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Thoughts on Y’hegg-T’uhath

by Geoff Gander

Thorfinn's summation has it all: When I created Lhomarr I needed an opposing force. I had already decided that the Carnifex needed some love, but what to do in terms of their former base of operations? I didn't want them anywhere near the Known World or already-established locations, since that would mean figuring out what to do with messy things like ruins and subsequent migrations of other peoples through the area (see? I was thinking ahead), so in the end I thought that giving them their own now-vanished land would be a nice narrative parallel.

However, unlike the sudden sinking of Lhomarr due to Outer Being magics, Y'hegg-T'uhath was slowly submerged by the Immortals*, with its evil inhabitants being unable to leave. Imagine the terror they felt as their island vanished by inches, their prayers to the Outer Beings for salvation unanswered, and knowing a slow death awaited them...

...or did it?

I tried to keep details of what lay at the bottom of the ocean vague, but did come back to it when the kind folks at Threshold Magazine invited me to write something. That was a fun exercise. In my mind, Y'hegg-T'uhath is a truly unpleasant place, as it would be blasted by winds and waves on its western shore, and warped by the influence of the Outer Beings for centuries. This is one map I'd redo if I could, with newer hexes and unique terrain features that weren't possible when this map was made. I'd also settle the map scale, too - it's 24 miles per hex here, but a later map of the Carnifex Empire in the aforementioned article presents the island as a bit larger.

* Yes, technically the Immortals are forbidden from interfering directly in the affairs of the Prime Plane, but my rationale in this case is that, like the erasing of the original Carnifex featured in M3 (Twilight Calling) ages ago, the Old Ones made an exception. Some evils are simply too evil to be allowed to persist.

Some further thoughts on Y'hegg-T'uhath:

Whatever lived on the island before the Carnifex arrived was either exterminated, pushed back to the highest peaks (possibly living in remote valleys), or plunged underground. The initial inhabitants might have been human, but it could be more interesting if some relatively under-used race took their place.

The Y'hog Carnifex themselves rarely left their cities (where all of their needs were met), and for the most part the land would be sparsely inhabited. Y'hegg-T'uhath had poor soils (although considerable mineral wealth), and once the Carnifex legions had grown large enough there would have been a need to secure lands capable to producing enough food to sustain the populace - this would have been an initial driver for expansion.

The central valley region is protected from the worst of the weather and would serve as the island's main agricultural zone, so this area might have decent forests and a few massive plantation-style farms worked by slaves or troglodytes, and overseen by lizard men. Khalzek, in this case, would have been the administrative hub for the farms as well as a collection point for all the produce before it was shipped to the cities - Y'hog first, then the rest. It would be heavily fortified, but little more than a massive wall containing row upon row of warehouses and silos, with a small residential quarter. A bleak place, to be sure. Wide, paved roads would run from Khalzek to Y'hog in the north and T'kach in the south, which were raised above the surrounding countryside (in a manner emulated by Mogreth much later) to allow travellers and soldiers to have a commanding view.

Another coastal road would go from Y'hog to Az'Ath, but this wouldn't connect to the one from Khalzek, as the Carnifex wanted to control and monitor all traffic (there were checkpoints at regular intervals), and they didn't want to spare the labour to cut a road through the mountains, or around their southern spur. Also, they reasoned that an invader would use such a road to strike at the heart of the island.

There was also a single road from T'Kach to Yian-Xoth, which passed under the mountains. The most common travellers here were miltary, since that was the main purpose of the two ports.