“Urintei took up the books in the dark school and burnt the pages to ash with a mystical fire wrought from the souls of the damned. Taking only one tome out of those abyssal caves, the Befoulers personal journal. Thinking to use it against him should he resurface elsewhere, she brought it back to her library in Avenoch the Holy City.
Locked in her private study, she examined the Dread Lords’ words for thirty days and thirty nights. She emerged onto the library roof and walked calmly to the edge. The snows of deep winter reflected the light of the full moon, and cast long shadows in the courtyard below.
There she stood for awhile, staring out over the city. After a span of time had past she withdrew a large black pearl from her blouse. it sparkled, oily and dark, as if lit from within. “
-from the collection of Petis Andruv, historian
The Black Tower stands in the center of what was once called Avenoch, now known as Urbe Mortuus. It is a massive center piece of black stone block and mortar, in a city of black stone. It is said that Avenoch had been built of pure white marble now stained by darkness. Even the sky itself is stained so that noonday light is no brighter then dusk.
The ruler of Urbe Mortuus is Urintei, known as The Mistress, the Undying Sorceress, Dark Mother, or Black Goddess. It was from this tower that she cast a spell that turned every living thing into the undead. Every bird, worm, and forest creature for leagues became transformed over a period of days. Also trees, grass, and all flora took on the appearance of death while not decomposing. The soil retains the magic very strongly, any dead placed in the soil will return from the grave the next night after it is buried. An ancient dragon off guard, a whole grove of Treants, and a fairy mound were also caught in the magical twisting. In the days that followed anyone setting foot inside of this country of the dead was similarly altered. The power of the spell has faded now so one may visit the land again.
The people were transformed as befitted their station in life, their blood line, or their abilities. They continue to “live” as they always did. The peasants became zombified, Those of a murderous bent became wraiths and shadows, The army was stripped of flesh. The nobility became vampires and the wizards as became as Liches.
Although everything in Urbe Mortuus is undead, a traveler to the surrounding lands is in no more danger then they would normally be. Lady Urintei delights in visitors examining her handiwork in fact. As long as you obey the laws you may come and go as you please, these laws are, except for a few variances, the same as any other realm.
The Mistress is constantly tweaking little things or crafting new macabre things. She sits at court for four hours every night, except for attending Sunday Mass, attended by her personal bodyguard. Sometimes she takes a special liking to a visitor and gives them a token or takes them as a lover.
Staying longer then a week will allow the inherent magic to work itself on you, so it is advised that you are clear of the borders well ahead of time. Urintei will never force anyone to stay against their will, as all of her subjects still have their free will and removing that seems to violate some code or personal rule. If one of her subjects step over the border they will begin to lose strength until they collapse suffering the true death unless they travel in her presence. It takes two days uninterrupted on horse to reach Urbe Mortuus from the shortest edge, this means staying three days is the longest a person can visit the city and remain mortal.