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Caldera-0

Inside the volcano rises a magnificent display of Dragon-blooded craftsmanship aptly known as the Caldera. Built on top of the lake that has formed in the basin by the means of ingenious architecture, the district has the widest surface area of them all – large plazas of white volcanic sillar stone are supported by dragon-shaped pillars and awe-inspiring archworks that shoot up from the lake and the sides of the volcano. On top of these layered platforms the Dynasts have built their palaces and stunningly high towers, taming the scalding geysirs of the lake within elaborate fountains and waterfalls that flow from one level to another. The Caldera is home to the most affluent and important citizens of Lathe and plays host to the satrap’s residential palace, the Museum of Dynastic Art and the grand châteaux of the Great Houses. An artificial tunnel from the volcanic lake leads out to the shore and thus a harbor has been built under the platforms to anchor the vessels of the Imperial Navy and the personal vessels of the Dynasts. Only a few others ships such as the one owned by the god-blooded proprietor of the museum by the name of Alabaster Brush and the most important ships of the Guild are allowed to make port here.

House Cathak, Peleps and Nellens are the most prominent of the dynastic bloodlines in Lathe, with House Ragara and Cynis owning smaller enclaves closer to the edge of the volcano. House Mnemon used to control a magnificent fortress in the center of the Caldera by the virtue of the former satrap being of their lineage, but during a tragic event two years ago the entire section that was once dedicated to House Mnemon was reduced to rubble, now growing algae in the bottom of the lake. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but the vague idea is that the satrap was in league with dark forces and tried to summon a powerful demon on Calibration, which led to the Hall of Aruspicy, the Immaculate Order and all of the dynastic patricians of the other Houses to join forces and try to stop the ritual. They succeeded, but House Mnemon was wiped from Lathe in the process. They have not returned since, which makes conspiracy theorists speculate that it was all a carefully orchestrated coup and if the scions of Mnemon were to return, they would be welcomed with drawn swords rather than open arms.

Many of the Caldera’s residents frequent the House of Eight Glows, a large tower in the eastern side of the basin. Each of the eight floors of the establishment are themed differently based on the various directions of Creation. For example, the fourth floor is themed after the riches of the Dreaming Sea and prominently features the architecture of the Prasad Empire as well as the wyrdlights and cold fire of Ysyr. On the seventh floor patrons can listen the stories told by authentic monster hunters of Whitewall while staving off the magical cold by a roaring bonfire. The House even presents the option to try and make love to an oath-bound and cold iron-shackled raksha from the frozen taiga. No matter where you are from, the House of Eight Glows aims to make travelers feel like home and offers to others the experience of new cultures without the need to travel.

Cathak Ogata is the fire-aspected satrap of Lathe. He only took the position recently, after his predecessor’s untimely retirement, and is determined to set a strong example to the people of the city. He is convinced that he will be the one to utterly exterminate the demon cults, and his refusal to abide even the slightest deviance has earned him enemies among the people of Lathe and the native Immaculates. Ogata is a proud, conservative and temperamental man with long pitch-black hair streaked with fiery red stripes. He keeps his long moustache and goatee meticulously waxed and staves off the signs of aging with the help of Lathe’s finest alchemists.

Jagamaru, “The Tiger of Lathe”, abandoned the Immaculate Order to directly serve Ogata, who he views as a stronger and more zealous leader. Jagamaru still follows the Immaculate Philosophy, but sees the Order itself as being weak and impure in its faith due to their occasional cooperation with the demon cults of Lathe. Jagamaru wears an exquisite armor of black jade studded with rubies and wields the fearsome “Talons of Heshiesh”, red jade dragon claws forged by Cathak smiths and gifted to him by Ogata. Despite abandoning the ascetic ways of the Immaculate Order his spiritual enlightenment has only increased according to his own words, and he slaughters the unworthy with an uncommon mastery of the Water Dragon Style.

The siblings Jennai and Haspa of House Peleps Tedon are the Imperial Navy’s representatives in Lathe. The Realm Navy consists of stationed Dynasts and soldiers of the Blessed Isle and they tend to consider the natives inferior, regardless of their actual status. Members of the Imperial Navy tend to stick to themselves for the most part, but show up in galas and other important social functions decked in finery and elegance that makes many Dynasts in Lathe envious.

The Satrap’s Guard is a well-trained fighting force that routinely trains with both Ogata and Jagamaru. They wear black and red lamellar in the colors of the satrap and partially in imitation of the satrap’s formerly Immaculate champion who leads them in the field as they hunt down cultists and other undesirables.