Kuai’ain Palace

The fifth of the Sa'avian ruins discovered in Tolara, the Kuai’ain Palace was found by an Eris'kan expedition team led by Yen Tae-Hyun, some 200 years after the original ruins were discovered; lying on the coast of the Southern Peninsula, it's a sprawling complex that sits half submerged in the ocean- and half atop a high mountain... To this day it remains the most impressive Sa'avian ruin and has greatly advanced Tolaran knowledge of not only the Sa'avian race, but also the arcane technology they employed.

 

Size & Location

Judging by the rise in water temperatures over the centuries, Archivists theorize that the Kuai'ain Palace was originally situated entirely above sea level with the structure sitting atop artificial terraces carved into the side of Mount Bai-Tia Bunang; it's estimated that the lowest terraces at the time of the Palace's construction, actually sat some 2.5 miles / 4,000 meters above sea level... With the increase in water levels (as well as various earthquakes, avalanches, and other natural events which have shifted the land over time), however, only about 1/3rd of the original complex is accessible today. The rest now sits submerged in the Salhea Ocean.

According to surviving records, the Palace was built between 1403 and 1410. Altogether, the entire complex spans approximately 61 hectares (or 150 acres) in total, with about 20 hectares (or 50 acres) set aside for what appear to be various gardens. Building wise it consists of 980 surviving buildings and 8,707 rooms stretching across 4 terraces- each of which is surrounded by a 4 meter / 13 foot high wall; more akin to a small city than a Palace, Archivists estimate that it could have housed anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people at the height of its use.

 

Original Purpose & Function

From the cache of artifacts left behind in the surviving structures of the complex, Archivists have determined that the Kuai'ain Palace was originally built as a home for the Sa'avian Royal Family during Tolara's cold season; it's believe that the Sa'avian Royal Family maintained a primary palace in the mountainous pass leading into the Southern Peninsula of Tolara, and would migrate to the Western Palace before the mountain passes closed with ice and snow- returning during the warmer months after the pass had thawed again.

However, at some point around the year 3000, the Northern Palace was lost to fire during what Archivist surmise was a sort of Wedding Celebration. It was at this point that the Kuai'ain Palace became the permanent residence of the Sa'avian Royal Family.

 

Architecture & State of Decay

What little of the Palace complex remains accessible exists in various states of deterioration; above sea level, its crumbling structures are overgrown with Silk Cotton, Mangrove, and Banyan trees native to the southern Jungles. Below, the structures have largely remained in tact, but are heavily obscured by coral and other oceanic growth... Despite its decaying nature, however, much of the complex still remains well preserved. This incredible level of preservation is due to the now dormant nature of a power source that Archivists believed initially powered and shielded the complex. It's unknown when the power source went dormant, but the state of the ruins suggest some point within the last 1,000 years or so.

Built from contrasting dark and white stone with gold veins, much of the complex consists of large spires. Domed buildings of various sizes are also found- most whom's domes are decorated with ornate mosaic tiles. Large archways, gates, and walls line the outer perimeter of each terrace- leading the visitor through winding roads between crumbling structures and massive gardens. These buildings appear to have been carefully constructed using quarried slabs, layer by layer, with a slight offset for stability- while the accessible subterranean portions of the palace feature barrel vaulted stonework. Perhaps more interestingly, however, every visible surface appears to have been skillfully carved in ornate designs both geometric and organic in nature. The designs featured on the walls show an incredible level of craftsmanship unmatched by any known empire- modern or ancient.

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Artistic recreation of what the Throne Room at the Kuai'aian Palace must have looked like based on a study of the room in its current state, by Yefim

Type

Palace Complex; Large

Built

Between 1403 and 1410

Ruined

Some time around 3319

Size

Approximately 61 hectares across 4 terraces

Remaining Buildings

980 surviving; more than 200 ruined

Population

Approximately 10,000 in average use
Approximately 20,000 at height of use

Purpose

Summer Home for the Sa'avian Royal Family; later, their main residence after the Northern Palace was destroyed

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Artistic recreation of what the terrace walls at the Kuai'aian Palace must have looked like based on a study of the walls in their current state, by Yefim


Cover image: Ruins by Natasha Tan

Comments

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4 Jul, 2018 06:49

Show spoiler

Double "the" end of first paragraph.
  Very nice! Gives me a lot to think about for my ruin article.

4 Jul, 2018 06:50

Good luck! I look forward to reading it :D

4 Jul, 2018 20:48

Lovely details, lovely history, and lovely writing as always. A great food for thought article too.

4 Jul, 2018 20:51

Glad you enjoyed it!

4 Jul, 2018 20:51

That is extremely impressive. I really like the idea of sunken cities, even though I hate the water. I could imagine the amount of crazy stuff you would find splunking and exploring the sunken depths, well done.

4 Jul, 2018 20:57

There's certainly a few rumors of what could be found in the sunken parts of the palace if you care to go exploring ;) of course, though, the Archivists wouldn't be a fan of you taking their research materials lol.

4 Jul, 2018 20:53

YLH, your articles are always amazing and inspirational to read. What thrills me is you've managed to find art choices that are in a similar style...gives the article a very consistent feel. The level of detail you put, along with your prose and narrative style is amazing to read. Thank you for a wonderful article (once again).

4 Jul, 2018 20:58

They're actually by the same artist! It's one of my tricks for getting consistent tones throughout an article: Find two or more pieces by the same artist and edit them in a similar style :3 <3

9 Jul, 2018 22:37

That palace must have been truly marvellous before it was destroyed. The images fit really well and make the scene so much more "real". Great work!

9 Jul, 2018 22:38

Thank you, hun!

9 Jul, 2018 23:20

Blimey, sounded like a magical place and a crying shame that it's now a ruin, really.

10 Jul, 2018 00:04

Who knows! Someone might decide to re-float the Palace and rebuild it ;)

10 Jul, 2018 00:23

Wonderful ruin, very inspiring! I love the descriptions of what little historians have managed to put together! The images really set the whole scene too! The details of overgrown it is, covered in water and coral... Beautiful.

10 Jul, 2018 00:29

Glad you enjoyed it!