"Yes, we're safe from invasion. We were safe from Frullahan's insane expansions. Nobody enters the lands unnoticed, the cliffs are all but impossible to climb. As captain of the guard, I praise the stairs. As a being with a heart, I despise its memory."
— Quarin Tolmor, the queen's guard
If the staircase itself is cursed is debated as well. There is an unusual amount of dead spirits around and on it, and the majority of those who die here become spirits. The Grandrockers take no chances and, while money doesn't stink, they much prefer traders arriving by boat or by Area over those that took the stairs.
"We have no friends. Our neighbours are scared, travellers are few, allies are too hard to reach because of the plateau. I hear some pity us, but they don't call either. We are quite alone."Artists' notes
— Penaka Ultor, citizen
Every decent fantasy setting needs some monumental landmarks, doesn't it? There are a few in Genius Loci, but the stairs are among the useful ones, which I discovered while telling their story is worse to the natives than an entirely useless one. It's like employing knowledge gained through torture - you can't ignore it, but you feel dirty using it.