Sepheris Secundus’s capital is Icenholm, a wonderous city built into the mountain crags that loom over the vast smoking pit of the Gorgonid Mine. Icenholm’s glass spires encrust the mountain peak like a crown, bathed in otherworldly light. This light is actually concentrated on Icenholm by a series of enormous reflecting mirrors positioned around the peaks overlooking the Gorgoni Mine, an expensive and complicated process that makes it look as if the light of some distant heaven is shining directly onto the capital.

The main body of the city is suspended between three vast peaks on thousands of thick cables and chains, like a glittering jewel upon a complex necklace. The origins of the unusual structure are not recorded anywhere, but a common theory s that it was built around the core of an enormous warship that docked there during Angevine’s crusade and never left, the hive growing up around it like a pearl around a speck of grit. Many buildings dangle from the city’s mass, reaching down hundreds of meters towards the valley floor like strands of hanging moss.

Icenholm is constructed of stained glass that shines in a dazzling array of colors in the sunlight. Its spires house some of the senior barons along with the members of the royal family. The majority of Icenholm’s population is made up of hereditary servants, pledged to either the queen or one of her barons. They form small armies of clerks who ensure that the planet’s barons are offering up correct tithes to their queen, and attend to matters of governance such as the regulation of heraldry. These servants have their own hierarchies, with the queen’s own servants very much in charge. They wear the liveries of their masters, which in the case of the queen’s servants is red. Icenholm’s gates do not open to just anyone, so while adepts and barons will be received into Icenhholm anyone else will have to sweet-talk the hereditary family of gate guardians who are difficult to impress.

The peak of Icenholm is taken up by the palace, which consists of the various chambers of state along with Queen Lachryma’s own quarters. The throne room is spectacular indeed, set beneath a soaring spire of stained glass depicting the glories of Sepheris Secundus’s past monarchs. The throne itself is made of ice kept permanently frozen, and the voluminous royal robes which the queen wears are partly to keep her from being frozen herself. The queen’s chambers are lavishly appointed, with three separate bedrooms alone (one for sleeping, one for promulgating the royal heir [not used since the Prince Consort passed away 20 years ago], and one for receiving morning visitors.)

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