The Second Great War of the Void ended just 13 years ago with the destruction of the city of Taur-na-Neldor, and the final annihilation of the last of the Void Walkers in a blaze of Sun’s Fire that left the site of that city a smoking, glowing crater, even to this day.
The only city in the Eye of the World known to survive the onslaught of the Dark Ships is Dol Adana, which was founded in the very early days of the war by the Dunedain Namer Priestess Adana, of the Royal House of Doriath. Adana had been shown a vision by the Goddess Nienna of the devastation that would be wrought during the war, and Adana saw that unless she took action, all civilization in the Eye of the World would not survive the war’s conclusion. Due to the vision she received, Adana gathered up what followers she could find and led them to a secret valley in the Sharptooth Mountains, 200 miles from her home in ancient, doomed Doriath. They named their hidden valley Imlad Ramalys, “the Valley of the Wingéd Serpents” after the magical beasts who dwelt there and sheltered Adana and her people from the Dark Ships. The historians of the city now revere the memory of Adana, and she is called “the Founder,” and “the Serpent Mother.”
Adana built her city in the heart of Imlad Ramalys. She initially named it Dol Anna, the “City of the Gift,” but the people quickly came to call it Dol Adana, though the change was not made official until after the Founder’s death. At first, Adana planned for the city to be a refuge of Dunedain—those humans who adopted Elven culture and religion after the war of the God-strike—and their non-human allies. But she was too good of heart and she could not turn her back on the suffering of the world, so she opened her gates to all refugees who fled the depredations of the Void Walkers. However, Adana would not permit her city to be used as a fortress in the war against the Void Walkers, and she made all who sheltered there to swear an oath to only fight the Void Walkers in defense of the city. The purpose of Dol Adana, she said, was to provide a haven for the peoples of the world, and to save what knowledge, culture, and civilization they could salvage. If they fought the Void Walkers, they would attract attention and ultimately be destroyed like all the other cities would be. Adana did allow her followers to leave the city on rescue missions, to bring back refugees and survivors from Void Walker attacks, provided no one could follow them back to the city.
While Adana and her followers were fully of the Light, they gave no consideration to the Alignment of those they rescued. In those years of struggle, petty disputes over ephemeral issues such as morality, ethics, and religion were put aside in deference of the greater struggle against the Void Walkers. Both Dark and Shadow aligned people (as well as those of the Light) were brought into the city where they could find refuge. Adana called upon all who came to her city to take an Oath of Citizenship and swear upon their True Names to obey her and her heirs, to protect the city, and to honor what came to be known as the Truce of Adana. The Truce of Adana is simply this: no citizen of Dol Adana may attack or knowlingly cause harm to another citizen while within the boundaries of Imlad Ramalys except in self-defense. Should anyone violate the Truce of Adana, or fail to defend the city, the Namer who administered the oath shall know their True Name.
As admirable, and as cunning as Adana’s plan was, it was unrealistic to expect that Dol Adana could totally escape the notice of the Great Enemy. On six separate occasions the city came under attack by the Void Walkers and their Dark Ships. On each occasion, the attacks were defeated, but at great cost. The city was repeatedly destroyed, but each time Adana and her heirs caused it to be rebuilt. Each attack depleted the city of its stored magic items, its most knowledgable mages, and its most valiant warriors. Gradually, over the long decades of the war, the level of sophistication, learning, and culture within Dol Adana degraded, but by no means to the level of those unfortunates who still lived outside the protective mountainsides that surround the city.
Some years after the death of Adana, her heirs and the ruling Harlequin Council made several changes in the structure of Dol Adana. The population had grown to such a point that people were forced to live in close quarters, which sometimes proved difficult if your neighbor adhered to a different ethos than your own. Thus they divided the city into four quarters. The first quarter occupies the Eastern end and the center of the city, and has spurs that separate the other three quarters; it is called the Opal (or Neutral) Quarter. Located in the center of the city is the fortress of the city, Minas Ramar—“the Tower of Wings.” This is the fortress that Adana had built (and rebuilt) and now houses the sovereign Regnant and the government of the city.
- ©2002 Bjoern-Erik Hartsfvang, Excerpted from background for the Dol Adana campaign in the DragonQuest system.