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ANCIENT QUADROPOLIS
A conurbation of four cities: Eastie and Westie Nort, and Eastie and Westie Sowt (collectively known as the Sowtowns). Although accounts of the original city’s construction have been lost, the four cities were built on a strict grid of nine squares; each subdivided into sixteen blocks (one hundred and forty-four blocks in total, minus one from each used for the construction of the Middle Building). During ancient times, the Sowtowns hired dwarves to convert Eastie and Westie Sowt from wood construction to stone. However, no building was allowed to be taller than two stories to ensure that the view of Mount Ardilakk was not obstructed.

EASTERN FOOTHILLS
One of the Arms of Ardilakk that encircle the valley, the foothills extend from the great mountain to the banks of the River Wide, bordering Ransome Ravine, Eastie Nort, Widow’s Peak, and the Highland Grasslands. Beyond this region lies a mystery, as no trade routes have ever been successfully cut through its mountainous terrain.

EASTIE NORT
One of the two northern cities of the Ancient Quadropolis. Though technically Northrim, the people from Eastie Nort proudly called themselves Nor’easters. Everyone who lived in the Sowtowns saw no distinction, labeling anyone who lived north of the Middling Building as Norters.

EASTIE SOWT
One of the two stone southern cities of the Ancient Quadropolis, collectively known as the Sowtowns. The Sowtows controlled the port and, consequently, all trade in the valley. This resulted in conflict between the North and the South, eventually leading to the building of the Once-Great Wall. Being on the high side of the valley, it is reached by long stone staircase that lead up from the piers.

FALLING ROCKS
Located in the Northern Forest, between the pine barrens at the foot of Mount Ardilakk and the predominantly deciduous trees of the lower forest, this area is considered impassable due to the instability of the terrain. As the saying goes, “Only a dwarf would risk setting foot in Falling Rocks!” meaning, no sane Geminian would ever do whatever they were talking about.

FALSE HOPE BLUFF
A favorite spot for Geminians to watch the comings and goings along the river, albeit an inhospitable one. It received its name after the first explorers (referring to those not indigenous to the region) struggled to return to their ships during a terrific snowstorm. Due to an optical illusion created when viewing the river through its mountainous terrain, the water appeared close, and they thought they were saved. However, when they reached the edge of the cliff, the explorers found they were standing on the highest point in Ardilakk Valley (except for the mountains, of course) with no way to reach their ships floating on the river far below.

FARMLAND and ORCHARDS
Although Ardilakk Valley has ample forested areas, hills for mining, and plenty of grazing area for animals (the Highland Grasslands), farmland and orchards are restricted to a small shelf between the city and False Hope Bluff. Cutoff from the city when Old Eastie Sowtown was ejected from the Congregational House, it has been vital to that square’s survival ever since. All other farmed goods are imported from other places on the River Wide.

GEMINI CITY SCHOOL OF WIZARDING
The premiere school of wizarding on the River Wide (one of nine) and, as far as Spire Wizards are concerned, the only legitimate wizarding school. It is located at 78Block89 in the part of town once known as Westie Sowt (now Gemini City West). The complex is comprised of four two-story buildings built around a rotunda that houses an uplifter. The school’s four buildings are rightly named Building #1 (Administration), #2 (Laboratories), #3 (Dormitory), and Southeast Structure (SS for short), which is primarily for classes. Although the school is presently above ground, the old underground school still exists, referred to as the basement, but that area is seldom entered. The wizarding school’s grounds encompass four city blocks–one-half mile from west to east and one-half mile south to north. Its main entrances are at 78th Street and Westie Street (both of which cross the grounds delineating the school’s four adjacent blocks), with additional entrances at each of the square’s four corners. The northern blocks are dominated by Wizardwood, Northern Grazing Field, and Lake Hîrdehn-dūl. The southern blocks contain the school’s barns, growing areas, Eastern Grazing Field, and Private Spire Garden. The entire grounds are encompassed by the Wizard’s Wall, further separating those who live and work at the school from the outside world. It should be noted that above the school stands the famed Wizards’ Spire and observation lounge. It is by far the tallest structure in Ardilakk Valley and one of the Wonders of the River Wide. Tours are not available at this time.

HIGHLAND GRASSLANDS
An area larger than eight squares (>8 square miles), located east of Gemini City above the highland cliffs. For generations, this wide plain was primarily used for livestock, until the Northrim arrived and transformed it into the Metal City. It is bordered on the north and east by the Eastern Foothills, Highland Cliffs to the south, and Gemini City to the west. If one takes a stroll along the Low Pass along the grasslands’ northern border, they will happen upon Widow’s Peak, the legendary barrow of Thelbaldus Harnock.

