387. The lost city of the Na-Totambu

Alas for the heart of the Yokuda, the noble city of the Na-Totambu, swallowed whole not once, but twice; first by the hungry waters of the ocean, and second by the thirsty sands of the desert.

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When the Ra Gada crossed the seas to conquer Hammerfell, they founded a city in the North-east of the Alik’r they called Na-Totambu after the lost Yokudan capital.  But though they had overthrown Men, Mer and the desert tribes, they could not surmount the desert; a great sandstorm forced the people to abandon their new city. A few historians have accredited this as the first seedlings of the Forebear and Crown rift; some survivors claiming the city’s loss was a sign that the Old Gods had abandoned them, whilst others claimed it is they who had neglected the Old Gods. Now centuries later, a gang of Khajiiti bandits has unwittingly rediscovered the once lost city.

From my vantage on the lofty ingress, the ancient city seems very still and silent. Much of what remains standing now lies under layers of sand, yet the sheer scale of the bones of this once grand city is somewhat overwhelming.  As I look about me the artistry of the Ra Gada is revealed through carvings on the crumbling sandstone walls and pillars, imposing sphinxes and statues, and intricate inscriptions upon broken relics. The Ra Gada left little written history so any insight into the names, customs, and traditions of the people who lived here may be of extraordinary value to the modern Redguard.

Jagged cliff walls encompass the city which is lit by a large aperture in the rock above through which can be seen blue skies that promises a sun that never comes. I approach what appears to be a stunningly well-preserved gargoyle standing sentient over the city below. Then my figment of silence is suddenly shattered by grind, scruff and scrape, as the giant monolith turns before me and straightens to its full height, stretching out its bat-like wings, a creature of living stone.

And as I delve deeper into the city, the more I find it was never really silent, and never truly abandoned. In death the Na-Totambu city guards still dutifully patrol the dusty streets just as they did in life. The plazas and squares are now a meeting ground for giant scarabs and scorpions scuttling across the worn stone, clicking together their mandibles in agitated quarrel. Traps of spear and flame crack, and bellow in unmelodic rhythm, still defending the city from some long forgot threat, and every so often the sound of the city itself creaking and crumbling as it slowly succumbs to the attrition of the desert.

This was a city built by man, conquered by the desert, the last necropolis of the Yokuda, lost to the sands, fable, and myth. And as the unseen sun sets somewhere to the west, a shadow falls briefly across the ancient city, the shadow perhaps of a broken blade.

S.K

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