A Stormlands Overhaul

Kor_Bro

Playwright
Sup!
Just to inform those interested - I'm cooking up a Stormlands Overhaul Proposal.

As I've been terraforming the northern parts of the Stormlands, the inconsistency and incoherency of the regions within the Stormlands, the canon inaccuracy and the overall feel, atmosphere, and the aesthetics of the place has gotten on my nerves for a while. And to be fair, it is in great need of an overhaul. From top to bottom.

My initial idea was just to propose a Northern Stormlands Megabuild, however seeing how the overall region could use some love (some parts are still pretty good though), and also being neck deep in the canon so that all the canon-inaccuracies jump right in my eyes, I plan on proposing my take on how we could improve the entire region as well.

This has led me to combing through every bit of canon there is on the stormlands, which I am now compiling into a big Mega-document, with everything we need to know in order to give this place the love it deserves.
Along with the the canon compilation I'll be compiling a proposal of ideas on how to match the canon description with real-life inspiration from a variety of areas that fit the different geographical descriptions of the Stormlands. Everything from the placement of Houses, to the rock-types from Massey's Hook to the Dornish Marches, to the vegetation of the Rainwood and the highlands of the Red Mountains, and the histories and tales that has shaped the landscape will be looked at, and everything in-between, while also considering what might be worth keeping, updating or completely redoing.
I'll also be proposing a few ideas and plans for how we could effectively carry out such an ambitious plan, so that we don't just turn the entire place into a big red sand-desert right away.

I feel like it is finally time to put some real energy into this place, which along with Dorne (Go Marge!) has been severely neglected for a long time. I don't think we should kick the can down the road anymore on the issues of the coherency of the region or the chocolate-brown terrainset anymore.

Now, I'd love any and all inputs from each and everyone of the community on how to do this effectively, or on any areas that are of particular issue to them or anything of special focus. All inputs and contributions are valued, and it will only get better the more people are involved.

This is a big task, but I'm feeling energized and motivated and I have the time to do it, so I thought why the hell not.

This was just a preliminary post to inform you of the work in progress. The document and full proposal is not done yet, but is well on it's way. And I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all. It is just a proposal, and nothing final, but I hope it's something that can open up for a debate and real and serious improvement of the overall Stormlands.

Feel free comment whatever your heart desires. I'll now withdraw to continue the writing.

Yours truly,
Kor_Bro
 

lemonbear

Nymeria
Pronouns
she/her
Hi Kor! This looks great so far. I'm going solely off of this post (so I could be off base from what your current plans are), but I think it might be a good idea to break up the overhaul into smaller regional megabuilds rather than do all of the Stormlands at once.

In that case, we probably would ask you to submit an official appeal following the No-Redo Rule for the projects you plan to include in each megabuild. I'm sure your longer document will include reasons for the overhaul, but it might be easier for you to also have a section tailored to our normal appeal process as well.
 

Kor_Bro

Playwright
Hi Kor! This looks great so far. I'm going solely off of this post (so I could be off base from what your current plans are), but I think it might be a good idea to break up the overhaul into smaller regional megabuilds rather than do all of the Stormlands at once.

In that case, we probably would ask you to submit an official appeal following the No-Redo Rule for the projects you plan to include in each megabuild. I'm sure your longer document will include reasons for the overhaul, but it might be easier for you to also have a section tailored to our normal appeal process as well.
Hey Lem! This is absolutely the plan. I’m still in the process of gathering all the information I need, so an overall plan is still to be devised. However, I Could imagine it being split into smaller regional megabuilds like: Northern Stormlands/the Hilly woodlands, Storm’s End + sprawl, The Rainwood, Lower Cape Wrath, Dornish Marches, Red Watch etc. Plans are still to come, but that is absolutely the idea.

I’ll be sure to follow the official appeal rules when that time comes and adhere to the normal process as well. :)))
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Issue with the Marches is that we aren't really given a northern limit where they end. Its a grassland area that stretches from the most rainshadowed bit of the Stormlands (Nightsong) all the way to Cape Wrath (Stonehelm in the Red Watch and the Slayne river). Currently the big issue with the Stormlands is that our Red Mountains go too far to the north, ending at Bronzegate rather than at Griffin's Roost.

