While Freebirths and long-time newbies may be used to the sudden and unexplained appearance of many strange things, the sudden arrival of an entire city is astonishing even to the most experienced Valhallan. Indeed, there has been no similar recorded event since the Gorgonian mother ship appeared over three hundred years ago.
The first known siting came from a group of Bedouin spice traders. According to the two survivors, the band became lost after an unusually long and harsh sand storm. They wandered for days before crossing a high mountain range that they had never seen before. On the far side of the range they saw a small gated city. They approached with the hope of finding food and water, but were shocked by what they found.
“The walls of the city were one hundred feet high and as black as night,” claims Amaad Hajjar. “They were made of stone, but with no seams where they joined. It was a solid slab of rock stretching to the sky and wide enough for a man to walk a thousand, thousand paces, and never reach the other side. When we came to the city gates we found them open, yet there was no one about. I could feel the presence of eyes upon me, but we never saw another living thing. The buildings inside the dark walls were of made of brass and constructed like no other building I have ever seen.”
Apparently most of the group decided to enter the city while Amaad and several others refused, deciding instead to watch the camels until the other group returned. They would wait three long days before they saw any of their companions again.
“When Hassam returned, he was not the same. He had aged as if he had been in the city for four decades rather than four days. He was blind and babbling nonsense. That night he shook uncontrollably – – crying and screaming, muttering like a madman. There was not much I could understand. ‘Kush.’ ‘Shaddad.’ ‘Al-Dimiryat.’ Hassam died in the night. At dawn we fled into the desert.”
The group’s woes did not end there, though. They spent several more weeks in the desert, where several members of the group and all of the camels died of exposure. Finally, the survivors came upon a friendly village. Their story awed the villagers and word soon spread. Eventually several adventurers approached Amaad and asked him to lead them to the city.
“At first I refused,” he continued. “They offered much gold though, and I had lost my fortune in the desert. Even more than that, I felt that I had to return. My brother had gone into those walls. I had to return for my brother.”
Amaad would return from the desert two months later . . . alone.
“We found the city a second time and the fools went in. I waited there for five days, as we agreed, but they never came out. The city is cursed and all who enter are doomed. I will never go there again.”
While some might dispute these claims as a fabrication, he came back with proof. Before disappearing into the city, one of the adventurers was able to snap a photograph of the city. He left the image with Amaad as proof of their find.
The tale of these horrors has done nothing to dissuade others from seeking the city. “People ask me to guide them all the time,” Amaad laments. “Though I try to stay on the move, people seek me out. They all want to find the legendary lost City of Brass. They want fame and fortune, but I tell them that only death awaits them there. They offer gold and jewels but I want none of it. No! The city is death. I will not send others to that end.”