The Lost Cities of Talas
The Archaeology Zone

Long since buried beneath the desert sands, the lost city of Sobek was discovered after a ferocious sandstorm uncovered part of an ancient abode. When archaeologists heard of the discovery they flocked from all over the world to examine the area, eventually unearthing several more vicinities in which the ruined remains of ancient civilisations have been laying undisturbed for thousands of years. Portions of the strange writings and hieroglyphs discovered in these lost cities have been translated, fuelling speculation that the entire of island of Talas is somehow tied in with the heavens. Items, carvings, texts, as well as some rather unsettling discoveries and mysterious events have helped to cement these theories in the minds of some, while others dismiss them as fantasy. Each of the cities are believed to be connected to the others somehow, but there are still missing pieces of a much larger puzzle to be found, leading scholars to believe that there are more cities that have yet to be discovered. Talas has now become a popular archaeological site which attracts scientists, scholars, tourists, and trainers from across the globe.


The Isle of Talas
A desert island so large it's been classified a continent, Talas would be a barren wasteland if not for the Laos River snaking its winding trail from the far north-west corner of the island and throughout the land before rejoining the sea in the south-east province. A mixture of desolate wasteland and tropical jungle, the conditions are so harsh that very few dare to live here. Several nomadic tribes traverse the land, preferring to steer clear of populated areas, though many small villages can be found not too far from the river's edge. Most inhabitants of these villages are quite friendly, but there are the odd settlements whose residents are not at all welcoming, particularly of foreigners. The lost cities aren't the only places of interest in Talas, however, and it's these more isolated locations that have perked the interest of many a curious trainer. Guided tours are offered for those who wish to travel in groups, but the more adventurous trainers prefer to make their own way around.

Areas:
Laos River: A long and winding river lined with tall palm trees snaking its way throughout this vast desert island. Many wild Pokémon can be found basking upon its banks, while families love to sit by the water and watch the barges sailing by.

The Northern Pyramid: A large pyramid built in a massive crater located in the far north of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Earth. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Southern Pyramid: A large pyramid located in one of the most hot and barren parts of the land, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Fire. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Eastern Pyramid: A large pyramid standing atop a high cliff on the eastern-most edge of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Wind. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Western Pyramid: A large pyramid located in the sea one hundred metres off the western coast of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Water. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Sphinx: This Sphinx loves riddles so if you don't like them then this isn't the place for you. Answer the Sphinx's riddle and she will allow you entry. Once inside you will be faced with another twelve riddles. Each time you guess the correct answer you advance to the next stage where you will battle for your right to face another riddle. Make it to the end and you will receive great rewards, if you lose a battle or answer a riddle incorrectly you will find yourself back at the beginning.

Sovereign Valley: A vast network of catacombs where only the most revered of ancient kings and queens were buried. Riches beyond your wildest dreams are rumoured to have been buried with them, and judging from what has been found so far this very well may be the case. All objects discovered have been taken to the Atlas Museum, but if you're lucky you may just stumble upon an undiscovered chamber that hasn't yet been emptied by an excavation crew or ransacked by looters.



Atlas City
A bustling city located alongside the Laos River. While there are several small, stray settlements scattered across the land, Atlas's reputation has spread worldwide since the discovery of the lost city of Sobek less than a mile from its shore. The incredibly large influx of scientists, trainers, and tourists has aided in building Atlas from a humble village into a modern and prosperous city. Walking the streets at night isn't recommended, however, as the sudden prosperity of Atlas City has also attracted many thieves.

Areas:
Port Pearl: A large, bustling port developed to handle the large amount of traffic now navigating the Laos River into Atlas City. Cargo ships, fishing trawlers, ferries, small tourist boats, and even five star cruise liners, all dock here. Café's, restaurants, boutiques, a couple of small inns, and a tour company all line the river banks making it a central hub of activity for the thriving metropolis of Atlas City.

Emporium Hotel: A luxurious five star hotel located in the heart of Atlas City, the Emporium Hotel is fit for royalty. Some even say they've seen royalty of the ancient spiritual kind inhabiting rooms on the thirteenth floor. Perhaps these patrons have had a little too much to drink in the elaborate hotel bar?

The Market: A bustling marketplace. Food, clothing, and knick-knacks can be purchased here, but you'd better be careful. Some of the seedier business owners are renowned for advertising fake items as genuine artefacts. If you're lucky, however, you may just find a gem amongst the junk.