What I suggest for the Northern Border of the Marches with the Hilly Woodlands is to transition into mountains/hills like the Campsie Fells To then this for the Cape Wrath-mainland border with maybe the two tones of stormlands rock being used.
1617761819572.png

I've also been thinking for quite some time on the Overall style of the Stormlands. What I have been thinking is having some regional substyles. Marches = more flat rooves and uncovered towers, long corridors or series of yards/terraces to expose people entering to attack from defenders. Inspired by Castles on the French side of the Pyrenees and some looser inspiration from Silesian fortresses and the Eagle's Nests along the Polish border.
The rainwood looks lovely in terms of its current style.
Please comment on my ideas. What do you all think about these areas?
 

Kor_Bro

Playwright
I did a detailed breakdown of canon descriptions of the Rainwood when I was working on Mistwood. You can find it here. I think the finished builds and terrain in the Rainwood are pretty solid, but there are a number of areas that have been in progress for a while now that could use filling in.
Thank you for this, Loras. It will be very useful!
 
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Kor_Bro

Playwright
Issue with the Marches is that we aren't really given a northern limit where they end. Its a grassland area that stretches from the most rainshadowed bit of the Stormlands (Nightsong) all the way to Cape Wrath (Stonehelm in the Red Watch and the Slayne river). Currently the big issue with the Stormlands is that our Red Mountains go too far to the north, ending at Bronzegate rather than at Griffin's Roost.

What I suggest for the Northern Border of the Marches with the Hilly Woodlands is to transition into mountains/hills like the Campsie Fells To then this for the Cape Wrath-mainland border with maybe the two tones of stormlands rock being used.

I've also been thinking for quite some time on the Overall style of the Stormlands. What I have been thinking is having some regional substyles. Marches = more flat rooves and uncovered towers, long corridors or series of yards/terraces to expose people entering to attack from defenders. Inspired by Castles on the French side of the Pyrenees and some looser inspiration from Silesian fortresses and the Eagle's Nests along the Polish border.
The rainwood looks lovely in terms of its current style.
Please comment on my ideas. What do you all think about these areas?
Hey man! Thanks for the ideas and comments. I’m working on a map to hopefully sort of the confusion that is the Dornish Marshes while remaining canonically correct. I’ll write you a proper response with some better answers tomorrow once the map is finished, until then, hang in there!
 
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Auscarbone

Messenger
Thought I’d mention here that we don’t currently have a position for House Brownhill (added in Fire and Blood). It’s a minor house of landed knights located on Cape Wrath, with a castle described as “mud and tree roots” (so probs somewhere in the more dense regions of the Rainwood)

Note there is an extinct house in eastern Dorne of the same name. Could they be long-lost relations or are they both just located on a brownish hill? idk
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
I'd say its only a similar name, rather than relatives. The Dornish-Stormlander relationship isn't exactly a good one, the Yronwoods potentially claim a large chunk of the marches (They claim to be lords of an undefined 'Red March' which sounds suspiciously like 'Red Watch') and there have been innumerable wars between the Dornish and Stormland Marcher lords.
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Hey, I'm just going to jump in here and say that the hills south of Bronzegate and North of Griffins Roost should probably not go too close to the height limit and perhaps should stay around 150-170 blocks height so that they don't dwarf the Red Mountains to the south of them, as well as to create the feel of moving upwards towards said mountains
 

Kor_Bro

Playwright
Hey, I'm just going to jump in here and say that the hills south of Bronzegate and North of Griffins Roost should probably not go too close to the height limit and perhaps should stay around 150-170 blocks height so that they don't dwarf the Red Mountains to the south of them, as well as to create the feel of moving upwards towards said mountains
Absolutely! I plan on redoing the mountains I just created around Felwood too. They are too tall. I’ll present a plan for the northern stormlands before long.
 
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Azulejo

Spellsinger
I'm not as aware as you seem to be about Stormlands' canon, but unless it goes against it a cool adition would be to implement more "rounded" mountains than the rest of Westeros, like the ones in Scotland or the Appalachians (which I think are covered in forest up until their peaks for the most part). It would definetly give a very specific personality to the region.​
 

Jeffjunior77

Royal Messenger
Hey Kor,

I am a Big Stormlands Fan and wanna Apply for House Sweet near Stoneshelm and Summerhall.
I just want to know how far ur plans are bc it would be sad if i spend a lot of time in a Project and in the End the Tera will be get a Big redo anyway

Jeff
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Just gonna add here that southern Cape Wrath includes a 'broad plain' so perhaps Herston, Horpe and Gower might need an update.
 

