Requiem of the West
The Noble District
THE NOBLE DISTRICT
Population: Approximately 56,000 – 8,000 of which are Samurai, with the remainder being servants
Crime: Violent crime is nonexistent other than the regular clashes of the samurai.
Security: All noble houses are protected by armed retainers. The streets are patrolled at night by retainers of the council families, seeking to demonstrate their power and gain honor.
In the center of the city is a pair of islands, isolated from the rest of the city by heavily guarded bridges. These islands make up the Noble District, and house the vast majority of Samurai and Noble families within the city. It is a sprawling expanse of manors and fortifications, the islands are immensely opulent compared to the rest of the city; a thin layer of brittle wealth that disguises the chaos of diplomatic infighting beneath.
On these islands are three hills, atop each of which is the gigantic fortress of a major noble house. Currently; one stands abandoned, the second is occupied as the imposing bastion of the militaristic Kazuyoshi clan; and the third, largest hill, is the place of the immense and glorious palace of the Caira family.
At the foot of these hills is a sprawling expanse of noble manors and fortifications. Abandoned fortifications have become the barracks of numerous mercenary companies that occupy the city. Despite the decay that comes from decades of abandonment, this heart of the city is still immensely opulent compared to the rest of the city; a thin layer of brittle wealth that disguises the chaos beneath. Combat and infighting are pervasive, a microcosm of the nation as a whole. Skirmishes cause the dead to litter the streets, only to vanish by dawn, cleaned by the ever-busy and ever-present servant class.
Palace of the Sunset Empress
Also known as the Imperial Palace, this structure is a grand symbol of the rebirth of ancient traditions and Western power. Much of the imperial treasury has been spent over the past ten years renovating this structure and restoring it to its ancient splendor even now, crews of workers and scaffolding cover some sections. It will likely be the work of a lifetime to complete, but Lady Caira is dedicated to the task and has imported master artisans and craftsmen from across the east.
Whereas the Abbey of the Dawn evokes images of nature and serenity, the Imperial Palace is a daunting edifice, inspiring reverence by sheer architectural majesty. Even incomplete, the palace dwarfs every other structure in the city, aside from the twin Abbeys of the Dusk and Dawn. Flags flutter from every parapet, constant reiterations of the Caira crest in crimson and gold. Looming brilliant white walls protect a vast maze of inner courtyards and verdant gardens, maintained by vast cohorts of servants. At the center of it rests a mountainous keep that houses the ancient imperial seat, an intricately carved throne of red jade covered in exquisite silks.
Abbey of the Dusk
Adjacent to the Imperial Palace is the Abbey of the Dusk, an glorious and ancient structure carved into the bedrock of the island that forms the Noble District. Built in the distant past when the Empire first came to the continent as the sister to the Abbey of the Dawn, it has remained a constant monument to the strength of faith and tradition. On sunny days it shines gloriously in counterpoint to its sister, a man-made sunset in scarlet and amber cresting the island upon which the Noble’s District rests.
Office of the Kempeitai
The office of the Kempeitai is an incongruously grim building on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. It gives the strong impression that it simply snuck onto the premises one evening and that nobody has had the gall to mention it or have it removed. In any other place it would be unnoticeable, a small one-story grey building without windows or other distinguishing features, but in the epicenter of imperial splendor it looks as though it were built entirely of ash. The grim administrators of this structure report directly to the empress’ right hand and direct the Kempeitai secret police.