Upon a Hollow Stone
Storvenda and the History of Untergang
Castle Untergang (Old Northern: Undirganga, from Unþir and Ganga, “From Below” or “To Take Place Beneath”) is the common name for the ruins of the Northerner walled city, Storvenda (Old Northern: Stórrvinda, lit. “To Hoist Greatness”), the twin city of Norvaskr (Old Northern: Norþastrborg, lit. “Farthest North City” from Norþastr [“Farthest North”] and Burg [“Castle (Feminine)”]). Although often considered a myth in Oseria, the sunken towers stand as evidence of a once-grand monument to the might of Baldyr’s wealthy Kingdom of the North. The castle walls of Storvenda were built in 98 B.T as a project of Baldyr the Builder in an attempt to construct a grand capital from the ground up. The decision to erect the ornate walls and towers of Storvenda followed Baldyr’s expeditions to the other nations, including Oseria. During these travels, he realized the Northerners were beginning to fall behind, prompting Baldyr to begin his series of reforms, known as Sunnasternization (Old Northern: Sunnarstr Gøra, lit. “Become Southernmost”). Storvenda was built over an ancient fort near the city of Norvaskr with the castle able to project influence over a strategic watershed, while simultaneously offering ease of travel nearby arable land. Though this ground was the provision of Untergang’s many strengths, the stone and soil beneath the city center would prove to be much looser than first thought. After two centuries of use, expansion, and erosion, Storvenda--and bordering structures from Norvaskr--began falling into the water it had established domain over. In 978 A.T, one of Baldyr’s greatest works collapsed completely. Thousands of Northerners had remained inside Storvenda’s walls to avoid the hardships of the Second Great Blizzard and the wrath of The Great Death. Ultimately, this proved to be a terrible mistake, as few survived the collapse of the Yredsil Pass (Old Northern: Yhr þrestyl, lit. “Your Threshold”), with the site of The Storvenda Tragedy being renamed Untergang by surrounding Northmen.
Untergang carries with it the mythoi of yet-unfound wealth and deposits of a magical metal known as orchaucum far below the icy surface that only the most durable of towers continue to pierce. A tradition of spinning tales about treasures stored in Storvenda by Baldyr--ranging from mountains of kura that sunk the city to grails of religious importance to followers of Tsarra and The One alike--has taken root in the few who live in the area. As such, the buried, frozen city continues to teem with life as explorers and adventurers scour the labyrinthine ruins, each willing to kill the others for so much as a glimpse of the Authilfyóð (Old Northern: Compound of Auðœfi til þjóðs, lit. “Wealth of Nations”).
Castle Untergang is located somewhere along the Yredsil Region, connected directly to Norvaskr, though the exact area is currently unknown. The city Storvenda was a central piece of The North’s power, however both the city and the remains have not had consistent locations marked on most maps. This comes from a wish of Baldyr’s to confuse enemies of The North by providing only trusted outsiders with the exact location. Many explorers have found the ice-breaking towers, though few are willing to share the whereabouts for fear of losing the Authilfyóð to a rival.
Tales from long before its collapse speak of its presence speak of rivers, coastlines, and lakes. Many of those mentioned have been explored, to no avail by the academic community. Certainly, Untergang was well hidden by Baldyr. Only one thing is left certain now: this forbidden city, kept shut from all but the most trusted, is sunk beneath layers of ice, snow, and roaring waters.
The site of Castle Untergang has recently seen itself referenced many times in new pieces of literature. A plethora of poems have been written praising the riches of Storvenda or lamenting the less literal collapse of the city's wealth in the early 900's A.T. The most famous poem focused on Castle Untergang is Anbay, which derives its name from the old Crosian god of labor. Because of the great works that mimicked this god's majesty, Anbay was made the Korsian moniker for the titular character and grand builder Baldyr. The poem focuses on the themes of legacy and how even great monuments are washed away by time. Using the Korsian word for the city Sturfynda, author Khabulli Akhbarzan introduced many Oserians to the Crosian dialect, which started a minor trend in Dunsgate among the elite where Crosian vocabulary began to sneak its way into Rouen.