Cathedral of a Thousand Shards Building / Landmark in The Shattered Isles | World Anvil
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Cathedral of a Thousand Shards

The Cathedral of a Thousand Shards is the headquarters for the Chapter of Holy Endurance, a branch of Ilmatari clerics devoted to the care of the sick and dying. The cathedral itself is actually the largest dedicated hospital building in the world, and sits at the south-west corner of New Haven's middle tier. Its doors are open to all, although the poor and dispossessed tend to be the most numerous patients. 


The initial structure of what was the stained glass workshop was a clay brick edifice containing one large hall two stories high. The roof had been made of copper tiles supported by wooden rafters, the latter of which was severely damaged during the fire, causing the entire roof to collapse. When the building was taken over by the Chapter of Holy Endurance, they cleared away the rubble and removed the large furnaces used for smelting glass. The copper tiles that had not been badly damaged in the fire were requisitioned to replace the roof, which was supported this time with a combination of iron and wooden beams to add extra strength. A second floor was added to the large hall with a central stairway access. Both levels were partitioned off to create wards and treatment centres. Where the exterior walls were badly damaged, the priests made sure to allow a plentiful supply of natural light by scavenging shattered stained glass left in the aftermath of the fire, creating beautiful yet fractured-looking windows that reached from ground level to the roof. These four windows on either side of the building were surrounded by the famous white stone cut from quarries outside of the city, and were what eventually gave the building its now famous name: the Cathedral of a Thousand Shards. In reality, however, the number of shards of glass used number in the tens of thousands. Over the years additions were made to the base structure of the building; a third level was added in the form of a central tower that housed most of the priesthood; new wards were created on either side of the building in east and west wings, and a temple to Ilmater was constructed at the building's rear. 


Plans for a new temple to Ilmater in New Haven's lower tier had been put forth to King Aron Valenrus many times over the years, but the Ilmatari priests had found themselves continually rejected; the lower tier was in need of residential uplifting after the exodus of people from the Ashen Chain in 1035 RH. With a refugee crisis on the city's hands, there was deemed to be no space available for a bigger temple to The Crying God, despite his worshipper's ardent pleas for a better place to care for the sufferers. It had long been held that the place of an Ilmatari in New Haven was at the lower tier, where most of the poor and suffering lived. However, in 1036 RH the Chapter of Holy Endurance, an offshoot of the church of Ilmater, formed under the leadership of the cleric Gregor Arìeth. The Chapter believed in the equal aid of all people, regardless of social strata, and so they lobbied the King for a place to build an 'aid house' (precursor of a hospital) in the middle tier of the city. Permission was eventually given for them to take over the shell of an old stained glass workshop; a large building that had been gutted by fire a few years back. Re-construction on the site was started in 1038 RH and took the next 96 years to become the truly remarkable building it is in the present day.
Founding Date
1134 RH
Parent Location
Owning Organization

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