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Early Rough of the palace

The Eldritch imperial palace, in the capital city. Pronounced /ohn TEEN/.


The catacombs beneath Ontine have "been in use since the first Queen of the Eldritch had set down from the ship". [1] Before the death of Corel, the capital was at Firilith, and the Eldritch built castles. After Corel's death, the Eldritch switched to building palaces, and the capital moved to Ontine. [2] (Possibly implying that Ontine was built after Corel's death?)

Post-Coup Renovations[edit]

Subtly modernized. There are pin lights in the corridors that dim at night to a soft, diffuse amber. [3]

Exterior and Grounds[edit]

First Floor, Original Draft


Situation of the palace, 2020 draft

There's a big lake. There are cliffs. Beyond the lake there are woods with copses and things.

The palace is surrounded by great stone walls, and there is a fretwork gate tall enough to drive a cargo loader through. [4] There is also a less-oversized postern gate that's near Jisiensire's townhouse. [4]


Ontine's grand entrance has 23 steps. The facade has columns reaching up four stories to the pediment, with carvings and statues in every alcove in the walls, elaborate stonework, and reliefs. [5]

It gives an "impression of endless flanks of ghostly pale stone worked with statues and reliefs." [4]


More accurately termed a plaza, due to its sheer size.

The dueling circle is forty paces across, and it's drawn in the dirt in the courtyard between the palace and the gates. [6]

Ontine's Pad exits inside the courtyard. It's a single-person model and it is not located inside a building, so the guards have flawless sightlines. [7]


Ontine is mostly function and guest space. [4] It has "multiple wings" and "several stories", "filled with gracious suites, parlors, receiving rooms, even offices and barracks." [8] The stone floors of the wide halls are inlaid with patterns, and the high ceilings are coffered and painted in deep blues and gold and white. There are tapestries on the walls, and recesses with statues, and oil paintings, and alcoves with delicate painted furniture with embroidered upholstery. [4]

First Floor[edit]

Liolesa's Study[edit]

It has chairs and a coffee table arranged on the rug before the hearth, and a desk and cabinet of books on the raised and carpeted dais in the corner between two windows. [4] It has multiple windows with a view of the courtyard. [6]

Chancellor's Suites[edit]

The heir's old apartments are on the ground floor, and the sitting area outside it is known as the Petite Court: it has a painted ceiling and mirrors between the silver and white pilasters on the walls. The Chancellor now keeps his suites here. His office looks like a receiving room, with only a handful of books on a single desk, and several chairs arranged around it. There were cushioned chairs around a fireplace. No windows, so has a chandelier. Walls are painted, and there are carpets, and the colors are ivory, celadon green, delicate yellow. There's a relief running the length of the wall where it meets the ceiling, of a hunt chasing a single basilisk. It smells of sweet beeswax and ink. [9]

The Chancellor's office is on the opposite side of the palace from Nuera's apartments. [9]


Tall ceilings with lancet windows, clear-paned. Shelves are dark, fragrant wood with leather-bound tomes, some as old as Settlement. Here and there, narrow wooden tables for setting out larger books. A dais (a short step up to it) under a half-cupola, lined in more lancet windows topped with cinquefoils.

The library is next to the Queen's wing. [1]

Blue Room[edit]

The smaller of the formal receiving rooms is called the Blue Room. [10] An interior room on the first floor, windowless and without skylights. Stone walls and floors, no tapestries, and only two benches pushed against the walls. Raised chair for the Empress at the end. Possibly the same as what's called the throne room in Rose Point: a narrow gallery ending in the Queen's seat, a room small enough for thirty people, meant for petitioners and envoys and the business of governance. [1]

Great Hall[edit]

The larger of the formal receiving rooms is also known as the ballroom or throne room. [11] It can hold some four hundred people, [8] and it's for times when the entirety of the ruling class needs to meet before their Queen. [4] It is a short distance from the audience chamber (meaning the Blue Room?), and both are implied to be distant from the wing of the palace where Asaniefa had been housed. [12]

There is a balcony at the back that opens onto the lawn with the lake, and the wings have stairs down onto the lawn. During winter court, the balcony is normally closed off with a curtain. [1] For Sediryl's investiture, there were galleries constructed in the throneroom so more people could fit inside. [11]

Unspecified floor[edit]

The Office of Muniments[edit]

Where legal documents are maintained and filed. Presumably this is one of the places overseen by the little mentioned Senior Registrar of the Home Office. This room is adjacent to the Astronomer's Chamber and shares a wall with what used to be the Chancellor's office.

The Astronomer's Chamber[edit]

A round room adjacent to the chapel.

