The Star Chamber
Opening the heavy metal doors of the Star Chamber is like stepping into another world. You look all around you, in awe of what you see in its ancient marble halls. Up above, you can see a large mural in the ceiling. You can see all of the stars, Seshani'er's children, forming shapes and constellations. You also see Friwë, the orange moon of Orkanis shining at the aft end of the mural, a small golden palace glimmering on its surface. The floors in front of you are a dark green, not unlike the colour of the stormy seas you crossed earlier in your journeys. Carved in each tile is a small rune, a glyph of protection against all manner of terrible monsters and demons. Nothing evil can enter the sanctuary of the Star Mother, or so you’ve been told. The benches around you are filled with people, as the The Council of Twelve is in session this morning. The room is hot, and you find yourself sweating within minutes. The room is also loud, with the shouts of a couple people amplified by the sheer size of the chamber. A Councillor starts talking and a small chorus of grumbles goes through the crowd. You dodge around people to get as close to the front of the crowd as you can. But the press of people is too thick and you end up hearing the debate from the back. Apparently, Kaharian horsemen have been seen in the Grey Forest near Sunport and the Council are currently debating a response to this. Considering your reaction thus far to the Kaharian people, it seems a little unlikely, but war has come to Loria before and it undoubtedly will again.
Purpose / Function
The Star Chamber is the most important building in the whole of the Kingdom of Loria. It serves a religious and a political purpose:
ReligiousThe building is a temple to the goddess Seshani’er, the Star Mother and the patron goddess of the caldilar. Not only is it a temple; by many, it is considered the original temple of the Star Mother in Sedesta, which all other temples are based on.
PoliticalWhen there aren’t temple services in session, the Star Chamber is the meeting place of the Council of Twelve, the group of eleven Councillors that inform the King of Loria. They regularly hold debates and discussions in this space, and some of them are open to the public.
The Star Chamber is easily one of the oldest buildings in Lerdelore, having been built at the end of the First Era. Its double purpose made sense back when the religious and temporal authority rested with the caldilar representative of the gods themselves. Following the fall of the Godful Dominion of Eselargani, it’s central location on the nw continent kept it safe from most of the damage of the Great Sundering. After that, it became the centre of the embryonic city of Lerdelore, the centre of the Star Empire. The various Star Emperors of that nation ruled their lands from its gilded halls, keeping up the tradition of both religious and temporal unity. When the Star Empire collapses at the end of the Second Era, the new Kingdom of Loria claimed the land as its new capital and continued the traditions of the Star Empire, including its rule from the Star Chamber. The building became more focused on its religious aspect, with the great ceiling mural being dedicated in 3E 199.
ArchitectureThe building has a twelve-sided shape, representing the twelve Free Ones. It has three major halls and six smaller side rooms and chapels, and the main central hall of the building has a ceiling about 10m tall. Large buttresses hold the ceiling in place, where a large mural of the moon and stars is on display.
AlterationsAround a decade ago, the Star Chamber was renovated to help preserve the ceiling mural and the stone structure itself. Using the services of the Starshine Academy’s elite Gilded Spellsingers, the mural was removed and restored, and masons went about replacing the stone pillars and exterior.
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