The Jade Soma District, thus named by the former satrap because people kept calling the district “Bowels”, is Lathe’s commercial center. The district is dominated by a spiraling ten-story high tower of granite intestines known as The Alembic, home to a consortium of alchemists living in the labyrinthine tubes, chambers and alcoves of the beast’s former stomach. One can find a concoction or an elixir for every ailment, illness and desire imaginable from its little shops, the sound of bubbling distilleries and the grinding of mortar on pestle filling the air. Some alchemists are willing to part with forbidden thaumaturgic alchemical knowledge passed from father to son at exorbitant prices, some simply specialize in selling laxatives or aphrodisiacs. The Alembic reaches the ceiling of the cavernous district and is the easiest way to reach the Heartworks if one cannot fly.
The rest of Jade Soma District focuses on trade and entertainment. One of the more curious residents of the Jade Soma District is an orange-haired and ebony-skinned jadesmith that goes by the name of Cinderlock, supposedly blessed by Holamo, the God of Merged Jade. Holamo is the patron of jade alloys, a technique popular in ages past that has slowly faded from memory. From what people have managed to squeeze from the usually stoic Cinderlock, she was sent to revitalize and spread the word that the techniques were not lost. Cinderlock is a solemn and eccentric person, working her miraculous crucible only at night while producing weapons and armor that match the skill of the Blessed Isle’s best. She doesn’t take commissions paid with money, forging artifacts only to those who bring her the raw materials as well as something that piques her interest, whether it is a rare ingredient to use in the forging, a special need for the piece or simply a story that she finds intriguing. For now, she’s been working on equipping the new satrap’s chosen few with armor and weapons of red and black jade, often bearing symbology that hearkens to the meeting of water and fire of the volcanic island and the joining of the South and the West.
Naturally other skilled craftsmen and artificers reside in the Jade Soma District as well, their workshops surrounded by auction houses, high class lounges, inns, tea houses, residences and boutiques. Most merchants and traders prefer to stay in the safe hospitality of the Jade Soma District instead of the bunk houses of the Haunches below, even if the prices are bloated. Those offering the services know that Lathe is the last port before the long and arduous trip to The Caul and travelers will want to pamper themselves before they set off, even if it costs a little extra.
One such location for luxury is the The Sapphire Font. The Sapphire Font advertises itself as a tea house and spa, though it really is more of a glorified bath house-brothel that serves mango wine laced with cocaine from tall cups. The marble building’s main hall contains a large serpentine swimming pool that snakes around pillow pits where patrons can sit and drink, the pool itself filled with half-naked youngsters who are paid to lounge around under the spa’s artificial waterfalls and act as eye candy. These attractive boys and girls will scrub the backs of patrons who decide to wash up and with the right price will accompany them to the private grottos the pool leads to for whatever pleasures they wish to indulge in.