The Rise of Xeen.
The Castle District.
The Castle District in the city of Ember holds what may be the most unique, if not the most frustrating, piece of architecture in all of Xeen: The Castle Labyrinth.
When the original home to the Archon family was destroyed in the Mage War, the King was driven almost to madness with fear. He blamed magic, its effects and the casters who control them, for the damage done to both his land and his own, fractured mind. As such when it came time to rebuild his home, he did not simply recreate what once was. The King instead spent his considerable wealth towards a different goal. Hiring not only architects from around the world but also puzzle masters, logicians, Dwarven royalty and mad men, he began a quest. It was almost ten years to the day it was destroyed that the new Castle Archon stood again. The keep, however, was what no one would expect.
The Castle Labyrinth, as it is now called, stood over the Bay of Broken Swords, at the edge of Ember now. With more than 18 floors, some of them without entrance or exit ways and more hidden passageways than even the King knew of. Hallways lead often to nowhere inside the new Archon family home and it is said that without the aid of magical devices (only the King and his High Council in the entire kingdom were allowed to wield magic of any kind) or one of the few maps, and encrypted, maps of the keep could anyone find themselves in and back out the castle again.
Beyond the castle, however, the Castle district held also the homes of the High Guard, called the Engineers by the local populace, as well as properties of the High Council and their families.
A steam-powered bridge, complete with giant automatons, keeps the castle distant and seemingly wrapped in mystery.
Characters of Import in the Castle District:
Queen Arrusemia Arch
The crowned Queen of Arch. Arrusemia lost her parents at the age of 5 during the end of the Mage War and as such has been brought up by a large retinue of retainers, chief among them Flannery Butterbottom, her Gnome machinist and parental guardian. However, as she is only 15, her opinions in the ruling of the nation are truly mostly that of a figurehead, as the majority of the decisions are made instead by her high council of Gears and their Engineers. She herself is head strong, slightly off-kilter, highly independent and growing more and more mistrusting of the machines that run her life. Rumor has it, that the crowned Queen may in fact be dabbling in the histories instead of the magical…
Flannery Butterbottom is the high gnome and court machinist for the Queen. Beyond that, he has served as the personal educator and assistant to the current Queen since before her parent’s untimely death. Bumbling and shy, Flannery is both incredibly intelligent and the very definition of an idiot savant. It is his loyalty to his Queen, however, which is often deemed his most defining characteristic.
Alric Van Drake
Alric, or the Gold Knight, as he is known, is a member of the Gears and a noble by birth. The Van Drake family has lent money and knight support to the Arch’s since the rebellion almost 200 years ago. As such, the haughty and smug high knight deems his opinion more important and gilded than any in the court. He is considered incredibly handsome by the peasantry and impossibly vain by the wealthy who know him. His armor, for which he is known, was said to be forged from the scales of a long-dead golden dragon.
The official court scholar and keeper of the only magics in Ember, Lamrion is a tall, gaunt man with long hair and a chameleon’s gaze. It is said he was once the spymaster of Ember and used his magics go prolong his life. He is wise, but cruel and intelligent but passionless. His demeanor, however, seems to almost magically alter to any who speak to him.
The spymaster of the court of Gears, Chorrus is a sly, almost preternaturally friendly man with a well kept beard and a large scar down his left eye. He seems to watch you wherever you go, and is known to both be completely trustworthy and most only man in all Ember you can never completely trust. Called the Shadow Master, but, not often in his presence.
Kron the LionCourt
The Sargeant General of the Hammer and Shield, Kron is a giant of a man, called the Court Lion or LionCourt, and is kept with both guarding the Queen and the city of Ember itself.
Lady Kelwyn Selthast
The Spider, as Lady Kelwyn is sometimes known, is the court’s luminary and ambassador to the people of ember. She acts as a bridge between the people’s “needs” and the castle’s. She is also in charge of the castle’s monies. She is manipulative and cold, and is told to have more webs than even the queen of spiders throughout the city…
The head of the cities’ Whispering Hall, the most famous library in possibly all the core, Gorion is the seat of wisdom and the oldest member of the council. Known to be the very picture of patience, he is a kind and grandfatherly scholar with a large portion of the world’s knowledge both at his fingertips and his memory. He is often times blocked by the other members of the court, but equally often protected for his sage advice by Lady Arrusemia herself.