"Behold, traveller, the seat of three thousand years of civilisation. Behold the foundation of the greatest city in the world. Behold the wonder of Arikanda. Behold Archon's Seat."Archon's Seat is a palace complex in the city of Helik. It is built atop a large rock outcrop in the very centre of Helik, and is effectively considered the administrative hub of the city. Beyond that, it is seen as a symbol of Helik's civic prowess and hegemony.
-An etching carved alongside the first gate before the path to Archon's Seat.
Purpose / Function
At its most basic, Archon's Seat is the residence of the reigning Archon of the city-state of Helik, and serves as a meeting hall where the Archon receives meetings with officials, hears appeals from the populace, and hosts foreign dignitaries. It is also the administrative centre of the city itself, dating back to the early centuries of Helik's history where it served as a hub for the storage and redistribution of food, materials and wealth for the city. It still hosts the reserve grain silos for the city and hosts a considerable treasury, along with bureaucratic offices and workshops. Effectively it can be considered a combination of a city hall, palace, and logistical and bureaucratic centre.
Architecturally, Archon's Seat is divided into the palace itself and the surrounding complex, both of which are built atop the flattened top of the rocky outcrop housing the complex. The outer edges of the complex are unworked stone and earth, while the main grounds are made up of cobbled slabs and tiles to form flooring. Surrounding the palace are a number of silos and warehouses dedicated to the storage of produce, primarily grain. These silos are built of adobe, with a round base and a beehive-style roof. A number of other small adobe cube-shaped houses, dedicated to workshops and administrative offices, are scattered throughout the complex. The palace itself is in the centre of the complex and surrounded by red-washed limestone walls, becoming a rectangular courtyard. The approach is a mixture of a smooth sandstone floor and interspersed rectangular gardens, with the centrepiece being a hexagon-shaped pool. Beyond the pool, red and white steps rise towards the entrance of the palace, a flat-roofed verandah supported by cylindrical pillars of white and red. A single arch then leads into the palace itself, which is divided into an antechamber and the great hall. The antechamber is brightly lit, with light coming in from square gaps in the ceiling above, with stone benches to seat attendees. A second arch on the far end of the antechamber leads to the great hall. Inside the great hall, the floor is a checkerboard pattern of polished red and beige marble. The hall is perpetually lit by braziers mounted into the dark red stone walls. The great hall's centrepiece is a sunken hearth, made up of a ring of hip-height sandstone blocks encircling a sunken bronze brazier in which a great flame burns. A set of steps rises past this point to the far end of the hall, where a blocky marble throne - the titular Archon's Seat - is set up on a dais. Behind the throne, the wall is decorated with a central mural of Helik's sigil, a golden garuda on a dark green background. To the left and right of the central mural are depictions of the goddesses Essena and Delthur, along with scenes depicting farmers tending to the floating farms of Helik and charioteers riding out of the city. Behind another arch is the portion of the palace dedicated to the Archon's residence, including common areas and bedrooms for the Archon and their family, a modest dining hall for daily meals, and a vast heated bathing pool cut out of marble in the floor.
Archon's Seat is built atop a natural outcrop in the centre of Garuda's Rise. The outcrop serves as a natural fortification, with the slopes of the outcrop preventing easy approach from the west, east or north. To supplement this, a large stone wall encircles the top of the outcrop. The only easy access point to the outcrop is from the south, where a sloping road allows access to foot and chariot traffic. The foot of the road is guarded by an adobe wall and archway, supplemented by two guard towers to its left and right and a force of armed soldiers. Two more guard towers along with a much larger guard complement sits at the apex of the outcrop. Artificial roadblocks and palisades can also be deployed along the path to further reduce the path of approach. The complex itself has its own separate garrison, which is supplemented by the Garudas, the Archon's elite bodyguard.
Archon's Seat is considered something of a wonder, and visitors to Helik are frequently drawn to it, particularly among philosophers and merchants/nobles with a travelling bent. Visitors are welcome within the complex, however they are not permitted within the great hall.