The Quencilvanian Palace, originally known as the Celestial Palace or Palace of the Monarchy, and also known as the Imperial Palace or as the Palace of Laurasia, is the primary and main official residence of the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians. A massive complex of buildings, located in the Royal District of Christiania, Laurasia Prime, the Palace has been a main seat of the Laurasian Government for more than seven centuries. As the Celestial Palace, the Quencilvanian Palace had originally been constructed as a mansion during the Second Laurasian Period (657-840), by the Laurasian king Flavius Aetius (712-746), in 730, and was used as a administrative residence and official government resort. During the Dasian Yoke (840-1080), the Palace had been used by the Dasian "beys" of Laurasia. After the Dasian Yoke ended in 1080, the Palace again came into the possession of the Kings of Laurasia.
In 1321, Seleucus I the Victor proclaimed the Palace a official Imperial residence, and used it occasionally. His son and successor, Seleucus II the Strong (r. 1325-35), adopted it as his primary official residence and from 1330 onwards, launched massive efforts to expand the Palace, to which he gave its present name. The Palace went from 1,000 rooms in 1330 to 7,000 rooms by the end of the 14th century. During the 15th century, the Emperors Tiberius (r. 1416-37), Cladius II (r. 1441-54), and Anticohus III (r. 1454-68) drastically expanded the Palace. By the 18th century, the Palace was approaching a size of some 40,000 rooms.
Located in the northern quadrant of the Royal District, just to the south of the Almitian Religious Prescient, the Quencilvanian Palace resembles a hybrid combination of a cathedral and a monumental pyramid. Soaring over all surrounding buildings, the Palace's frames delves deep beneath the roofs of surrounding structures, finding its roots thrust deep into Laurasia Prime's bedrock. The Palace is situated at the eastern end of the Delorum Avenue, a ritzy and famed street that was created by Emperor Seleucus II the Strong in 1332, and ends at the Palace annex known as the Palatia Imperium.
In its original form, the Palace had been a relatively ground-level mansion, being similar in scope to other structures and not penetrating as high into the sky. From the time of Seleucus II onwards, the complex was vastly expanded, as construction robots and scores of laborers piled more stone onto the Palace, increasing its scope. The Quencilvanian Palace, in its present form, is 45 miles (72 kilometers) in height and covers a area of 45 square miles (116 square kilometers). Made up of polished brown-gray stone and mirrored crystals, the Palace sparkles in the sun and moon light; at night, the Palace never grows dark due to blazing illumination from phosphorescent panels, glowspheres, and electroluminescence strips.
Several towers erupt from the face of the Palace, all of them filled with scores of chambers and rooms serving various functions. Some of these spires are data towers, holding vital and precious records from across the Caladarian Galaxy, containing surveys and space charts. The Palace exterior is criss-crossed by many ramps and bridges, keeping the structure interconnected. The grounds surrounding the Palace are open to the public, constantly bustling with foot traffic. The Palace has three Gardens: the Seleucid Gardens, created by Seleucus II the Strong in 1327, the Antigonid Gardens, created by Antigonus I the Conqueror in 1510, and the Didymeian Gardens, created by Didymeia I the Terrible in 1754. All three of these gardens are filled with diverse plants, flowers, trees, and other shrubbery from throughout the known Galaxy, including many rare or archaic specimens.
The Palace contains 39,500 rooms in a hundred connected structures. Numerous architectural styles and motifs can be found throughout the Palace, changing from one floor to the next. The interior walls of the Palace are made from baisis, a rare material from the world Cordina I in the Wild Marshes, while its flooring includes marble tiles imported from the world Paul II in the Galactic Borderlands. In many of the public areas, the structure is open and airy, heavily illuminated via transparisteel pares that let in natural light. Other levels deep within the complex are kept dark with carved friezes on the ceilings. In the sublevels, the walls are bare and utilitarian; unadorned floors and chambers are used for military briefings and meetings.
