September 5, 2016

World of Outcast Shadows: Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro (pronounced cure-ah-scure-o) is a small city built of black and white stone and occupied by a similarly monochromatic populace. Most of the citizens are hatched, live, and die without ever leaving, but because they depend entirely on materials and comestibles from “outside”, there are select individuals who are allowed out into the world. These include farmers, miners, procurers of technology, engineers, and memory merchants.

The Empyreal Palace is both the tallest and largest building in the city, supported by numerous flying and unflying buttresses. The main body of the palace is comprised of many family-sized apartments that form the outer walls, all surrounding an open atrium. Though most of the building is hollow, the northernmost section’s lower levels are more densely packed, but many of the walls between rooms are wooden rather than stone in order to reduce excess weight. Special rooms in the palace include the Council Chamber, Document Chamber, Theater, Library, and Bath House (the water of which is magically procured and replenished).


Though most Chiaroscurans originally lived in the palace, the gradual increase in population led to a need for more living quarters, as well as a larger variety of restaurants, workshops, and stores. Due to certain restrictions on the city limits, however, the citizenry quickly realized that it would be better to build up and not out. Thus, numerous multistory buildings were constructed under, around, and occasionally on the flying buttresses, as well as up against the walls of the palace. The various levels of the city are accessed by bridge-like walkways and winding stairs.

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