The Museum: Many artefacts from the various dig sites of Talas have ended up here, as well as the skeletons of long extinct Pokémon. At night, strange things are rumoured to occur.

The Library: Scholars who have become obsessed with the lost cities have built this library for those who wish to read up on ancient civilisations. Ancient texts from all over the world have been collated here, the most valuable locked away from the public eye. They're always on the lookout for new and exciting discoveries, so if you happen to come across something on your travels it may be worth your while to pay the scholars a visit.

Perona: The residential district of Atlas City, Perona is a working class settlement originally built to accommodate those who work in the city itself. With Atlas City expanding at a rapid rate, however, the families of the ever-growing workforce have moved here as well. Archaeologists, scientists, and tourists have also settled here, falling in love with the city and wanting to make it a more permanent home. Perona has rapidly developed into a family oriented community, its first school opening recently as the demand for a much needed educational system became a priority.



The Lost City of Sobek
The first of the lost cities to have been unearthed, Sobek is the most extensively examined of the five known ancient civilisations. Despite the fact it's surrounded by desert, a thick, healthy layer of the greenest of grass has grown since Sobek was first uncovered. The dig site is extensive, and even though it is believed this city was the main agricultural centre of Ancient Talas, some of its areas raise questions as to what kind of rituals the people who once dwelt here may have performed. Here you will find many places of interest such as the Pokémon Centre, Research Lab and tourist stalls, as well as several interesting excavation sites to explore.

Areas:
Research Lab: Any fossils unearthed can be taken here for examination. Occasionally one of the professors may have a job opening, so if you're looking for something to do it can't hurt to swing by and see what's available.

Farity's Shrine: A shrine built to honour Farity, the Goddess of Fertility. The ancients believed that Farity's tears could create life where there was none, and some who have visited this shrine will swear blind that miracles have occurred. A statue of Farity herself stands on an alter overlooking the shrine, and it's said that if you're pure of heart you may just see her weep.

Farity's Pond: A large freshwater pond in the centre of the city. How it has miraculously filled with water is still a mystery, some saying Farity herself has imbued it with life. A statue of the Goddess rises from its centre, a Feraligatr, Croconaw, and Totodile protectively surrounding their mistress. The fresh, cool water attracts many wild Pokémon, while people visiting or working in the area like to submerge themselves to cool off under the harsh, desert sun.

The Colosseum: An ancient battle arena, the Colosseum has seen many a warrior fight. It is said that one of the most bloodthirsty battles known to man took place here, the details of which have been lost in time. Nowadays, trainers come here to battle with their Pokémon but it's what lays hidden beneath the arena that makes many a man shudder. The dark and dangerous dungeons have become home to some of the strongest and most bloodthirsty Pokémon alive, so only the bravest of trainers dare to enter its dank and brooding halls.

The Caiman Temple: Built thousands of years ago as a burial tomb for the Pharaoh, the Caiman Temple is filled with many secret passages, dangerous traps, and puzzles designed to protect the Pharaoh's resting place from looters. If this place doesn't kill you, it may just drive you insane.



The Lost City of Solaris
An arid city located far from the banks of the Laos River, very little plant life is found in this harsh and uninviting environment. The ancients who dwelt here appear to have worshipped the sun, and have many drawings and inscriptions depicting flames and violence. Their God, Faros, is shown as being a large, muscular man who radiated intense heat. Texts have been translated to say that when Faros was angry, his body ignited in a raging fire, punishing the insolent in ways that defy the very nature of humanity. Many charred and damaged remains of ancient structures can be found in this city, and only the hardiest of wild Pokémon roam the area.

Areas:
The Pit: A large pit where the skeletal remains of hundreds of people and Pokémon are found. Upon closer examination it seems they died an unnatural death, as many of their bones are broken and charred. Scientists are trying to determined what has killed them, as they feel this information will help to shed light on the city's seemingly violent history.

Sun Dial: A large sun dial located in the very centre of Solaris. Under the rays of the midday sun, it radiates an energy that cause most Pokémon who go near it to become quite violent, often resulting in them turning on their trainers.

The Well: A very, very, very deep well tapping into an underground source of fresh water much needed for a city this far away from the river. Wouldn't want to play around near its edge, because there's no way of knowing what's down there, or even if there's a way out.

