|Felaryan fauna - Felaryan flora - Races - Characters - Locations - History and Lore - Science and Magic - Culture and Customs|
Many ancient civilizations of Felarya didn't endure the test of time, becoming nothing more than tales and legends, whispers and faint traces in the centenial dust or mere footnotes in ancient history books. Some others while long gone, managed to keep remnants of their past glory in the form of ancient ruins and temples for explorers or historians to marvel at or for tomb robbers to pillage.
Dungeons and ancient ruins
The origin of the treasures in Felarya that adventurers often set out to unearth is a legitimate question. With rare exceptions (such as the Temple of Lataran), dungeons do not spring up to deliver treasure and monsters upon worthy challengers: they become that way through circumstance. Most of the dungeons in Felarya, and their treasures, are actually remnants from long-gone civilizations that just happened to contain valuable treasures. They can be divided into several categories, each with their traits, their own patterns and type of dangers.
Despite its relatively short life as one of the dominant forces in Felarya, the dridder empire expanded and fortified rather aggressively its lines under Queen Sineria: dridder strongholds are more frequently found compared to other ruins. They are also the most recent, thus suffering the least wear and tear of all ruins. The great importance of giant dridders in their culture (their royal line was one of giants) means that most such strongholds sport chambers large enough for giant dridders to live comfortably in. Considering the girth of a dridder's abdomen, that means the structures are massive indeed. Most work spaces for man-sized dridders were in plain view of the larger dridders, and floors were separated for the ease of access of the latter: given that man-sized dridders can climb both up and down easily, their structures eschew doors, favoring instead verticality and netting -now mostly gone- as a barrier for the unwelcome. A dridder ruin is typically comprised of several large shafts, going down deep underground with various chambers built around them. They are massive structures in size but not necessarily very visible from the surface.
Dridders are naturally used to lay traps to catch their prey and this is visible in their structures as well. A visit to dridder ruins can involve avoiding a considerable amount of traps, many of them venom-related. Although time might have worn their effects off, one should be extra careful when venturing there. You would also be strongly advised to come with good climbing equipment. Dridders typically don't bother with ladders or staircases in their structures and vertical tunnels with small grips on the walls were considered perfectly comfortable for the average dridder to go around. Some of those strongholds were abandoned in haste, and a canny adventurer could locate extraordinary caches of weapons and currency within. Unfortunately, canny predators have made their home in those ruins, taking advantage of their thick stone walls for a reprieve whenever they need to rest, and of the giant amenities inside for creature comforts. Unsurprisingly, giant dridders in particular favor these structures for nesting.
Sagolian people used to expand rather aggressively. The empire's old capital isn't their only ruin, just the only one that the jungle hasn't been able to properly swallow so far. Nonetheless, their building technique, favoring monoliths and large stone blocks is known to have been widespread during their time. However, Sagolian structures were heavy in both magic and maintenance, and they have felt the disappearance of their masters harder than most other ruins: The large majority of Sagolian buildings are now thoroughly dilapidated and many have crumbled.
They are rich in whatever magic and lore hasn't disintegrated since those years. Sagolians claimed large plots of land, and occasionally it is possible to find a temple complex or a noble's villa lost north of the Jewel river: some of them have been cleaned out to the point that they have nothing to offer but respite from the rain, but there may still be great riches to be gleaned from the greenery-covered buildings. Visiting Sagolian ruins is often seen as an easy but pointless endeavour among adventurers, as chances to find something of value are very small indeed. However should you find something, it could immediately fetch for a huge price in Negav. Many Negavians idealize Sagolians, seen as heroes defending mankind and founders of a huge and prosperous empire that ruled Felarya for many centuries, and it's very easy to find rich nobles ready to pay large sums of money to get their hands on an authentic Sagolian artifact.
