Overlooking the city of Fiwanting is an imposing series of rocky peaks intertwined with deep ravines. The mountain tops are arranged strangely, with the tallest mountains surrounding the shorter ones in the middle. This unique structure makes it impossible to travel over the top, forcing caravans to take the long trip around the mountains or forge through the ravines below, which are as numerous as they are treacherous.
Danger From Above and Below Edit
An unusual amount of seismic activity in the area makes rock slides and sink holes commonplace in the Labyrinth. The inner canyons are generally bone dry, as the stone peaks around the edge make travel over the peaks as difficult for clouds as for creatures, but occasionally a storm does form inside the canyon to devastating effect. The narrow ravines make perfect conditions for flash floods, which demolish anything in their path, and can even change the structure of the inner canyon. The paths below offer little cover from the creatures that live in the system of caves and tunnels permeating the stone walls, adding to the natural danger the Labyrinth already poses. Anyone attempting to brave the canyons will have to contend with ambushes from the myriad of creatures who survive by scavenging the wreckage of caravans on the canyon floor. The depth of the canyon floor means that, for all but a few hours when the sun is near its peak, darkness reins inside the Labyrinth.
Caravan Towns Edit
Despite the dangers in the mountains, many intrepid merchants attempt to pass through in order to save themselves the long trip around the outer edge. In order to increase their chance of survival, many merchants would band together to create great caravans, in the hopes that they will overcome the dangers of the Labyrinth with their numbers. This practice has led to the birth of several small towns at key points around the edge of the Labyrinth. Mercenaries from all over Naluri flock to these towns in the hopes that they will be hired on as guards for the great caravans.
The Legend of Maudrin Edit
Maudrin's Labyrinth is named for the famous explorer who was the first to successfully navigate a caravan from one side to the other. The peaks had a different name prior to this feat, but in the centuries since that name has been lost.
Maudrin the Man Edit
Maudrin "The Hydra" Deveaux was born to Clan Arth in the nearby city of Fiwanting. Not content to farm with the rest of his clan, Maudrin set off at the age of 14 to travel Naluri in search of adventure. His travels eventually brought him to a small island in the east, where he joined with the famous Jildos mercenary group. Through his ferocity in battle and pension for coming back from injuries that would kill lesser warriors, he earned the monicker "The Hydra", after the legendary beast. A dispute with the leaders of Jildos led to Maudrin abandoning the group to seek treasure and glory on his own.
After obtaining a small fortune and a measure of fame, however, Maudrin's lifestyle took a toll on his spirit and he found his way back to his homeland of Fiwanting. After retiring to a small farm in the shadow of the mountains, falling in love, and starting a family, Maudrin had finally found peace.
Unfortunately, peace did not stay long at the house of Deveaux. While he was traveling to Fiwanting for supplies, an ettin found its way out of the mountain and descended upon Maudrin's little village. The carnage that Maudrin found upon his return set fire to a part of him long dormant, and he headed towards the mountains with fire in his eyes.
Maudrin the Legend Edit
He was not seen until many years later, when a brave, but foolish, merchant decided to try their luck at the Labyrinth. They were saved from certain death at the claws of a white scaled basilisk by Maudrin, who was described to have fought more like monster than man. He did not slay the beast, but it ran off with Maudrin's prized axe after a mighty blow lodged the axe in its skull.
Over the following years, Maudrin began to venture out from the Labyrinth more and more, and helped guide many caravans through the treacherous passes. His name became synonymous with the notorious peaks, and eventually people took to calling them Maudrin's Labyrinth. The journey through the Labyrinth took two days, with the caravans able to stop for the night in a refuge known as Maudrin's cabin, though it was almost certainly not an actual cabin.
Maudrin eventually met his end while attempting to save the lives of a caravan that had gone into the pass against his advice. He was able to save the lives of a young girl and her mother, but is thought to have fallen to the beast, which the survivors described as a great white basilisk with a scar above its eye. Some say that the beast still stalks the canyons of the Labyrinth to this day.
Maudrin's Treasure Edit
Maudrin's death was an unlucky turn of events for the merchants who had come to rely on his guidance as there was no one alive who knew the safest paths through the Labyrinth. A tale began spreading that Maudrin had mapped the way through the Labyrinth, and that if one could find his home in the Labyrinth, the Road could be opened once more.
In addition to this priceless information, Maudrin's Cabin is said to hold the entirety of the treasure trove he acquired from his years of dungeon delving, except, of course, for his legendary axe and armor, which are presumed to be in the basilisk's lair. The pursuit of Maudrin's Cabin has claimed many lives, and will likely claim many more in the years to come.