The Pillars of Heaven
Chetheron: the City of the Hungry Void. From a distance, the city itself takes on the shape of a lumpy, spiky worm or centipede; jagged protuberances jutting from a clustered series of spheres. As one gets closer, one can see that the “spikes” are really towers, houses and buildings, built along the curved surfaces of the clustered spheres. Each sphere has its own gravity, pulling the building towards its center. Stepping out of their home, a denizen might tilt their head back and look down on their neighbors.
Up close, Chetheron is a city of metal, stone and hard edges. There is very little in the city that is green or pleasant. The lowermost spheres tend to be the most friendly to outsiders — those near the docks and the surface. The higher one goes, the stranger and more bewildering the architecture becomes, changing from houses of wood and stone to jagged crystalline structures of purple and green.
The centermost sphere is the home of the Void, the god of the Orcs. Few have seen it with their own eyes, as it dwells inside the sphere itself, but Klaelmash (the name of the sphere devoted to the Void) is home to many temples, plazas, and places of celebration. The mostly-Orcish residents built art and sacrifices to the Void and destroy them in joyful abandon in a series of festivals nearly every night. The next day, strange new structures and devices will grow out of Klaelmash — the gifts of the god. These are taken by the oracles and pondered over.
Most of the food in Chetheron comes from the sea, and the unruly ports of the city are always full of ships. The lowermost spheres are full of alehouses and gambling halls, meant to amuse the sailors and merchants and discourage them from venturing far upward. Chetheron is a brooding city of sharp angles and deep shadows, and the strange keening cries of the sand crystals tend to unnerve those who are unfamiliar with the city.
Chetheron is ruled by Queen Yeriss, an Orcish warrior who rose to power by uniting many broods in bloody battle. She lives in Righass, the highmost sphere of the city, where she maintains a harem of strapping Orcish men and consults with the oracles about the future of the city-state. The various broods themselves are constantly scrambling for favor and political advantage, and crime and street violence, while not common, are hardly unheard-of.
The Mute, an Orcish answer to the Arcane Academy, have slowly been gaining power in the city, seeking to collect and exploit magical artifacts from across the Empty Earth.