There are realms which unfold beneath the great expanse of the skies, whatever those skies may be. There are planes of seemingly infinite void, with or without structure or object to mar them.
The Iron Court is not one of these realms.
No matter where, no matter how one passes into Quietus, one’s arrival is always the same: within a soaring, sharp-ribbed hall of dizzying immensity, lined with uncountable blackened pillars — and the statue-still guardians that stand at the ready behind the podiums that line that hall, engraving pens and glaives at the ready — beneath the strange chiaroscuro light of flickering godtallow lamps.
The guardians will hear your case, your plea, your reason for entering the Iron Court.
They do not like disruptions.
They will guide you to what you require, if that is necessary.
Beyond the Hall lie: labyrinthine corridors of curving plates and mathematically precise riveting and portals that pivot on unseen hinges;
ornate courts of trial, awash in godtallow light, the ranks of the courtroom hidden from each other with elaborate and precisely symmetrical screens of intricately pierced and patterned metal;
serried warrens of scriptoria, where scribes draft and copy, illuminate and elaborate, in endless scratching whispers of metal against metal;
soaring archives dating back, back, back beyond mortal ken, records of iron, of massive slabs and delicate sheets the envy of a goldsmith;
immense domed arenas where iron legions mass, unmoving, baroque and sharp and silent, waiting.
Waiting for the word from the depths of the Court that the Black Iron March shall contend with violation beyond violation.
There are those who seek out the Iron Judges: the Iron Court will rule on oaths, uphold contracts, draft proclamations, make judgement on disputes, issue condemnations, research prior principles. It will render these things to any who petition.
None wish to see the Iron March.
The March does not occur on a whim. Quietus does not act on whims.
All is precise.
All is weighed, analyzed, deliberated, judged, composed, filed.
All beneath the weight of endless black iron.
The iron that is Quietus, from the most ancient First Pillar — its ribs worn smooth from ferrous caresses — to the tightly-pulled metal flesh and angled bone of the sharp-chiseled Judges who deliver the judgement of the Courts implacably and without remorse.
* judgement * legality * bureaucracy * preservation * precedent * inevitability *