In the thirty-eighth year, born of sacred labor and consecrated in devotion, arose the Saint Cyprianus Basilica — a colossal Cathedral of paramount grandeur, rivaled solely by The Sapientia Divina. Here, in the heart of the known world, it stands as the spiritual epicenter not only of the city of Asrania but of an entire Empire. If The Eternal Throne pulsates as the empire's heartbeat, then the Saint Cyprianus Basilica is undeniably its spirit, a bastion erected upon the ashes of a myriad shrines to long-forgotten false gods.
This titan of ashlar and brick, sourced from the quarries surrounding the Natunni River, boasts a height reaching 500 feet, with an additional 50 feet accounted for by its piercing spires. From its upper reaches, a panoramic vista unfolds, revealing distant towns like Volvania and Flaviana under clear skies.
Five domes grace its architectural silhouette, three venerating the trio of Saints — Saint Esclarmonde, Saint Cyprianus, and Saint Bellona. Another is dedicated to Aeternum Solis, while a recently added dome venerates the Apotheon Asran 'Luxferre'. These spires, colossal enough to pierce the clouds, are adorned with bells and braziers, ever ready to herald the city in the face of impending invasion or the beginnings of daily worship.
Access to this sacred edifice is restricted, with multiple entrances and exits reserved exclusively for the sovereign and clergy. For the common folk, the Holy Door stands as the sole portal, an awe-inspiring bronze gateway adorned with intricate engravings depicting saints and angels.
Structured upon the revered Asrian cross-plan, the Cathedral's symmetrical central planning comprises a colossal square central mass flanked by four arms of equal length, crowned by pendentive domes. Each dome hosts a solitary spire, reaching toward the heavens.
Upon crossing the threshold, devotees are greeted by a sanctuary adorned with gilded bronze statues honoring the three original saints. The Nave, a vast expanse, accommodates up to 60,000 standing or 40,000 seated worshippers during religious ceremonies. The opulence extends to the Clerestory, where arcane candles cast an otherworldly glow, their latent magics infusing the entire cathedral.
In the Nave, inlays of gold, gem-encrusted mosaics, and towering marble columns speak of opulence. A masterful mural by the Caorrani painter Albann of Àirde Ùr, titled "The Creation of the First Ones," adorns the ceiling, depicting Aeternum Solis bestowing life upon the immortal First Ones.
The apse wall features a mosaic of Saint Cyprianus beneath a radiant sun, wielding the Veritas Eterna and earning the epitaph "The Grand Architect." The North and South Transept depict the life of Apotheon Asran " The Light-Bringer", leaving room for his future exploits.
At the Crossing, a large marble piece named The Axis of the Universe represents the solar system mirrored to its sister piece in the The Sapientia Divina. The Cathedral, with multiple floors, houses dormitories, private rooms for clergy, and repositories for Ecclesial relics. Beneath it lies the main mausoleum, a sepulcher for Asrania's nobility, adorned with statues and engravings portraying the war in heaven.
Adjacent to the Basilica, gender-segregated bathhouses are heated by hypocausts. Surrounded by a sprawling plaza, the Cathedral connects the residential and industrial districts of the city of Asrania, an imposing testament to faith and power.
In a time long past, the site that now hosts the Basilica was home to a temple venerating various Western gods. The temple's destruction by a riot marked the genesis of the Saint Cyprianus Basilica, erected in the year 38. To celebrate its completion, then King Asran 'Luxferre' hosted a week-long festivity where games and sustenance were freely bestowed upon the city. Among the events were gladiatorial combats featuring Captured Prisoners of War from Clan Gwynedd, where only eight warriors out of three hundred survived