The Arena: A large arena made of clay with unfamiliar markings which was apparently the scene of many games. Exactly what the native game or its rules entailed, nobody knows, but considering what little is known about this city many wonder what became of those who were unfortunate enough to lose. These days trainers like to battle with their Pokémon, but there is something about this arena that makes them battle more ferociously than ever before. Perhaps a natural survival instinct? But survival of what? It's only a battle after all...

The Sun Temple: A large temple dedicated to Faros, God of the Sun. Steps surround the temple, at the very top of which rests an alter covered in dark stains believed to be blood. Some say that ritualistic sacrifices were performed here, but what met the requirements for one of these sacrifices is anyone's guess. Human, Pokémon, both? Perhaps some more light will be shed on the matter once the inner temple has been fully explored, but few dare to enter as the terrifying screams of those long since departed can be heard echoing throughout its extensive halls.



The Lost City of Lacuna
Located at the bottom of a deep valley laid out in the shape of a crescent moon, the Laos River provides the surrounding area with a rich source of nutrition. Thick jungle surrounds the ancient city whose inhabitants appear to have worshipped cats. Statues and inscriptions depict a very large, very muscular, panther-like feline as tall as a man whilst on all fours, but whether this creature is an extinct Pokémon or something else is anyone's guess. No references have been found in relation to this mythical beast, leaving many to wonder if it actually existed, or was simply a God worshipped by those who inhabited the city.

Areas:
Burial Ground: Where many ancient Talasians and felines were buried. Several crypts contain the mummified remains of the more prominent citizens, but it's the statues surrounding this burial site that has fear entering the hearts of those who lay eyes upon them. Known only as the "Big Cats", these fearsome sentries stand guard over the burial ground, watching the site in eternal vigilance. Roam the area at night, and you may never see the light of day again...

Pool of Illusion: A small pond, its ink black water smooth as silk. No Pokémon drinks from its water, no human sets foot in it, but visit at midnight under the light of a full moon and some pretty strange events are bound to blow your mind.

The Labyrinth: An underground maze where the bravest warriors were sent in order to prove themselves. It's inhabited by strong Pokémon and an unknown mysterious Pokémon that is stronger than them all. If the warriors made it out they were celebrated as heroes, if not... ;-;

Rapa's Temple: About a quarter of a mile from the ruins of Lacuna is a small island surrounded by water. The wooden bridge leading to it has been deliberately sabotaged so that nobody may cross, while large, shadowy forms can be seen lurking beneath the surface of the water. Skeletal remains of humans - or parts of them - who have tried to access the island can be seen scattered along the shore which causes most to think twice before trying to cross the water. An ancient temple sealed centuries ago is built upon the lone island, its entrance inscribed: "Herein reside the Rapa; Death to those who enter". Is it sealed to keep something in, or to keep people out? Hmm, wonder what's inside?

The Moon Temple: A large temple dedicated to Saros, the God of the Moon. It is said that at various times strange events occur, all of which are related to the moon itself, whether that's during a solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, or under the light of a full moon. Quiet and serene, this temple has an almost magical aura about it, leaving many feeling calm and collected even under the most stressful of circumstances.



The Lost City of Axal
Located at the very peak of a high mountain, the city of Axal was built on the outskirts of a large lake, its residents appearing to have been quite advanced for their time. Those who lived here worshipped the stars and appear to have been a peaceful, scientific race of people. Astronomers have discovered an extremely detailed set of parchments depicting maps of galaxies beyond those discovered by present day science, and are eager to learn more to further their own knowledge. The Axalian calendar has raised much curiosity, as well as concern, for even with today's massive amount of technology it is more accurate than any current day super computer. If the Axalian calendar is to be believed, then doomsday is approaching, for their calendar ends less than a year from today...

Areas:
Axal Field: Upon the northern edge of Lampas Lake is a field that was once used for cattle to graze upon, as well as to cultivate fruits and vegetables for those who lived here. Now there are many trees full of various fruits, apricorns, and berries, but the wild Pokémon who dwell here become pretty irate if you try to take any food for yourself. Better watch out if you're feel those hunger pains, because you might be in for more than you'd bargained for if you try to pick any of these fruits.

Axal Village: Spreading from the eastern most point of Axal and down to the northern edge of the lake is the residential district of Axal City. Many small, ancient abodes can be found here, some with rather interesting inscriptions upon the walls. All parchments found have already been taken to either Atlas City's Museum or Library, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left to find. Some vagrants have set up home here, and aren't too friendly if you attempt to 'trespass' upon what they consider to be their property.

