The Smoky Palace Building / Landmark in White Reach | World Anvil

The Smoky Palace

"You know, in retrospect it was probably not worth the effort to build it. However, it makes a fine place to throw someone you want out of the way and have them left in comfort."
  While the decline of the Star League was going on, White Reach was only on its rise as far as the Baron Anton d'Wall saw. It was not being bothered overmuch by the civil troubles which was a result of major corruption in the higher ranks of the government, and the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth saw no reason to be troublesome to a planet with limited strategic and economic value. The Smoky Palace, officially the "Schrade Stormfront Hotel" during initial construction and design, was to be an attempt to become noticed by off-worlders.
Of course, when the First Succession War broke out it left Anton struggling to reconcile the need to be recognized for having a planet being managed well and prosperously and avoiding becoming a target for either the enemies of the Commonwealth or the Archon needing to use it for the war effort. He wound up turning it over to the government body to do with as they would, trying to distance himself from an expensive and now useless effort.
The locals of White Reach know about the Palace, but regard it with either amusement at it having not fallen apart yet or exasperation such a thing exists on their world for outsiders to see and judge them on.

Purpose / Function

When the final design was approved, it was meant to be large enough to house forty individual suites and six function rooms as well as kitchens, laundry rooms, and other hospitality needs. However, due to a lack of steady tourism to the planet, this was doomed to failure almost within the lifetime of the baron who commissioned it. Currently it has had the planetary communications limited to a few lines monitored and controlled by staff, and has turned into a place to make embarrassing political figures or local celebrities disappear from the public view for a time. In a less sinister fashion, it also is a place off-world visitors can arrange meetings without their presence being readily known to the majority of the residents.


Over the last three centuries' time, various minor interior alterations have been made to make it secure and host a fair amount of comforts for those who "are volunteered" to be residents. One of these changes was to expand the nearby landing area into a DropShip landing space about three hundred meters from the structure for off-world supplies or "visitors" who were directed there.


Made from the Schrade smoky granite and cloud-marble, the building was made to resemble ancient Terran fortifications with an eye towards more opulence than functionality. As such the outer walls have been carved and shaped to appear less formidable and ominous without actually sacrificing much of the structural strength. Taking a cue from the ancestry of the Baron d'Wall, it resembles some of the old castles which were present in western Europe on Terra. However, once inside the walls the architecture shifts to more late 24th century sensibilities with a broad open space and ample windows above the ground floor looking out on the central courtyard. The interiors use local wood treated to resemble the same cloudy luster while still showing off the wood grain, and a number of plants have been left around which have minor medicinal purposes as well as aesthetic uses. Most of the staff facilities are actually underground, and have a more industrial look to them owing to how they are designed for practicality as opposed to appearances.


In the late 28th century, the baron in charge of White Reach wanted a project to show the planet still had not succumbed to the slow decline of other planets during the last years of the Star League. It was commissioned to be an archaic style of building made out of smoky black granite which was more common in the Schrade Highlands, a thick wall which had the facilities built up against the walls from the inside and having a large open courtyard. Most of the main structure was built out of the smoky granite and some treated stone with a cloudy grey look similar to marble. When it was finished, the interior was handled carefully to be something of a resort which could handle roughly forty rooms and a half-dozen various function rooms.
Despite the efforts, there was still a rather notable upheaval going on with the First Succession War beginning and very little time for people to indulge in travel for recreational purposes. The cost of staying had been figured more for off-world visitors than locals, meaning there weren't many who lived on White Reach with the means to stay for an extended period beyond the baron himself. Since recouping the expense was proving impossible, the focus was changed in the 29th century to be something of a secondary meeting place for government functions. It wasn't until recent decades with the rise in political issues concerning Vernier City and former officials another use was determined - to house such dissidents in a way to remove them from the populace and prevent them from causing any more trouble.
Alternative Names
The Grey Mistake
Schrade Stormfront
Hospitality, Resort
Parent Location
Owning Organization

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