“The challenge is to create a city in 1000 words or less. It can be a city in any time or place, real or fantasy, and as much of the city should be revealed in those 1000 words as possible.” –HarsH ReaLiTy
Wish I’d found out about this a week ago.
The city was carved within a colossal block of ice, once a mighty glacier frozen by the powers of Gioco himself. Within the ice, tunnels and passageways twisted and wound their way through like an anthill. Strangely, the ice did not melt, and so did not provide as slippery a surface as one would imagine. At the center lay five massive atriums, one at each compass point and the center. At the southern position, the first was covered in housing. Bridges and pathways honeycombed throughout this atrium to the various dwellings carved into the walls and the homes in many of the massive spires of ice. The citizens of Liraheim went about their daily business here in their strange, exotic animal skin clothing that seemed to cover far too little for the climate, simply chatting and living their lives.
The second was the senate seat, in the northern position, and this was perhaps the most grand of the five atriums. On the walls were small balconies with the seats for each of the empires 20 territories, and room for several thousand more. At the center was a massive throne, on which rested the king, with his crown of ice. Old men in rich, dark red robes bickered and yelled in this room at all hours of the day, some leaving in the middle of a speech or debate and coming back later through the pathways behind the seats. On the center of the throne sat Gioco, god of ice and order, who would occasionally decree his will and force the senators’ silence.
The third atrium, in the eastern position, contained a bustling marketplace, and was one of the few chambers not entirely composed of ice. The people of the city bustled about with their purchased goods as merchants shouted out their wares. Most of the stalls were selling some sort of food, but there were goods from all across the world in this place.
The fourth atrium was the military district, in the central position. The entire structure was placed into a grid pattern, with the four largest roads going to each of the other four atriums. They were the only way into the atrium, and each was both gated and guarded. The district was arranged into a mighty castrum, with the district laid out into a grid. The final atrium, at the western position, was a massive warehouse district used for storage.
The people here are grimy and rough, but also friendly and warm. They have nothing to fear from you here, and so they do not. Drunken brawls in the street are common, and occasionally there is even a church. There are altars in every alley, but no actual churches for dedicated worship. The city sparkles in the daylight like a cavern made of stars, and at night it shines the silver of the moonlight.