The entrance to the cavern is located in the pin retrieval area of lane five of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, where it was discovered by the bowling alley's owner, Teddy Williams, when a bowling ball rolled into it. Williams described the city of strange spires and broad avenues as "impossibly huge," but Carlos the scientist would later demonstrate that the city was actually impossibly tiny, with its tallest spires rising only to the height of a man's knees. However, the mysterious, tiny residents of the underground city were still thought to be formidable enemies, as they were armed with tiny projectile weapons and explosives. The weapons and the explosives were in fact a part of the city's events of the Memorial Week for The Change it has been through.
People of the city, which is parallel to Night Vale except a few essential differences, are not familiar with the world above them, and they treat the residents of the upper world as colossal and enigmatic giants. Since Huntokar, the god of the underground civilization, took the city's sky and detached the it from the rest of the world, its citizens live in a constant dark and only consume what they can grow, due to the lack of any outside resources.
Some mysterious men are engaged in a convoluted scheme wherein tiny buildings are stolen from the underground city, packed into crates, and shipped to warehouses in the desert. This theft is apparently what truly agitated the residents of the underground city towards war with Night Vale.
The War With Night Vale
Suspicions over the town's existence rose already in 2012, although back then the assumption was that the city is located miles under the ground, and is populated by a subterranean race of giants. A year after the first concerns were voiced by Teddy Williams, owner of Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, the war between the two cities erupted.
The Long March to War
Several months after the stray bowling ball alerted the underground city to the presence of the world above, Teddy Williams reported that the windows of the underground city's strange spires were glowing with activity both day and night, and the distant sounds of shouts and marching feet could be heard, as though a hostile army from the world below were marching upon Night Vale.
Still believing that the city was actually an impossibly huge metropolis located miles underneath Night Vale, Williams responded to the threat of invasion by both locking and barricading the doors of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex each night at closing time. After reviewing security camera footage that showed a mysterious, indiscernible blur near the bowling alley's vending machine, Teddy Williams speculated that the underground army was thousands strong, worshiped a malevolent god named Huntokar, and was ruled by a child king, too weak to hold back his generals intent upon marching to war with the upper world. On a January 1, 2013 broadcast, radio host Cecil Palmer encouraged the residents of Night Vale to organize themselves into a militia and prepare for war, as their approaching foes were almost certainly "bloodthirsty giants."
On February 1, 2013, the enigmatic Sheriff of Night Vale announced, through his characteristic vocoder, that all Night Vale citizens should prepare their town for war with the mysterious residents of the underground city. Teddy Williams, however, expressed hope that a recent jukebox malfunction at the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, causing the nonstop playing of the Guns N' Roses song "Mr. Brownstone," may have been a subtle call for peace from the underground people.
On June 15, 2013, the sounds of chanting and machinery were heard emanating from the pin retrieval area of lane five of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, and owner Teddy Williams changed all of the bowlers' names on the electronic scorecards to read, simply, "THEY ARE HERE". Williams, now the leader of the militia formed to defend against the underground city's invasion forces, commanded his troops to surround the pin retrieval area of lane five and prepare for an attack.
However, Carlos the scientist, believing Williams to be deranged, bravely approached the entrance to the underground city alone in order to investigate, and soon gestured for the onlookers to follow him. The underground city was not an impossibly huge city located miles underground, but was actually an impossibly tiny city located about ten feet below the ground, with its tallest spires barely reaching the height of Carlos' knees. It had taken the city's tiny inhabitants a full year to march up the ten-foot slope and arrive in Night Vale.
However, just when it seemed the danger had been illusory, the underground city's tiny army attacked Carlos with a barrage of tiny artillery. It briefly looked as though he had been killed, but he was rescued by the Apache Tracker, who was mortally wounded by tiny explosives while carrying the injured Carlos out of the underground city to the safety of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex. The Apache Tracker currently remains the only known casualty of Night Vale's war with the world below. A memorial was erected in honor of his heroic sacrifice, and then promptly buried in the Sand Wastes where no one would ever find it, because the Apache Tracker was also a racist embarrassment and an asshole.
What seemed to the people of Night Vale as preparations for war was merely the city's way to mention the Memorial Week, a week dedicated to the remembrance of The Change, that took their sky and cut the city off the rest of the world. The weapons were only military parades, and the explosives were, in fact, fireworks.
Theft of Buildings
Main article: The Crates
A mysterious conspiracy exists wherein buildings are being stolen from the tiny underground city, packaged in crates, and shipped to warehouses in the desert for unknown reasons. Although it is not known for how long this conspiracy has been operational, it is likely the true cause of Night Vale's war with the underground city. The tiny civilization and their god Huntokar resent these thefts, and demanded them to cease, although it is not clear who is conducting them.
You once had a job unloading and loading these crates in the Sand Wastes, some of which ticked and some of which were warm to the touch. On December 15, 2012, You stole one of these crates, and discovered that it contained an intricate, miniature house within which you saw lights and movement, possibly indicating that, in addition to stealing the underground city's tiny buildings, participants in the conspiracy are abducting their tiny inhabitants as well. On July 15, 2013, the Sheriff's Secret Police, in conjunction with A Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency, announced that these trucks, far out in the desert and loaded with mysterious crates, are "nothing," likely indicating their culpability in the conspiracy.
