Balefire, the City of Lanterns

The tumultuous Balefire, a city of constant darkness.

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The City of Lanterns Balefire is a city shrouded in eternal darkness. Viewing the city-state and surrounding Gloomwood from the outside is foreboding at best: a storm of pitch-black haze that appears ragged and ripped at the edges, and these energies constantly rotate around the city center. Even after so many years away from the Shadow Plane, the tough shrubs and gutter-beasts of Balefire are still mutated by the shadow energies that permeate the city. One of the only universals in Balefire are streets lit by a variety of colorful lanterns that give the city its nickname. These lanterns are all that stand between the city and the almost suffocating darkness around it.

From Balefire's center a great clocktower looms high above an otherwise low skyline. Its glowing faces are the only real way to tell time in the absence of the sun. Many neighborhoods keep different hours despite this, leading to the possibility of it being as lively as noon in most cities in one neighborhood and as deserted as midnight just a few blocks over.

Balefire's urban sprawl is a patchwork that notably lacks planning. Centuries of different factions building, destroying, rebuilding, and remodeling -- coupled with the large populations of foreign immigrants -- have led to Balefire being the biggest melting pot of utilitarian building design in Imythess. One might easily see architecture with Norwood, Tarisian, Istani, Cascadian and other influences all next to each other, or perhaps even incorporated into the same hodgepodge design. Every square foot of the city is utilized, including the rooftops, as businesses and homeowners vie for limited space within Balefire's ancient, dilapidated infrastructure.
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