Ah, those legendary ivory towers of Chadeim! Their tall spires, glistening in the sunset as the gondole Charlière drift by, are all you ever see in those souvenir paintings by that hack artist Torreletto. Many a tourist has visited Chadeim expecting the entire city to reflect those idyllic paintings, but the truth is that Chadeim is primarily a factory town, and those ivory towers are rooted in the grit and grime of industry.
The first thing a visitor notices about the city is its crowded harbor and teeming docks. Wild, rambunctious children from all around the empire get shipped off to Chadeim every year, leaving years later as well-trained, ideologically indoctrinated young laborers prepared to keep the empire running for yet another generation. Although the docks are quite crowded immediately after the end of each term, there is constant passage back and forth throughout the year.
Chadeim is eminently defensible, with a reef-protected harbor on one side and a line of tall, jagged barrier peaks on the other. Crouched at the base of those cliffs are the chugging, smoky Infernal Engines that keep the city powered; they’re horrendous eyesores, but the city’s administration has no choice but to tolerate them. The engines’ smoke often obscures Angel Falls, the great waterfall that inspired the first visitors to settle here. The water from those falls fills the artificial canals that criss-cross the city, providing transport, drinking water, and a convenient sewage system all in one.
Crouched in the shadow of the Infernal Engines are those two districts colloquially known as The Embers and The Smoke. You’ll find most of the Lecture Halls in those gray neighborhoods: mental manufactories where the professorate toil to transform the raw clay of imperial youth into inquiring scholars … or at least obedient and reliable workers. Tourists are not encouraged to linger in these areas of the city, as the air is filled with exotic toxins and the gutters with free thinkers. Most of the full-time professorate live around the halls, which may explain their radical mannerisms and eccentric ways. Imperial physicians assure us that the students’ short-term exposure to this unhealthy atmosphere normally fades after a few years of steady employment.
On the other side of the Quad rise the famous Ivory Towers on the Hill. At their base is the magnificent Chadeim Chapel and broad cobbled boulevards lined with the many regal offices of Chadeim’s Administrocacy, an imposing and impressive venue where most of the city’s business is carried out. Here tourists may walk in safety among the resplendently garbed adminostocrats and those few professors endowed with special privileges by the empire.
As one travels away from the Quad, one runs into relatively lively neighborhoods such as the Residences — best known for their spontaneous festivities every Friday and Saturday night — and bustling centers of public life and commerce such as The Commons and The Markets. Although tourists will find a number of interesting places Downmarket, such as the Liberal Arts Museum and the Degree Mill, they should be wary of taking the wrong turn. This area also houses the cemetery complex known to locals as “The Boneyard,” home of the dreaded Library and a series of warehouses called the Archives. At the end of the term, final marks are posted on Gallowsgate in the Boneyard and the city’s visiting youth are split between celebration and despair. Tourists are also advised to avoid the Slums, which are full of workhouses and tenements harboring indigents, criminals, road scholars, and other unfortunates.
Enjoy your stay!