Cult of Ustream Headquarters
Long after its abandonment in the Alter Timeline, it is found by Jason Shaver and taken up as shelter from the wilderness around it. Over the next few years, it attracts more individuals in need of shelter and eventually becomes the "home base" of the Cult of Ustream in the associated canon, for which it is named. The building's new residents tend to refer to the building by abbreviated terms, such as "HQ" or "Cult HQ". In Season Zero it was referred to as "the outpost" or similar terms, as the group itself has not been named at that point.
The Cult Headquarters is the primary setting of the Cult of Ustream canon, as its inhabitants do not frequently travel far from the general area.
In the Prime and Drei Timelines, the building remains abandoned.
The building is primarily made from stone bricks, with wood beams used for support. It is three stories tall excluding the basement, and is a very large building designed to accommodate many people. The windows that it has are large, and from an outside perspective appear to be scattered along the walls of the building. This is due to the layouts of the rooms not allowing for perfect symmetry. The entryway consists of a small, open "hall" that emerges several feet from the middle of the first floor, facing south.
(Note: view of building from outside and in front here)
The stone of the Headquarters is cracked and worn, showing the abuse it has taken over the years while it still stands, tall and imposing. While the new residents have had to patch up or completely repair the building on several occasions, the integrity of HQ is still solid and the building is known to be incredibly sturdy. The Headquarters has walls several feet solid, and can sustain heavy damage before crumbling.
The outer walls of the building are dotted with seemingly randomly-placed windows, which in reality simply match the layouts of whatever room they provide a view from. The building also has two slight overhangs, one between each floor, which are wide enough to walk on and are assumed to be there to provide a quick escape through a window if the building comes under attack from within.
The roof of the HQ has a stairwell leading down to the third floor and is rimmed by crenelations, which range from knee-height notches to merlons taller than an adult human. The crenelations provide cover when archers or mages are fending off attackers from the roof, as well as providing a sort of guardrail to prevent people from getting knocked off the building. The center of the roof has a large, circular glass skylight which provides a view directly through the third floor and onto the second. The skylight can provide a quick emergency entrance or exit, but was placed there specifically to funnel any hostile flying dragons to one point where they could be dealt with, as dragons would most likely attempt to break through the weaker glass rather than stone walls.
The inside of the building is decorated with black carpeting and the occasional black and blue banners hanging from the walls, ceiling, or support beams. These support beams are made of dark wood set in stone fixations and are usually vertical, but there are two horizontal support beams in the main hallway of the first floor, most likely placed for the purpose of aesthetics. Iron lanterns hang from the walls to provide light; the candles inside can burn for days at a time, but must still be replaced or extinguished from time to time. Aside from the candles, box-like lanterns are set in the walls themselves to provide light- these appear magical in nature, as they seem to respond to the light level of the building and will turn on when it begins growing dark.
Each floor has a large amount of open space, making it relatively easy for even a dragon to walk through the halls and rooms. Wide stairwells connect each floor, as well as the basement and roof. The second floor has a clear view of the sky, via a skylight in the center of the roof and empty space in the middle of the third floor.
- First Floor: As the central hub of the building, the first floor contains most survival and informational necessities. It is composed of a central hallway through the center of the building, branching off into four large rooms before turning west into the stairwell.
- Mess Hall: A large kitchen-dining room containing several long dining tables, ceiling lanterns, and tables off to the side to hold lighting, food, or containers. There is a "fridge" in the corner seemingly powered by magic, and several places to store food or dining ware. This room contains two very large windows, one on each wall that faces outside.
- Infirmary: This room is separated into multiple sections after being re-purposed by Pricilla Starkey to be a more accessible place for first aid than her room on the third floor. The infirmary is broken off into a main room with beds for recovery, Pricilla's "office", a storage area, and a private operating room. The office and main operating room also have large windows to help recovery with a view of the outside.
- Meeting Room: This spacious room has a central table with several chairs, used when a meeting needs to be called into effect in order to deal with a pressing issue. (Note: room has not been completed in the MC map. More info will come when that happens.)
- Library (1F): The two-story library starts on this floor and winds up to the second with its own staircase. This section of the library contains most of the books, tables, and private "study" areas, as well as an elevated, small windowside sitting area.
- Second Floor: The second floor seems to contain the more military-centric rooms, as well as a couple of general communal areas. The center of this floor has a view to the sky via a large skylight in the roof, which can also provide quick access in or out of the building in case of an emergency.
- Library (2F): This section of the library seems to be more equipped as a lounge; while it still has many books, it has fewer than the previous floor, contains a sheltered fireplace, and has a fireside sitting area. The second floor of the library is mostly overhang and has a view of the first floor via a gap in the floor separating them. The eastern wall is dominated by a window with perhaps the best view in the building: a clear, unblocked view of the sunrise.
