Dortin’s core is the hill that is crowned by Baron’s Square, Alaster Compound and Karel Castle, and its oldest neighborhoods are those between them, where most surviving Imperial buildings now stand. This area, which could be considered the political center of the city, is sometimes referred to collectively as Baron’s Square. Over the centuries this area has been barely colonized by commercial development; most buildings are still used for private administrative purposes or have been seized for mansions by various prominent citizens. The neighborhood comprises a few blocks of the center of Old Dortin, where the ancient Imperial buildings that still stand can be found. The Imperial Foundling Home and the Imperial Military Academy are located here, as well as others, some in serious disrepair, but most have not been colonized because of some lingering sense of impropriety. In the winter, the underground steam pipes in this area are a favorite haunt of Dortin’s street urchins. The neighborhood also contains the actual square. This handsome paved plaza, which surrounds the The Baron’s Mansion, is the city’s largest open area and de facto civic center. Once it was used for public executions. There are several storm drains in the curbs and buildings surrounding the square, some of which are large enough (or have crumbled sufficiently) to admit a person, and there are at least two manholes in the square itself, though these have long since been welded shut. Baron’s Square is the only location in the city to have preserved its original paving of hexagonal Imperial cobbles.