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The Ancient City of Rutilus Victus Mortuus or Rutilus for short

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Highwayman

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The following texts are a true account of all that is to be known of the ancient city of Rutilus Victus Mortuus, henceforth refered to as Rutilus, her peoples, histories, and other general knowledge. I do not promise to know or even come close to knowing all that is to be known of this ancient fortification. To think that any one person, save for the high lords perhaps, could ever know all there is about this peaceful yet odd city would be nothing short of blasphemy.

-Articus Genuralis
a wandering scribe, poet, historian and bard, who never turned down a chance to document the world about himself, even at great personal risk.


The city of Rutilus could be described as a guiding lantern high up in the wind swept mountains; however, what it guides one to is up to your own interpretation. Since, I cannot think of very many people who would ever want to willingly venture forth into those frigid mountains, along a variety of nearly nonexistent and dangerous trails, without a great assurance of survival and personal gain.

The city itself is set completely atop a mountain whose name has long ago been lost to the ravages of history. The entire city glistens in the crisp sunlight as bright as a gleaming flame. Even at night the residents reflect great focused flames off of the walls to create a warm glow to any lost and weary travellers who chance to make it that far. No one is entirely sure how it is done but to the casual observer the entire city appears to be made of nothing but solid gold. Obviously to a well trained observer such as myself, it is clear that the city cannot be actually gold as I attempted to pilfer encountered an individual in my travels who had been unable to remove small amounts of the what should be pliable stuff from any walls. Suffice to say, the make up of the city has created quite a welcoming sight to those in seach of survival.

Which is quite lucky since although the native inhabitants are somewhat odd they are quick to welcome visitors inside the depths of warmth and good food in their vast temples. Many atimes I have found myself being welcomed in by all manner of Rutiloons and seated before a bountiful feast in front of a roaring fire pit in one of their many ornately carved temples.

The temples themselves obviously stretch beneath the actual surface of the mountain, but I am not sure how far, and on every wall there are literally thousnads of delicately carved maps, charts and drawings from all manners of history.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to make it past the great temples just inside the outer walls of the city, due to some laws or beliefs, I've never been quite sure which one it was, held by the locals that dictated that no foreigners could enter past the first layer of the city. Looking up one could see a variety of other buildings hidden behind the massive temples, but what they could be used for, I could not say; though I have heard rumors of great forges and laboratories built back withint the inner workings of the city.

There are a fair few shops within the outer bounds of the city, many of them comfortably adjacent to the temples. My guess is that so one does not have to spend any more time outside than absolutely necessary. Rather considerate of the Rutiloons if you ask me; that or they want you not thinking about the large percentage of their city that they won't allow even a well educated scribe to take a blasted peek at!

These shops are known to sell everything from warm furs to odd robes and the like for some unknown ill-thought of use high in the cold mountains to all manner of food to the occassion healing potion or the like-though I doubt that these potions have much value, especially with the ridiculously high prices they ask. Who would even think to pay 1,000,000,000 Linnies for a tiny bottle of juice looking "Potion?"

There are a few other locations of interest in the what only can be called tourist section of the city. These include heated steam rooms and so called healing baths, which really seem to work, at lest in part, because they dethaw the icicles that have formed in your veins, as well as the odd jeweler here or there making any variety of handcrafted beauty. Though it seems like there is something oddly secretive about these jewelers; not saying that there isn't something about the whole place that'd just give any casual visitor the heeby jeebies anyways; but still, where it seems like this odd aura of icy fearsome secretiveness lies just beneath the surface of the overall odd but friendly people one encounters in the city, with these jewelers it is just plain creepy. There's defineitly something not quite right about those guys. Maybe it's just spending so much time working with all those little bits of rock and metal, maybe not.

Atop the mountain one thing stands clearly above the rest. It looks like a more ornate temple than the ones us foreigners are allowed to visit, but I'm not sure, since they won't let me go look at it. But whatever it is, one can only assume that it has to be of some importance, given its position. It is also odd in that it has several towers jutting out of it and atop each is a large area for burning fires and large crystalline lenses used to refract and reflect the light onto the walls and buildings to help agment the other smaller towers on the outer walls, making the city a gleaming jewel. I often have wondered if they intended their city to look like that, but as you might very well know, have you ever had the chance to see, much less meet a Rutiloon outside the city, they aren't exactly in the giving mood when it comes to information on their city and culture except for their generosity to lost strangers and their oddly beautiful temples that are used for the gods know what.

Another odd thing about the entire city, or at least the parts I've been able to see before they caught me trying to get past the tourist zone, was the amazing amount of oddly formed metallic statues that dominate not only the temples, where the statues in and of themselves are slightly odd but beautiful, but the walls, where they stand like fearsome sentinels, and even at random locations in the streets, where the statutes appear at random with who knows what manner of design. Althugh I must say that even those that are in some unknown unrecognizeable form all have some semblance of what one could say humanity or life about them, as if they were made by an infant trying to form people out of clay, though they have no features like eyes or ears, just the simply mishapen forms that barely make the clay out to be in the form of a man. Whatever the purpose of these statutes, it is well known that if one is visiting the city and is caught doing anything that the locals deem as disrespectful towards the odd creations one is quickly whisked away to who knows where. My guess is that they take you and throw you out on your backside in the snow outside, but I don't really know. I've only seen a couple young upstart adventurers get whisked away by a few odd looking Rutiloons in deep purple robes, armed with spearlike weapons to wherever they ended up going. I never saw them in the city again. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen anyof them again; but I suppose getting throw out in the snow in the middle of the night with no where else nearby is a bit of a death sentence for most peoples.

I can't say that I know much more about the city than what I've already put to paper, but at least for the casual curiousity seeker, this should be enough to let them know that should they ever chance to risk the journey to The City of Rutilus, they will find at the very least a warm meal and place to sleep. Not to mention the glorious healing baths that wash away the days of dirt and ice from your travels.

However, no look at a location could ever be entirely complete without a look at the people that populate a place. In this case I am speaking about the Rutiloons. And once I have finished telling you about them, and perhaps if you are still interested I will tell you of the more common rumors I have heard thrown about in late night pub discussions, whispered in the back roms of libraries, and grumbled about in the halls of kings. If you're still interested by then that is.
Rutiloons, rumors.


______________________________________
"And back he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky! With the white road smoking behind him, and his rapier brandished high! Blood-red were the spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat, When they shot him down in the highway, down like a dog on the highway, and he lay in his blood in the highway
with a bunch of lace at his throat."

-The Highwayman by A. Noyes

"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without wisdom?
Gird up your loins, I shall question you, and you shall answer me."

-GOD
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