The Oracle City of Semkhrun was once a powerful outpost of the Muihorand empire. Although far from the center of the empire, its priests had significant influence over events in the far capital. Semkhrun was founded by the god-king of Muihorand after he had a prophetic dream. Following the instructions he had received, a muzzled ass was released on the Semphar plain. An entourage of priests followed its wanderings, until it finally died of starvation. This was where Semkhrun was built.
Semkhrun was named the Oracle City because its sole purpose was to house the Oracle of Fahzakhum. It is unclear whether the oracle was a person, creature, or magical item, but its accuracy was renowned throughout the land. Priests and pilgrims came great distances to seek answers from it. The Masters of the Oracle (as its priests were known) quickly realized they could profit from these seekers. “Offerings” were required, even extorted, before the petitioners were allowed to pose their questions. To justify these payments, the Masters of the Oracle spent vast sums on building projects, erecting huge monuments throughout the city. Elaborate tombs were prepared for the high priests of the sect and fabulous treasures were supposedly buried with them.
Eventually, the arrogance of the Masters of the Temple became too great. Believing themselves all-powerful, they demanded offerings even of the god-king. The priests even attempted to usurp the throne of Mulhorand. When the god-king died without a clear successor, they declared that the oracle had named an idiot cousin of the royal line to be the next god-king. This cousin was conveniently under their control.
This was too much. in the brief civil war that followed, the armies of western Mulhorand, the true god-king’s forces, razed Semkhrun, put all the priests to the sword, and drowned the idiot pretender in the Gbor Nor. The oracle disappeared. The name of Semkhrun was removed from all monuments. The city was forgotten. All that remains of Semkhrun, on the surface, are a few crumbling obelisks and statues. However, beneath the earth there are many tombs, chambers, and lost constructions. For centuries, adventurers and grave robbers (if there is a difference) have looted the treasures of Semkhrun. The Masters of the Oracle were wise, however, and prepared many dangerous traps and unhappy fates for the unwary.
Today, Semkhrun is a major adventuring site. There are many buried tombs and underground complexes here. Although abandoned by humans, other creatures have moved in. These, combined with the traps of the ancient builders, have made Semkhrun a dangerous place. However, enough brave souls have returned with treasure to make the effort worth the risk.