Precious Moonlight sits at the feet of the mountain named Mother of Snows, where the Temple of Frozen Blossoms is located. Though the temple is independent and self-governed, it is a powerful ally with close ties to the city.
The city has dedicated itself to all things nightly: feasting, singing, dancing, and loving. Its most powerful, and most precious, art is dreaming. Here, seers are trained from childhood, taught to use various herbs and techniques to hone their ability to see the future.
The surrounding farmlands also cater to Precious Moonlight’s love of the night life. Farmers grow herbs and spices that enhance sex, or sleep, or dreams. They also grow many plants for alchemical use, and the city’s alchemists produce top quality potions. The silk farmers produce some of the finest silk in Erde, and they are only ones who know the secret of the glow-in-the-dark bed silks.
There is no rhyme or reason to the layout of the city. The city tends to grow in clusters: first a small market, then a few workshops, then homes. The market grows, more shops open, and more homes are built. When the market can no longer expand, a new little market springs up and the cycle begins again. The streets and communities are maze-like, making it difficult for visitors to navigate. This has led to the creation of an entire industry catering to escorting and transporting visitors.
The people of Precious Moonlight practice primogeniture: the eldest child, whether male or female, inherits. Each child in succession has a specific place and duty within the family. This can differ, somewhat, between families, but in general the second child is responsible for creating alliances (often by marrying appropriately), and the third child is responsible for the family’s finances. The fourth child is often responsible for seeking out new business opportunities, but in some families the fourth child becomes the spiritual leader of the family.
Currently, the ruling family is the House of the Dreaming Serpent, led by a shrewd and stubborn woman named Sakura (Cherry Blossom). Her scandalous marriage to a sixth-born son has produced three children, the youngest of whom is showing clear signs of being Yokai-kin. Though the boy is only five, already people whisper that he must go to Frozen Blossoms soon, or become a danger to his family and the city. Those who know Sakura personally believe she is playing a long game in which the powers of the Yokai-kin figure prominently. What Sakura’s end-game might be is unclear, and this uncertainty has rivals and allies alike apprehensive.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.