The Wail District is named for Kāalva's sword, the Widow's Wail. The northernmost Fortified District, the Wail is connected by two bridges: Quaking Bridge (to Storm) and Wailing Bridge (to Grimthorn). There are a number of other entrances including the Karifax Tunnel, the Garden Gatehouse (to the east), and Sēdela's Black Hole, for more adventurous visitors. Other more secret entrances are believed to exit. The Wail has the reputation of being the least secure of all the Districts, despite the omnipresent Eight Paths monks.
The Wail is defined by three hills: Echo Hill, the Great Warren, and Widow's Hill. Among these, the Great Warren has the richest history, riddled as it is with innumerable tunnels and chambers once filled with the Dwarven dead. At some point during the city's founding, the Great Warren was emptied, presumably at the order of King Urgell Goldbeard. Today, warren entrances are still sometimes found behind collapsed basement walls, seldom used sewer corridors, and ancient branches of the city catacombs. Though the Great Warren appears empty, it doesn't stop adventurers from trying to find pieces that were passed-over by King Urgell's efforts.
The best supported institution in the Storm and Wail, the Eight Paths monastery is a glowing beacon of civility within the brooding city. A passion of Queen Sēlatha's, the academy teaches, engages, and focuses hundreds of citizens from the Queen's domain. The tenets of the academy are transposed forms of the names of the eight swords and Districts:
The Eight Paths system is not new. It was originally introduced by High Elder Octagi, a possible contemporary of Kroknōs, hundreds of years ago. Until Queen Sēlatha's rule, the academy was run from the relatively obscure Octagi House. It is taught that the High Elder learned the Eight Paths in a place or from a person called Ahrgop.
A small but well-appointed building of stone and stained glass stands crowded at the end of an alley marked only by a swinging plaque of a sword and shield. The Guild house is three stories of bookshelves, heavy tables, and high walls festooned with armor and weapons dating back to the earliest campaigns of the city. The books, scrolls, and folios catalog the armor and weaponry of Grimthorn and countless other kingdoms, many now forgotten. Unlike the Smith's Guild (in Char), there are no private bars inside. Visiting members are permitted to review the library materials and enjoy pipe smoking with their colleagues. Ironically, there are very few members of the guild from Wail. The Queen's adoption of the Eight Paths monks has put many armorers out of business.
Flagstone Market is typically accessed from the Footholds via either Karifax Tunnel or the Garden Gatehouse. Aside from produce and imported wares, visitors to the marketplace are often drawn by the fantastic shifting flagstones. Thousands of richly colored square stones cover the grounds. Each morning, the rising sun reveals that the colors and shapes of the stones have shifted. Closer examination shows that the patterns are not random, but rather maps of distant lands or worlds. The stones were fashioned centuries ago by the Elven mason Ilyfalle, a priest of Vēellis Farwalker. Since the The Fissure, more and more of the stones are dark every morning, as if the place they were meant to portray no longer exists. The magics at play in the wondrous stones are Primal.
The Keepers of Archemād the Great live and work in the Hall of Astronomers. The scientists and mathematicians of this place work day-and-night mapping celestial changes and making thousands of small adjustments to the city's clocks and calendars as needed. The majority of the Hall's residents are nocturnal by necessity. Only their servants can be seen by day, combing through produce at the Flagstone and Bārad Markets.
The residence of Queen Sēlatha Maress III is large but undecorated. Originally built by High Elder Octagi, founded the Academy of the Eight Paths, the building served as a monastic school for centuries.
A popular story tells how a young Princess Sēlatha' found her way to Octagi House and was greeted by August Master Fēlon the Lame. He promised to protect the young lady if she pushed his wheeled chair through the streets back to House Maress. She did so. On the way home, the two were accosted by ruffians which the monk was able to dispatch with a cane. Though the princess' mother was appalled that her daughter had pushed the strange man through the city streets, like a servant, when she learned of what had transpired she was thankful and allowed ongoing friendship between them. When Sēlatha became Queen, she dismantled the ancestral home and sold off all her family treasures. She used much of the money to build Master Fēlon an academy, while she herself took residence at the more humble Octagi House.
One of the Queen's few material pleasures is stepping through the Garden Gatehouse into the ruins of the Old Sculpture Gardens. Here she can stroll amid the headless, armless, and toppled simulacra of her ancestors and other luminaries of Grimthorn. The Garden exists outside the Wail walls and is easily accessible to residents of Timberton and Korjōdor.
Records of the vault describe a thick iron door engraved with an image of a woman wrapped in wind-tossed tatters, standing in the midst of a battlefield looking for her fallen husband. Plenty of people living today remember visiting the vault door beneath Widow's Hill. Following the coronation of Queen Sēlatha, the new queen had the vault antechamber filled with interlocking stone blocks to prevent future explorers from tampering with the artifact's resting place.
The Legend of Kāalva holds that her son placed Widow's Wail into the vault for safekeeping, until it was again needed in the defense of Grimthorn.