Monument is a city partially built into the edges of a small river valley/Canyon coming out of a mountain range. The sides of the Monument canyon have been elaborately carved in the images of the gods. Hundreds of divinities are depicted on the towering cliffs. The Isig river winds it's way through the valley, this close to it's headwaters, it is borh small and fast. A large wall has been built blocking the mouth of the Monument Canyon. Two gates go through the wall, one on either side of the river Isig, the River itself is sealed by a large iron grate.
Monument is built on a series of Terraces leading up the valley, these terraces are connected by a network of broad stone ramps and steep stairs leading up to the next level. Many buildings built close to a higher Terrace will have an arching bridge that leads further upwards. Each Terrace belong to a specific class of person, while not a true caste system, the weight of tradition and expectation keeps individuals living on the appropriate Terrace.
Terrace of the Soaring Spires
The Terrace of Soaring Spires is home to the Royal Palace and other Governmental Buildings, and is the smallest of the Terraces.
- Royal Palace (A1): Core of First age construction, many modern additions built on to it.
- Jarlhall (A2): Great meeting hall of the Council of Jarls, with bridges that connect to it from the Royal Palace.
- The Waterfall: The cliff behind the Waterfall is elaborately carved, divided between statues and abstract patterns. There are a series of chambers going all the way up the cliff behind the waterfall. Several times a year, torches will be set in these chambers, so that the glow of elaborate mandalas can be seen through the waterfall.
- A Pilgrimage trail leads up from this terrace along the river.
Terrace of the Gracious Servants
- The River Garden: A vast public green, the care of which is provided jointly by all the monasteries and abbeys of this Terrace.
- Garden of Pavilions: A long, narrow park of green, with stone pavilions along the edge of the Terrace, providing an incredible view of the city.
- School of the Gleaming Edge (B1): A school that teaches Single Point Shining in the Void style of martial arts.
- The House of Wanderers (B2): x
- The House of Respite (B3): Monks of the House of Respite act as the morticians of Monument when they are not maintaining the temples. A small number of this monasteries monks study at the schools and act as wandering exorcists.
- The House of Victory (B4): The monks of this Monastery act as temple guardians. Almost every monk here practices one of the Martial Arts taught at the schools. It is the home monastery of Soaring Hymn.
- The House of Joy (B5): x
- School of Elegant Feathers (B6): A School that teaches Crane style of martial arts. This tall tower features many rail-less balconies on which its students are expected to work through their forms. A student advances through literal "levels" here - the greater his skill, the higher up he is expected to work in the tower, confident in his skill enough that a misstep won't send him tumbling off the tower.
- The House of Knowledge (B7): The House of Knowledge maintains the largest - and only - public Library in Svartsten. In addition to their other duties, the monks of the House of knowledge act as teachers to the people of Monument.
- School of the White Cobra (B8): One of the oldest martial arts schools in Monument, the White Cobra teaches Snake style martial arts. Their students have a reputation as some of the most willing and anxious to fight rival schools.
Terrace of the Sublime Gardens
This terrace is home to the Nobility, filled with Elaborate townhouses and a few estates.
- The Western Garden (C1): A garden that is open to the public for recreation that serves as a venue for various forms of entertainments. The grounds are dominated by a large garden of ornamental plants, mostly of local origin, but many having been imported from other regions, including a great deal of Western flora housed within a glass paned structure. There are numerous paths leading through the gardens for people to wander and admire the plants and various art and statues that have been placed about the grounds. The owner and proprietor of the Western Garden is a portly man dominated by a mustache like that of a walrus, calling himself Starfish, a Westerner who had arrived some years ago and settled in Svartsten with the intention of opening a tea house.
- The Stage & Menagerie: At the heart of the gardens is a tall wooden structure that is open on one side, exposing a large stage and seating surrounded by the garden, where various theatrical and musical performances are held. On the other side of the structure there is a hall that contains a small menagerie of exotic animals.
- The Private Gardens: There are two small structures located in the gardens; one is a small personal garden with high floral hedges providing privacy. Within this small circle is a pond flanked my two small pavilions with a few tables and chairs. This area is typically open to the public, except for when private parties reserve it.
- The Tea House: The other structure is a two storied tea house with a small central garden that is open to the sky, so that customers may remain dry and enjoy their leisure while watching the rainfall upon the garden within.
- The Honeyed Word (C2): A mead-hall intended to attract the fighting men of the various jarls, which it does very well. It is an elegantly simple affair, without ostentation except for the fine craftsmanship of its rugs and furnishings. It also offers "the Word's Best," easily the finest mead to be had in Monument, and arguably in all Svartsten.
- Celestial Abode Annex (C3): Though on the Terrace of Sublime Gardens, this Annex is not connected to any of the roads of this Terrace, and is truly part of the Celestial Abode Inn, on the Terrace below (Dx). This portion of the inn is for its high-paying clients, providing fine suites and a staff of servants who provide a variety of services. There is even a separate kitchens here for the exclusive clientele.
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C4): x
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C5): x
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C6): x
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C7): x
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C8): x
- Estate of King Bjarn Ragnarson (C9): An ample estate where those members of the King's family who do not wish to be at court (or whom the King does not wish to be at court) make their residence.
