The Glorious Throne
And lo, I beheld a mighty throne, greater than any mountain, on this earth or the next. About its breadth went a myriad angels, and beneath it was arrayed all the splendor of heaven. The goddess bowed and spoke to me, 'You doubters, look now upon what lays in the heart of man.' And from the tip of the throne shone a great beacon, good and bold.
Purpose / Function
The Glorious Throne is the uppermost level of the Mounting Citadel of Yesh, and the 'capitol' of the Ordered Heavens. It is not, strictly speaking, a throne, but a massive government complex, monastery, school, library, armory, and transit hub, as well as being a symbol of Yesh and, by extension, the entirety of the Heavens. Access to the throne complex is restricted, with the gates opening only once every alignment of the fifth star - roughly every 78 years - except by invitation on important business. The interior of the Throne is truly majestic, but austere. Those who enter are expected to devote their whole efforts to their tasks, partaking of neither food nor drink, nor idle diversions, and remaining for the whole duration. (One could simply fly in or out from any of the many open-air spaces, but that's not the point) As such only the most devoted of Archons (and rarely, other Celestial Transcendent) come to the Throne, and only for good reason. The first of those reasons is governance - at the very top of the complex lies the chambers of the Council of Seven, still in use. They meet in person every alignment of the fourth, and remotely every alignment of the third, as well as for other emergencies. Every alignment of the seventh, representatives are invited from across the Transcendent planes for a great festival, known as the Godsmoot, but rarely has anyone from beyond the Heavens actually shown up. Every fifth star, the Council of Seven elects a Grand Councilor from among their number, who directs the day-to-day operations of the government, as well as having the great honor of cleaning and maintaining the council chambers. The vast apparatus of the government of the Ordered Heavens is mostly located elsewhere, with even the central government running primarily from the Second Ring, but some of the most sensitive and important functions are conducted here. Among the critical functions held in the Throne complex is the bureaucratic headquarters of the Star Command. From here, the general staff can direct interplanar operations and overall administration, leaving command of individual theaters - which may themselves be as big as a dozen planets - to field officers. Additionally, the Throne holds the Councilar Guard - while threats that could actually reach the Council of Seven are few, they also serve as an elite fighting force under the direct command of the Council and general staff, able to be dispatched for crucial missions. To this end, the Throne houses a vast hoard of weaponry and equipment, from spears to railguns to interdimensional starships. The lower levels of the throne, meanwhile, are dominated by vast libraries and academies, where scholars from across the Heavens go to study and research, and in which one of the greatest collections in the multiverse is held. Though it focuses largely on scholarly and recreational works, lacking the exhaustive, prying documentation of the Lore Pit, or the compulsive cataloging of everything seen in the World-Library, it is still extensive. Moreover, its attendants work continuously to ensure the material is distributed in all manner of different media. Finally, there is the Inner Bridge, a network of planar gateways leading to countless different destinations across the multiverse. From here, it is said, once can arrive anywhere in the multiverse without walking more than a hundred paces. This is seemingly an exaggeration, but numerous Variable Gates allow travel to other, rarer destinations not accounted by the million some permanent gates, and a few can even link to almost any arbitrary point in the multiverse. At the very base of the complex, a spiraling staircase descends into Mount Celestia, finally arriving at the tip of the Luminous Column, which allows transport throughout Yesh.
Even when it was first built, the designers had future expansion in mind. Plenty of internal space was left for future infrastructure, as well as room for physical expansion. Heeding the wisdom of the alien memories of the Old Ones, every effort was taken to ensure that the structure would be versatile enough to meet even needs that could not yet be predicted. It was hoped the Throne would last at least to the eighth alignment without reconstruction. In this regard, the Throne proved quite successful, as while it has been expanded and modified quite extensively in the 7:2::5 cycles (over 6,100 years) since its construction, its fundamental structure has remained the same, with new systems added as they become available, and expansion of certain areas - the most significant being the expansion of the Inner Bridge chamber. Additionally, several additional layers have been added on, causing the structure to expand outwards. The height of the structure is somewhat less than expected, due to the Council Chamber. The Council Chamber at the peak of the Throne is not the original, having been moved up and shrunk to accommodate new technology, replacing the large audience hall with a garden patio and promontory. That refurbished chamber, however, has been retained, in its original condition - it was in this very chamber that Lucifer fell, launching a crusade against the mortal races. The scars of that day, when he struck down Tariel and shattered the Key of Heaven, still remain, carefully preserved as a warning against the dangers of pride. This chamber remains virtually unaltered, and the delicacy of moving it means the tower has only been raised twice.
