The Lore of VulcanVerse- The Desert of Notus
The Shifting Sands Hide Numerous Secrets of a Bygone Age
Imagine for a moment you are a guard standing watch in a south-east corner tower of Vulcan City. Your view to the horizon would be impeded by an imposing mountain range and storms of sand, desert dust rising from this VulcanVerse’s south-east quadrant.
Here is the Desert of Notus: hot, arid and deadly to mortal travelers. We’re crossing from the Gardens of Arcadia near the Sacred Way, VulcanVerse’s ancient route that circumnavigates the island with spokes leading inland between the quadrants from the Waters of Oceanus to the central city into a vast desert. Here southern Arcadia’s low green hills began to give way to sandy knolls and eventually dunes stretching as far as the eye could see. Arcadia’s soft grasses gave way to dense, spiky tufts of Marram grass that, the further south the visitor strayed, would become an increasingly rare sight. To the east the towering walls of Vulcan City can be seen at this point.
In the desert’s fiery heart, secrets and wonders await you that even the
gods have forgotten. Brooding sphinxes, whose centuries of stony sleep
only the most resourceful hero dare disturb. The skeletal Spartoi,
consumed with cold hate, waging perpetual war against all living things.
Proud Amazons, who may make you their monarch or their sworn foe.
And seers and demigods who will guide you through the hidden reaches
of this fabled realm — at a price.
The Hammer of the Sun
Today, the human inhabitants that Vulcan has invited to his digital VulcanVerse are busy building on their land but the Desert of Notus didn’t always look this way.
Forging A New Olympus
Notus is a land that hides its secrets well, often under its shifting sands, but a wise scholar in search of information about this land would know that information exists about its past, recorded in scripts held in the House of Records and Vulcan City’s libraries. The template for Vulcan’s new blockchain based Olympus, VulcanVerse itself existed in the deep past, in times of myth and mystery. In creating this new digital VulcanVerse, Vulcan in all his godly genius took the best of the VulcanVerse of old, that of the map we know so well and recreated it, opening the gates for today’s mortals to enter. This new VulcanVerse is smaller than the ancient place and the Desert of Notus, whilst familiar to the hypothetical traveler existing in both times, held many ancient secrets..
With the arrival of mortal man, Vulcan removed many of the mountains and dunes, creating a large, flat plain. It was as though much of the old terrain was never there to begin with, except where Vulcan did wipe clean, he allowed the strange power of the former sacred places — the former city of Iskandria, the Shores of Psamathe, the Land from which No-one Returns, to remain. With the arrival of humans and the use of their crude tongues, these special places have been named “buff zones”. Many mortals have clambered for ownership of these areas, where they or their Vulcanite would wield increased power.
Vulcan may have wiped much of the land — but the most important places remain, albeit in some cases, in forms a little removed from their ancient shape. These are what the modern mortal residents of VulcanVerse call “landmarks” and these places remain areas of great power and, in many ways places of ethereal mystery. Today, these landmarks include the three pyramid mausoleums and the Shrine to Tethys.
To begin to understand the sandy expanse of the desert, we must look to the past and the information that has been handed down to us..
The Lore of the Desert of Notus
Notus of the past was much larger than the land we know of today, and much more dangerous. We begin our exploration into the north west, where the Aetnaean Mountains, known colloquially as the “anvils of Vulcan”, climb from foothills to great peaks grazing the sky.
Hidden high in the mountains could be found the kingdom of Saesara, where terraces of fertile farmland ran in layers up the side of a fertile valley, overlooked by a gleaming white palace surrounded by a moat.
High up among the upper reaches of the Aetnaean mountains was the coldest place in Notus, the peaks often covered in snow and the more exposed areas of Saesara itself cold and windswept compared to the mild climate in the valley.
