The island of Kamanora is a land eternally at war. The primary reason is always the same: the Fire Giant Lords of Vogradopolis benefit from arming every side in the constant conflict.
Kamanora is famous for its Firepeak Range, a chain of active volcanoes that runs the length of the land, and it is here that Vogradopolis can be found, carved into the rim overlooking the caldera of Mount Vogra.
These thirty towers of carved stone are the houses of the Fire Giant Lords of Vogradopolis, though their numbers have dwindled over the eons to twenty seven. They are massive block towers of brutalist architecture built in line with the Fire Giants’ aesthetic of a total lack of interest in form over function.
The Towers, as they are known in Vogradopolis, are largely uninhabited, with the Fire Giants preferring the dark and warmth of Undermountain City 20,000 feet below in the bowels of the volcano. One has been converted into a dock for skyships that visit to trade slaves for arms and armour of superior quality.
Connecting the Towers to Undermountain City is a vast square-cut shaft known as the Hellevator which supports a dozen cars on a lift-track system that runs the entire vertical length of 20,000 feet past hundreds of branching mine tunnels.
Vogradopolis is actually the name of the city deep under the mountain where thousands of slaves toil for the Fire Giants who live here, engineering weapons of war to sell to the outside world.
The city itself is situated in a titanic cavern hollowed out by enormous lava flows long ago. An irrigation system tapping into the volcano’s lava provides the subterranean city with light and heat and free-standing buildings are spread throughout the space, arranged around the vast mega-mansions of the Fire Giants.
The city gets its water from a vast lake fed by a waterfall which draws its water from another underground lake above, plumbed in by a series of tunnels which are also dammed in such a way that the flow of water can be regulated.
The Undermountain area is riddled with lava tubes and old mining tunnels, vast natural caves and flooded grottoes. The Fire Giants have had tens of thousands of years to carve out every niche for any purpose they could devise and the possibilities are endless.
In general, Undermountain City is a network of caves branching off from a central epic space where freestanding buildings are maintained and everything is lit by the complex lava irrigation system devised by the giants of the millennia. The population is mostly human slaves, with a managerial class of humans to maintain the bureaucracy. Meanwhile, dwarves are prized for mining slave labour. There is little market for anything else.
Undermountain City has a large degree of trade with the Firenewts who populate the lava tunnels closer to the Spout which feeds all the way up to the top of the mountain. They are Neutral Evil, so they share a hatred for dwarves who always toil deep in the earth, but they are independent and not subject to Fire Giant dominion.
The city is Lawful Evil, so it is awash with bureaucracy and regulation, albeit in service of depravity. It’s a city of some 15,000 slaves and non-slaves, toiling in the manufacture of arms and armour for trade with the outside world. It is a lava-lit world of oppression where rogues can work their way up to spies and agents of Vogradopolis who go out and maintain the conspiracies that keep Kamanora at war with itself.
Slaves are hugely abundant and expendable. You can do anything you want with a slave. Gladiatorial combat in the slave pits are a favourite entertainment of this cruel society. It is a world that gives rise to fighters and rogues and little else.
The number one industry of Vogradopolis is mining the ore-rich tunnels and harvesting gems and metals created by the mountain’s volcanism. Miles upon miles of tunnels permeate the rock of Mount Vogra, carved by slave labourers over millennia.
Dwarves are the preferred stock of slaves for mining operations, but humans are abundant in the tunnels as well.
Typical Denizens of Vogradopolis Undercity
Human slaves, dwarven slaves, firenewts, human guards, human merchants, hell hounds, duergar.
Everyone dreams of leaving Vogradopolis but it’s a notorious place for never being able to leave. Access to the Towers is strictly controlled by the Fire Giants who don’t want anyone leaving who they say can’t leave. Being a Lawful Evil city, bureaucracy is the nightmarish tool of the oppressor, and the Fire Giatns employ devious humans to come up with byzantine laws to administer them.
The city is police by ruthless jackbooted humans who enjoy putting down their fellow beings to appease the Fire Giant Lords. City watchmen always work in pairs. There are a few ogres on the payroll for heavy enforcement and at the highest levels there are a half-dozen Iron Golems available for deployment.
Connection to the Underdark
The lava tube networks that riddle Mount Vogra’s foundations provide a labyrinth of tunnels that connect various ecologies that have come to inhabit various sections of the mountain.
Below sea-level is where the Underdark begins, although its tendrils of tunnels burrow up into the guts of mountains.
Dwarves toil in the mountain’s deep recesses, often prospecting parties of seven or more working far from their likely home of Boromitzvar, the closest of the Three Dwarven Kingdoms spread across the Firepeaks. Sworn enemies of the giants, there are sometimes raiding parties that will rescue slaves toiling in the mines that still feed Vogradopolis.