The Great Wall of Tanaroa

Built over a millennium ago, the Great Wall of Tanaroa is a massive wood and stone structure, erected from massive upright logs sunk into carefully fitted stone blocks.

The Wall is clearly the greatest man-made object on the Isle of Dread. Its scale and structure are astonishing and clearly beyond the means of even the combined efforts of the seven Olman villages. It rises over fifty feet high and stretches nearly two miles , completely cutting off the peninsula from the island proper. Massive stone towers, twenty-eight in number, adorn the wall with regularity. Each tower is one hundred feet on a side and seventy feet high. Between the towers are gates constructed of 40-foot-wide wooden doors, 5 feet thick, blackened with age and oil, and strengthened with iron banding. Prodigious wooden beams have been lowered on the southern side to augment their strength . While the near side of the wall appears well cared for, the north side of the Great Wall is pockmarked, scratched, and burned as though it has been assailed time and again.

The most important concern of the Olman natives, outside of religion, is their cooperation in manning the Great Wall. The Great Wall and its towers have been garrisoned with warriors from the seven villages for so long that the effort has become ritual. Only the presence of this partition “erected by the gods” has prevented the horrors from the jungle beyond the wall from ending their civilization. The fogs that come and go in the jungle and herald the arrival of new menaces to the isle do not cross the Great Wall. As long as the natives can remember, the clan has taken charge of one of the towers, sending seven warriors to man it day and night. But it is the village of Tanaroa that has the primary responsibility for the Great Wall, since it lives in the very shadow of the edifice and controls the central gates, the only ones that are opened.