Not too far a distance below, nestled in the valley a small village could be found with an active market and a shrine. A traveller descending the mountains here to journey east would climb down to foothills that give way to desert, flat and devoid of life. A long journey towards the coast would lead to former farmland, once green with such a plentiful supply of grain to feed a large part of the surrounding area. Ancient books and scrolls tell of how, over time, it transformed into a barren wilderness, neglected, irrigation channels sand-choked.
The Cataract of Oceanus
In the far north of Notus, the Great River used to flow out from the mountains and over the one thousand meter high cliffs to the plain below — this area was the Cataract of Oceanos. History tells us that at some point, the river dried up and the once spectacular waterfall ceased to be. It was said in ancient days that “even the thunderous voice of Zeus could scarcely be heard over the waterfall that cascaded down in raging torrents at the Cataract of Oceanos.”
The Great River fed the Potamegalos. From the Cataract of Oceanos, it traveled south and if following its course, after much walking you would arrive at a shrine devoted to the goddess of rivers, Tethys. Tethys was for many years revered in the desert, as you would expect, it was she who drew water from Oceanus through the various channels of the earth, bringing fresh water to drink, to grow grain and nourish the earth, though lore records a time when the Potamegalos dried up for countless years and she was almost forgotten.
The Shrine & Cataract of Tethys
In the central east of the desert, following the route of the Great River south was a shrine devoted to the goddess Tethys, standing near to the river bank shortly before the rushing river met the Cataract of Tethys. Which was named first, the shrine or the Cataract? Only a local antiquarian and devotee of Tethys would be able to answer. The shrine saw the best and worst of times; when the Great River torrented past here the shrine was heavily used, locals made regular offerings and devotees would make pilgrimages to this area. Years after the river ran dry, Tethys was forgotten by many.
The Cataract of Tethys was situated approximately halfway through the Great River’s journey to the sea and was used in ancient times to divert waters into the nearby irrigation canals — huge water wheels captured the power of the raging torrents.
The Amazons were a nomadic tribe who could be found following the seasonal migration routes of their herds, routes that sometimes saw them travel across VulcanVerse to other quadrants. Some histories paint the Amazons as common bandits, but their historic pedigree could certainly not be questioned, the Amazons were feared by many kingdoms. A ruthless, all female warrior race, they were known for raiding, taking slaves, their prowess in battle, their powerful chariots and their skill at arms.
Men were only tolerated among them — for short periods, if they were of use; commonly, traders and slaves. Female babies were kept and raised, males were either sold or left on a hillside as they had no use within the tribe.
The Dunes of Doom
In the central-west desert, a traveler would find the Dunes of Doom. Miles of dunes with, if the stories are correct, a great crater at their center. The historian and sage, Iamtos, wrote a book titled ‘Typhon, King of Monsters’. The book describes an epic battle between Zeus and Typhon that resulted in the creation of the Dunes of Doom, the crater being the spot where the desert sands were thrown into the air forming the dunes when one of Typhon’s eyes landed there having being struck out by a thunderbolt of Zeus. The dunes were the home of scorpions and, it is said, the legendary giant scorpion Venomtail resided in these parts.
Next, we travel south, towards the Great Pyramid and beyond.
About Vulcan Forged
Vulcan Forged is the company behind Vulcan Studios, a blockchain game studio, NFT marketplace, NFT minting engine and creators of VulcanVerse, Berserk: Vulcanites Unleashed and many other games. Vulcan Forged has also built Elysium, a carbon neutral layer 1 blockchain and MetaScapes, a metaverse as a service engine. The Vulcan Forged family is expanding rapidly, with many Vulcan Studios games now enabled within our blockchain economy.
The native token used within our ecosystem is $PYR, the secondary token $LAVA acts as a play-to-earn token. This dual token economy structure is ideal for blockchain gaming. Scholars or Cedalions are able to earn $LAVA while playing Vulcan Studios games and special NFTs can be earned while in-game. These can be sold on the Vulcan Marketplace for $PYR.
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