Netherhall is a city both literally and figuratively driven underground. A Thousand years ago, persecuted citizens of a great city, Arcem, fled to the crypts that lay under the city. Rather than wither, they thrived, and more and more diverse groups of people emigrated underground, creating a second city to rival the one above. Yet those first desperate years still scar the city,
Settled largely in vast underground halls created by centuries of work by artificers, Netherhall bustles with commerce. Importantly,Arcem restricts all aspect of trade – which gives rise to a host of business opportunities for organizations below. Indeed, the ironic largess of Arcem’s repression of many aspects of life has provided Netherhall with many cultural benefits, including all aspects of the arts, music, education, as well as crafts and industry.
Due to a natural event, millennia ago, Netherhall is protected above by a thick layer of nearly impenetrable glass-like stone, known as “white obsidian”. This has, for hundreds of years, provided relative safety from invasion from above, but also allowed Netherhall access to mineral deposits in the deep mines below the city. The brilliant Sunspheres, which are the greatest achievements of the Lightbringers, even nearly perfectly mimic sunlight – bright enough to grow crops and feed a significant portion of the the population with the harvest. The Lightbringers also created the Chutes – underground canals that connect the Halls, which provide fresh water, assist transport, and power great mills throughout the city.
The city itself is run by a patronage system and puppet “Peoples’ council” codified into a central Commonwealth. Rival cartels have long established order and through court intrigue and political maneuvering and have settled into a stable, if ruthless, form of government. Two of the oldest cartels, each with full control of a Great Hall, now continually vie for power in a game that has stalemated for decades – a political game which is now a shadow war fought block by block in unaligned parts of the city.
The largest group of citizens live in the largest Hall, the Common Hall. A small city unto itself, it has become the battleground for control of Netherhall.
Meanwhile, several high ranking members of the Lightbringers have dropped from public view and the organization, always secretive and exclusive, have been systematically recalling its members to the Old Crypts. Rumors swirl that the Lightkeepers are struggling with something deep in the crypts.