The Dome of the Seven Captains stands on the western bank of the river Slake, clearly visible from the harbour inlet and forming the physical as well as the spiritual centre of Locastus. Often, the first sight arriving ships get of the city, is the sun reflecting off its gold-leaf bulk.
The Dome of the Seven Captains was erected some 150 years ago, on the site of the original Captains´ Hall, one of the first permanent structures in Locastus, the meeting place for its founders. The nearby Stub Hills were extensively mined to supply the marble for the construction, which took close to 5 years to complete. The Dome was finished just in time to interr the second of the Seven Captains, Arana Musk, wife and foremost supporter of Admiral Marcus Dohl.
The Dome of the Seven Captains
The Dome stands in the middle of the great, cobbled Admiralty Plaza, surrounded by concentric rings of government offices, the Courts of the Adjudicators and the palaces of the rich. From the Plaza, great avenues radiate outwards, like the spokes of a wheel. Even though the buildings around the plaza are covered in the ever-present climbing ivy, the Dome remains bare.
The architecture of the Dome is the charachteristic stark, spare style of the early settlers.The facade is marble, and ringed by great, fluted columns. The great, domed roof is covered in gilded bronze, and crowned by a light house cupola at its apex.
The circular, marbled hall beneath the Dome is lined with alcoves, which houses amazingly life-like bronze statues of the seven Captains of the Arrival. The polished floor is inlaid with a great, intricate compass rose, black against the marble tiles, and crystal skylights fill the hall with prismatic light.
Between each pair of statues stands the honorary guard in ceremonial armor. The assignment of guarding the Dome is circulated around the different military companies of Locastus.
The statues of the Captains depict, from left to right:
Imora Grit - Alchemist, engineer and founder of the University of Locastus. Her statue depicts a tall, slender woman with a single long braid, and an intent expression. She appears to be dressed in an oilskin greatcoat and heavy boots. She holds a book in one hand and an alchemist´s alembic in the other, holding it up critically to the light.
Strelos Doon - Dohl´s second-in-command and Captain of the Scorpion. The statue depicts a tall, lean man with narrow features, shaved head and small, circular glasses. Doon´s effigy grasps a wickedly barbed harpoon, its tether coiled around his lower arm. Something of Doon´s harsh and unyielding nature seems to have been invested in the statue - his features radiates a palpable aura of stern disapproval.
Arana Musk - Dohl´s lover, former pirate and captain of the Startear and the Blackflame. Her statue is carved in the likeness of a short, compact, black-skinned woman dressed in the leopardskin of a Nascogiban native and her hair in a multitude of small braids. A heavy obsidian dagger hangs at her belt, and she cuddles a small, bedraggled kitten against her chest.
Marcus Dohl - Admiral at the time of the Arrival, Captain of the flagship Maelstrom and Founder of Locastus. His statue is twice the size of the others, and stands directly opposite the entrance. Dohl is portrayed in his customary, tattered, double-breasted Admiral´s uniform and tricorn hat. His face, with its legendary curly mustaches, is stern and regal, and he points dramatically out into the room with his Admiral´s baton. On a marble plinth in front of the statue sits his Relics, the Sextant, Compass and Spyglass, on which new Mayors swear their oath of office. Dohl passed away of old age in the year 69 after the Arrival, and lies buried in the crypt beneath the Dome, along with most of the others.
Remus Maal - The wandering Magus, close friend of Dohl´s and co-founder of Locastus. He is portrayed as a small, scruffy, potbellied man with an unkempt fringe of hair and a lopsided, mischievous smile. His amazingly detailed face sport deeply carved crows-feet, and his hands appear poised to make a rude gesture. It is said Maal wasn´t satisfied with the original, regal statue of himself and - with a wave of his hand - changed it into something that, he felt, better expressed his personality.
Shortly after Dohl´s death, Maal disappeared without a trace. Strangely, once a year, the Bloated Moon herself - on her annual tour of the City - always comes to the Dome to stand unmoving before the statue of Maal for a long time. The marble floor before the statue is stained by her quicksilver tears.
Ikali Trist - Chief Tactician of the Arrival fleet. A stern-faced, heavy-set woman of middle years, barefoot and dressed in simple sailor´s garb, her hands holding parchment and a quill and a long spyglass sitting at her feet. Her statue seems more sketchy and generalized than the others. This is because she died from the Knife Plague in the early years after Locastus was founded, and was buried in an unmarked grave long before the Dome was erected. She and Remus Maal are the only ones not interred in the crypt beneath the Dome.
Marrak Feng - Former pirate and Captain of the vessles Inab´s Revenge, Nalot´s Fury and Burel´s Dream. The statue shows a short, round man of unknown heritage with a long, elaborately ringleted beard and a tassled fez perched atop a bald, tattooed head. His eyes, beneath bushy eyebrows, are unusually large and intense. Two short cutlasses are shoved through the broad sash that circles his large belly and he stands with his huge, curly-toed boots planted wide in a stance which, combined with his short legs, makes him look slightly comic.
The Captains´ Crypt
The crypt in which five of the Seven are interred is only accessible by tearing open the floor of the central chamber. A narrow, winding stone stair leads down to a natural cave (common in this area) where the Captains rest. Their bodies are wrapped in sailcloth, according to the ancient custom of burial at sea, and placed on low stone catafalques. There is no grave goods (with the exception of a torn leatherbound book resting atop Marcus Dohl´s wrapped corpse) and the whole arrangement looks very spare, like the tomb of a pauper. The simplicity of the burial chamber stands in stark contrast with the opulence above.
Roleplaying Notes - The Dome is open to the public, and a great place if you want to quickly intoduce your PC´s to the history and legends of Locastus. I ran a successful playtest a while back, where the PC´s were asked to investigate if Marcus Dohl had a living descendant, an illegitimate child by a native prostitute. The "Scion of Dohl" had left messages at the Dohl statue, and the PC´s had to stake it out.
Note on titles: Although all of Dohl´s followers were not actual Captains of a ship, they are remembered as the Seven Captains by the people of Locastus. Due to the lingering maritime influence of the City´s origins, nautic terms such as "Captain", "Pilot" and "Bosun" are sometimes used as honorifics, not unlike how genealogical titles like "Knight" or "Lord" would be used in a feudally derived society.