“Smoke from pipes and cigars filled with arcane herbs of varied potency and effects hung in the chance house’s air. People with wealth greater than some of the city-states of Lypra Haveno sat at gaming tables for half a day, ordering a trickling river of liquors, some of which puffed icy blue steam, and others that glowed, and all served by women dressed in harnesses of lace, silk, whalebone, and black leather straps that always seemed on the verge of popping loose and letting the whole contraption slide to the polished floor of Nonman marble. There were pugilistic matches to bet on in one level of the tower and a show of gymnastics performed in the nude on another, and I am sure someone found a way to place bets on that too. People praise the perseverance of the mendicant monks, but here I saw that does not rival the ingenious stamina of the hedonist.”
-from Twice by Chance by Charmaine
The Chancetarn is an artificial island and tower in the sea between Cairnaythiel and Pachiomadio. Most of the small island is covered by a tall Nonman tower, forty-seven stories high, and the land around the tower is a haphazard host of human-built structures embedded in the strange, compact soil and a preserved park possessing a host of magebred fruiting trees and exotic animals. The land of the island is itself honeycombed with Nonman tunnels that extend out into the sea. The Chancetarn has a Heddleway on its ground floor, which is linked to The Delve and Nyumban.
The Chancetarn is the most exclusive and infamous house of chance and pleasure in Ruengoethe, open only to those wealthy, powerful, or beautiful enough to make it past the whims of its Giant doorkeepers and the Chancetarn’s ruler, The Proprietor or The Arbiter of Taste. Each ascending floor outdoes the one beneath it for decadence, exclusivity, and the permissible risk ceiling. Access to each higher floor is earned by accumulating good credit with the house, or by securing an invitation of one of the Chancetarn’s managers by impressive wit or excellence at the games. The Chancetarn is also home of one of the most secure vaults in Ruengoethe. Some wealthy Venerable are even known to store their phylacteries within the walls of the Chancetarn rather than The Nascent Keep.
The code of conduct of the Chancetarn is written nowhere, but is rigid in its simplicity. Without dispute, it is death to be caught cheating at any of the games or attempting to rig any bout. If the crown-elect of Ackenzal spied with a card up his sleeve, he would find himself thrown from the enchanted windows of the tower into the Sharp’s Sepulchre, the boneyard of cheats dug shallowly at the base of the tower, attended to by masters of Tuning to keep the bodies there in a gentle repose, not rotting, but suspended in the state of their death.
The Chancetarn’s history only began after a tomb raider discovered some Heddleway codices and sold the lot of them to the man who would become The Proprietor, not knowing the value of what he possessed. In secret, The Proprietor transformed the abandoned structure into the place it is today, investing the entirety of his fortune into the island and its tower. He held on to the codices in secret, using Sarissa’s Peak at first to access the island, and then going to the island exclusively by ship until he developed and secured control of it.