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Ascendant is the capital city of the Free Republic of Montfort, located on the eastern edge of the country close to the border of The Prairie Lands.


Ascendant is set high on the eastern edge of the massive mountain range that marks the border between Montfort and the Prairie Lands. The city looks out over the lower peaks and the border. There are no walls or gates surrounding the city.

The city seems born of the mountains themselves, built upon slopes and into valleys, arching over gushing streams and the larger river picking its way back east through winding canyons. The few roads tunnel beneath the surface, carved into the mountains. The capital has a confusing layout, with a jagged network of streets and steps along both sides of the valley floor. The walkways are white stone, with many steps.

Most of the buildings are made from quarried stone, such as granite, marble, and rock quartz. The stone has been cut and sculpted into impossibly smooth slabs of white and gray. Pine trees sprout up between buildings. There is a city lake that is deep and full of fish. Several fine estates line the banks.[1] Guard posts and patrols dot the city. Iris Cygnet notes that there are far fewer than she had seen in Detraon and Archeon.[2] Maven Calore thinks that it doesn't look like any city he's every seen. He finds it "too new, but somehow old at the same time." [3]


The observatory is a domed building high on the mountainside. It has polished moonstone columns holding up the spangled dome of stained glass. Inside is a massive telescope, pointed at the domed roof. Several chambers lead off the round central room. The floor is made of marble slabs. Prince Bracken's children were kept in a room of Silent Stone underneath the observatory.

The Premier's House[]

The Premier's House sprawls across one side of the valley. Other estates and government buildings line its edges. It gleams white at night, and has many balconies, windows, and terraces. The estate is a palatial compound set high on a ridge overlooking the rest of the capital. Dark green banners with a white triangle are hanging everywhere. An archway carved to look like tree trunks and leaves marks the entrance to a central plaza. The plaza's stonework is a checkered spiral of hewn green granite and milky limestone. Pines of every kind line the arches bounding the place. The House is a long, pillared building set into and up the cresting slope. It's a strange mix of tumbled stone, lacquered time, and marble detail. Mare notes that the Premier's House is "a palace in all but name."[4] There are no walls or gates around the House. Many of the balconies have overflowing flower boxes,

The apartments within the House are vast and richly decorated. While the House is huge, the layout is simple. The ground floor is where the public rooms are. There are many rooms of grand salons and galleries. There's a dining area the size of a ballroom, dominated by a table big enough for forty as well as a massive stone fireplace. Arched doorways lead out onto the terraces. There is also an expansive and beautiful library. The library is on the second floor and occupies a large expanse of the eastern side of the palace. Double doors mark the entrance. Inside the library it is bright and cheerful, with wood-paneled walls in lacquered, gleaming oak. The chamber is lined with double rows of shelving, the second story is ringed by a narrow landing railed in bronze.

The People's Gallery[]

The People's Gallery is where the government of Montfort meets and works. It's located a few hundred yards down the slope from the Premier's House, set onto more terraces cut below the House. There are no walls surrounding it. Instead there are white stone archways and sweeping verandas surrounding the domed building. The dome is made of green glass and is hundreds of feet across. The glass is too flawed to be Silver-made, but is more beautiful for the whorls and curves of imperfection. Silver-barked aspen trees with golden leaves are located at even intervals, lining the structure like a living columns. They are clearly the work of Silvers. Soldiers flank each tree. A long, marble walkway leads to wide-open doors.

The entrance hall is columned, and hung with green and white silks gathered with silver and red ties. Sunlight beams down from skylights. Many chambers branch off, visible through arches between the columns or locked behind polished oak doors.

The main chamber of the Gallery, where the government representatives meet, is aptly named. Massive white and green enamel doors open into the amphitheater. The space is large enough to seat hundreds, with seats rising the room. The steps down the bowl of the amphitheater are shallow. The Premier's seat is located at the center of the floor. There are empty chairs for guests. Mare suspects the room has been built to maximize acoustics.[5]

Notable Locations[]

  • The Observatory
  • The Premier's House
  • The People's Gallery


  1. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: pages 100-101
  2. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: pages 178-179
  3. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: page 563
  4. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: page 116
  5. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: page 192