1. The Smuggler's Crossing

The Smuggler's Crossing

In the early part of the 5th century, an oppressive tax was laid upon the land to make reparations after the wars between Barloque and Tos and to line the pockets of the Empire Investors. Troupes of men would patrol the countryside, ensuring that all merchandise was properly accounted for and taxed. This lead the age of smugglers.

In the name of clean sanitation, the city workers of Barloque and Jasper began working on an intricate sewer system. Secretly funded by illicit factions, they connected the subterranean tunnel system all the way from one city to the other. The smell alone kept the local constabulary from investigating the extended work schedule. Once complete, gems were taken from the mines of Jasper to the ports of Barloque and stashed away for their journey to the black markets of the Old Empire. In return, certain goods would avoid the taxation of the land by travelling back through the sewer systems to the miners’ town. To avoid being double-crossed by the criminal faction of the other city, a system was built to make equitable trades.

The Smuggler’s Crossing existed somewhere deep underground between the two cities. Gates were established in such a way that neither side could cross without aid from the other. Goods would be exchanged for gems here.

Later, during the first Jasper rebellion, loyalists used the intricate sewer system to smuggle armaments. The government never was to become aware of this method.

None know what exactly ended this practice. Some say a heated argument got out of control as wizards from the two factions violently battled at the Crossing. Others say that when the great Nexus buckled in 450 Meridian Era, a tremendous earthquake ripped through the tunnels. Whatever the cause, a huge crack opened up at the crossing. A bridge was to be built, but the gaping chasm harbored more than met the eye.

Strange croaking and groaning filled the cave. Stories surfaced about dead men being found in the sewer cut in half by mighty jaws of some unknown creature. As fear in the land rose, a threat of a Royal Investigation became imminent. Both factions decided it would be best to quit activities before the public focus lead to them. Some time around the middle of the 5th century, the crossing was sealed up and forgotten from history.

Recently, brave adventures have stumble upon the old Smuggler’s Crossing. Stopped at the rusted gates, they claim to hear monstrous sounds echoing through the caverns. All who return say the same thing, “There is Something down there, something big! Avoid the area at all costs or bring many, many companions if you are foolish enough to investigate.”