Town in the Dreamlands
A feudal settlement of tradesmen and farmers, Ulthar is the largest of the three towns of the Skai River Valley and is the terminus for many caravans which come to the Valley from Dylath-Leen by the Southern Sea, or Cuppar-Nombo in the desert. The suburbs of Ulthar are a mix of small cottages and neatly fenced farms. The town itself is built on several hills which stand on the banks of the river Skai. The houses here have peaked roofs and overhanging upper stories. The narrow streets are cobbled and well worn.
Perched on top of the highest hill in Ulthar stands the Temple of the Elder Ones. It is the only such temple in the Valley of the Skai. This temple is one of the places in which Nasht is revered as a god. The priests of the temple keep incense burning in the left ear of his image at all times so as to confound his senses, lest he perceive that his worshipers are sinful and become wrathful. Prayers to Nasht are offered up to his right ear. Kaman-Thah, although not worshiped, is highly revered and is considered to be the avatar of Nasht. Nasht is not the only god worshiped at this site; all of the Great Ones have shrines within the temple. Worshipers can offer up prayers to Ariel, Zo-Kalar, Tamash, Karakal, Lobon, N’tse-Kaambl, Nodens, and Nath-Horthath. Hagarg Ryonis also has a shrine here, but it is kept hidden from the sight of all save a select few of the priesthood. The temple library includes the Book of Barzai, the Pnakotic Manuscripts, and the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan.
Ulthar is best known for its cats which are intelligent and can communicate with humans that speak their language. No one in Ulthar may kill a cat. This law was introduced after a strange event that once took place in Ulthar. There was an aged couple who nursed an inveterate hatred of cats and killed all they could. The Ultharians lamented this slaughter but were so mild-mannered they didn't dare confront the assassins.
One day a caravan of southern wanderers arrived in town. Among them was an orphan boy, Menes, whose only comfort was a black kitten. The kitten disappeared, and townsfolk told Menes about the aged couple. The boy invoked a prayer before leaving town that caused the local felines to swarm the cat-killers' house and devour them. Upon witnessing the result, the local politicians passed a law forbidding the killing of cats. It is told that Barzai the Wise himself was the one who advised the Ultharians on this law.