The City Of Ember, (later unofficially renamed Darkhold) was an underground city created to protect humanity from a nuclear/biological war for at least 200 years. However, it held the inhabitants for around 241 years.
The City of EmberEdit
Is a book released in 2003 by Jeanne Duprau and published by yearling. that finishes in a collection of other books including: The people of sparks, the prophet of yonwood and the diamond of darkhold, also published by Jeanne Duprau to YEARLING
Age of the CityEdit
The City was built around 250 years or so ago, the exact age is unknown, because of lapses with the timekeepers, with the current year as of the exodus from Ember being presumed to be year 241.
The first inhabitants were 100 infants, and 100 adults - 50 men and 50 women. the adults were all age 60 or older and were instructed to bring no books or photographs from the outside in with them. They were to raise the children as their own.
A titanium box was left in the care of the first mayor, it contained the instructions for leaving Ember when it automatically opened in 200 years.
The city is likely called "Ember" because it maintains and protects the last remnants of humanity, in a state much like the embers of a fire. This is hinted in The People of Sparks, where Maddy tells Lina that Sparks is a place that is just starting out, much like how sparks are the start of a fire.
The first book revealed that there are certain celebrations in Ember, such as the Singing, where the citizens sing three songs that are much like the anthems of Ember. "The Song of the River," "The Song of the City," and "The Song of Darkness." Each song has an accompanying banner as well. There is also Assignment Day, where the twelve year old students of the highest class are assigned a job by picking a name out of a bag. There was mention of something called "The Cloving Square Dance Day," although this seems to be a one-time event. Upon the death of an individual, friends and family take the body beyond the Trash Heaps, sing "The Song of Goodbye," and abandon the body to decomposition. A spiritual group called "the Believers" often lead the Singing, and believe that the Builders will eventually return and rescue them. Their ideology became more popular as Ember's power supply drained.