|Year Founded:||Year 1 of the Arangothian Calendar|
|Head of State:||Arduin ul-Marcion Tagran Aldenbar|
Today the surface of Song Deep lies still in these parts, save for the tracks of tadpoles and water-striders and the splash of an occasional flying-fish leaping up for a brief moment in the sun. The reed-crafts of the impoverished Inner Arangothian fishermen sometimes ply these waters, but only rarely and timidly do they dare to make the journey. There are fish aplenty elsewhere in the inky depths of Song Deep, and this spot is said to be haunted--not by one ghost, or even a family of ghosts, but by thousands upon thousands of spirits who lived and died here in centuries gone by. The docks are mostly rotted away now, with hardly a stable foothold left amidst the tangles of seaweed and bracken; but the view from the seafront is a haunting one indeed. Where the fast-growing pines allow a glimpse through, one can see the crumbling edifices that once made up the heart of a proud city, teeming with life. For until a little over half a century ago, this was the capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth--the city of Tagrana--the white stone walls of its buildings mirrored like jewels upon the shimmering waters.
Origins & History
Grand Duke Tagran of Leptatarna, upon becoming the first King of Arangoth over 480 years ago, decided to build a new city to serve as the kingdom's capital. Until then the largest city in the region had been the market center of Hornath ul-Marfed, which was not majestic enough to suit the new king's tastes. Moreover, he had a dream in which he stood before a tree from which both an apple and a pear were growing, and he resolved to find the tree and build his new capital on the spot. King Tagran and his entourage traveled all over Inner Arangoth looking for the tree; week after week passed, and still they had no luck. No such tree seemed to exist anywhere in the world. Finally, when they were encamped by the side of Song Deep, the king went fishing and caught a large pike, in the belly of which he found a pomegranate.
This struck King Tagran as close enough, so he decided forthwith to found his new capital in that place, only a few miles from where the Peraltok River flows into Song Deep. Stones were hewn from the mountains of Keletoth-ul-Sangli (the Horse's Head) to the northwest and carried upon camel back to the construction site. The camels were worked so hard in building the city that the native breed died out; this is why there are no longer any Arangothian camels. The roof of the royal palace was made of pure gold, mined by Dwarves in Ruthmarna, and its walls were decorated with lapis lazuli and other precious stones. It consisted of two hundred and thirty-seven rooms and was in shape a vast spiral, viewed from above, with an onion-domed tower at its center, taller than any tree, in which a magical fire was kept burning at all hours. It was said that this same fire would burn for as long as the Kingdom of Arangoth remained upon the earth.
Among the two hundred and thirty-seven rooms were spacious guest quarters for visiting dignitaries, kitchens in which the finest delicacies to be found in Arangoth were prepared for the royal feasts, kennels, stables, pools, archives, armories, treasuries, and the Throne Room, from which King Tagran dispensed justice. Beyond the palace itself were miniature palaces of the high-ranking Arangothian noble families, the shipyards, and so forth; there was also the hedge-maze in which the notorious "Slaughter in the Maze" occurred. There was a business district and market in Tagrana, of course, but Tagrana (unlike Drache) really remained a court city as most merchants and farmers continued to center their activities upon Hornath ul-Marfed.
In the year 415, the royal court at Tagrana witnessed the treachery of the Order of the Beady Eye, whose leader (Klephtan Dollitrog) slew King Dorn of Arangoth in cold blood, seized the crown, and was then mistakenly killed by the assassin Arenielth whom Klephtan had originally paid to murder "the king." Over the gate of the Throne Room in Tagrana are carved the letters AEIOU, which stood for the royal motto, "Arangoth Excels In Onerous Undertakings." Legend has it, to the contrary, that this was King Dorn's last utterance: "Aeiou...." This double murder led the hermit-wizard Gadpisi to unleash various terrible forces upon Arangoth which annihilated the old aristocracy and caused the royal family to flee the country for two generations.
Tagrana bore the brunt of this attack, and what had been a beautiful and populous capital overnight became a ghost town. The light in the tower was snuffed out. The golden roof of the royal palace was stolen by thieves, and other roofs and domes and arcades fell in, eroded by neglect and rain. The streets, once clogged with chariots, now became choked with weeds. The tombs of the old Kings of Arangoth were unsealed and robbed, and are now infested with black rats and snakes; the royal dovecotes are now home to bats; the royal hounds' great-grandchildren have followed the call of the wild and, interbred with wolves, roam the streets unchecked.
About the time that King BLKDRAGON and Queen AngelSin arrived in Drache, a fisherman upon Song Deep looked up and saw the light once again burning in the ancient tower above the ruins of Tagrana. Others soon came to the spot and they too beheld it. Soon they learned of the return of the daughters of the old royal family to Arangoth, and there was much rejoicing; this was a sign that AngelSin was truly destined to revive the old kingdom.
Since then, the pall of dread which long hung over the ruins has been much dissipated. Some charitable merchants have paid large sums of money to restore what can be salvaged of the old buildings, and the mosaics of the old palace walls have been taken down and moved to Drache. Many pious tourists now travel to the place overland to witness the light burning in the tower, which they deem a miracle. Some shops have even opened up again, including the Grey Gull Inn, originally established over three hundred years ago. But most of the city remains a ruin, overrun with weeds, buildings demolished by treasure-hunters, and there is doubtless still much treasure hidden there. In its squalor, many find a romantic place for picnics or strolls in the shadow of walls built by Arangoth's long-dead and forgotten forefathers.