Contrary to the canonical description, Stygia is not an artificial mountain of glass, stone and alabaster. Instead, it is a chasm the likes of which exists no where else. The topography upon which the city rests is an inversion of the Imperial Mountain, the earth slopping down for thousand of feet until reaching the Mouth of the Abyss. The buildings of the dead line the decline, structured in concentric rings of more or less equal elevation, like the teeth of a submerged beast. Only the Calendar of Setesh rises above the gap.
Similarly, the isle upon which Stygia can be found is also inverted. Where there are mountains in Creation there are canyons and valleys in the Underworld. And with the River Styx flowing inland towards the city at its center, much of the isle is covered with lakes of stagnant and dangerous waters. When the river reaches Stygia it flows through the city, channeled by canals and sewers, though it still inevitably runs uncontrolled through the streets at times, before falling into the Mouth of the Abyss.
The Edges of the Underworld
Though the invasion of the Fair Folk did much to reduce the size of Creation, the lands of the dead are not bound by the same rules. Many of the places of importance or significant that were lost on the edge of Creation remain intact in the Underworld, their existence fueled by legends and history. The spaces between, lacking such anchors, have been lost, but the islands remain for those that can find them and survive the dangers of the journey.
The Elemental Poles
In creating the Underworld the Neverborn created an almost perfect inversion of the Creation they had lost; including the elemental poles. For all but one of the poles, mortal understanding of these places is entirely academic. Monuments to death, none have survived that have attempted to reach them. It’s only because of the existence of the Pole of Dust high above the city of Stygia that the presence of the others is even known.
Positioned somewhere above the city of Stygia, the Pole of Dust is as unreachable as the others, but it’s influence is keenly felt. Dust storms constantly ravage the Isle of Stygia. And while the city itself provides shelter and protection from the worst of the phenomena, crossing the island is a dangerous affair.
To the north lies the Pole of Quiescence, a place of stillness and silence. To the east is the Pole of Bone, the last vestiges of life lost. The Pole of Ash can be found in the south and the Pole of Salt is located to the west.