Valdorian Age - Rising Power on the Frontier
The Underfoot Path
Most outsiders believe the Underfoot Path refers to the narrow space below the buildings, and when they hear the term used in a story, they believe it means a person is crawling below the buildings, moving hidden from street to another.
This is not the case.
Lowtown is built on the bones of older cities – abandoned buildings long buried beneath dirt, mud and rubble. And the sewers that drain Uphill East and Uphill West and help keep Lowtown from flooding worse than it already does run under the neighborhood on their way to The Serpentine River (Elweir City). The old buildings and sewers create a maze of underground tunnels, and people can reach this maze via the oldest buildings in Lowtown, the ones made of stone that have a cellar. A person familiar with the Underfoot Path can reach all parts of the neighborhood on one side of the street, only rarely needing to journey above ground.
Reaching the other side of the river means emerging from underground. Generally a person comes up from one of the sewer drains at the embankment and travels to The Lowtown Bridge. Over the years people have made a path of planks set across the arches that support the bridge, running directly under the bridge above. An underground traveler crosses here, then enters back into a sewer drain on the other side.
Every resident of Lowtown has a story about a friend of a friend who stumbled onto some long forgotten place after getting lost while traveling the Underfoot Path. Sometimes these friends meet their end, more rarely, they find a lost treasure. The majority of these stories concern finding places out of Elweir‘s earliest history; the Palace of Lord Vilernian, one of the city’s earliest rulers whose home was swallowed by the earth, along with the treasure inside, in the days after Valdor’s murder; the Temple of the Serpentine, a site sacred to the diving spirit some say once inhabited The Serpentine River (Elweir City); the Fortress of the Builders, a strange place of greenish soapstone deep under Elweir that once served as a castle for the builders of Founding Stone Bridge and The Colossus of the North; and many others.
And true to any good story, all of these places hold great treasure guarded by horrible traps and creatures – either supernatural entities or the descendants of the original inhabitants warped after their centuries, if not millennia, of living in the chthonic depths.
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