Elven strongholds are even older than both dridder and Sagolian settlements but somehow they have endured time well, and are in much better shape than Sagolian structures. They harmonized quite well with their environment, some of them even being built into the surrounding greenery, which, thanks to special spells, would only grow around it. Due to this, these structures are even more concealed than normal, and unfortunately, every one of them has a layer of bark covering every surface that wasn't sealed against the intrusion of either light or plant stalks. This make the discovery of one mostly a matter of pure luck. It would be an important discovery though. Finding jewelry is quite common in those ruins (it is said that the Jewel River now only holds what gems the imperial artisans turned up their noses at), but the true prizes inside are mostly enchanted wood and ancient earthernware that would fetch for a fortune in Negav, especially among rich elves.
Elven ruins have a strong organic and vegetal aspect to them, with a lot of curves and winding hallways, barky and moss-covered walls. They are pretty vertical, often being built inside huge trees, with the trees remaining alive and healthy and simply growing around it, although with time it's likely some parts of the structure are slowly being absorbed as well. Elven ruins typically hold very few mechanical traps. They have many magical hazards though, from shimmering walls, to ancient enchantments of protection, some of which have taken on a life of their own. Wild tales abound on what can be found in elven ruins. There are rumors of some of the structures becoming alive and conscious and literally eating intruders or halls closing themselves behind a group and others opening seemingly out of nowhere. Even if many of these stories can probably be dismissed as silly, spooky tales, the fact is adventurers usually consider venturing into confirmed elven ruins to be serious business. And you would be strongly advised to come with a capable mage in your group, able to dispel enchantments and illusions.
As both elves and Sagolians were aware of ley lines, there are very few elven constructions surviving on the west bank of the Jewel river. The Sagolian empire had no compunction in razing major elven architecture to build anew atop it. Elves have not forgotten this, and some of them openly place the blame on contemporary humans for these acts of vandalism. Elven strongholds are more common on the east banks of the Jewel River, in the Oloonde lakeland region where some of them endure, inhabited, to this day.
Titans and their ruins were, unfortunately, scoured off the face of Felarya after their defeat, according to ancient elven texts. However, it's possible that some isolated structures have survived at great depths beneath the surface. If this is the case, even a single room from such a ruin would contain treasure of great worth, both historical and monetary. The only structure currently known to have been created by Titans is the depths of the Jadong temple and the tomb of Alcazath. According to those who lived to tell the tale, the tomb is made of huge corridors sprawling as far as the eye can see, massive columns and titanic statues towering over the ground, with a ceiling looming so high it disappears into the shadow. It's not known yet whether it is representative or not of the Titan architecture as, so far, very little of it has been explored. The place is teeming with very dangerous creatures and great perils and it's widely regarded by seasoned adventurers as simply too dangerous to explore.
Thus Titan dungeons have only been theorized about. Given their lack of bodily functions, it's very likely that the dungeons had only a few workrooms and mostly corridors. Records on their behavior suggest that Titans likely tended towards repetitive or iterative designs in the decoration of their mostly spartan, utilitarian facilities. It is possible titans may have employed other constructs in order to protect their holdings: even if titans are no longer functional, those other constructs might still be. Though currency is not likely to have been a staple of titan existence, their interaction with other races during their time means they may have been given to possess some, and no one has yet been able to replicate Alcazath crystal or Tedrek steel, thus they still have great potential for valuables. Finding the remains of a genuine Felaryan Titan is also a mouth-watering prospect to most adventurers, truly the stuff of legends. It is also theorized that both the Ascarlin Mines and the Great Tonorion Hive might be the remains of ancient Titan sites.
Other forces have built and abandoned strongholds in Felarya on a smaller scale. Elemental Sovereigns may have built lavish palaces in remote reaches of the dimension (in King Trazix's fashion), genies have been known to make their dwellings as well, and many legends speak of Angels or Demons whose abodes are now abandoned. Finally, it's possible some entire buildings from other worlds have been warped into Felarya, never to return to their place of origin.
- credits to Stabs for coming up with the dungeon analysis.