After the fall of the lizard empire, most of the lizard people fled to Node to avoid genocide (This is in the Lovecraft universe, racism is mandatory). In short order, this former bomb shelter became the permanent residence for the refugees.

So, Node is an awesome place. Since its designers couldn't really get rid of the supporting pillars, they decided to exploit them as much as possible. Some residential areas are built around pillars. Some are also statues, depicting Yig/Jormungandr/Apep or just a regular constrictor.

Other than that, the pillars are also used as nodes in the city's transportation system. The interconnected spider's web of bridges, safety nets, and the rails of the sky tram ensure that there's enough change in the surroundings for people to not feel trapped. Plus, there's a lot of vegetation.

These, however, are also problems.

Obviously, humans would probably want to properly finish the job. Even if they don't commit a total genocide, they would probably want to destroy Node. Lizard people are low in number and the Automated Security Forces of Node were destroyed during the war, along with the factories that made them.

Thus, Node can only hide and pray to Yig that the day, when Delapore and his cat, Niggerman, find the city, would never come. But just how can you hide away the life signs of an entire city? The transit system, lighting, filtration, waste-processing, and agriculture require a lot of things. Air, large reactors, lots of water, and so on.

While it's true that Node is connected to a system of underground railways and shelters, using them to lessen the load of the city's systems could actually make it easier to detect and would turn maintenance into a nightmare.

Humans don't fully understand the technology of lizard people, but even 2-1 IQ barbarian knows what a turbine sounds like or if a computer is turned on, not to mention what happens if they run into the maintenance crew.

Humanity has at around late-medieval technology, but they have magic to leverage that. In practice, this means they can bust down any door, given enough time. The only thing, magic can't do, is information gathering, thanks to Mephistopheles still operating the planet-wide network that spoils the packages of intel spells with false information and AI-upscaled episodes of Boku no Pico.

So, to ask again, how can you hide away the life-signs of an entire city?

  • $\begingroup$ @user110866 That's Lovecraft for you. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2020 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Ah i see, thats actually in one of the stories... $\endgroup$
    – user110866
    Apr 22, 2020 at 22:56
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    $\begingroup$ I feel you've a lot of references in this (particularly the paragraph preceding the question at the bottom) which won't mean much to most people. Needs some clarification IMO. On SE we ideally like questions to be stand-alone. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2020 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ What's the problem? it's underground, the humans don't have high tech that might be used to spot it & any divination magic is all bolloxed up, just seal all the entry tunnels by collapsing a few miles of their length & the jobs a gooden surely? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Apr 23, 2020 at 1:10
  • $\begingroup$ Size. What is the size of the "city" compared to human size? Because you know what sounds like turbine? Waterfall. Also what is abote the city? Another city by humans? or totally deserted place? $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2020 at 9:04

3 Answers 3


Busting down doors--there are no doors to bust down. Every normal route leading to the city has been completely blasted. Sure, the rubble could be dug through, but why would anyone other than an archeologist dig into the ruins?

Water--there's an underground river that flows near the refuge. It discharges underground into the ocean. Once again, a scientist poking around could find it but otherwise it's virtually undetectable and not remarkable even if detected.

This is a volcanically active region with hot springs, unexpected warmth is expected. Also, a vent may discharge into a not completely dead volcano--hot and noxious gases are not an indication of inhabitants. (Air is drawn in from within a cave.)


Humans don't fully understand the technology of lizard people...


Humanity has at around late-medieval technology...

In caves dug underwater in the walls of Geirangerfjord or the like, closer to the entrance but extending upwards for kilometers

  1. high slopes keep the accessibility from water only. Even so, the occasional boats will try to keep the distance from the near vertical walls in the area (currents, precariously balanced stones, etc)
  2. tides will provide energy by turbines operating at hundred or so meters depth - the frequency they produce is in the infrasound spectrum (large torque, slow rotation)
  3. plenty of cold water (high specific heat) allow the evacuation of residual heat. The cooling water along with organic sewage has the effect of favoring the growth of huge kelp forests which deter the fishermen from the area (they don't like losing their nets)
  4. the bottom of the fjord is rich in minerals eroded and carried over by the glaciers
  5. air circulation through cracks in the rock, with location/orientation chosen in depending the dominant winds.

Handwave to your pleasure (easier if your lizards are semi-aquatic too but, with enough technology, not a serious impediment if they aren't)


Warning: if you plan to read Seveneves, don't read further.

In Seveneves, Stephenson posits a well-planned subterranean 'hideout,' with room for a few hundred people, power, massive piles of stored goods, agriculture capability, etc. People survive there for 5000 years. This was done with a very massive set of doors so that neither refugees nor the hard rain could cause damage to the region.


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