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Central Letheras

"Eternal Domicile indeed. Eternally unfinished."
Tehol Beddict[src]

The Eternal Domicile was the newer palace complex in the heart of the city of Letheras. It was begun by King Ezgara Diskanar seventeen years before the start of Midnight Tides and was intended to replace the city's Old Palace.[1] The Avenue of the Seventh Closure led to a concourse before the palace that was overlooked by the king's balcony on the First Wing.[2]

The Eternal Domicile was meant to comprise five wings each with four tiers, but only three wings had been completed by the start of Midnight Tides. The other two proving problematic and prone to sinking into the clay beneath. The name was rather ironic as the whole structure was slowly sinking.[3][4]

"Five wings to the Eternal Domicile, of which only three were complete. Each of the latter consisted of wide hallways with arched ceilings sheathed in gold-leaf. Between elaborate flying buttresses to either side and running the entire length were doorways leading to chambers that would serve as offices and domiciles of the Royal Household's administrative and maintenance staff. Towards the centre the adjoining rooms would house guards, armouries and trapdoors leading to private passages - beneath ground level - that encircled the entire palace that was the heart of the Eternal Domicile."
―Description of the Eternal Domicile[src]

The building's unfinished central dome proved so challenging that four royal architects had commited suicide and a fifth had mysteriously died while trapped inside a sewage pipe.[1]

The tunnels underneath the palace were meant to permit the swift passage of guards throughout the palace in case of a breach. But despite being located above the water table, the tunnels were all chest-deep in muddy water and infested with rats. The Royal Engineers struggled to combat the water seepage with hoses and pumps while sending members of the Rat Catchers' Guild after the troubling number of rodents.[5]

The throne room was approached by the Royal Colonnade of the Eternal Domicile, an enormous marble hallway leading from a large reception area to the throne room's massive bejeweled doors. The hall's polished marble tile flooring was wide enough to permit ten men to walk abreast. Both sides of the central passage were flanked by twenty marble pillars spaced three paces apart. Another passage big enough to accommodate an armoured member of the palace guard ran between both runs of pillars and the walls of the hall. The pillars were carved in a spiral pattern and painted sea-green. A hemispherical ceiling ran the length of the hall web-spun in gold on a midnight blue background with diamonds glittering like drops of dew. The walls were decorated with stylized murals of the First Empire. The hall was lit by ensorcelled crystals which cast a dim blue light from their sconces on the walls.[6][7]

The throne room had panels of stained glass set in its dome.[8] The throne was sat on a raised dais.[9] Outside the throne room was the Citizens' Chamber where those seeking audience with the Emperor awaited to be called.[10]

Outside the palace a path led down the slope to a cleared area across from which stood an ancient Azath Tower amidst a group of smaller Jaghut structures.[11]

Security within the Eternal Domicile was maintained by the Palace Guard, who were armed with shortswords.[12] They lived in residence in the palace with their families who received a pension upon the guard's death.[13]

In Midnight Tides[]

Royal Engineer Grum raced to get the palace completed in time for the Seventh Closure when the king was prophesied to Ascend and become the First Emperor of a reborn First Empire.[14] Grum eventually solved his flooding problem by hiring a promising new company called "Bugg's Construction" which had developed new engineering techniques to shore up building foundations. Although run by Bugg as a front company for Tehol Beddict's business interests, the company's techniques were sound and the palace's sinking was abated.[15] Strangely, the tunnels were chilly in temperature when construction was complete.[15]

On the day of the Seventh Closure, King Ezgara was crowned emperor by First Eunuch Nifadas in a ceremony in the palace's throne room.[16] But by then Tiste Edur emperor, Rhulad Sengar, and his armies approached the city. After taking the city, Rhulad and his entourage approached the Eternal Domicile where Ezgara and his supporters sat in vigil.[17] The entranceway of each wing was barricaded by at least thirty guards except where Ceda Kuru Qan placed himself in the Royal Colonnade awaiting the Edur. His sorcerous battle with the Warlock King burned the paint off the walls, buckled the floor, and left the hall's marble columns melted like tallow.[18][7]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Relatively few Tiste Edur took residence in the Eternal Domicile with Emperor Rhulad.[19] Two entire wings were left empty and dark with only once daily patrols by palace guards. Damp and rot began to reclaim the rooms that owed their existence to the ingenuity of Bugg's Construction.[20] Holes large enough to walk through had been knocked into the wings' outer walls to encourage air flow, but they did little more than fill the air with the scent of river mud and decaying plants.[11]

The new Emperor was kept increasingly isolated from his people by the machinations of Chancellor Triban Gnol, who kept him busy handling personal petitions from the Letherii citizenry.[21][22] The Emperor's madness and the Chancellor's growing number of spies contributed to an atmosphere of paranoia and intrigue in the palace.[19][22] Sergeant of the Palace Guard (and secret Patriotist) Sirryn Kanar led a nighttime raid to arrest First Concubine Nisall and bring her back to the Patriotists' headquarters for interrogation. During the raid, Nisall's Edur bodyguard and two of her handmaidens were murdered.[23]

Tomad and Uruth Sengar were imprisoned in the depths of the palace's oft-flooded Fifth Wing where they perished by drowning.[24][25] Feather Witch also built a temple to the Errant in the palace's flooded depths.[26]

Within the Eternal Domicile was an arena capable of hosting several hundred spectators on marble benches. Emperor Rhulad fought a stream of champions in the arena before his death.[27] During the Bonehunters' invasion of Letheras, Fiddler's squad assaulted the Eternal Domicile, slaying all they found in its halls, including Chancellor Gnol. Capturing Varat Taun, newly promoted Finadd of the Palace Guard, they were guided to the where arena they discovered the bodies of the Emperor and Trull Sengar.[28] Once the city fell, Adjunct Tavore Paran made her way to the palace alongside Fist Keneb's Marines. They were met by Rucket, Ormly, and Brys Beddict who announced Tehol Beddict had been chosen as the new emperor by popular acclaim.[29]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.69
  2. Midnight Tides, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.654
  3. Midnight Tides, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.186
  4. Midnight Tides Chapter 2, US SFBC p.69
  5. Midnight Tides, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.186-187
  6. Midnight Tides, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.596
  7. 7.0 7.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.733-734
  8. Midnight Tides, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.616
  9. Midnight Tides, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.616
  10. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 7, US HC p.178
  11. 11.0 11.1 Reaper's Gale, Chapter 3, US HC p.80
  12. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.236
  13. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.238
  14. Midnight Tides, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.86
  15. 15.0 15.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.525
  16. Midnight Tides, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.664
  17. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.730
  18. Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.691
  19. 19.0 19.1 Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.132
  20. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.126
  21. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.133
  22. 22.0 22.1 Reaper's Gale, Chapter 3, US HC p.78
  23. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.235-236
  24. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 15, US HC p.433-435/437-438
  25. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.555
  26. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.537-538
  27. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.772/814
  28. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.776/808/814-818
  29. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.812-814
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