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High Martian Kraag

Kraag

Kraag is the Koline word for the mountain fortresses of the High Martian kings. A king, his family, and one or more clans closely related to him are usually the occupants, although the older ones (such as Kraag Barrovaar) are often large enough to contain every subject of a High Martian king.

Kraags are laboriously carved out of the solid rock (by slaves, of course, no High Martian would soil his hands with tools). The entrances are high up the sides of a mountain and accessible only from the air. Inside, there are one or more large shafts running up and down in which the masters fly from level to level. Slaves use the narrow stairs that spiral up and down along the outer edges. The largest room in each kraag is the throne room of the king, which is usually hung with priceless tapestries and booty from the king's raids and littered with gnawed bones and refuse.

The greatest kraags contain living quarters for all of a king's subjects and their slaves, along with arsenals, treasure rooms filled with booty, storerooms, well shafts, dining halls, slave pens, and dozens of rooms which cannot be described.

Each kraag is also honeycombed with secret passageways known only to the slaves, and most of them have secret entrances for use by the slaves. At one time, all of these passages were known to the masters of the kraag, but over generations they have been forgotten.

In most kraags, the slaves are only loosely watched, since they cannot leave (it is believed), and they would have nowhere to run anyway (most kraags are so remote that there is no way to escape from their vicinity on foot).

Illustration and text from the Space: 1889 rule book.

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