The Golden City
It was called the Golden City for two reasons. The first being, quite reasonably, the fact that it was the wealthiest city in the land, both in knowledge and coin. The second was rather less subtle.
The Palace was gold.
It wasn’t actually entirely gold, in the sense that it most assuredly was not made from the precious metal, but it was painted and decorated, dressed up with just enough real gold in the gilt veined white marble that it shone out like the giant, garish monstrosity it was. Golden archways, windows adorned with golden latticework, golden painted turrets. The Palace grounds themselves were encased in golden fencing, huge golden lions guarding glimmering gates of yet more gold.
It dripped from from every corner, oozing wealth and prosperity. The magnificent fountains at the entranceway looked as though they were spewing molten gold themselves, so was the reflection shimmering in the rippling water. As though you could run your fingers through it and claim it for your own, only to face the disappointment of watching clear water seep through your fingers. A trick, a con, so like everything else in this city. So like all the merchants and nobles who came here, desperately grasping for more.
It was a dazzling sight to see though, perched there in the middle of the city, especially on a bright summer day such as this. It gleamed and glowed, like a beacon alerting all to its presence, set on higher ground than the surrounding buildings, making it seem that much larger and more imposing. You could see it no matter where in the city you stood, reflecting light like a radiant aura.
It was grand. It was spectacular. It was utterly, and completely… awful.
It would blind you, this hideous display of wealth. Either from the glinting, golden rays of light reflecting from the Palace, leaving your eyes aching from the glow. Or the common misconception that you should always be grasping for that gold yourself. It pierced the mind, addled your wits, that chase for grandeur.
And Wil despised it.