The Fire Gate. Entrance to the Courts of Chaos. Beyond it is the narrow span that proceeds past the squat bastions of bristling carved demonic faces. You arrive at the Plaza of Acknowledgement. You are welcomed to the Courts of Chaos.
The Boulevard is defined by the formal entrances to all of the Houses of Chaos. These are the visible icons of the power of the hidden ways of the Noble Houses. But even at the beginning of the Boulevard, you can see your destination in the far distance. The awesome spire of the Cathedral of the Serpent.
Purplesky swirls above you. Chaosians accept their vista as the natural order things, but to visitors-- the gaping black roiling of colors and flaring lights is anything but natural. It can be terrifying. The scale of everything you see tells you that it is immensely far away. How is it then, that the sky above the Boulevard feels like an cracking iron vault just above your head? A vault about to break and tumble down, crushing all who move below it?
The view from the Cathedral is even more dramatic. Foreign visitors have been known to pass out when they behold the Abyss, framed by the major apse of the Cathedral.
In the Courts, foriegners are well known for their weaknesses. Allowances are made for those fragile ones who swoon.
Many, one could almost say all, of the dignitaries and envoys who are granted the honor of visiting the Courts endure one exposure to the sight and request to be allowed to stay under shelter for the rest of their visit. Nothing could be easier in the Courts, and the Chaosians are gracious hosts. Truly, in the Courts of Chaos, one need never step foot outside of the Ways of the various Houses and the Royal precincts.
Still the obvious grandeur and majesty of the Cathedral, as well as its formal symbolism as the House of the Serpent, make even the most liberal Chaosian sensitive to implied critizism of this holy place.
Each House of Chaos contributes seasonally to the Guard of the Fallen. Every young warrior imagines their first coming-of-age vigil within the Chambers of the Inspired.
The Cathedral is layered with the prestige and memories of a thousand thousand years of allegience to the Great Spirit of the Left-Hand Path of the Circle of All. The very stones of this edifice are saturated with the traditions of the most wise, the most respected powers in all the universe.
If you are ever granted the honor-- you must go and see the Cathedral of the Serpent. Represent the mettle of your own world, your heritage by taking in the magnificence yourself. Do not be disuaded by the tales of those who have felt their knees turn to water as they stood beneath the leaping spire and beheld the Abyss. Take your courage in hand and experience the divine. It is well worth it.
Do take a surgeon's aid kit as a precaution. The Chaosians are not allowed to break ranks to catch someone who is pitching to the volcanic rock floor. It's considered bad form.