LOWLAND MARSHES
A miles-long marshy area (between the Western Foothills and Gemini City) that stretches from just beyond the Once-Great Wall to the River Wide. Long ago, it was a pristine marshland covered with tall saltgrass and filled with fish spawning in its complex intertwined tidal creeks. Birds often frequented the shallows, and seals relaxed in its sun-warmed waterways. However, the Wastes, which started as a small dumping ground in its northernmost region, have now completely consumed the rich wetlands, leaving a desolate garbage heap only frequented by Lowlanders and adventurous souls who splash their feet in what's left of its waterways and feed the ducks in springtime.

MIDDLE BUILDING (Later known as the Congregational House)
Middle Building is a massive square structure the size of four city blocks. It serves as Ardilakk Valley’s seat of government and is centrally located in relation to the Ancient Quadropolis (including one block from each city: Eastie Nort, Westie Nort, Eastie Sowt, and Westie Sowt). Other than the Wizards’ Spire, it is the tallest building in Ardilakk Valley, standing three extra tall stories high. All other buildings in the valley are required to be two standard stories or less. Although most of the rooms are rented out to local business owners, the uppermost floor is used exclusively for governing, including the lords’ chambers and offices, conference rooms, administrative services, food preparation, and the Grand Rotunda. The building also contains one of the wonders of the River Wide: the Capam Speculo.

MOUNT ARDILAKK
Believed to be the source of magic, Ardilakk is the tallest mountain on the River Wide. Legend says it was brought forth by the Dark Wizard, rising out of the ground during the year of the Quivering Quake at the beginning of the Second Age of the valley.

NORTHERN FOREST
A majestic forest teaming with wildlife, it once filled the entirety of Ardilakk Valley (except for the Lowland Marshes and Highland Grasslands, where the winds are too strong for trees to take root). However, today, the forest only exists in the space above the city between Ransome Ravine and the Westiewood cliffs. Within its boundaries, visitors can find Falling Rocks and the noble pine barrens at the foot of Mount Ardilakk.

RANSOME RAVINE
A mysterious gap that separates the northeastern part of the forest from the Eastern Foothills. It’s believed to have once been used as a hideout for the Marauders, but over time, the way in has been lost to history. The only thing that is known for sure about the ravine is that the Underground River flows through it, exiting the valley at the Underground Falls.

RIVER WIDE
The River Wide is replete with natural wonders for adventurous souls to visit, from the vast woodland wilderness stretching endlessly to the horizon to majestic mountain ranges, waterfalls, ancient ruins, and soothing hot springs–not to mention the fascinating cities that have been built along its banks with their unique cultures and even more unique cuisines. But it’s on the river itself where explorers find the widest array of places to discover, though travelers must be cautious. Sometimes places that look unsullied by human hands, uninhabited, or abandoned, harbor dangers in the most unlikely of ways.

SOWTOWN PIERS
The Ancient Quadropolis' port serves as the main (and only) gateway for trade in the valley. It has always been controlled by the Sowtowns, who regularly impose heavy tariffs on goods coming from Eastie and Westie Nort. This practice caused considerable conflict between the northern and southern districts and is widely considered to be one of the major reasons behind the construction of the Once-Great Wall.

UNDERGROUND FALLS
Considered one of the Wonders of the River Wide, people come from all over to watch the Underground Falls explode out of the highland cliffs in springtime and freeze into a miraculous cascade of glittering ice during the winter weeks. It is the one and only place in Ardilakk Valley where the River Underground is visible.

WESTERN FOOTHILLS
One of the Arms of Ardilakk that embrace the valley, the foothills extend from the great mountain to the banks of the River Wide. They are famous for the Westiewood Cliffs and stories of monsters who live hidden in the fold. Beyond this region lies a mystery, as no trade routes have ever been successfully cut through its mountainous terrain.

WASTES
An ever-expanding area west of the city used by Geminians to discard anything unwanted.

WESTIE NORT
One of the two northern cities of the Ancient Quadropolis. Though technically Northrim, the people from Westie Nort proudly called themselves Westerners. Everyone who lived in the Sowtowns saw no distinction, labeling anyone who lived north of the Middling Building as Norters.

WESTIE SOWT
One of the two stone southern cities of the Ancient Quadropolis, collectively known as the Sowtowns. The Sowtows controlled the port and, consequently, all trade in the valley. This resulted in conflict between the North and the South, eventually leading to the building of the Once-Great Wall. Being on the low, marshland side of the valley, it is prone to flooding.

WIDOW'S PEAK
Reputedly the barrow of the greatest explorer to have ever traveled the River Wide (Thelbaldus Harnock), Widow’s Peak is a large mound at the far side of the highland grasslands situated at the foot of the Eastern Foothills. It lies along the low pass, which is so named because of its location in proximity to the mountains, not because it is any lower than the high pass, which runs along the edge of the highland cliffs.

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