Village. Population: 41 (12 priests and 29 laypersons; all, first- and second-generation mutants).
Community: Resentfuls; ruled by a priesthood.
Authority Figure: Elder Voclin, male, 53, mutant-human.
The map given you by the council at Bazaar said nothing about the dramatic beauty of this dangerous cliff country, and as you round the final bend leading to the cliff-village of Spilunk, you each take a moment to observe the unique character of the place.
Carved by hand from pinnacles of towering rock that stretch into the sky, the entire town looks more like a collection of lopsided clay pillars, riddled with cave openings and holes, interconnected at its various levels by a webwork of wood-and-rope bridges.
Almost as soon as you see the town in its full glory, the low rumble of a horn signals that you, too, have been spotted by the town’s own lookouts. A number of hooded-robed figures emerge, ready to welcome you to this curious mountain settlement.
Spilunk rests in a box canyon, the walls lined with colorful strata of ancient rock. A small, steep, and roughly carved stairway runs up the west side of the canyon, leading up to jagged rock formations that comprise the settlement of Spilunk. A cave in the first spire is the entrance to the village – and is well guarded. From here, the village is crammed inside the tall, hollowed-out spires, making use of every bit of confined space. Where one spiral is fully hollowed out, a small wood-and-rope bridge connects to an opening in the next spire, making the community a complex of structures and caves reaching further and further upwards. The spires do have small windows, which are used to circulate air and as dumping points for offal and other trash.
The inhabitants of Spilunk are bound together in a quasi-priesthood. It is their belief that what befell the Ancients was that they embraced technology, leading to their forsaking their souls and bringing upon them their doom.
For this reason, the priests and laypersons of Spilunk are loathe to utilize technology. However, due to their extensive knowledge of technology and its evils, the priests alone in all of the Trade Lands possess the lore and skills to identify the ruins, wreckage, and artifacts of the Ancients.
The priests of Spilunk are genuinely concerned for the fate of the other, “corrupted” peoples of the Trade Lands, who the priests seek to convert them from their ways, hoping to save them from certain doom.
KEY TO SPILUNK
Of interest to cerebral types, the walls of the canyon in which Spilunk lies are painted faintly in earthen tones, revealing a multitude of pictographs. These hieroglyphic scenes depict how the people of Spilunk came to the canyon, including images that depict how their ancestors described to their children the actual Fall of the Ancients, and details of a strange sighting in the sky before they finally settled at Spilunk.