The Throne is a truly massive structure, quite possibly the largest single block construction in the known multiverse. It forms a rough bell shape, with a base approximately 50 kilometers in radius, with its tip - the council chamber - rising 120 kilometers in the air. The main body rises up in a broad cone for most of its height, then sharply tapers inwards towards the top, with various towers sprouting from the top and sides. The structure is comprised of a smooth, white stone, as if the entire assembly was carved out of one block, though in apportioned places it is interrupted by glass, metal, hanging gardens, or the like. The general impression is of a monolithic structure carefully decorated with patches of color.
BaseThe base of the complex is itself the peak of Mount Celestia, and seven bridges, each about seven kilometers in span, connect the Throne to the upper tiers of the Seventh Ring of Yesh. At the Throne end of these bridges lies the boundary wall, a small (comparatively) outer border surrounding the main structure. It rises about five kilometers into the air, and is a few hundred meters thick, though mostly occupied by rooms. The wall is, as the designation suggests, mainly a conceptual boundary, rather than being intended for defense. Nevertheless an imposing gatehouse stands at each bridge, with doors a kilometer wide and a kilometer tall, wrought of Celestial Gold and Adamantium. These doors are generally closed, opening only briefly for the fifth alignment. The names of those who served the Throne are set into the wall in Celestial Gold, it is, unsurprisingly, about 1/3rd filled. Tnside the wall is a small courtyard around the main structure - the primary complex is actually slightly elevated, supported by a forest of columns and archways. This area, known as the Night Garden, is perpetually in the shadow of the massive structure above, illuminated by a network of dim crystal lights built into the base of the structure. Vast avenues of plants and rock arrangements dot the landscape, and in the center sits a still pool - actually more of lake - perpetually reflecting the false starlight above. A delicate-looking colonnade rings this pool, supporting the central stairway into the main structure. This staircase extends all the way to the Council Chamber, and is the most obvious way of getting almost anywhere in the complex. The main Throne complex can also be accessed via various other bridges linking it to the boundary wall. The interior of the Throne has no shortage of space, and is marked by towering vaulted ceilings, wide galleries, and opulent tiles. Each column, each feature, is elegantly and subtly decorated - yet, for all its majesty, it is never plush, and maintains a level of monotony. To walk its vast and austere corridors is to experience the work of billions, and even the most powerful being might feel small. Much of its expanse is occupied by areas such as private quarters, offices, and storage areas, yet even these banal features are invested with a sense of grandeur. The larger areas are, however, more distinctive - not to mention easier to describe.
Lower LevelsNot far from the bottom is the Inner Bridge, occupying the center of the structure and taking the form of a vast oval chamber, about thirty kilometers in radius across and 10 kilometers in radius high. In the very center is a large platform, through which the central stairway runs. This central platform contains various mechanisms which operate the Gates, as well as control rooms to oversee them. In the center of the central platform is a large chunk of the Luminous Column, used for travel throughout the Ordered Heavens. The staircase winds tighter above it, hugging a large column that descends from the chamber roof to form a vault over the crystal. This column contains the primary banks of Variable Gates, spread into six levels, with 77 gates on each, for a total of 462, plus an additional seven 'free' gates capable of linking to arbitrary locations, not merely marked inert gateways. These, and their mechanisms, occupy the seventh tier of the column, just as it joins the roof. Meanwhile, the central platform also extends outwards from the stairway, forming a narrow ring occupied by various warehouses storing travel equipment. From the edge of this platform extend various 'branches', each leading towards a different plane or cluster. These branches, augmented with clusters of Semi-Variable Gates, then further split off to more and more specific destinations, occasionally interlinking where relevant, in a measured, logical pattern (getting where you need to go is a simple matter of paring down options) that nevertheless manages to look like a quasi-organic tangle of winding bridges hanging in the vastness of the chamber, and some have said this structure is the cause of the tree symbology in some culture's conception of the multiverse. Surrounding and surmounting the Inner Bridge are the libraries, mixed in with some classrooms. Though smaller than the Gate Chamber, these libraries are themselves impressive structures, with stacks of books towering higher than skyscrapers, glass vaults containing scrolls predating recorded history, ancient knowledge crystals, and computer databanks storing the knowledge of a hundred worlds. Cataloging the immense system alone is a task for thousands of Archons, to say nothing of curating and preserving it. Others work to copy the works in various redundant ways, with one group inscribing computer code in stone as others scan ancient tomes to the databank. The bulk of the library area is in the ring around the Gate Chamber, but it also extends in a shell over it. Further portions of the scholarly section extend upwards, with lecture and training halls near the center stair, while experimental laboratories adorn the outside. These laboratories, in particular, are well equipped for critical research, with many of them modified for specific purposes. Many even have extensive environmental control systems designed to emulate the physical conditions of various planes, allowing more intricate experimentation to take place, lest the Transcendent nature of the Heavens skew the results. The irony of deliberately creating bits of Hell - let alone the mortal realms - within Heaven is... considerable, but the potential for agricultural, medical, and similar research outweighs the philosophical awkwardness. Sandwiched between the University and Military sections is the main habitation layer, containing the bulk of the dormitories and leisure facilities for the Throne's inhabitants - work here is disciplined and austere, but not brutal, and everyone needs the chance to relax occasionally. Though the atmosphere is decidedly neither posh nor raucous, Archons frequently spend their breaks here walking the Middle Gardens, playing games, working on hobbies, meditating, or simply talking. Also present in this layer are a handful of workshops, some for self-use, others operated by other inhabitants, and a few importing material from outside. These workshops and stores are simple, but allow for the replacement of damaged goods, or various other interests. In the furthest outer ring of the middle section are the main docks, where not only flying Archons but also large craft can land. This is where most access the Throne on official business, and quarters for such guests are located just beyond the docks. The lowest tier of quarters is even connected to the laboratory environmental control systems, allowing them to be modulated for more... exotic... visitors.
