Aulcus in the ancient capital of the Old Empire. At the peak of the empires power, it was the most awe-inspiring city in the world, which has never since been surpassed. After the war with Glustrod, it became a wasteland where nothing lives; except for Shanka.
Aulcus lies in the centre of the Old Empire at the head of the three lakes on the mighty river Aos.
At it height, an avenue of proud oaks lined the road to the city gates for twenty miles. Great walls surround the city, topped with battlements and towers. The city itself was built on a colossal scale with huge buildings on either side of vast squares, tall pillars, and towering columns; all made for giants. To Jezal dan Luthar, the splendid buildings of Adua, the mighty walls and towers of the Agriont, seemed mean and feeble copies. The greatest road in the city is the Caline Way, which runs straight from the northern gate to the southern. Lining the road were hundreds of marble and bronze sculptures of years of Emperors, twice the height of the ones on the Kingsway in Adua. The Caline Way crosses the river Aos at a metal single-arch bridge, built by the Master Maker.
One of the greatest buildings in the city was the colossal domed chamber of the Imperial Senate, where the Emperor sat in state, to hear debates between the wisest citizens of Aulcus. The city was full of two things, statues Juvens and bells - the statues were to honour the man who cultivated The Old Empire into the cradle of civilisation for centuries; and the bells would peal out whenever an Emperor was born, or crowned, or married, or welcomed back from a victorious campaign. To the south of the southern gate is a hill with a temple on the summit; the Saturline Rock
After the war with Glustrod, Aulcus became a wasteland where nothing lives, no birds, no dogs, and no people; a crumbling dark place, like looking into your own grave. The earth in the city is unquiet and prone to tremble; the Caline Way is pitted with massive sinkholes. The buildings are ancient and unstable; the great dome of the Imperial Senate has collapsed, and the great sculptures of Emperors crumbled and featureless. The thousands of Juvens were all defaced with curses by Glustrod. Where all other things in Aulcus have crumbled, Kanedias’ bridge still stands undiminished.
In a labyrinth of tunnels beneath the dead city, the Shanka swarm in massive numbers, feeding on the unrotted flesh of dead humans. There they run a foundry forging for weapons.
In the Old Time, Juvens, the eldest son of Almighty Euz, found a people living on the river Aos and gave them laws, government, learning, science, and the power to defeat their enemies. He cultivated this new nation into the cradle of civilisation the Old Empire, with Aulcus as it's great and beautiful capital. Through long years, Emperor followed Emperor, but always Juvens was there guiding and advising the Empire's fate.
Glustrod, the youngest brother of Juvens, became bitter and jealous of his achievement. He made war on the Old Empire, and eventually conquered Aulcus. Glustrod gave the city to his army to rape, destroy and slaughter for one day. He also defaced every status of Juvens in the city.
When Juvens found out, he besieged Aulcus. In desperation, Glustrod tried to use The Seed to open the gates to The Other Side. But in his haste, he made some small mistake, and the great power was released without form or reason. Glustrod destroyed himself and Aulcus, with the city left a wasteland, forever poisoned.
Now nothing lives there, no one goes there, and nothing rots; except the Shanka. The Shanka feed on the flesh of dead humans, they swarm the city in great numbers.
Before They Are Hanged Edit
Bayaz and his brave band of heroes travel through Aulcus on their journey to the Edge of the World. The desolated splendor of the city stuns them, the jewel of cities. Before crossing the city, Bayaz tells them of a the Saturline Rock, where they will rendezvous should they be separated.
The Magi guides them to the Imperial Senate, where they are attacked by the Shanka. Trying to flee they are almost overwhelmed by Flatheads, when Bayaz uses his High Art to causes the buildings around them to collapse. However, Logen and Ferro fall into a rent in the earth.
Bayaz and the others make it to rendezvous outside Aulcus. Everyone finds it unlikely that Logen and Ferro survived, but then they spot the duo in the distance, having escaped through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city.