The Great Hall of Castle Ember

The Great Hall of Castle Ember is where the majority of the Kingdom of Ember's formal receptions take place, as well as where Queen Corrine sits upon her throne to pass certain judgements and to hear court petitions. It is a two hundred foot long, eighty foot wide pillared hall with vaulted ceilings; the pillars define two lesser open galleries flanking the main hall. Huge gold-plated doors stand at one end of the hall, and the solid obsidian Great Throne of Ember sits on a dias on the other end. Both are embazoned with representations of the Pyricorn. Regent Catherine's mahogany chair sits to the right of the obsidian throne (she has never sat on the throne herself, even during the centuries of the Pariseau Regency). The floor is tiled with alternating pyricorns on a gold background, and silver maple leaves on a red background. Tall, wide windows facing the courtyard along one gallery provide light for the Great Hall at all hours. Major feasts are held here; normally food is served in the Dining Hall. A pair of connecting doors can be opened to allow access between the two rooms through the other gallery.

There are several noteable features of the Great Hall of Castle Ember that make it different from that of Castle Amber's. The first is that the flags of Ember's allies hang high above the hall between the support pillars, flanking the large pennant of the Pyricorn that hangs above and behind the Queen's throne. The members of the Lava Circle, various Golden Circle Kingdoms, places out in shadow, and Amber, are all represented among the flags. The distance the flag hangs from the dias is said to be representative of the kingdom's relative importance to Ember -- Amber's is closest, to the Queen's right, and is then followed by the remaining kingdoms (which has led to some political flag-wrangling that Corrine has needed to smooth over on more than one occasion). The space directly opposite of Amber's flag is noteably empty; Queen Corrine has declared that this position is reserved for the flag of the Kingdom of Rebma once it is fully returned to power under its rightful ruler, and not the false rule of Bloc Rebmaquois.

The second noteable feature of the Great Hall is a quartet of hoof-shaped scortch marks, burned into the floor tiles, several feet in front of the dias and throne. It is here that the Pyricorn presented itself to Queen Corrine on the day of her formal acceptance of the rule of Ember, carrying the Fire Demi-Jewel by its chain on the tip of its horn, declaring her to be the True Queen of Ember. It has become traditional since then for especially devoted petitioners to make pledges and oaths to the kingdom and Queen between the two forward hoofprints; while the oath is not enforced in the same way that a Rose Duel might be, the pledge is considered to have more weight and to be more binding than when made elsewhere.