The city of pipes and light is in the Byzant Empire
While travelling through an unfamiliar area of the city at night, it it easy for one to become quite lost. Though this is an upper-class residential neighbourhood just east of downtown, the streets wind, twist, and turn in upon themselves in a rather chaotic fashion.
The wealthy landowners of Ardales began to grow personal gardens on their flat rooftops. The shade helped cool the buildings. The competition renewed among the aristocracy for the lushest garden. Over time, the increased population caused an increase in building density, especially in the city’s heart.
The work is being done on the largest temple of Stryfe ever constructed. So massive is this project, that it could not have been placed within the city’s walls without displacing a large portion of Gnopolis’s inhabitants.
The ruling family depends on some magical artifact or place to secure their right to rule. A monarch isn't considered legitimate until he or she has been "accepted" by the artifact or place, whatever that might entail. It is also possible that some one else, not of the ruling family, could be accepted as the legitimate heir... A fact which the monarchs would like to keep secret.