At the time the city was founded, as part of the Third Expansion in 499 YP, the Burning Mountain (a nearby volcano) was home to a powerful dragon that regularly scoured these lands, so the earliest structures were built underground.
The dragon disappeared about twenty years ago, nobody knows for sure why, though several adventurers claim to have killed it. Nobody has ever found its hoard, either, despite many expeditions to the heart of the Burning Mountain in search of the fabled treasures.
Deep underground at the centre of Sloken lies the Marble Palace, home to the despotic Great Lord Ayrken, and the original Seven Roads radiate from it like spokes on a wheel. Recent additions to the city have sprung up around the sites where those roads surface, and many around the shore of the lake.
Because of the high death rate in the early days, the city has always relied on a regular influx of workers, both willing and unwilling, and is thus the only city that allows an open trade in slaves in the Market Square.