[personal profile] seamus
After [profile] blue_devi gave us Spindlemarch, [personal profile] hatmandu found Polopolis, [profile] _kent stumbled across Velocester and [profile] smiorgian discovered Wessex Prime in dreams, I seem to have stumbled across another of these, and note for the record

Morningtide is a cathedral city.

Unknown centuries past some deranged theocrat, long since purposely erased from Morningtide's records, committed what was then a remote and insignificant hamlet to the building of a giant catheral. Whether this was for the greater glory of god or for the vainglory of the ruler may have been debated in heated whispers even under his rule. Today, we have no idea. Some hint that building the cathedral simply bankrupted Morningtide. Others say the labour reduced the people to bandits, or parasites, surviving only by plundering and ultimately enslaving their neighbours to continue the endless construction until those neighbours allied to vanquish them. A handful claim that a fervour swept the citizens of the day and they raised the monstrous edifice without complaint in a frenzy of piety. Whatever the explanation, somehow, and without any apparent resources or riches with which to have undertaken the enterprise, in a bare handful of years Morningtide almost succeeded in raising the greatest cathedral of its day.

The modern city sits within the bounds laid out by that long-dead theocrat. The massive outer walls of the basilica describe the outer edges of the city. Within the vast nave layers upon layers of shops and tiny manufacturies have accreted until their very uppermost stories are secured to the massive timbers and bosses of the ceiling itself. Homes that grew up in and around the wooden-built quire over the past few centuries are now considered desirable; those of more recent origin spiraling around the stone walls of the north and south transepts are considered suitable only for parvenus and those fallen on hard times. The hereditary rich live spaciously amidst the golden statuary of the sacristy; those more recently elevated through commerce gravitate towards the houses hewn from the walls of the intricately marbled inner chapel. By long-standing tradition, visitors - and there are many - are housed in the taverns which huddle within the unfinished bell-tower.

Morningtide is a cathedral city, and local legend has it that the undercroft also has its denizens - descendents of the ruler who once raised the cathedral that became Morningtide, and for vengeance was immured beneath it. If so they do not appear when the fractured, multi-hued light that falls on Morningtide during the day streams through the city's reknowned stained-glass windows, and those not habituated to the dark of the undercroft are not advised to visit them there.

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July 2009


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