As I noted in some comments to a recent R.W. Chandler blog post, I plan to detail more of the Citadel of the Edge over the next few weeks, starting large and moving to more detailed section-by-section or floor-by-floor descriptions. I've included a very badly-drawn map of the Citadel and its immediate surroundings with a basic legend here.
1. Slag Pool
The Slag Pool is created from liquid metal and other caustic runoff from the Manufactories that are hollowed out under the northern portion of the Citadel. It is impossible for any living thing to survive more than a few seconds in contact with the harsh temperatures of the pool as well as the poisonous vapors, and even prolonged nearness to the pool can have debilitating effects. Anyone stopping on or near the road as it runs along its closest point to the pool will be rendered unconscious within ten minutes of stopping to enjoy the scenery, and killed by the vapors within an hour from that point.
2. Approach Road
The black crushed-stone roadway that leads out of the dead lands to the west, along the northern slopes of the Dragon's Fang. It is a barren and lifeless route, with no settlements or outposts along its eighty-mile length.
The Tower is the gate of the Citadel. It rises just over one hundred feet into the air and consists of one large shard of dully glimmering crystal, the color of which flows and fluctuates with the ripples of demonic energy rising from the Rift of Xerys. The Tower exists only to hinder entrance to the Citadel from the ground, so that invading armies are unable to stage an effective assault--the Tower being connected to the main body of the fortress by a hundred-foot-long arching span of stone.
4. Citadel of the Edge
The Citadel is constructed of black basalt, windowless and forbidding. Its outer wall stands over eighty feet tall, blotting out a huge portion of the sky when viewed from ground level, as it stands on a hundred-foot high cliff face as well. Two towers rise from the roof of the Citadel, ending in talon-like spires, though they are invisible from the ground. The Citadel houses the majority of the Gray Council's operations--the construction of machines of war and magical artifacts, the conduct of magical research, diplomatic efforts with agents both extra-planar and mundane, and the massive bureaucracy necessary to support its operations across the land.
The Main Hall is the ground floor of the Citadel, where visitors to the Council are housed and entertained. The Upper Halls are divided into West and East sections--in the West, the College of the Arcane has its offices and administrative structure. In the East are the facilities for the Gray Council proper, its trusted servants and those who manage the various magical and mechanical facilities that make up the Citadel. The Lower Halls are divided into North and South sections, the North section being composed of the various arms of the Manufactory and the South dedicated to arcane research laboratories and the results thereof.
5. The Floating Mountain
The Floating Mountain is the home to the current members of the Gray Council themselves. No one but the highest-ranked servants of the arch-wizards of the Council are allowed to set foot through any of the various magical Gates withing the Citadel that lead to this floating paradise, constructed in the image of ancient Latheros that fell into the sea. Safe from distractions and the troubles of the mortal world, the Council plot the next steps in their ages-long plan to overthrow the celestial order.
6. Soul Forge
The Soul Forge is a smallish one-room building built of black stone like the Citadel, only thirty feet square, housing a low altar of rough meteorite iron. The southern wall of the building is dominated by a round green-crystal lens that faces onto the whirling chaos of the Rift of Xerys and functions like a mirror or window. When sacrifices are offered upon the altar to the demonic forces inhabiting the Rift, their souls are drawn through the crystal, purified and prepared for their final fate.
7. The Demonic Rift of Xerys
Long ago, when the Empire of Xerys collapsed upon itself in a mighty shaking of the earth, a monstrous rent appeared in the very fabric of time and space to swallow up that decadent civilization. That scar on the face of the world still exists, and one tail of its hundred-mile length snakes along the side of the Citadel so that the Council may watch the gibbering and cavorting of the demonic hordes from the safety of their snow-white palaces, and draw upon their power in times of need.
8. Portal Annex
The Citadel has grown slowly but surely for almost one thousand years, since the flight of the Gray Council after their imprisonment of the god Gaiuph in a demi-plane of hopelessness and desolation. Now, agents of the Council travel throughout the world and even to other planes, and as connections between the Citadel's masters and the lords of other realms have grown and deepened, so too has the need for quick travel and communication between the Council's strongholds. The Portal Annex was constructed to satisfy these needs, bringing visitors from afar, enabling communication, and permitting the quick transit of high-ranking Council agents.
Next: we begin section-by-section descriptions (with terribly-drawn maps!)