- War Room: This room originally seemed to be a place to plan strategy, prepare for combat, and store sensitive information, but has since been re-purposed into a sort of lounge by the cult. Banners of black and blue cloth hang from the walls and rafters between the support beams, with armor stands and sword pedestals lining the walls and continuing to give a very warlike feel. Like the library, it has a window dominating its western wall, providing an equally spectacular view of the sunset. A sign outside of the war room reflects this, depicting a sword, a book, and the quote "The sun rises with knowledge / And sets with war".
- Training Room: Fitted to be Jack Evans's dojo by the cult, this room is mostly open space with racks for practice weapons along the walls. Despite the existence of a coliseum not too far away, this room is suited for small-scale practice sessions for physical weapons rather than Magic or Soul Phantasms.
- Restrooms: The restrooms of the building are separated into two primary areas; closest to the door inside are areas equipped with basic showering needs, separated into two for differing genders and being otherwise communal, containing a line of sinks each. Further back into the room are several toilet stalls, accommodating the amount of people who were expected to live in the building at one time so there would not be inconveniences.
- Third Floor: The third floor consists purely of living quarters, arranged in a circular pattern; several rooms along the walls, surrounding a hallway, which in turn surrounds a cluster of rooms that are arranged around the space that leads into the skylight. One of the walls facing this skylight is broken down, a result of Ziolang Hirasu using it as a quick way to get outside from his room while he still lived at HQ. Outside of the "corner rooms" are what are assumed to be archer holes- small rooms with a clear view of the outside, wide enough to walk through and out onto the ledge to either make a quick exit or shoot attackers from.
- Basement: The basement of HQ is dim, carrying scarce lighting, and was originally intended to keep prisoners of war for interrogation or negotiation. The Cult uses it primarily for storage, though Fricai was kept there during Season One to keep him out of harm's way and prevent him from attacking anyone.
The Cult of Ustream Headquarters is located in the wilderness of western-central Ustream, situated solidly in the grassland with the Eastern Forest and Railis Skiir close enough to allow hunting for food on a daily basis. It is relatively close to Ustream's coast and Dragon's Head Peninsula, and a large river and lake (Sél Atiri and Chaisél respectively) runs not far to the north.
Close to the south of HQ is a rift known as the Chasm of the Unknown, an anomalous chasm in the plains that only exists in the Alter Timeline due to the Seals of Ustream. The closest of these seals to HQ are Voletno Ziir, to the northwest, and Voletno Zul, to the southwest. They are roughly equidistant to HQ, although Voletno Zul is slightly closer.
At Voletno Ziir is an old, worn castle dating back to Ustream's limited Radiant Era settlements. At Voletno Zul is a seaside cavern which reaches many miles below the surface, and even breaches the ocean to exit near an old, rotting shipwreck.
Dotting the area near HQ are multiple building structures, most of which are only present in the Alter Timeline, due to the influence of the Cult of Ustream. These include the coliseum to the northeast (the only one to exist in the other timelines), and the residences of Ziolang, Judas Numidius, and Pricilla. Prior to his defection at the end of Season One, Lord X-Giga-X also resided in his laboratory near Cult HQ with his faction, Organization G-X. However, this laboratory was subsequently ordered to be destroyed after his defection.
Further to the northeast is the Station of Seotara base, and slightly further on is Voletno Krain and another old castle of the Radiant Era, this one having been claimed by Drake Kuro during Season Zero. With Voletno Súndiávir and its associated Skyking Altar a distance to the southeast, this makes Voletno Kor the furthest seal and Skyking Altar from HQ, hours away by flight to the east and on the other side of Ustream.
- Main Article: Cult of Ustream (Group)
- Main Article: Cult of Ustream (Group)
In all timelines, the building was built as a Seotaran military outpost during the Radiant Era as a strategic point to keep watch over both Durasken and Skyking Súndávr's Altar, as the outpost was built just barely within Súndávr's claimed protectorate. The Seotarans remained in the building after Súndávr was defeated, eventually leaving during the Dissonant Era shortly after the start of the Fyreborne War, while Durasken was too occupied fending off Corian Fyreborne to bother expanding into Ustream.
The outpost is inhabited by the Cult of Ustream later during the Dissonant Era of the Alter Timeline, several members of which may live elsewhere despite having a room in the building.
The outpost remains abandoned in the Prime and Drei Timelines.
- The relevant appliances as well as the long-burning candles in the building seem to be powered by a mixture of extremely limited electricity and magical enchantments. Upon inspection, the limited electrical wiring proves to be Nienearclian in nature. However, most of the "power supply" (such as a fridge keeping food cold) is the result of enchantments set by the building's original inhabitants.
- The black and blue color scheme of the building is derived from the Seotaran flag; a black eagle silhouette on a dark blue background. Because the building came with these colors, it has become the Cult's unofficial color scheme.
- The Cult choosing to adopt such a color scheme can be construed as ironic. Jason Shaver, the Cult's leader, is from the Sulsian country of Durasken, and the residents of Durasken largely harbor strong nationalist feelings towards Seotara.