|“||I have seen the city in the Silt, that wonderful and magical place that dances before my eyes of men and dying of thirst. I have been there.
And I tell you this: it is stark hell. (...) And at the heart of this tortured place a ring of burning rock encircles a city so large my eye could not encompass it in one glance.
I studied the city long and hard; though you may think me a madman to say it, I know that city was a hundred times greater than any I have ever seen-and I have visited every one of the cities of Tyr, from far Balic to ancient Raam.
It was at that nameless city in the sea of molten rock that I saw the Dragon.
To this day I do not know who built that terrible city or why. I cannot even say whether the place is still inhabited or simply the greatest of ruins; but it is there, in the center of the Sea of Silt, and so is the Dragon.
Is it his city, his kingdom? I cannot answer. I can only say it is true. I have seen it.
|— Galek Sandstrider. Extracted of Garek's Journal.|
No other place in that warped landscape rivals the sheer grandeur of the stark evil of Ur Draxa, the City of Doom. Ur Draxa was the most dangerous spot in the entire Tyr Region of Athas, the realm of the Dragon King. It was a hundred times greater than any city-state of Athas.
It was said that in the heart of the Sea of Silt there was a city among the sands, a lush and verdant paradise where people lived in ease and wealth. There was no want and no thirst, no slaves and no masters. There the image of Athas as it might once have been was preserved in these dying days.
Once in a lifetime a man standing at the shores of the Sea of Silt may be granted a glimpse of this place, a sweeping mirage of rich fields and pleasant fountains, hovering beyond the endless silt. One traveler claimed to have seen the city from the road that goes from Draj to Ket. Other traveler claimed she saw it while standing in the shadow of the Bleak Tower; and yet another sweared it lied beyond the isle of Waverly. Great heroes and powerful warriors have sought the city in all these places. Most likely they met their deaths in the suffocating dust, or at the hands of hostile Giants. Few ever return from such a quest.
Yet another, darker tale was sometimes whispered about caravan campfires, or shuddered at by scholars in the golden palaces of the Sorcerer-Kings. Some people believe nothing but death and madness lie in the Sea of Silt. Scattered hermits and wandering traders claimed to have seen the Dragon racing ashore from the very depths of the Sea, breaking on the shores like a dust-storm. Those who have collated these scattered accounts claimed that the paradise in the center of the Sea is the Dragon's home-death to any so foolish as to venture there.
Perhaps the strongest evidence that this was true lied in the tattered journal of Galek Sandstrider, a famed traveler and adventurer who lived nearly 100 years ago. The journal was lost for many years after the death of Galek, but returned up in Tyr recently, sold by a renegade Elf to a nobleman of that city. No one knows how Galek met his death; some say the Dragon came upon him in the wastes and devoured him because of his dangerous knowledge.
Borys, The Dragon of Tyr (dead).