Throughout most of the known empire, wood is at a premium. Hardwoods of value must be imported from islands or traded from neighbouring, wood rich, areas. Such considerations affect the way buildings have been constructed.
The simplest building material is unfired mud brick, shaped into a one-room building with a roof of woven fibers or cloth and a floor of packed dirt. Easily constructed, this is the poorest form of housing. This style of architecture is most often used for outposts and the homes of poor villagers.
Multi-room buildings of baked clay brick are an improvement upon the previous design. Their roofs are made of branches woven into a mat, which is then clad with clay tile. Woven mats cover the earthen floor, and niches in the wall serve as containers and cupboards. This is the most common form of housing in rural and agricultural communities. Such homes often boast a small central court.
In the cities housing styles improve dramatically. baked brick is still the building material of choice, but it is usually white-washed on the outside and plastered within. Arched ceilings become common, along with tilework and other interior ornamentation. The house gains simple wooden furnishings, usually just a table and containers. In cities where land is at a premium some of these structures rise several stories tall, housing generations of the same family.
Wealthy merchants and officials of the cities can afford to build homes using stone and timber. The interiors are richly tiled, with painted frescoes on the court walls. The central court becomes an oasis of greenery, an extensive garden with flowering plants, pools and bubbling fountains.

Civil Buildings

The greatest buildings are the schools,council buildings, temples and libraries. These are worked in stone, richly detailed with mosaics and hand-painted tiles, and deced in precious metals that are often inlaid with ornate patterns. Both are great, complex sprawls of individual buildings, apartments and private courts.
Libraries are large structures where the citizens can gather to attend to the business of education, leadership and beaurocracy. The ground floor usually consists of one great single room with arches and pillars soaring high overhead. While the libraries in towns and villages may not be as grand they tend to retain this basic design.


The typical Su'ndari home consists of four 'wings' arranged around a central courtyard. This theme


tends to continue throughout buildings of all sizes and wealth levels with the grandest palace usually consisting of several courtyards surrounded in this fashion. It is rare to find windows on the outside of buildings, although the do sometimes exist on the upper floors, as they instead face into the shaded interior of the courtyard. All but the roughest of courtyard houses have some sort of water source in this central area.

When a family home needs to be extended the house will be extended in one of two ways. A secondary courtyard may be added which is accessed through one of the already existing wings


or a staircase will be built in the courtyard and rooms built atop the existing story. It is common for any rooms added in this way to be built one at a time and where this happens the now easily accessible roof space may be partially covered to allow for an extra garden. In the Kassoa region where plants can survive without the added benefit of shade the entire roof may be utilised in this manner.

Outer walls have no windows on the ground floor, giving homes the appearance of small forts. Even the upper stories rarely have windows facing the street.


Instead, however, each of the rooms on the ground floor has a set of glass doors or windows which open onto the court. Rooms of the upper stories overlook the garden court with balconies and verandas.


In it's simplest form the garden court is no more than a collection of potten palms grouped around a


cistern. In larger homes, it may be an opulent garden of flowering shrubs and fountains, laid out in a geometrical array. The garden is an oasis for the inhabitants of the house. An island of tranquility in a hot and often hostile world.

For those households who cannot afford a house of such wealth a large number of simple one room dwellings known as cottages exist. It is not unusual for a wealthier family to build these cottages in order to rent them out to other households in return for money or favors.


Another feature common to settlements is a central marketplace. In a village it may be no more than an open court set aside for the purpose.


In the cities, however, the marketplace often includes great shopping areas that are sheltered from the sun by roofs pitched high overhead.

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