Not to be confused with the City of Aaiun on the Dead River the Dead City is far to the southeast, in an arid desert that is within sight of the Silver Sea or Waking Sea.

It is a masterpiece of engineering, with tough volcanic rocks making up the majority of its construction. A spring wells up on a hillside oasis, there, so the entire city has been built as a series of descending terraces so water will flow from top to bottom by gravity alone. Le Aaiun herself called the city “a stepwell that the ancients could live in.”

But, as the name suggests, no one lives in the city now, though the water is sweet and much sought-after in the arid lands. Large numbers of cats and desert hares are the only occupants now, and those like Aaiun who visit seldom tarry long.

This is because the city is eerily preserved; silt has been cleared out of the channels, dust has been swept out of the streets, gardens are tended and even the cats and rabbits seem well-fed. But no one has ever seen a soul performing the labors necessary to maintain the Dead City and, moreover, no one has seen fit to settle there despite its advantages.

It takes only a day, maybe two, for the profound silence of the place outside of the running water, and the enigma of who maintains the place, to unnerve every the most hardened adventurer.

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