Lampas Lake: The very centre of Axal City and the main source of water for those who once dwelt here, Lampas Lake attracts many wild Pokémon who aren't all that used to seeing trainers. As people have been flocking into the ruined city, however, the Pokémon around here have begun to accept the sudden influx of humans, some of them being quite friendly if you have a little treat for them. At night the lake appears to sparkle as the Chinchou who live here talk to one another, their electrical signals making the lake a very pretty sight to behold as it twinkles just like the night sky.

Shrine of Plasius: An underwater shrine erected in honour of Plasius, the God of the Heavens, this wondrous discovery was made when a wild Chinchou was found floating in Lampas Lake, struggling to free itself of a beautiful golden necklace tied around it. Wondering where the necklace had come from, a diving crew was called in who discovered the shrine at the bottom of the lake. Many artefacts have since been recovered, but the shrine is so deep that you can only visit if you have a Pokémon who knows Dive. How it came to be submerged is a mystery scientists are still trying to solve.

The Celestial Temple: A large temple built to honour Celeste, Goddess of the Heavens. Hundreds of chambers lie within, each dedicated to a specific constellation. The prophets of Rebus believe that one may travel great distances when the planets are aligned, but just how far are they talking?



The Lost City of Rebus
An ancient version of the 'Bermuda Triangle', Rebus is a mysterious city located dead centre of the cities of Solaris, Lacuna, and Axal. The city of prophets, Rebus appears to have been inhabited mainly by those who dabbled in various realms of the occult. Texts reveal that while much legitimacy was given to the Prophecies of Rebus by the civilisations of its era, it was shunned by those who lived in Solaris, most likely due to fear. It is believed its location, whether deliberate or not, imbued the area with special mystical qualities resulting in those born here having the natural ability to see into the future. Only a handful of prophecies have been found since the city was first discovered by modern day explorers, all of which accurately depict cataclysmic events that have taken place during past centuries. The most interesting of stories discovered tells of a horrific curse placed upon the Goddess Farity whose death, as the Goddess of Fertility and the one who injects life to the Island of Talas, will result in the complete annihilation of the Talasian race as the curse spreads into the heart of each city. To save their land and their fellow Goddess, the isle's respective Gods united to save Farity, drawing the curse out of her. It was too late, however, as the curse had already spread across the land and into each city, so they each called upon their powers to contain the curse within special objects which were then hidden away in their respective areas. Not ever wanting the objects to be found, and the curse unleashed before it could be destroyed, they united once again, this time to bury all of their civilisations and the curse along with them before it could spread not just across Talas, but into the world beyond. Their work done for the time being, the Gods then fell into slumber until a cure could be found, their dreams intertwined with each other's while they devise a way in which to break the curse and allow their cities to live again. If this story is to believed, then why are these ancient civilisations still buried? Could it be the curse was never broken?

Areas:
Rebus Village: The City of Rebus mostly consisted of temples built for the prophets, or of temples and shines to honour the God and Goddess of Mystery, so the residential area of the city was very small, consisting of less than thirty abodes because families who were not directly descended from the prophets rarely stayed long. Some strange objects have been unearthed here, many of them hidden in cleverly concealed areas within the various abodes. If you're lucky you may just stumble across one of these hiding places, and if you're even luckier may even find a nice little souvenir to take home with you.

The House of Arctosia: A special school where natural born prophets were separated from the other children of Rebus and sent to learn. The details of their education is unknown, though it is said these pupils were very secretive. Is this because they had no wish to share their knowledge, or because they were being trained in various areas of the occult?

The Temple of Oracles: A meeting place of the Prophets of Rebus. It is said they gathered here whenever a cataclysmic event was prophesised. Unable to prevent these events, all they could do was warn of the oncoming disasters, trying to prevent as many casualties as possible.

The Divination Temple: A small temple made of stone with no inscriptions or markings anywhere inside. An incense holder stands at the front centre of the room, while mats woven from vines are spaced evenly throughout the room. It is said that the prophets used to come here when they felt their powers of foresight fading, meditating for days, and sometimes even weeks, at a time.

The Mystic Temple: A temple built to honour Arctosia, the Goddess of Mystery. Nobody knows what's inside, for only one of those who have entered have ever returned. Terrified out of his mind, and afflicted with some kind of unfathomable disease, his words were gibberish leaving him unable to pass along any information as to what had happened to him. He died shortly after leaving more questions than answers, and those who set out to discover what had caused his dire affliction have never been seen again.