The Seven Gate Cities

1 January, 2010

To begin the month of doors and travel, we look at one of the way to travel in the Sea of Stars:

The Seven Gate Cities

The metaphysical reality that underlies the Sea of Stars was also rent by the Sundering.  This had the effect of making the modes of magical translocation, such as teleportation, unreliable and dangerous unless the transported can see their destination.  The exceptions are the Seven Gate Cities which provide a stable transportation portal to and from Shel’lioc, and only to Shel’lioc.  Each gate is open for an hour and a half, twice a day, once for traffic going to Shel’lioc and once for traffic going out from Shel’lioc.

The Gates open into the huge octagonal Gate Plaza, where highly trained units of the Imperial Army maneuver caravans and travelers with expert precision.  People, beasts and goods are shifted either towards the markets of the capital or into holding areas for transshipments.  The Gate Plaza is surrounded by massive inns, the upper floors festooned with balconies and viewing areas, and warehouses.  Each gate has its own color aspect when it is open.

The Gate Cities are Imperial Satrapies, ruled directly by agents of the Empress, as their strategic and trade value is immense and the Empress only trusts control of them to her handpicked servants.  The Gate Cities are home to some of the very few permanent Imperial Garrisons.

The Seven Gate Cities are:

North, Varitaten, City of Ice, year round this city is covered in frost and ice.  Reindeer herds, flocks of snow geese and barrels of fish are transported to feed Shel’lioc.  Snow flurries often blow through the gate when it is open.  The gate color is ice blue.

North West, Starpoint, once the capital of an elven empire that was destroyed by the Sundering.  The lands around Starpoint are a satrap of House Shel’liochassa.  The gate color is shadowy blue.

West, Yorvyk, a sleepy market town when the gate opened, now a thriving center of trade.  The gate color is Lincoln green.

South West, Ornala, a city of spires and clockworks.  Once a stronghold of the Jet Dwarves until they were displaced by orders of the Empress, it remains a major exchange point between the dwarven nations and the Imperium.  The gate color is gold.

South, Apheraxia, on the river of dreams.  A source of exotic goods and mysterious spices.  The gate color is orange.

South East, the Hub, already a trading city of some (ill) repute before the Sundering, it has become a byword for lascivious behavior and forbidden pleasures.  The gate color is crimson.

East, Caracossa, at the bottom of the sea.  Though the sea had long since flowed away and the city is built on the bed of a dead ocean and ruled by Mariassa Sorrow for the Empress.  The gate color is dusty violet.

While their should be a North East Gate City, the point for the stable gate has never been located.  It is theorized that the gate color would be indigo.

Notes: I no longer know if Caracossa’s name was inspired by Carcosa or not, but I think we are both in agreement that it sounds fantastic.

Teleportation is restricted in the Sea of Stars to encourage travel by starship and skyship and to reinforce the superiority of the dragons who can naturally fly from place to place.

Let me know if you would like to know more about any of the Gate Cities.


  1. I like it very much, very evocative. I have a very vivid image built in my head. Love to see more. Is it my imagination, but if there are 7 gate cities opening into an octagon,is there a missing city?

    • Indeed, there is a missing gate. You know, whoever finds the terminus of that missing gate will become wealthy beyond dreams of avarice.

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