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by Geoff Gander

Some context from the Ctesiphon Scrolls...

"This account speaks of the loathsome realm of Mogreth, which in its heyday lay athwart the swampy fens of the river they named 'Issus', and whose shadow stretched as far as the mountains. The men of Mogreth were not men as should walk beneath the wholesome rays of the Sun, for they were lizardfolk who did not revere the powers as we do, and who spoke tongues that no other would dare speak. They did not till the land, nor husband animals, nor harvest fish as men would do. Whilst they kept to their temples and other personal domains, their work was carried out by slaves of many races - including men.

"Great and awful were their cities. At the mouth of Issus there lay Isshum, whose spires reached high into the skies and whose roots extended deep into the sea, and whose walls ensconced nearly a quarter million souls. To the south, on a peninsula south of the mountains, there lay Theliir, and in the southern foothills, near the source of the Issus, rose the black temple of Teshos. Other cities there were, but the lizards of Mogreth would suffer no outlanders within their walls, save for those three.

"The rites of Mogreth bear no description by any man, but by their own words they are said to descend from other realms of even more ancient age. For they claimed always to have witnessed the arrival of men in the lands south of the mountains, and to have seen the great sundering that befell that place. Always they held men in lower esteem, and used him as we would use a beast of burden.

"But there came a time when the towers of Mogreth fell, when their dark stain was washed from the land and the Issus ran clean once more. And in that time great Isshum shook, and sank into the sea. Afterwards no man would speak of the lizards who held sway, for their slaves had claimed their freedom, and remade Mogreth in their own image."

Some atmosphere....

"Isshum, the great city of the Issus, upon whose fetid delta it squatted like a massive titan. There it raised its mighty towers, two in number, like the arms of a supplicant towards the heavens, while its miles of stone piers stretched into the sea like tentacles. It was the City of Mogreth, the centre around which its might revolved, and it was to Isshum that all roads in the southeast ultimately led. For the select few, Isshum was a repository of lost lore of elder ages, where the lucky might learn a chance secret at the feet of the great sorcerer kings. For most, however, the road to Isshum led to a life of misery, which might be mercifully cut short in the arena."