The Gilded Preceptry
The largest of the civic apartments high within the Shadowed Heights of The Gleaming City is the Gilded Preceptry. This is the headquarters of the Merchantry of the Torrent, and has a threefold purpose as bank, judiciary and church. It takes up multiple floors in the top of the Shadowed Heights, with connections to many adjoining private apartments as well as direct access to the Ring of Nine from its domed roof. The main entrance is from Councourse that lines the Atrium of the city. Its huge glass archway adorned with ornate stained glass and obsidion frescos, allows access to a constant stream of visitors into the Grand Foyer within.
The Grand FoyerThe entrance to the Precepty is a huge glass archway open to the Concourse outside. Wihin lies an impressive array of meeting spaces in a vast open plan. Cafes, with tables, divans and roaming attendants glank an ostentatious fountain of water, and tended gardens of exostic pot plants - and extravagence of riches this deep into the sunparched lands of Ardi-Kokufa and the Shatterbright. Many people use this space as a meeing place, for recreation and for simply observing the comings and goings of the rich and powerful. Behind the fountain is the vast Reception desk, where a good 20 or more functionaries await to greet arrivals for their appointments elsewhere in the building.
Mercantile chambersBehind the recdeption desk are a number of smaller, private, but still lucurious and ornate, meeting rooms for those discussions that require a little more discretion. These are known as the Mercantile Chambers. As a mercantile house of lending, the Preceptry has clerks and functionairies devoted to recording transactions and keeping tabs on the assets and civic contributions of the various merchants and Lords across the Gleaming City. They are the bureaucrats who even the highest of Lords must contend with should they require a loan, or to manage the sale of property. These clerks will meet with customers within the Mercantile chambers. This is where they assit the Lords and Merchants manage their finances, to deposit or withdraw funds and Uhd from the stores far below the city, or to make private deals and have loans approved. There is always heavy security present with many Deks of The Flaming Brand in all rooms, but these are members with direct loyalty to the Holy Caldera rather than any particular Lord.
The JudiciaryBelow the level of the reception and the Mercantile Chambers can be accessed the Judicary. This is where the Enforcers of the Preceptry preside, and where the courts that manage any legal matters are found. In addition to the courts, there sits the holding cells for contining suspects and criminals before their trials. The courts manage everything from trade disputes to poersonal injury and other infractions. The most senstive of cases involves the breaching of contracts and agreements, which are dealt with in the harshest of manner by the Enforcers themselves.
The LuminaryLocated above the level of the Mercantile Chambers, lies the centre of the Merchantry's holy mission. A central cathedral contains a worship space big enough to hold at least a thousand attendees, and with a glass-domed balcony that extends out over the middle of the Atrium. On this sits a large multi-level dais upon which sit 21 thrones around the edge - one for each Lord - faced inward looking at the central rise with the three chairs of the Holy Caldera. High above this platform, sits the true platform of the Caldera in the upper city. Surrounding the cathedral are concetric semi-cirular rings of halls and chambers that house the holy mission around the top level of the Shadowed Heights. This is where the functionaries and propogandists that governs the spread of religious dogma throughout the domain of the Lords of Fire work. The most public of these are known as the Illuminators, and they are the masked proselytisers that spread the word, and silently and ruthlessly weed out serious dissent in places under the dominion of the Gleaming City.
Ministry / City hall