The Imperial Corridor, a towering hallway that wraps around the entire structure, begins at the main entrance of the Palace. This Corridor, which had been the primary chamber of the Palace in its original form, was vastly expanded and redesigned by Emperor Antiochus I the Great. Further renovations were conducted by Antiochus II and later Claudius II. The Corridor has spaces large enough to hold a Duremator-class Star Dreadnought, one of the largest vessels in service of the Imperial Navy. The main entrance of the Palace is a massive wall of black stone and red-tinted, cut-glass windows, behind which bustles the many and busy servants of the Imperial Household. Lining the Corridor are rows of exotic ch'a trees, imported specifically from the Outer Borderlands, which give off vibrant synthetic sounds. Lining the inner wall of the Corridor's upper tier is a series of cafes and restaurants, open to both the public and the staff, whose balconies provides a clear view of the corridor below. There are many displays of artwork and craftsmanship from throughout the galaxy, including the famous painting Family of Antigonus III, commissioned in 1737, which is massive in scope and was created by the renowned Laurasian artist Hansius Holbenis (1697-1743).
The Corridor's unique design allows for access to most of the other public areas of the primary Palace structure. Opulent passageways that branch off from the Corridor lead to such various rooms as the Assemblage Auditorium, which is used for debates, plays, and balls held by the Sovereign, the public meeting chambers of the Imperial Privy Council, and the massive Senate Hall, which derives heavy inspiration from the old Americanian Capitol Building, which had been constructed for the Americanian Congress of old in 1200 BH and was demolished in 769. Accommodating six hundred, six-person replusorpods outlined in crimson upholstery, the Senate Hall is used for public assemblies, the annual meetings of the Empire's Regional Governors, and the speeches given by the Chancellor, the Chief Procurator of the Governing Senate, or other Imperial officials. Additional pavilions, music rooms, and a series of summer and winter quarters occupy other areas of the Palace: attached to the massive Imperial Kitchen, where all foods and dinners at the Palace are prepared, is a private aviary, where bats, hawks, and other kinds of birds and venison are kept for the leisure of the Sovereign and his/her selected guests.
On the western side of the main Palace, the Palatial Balcony overlooks the Delorum Avenue and the Palatia de Imperium. From the balcony, the reigning Sovereign and his or her family will oversee the parades of the Imperial Fair, or any other official Laurasian processions or ceremonies, waving down to their subjects from high. Also on this side of the Palace is the Palatial Information Center, designed for tourists. Located on one of the decks that juts out from the Palace, brochure droids and sculptures that have been fitted with speakers are used to allow tourists to access information regarding shuttle departure times, lodgings, eating establishments, and guided tours.
Hangars are situated on multiple levels of the Palace, allowing for emissaries, diplomats, and military personnel to come and go with ease. Access to the Palace is strictly controlled and closely monitored by the Palace Traffic Control, located in one of the Palace's many towers. The 1st Laurasian Central Core Defense Squadron is housed within a large hangar near the summit of the central tower.
While the Palace is primarily an office building, residential floors exist to house visiting diplomats, ambassadors, late-working staff members, and those members of the Imperial Government who remain constantly in the building, such as guards and high ranking officials. All of the residential floors of the Palace are accessible from the Grand Corridor and contain extensive libraries, that are open to tourists and guests. These libraries include the Staff Library, the Tylanian Library, the Library of Imperial Precinct, and numerous others. Play performances, reading sessions, and literature activities take place at these various locations. The most finely appointed chambers in the Palace are found on the King's Guest Floor, a richly-dressed paneled with hand-carved fishi wood that was one of the original rooms of the Celestial Palace (being incorporated into the larger Quencilvanian structure by later renovations). Many famed guests have graced the halls of the Quencilvanian Palace over the last thousand years. Among those officials who currently take up residence in the Palace on the King's Guest Floor are the Imperial Chamberlain, the Imperial Steward, the Chief of the Praetorian Bodyguards, the Mayor of Christiania, and the Planetary Governor of Laurasia Prime.
The Sovereign's personal suite of chambers, known as the Imperial Apartments, are buried deep within the Palace structure. The Apartments alone comprise the Sovereign's Personal Throne Room, his or her official bedrooms, five bathrooms, a working office, a private dining chambers, the Sovereign's Private Kitchens (where special treats and deserts are prepared), and the Sovereign's Personal Entertainment Complex. These are all besides the Sovereign's personal Library, the Monarchical Archives, which is the largest library in the Palace and contains nearly 90 million books in 1,500 different languages, along with 60 million manuscripts, 16 million galactic star charts and maps, 500 million magazine and newspaper issues, 5 million sound and hologram recordings, and nearly 1.3 million Laurasian decrees, extending as far back as the First Laurasian Period. This library is open only to the Sovereign's family, select officials such as the Imperial Chancellor and the Imperial High Treasurer, and those historians or archaeologists on special commission or permission, besides visitors permitted by the Sovereign directly. There are also several holoscreens in the Throne Room and Working Office, which provide recorded views of the outside and give the illusion of windows. These had been installed by Emperor Antigonus III the Extravagant in 1737. Located near the Imperial Apartments are the Chambers of Waiting, which are the residential quarters reserved for the Sovereign's personal servants, equerries, and Ladies in Waiting.
