtyard within) and then carved into individual residences over the years. This has led to the current development of Palace Heights as a series of closed streets that interconnect with empty courtyards inside buildings that people often refer to as the Hive. The richest nobles and merchants live at the top of the hill or at the top level of buildings, while the poorer citizens live in the darker, street level residences (which are often just single rooms).
The streets of Palace Heights are impeccably clean, as are all the buildings (which are by law coloured brilliant white), slaves work day and night to ensure that the primary living place of the Karanok’s is a picture of paradise. The punishment for littering or defacing Palace Heights is often death, or dismemberment and slavery.
Trade Centre: The Trade Centre as it is known is an entire district and a single building at the same time. Located adjacent to the Port Quarter is a set of pillars (place in a trapezoid pattern) with a large trapezoid shaped roof, atop a trapezoid shaped base. No-one can explain the reason for the odd geometric shape, for the building was commissioned personally by the Karanoks in 1347 DR.
There seem to be an unusual number of magic users captured by the Karanoks in the Trade Centre, these victims appear to often throw caution to the wind and manifest their abilities in full view of everyone, despite the well known danger the Karanoks pose to their kind. As they are led away the captives appear delirious and ranting about “the energy”.
Temple of the Dark Moon: This former mansion was home to the first sighting of Entropy, when in 1346 DR the black sphere burst forth from the body of some poor victim the Karanoks were torturing.
Since that time the Karanoks have remodelled the Luut style mansion into a steppe pyramid temple in a style reminiscent of the old days of Unther, and while the Karanoks have done their remodelling, Entropy has been making some alterations of its own. Over time a black sphere (known as the Night Wall, and excavations have proved it extends under the temples as well) has gradually encompassed the temple acting like a shell that is at times as solid and as hard as obsidian several feet thick and at other times as insubstantial as fog.
Those that have entered the temple since the Night Wall formed, have spoken of a feeling of malevolence whilst inside the sphere. There are rumours of people being drained of all life and collapsing into dust seemingly at random, those who are supposed to have disappeared are known objectors to the Karanok rule of Luthcheq. In the years since the formation of the Night Wall there is mounting evidence that the sphere is growing (some nearby houses are now at its border whereas before they were several spans away), the Karanoks strongly refute the claim (and have pulled down the buildings of those that complain – and make their owners disappear).
Beneath the Temple of the Dark Moon are extensive catacombs and tunnels where those unfortunate few are tortured and burned by the mad Karanoks. It is within these chambers where Entropy was first discovered, and many believe where the truth of it’s origin lies.
Slave Farms: This slum settlement exists outside the city walls and is left open to all the monstrosities that roam the southern wildlands of Chessenta, which act as deterrent enough to stop all but the most desperate of slaves from attempting to escape under the noses of the minimal number of guards on station here.
Wizard Presmer burned by Karanoks