The City, awaits, as it has now for a thousand years, its final absolute occupancy. Its tallest spires are covered in wrappings of white and yellow damask: its tentative, and always temporary, inhabitants swathe their impertinant bodies in robes that do not so much hide them, as prevent the soiling of the citadels they expect at any moment to have to hand over to personages more exhalted, more dominant, and with a greater right to the looming turrets, the long plastic lined thoroughfares, and the mothball scented bedchambers.
No land in the city is ever sold, each plot or building is entered into by a complex system of leases. Some terminate at at set date (never far enough in the future to permit a feeling of ownership) but most end on receipt of some sign, password, or shibboleth, or after a proscribed series of omens. An attic room might be possessed only until on the seventh day of a month whose weather has been mild, snow falls on the metronomes of the singing cathedral spires. A cathedral itself has been known to change hands at the fall of a sparrow, the successor cult treading lightly upon the icons of the dispossessed for fear of those who might bear the Rose or The Spear required to disallow their holdings.
The lease system, dates back at least a thousand years, and each dwelling carries with it the codicils, amendments, interpretations, and deliniations of its future.
Here lawyers would carry much weight if they had not been purged as a class by their defenestration from the windows of their courthouses following a fall of scarlet frogs four hundred years before. In their place, soothsaysers, poetasters, charlatans, and house-pox-cleaners, serve to fill a similar niche.