Lastelle Island

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Lastelle Island is a small island located in Oscion's southern hemisphere. It is entirely covered in the urban sprawl of Lastelle - the ancient seat of Kaen Tan's empire, and the present site of the sector capital. For the movers and shakers of Par'tha sector, Lastelle Island is the political, financial, and social epicenter of the Par'tha Expanse.

The city is super-exclusive, and the real estate is some of the most expensive in the sector. Only the most powerful people in the sector can afford to live here. Even mere money is not enough to land an apartment or villa in the city; one must have political connections as well as millions and millions of credits.

Architecture

Lastelle Island is a beautiful city built in the ancient Caraadian style of domed towers and temples. Many of the structures in Lastelle are thousands of years old. Though antiques, these buildings are structurally sound and well cared for. There are no slums to speak of on the island.

Older buildings are almost exclusively composed of stone - usually finely carved blocks. In general, structures tend to consist of many layers, almost as if they were built up on one another (this is often the case). There are many sub-buildings, add-ons, and tiers with rooks. Domes are a prominent feature in Caraadian architecture, and it is not uncommon for buildings to have several of different sizes. Other structures are more modern (being a mere few centuries old), and reflect more recent developments in galactic architecture styles.

Par'tha Society

Par'tha Expanse

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Transportation

You would not expect traffic to be a big problem on such a small island, since vehicles can only get into or out of the city via cargo transport or ship. However, many of the rich and famous residents of Lastelle Island consider it a mark of high status to fly an aircar or hover vehicle into the city to tool around in. Consequently, the streets are often jammed with limos, luxury speeders, and sports hover-vehicles - and no drivers are as impatient or intolerant of delays as nobles. The commoners, of course, do not actually live on the island, and rely on its public transportation system.

There are two mass transit monorail lines which run through the city on elevated platforms. The monorail line running along the coast of the island is the Coast Line, while the line cutting across the island is the Crosstown Line. Major highways run underneath the monorail lines.

The island is networked with canals. Millennia ago, they were constructed to drain the swamps in the island's interior, but as Lastelle City grew, they evolved into what they are today - an elegant and occasionally efficient method of getting around the city. When traffic is particularly bad on the streets of Lastelle, the canals actually provide commuters a faster means of getting around.

The only commercial traffic allowed in the canals are public transportation-oriented craft - water taxis, tour boats, ship launches (from the harbor), and so on (a few floating restaurants prove the exception to the rule). Most of the other craft on the water are either city police or maintenance craft, or private commuter boats. The canals are open to the sea, allowing small watercraft and launches to sail from the ocean into the city and vice versa. Though fairly wide, the canals are relatively shallow - few other ocean-going vessels can enter them. Most yachts dock in harbor marinas.

Throughout most of the city, the sides of the canals are moss-covered ferrocrete. In the Historical District, however, the sides are sheathed in beautiful frescoes. These frescoes are washed every night by city workers and kept in perfect repair.

City Locations

The following is just a sampling of the sorts of businesses and establishments around town. Naturally, there are more theatres, casinos, restaurants, and clubs than those listed here.

Historical District

The Historical District is the seat of Par'tha government. The really important government agencies are located here, as are the embassies of various houses and governments. It is a luxurious neighborhood of large imposing buildings, statues, ornate fountains, and plazas and parks.

Access to this area of the island is open to all during the workday. However, only commoners with access permits and the nobility may enter after hours. Due to zoning laws, buildings cannot be more than five stories high in this district. This law was passed to prevent new buildings from blocking the profile of the ancient domes and buildings here.

Commercial District

The Commercial District is the business end of Lastelle Island. Though most of the island is absorbed in the task of governing, there are numerous service industries which support the government's efforts, from restaurants and bars to banks and janitorial agencies. Numerous lobbyists from a variety of professions maintain offices here, as do major businesses which cater to the noble classes (like luxury cruise lines, starship manufacturers, financial investor groups, and real estate companies). The transportation hubs linking the island with the rest of Oscion and the sector are also located in the Commercial District, including a spaceport, and airport, and a small seaport.

Many of the buildings in the Commercial District are skyscrapers, to fit as much office space on a single parcel of land as possible.

Residential District

Lords and ladies with the means to procure living quarters on Lastelle Island live in the Residential District. While most lords live elsewhere on Oscion (usually on private island resorts), all houses have at least one official residency in the Residential District for entertaining in town.

Most estates are compact but well-appointed, but a few are quite large and imposing. Residences are put up for sale very infrequently. Most have been kept in the same house for centuries.

Many areas of the Residential District are open to outsiders, but certain blocks are sealed to those who aren't carrying admittance passes. All residences have very good security systems, and most have guards patrolling the grounds.