On April 15, 2014, a supervisor overseeing the operation explained the scheme to a man who was not tall and a man who was not short, saying, "It was very simple. We take buildings from the miniature city we discovered under the bowling alley, we put them in crates, we ship the crates out to various warehouses in the desert, and, as a result, our interests are furthered. It could not be more simple." The supervisor went on to explain that, as a result of the theft of their homes, the underground city had declared war on the "upper world," as they call us, in the name of their god, Huntokar. The people of the city though, do not seem aware of these retaliations, as they see the people of the "upper world" as mighty creatures who they hope will let the city fade away alone in the darkness.
Main article: Huntokar
Huntokar is the malevolent god of the Underground City. She wears a deer mask (just like the representatives of the NVTA) and resents the people of the upper world, seemingly because of the stealing of the homes from the tiny city. Her name appeared on the roaches came from the 12:37 train, when she spoke against the thefts and called herself "the Destroyer".
Citizens of the Underground City believe Huntokar caused the changed, and took their skies as a punishment for some horrible sins. They don't know what were these sins, but they make hard effort each year to atone for them in prayers and offers. Due to her act, she is often referred by the people of the tiny city as "The Destroyer".
According to Simone Rigadeau, the transient living in the Earth Science Building of the Night Vale Community College, Huntokar is responsible for the destruction of the world in 1983. In her false memory, which she insists to be true, Simone says Huntokar is "the Destroyer", just like Huntokar called herself. Simone claims consistently the world has ended nearly 30 years ago, despite virtually nobody believing her.
Hire by StrexCorp
During StrexCorp's takeover of Night Vale, StrexCorp hired the underground civilization. Since Teddy Williams was "busy" at the company picnic and had not paid his lease, the tiny people claimed the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex as their headquarters and renamed it the Cathedral of Huntokar. They also destroyed the Arby's to build a statue that is a 1:1 scale replica of the Arby's.
Despite having been hired by StrexCorp, the tiny people apparently took up arms against their employers in defense of Night Vale. It's not clear what they actually did, because they're too tiny to be noticed.
Differences between the Underground City and Night Vale
Although the Underground City seems to be a parallel version of Night Vale, a number of differences between the two exists:
- Old Woman Josie died a few years earlier and Cecil did not know her very well
- Erika, who lives in Josie's house, is not an Angel, but a middle-aged woman wearing an angel tattoo
- Pamela Winchell is still the mayor
- Leann Hart was an intelligence officer and died during the war
- John Peters died during the war and is considered to be a war hero
- Cecil considers Steve Carlsberg, who went exploring outside of the city and never came back, to be his best friend
- John Peters' brother Jim did not go to fight the Blood Space War
- Carlos never came to Night Vale
- The weather section of Cecil's broadcast is an actual weather report
- The Public Library is used regularly.
Several decades ago, the tiny underground civilization lost its sky, including the sun, the moon and the stars as well as its connection to the rest of world. The people of the civilization believe that Huntokar caused this upheaval, mostly called "The Change", as a justified punishment for sins they did. Despite the fact that they do not know what exactly these sins were, they try to expiate them consistently, hoping one day sky will return.
The Change exacted a heavy price from the city, forever changing its routine. Many residents disappeared trying to explore the darkness surrounding the city, where the border of the town became the border of the world. Due to the fact is city is in a permanent darkness, citizens are forced to guess which time of the day it is, and therefore people live according to completely separate times. The city consumes only what it can grow, and has no fuel nor any resource that cannot be found within its boundaries. Each year, the city marks the Memorial Week, a week long event meant to perpetuate the remembrance of The Change that is celebrated with military parades, fireworks and portable shrines. Life under the rock sky is gloomy and miserable, as the residents of the town itself predict that they will soon fade away, due to the lack of supply from the outside world, unless for unknown reason, Huntokar will finally forgive them.
The Change may be related to the alleged destruction of the world in 1983, that was caused by Huntokar according to Simone Rigadeau, the transient living in the abandoned Earth Sciences Building of Night Vale Community College. Although Rigadeau is not a scientist nor has any known academical certification, she manages to explain precisely phenomena that conventional scientists consider inexplicable.
In the episode "Summer 2017, Night Vale, USA", it was revealed that the city had vanished, leaving nothing but a giant hole underneath the pin retrieval area of Lane 5. This is probably because of the holes in reality and the events of the previous episode.
- The Underground City
- The Crates
- The official transcript for Episode 107 refers to it as Normcore Night Vale.
- Episode 1 "Pilot"
- Episode 25 "One Year Later"
- Episode 107 "The Missing Sky"
- Episode 45 "A Story About Them"
- Episode 14 "The Man in the Tan Jacket"
- Episode 8 "The Lights in Radon Canyon"
- Episode 13 "A Story About You."
- Episode 16 "The Phone Call"
- Episode 27 "First Date"
- Episode 91 "The 12:37"
- Episode 103 "Ash Beach"
- Episode 48 "Renovations"
- Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B"