I had thought to make my fortune that day and my plans were well made. I had a map, purchased at great expense, and knew the names of the two guards I would need to pass and how much coin to offer. Both were fat, bearded oafs so dull with narcotics I might as easily have slipped past them. But I was not inclined to take chances that day and so I paid them and swiftly found myself in the vaulted cellars beneath the palace.
My map - praise to noble Soris - was good. I came upon the lesser vault. I think in my soul I expected to find it locked despite all I had been told and so it was with some shock that I saw the great door standing even a little ajar. Within was a treasure I shall never forget. There was not one single coin, but all about the walls were great weapons of war, robes of court in peacock colours, great jars of fine liquor and jewelry of every sort.
It was with some effort that I did load load my arms with treasures. Greed could be my undoing here and even a few items, if chosen well, could see me living comfortably for the rest of my days. I chose small jewels of good value that I hoped were simple enough in design for their provenance not to be recognised.
As I made good my escape I felt quite unwell. I thought perhaps that I was fevered from the fears my act of theft had entailed. But it seemed not, for the next day I was less well still and could not take food. When the time came for the return voyage the crew would have left me I think, fearing a plague. My master overruled them, though, for my mother was his secret mistress and he knew she would be angered if I were left.
I remember little of the month that followed. There came an unusually cool day in the early Summer when a few of my wits returned to me. In that moment of lucidity I dragged myself from my sickbed, took my hard-won treasures and buried them a mile from the manor. Within a week my strength began to return. Although regretful of the wealth denied to me, I never returned for the treasures. Once I looked upon the place from a distance and saw the trees nearby had died and the grasses were withered. From that day on I contented myself with a life of honest trade.
Gobal Palace was constructed during the Age of Wars, in the Southeast of Llaewar on the edge of the sea. The central palace was surrounded by a town, which later grew into a small city. As the region grew in strength, a circle of seven defensive outposts were built a day’s travel from Gobal Palace in each direction. Over time, these grew into towns in their own right.
In the middle of the Age of Wars, the palace was the seat of a long lived king and queen - possibly immortal - who had left their own lands behind. Their names are lost to history, since they were known to the people only as “The King” and “The Queen”.
A powerful curse was placed upon the city by some unknown foe. In particular, artefacts of power owned by the king and queen became inhabited by a powerful, malignant energy. Mere proximity to such an artefact could cause sickness or madness. Plants withered and water became spoiled. Resolving to lift the curse, the king and queen set out to seek a remedy. The king, it is said, rode towards the sun. The queen rode towards the moon. Neither of them ever returned.
Gobal Palace’s troubles then became even worse. Garun Dashi from the East found their way there and build a nest beneath the city. The Dashi queen became the de-facto ruler of the palace and the Dashi tunnels eventually spread well beyond the walls of the city.
In the early years of the Age of Exploration the Dashi began attempts to spread once more and establish a colony in the far West. The attempt failed when an expeditionary force of cartographer adepts from the Lossanbrant came upon signs of the Dashi and ultimately located and destroyed the Dashi queen.
For all its many troubles, Gobal Palace is still beautiful to look upon. Its buildings are made from the soft, white stone of the Southern quarries and the strong pines that grow along the coast of the sea. These combine with its broad streets and the old textile traditions of the region to give it a bright and spacious character.
The rest of a traveller’s experience there will vary greatly with the period of history. Before the curse, Gobal Palace was a prosperous and welcoming place. At the height of its troubles it was quite the opposite, its people dour and distrustful.
The legacy of the old royal family’s power still remains below the palace. If the curse could be removed these would be prized secrets indeed. Of course, there are some who would risk such treasures despite the curse, or perhaps in ignorance of it.
According to legend the seven outpost towns around Gobal Palace were once eight before the sea claimed the Eastern outpost. Whilst this seems unlikely due to the fact that the city has always been a port and therefore the sea always to the East, it may have some basis is fact. In particular, old maps exist which do not mark the sea at all and show an eighth outpost due East.