Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Warrens

There are many homes and cities in the Underground, vast networks of tunnels and wide caverns that create the hidden homes of the Others. No two are exactly like, each being altered depending on the cultural tastes of those who live below, but neither compare the to Warren. A beast all to itself, the Warren is both museum of wealthy and beauty as well as defensible homestead for the Others.

During the time of the Venice Proclamation, those Others who could not hide from the Inquisition were hunted and exterminated. Those few who managed to flee the fires and blades found comfort in their last days below ground, often slipping into ennui and wasting away at the fate of their families. One such man named Warren Smythe refused to simply die, though the last of the stoneshapers he spent his remaining years building tirelessly below the ground to create safe havens for the Others to come and live. When he finally died of old age, his last will was read to his surviving friends and members of his city. In it he gave freely to any Other access to his own private home, the one he had kept secreted away to have his security and peace.

Upon arrival to said home, the Others gathered were amazed at the beauty and architecture this humble man had built. The home was easily defensible, cut into solid bedrock with only one exit in and out. What made the place extraordinary however wasn't the sheer practicality of it, it was the awe-inspiring beauty. Precious stones had been set in natural formations, soft candlelight bounced off reflected and polished metals to cast a rainbow of glow across the rooms. Art salvaged from the surface world hung about, and a ventilation system ensure a cool air pumped into the dwelling due to a redirection of seawater.

Called a Warren, in honor of the dead stoneshaper and his deeds, the style of dwelling quickly crossed all cultural lines. Every city wanted a Warren, every wealthy and influential Other dreamed of their own place to create both beauty and safety in one perfect place. It became custom that a Warren must be freely open to any Other who may wish to use it, in remembrance of the stoneshapers gift to his people. Though an owner (sometimes referred to as Caretaker) may technically own the Warren and establish any rules he may wish to have guests abide by while inside, no one may turn away an Other who wishes to come and find the peace and serenity of a Warren for a few hours.

Warrens in the modern times are still crafted how they were so many centuries ago, placed in the bedrock with a single entrance and exit and a ventilation system providing a cool breeze through the dwelling (though the breeze is now frequently just central a/c). The building is decorated in art and style, depending on the owner it may be natural formations or urban styles. There is always a calming area, a natural setting set aside for quiet prayer or meditation and plenty of space for those who wish to spend the night to have a place to rest.