topic: House of the Masks /

Labyrinth

Lying within the Yden, the Labyrinth covers the ridge connecting the Plain of Thrones to the Pillar of Heaven. It consists of an immense, hypostyle hall in which each column is a mausoleum for a past God Emperor, Empress or other important personage from the House of the Masks. There are over one thousand of these column mausolea. Originally they were free standing. It was only later that they were spanned by arches, and the […]

The Halls of Thunder

The Halls of Thunder are a complex of palace caverns cut high into the rock of the Pillar of Heaven. It is here that the God Emperor, the court and the rest of the House of the Masks retire during the summer months to escape the heat in the crater below. The predominant aspect of the Halls is the ceremonial axis, running southwest to northeast, corresponding to the route the Rains take from the southern […]

The Pillar of Heaven

The Pillar of Heaven is the remains of the last volcanic eruption at Osrakum. A vast cinder cone, eroded over aeons, leaving only the basaltic intrusion of the main vent. This structure actually consists of two pipes ‘welded’ together and that reach a height of 2500m above the level of the Skymere. The first sketch shows my initial conception of the Pillar of Heaven that had a small lake set into its summit. This lake […]

The Rainbow Stair

The Rainbow Stair is a staircase cut into the stone of the Pillar of Heaven in a depression running up its north-western face. Its name derives from the way it is paved, as is described in The Chosen: “steps striped with red chalcedony and amber, gold, jade, turquoise and lapis blue and, where they touched the Pillar, bordered by a band of amethyst” The Chosen believe rainbows link earth and sky. This is why the […]

The Stairs of the Approach

The Stairs of the Approach link the centre of the Halls of Thunder to the complexes of chambers used by the House of the Masks and the Wise. They consist of three, precipitous flights of steps each leading up to a landing. The final landing terminates at the Iron Door that opens into the Thronehall. The Stairs are flanked by colossal idols of the many avatars of the Twin Gods. The first diagram shows an […]

Voting

Voting processes are ubiquitous among the Chosen and are based on blood-rank. Only those who are of the Great are ‘enfranchised’ and, of these, women and minors are generally excluded. (In this case, the House of the Masks is to be considered to be of the Great.) Among the Lesser Chosen, voting systems do occur for votes carried out within their Houses, but these use methods not based on blood-rank. Votes, then, are cast according […]