Coronale

 

CITY OF CORONALE

Coronale is a large city, even by the renaissance standards of the Six Kingdoms, with a population of three-quarters of a million people.  

The Senn River flows through this region of Couer au Soleil, known as il Couer de Couer, and the oldest part of Coronale sits on an island in the river.  It can be seen below in the North bend of the river.  

This map is only included for geographical purposes.  

These two islands are called the Ile de la Cité and the Ile de L’aigle.  

Ile de la Cité

Ile de la Cité is the traditional seat of government in Couer au Soleil.  The royal family traditionally ruled from the Palais Royal, seated at the crest of the broad hill that stretches across the island.  Now, of course, the royal family has moved to the Morning House on the Northwest outskirts of the City; the Palais Royal is the seat of city government, headed by the Comte d’Orlais, one of the wealthiest government appointments in Couer au Soleil.  Many of the wealthiest families in Couer au Soleil live along the gentle slope of this hill, which commands an excellent vista of the rest of the city; this neighborhood is known as Les Hauteurs ("The Heights") and is well-policed and thoroughly modern, having gas-powered streetlights and good plumbing.  At the base of the hill on its eastern side is the famous Basilica, the Church of the Ninefold Virtues, and the religious city-in-miniature that has sprung up around it.  

Just below Les Hauteurs on the Ile are the high-quality businesses that support the needs of the wealthy.  Three broad stone bridges are the primary way of coming and going from the island; one to each bank (the West and East bridges) and one to the Ile de L'aigle (the Eagle Bridge).

Locations on the Ile de la Cité.  This is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to be representative of the type of establishment that is found on the isle.  

The Church of the Ninefold Virtues is a massive cathedral on the eastern side of the isle.  It features one of the largest cathedrals in the world, rebuilt some 300 years ago, with two long arms stretching north and south along the base of the hill that were constructed somewhat later.  The sanctuary is filled with beautiful statuary and some massive stained glass windows depicting various scriptural scenes; it is said that none have equalled the craft of the master glassmaker who made these windows, and if one were to be broken or damaged, they could not be replaced.  The arms of the cathedral house all the various and sundry people needed to run such a massive public building, a number of monks and sainted sisters, and the members of the Theurgic Council, unless they decide to take rooms elsewhere.  The Inquisition in Coronale is also based in the Church of the Ninefold Virtues, which boasts a nine member ecclesiastical court.

The Gilded Sun is probably the most famous inn in Couer au Soleil.  It rests at the western base of the hill on the Ile de la Cité where its famous gardens bask in the afternoon sunlight.  The gardens at the Gilded Sun are terraced at different elevations and have high hedgerows and artfully arranged screens between a number of separate areas, creating a set of outdoor rooms for relaxing, taking wine or refreshment, and listening to music.  The indoor dining rooms are no less luxurious.  The Gilded Sun has neither an open taproom nor a common sleeping area.  Most of the rooms to rent for sleeping are actually suites of several rooms.  Tyeson Vaux is the famously red-haired proprietor of this inn.  

Le Sublime is a club for the rich, with separate areas for men and women.  In the morning, a member can get pastries and imported coffee or tea.  In the afternoon and the evening, Couer au Soleil’s finest wines and liquors are available, as well as imported tobacco and meals made to order by Le Sublime’s master chef, Andre Michelin.

The Rose Boutique, run by Roesia Dimon, is one of the places where discerning members of the Coronale nobility go to have clothes made from the finest fabrics in the latest styles.  Roesia’s husband Montaine is also a tailor who specializes in men’s clothing.  

Destine’s Oriental Jewels, unsurprisingly, deals in gems and jewels as well as jewelry of gold and silver.  Despite the general safety on the isle, Destine’s is as well-guarded as most banks, with sturdy stone walls and intimidating armed guards.  

The Mercantile Bank is a collaborative bank owned and operated by the major merchant families of Couer au Soleil, including Arreviste, Ducharme, Mercier, Muscadet, Anceaume, and Preudomme.  Collaborative bank is a bit of a misnomer; it is actually a large building that the houses lease from the Crown, from which they each run their respective banking operations.  Visitors to the Mercantile bank enter into a massive marble atrium covered with thick burgundy carpet.  Passages on the sides of the room are guarded by groups of armed men who will only permit entrance to those who have an appointment.  In the rear half of the room are a few dozen tables where visitors to the Mercantile Bank can purchase coffee; much of the business of Couer au Soleil is conducted at these tables as factors and representatives of the six houses, many of the lesser houses, and other merchants and businessmen drink coffee and talk to each other.  

Ile de L’aigle (Isle of the Eagle)

The Ile de L’aigle is lies slightly to the North and West of the Ile de la Cité in the river.  There is some debate about why the isle is named “Isle of the Eagle.”  The two most popular theories are that the Julian Empire built the first viceroy’s manor on the Isle after Julian took the city; Julian’s military banner featured an eagle.  Others believe that it so named because of the towering presence of The White Eyrie, the tallest building in Coronale by some distance.

The White Eyrie is a building of mystery, stretching over 300 feet into the air.  It is not used for anything any more, but is maintained as a historical relic of the Julian era, and a beautiful one for all that it is broken at the top.  Curiously, many of the upper rooms cannot be reached by stairs at all; historians speculate that the Eyrie was one of a number of buildings of its height, perhaps connected by sky walks of some kind.  The Eyrie is located just East of the center of the island on its North-South axis.

Other locations in Ile de L’aigle.  Again, this is not an exhaustive list but is meant to show some representative locations.  

The Museum of Imperial History is one of the best and largest repositories of Julian era artifacts outside of Tiberium itself – its curator might even argue that the Museum’s collection is more expansive.  In addition to being a collection of Julian artifacts, the Museum is adjacent to the University of Coronale and boasts many historical scholars.  The curator is Nicolas Henri Hasson, a Soleilan veteran who studied at the university after leaving military service.

The University of Coronale’s campus sprawls across much of the center of the Ile de L’aigle.  King Adolphus chartered the University in 1189 J.R., donating a large park space that was in the center of the isle.  The university has sought to preserve as much of this park space as possible, choosing to build its first buildings around the edge.  The University grew at a prodigious rate in the ensuing 20 years, with Adolphus taking lands around the University by eminent domain (warehouses and other houses of trade, mostly) and donating them in perpetuity.  When King Adolphus died, his daughter the Queen Adelaide donated some of her family holdings around the University in his name and ordered that a library be assembled to contain 10,000 volumes.  This difficult goal was achieved in less than five years, with the library being over 30,000 volumes as of 1224 J.R.  Most scholars agree that the library is a marvel, but a few note that many of the volumes in the library came from monasteries of the church, which makes the collection largely a religious one.  Still some gems can be found here.

The Coronale Opera House is also on Ile de L’aigle.  Its interior is opulent, all shining marble and soft yellow light provided by dozens of golden chandeliers.  The theatre itself can hold nearly 5000 people, the majority on the floor level.  The theatre also has six levels of private boxes above the floor, the best of these being the royal box, reserved for members of the royal family and guests.  The theatre is lit by a massive crystal chandelier that requires more than 20 men using a pulley system to raise and lower and which boasts nearly 100 candles.  Of course, what opera house would be complete without legends of ghosts wandering its halls.  Noelle Hermes, considered the greatest soprano of her generation, hanged herself in her dressing room some twenty years ago, and the dressing room has not been used since.  Members of subsequent companies have complained of cold drafts along the floor, mysterious creaking noises, and knocking sounds in the walls.  

 

Coronale

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