Palace Chapel[edit]

There is a chapel in the palace. [13] There is access to the catacombs from its storeroom, and there are clerical apartments adjacent to it. [1]

Nuera's Apartments[edit]

There is a slate blue rug with embroidered pink and ivory flowers, and a window seat. It is on the opposite end of the palace from the Chancellor's suites. [9]

Conference Room[edit]

A private conference between the Empress, the Lord of War, the Queen Ransomed, and Lisinthir took place in a room with a balcony, from with the sound of the sea was audible, if distant. [14]

Second Floor[edit]

Reese's Suite[edit]

Just before the coup, Liolesa assigned Reese and her crew to a suite on the second floor. It had a front room for entertaining guests, and multiple private rooms to the sides. There were tiny jeweled pomanders on an elaborately carved dresser, a tub lit by stained glass windows and deep enough to need steps, and the walls were adorned with paintings and tapestries of pastoral scenes or of Eldritch wandering with unicorns. [1]

Third Floor[edit]

Fourth Floor[edit]

The fourth floor is the top floor. [7]

Liolesa's Bedroom[edit]

Liolesa's bedroom faces the sea. It has a desk where she's accustomed to working for her last hour or so before bed. Her bed is large enough to require steps to climb into it. It has brocade blankets. Liolesa keeps a dirk under one of the pillows. The room is on the fourth floor, but it is possible to climb to it. There is a place to sit in front of a mirror in a room next to the bedroom. [15]

Gifting Party Room[edit]

The room where Sediryl's investiture gifting party was held is on the top floor of Ontine. It has tall windows with a view toward the sea cliffs. [16]

It may be the same room where Liolesa's first pre-Investiture conference with Lisinthir and the Chatcaava took place, because it was in a fourth-floor room in the sea-facing wing overlooking the cliffs. It had a collection of chairs and padded stools around a coffee table, in delicately carved dark wood with brocade upholstery; powder blue and gilt-and-cream floral patterned wallpaper and matching rug; and many long windows. [7]

Oriel Window[edit]

Directly above the ballroom on the top floor, there is an oriel window made of clear or faintly-tinted stained glass depicting flowers. It faces the sea. [7]

Queen's Wing[edit]

The entrance to Liolesa's wing is a set of double doors guarded by two White Swords. [4]

Liolesa's study faces the city; her bedroom, the sea. [4]

Sediryl's suite is in the Queen's wing. [11] Her receiving room has solidigraphic emitters hidden in the curio cabinet. There is a collection of chairs by the window. [17]

The Swords Salle and Barracks[edit]

The salle is a round room floored in wood with clerestory windows. The changing rooms and armory are next to one another at one end of the salle, and a corridor leading to the palace on the other. The barracks is off that corridor, as well as the mess.

During the coup, the White Swords were using a more modest wing of the palace, with lower ceilings and less-expensive furniture. [1] Presumably this was "their" wing, containing the salle and barracks.

Servants' Halls[edit]

There are servants' corridors that exit near the postern gate, which is near Jisiensire's townhouse. [4]

The servants' corridors along the exterior wall are a little narrow and very plain, but otherwise unremarkable. The interior ones, on the other hand, are extremely narrow, and no one uses them by choice. [18]

Doors to the servants' halls are painted to look just like the rest of the corridor. The decor is plain, but the walls have moldings and paint. The floors are wood rather than stone. [4]


Presumably, the Vaults where the Families keep their jewels and the various other treasures, like swords, are located below ground in the catacombs?

No one knows who carved them and for what purpose, but there are catacombs under most of the capital, with the most extensive ones under the palace and cathedral, near the sea cliff. They have been in use since Landing, and there are still signs of occupancy even in the most desolate corners. [19]

From the palace, there is access via a narrow stairwell. The palace catacombs can also be accessed from the chapel storeroom. From outside the palace, there is a maze of tunnels, high corridors carved out of the dirt and shored up with wooden beams, which leads to the stone catacombs. There is also access from a hole in the sea cliff, six stories above the beach; the hole opens onto a narrow, craggy cave, which leads to a maze of passages, some so tiny as to scrape those who squirm through them. There is a spot where a climb of half a body-length leads to a space that's directly below the servant's quarters. [19]

The catacombs are cold, damp, and moldy stone, and in every nook, there is the occasional whistle of the sea wind. [19]

The High Priest traditionally kept his office in the catacombs beneath the Cathedral, but Val could not stand to work there. [19]


Liolesa's Reign[edit]

  • Kitchens
  • Pages
    • Thevenel (needs a family name) [1]
  • Guards
  • Queen's Staff

(These are her maids, personal cooks, etc.)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Rose Point, Part Three
  2. Laisrathera chapter 4
  3. Healer's Wedding, Chapter 14
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Rose Point, Part Two
  5. Girl on Fire, chapter 5
  6. 6.0 6.1 Major Pieces, "Disengage"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Healer's Wedding, chapter 11
  8. 8.0 8.1 Girl on Fire, chapter 10
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Girl on Fire, Chapter 6
  10. Major Pieces, "Moving Out", chapter 4
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Farmer's Crown, chapter 25
  12. Laisrathera, chapter 20
  13. "Longest Night", short fiction
  14. Healer's Wedding, chapter 19
  15. Farmer's Crown, chapter 19
  16. Farmer's Crown, chapter 23
  17. Healer's Wedding, chapter 7
  18. Laisrathera, chapter 18
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Rose Point, Interlude and Part Three
  20. Laisrathera chapter 17