Well of Law
The Well of Law is a squat Solar-aspected manse-ziggurat located in Bay of Roots, capital city of Miwoc. The structure itself is ancient, dating back to the Primordial Era and the time of the Dragon Kings, who sacrificed human lives to the Unconquered Sun from its heights.
During the First Age, the Well of Law was reborn as a great library and school of jurists, who recorded with care the pronouncements of the Solar Deliberative, and of each individual Lawgiver, under a philosophy that the rulings of the Solar Exalted carried with them inherent righteousness, and by studying where they came together the moral foundations of existence could be determined. As the Solars were the source of law, jurists of the Well also kept a body of legal codes and regulations gathered from across Creation, with mortals and Terrestrials paying great sums for their services as legal consultants, or to unearth precedents in Solar law to support those lesser writs and rules.
The Well of Law was a major target when the Usurpation came, not only for its jurists’ devotion to the Solars but also for the body of knowledge it contained, knowledge which had no place in the future the Usurpers intended. The crystal archives were smashed and scroll cases lit aflame, while to minimize geomantic damage, the systematic killing of the jurists was carried out ritually, as sacrifices to the Unconquered Sun. While in the immediate aftermath this act was celebrated by the perpetrators as a glorious victory, memorialized in tapestry and statue, as years wore on opinion turned against such acts and those monuments were repurposed, altered to depict monstrous Anathema sacrificing innocents and stealing the light of the Sun. The armies of the Shogunate maintained a garrison in the Well, and by the time of the Great Contagion rooms had been granted to several local gods who had made alliances with Meru.
Much of this history has been lost to the people of the present Age. When the Contagion drove masses of refugees into the area, the Well became focal point of the struggle between the three faiths amongst their number: the Cult of the Zenith (claiming it a temple to the Most High), the Immaculate Faith (claiming it a memorial to the overthrow of the Anathema), and the cults that were merging into the Hundred Gods Pantheon (claiming it due to their patron spirit’s residence there). The Well changed hands several times as the faiths clashed, and these battles risked triggering a wider religious war, before the leaders of the faiths accepted suzerainty of the Scarlet Empress and the land of Miwoc was founded.
As part of their agreement, the Well itself was given into the care of the Empress herself, to be maintained on behalf of all three faiths but dominated by none. An opulently-furnished set of chambers are maintained within for Her use, though she is not known to have ever visited them. The Well also houses the residence and offices of the Imperial Satrap and the Thousand Scales departments operating in Miwoc, using up the upper levels of the structure. The lower levels of the building are home to the government of Miwoc, including offices and meeting chambers for its three Ministers, and the headquarters of the Badger’s Talon, though the structure is itself garrisoned by a detachment of the Imperial Legions. At each corner of the ziggurat, a fortified set of gilded doors, emblazoned with sunbursts, opens to the outside.
A courtyard runs up the center of the ziggurat, open to the sky and ringed with mirrors arranged so that no matter where Sol sits in the sky above a column of the Most High’s light shines upon an open well on the ground floor… in times long past, the blood of sacrifices to the Unconquered Sun would fill the well, but in the present it is home to accumulated rainwater with a slight taste of Iron. The manse hearthstone forms within this well.