Browsing google images is one of my favorite work past-times. Really 😉
Here are some pictures that more or less inspired some settings in Light with a focus on Helos.
Yes, it’s Venice and in a way pictures like that inspired how Helos looks like in general, even though there is only one Canal running across the city. There’s me halfway tempted to rename the ‘Canal’ to Styx – yay for Greek motifs, but I don’t want to overdo it there.
The Canal – It more or less splits the city in two. This reminds me that I really need to draw a map some time soon. This will hopefully be the next world building project 😉
The Finger of Light – sort of. It definitely stands out with its glass facade, just like the Palace of Light. Helos is pretty much a clash of sparkling modernity in its center and poverty and slums in the lower city.
Part of the Palace of Light. This again is sort of a mix as its exterior sort of modern with a lot of glass and all shiny, representing the Empire, while the inside looks a lot like your Renaissance or even Victorian palace. I like to play with modern vs. medieval mixes 😉
The Pits – i.e. the dungeons under the Finger of Light. This is only the harmless part 😉
Nightshade – the city’s red light district. Image Amsterdam etc just without the cars and you’re there.
The Shadow – yeah, it’s Serenity and it’s actually flying, but what can I say? Firefly totally inspired the idea about the Shadow and I imagine her to be that kind of cargo/shuttle ship. So even though the picture isn’t really accurate, it gives you a general idea.
Sunport – at sundown here, but still, Helos’ central harbor.
The Sandlands – this is how most of the south of Illyria looks like. Um, can you say global warming?
Storm’s End – the southernmost point of Illyria. Though we never really venture far out of Helos, Storm’s End and the Sandlands come up now and then and one never knows how book two turns out, right? But seriously, I need to make a map. And with that I’m off to scribble.