Thran

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Thran, city of a thousand golden spires

Origin: H.P. Lovecraft, Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)


In the Mythos

Toward evening he mounted a low grassy rise and saw before him flaming in the sunset the thousand gilded spires of Thran. Lofty beyond belief are the alabaster walls of that incredible city, sloping inward toward the top and wrought in one solid piece by what means no man knows, for they are more ancient than memory. Yet lofty as they are with their hundred gates and two hundred turrets, the clustered towers within, all white beneath their golden spires, are loftier still; so that men on the plain around see them soaring into the sky, sometimes shining clear, sometimes caught at the top in tangles of cloud and mist, and sometimes clouded lower down with their utmost pinnacles blazing free above the vapours. And where Thran’s gates open on the river are great wharves of marble, with ornate galleons of fragrant cedar and calamander riding gently at anchor, and strange bearded sailors sitting on casks and bales with the hieroglyphs of far places. Landward beyond the walls lies the farm country, where small white cottages dream between little hills, and narrow roads with many stone bridges wind gracefully among streams and gardens.

Down through this verdant land Carter walked at evening, and saw twilight float up from the river to the marvellous golden spires of Thran. And just at the hour of dusk he came to the southern gate, and was stopped by a red-robed sentry till he had told three dreams beyond belief, and proved himself a dreamer worthy to walk up Thran’s steep mysterious streets and linger in bazaars where the wares of the ornate galleons were sold. Then into that incredible city he walked; through a wall so thick that the gate was a tunnel, and thereafter amidst curved and undulant ways winding deep and narrow between the heavenward towers. Lights shone through grated and balconied windows, and the sound of lutes and pipes stole timid from inner courts where marble fountains bubbled. Carter knew his way, and edged down through darker streets to the river, where at an old sea-tavern he found the captains and seamen he had known in myriad other dreams. There he bought his passage to Celephaïs on a great green galleon, and there he stopped for the night after speaking gravely to the venerable cat of that inn, who blinked dozing before an enormous hearth and dreamed of old wars and forgotten gods.
H.P. Lovecraft, Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)

Thran is a great, golden-spired city on the River Oukranos, built within high, inward-sloping solid white walls built by unknown means in ancient times beyond memory, pierced by one hundred gates flanked by two hundred turrets. The city itself is is loftier still than its walls, constructed of a thousand white towers topped by the famous golden spires, visible from great distances away even dimly through clouds and mists. To access the city via the river, a Dreamer must first pass marble wharves trading in goods from strange and distant Dreamlands; from there, the city is surrounded by a farm country of small white cottages, pleasant gardens, little hills, delicate streams, narrow roads, and stone bridges. At the city's walls, the gates are guarded by by red-robed sentries, who will not grant passage to the city's winding, narrow streets, high balconies, and bubbling fountains until the visitor can tell three dreams beyond belief. An old sea tavern can be found on the river, where the captains of ships traveling to far and obscure reaches of the Dreamlands might be hired.

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