Lagash, City of the Black Desert

lagash02This is a key location in my current D&D 5e campaign: the Age of Heroes. This article is reference for my players but others may find it interesting…

Deep in the Hyades desert, surrounded by vast dunes of black sand is the oasis-city of Lagash.

Its founders were Babylonian but its origins are sorcerous.

Lagash is a chaotic, vibrant place full of secrets, uncountable guilds, wonders and lethal mysteries.

The buildings are typically square-shaped, built one on top of the other in a jumbled maze of rooftops, inter-building bridges and external staircases.

You can purchase anything at the right price in Lagash.

The following details have so far been discovered by the party:

Social Features

lagash01These are traits of the people that the player-characters (PCs) have discovered so far:

  • Open carry of arms is forbidden unless you are a noble (carrying a Seal that proves it).
  • Openly wearing fanciful jewelry or fashionable accoutrements are forbidden to the lower and middle classes.
  • On a seemingly randomly chosen day there is a city-wide festival of Masks. The revelry lasts all day and all night. The laws are ignored by all.


lagash05These are places that the PCs have either discovered, heard of or explored so far:

  • Tavern: the Howling Adder
    Popular with young, bored nobility. This is where they rented their rooms on their first night. All of the windows are covered with red linen screens which let cool air in but that keep the odors from getting out. It’s popular dish is desert rabbit served in wine-currant sauce. It is know for its endorsement of a dangerous game involving live vipers and knives held in the player’s mouth.
  • The Great Library of Menkhat
    According to a skeezy tobacco merchant, the answers to any questions may be found in those dusty scrolls. However, the party discovered that getting inside will not be easy.
  • The Zoo of Lakhmu
    A fabled place mentioned by drunken and stoned locals while carousing.
  • The Palace of Queen Amata, the Gorgon
    The official ruler of Lagash is said to be a Gorgon; her gaze turns mortals into stone statues. Anyone can seek audience with her, as long as they wear a blindfold and sign a waiver in case of misuse of said blindfold. It is rumored that she stores many priceless valuables in her rooms, and that the place is decorated with countless statues of failed burglars and would-be suitors who could not resist catching a glimpse of her fateful beauty.


References and Tools

Lagash is gradually being created using the following resources: