The Exodus and Terminus Quadrants are closer to the wider world of the Cosmonox than the rest of the metro. But if you pick up a brochure bragging about what to see in the City it’s always going to point you to the four signature Quadrants: Acid, Clover, Troth and Sonder.
Acid is the quadrant with the densest population, the most wealth, and the most modern amenities. It is sometimes referred to, in whole, as “Downtown,” though that is technically only the name of it’s centermost District. Here used to be the great Labyrinth from before the opening of the Silvergates, and some sections of the city still have shards of that arcane landscape. But what dominates the skyline most is the single black spire that is Draega Tower, at the very center of the Quadrant, rising so hight it has never been fully witnessed, obscured by the cloud line high above.
When the moon rises green in this Quadrant, the weather can turn dangerous. The rain that falls on a night with an Everidian Moon is green and burns the surface of the city like acid. It blisters skin, and stains clothes. Most of the streets are glyphspelled, or plastered with synthetics to safeguard against such weather, but it does give this part of the city a well-earned nickname.
The most diverse Quadrant, outside of the sections built around the Silvergates, Clover is a world of art and beauty. The oldest and most distinct features are the two great walls: The Rusted Rampart, and the Frozen Stockade. Within each the seasons are everlasting and unchanging, giving each enclosed area their names: The Summerlands and the Winterlands. Within the Rusted Rampart, a wall of warm red metal, the Summerlands remain forever bright, sunny, and warm. Within the Frozen Stockade, a towering wall of ice, the air is crisp, dry and billowing with snow year round.
Throughout this Quadrant various forms of clover grow in different colors, each with different significance to the denizens of the city. Some sacred, some commonplace, each area has it’s own myth as to the meaning of the clover, but, like the walls that detail this realm, there is only one thing that is certain: the clovers that grow in this part of the city are beautiful and unique, and everywhere.
The most obvious feature of Troth are the two Bright Cities and the Red Castle. High over the Old Forest, you will see the bridge-built Silver City, clustered into the corners around the Fountain Sea. Above that is the White City, nowadays home to the highest ranking members of the City Council. At the highest point in the sky is the Red Castle, ancient and mysterious. This keep is home to the Blue Guard, the oldest order of knights in the Metro. Each of these is suspended, inexplicably, in place, one above the other, over the street level of Troth.
This Quadrant most obviously combines the lost parts of the city with the new. It’s only here you can find a Zaithen stratocar docked alongside a modern re-creation of a classic diner, built into the Silverstone landscape of a city floating by lost magic over the oldest forest in the Cosmonox. Troth is where tourists come to see the city at it’s most old and new, all at once.
The quietest part of the Inner City, Sonder is mostly the Mountain, a fog-draped spire of natural stone, white ice and calm wonder. The Mountain is surrounded by four Gateways, each leading up to a magical Wayhouse, all sacred destination for various pilgrims and journeyers. The Lanterngate is the start of a path to the Lantern House, where dwell healers who listen to any tale that a stranger brings to tell. The Bellgate is the start of a path toward the Belltower, the only Wayhouse of the four Gates that can be seen from the path as it starts. The Belltower rings daily to rituals, calling to many different communities, and bringing them together in service and rites. The Flowergate is barely distinguishable from the lush foliage of the Gardens of Solitude, where many spend their time in worship and meditation. And lastly there is the Grailgate, where one starts the journey up toward the Fountain House, a great archive that admits scholars and philosophers of all worlds.
Around Sonder’s gates the city is dense with schools, temples, dojos, and archives. The oldest forms of thought are stowed here, categorized and contemplated daily. And most who travel to this sacred place are in search of something, and often do not come away without something to show for it.
Each of these four signature Quadrants are the pride of the Inner City, highlighting the existing culture, the aspirations and histories of the human world, and the most marketable wonders for any tourist in search of the real Metronox Experience. As is tradition, once every 10 years the city reprints these old travel posters, and it just so happens that this summer is the anniversary of that human habit. So enjoy at glance at these old-timey treasures, and maybe come with me some time, to see what we can see in the IC.