Shunder Bon Thon translates to ‘the mighty workshop of Shunder’. The main building–which is not what draws first attention–follows the curve of the hillside like a fat dilapidated snake. Apparently no one new how to excavate or build up and down the slope because it meanders along the contour cantilevered in some places on stilts in others. Sometimes the lumpy thing even loops out from the hillside altogether to create little grottos or atriums. From the right angle, one that you can only reach from another hillside a mile to the south, the entire mess grades perfectly level.
Of course it was built in sections over many years, but always with the same local trees and same practical style. A local could tell you ten maybe twelve sections of construction history. Travelers are lucky to guess correctly two sections deep.
At night the multicolored windows light with a surprising pattern you wouldn’t expect from an otherwise arrhythmic structure. But even those panes are susceptible to the vagaries of materials availability. The regular six pane pattern might be four or five deep red and one or two red-orange. Some sextets will be entirely clear with a single out of place blue or green or lavender pane. Others alternate two glass, two painted over, and two glass again. If you want to focus on the main building you must see it at night, because during the day your attention just can’t get past the monstrous hoops circling the building.
Shunder Bon Thon is encircled in a horizontal column of twenty-three copper hoops.
These cyclopean rings rise as high as a wren ever needs to fly and measure maybe a large woodshed wide. No one knows who made them or how they remain erect. All of them are partially buried in the hillside, but a few not as much as you’d like. Number seventeen exposes it’s entire inner surface and worries even the oldest of the locals. But even their outrageous size draws less attention than the reality that all twenty-three align perfectly along a single axis. The workshop winds in and out following the hillside, but the hoops never veer from perfect.
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