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This realm is a single massive palace, along with its appropriate bureaucracies, granaries, stables, and side-palaces. The entire realm is enclosed in a wall of red brick, patrolled by vigilant petitioners. This is the realm of Yen-Wang-Yeh, judge of the Ten Law Courts and king of the Eighteen Hells. Here, all those petitioners under the sway of the Celestial Bureaucracy are received, judged, and consigned to their appropriate planes and realms.

The Palace of Judgment's a unique case. There's conduits there to every realm of the Celestial Bureaucracy (the pantheon of high-ups who call themselves Chinese): Acheron, Gehenna, Mechanus, Mount Celestia, and the Prime Material Plane are just a few. These pipes are used to shoot petitioners along to their justly deserved places (so figure the ones to the Lower Planes get used a bit more than those to the Upper Planes). Therefore, the petitioners there aren't only petitioners of the Outlands. If any newly dead sod falls under the Celestial Bureaucracy's purview, then he's got to come here first, so there's petitioners destined for every plane walking around the Palace. Those that're judged and assigned to be kept on the Outlands usually wind up as clerks and petty bureaucrats for the whole operation. The Palace is big, too. The chant is there's 9,001 rooms behind its walls. Probably the only being who knows for sure is Yen-Wang-Yeh himself.

The Palace of Judgment's a small name for a place as big as this. It ain't really a palace proper; it's more like a small, fortified city. Sure there's a palace, but there's also walls, gates, promenades, courtyards, gardens, granaries, libraries, towers, kitchens, stables, residences, storehouses, and workshops - all the features of a proper burg. The whole thing is built of red brick, carved stone, and wood. The roofs are covered with half-moon glazed tiles. Everything here's refined and artistically done, even the smallest and meanest of buildings.

But the Palace isn't a town, which is something a basher shouldn't forget. A cutter can't wander the streets at will or go down to the market and buy something. Anybody coming here's going to get a factotum, an official guide and guard. Factotum's are usually matched to the importance and power of the visitor. A go-zu oni's a typical factotum. More important visitors get assigned go-zu-oni or men-shen guides. Other guardians found at other places in the palace include foo creatures, spirit centipedes, pan lung, shen lung, t'ien lung, and stone spirits. A factotum's job is to keep visitors out of danger and out of places they're not supposed to see.

Most folks coming to the Palace of Judgment are newly arrived petitioners. There's a steady stream of them appearing on the road just outside the gate. Flanked by Yen-Wang-Yeh's bashers, the dazed arrivals get herded through the Iron Gate and sent off to one of the Thousand Greeting Halls. There, some low-ranked proxy passes judgment on the petitioner. Then both petitioner and judgment get passed on to a clerk, who enters it all in the scrolls. In another chamber, another scribe makes a placard that gets hung round the petitioner's neck, listing the sod's virtues and vices along with his assigned plane. From there, the palace guards sort everybody out and head them off to the proper waiting hall. Each of these halls contains a conduit to a different realm of the Celestial Bureaucracy, and a representative or two from that plane. Thus, the Palace's also got a few fiends, einheriar, aasimons, and even modrons wandering about. While they're in the Palace, they won't break the peace that holds everything in place - at least not overtly.

There's a lot of behind-the-scenes action to all this. If there's 1,000 greeting halls, there's probably 5,000 clerks who need rooms to work and sleep in. Then there's quarters for visiting proxies from other powers, infinite libraries to hold the scrolls recording each petitioner's fate, and much more. The Palace is constantly in a bustle, with proxies and planars escorting petitioners to and fro and occasional processions arriving or leaving. Music, chatter, moans, and screams mingle in the air.

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