The House of Crystal
The House of Crystal lies in the north of Fortitude, near Ceiba Quay.
The building is a shrine for dust collection, a business, a factory and a home to the Hayashi family all at once. While not strictly made of crystal, it gives this illusion as glass is incorporated everywhere, in gleaming twists and turns. The crystal spire is built into the shrine, a glittering tower of purified glass that is used as a lighthouse for the sailors of Fortitude. The front of the shrine acts as a place for dust to be delivered, and for customers to browse and wonder at the glass creations.
The many windows of the shrine are often tinted, bathing the guests inside in a warm web of coloured light. There are rows and rows of glasswork for guests to buy, from lamps to charms or gorgeous pieces of art. In the centre of the room lies the base of the crystal spire, the foundations encased below the floor. Naturally, only the Hayashi family can go up and tend to the light at the top. Still, the amount of dust used to create this spire has left the glass structure a subject of many rumours. The light that reflect through it seems just a little brighter, a little more colourful. Some have even claimed that they see images in the glass, just for an instant. No-one really knows for sure, but everyone agrees that whatever magic the spire hold, if any, is completely harmless. The Hayashi made it after all – and they are the masters of cleansing dust.
The Hayashi family who own this place are enthusiastic about their work. They’ll explain their work at length, if you give them the opportunity; they’ll show you their techniques and their works-in-progress at the back. They’ll brush away their sweat and give you these marvellous grins, surrounded by their web of colored light. The best bits, though, are kept secret. It takes the finest glass work and the finest dust to create the extravagant marvels so in demand. The secrets of this art, and the right to create it, lie with the main bloodline of the Hayashi family. Any dust-infused glass must be cleansed for years in the sunlight to wash the bad luck out. These glass pieces carry something of the Fortitude air in them, and sometimes, just a touch of magic.
The House of Crystal is expansive enough to provide rooms and a home for all family members, and a few permanent guests besides. These rooms are more mundane, but are infused with the warmth and smells of home. The family rooms and glass workshops are at the back, with entry denied to ordinary people.
Even further back lies the Hayashi Old Shrine. These old houses were once lived in by the family, but as the family grew and the construction on the House of Crystal finished, they were left. Rather than fully abandoned, the people of Fortitude who work closely with the family, but are not part of it, are often given residence here.
Back to Hayashi.