Upper LevelsNext in line, making up the main portion of the 'bell', is the military district. At its heart is Star Command itself, receiving and transmitting data from forces across the multiverse, with a core of command centers, situation rooms, and analytical machines, surrounded in turn by the vast logistical and support offices necessary to keep such a vast force operational. Though a general mobilization is extremely rare, there is always evil threatening somewhere, and the Ordered Heavens take action, whether overt or subtle, from here. Beyond the central Star Command offices are facilities for training of units or individuals, ranging from firing ranges, to sparring rings, to simulators, to large artificial battlegrounds. Most often, Peacekeepers or private citizens will come to the Palace for intensive training by (other) master soldiers, but occasionally entire armies will arrive to train as one. In addition to the various units training onsite, the Councilar Guard has their base at the top of the military district. Though their members cycle in and out, the Councilar Guard is permanently on-station, serving not only to defend the Palace itself, but also as an elite on-hand force for the Council. As such, they are on a state of full readiness, and the Palace contains all the necessary equipment for a full division of the Star Command. Much of this equipment is held in the Upper, or Official, docks. While the lower docks are for the use of guests and supplies, the Upper docks are more utilitarian, meant to hold official craft. Located in a ring around the Day Gardens, at the very top of the Palace's main body, concealed by mirrored bay doors, the docks open upwards, allowing craft to launch straight out of the palace without worrying about the various towers. A wide variety of different craft are held in these docks - primitive airships, biplanes, star-faring frigates, even flying chariots - but the largest of these is the Dusk. 'Sister ship' to Lucifer's WarTemple Dawn, this is a large planar-and-space capable warship approximately two kilometers long, held in a dedicated bay. Opposite from it sits the Councilar shuttles and landing zone. The Official docks also store a variety of land and water vehicles, as well as more esoteric craft. Specialized lift corridors circle the docking bays, ready to deliver these vessels to the Gate Complex.
Roof & SpireThe roof of the Palace, where it curves inwards, is home to numerous gardens, promontories, and the like. The largest of these is the central Day Garden, with a large lake in the center once again, with seven causeways bridging between the bay doors of the Upper Docks. Out of this lake rises the Spire, the very tip of the Palace. At the Spire, the relatively flat roof gives way to a sharp vertical high-rise, two kilometers wide and ten tall. The Spire, as well as the upper portions of the main body beneath the Day Gardens, house the government offices. For the most part, despite their crucial importance, these are more or less ordinary offices, and not of any particular architectural distinction. At the very top of the spire is the Council Chambers, surrounded by a plaza about 100m in radius, with several promontories extending out further. The Council Chambers themselves, however, are perhaps the least impressive part of the structure. About 20 meters across in total, the Chamber consists of seven pillars in a rough circle, each decorated with intricate geometric carvings - one for each Councilor. The pillars contain various ancient mechanisms for displaying illusory images, for demonstration or remote communication purposes. In the center of the room is a small depression ringed with bronze, and in the center of that is the Key, a large, decorated altar wrought of Celestial Gold, lacquered wood, and other, finer materials. It serves as the physical centerpiece of the room, a recorder of the Council's proceedings, and, metaphorically, the 'keystone' of the entire edifice of the Ordered Heavens. In the opposite direction, there is a small space between the pillars and the walls, which consist of an inner wall, and a secondary outer wall, between which is the upper endpoint of the central stairway. The Chamber was once covered with a domed roof, with a series of Lumin Crystals mounted, but this was destroyed during the fall, the Key was broken, and significant damage was done to the overall structure. It is in this state that the Council Chamber has been carefully preserved, and continues to be used.
- Acropolis / Citadel