The Whisperer in Darkness
76,700 (98% goliath, 1.5% human, 0.5% other)
A city stronghold on the top of Mt Orilo, on the west side of the Gol mountain range. Though only two miles wide and one mile long, Carvahall sprawls over five vertical miles of cliffside, each tier linked by gigantic street-like slopes, with stairs, slides, lifts and rockface ‘ladders’ also available for those who wish to ascend or descend more quickly. Birds of prey (including falcons, hawks, buzzards, vultures, kites and eagles) are almost as common as pigeons in human cities, for they are kept as pets and used extensively for message and package delivery.
Carvahall has the same origin story as any other ancient Gol stronghold. Those who tried to live in the lowlands were usually killed by the Gols’ monstrous wildlife, but mountaintops were among the few places that ancient goliaths could fortify, and over time these fortifications expanded into great cities. Eventually the population of Carvahall was great enough for its army to go on the offensive, leading to it becoming one of the Ten founding cities of Eglath Manneo, the first and only nation ever to wrest full control of the Gols from its native monsters.
Carvahall is ruled by a Sol-Ket, an accomplished veteran elected by the people who answers only to the King of Alba. Sol-Ket Taern, previously a law enforcer, holds the position at present and is halfway through his seven year term. The Sol-Ket is advised by seven elected representatives of Battle, Commerce, Construction, Service (specifically public service), History, Religion and Law.
Most of the important strategic buildings, particularly governmental and military, are located near the top of the stronghold. In times of crisis the bulk of the defenders are also placed here, for from the top of the city, forces can be dispatched to almost anywhere else extremely quickly. This is not necessary against human armies, whose poor climbing skills make it necessary for them to attack Carvahall from the bottom, but it is an essential precaution when battling goliaths or monster swarms, which could start their attack on any tier. In addition to the slides available to most of the populace, there are several secret chutes that enable troops to position themselves behind, below, above and behind an enemy force if the commanding general so wishes.
Compared to most settlements in the Kingdom of Alba, Carvahall’s trade is quite limited. Due to its remoteness and the high possibility of animal attacks, the stronghold is forced to be relatively self-reliant. Armed buses and caravans link Carvahall to the other goliath cities, but there is very little business with the rest of Alba.