World-Building Website by Daniel-André Sørensen

The Personal Website of Daniel A. Sørensen

 
CITY UNDER THE DUNES
When the cataclysm came, the great city of Dun'kizhai fell into the ground below and was swallowed by the sands that came after. For centuries, it lay buried underneath the forming desert above; waiting to be found and reclaimed.

And reclaimed it was, but not by any of human descent, but by the Scorpidians. King Kkru Skosh led his colony to Dun'kizhai and slowly over the coming century dug tunnels and excavated the city underground. His colony laid claim to the ancient city and turned it into the largest Scorpidian city on the continent.

They converted the old temples to serve the Lady Below, and sacrificed Scorpidian and eventually also human lives in the thousands in her name. The once great city would become a place of great evil and darkness; screams of prisoners' agony echoing throughout the tunnels.

Those on the surface simply refer to Dun'kizhai as the City under the Dunes. Though many would also come to call it the City of Tortured Souls.
The origin of the Scorpidians dates back to the Cataclysm of Ryumar and the aftermath that followed. They were once humans who had fled into caves as the world around them shook, only to discover a hidden altar of demonic origin dedicated to a being of a scorpion nature. As they defiled the altar of its riches, an unnamed goddess reached out to them and cursed them.

They became the first Scorpidians, and as punishment for their defilement they were to eternally scurry the dark caves of the world below as half-man, half-scorpion creatures; cursed to eternally serve the unnamed goddess, which they later would refer to as the Lady Below. While an interesting tale, it is also only a legend.

Scorpidians live in vast tunnel networks below the sands of northern Ryumar's near eternal deserts. They rarely come up to the surface, but when they do, it is to hunt for potential sacrifices or food. Scorpidians belong to colonies where there is typically a king or queen, although a queen is far more likely, due to the necessity of producing further offspring to be used as workers and warriors.

Scorpidian society follows a caste system where there are workers and warriors; the latter of which grow larger tails and pincers, and tend to be much larger than their labouring relatives. Other than that, Scorpidians are quite religious in a sinister kind of way. They frequently sacrifice anyone (and sometimes their own kind) they can find to their goddess to gain her favour.
The idea that Scorpidians are capable of showing friendliness and compassion is an utter lie, as there are no recorded incidents where an encounter with a Scorpidian has not ended with painful death or drawn-out torment. They raid outlying villages on the surface to provide their colonies with food and sacrifices; fully willing to eat just about anything that consists of meat. When they raid, they go together in large packs consistent of both warriors and workers. The warriors raid and pillage, whilst the workers collect any resources they can find; including freshly killed (or living) mortals.
Scorpidians, as befitting the name, hold the appearances of a merge between human and scorpion. They vary from a reddish-brown colour to a black one, whilst the upper body (the human part) is typically quite pale with various skin diseases. They have sharp teeth and narrow, blackish eyes that further cement their sinister wills. Scorpidians like to wear jewelry and clothing that they have stolen from the surface. Most such wealth is given to their king or queen.

Scorpidians are not quite as stupid or mindless as one would think. They are capable of crafting and fashioning their own sets of armour and weapons from the metals that they mine under the surface. They also construct housing (albeit poor housing) for their people, as well as other "facilities" such as nurseries, dining halls and forges. There are practically vast underground cities below the sands that consist of more or less several thousand Scorpidians; though a majority of those are workers or slaves from other colonies.

The most dominant danger of facing a Scorpidian is surprisingly not the fact that it has sharp pincers at the front, but rather its long, poisonous tail. It contains a paralyzing poison that is used to render prey immobile, and thus easier to carry back to the colony for "storage". Additionally, the fact that the Scorpidian is quite large does not help, nor does the fact that one of the warrior caste is fairly skilled in the arts of battle, as it has been raised through cruelty and discipline its entire life to do nothing but one thing; kill.