A large network of caves and tunnels beneath Marcuria. Partially flooded, they contain the ruined remnants of an ancient necropolis, along with various ancient mechanisms Na'ane suggests mix magic and science, and an enormous water wheel that takes advantage of the stream flowing down one of the tunnels overhead. (Apparently the river through Marcuria vanished under mysterious circumstances centuries ago, so the actual source may be somewhere in Riverwood.)

The only inhabitants of the caverns appear to be the Grubbers, although April notes that they do not resemble the statues and carvings scattered throughout the ruins; presumably these are images of the original builders. She wonders if the statues represent the ancestors of an Arcadian species she has met in her travels. Speculation on this species has ranged widely, from the Banda to the Tyren and Zhid. Doorways in the ruins seem to be opened by the singing of particular notes, which Na'ane says reminds her of "Banda magic". Both the Grubbers and Prophet appear able to wield this magic.

When Zoë Castillo is sent to Arcadia, she first appears in the caverns and has to reactivate the ancient machinery so the water wheel can carry her upwards. She discovers that the tunnels lead into the storeroom of the Journeyman Inn, an entrance sealed with musical magic. Whether this entrance was pre-existing or was added secretly later is not known, but Benrime denies any knowledge of such a door and the caves themselves.

April also tracks the Prophet into the caves: while he crosses the water by boat, April has to follow him via the Catacombs, which extend beneath the flood. On the other side of the water is the Dream Chamber. April says this is directly below the Azadi Tower, which is quite a distance from the Journeyman Inn, so the caverns must extend below most of Marcuria.

It is possible the ruins in the caverns are the remains of an ancient city although, if the claim made by Jemein Urthrin in Travels in the Northlands that Marcuria was built 20 000 years ago is correct, then it would have to be very ancient indeed, even pre-dating the creation of the Balance. Another possibility is that it simply represents the funereal complex of these ancient Marcurians, although Urthrin claimed that the first settlement of the city was by humans.


The rock-cut buildings may have been inspired by those of ancient Petra, which Ragnar attended an exhibition on at the Museum of Natural History in New York in January, 2004.

Establishments: Journeyman Inn | Temple of the Balance | Azadi Tower | Friar's Keep | Sentinel Enclave
Locations: Ayrede Avenue | Burrow Crook | Crab Bend | Hangman's Span | Harbour | Magic Ghetto | Shady Quay | Tower Square | Underground Caverns | West Gate | South Gate | South Gate Market