This underground settlement was approximately seven kilometres across and lay at the bottom of a huge, deep bowl which had been smoothed from Martian rock; it may have been formed with Ice Warrior sonic technology. Genetically engineered, bio-luminiscent fungus illuminated portions of the city. A large patch at the top of the cave served as an artificial sun for the populace. Just beneath the sun was a thin, golden pyramid, about five hundred metres tall, along with additional structures that resembled low, flattered cylinders arranged in circles around the pyramid. The majority of the settlement was devoted to parks and woodland filled with orange moss and purple bushes. It made use of an areothermal geyser to warm the region. Hexagonal dwelling units provided optimal space for its inhabitants.
Hieroglyphics told the story of Ikk-ett-Saleth, with half a million years worth of events etched on its surfaces. These spoke of wars, alliances, famines and plagues that had afflicted the settlement. Around 8000 BC, a civil war erupted which saw the city burning after bombardment by the Proud Warriors, a wave of bacteriological backlash and the execution of the Eight-Point Table. The civil war devastated the city and left it soulless, one of the saddest traditions amongst the Martians.
At some point, Ikk-sett-Saleth was subject to an Interdict of Oras which forbade any Martian to pass the boundaries of the city. A human expedition in 2115 journeyed to the City of the Sad Ones and found it abandoned. In 2157, the Seventh Doctor travelled through it in his journey to the planet's North Pole. During this time, Abbot Aklaar and his pilgrims had been given special permission from the Parliament of Seers to travel through the abandoned settlement. (TV: GodEngine)