- Estate of Jarl XXX (C10): x
- Jod's Townhome (C11): x
Terrace of the Master Carvers
Builders Terrace • Traditional Home to Stone Masons and Miners • General Craftsman and other Educated Worker District
- xxx (D1): x
- xxx (D2): x
- xxx (D3): x
- xxx (D4): x
- xxx (D5): x
- The Celestial Abode (D6): Inn. A narrow but tall building, the Celestial Abode is an inn built up against the cliff-face of the terrace above it. It towers above the surrounding buildings, with its topmost heights actually reaching the level of the Terrace of the Sublime Gardens, where a small bridge connects it to a large and luxurious annex building (see the Celestial Abode Annex, C3, above). The tall inn building has a number of fine rooms and two common rooms (one for men and one for women), as well as an excellent tea room on the bottom floor.
- xxx (D7): x
- The Guild Towers (D8): A gathering of fine elaborately-wrought towers, with wide corridor-bridges that connect them (the lowest of which is three stories off the ground), the Towers are intended to be an ostentatious reminder to everyone in this district just who provides prosperity for the nation of Svartsten. The towers are expected to be communal Guilds property, providing offices and meeting rooms for the most important Guildsfolk in town.
- The Smith-Hall of Jod (D9): Though he, as a successful smith, maintains a large foundry of workers down in the Smokes, the master Guild craftsman maintains this prestigious workshop at the foot of the Guild Towers as his private retreat.
- xxx (D10): x
- xxx (D11): x
- xxx (D12): x
- xxx (D13): x
Terrace of the Wanderers
Merchants and Visitors Terrace • Active blue light district • Extensive warehouses
- The Argent Pavilion (E1): This gambling establishment is the favorite home to an exclusive crowd. While other venues may offer higher stakes, more varied games of chance, or flashier clientele, The Argent Pavilion offers fine dining, varied entertainment, and private rooms, ranging from intimate salons to The Promenade - a large ball room with room enough for hundreds. Whether you want a game of chance or skill, a private dining room or a to watch an excellent theater performance, The Argent Pavilion offers only the best. Membership is exclusive - by invitation or by voucher, though members may bring guests.
- The Amber Cup Academy (E2): A three-story building, the Amber Cup serves the folk of the Wanderers as a place to send their young to learn. It is an alternative to the normal tradition of sending children to the monasteries, as it runs early in the day and at night, permitting children who are needed for work at home to work through the main part of the day and still attend before or after. It also provides clothing and two meals while the children are there.
- xxx (E3): x
- xxx (E4): x
- The Armory (E5): This large building acts as the practical headquarters (rather than the administrative one) for the city guard. It contains barracks, training halls, the city's armory, and extensive dungeon spaces with dozens of cells.
- The Resting Shield (E6): This brothel, located as close as it is to the Armory, specializes in a clientele made up of mostly fighting men and women. The attendants are trained in relaxation techniques, soothing muscles with massage and hot stones, calming nerves with calm, quiet environs and good alcohol and qat, and even tending to minor cuts and injuries gained through a day's work. Its matron, Kelsta Aesdottir, is a former guardswoman herself, and when she retired, she created the sort of place she'd always wished existed at the end of a hard day.
- xxx (E7): x
- xxx (E8): x
Terrace of the Perfumed Clouds
Makers Terrace • Nicknamed "The Smokes" • Crammed housing • Effectively the Poor Quarter
- Silk and Satin Lane(F1): Silk and Satin Lane is a cramped alley that doubles as asecond hand marketplace, where outdated garments are sold and resold, where jewelry may be hawked and where several fences buy and sell their wares.
- Wadi is a jewel appraiser and artisan from The South. Naturally androgynous in appearance, Wadi presents as male or female, as mood dictates and prefers a matching pronoun. Her age is difficult to determine, having a timeless face. He is especially skilled at taking gem stones in poor settings or of lesser quality and resetting them in a tasteful new design.
- The Stone Hawk Academy (F2): A three-story building, the Stone Hawk is offered by Prince Aldimar as a means of educating the young who might not ordinarily receive the childrens' education offered by the monasteries of Monument. Children from the ages of six to twelve can be found here well into the early evening, arriving in shifts for their educations, which include an outfit of free clothing and two meals.
- Jod's Foundry (F3):
- The Ice Stallion Academy (F4): A two-story building, the Ice Stallion (named for Prince Aldimar's notorious mount Frostmane) educates a smaller group, focusing on those young from the Smokes and Out Wall who show great potential for learning. Its students are older, ranging from twelve to fifteen or so, and are all paid a small stipend for their attendance.
- xxx (F5): x
Outside the city walls • Spreads out to include Farms • Some slums, mostly wooden construction • A few small docks are on the river, but they are mostly for small boats and a ferry.
- xxx (G1): x
- xxx (G2): x
- xxx (G3): x
- xxx (G4): x
- xxx (G5): x
- xxx (G6): x
- xxx (G7): x
- xxx (G8): x
- xxx (G9): x
- xxx (G10): x
The Temples of Monument
There are sixty-four temples to various and sundry gods in Monument's canyon walls.