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Shoonach

In the Shoon dynasty's last days, Shoonach, the imperial capital, was razed by the forces of King Strohm of Tethyr and a silver dragon descended from Rhimnasarl, the great wyrm slain by Qysar Shoon IV. Now the former seat of the evil Shoon Imperium is a sprawling, ruined metropolis alongside the River Agis. Miles of crumbling stone buildings and paved streets radiate outward from the remains of the imperial center. Dozens of undead beings and monstrous tribes dwell within these ruins, prevented from escaping by ancient magical wards set by Shoon's emperors.

The ruins of Shoonach consist of more than a half-dozen identifiable districts, all of which lie within its great outer walls. The fields in the city's western, central, and southeastern areas (once called Fedhiyajar, or Grain Towns) now grow wild wheat, tendriculoses, and other carnivorous plants. Only shattered barracks, smithies, and training arenas now remain in the district of Iltakar (once called the Warrior's City) in the northern part of Shoonach. This district is home to fifty gnolls who follow Bhurkh (LE male gnoll fighter 6), a charismatic leader seeking to conquer the ruins. Just west of the Imperial City district was Mamlukkar, the Slave Village. Massive walls were erected around this district after Shoonach fell, presumably to stave off some magical disease that had swept the area. The moans of plague-rotted undead can be heard day and night from inside the walled area.

The Imperial City district, built around the great hill known as the Imperial Mount, lies at the heart of the ruins. In this section are the burnt shells of the imperium's once lavish temples, palaces, official buildings, and residences. Undead from this area constantly attack the tribes of lamias, gnolls, and goblins that live in Shoonach's other districts. An extensive undercity below Imperial Mount serves as an outpost for a small garrison of drow that has already recovered a wealth of magic items.

In the eastern section of Shoonach is Debukkher, the Town of Tombs -- a wide-open expanse of broken boulevards and crumbling statues. Dozens of tunnel entrances in this area lead underground to opulent crypts and tombs in which mortuary paintings and carved reliefs portray the grandiose lives of long-dead viziers and calephs. Below the tomb city lies the hidden lair of Qysar Shoon VII (NE male human demilich EL necromancer 31/archmage 5) -- perhaps the last survivor of the Shoon Dynasty. After centuries of lichdom, Shoon VII became a demilich and was somehow imprisoned within the Tome of the Unicorn. Freed just before the Fall of the Gods, Shoon swapped bodies with Zallanora Argentresses (N female moon elf wizard 3) while attempting to drain her soul, thanks to the magical chaos of the Time of Troubles. Zallanora is now imprisoned in the Tome of the Unicorn in his stead.

The Shoon qysars protected their cities with mythal-like magic wards and spell effects that still prevent undead from entering or leaving the city. Fire spells cast anywhere in Shoonach are treated as if affected by the Maximize Spell feat, although they do not require higher spell slots or longer casting times. Teleportation magic and spells with the air or cold descriptor are impeded, requiring a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast. A -4 penalty applies to attack rolls and damage rolls with all projectile weapons.

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