Alabaster was a city of the stars. A brass telescope on every balcony, every rooftop, constantly pointed to the sky. The city slept easy during the day, but breathed new life at night and the smell of chocolatl and spice wafted from several of the vendors.
In the middle of the city, a compass rose was laid into the plaza, a magnificent marble thing with thirty-two points. The cardinal directions were lain in gold-flecked black marble and the ordinals in a solid, creamy white. The rest alternated between a dark emerald green and a soft red with veins of rust. The people lived their lives in accordance with the whims of the directions and stars.
I have come to the conclusion that this preoccupation with directions springs from the city's history as a mapmaking town; in centuries past Alabaster was the finest purveyor of maps, atlases, and globes. Even today beautifully designed pieces of parchment are showcased under glass, accurate to the tiniest cove. A great printing press still exists near the plaza, old and rusted, but in working order.
To the East lies an observatory, built to keep a closer eye on the wandering planets guiding their lives. On the other side of town, to the West, live the globe makers. The South specializes in crafting compasses of all shapes and sizes, for the traveler on foot and the sailor charting new waters. And to the North are the explorers, the adventurers who leave town and draw maps of their findings by hand.
Being a traveler myself, I found myself very much at home in the North side of Alabaster. The men in the taverns were eager to hear news from my journeys and I had no trouble securing a place for sleep as long as I stayed there.