The City of Lanterns
The most intimidating of Balefire’s gtim structures is unquestionably Shadowcrafters Hall. A blot of darkness amid the glowing lights of the city, this edifice of stone and adamantine is the center of the bulk of the city’s considerable magic item trade. Standing on the northwestern quarter of the plaza formed by the Shadowalk, Shadowcrafters Hall is the single largest structure in the city. A tall fence of adamantine surrounds the campus pierced by two gates, the Emporium gate and the Overseer’s Gate. Armor clad Hellknights patrol its boundaries both on foot and astride mighty fiendish warhorses. Atop the gloom shrouded spires dark figures perch and peer down among the visitors to Shadowcrafters Hall. A wing of Gargoyles are said to haunt the flowing cornices and flying buttresses of the Hall and are known to fling thieves off the heights onto the stout fence below.
The Shadowcrafters are the richest and most influential group in Balefire. From within the Hall they direct the research and construction of a wide variety of wondrous and unique magic items and spells dealing with shadows and darkness for which the city is famous. Many of those items are employed in the defense of the Hall itself. Stout doors of wood and adamantine strengthened by the Shadowcrafters spells deter intruders from entering and thieves from escaping. Beyond the Hellknights and the Gargoyles, there are the Shadowcrafters themselves. Wizards, Sorcerers, and Priests who will defend their secrets with dark magics learned in the cloistered libraries, summoning chambers, and laboratories within the vast structure.
The main entrance to the Hall lies one hundred feet from the Emporium Gate and opens into the famed Shadow Emporium, the Shadowcrafter’s magnificent showplace. Three levels of terraces house the boutiques, gallerias, emporiums, and bodegas of dozens of Shadowcrafters hawking their wares.
Facing the Emporium stand a great set of adamantine portals chased with gold, mithral, and black diamonds and sapphires. Beyond these valves sit the Chambers of the Parliament of Shadows, the ruling body of Balefire. Rows of cushioned darkwood benches line the walls surrounding a podium of black glass. Chiseled into nearly every flagstone glyphs of power and arcane sigils glow as their abjurations flicker in proximity. An enormous summoning circle stands before the podium and flanking it two Shadesteel golems float menacingly.
Arched passages lead from the Emporium on either side leading to the Libraries and Laboratories of the Bleak Academy, the Shadowcrafters college of magic. Others lead to Shadowcrafter dorms and the barracks of the Hellknight Order of the Brand.
Four towers bookend the main hall and the outbuildings. The Towers of Calling, Dusk, Secrets, and Warding house the offices of the Grandmaster, the Syndics of the Parliament, the Deans of the Bleak Academy, & the Vault of the Shadow Emporium respectively.