Dark Fantasy: Nogoloth – The Iron Line

In which I continue to pen some seriously Lovecraft-inspired dark fantasy.

The pampered academics at the Great University in Khaarm espouse countless theories about the nature, history, and ultimate destination of the Iron Line. The earthier scholars of Canton-on-Imisk have different opinions; some have even followed the Line deep into the windswept mountains of the north in search of hard, scientific truth. But even the hardiest investigators have been forced to turn back well before reaching the Line’s terminus. It seems that each of the several expeditions sent to identify the source of the Line has been driven back – smaller than it was when it embarked, as is grimly expected by the professors and administrators – due to some singular concatenation of events and circumstances or another, all of which seem natural and plausible enough to the casual observer. But that nineteen souls have perished in the pursuit of something as simple as what lies at the other end of a 3′ wide ribbon of iron that is sunken so thoroughly within the bones of the earth – extending no less than 10 feet deep, even in the hardest of bedrock – has brought something of a sense of doom to the Iron Line and its mystery.

The course of the Iron Line, which has been mapped thoroughly within the areas settled by man, runs from the edge of the cliff that rises above the port of Pnikigystros in the south and winds its way across much of the civilized regions of Nogoloth – passing as it does within no less than 1/2 mile of each of the other major cities, and sometimes through them – before taking its turn into the northern mountains. At any given moment the Iron Line may feel incredibly warm or icy cold to the touch, often radiating significantly different levels of heat a mere handspan apart. Some dedicated observers of the Iron Line report that under certain conditions (time of year, weather, and other factors contribute) the Line seems to sing (very softly) a complex, undulating melody that stirs melancholy and dread within the audience. That some people appear utterly unable to hear this song even as those next to them are able to describe what they are hearing with exquisite detail only furthers the mystery of this Nogolothian oddity.

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