Gealrüable

Emissary
Concerning the mountains in the stormlands, I think the german "Schwarzwald" would be a very fitting as inspiration for the northern stormlands, with the low, round mountains covered in thick forest.
The north and mid parts of the Stormlands could be old Granite (like the Schwarzwald, or the Plateau in Upper Austria), worn down to round hills over the ages.
The Red mountains are probably part of a much younger formation still growing, pushing up from the south on the hard granite plateau.
1632833655842.jpeg
1632833263496.png
This castle is actually in Tyrol, but "Burg Wiesberg" really has this Stormlands-energy for me.
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
So, here are some ideas on how the Stormlands can feel different from other areas of Westeros and contain some interesting features to set it apart from the Reach and Crownlands.
Currently, our differences are mud, brown terrainset and having large forests, which obviously isn't the easies identifier of a change in region, and certainly wouldn't work for the marches.

So, I suggest having a series of principles or basic layout ideas to the stormlands that are based on what we know of the region and will help with making different styles within the region seem similar.

First off, the Stormlands are noted to have many smaller towns but have not produced any cities 'because of their martial culture'. This smacks to me of taxation unfavourable to urban living and prevented appeal of urban settlement because the nobles were too busy buying arms and armour and funding their wars against neighbours and each other. However, that's just my theory. Regardless, having many smaller towns, preferably walled or otherwise defended would help develop the idea that there was a lot of conflict in the region, especially on its borders. Poddingfield, Felwood should have small towns supplying them and the 'fortress' of Bronzegate is said to likely have a few too.

However, what I would like to add is that due to the chivalric tradition and prevalence of small knights in Stannis's army it might be good to have a type of settlement that includes a nobles compound. This would be more than a manse but not necessarily a castle. A fortified hall with perimeter wall, potentially formed by the stables and servants quarters. These would be set apart from the main village square and essentially have one per small town. Like a small town landed knight.

Another feature I think could be good is having holdfasts that have been expanded into little manors. Round squat towers like https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/17/72/26/a5/the-banffy-castle.jpg

could be used as the impressive remnants of primarily defensive structures indicating old rivalries and borders between various settlements and the greater Storm Kingdom.
 

Nikas Kunitz

Herald
POST №1. About general suggestions on Northern Stormlands and Cape Wrath, natural and cultural landscapes, and settlements.
So, after much privately discussions, I want to post here my general view on cultural (and natural) landscape of the Stormlands, trying to make it both historically realistic and accord with the canonical information. General principle I suggest is using the lack of concretical canonical information for making more realistic Stormlands, filling "grey spaces" realistically in terms of real world history. As such, general concept is that Stormlands need to have strong and stable socio-economic basis, as they existed for cnturies as stable and united political entity. Please, perceive all what I'll write as a bunch of suggestions, not as one big suggestion, so making responds on separate suggestions is better than judging it as a whole.
Stormlands mainland can be generally subdived into three distinct geographic regions: 1.the Northern Stormlands (northward of the Red Mountains and Shipbreaker bay, separating Cape Wrath), 2.Cape Wrath and 3.the Red Mountains/Dornish Marches. Here, I will write suggestion only on the first two of them, beginning with the second. The rough map can help to see what I suggest.

The Cape Wrath seems to be really dualised region, considering the canonical infromation. Most of it, especially the inner area, is covered by famous dense rain wood forest and also there are no large rivers. Trying to fit both conditions I suggest that most of Cape Wrath should be hilly, uneven plateau, with a lot of small isolated valleys with lakes and wetlands at lowlands, where the streams go, while slopes and watersheds densely covered in the rain wood. This uneven hilly high terrain can catch a lot of wet air, that will result in a lot of rain here, leading to formation of this rain forest (which is called as such not because it is explicitly real world rainforest, but is the rain _ wood of the Westeros). In this dense forest human settlement must be sporadic, with mere islands of cultivated land. General suggestions for the style here is Carpathians (Transylvania and mountainous Slovakia), as well as wide heavily forested region of Eastern Europe stretching from Eastern Poland through Baltics, Belarus and Northern Ukraine well into Middle Russia (such variety of ispirations can be turned into a great variation). The main material here should be wood with only little use of stone and other materials, as the wood is obviously abundant here.
While the most of the Cape Wrath is such dense forest with little population, it also got the oppositively small and populated region - the narrow plain along the southern coast of Cape Wrath (outlined purple) with the biggest settlement of the Stormlands - Weeping Town. Here style can be influenced by both Middle European style of most of the Westeros as well as more Southern European styles from Dorne. Generally the more advanced part of Cape Wrath, this coast can have much more use of stone and other materials. This plain stretches from Weeping Town all the coast to the mouth of Slayne. Here lies the region of Red Watch (outlined oragne on the map). If Broadarch be redone (as it's old and doesn't have canonically fixed location) I suggest turning mountains here into cultivated and populated plain/foothills, serving as transistion buffer between lower Slayne and western edge of the Rainwood - small distinct region as what Red Watch should be in my opinion. Also, this will give more realistic character of lower Slayne valley with western bank being narrow foothill of the Red Mountains and eastern bank more plain. The main road in Cape Wrath (deep pink lines) goes along the coast through the populated plain, from Weeping Town to Slayne, while there also should be a road, not so comfortable and used, running from Red Watch to the Northern Stormlands, between the Red Mountains/foothills to the west and western edge of the Rainwood to the east.