At the top of the central tower are the Private Working Offices, containing the offices of the Sovereign's personal staff, the administration and working bureaucracy of the Imperial Palace, meeting chambers reserved for the Almitian Holy Synod, and the private meeting chambers of the Imperial Privy Council. There is also the Summit Office, perched high on the Tower, designed to give the Sovereign a unobstructed 360 degree view of the Christiania cityscape. Finally, there is the Sovereign's Public Reception Room, a massive, sunken auditorium that is used by the Sovereign for his or her speeches and pronouncements to the Imperial Privy Council, the Governing Senate, the Holy Synod, the Conference of Sectional and Regional Governors, and all of the major Imperial dignitaries, officials, and representatives, besides certain selected guests, noblemen, and commercial magnates. Similar in appearance to a crater, the sloping walls of the circular wall are lined with layers of audience decks. Each deck has a series of flat stone benches arranged in long arcs, where visitors are seated. An engineering marvel, the acoustics of the chamber permit the Sovereign to be heard by all in the chamber, his or her voice being as if it were amplified. In turn, the murmurs of the audience can be heard clearly by the Sovereign, perched high in the course of the chamber, seated on a comfortable rotative throne on top of a stone pillar, which is guarded at its base by six blue-robed and plumed Praetorian Guardsmen, those of the Sovereign's personal bodyguard unit. The slanted ceiling of the room is shrouded by gigantic purple and red Laurasian imperial banners, made of rare velvet and silk; an angled and prismatic skylight pours rays of light onto the Sovereign.
While the upper levels of the Palace are comprised largely of residential floors and government working offices, and are open to the Public, the lower levels (basement) of the Palace are a nerve center for the Imperial Laurasian Army and Laurasian Intelligence, and are not open to the public. The Director of the Laurasian Intelligence Agency maintains a office in the Palace's lower levels, as does the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (the strategy board of the Imperial Laurasian Army).
Beneath the structure of the Palace and buried into the bedrock of Laurasia Prime are a series of chambers that hold the Laurasian Information Center, which holds classified documents, decrees, orders, and reports of the Imperial Government, alongside encrypted military files and top-secret information about the Sovereign and certain Imperial officials. This system is highly protected and is deemed virtually indecipherable by official Laurasian sources. Near the Center is a blast-shielded War Room, used for military simulations and the storage of emergency weapons arsenals for the Palace. Adjacent to the War Room is the Crypt, a computer slicing, decoding, and programming lab. The lower levels of the Palace also include training facilities, used for Laurasian Intelligence operatives and the State Inquisitors, alongside hidden treasure vaults and storage cells bearing archaic Laurasian artifacts. In total, the Lower Levels are estimated to be three miles in length.
Palace staff and securityEdit
Those who are employed at the Quencilvanian Palace are expected to have a comlink and emergency communications device at all times, as it is very easy to get lost inside the enormous Palace. Over the past two and a half centuries, tales have abounded of people getting lost in the Palace. One notable case was that of Demetria D'Shaur, a Palace security administrator, who died in her office without a communications device in July 1745. She was believed to have disappeared for forty years, until her corpse was discovered by a Palace porter, Robertius Sharpius, on 3 August 1785, during the reign of Aurelia the Great.
The Quencilvanian Palace has a high level of security. Besides the Core Defense Squadron, comprised of nearly 30,000 fighters, the Palace is protected by an elite regiment of Laurasian troopers, the 1st Brigadier Squad, comprised of 60,000 servicemen, as also by the Sovereign's elite Valedictorian Guards (5,000 total) and by nearly 6,000 Laurasian Marines, Intelligence Operatives, and civilian guards. A extensive identification and probing system also exists at the Palace, ran by an automated computer network. Because of the Palace's important position in the government and its enormous size, the Palace Security (including the Brigadier Squad) are independent from both the Imperial Military and the State Security of Laurasia Prime, being directly responsible to Palace Control, which is subordinate to the Sovereign personally.