Denandsor was one of the most prestigious cities of the First Age and Shogunate. While many other locales and settlements were bastions of the unrivaled craftsmen of the First Age, Denandsor was a place of artistic expression and experimentation. Many strange and wondrous things were made there, not necessarily as useful or new as other inventions, but beautiful and innovative none-the-less. The city was particularly well-known for its vast arrays of automata, crafted creatures of all shapes, sizes and uses.
Oddly enough, the sensibilities of the Age waxed and waned in such a way that during the High First Age, automatons of breathtaking beauty were most popular, while later, shortly before the Usurpation, most crafted beings were of a mechanistic, primitive mien to reflect their maker’s disaffection with the old styles. Thus the most advanced and deadly of the remaining guardians of Denandsor are usually the more simplistic looking.
After the Usurpation, the City of Makers remained a hub of artifact creation and maintenance. Though nothing could rival the works of the vanquished Solar Exalted, the Terrestrial Exalted maintained their devices as best they could. Since there was very little fighting or retribution in Denandsor, the city remained one of the better-equipped in the Shogunate.
The Fall of Denandsor
Denandsor today is a place of death and sorrow. Its ruins overgrown in tangled vines, its sentries standing silent and murderous, waiting for the foolishly brave to come questing for ancient treasures. A choking dread overcomes those who visit the city, or even approach too closely. This is the legacy of the Shogunate’s care of the city after the Great Contagion.
As with most highly populated areas of the Threshold, Denandsor was hit hard by the Contagion. In desperation, the daimyo of the city searched for some way to save himself and his people, eventually activating any artifact he could find that he had not already determined a use for. Luck was not with him, as he activated a devastating device, or possibly two devices in quick succession that had incompatible effects.
Nearly everyone within Denandsor went violently insane, slaying loved ones, strangers and themselves. Some sorcerer-technicians activated murderous directives for the guardians of the city, leaving the abandoned wonders to be watched over by violent, immortal machines. Only a few Dragon-Blooded escaped to tell the tale, and they shortly perished due to the Contagion.
Whatever drove all those people mad still has some lingering effect. A miasma hangs over Denandsor and extends for miles beyond its walls. A constant, unending feeling of terror assaults those who enter the area; few are capable of resisting its effects for long, and no known magic will shield an adventurer from it.
Denandsor Manse, the heart of the city, is one of the most elegant and beautiful structures left from the First Age. It is also the source of all that makes Denandsor deadly today. In the vaults below are two chambers of particular importance. One contains the artifact intelligence that directs the murderous creations that stand vigil over the city; any soul brave enough to pierce the manse’s defenses and deactivate or reprogram it would make the ruins exponentially safer.
The more interesting vault lies open and ready for plunder, occupied only by a confusing array of devices and the collapsed skeleton of the old daimyo. One of the artifacts there is the dissonance engine that disturbs the minds of those who venture into the city. Its deactivation would open the city to much safer exploration, flooding the world with forgotten devices and piles of more mundane treasure.