Architecture

In the ancient magical times of the Golden Empire, typical buildings were domes, slender cylindrical towers and delicate arches. Public and residential buildings were widely spaced on the surface, and almost everything else was underground. The internal layout of most buildings consisted of curved corridors and walls, with few if any walls meeting at 90 degrees. Construction was of a concrete-like substance, often reinforced by vyrn. Also used was guvyr, a transparent vyrn-like substance, which allowed “glass towers” to be built.

Very few first empire buildings remain, and most of the surviving buildings are either abandoned ruins, or so extensively rebuilt that little of the original remains. Underground labyrinths survive beneath several cities, usually flooded. Among the best-preserved surviving buildings are the great tower of Ravenah, several domes in Morkan, and a number of buildings in Vohrleyn and Kelbers.

The second empire, in complete contrast to the first, built square blocky buildings. They tended to build on a massive scale, such as the fortifications which now surround the vast majority of cities. Construction was now of stone and wood, since the art of making concrete had been forgotten. There were few windows, as glassmaking was also an almost forgotten skill. As in the first empire, buildings were very plain and austere, with little of no external decoration. Second empire cities tended to occupy a much smaller area than their first empire counterparts on the same site, and are therefore surrounded by the ruins of the earlier city. Good examples of second empire architecture are the citadels of Ravenah and Karmork, with their massive walls and warren-like interiors.

Present day architecture has progressed from that of the second empire. The kandar rediscovered the art of glassmaking, allowing buildings with decent-sized windows to be built. Some exteriors are much more ornate, with decorations such as gargoyles, a marked change from earlier eras. This is possibly a result of human influence.

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