Now, to the Northern Stormlands, which is quite an important part. As there's no much canonical information about this region, I suggest filling this in an aim for realism. As such, I see no reason of this region being mostly covered in a forest, as it is effectively part of very populated and cultivated Great Central plain, like in neighboring Reach and Crownlands, although it shouldn't perhaps be so cultivated as these regions. Also, and most importantly, as Durrandons originated here and were able to conquer all the lands of Stormlands and beyond, they need to have a strong socio-economic basis here, in the form of much cultivated and populated lands of them and their closest vassal lords. The best and realistic example of this is the Reach, where Gardeners' (and Tyrells') power base is the Reach Proper, with their and their closest lords lands. Just like with the Reach Proper, the Northern Stormlands are cornerstone of the whole region, Moreover, there are "multiple small towns" in the Stormlands, mentioned in the canon. So, I suggest having Northern Stormlands as quite populated and cultivated land, with a lot of villages and some small towns, but forests also should be very common.
Now, speaking more conrectically about it. Red Mountains reach the Griffen's Roost, but no further northeastwards. I propose having hilly uplands as continuation of the Red Mountains reaching Bronzegate and beyond (green diagonals on the map). These forested uplands will divide Northern Stormlands into two parts and contribute to general canonical character of the Stormlands. Canonical Stormlands' Kingsroad is going from Storm's End through the Bronzegate to the Blackwater bay, across which ferries are sailing to KL. I think Bronzegate can be so importnat transitional location because it is the shortest comfortable road through the uplands I suggested above. Also, I guess there must be a road westwards, to the Reach, likely meeting at Bronzegate with the Kingsroad. Also, logically there must be a road from Storm's End northward to Massey's Hook, as all the lands here were integral part of the Stormlands before the Conquest. Small towns logically can be located across these roads. Also, there can be a town on upper Wendwater (cyan circle), just bordering the Kingswood, as the river likely to be used as transport route from inland Northern Stormland to KL, mainly for supplying KL's evergowing population with agriculture goods from the region. As Storm's End lands have no suitable bay for a port town, the lords of SE nevertheless must have a strong socio-economic powerbase in order to keep both their closest vassals aligned and with their support, the whole Stormlands united. As such base, I propose to have a big inland town (light blue oval), biggest in Northern Stormlands (and likely the second one after Weeping Town in whole Stormlands), lying in safe location (strategically protected by the uplands to the north and distanced from the stormy shores), on confluence of all the major roads, not far from Storm's End, surrounded by the agricultural lands, all constituing the powerbase of Durrandons/Baratheons. Let's name this town Duranton. As second in importance town of Northern Stormlands I propose turning the small fishing village near Griffen's Roost (blue oval) into a port town, only such in the bay between Northern Stormlands and Cape Wrath, because it is the safest and strategically the best location in the bay. This town was part of Griffen's Roost lands and served as economical powerbase of Connigtons, which were once one of the wealthiest houses in the Stormlands prior to Robert's rebellion, so they dared to oppose Baratheons' leadership in the Stormlands, contesting the lords of Storm's End. So, Connigtons lost the town.
As general style inspiration for Northern Stormlands, I suggest using cultural landscapes of hills and plains (with villages and towns and castles, like some already is) of Austria, Czechia, Western Hungary and Slovakia with other influences and transistional styles with the Reach and Crownlands near the respective borders. Generally, timbered (and not) daub and wood as staple materials with plenty of stone and brick.
I hope you hadn't died by reading this giant text.
 

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