Dornish Marches Terra

AerioOndos

Sorcerer
Okay. So this has derailed to focus on just one aspect of the canon I think, that there are 'moors'.

In my map I produced to try and classify areas (which I can no longer edit because adobe illustrator wants me to subscribe to it a second time?) I tried to classify the marches as becoming driest near the princes pass. This makes sense as where is the rain coming from? It is boxed in by mountains on all but the northern side and no stream or river is mentioned as running through it (there probably would be one though, especially in Spring).

This is a note to CashBanks. Stop focusing on the Moors part so much. It should only be 1/3 of the area, most likely just the NE area that borders the Reach and Stormlands where rainfall from the west could come in and fall on the western side of the Red Mountains. This area would most likely be more like Dartmoor and not the N. England/Scottish moors and then fade into being treeless hilltops, like at Rhysling, as there are more and more trees in the gullies below.

We need the largest proportion to be grasslands. Dominated by grasses rather than heather. It isn't the Rills, so I don't suggest having plenty of eroded soil but instead that the reason why this area is underdeveloped is because of the constant warring over the area and a reasonably low population.
I can't find the brilliant image I had for this anymore but it was from the south of France and had undulating meadowlike grassland with a few stands of trees and I cannot find it now. Grrrrr :c

What I believe we are suffering from is a lack of heather variants or alternative options. We have no other low lying shrubs other plant that could represent sagebush, rosemary, coastal scrub etc other than having bushes of leaf block suddenly sprouting from grass around it.

Imgur is currently fucking with me so I can't put all the images I have collated over the past two hours into an album for some reason, nor log in.

Now, just in terms of vision. I always saw this region as being like the areas of southern Mediterranean France bordering the Pyrenees with dryer, rockier entrance to Dorne at the Wide Way/Prince's Pass.

The rockier dryer parts would be more similar to garrigue areas of Southern France (Narbonne Plage etc), or the uplands of Aude and Pyrenees-Orientales.
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The grassier parts more like grassland in Provence, Aude, Narbonne etc.
Then as it approaches the area closer to Musgood it becomes more and more like Dartmoor

I know its coastal, but the second image is what I honestly see most of the Marches as looking like. Windswept, quite rocky, gnarled trees and bushes.
 
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I feel like we’ve done a substantial amount of progress in terms of figuring out what the area should be. For example the Starpike area is described as “Unwin Peake, whose own house was land poor, rich in stone and soil and pride, yet chronically short of coin” so basically very rocky and not a lot of production being made. So in terms of abrupt transitions between biomes and vegetation, it was bound to happen since that description refers to an area right beside Highgarden and Whitehrove 2 of the most lush, green areas in the reach so.

I think the main inspiration for the marches should be southern France and Spain areas.

Here are some albums with inspiration for the reach marches and the stormlands ones:

Now for the Spain images:
I imagine something like this for the prince’s pass maybe more arid though

Besides that in terms of castles and structures the marches I think should have formidable strongholds more so than lavish castles, there can be some elements of comfort and late medieval additions but the focus should be on huge military like structures, except summerhall ofc.
 

lemonbear

Nymeria
I think as a whole, though, we generally agree that the marches should transition between scrubland/chaparral and grasslands. The areas closest to the mountains (and in the mountains) should probably be more arid scrubland like what I showed from the Sierra Nevada and Aeks showed from Provence Garrigue. Something along the lines of a Mediterranean Climate/ high desert to temperate scrubland/grassland to temperate forest area. If we need a ready supply of wood, oak forests are very drought-tolerant and would work for a transition area. It should as a whole get lusher/more arable the closer you get to the Reach (i.e., grasslands).

With the area closer to the Stormlands/ north of Wyl and all that, it can also be a transition area, but it probably shouldn't be scrubland. It should probably transition more immediately to arable grassland. I don't necessarily agree with the area around Summerhall being a rain shadow, although the mountains could definitely protect the region from the worst of the storms. As a result, I wouldn't expect crazy erosion like landslides, and it should probably be a pretty stable place to live/farm/etc. in contrast to the parts of the Stormlands without mountain cover.
 

Azulejo

Royal Messenger
Guest
I suggest checking these 2 regions for inspiration: the surroundings of Cáceres and the cormarca de Vitigudino in the province of Salamanca. As for the first, it is located in the heart of the dehesas region of western Iberia, standing out among other dehesas for the lower presence of trees: kilometers of slightly dry grasslands.
IMG-20201009-WA0003-01.jpeg
Pasto-en-Trujillo-Caceres.jpg

In the second case, I would focus on the region near the Portuguese border, where the Douro is encased in a rocky area. Here the rock peaks on the surface, creating a landscape dotted with herbaceous and shrubs
IMG-20201009-WA0004-01.jpegIMG-20201009-WA0001-01.jpegIMG-20201009-WA0002-01.jpeg

Also, Castillo de Zafra, that HBO chose as the Tower of Joy, is surrounded by a beautiful landscape, with reddish soil.
Castillo-de-Zafra1.jpgcastillodezafra01.jpg

I do not know in which region they could be used within the scheme suggested by lemonbear, but I leave it here in case it may be useful.

PS: I promise I'm not being paid by the Spanish Tourism Agency
 

AerioOndos

Sorcerer
Okay, I am loving those Spanish pics from Sierra de Guadarrama, around Cáceres and the cormarca de Vitigudino, and Serra de Sao mamede national park.

I think the easiest way to go about the differences in how 'lush' the area is is through grassmix. In the areas closer to the Cockleswhent, it should be higher fescues, savanna and jungle tall grass at 1-2 blocks high with very few smaller shrubs within this. I will try to work on some tests of what this might look like.

I am going to bring out an idea that Augurex had last year. That the inland marches slowly increase in altitude the further south you go. If this were the case, we could mark the more lush grasslands of the reach at an altitude of x above waterlevel(33) and then as a general rule apply that.

While looking at the garrigue images I noticed pink flowering thyme. would it be possible to have a heather variant that was like this?

And would Yellow bedstraw work for these if there was a little bit of treecover?
 

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
Trying out some options

Style 1
Low level of dry
grass/jungle grass/fescue/dead scrub mix plus some leaf bushes
The default biome is Plains with Birch Forest under the dead scrub
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Style 2
Medium dry
Grass/more fescue/dead scrub mix plus some leaf bushes
The default biome is Plains/Birch Forest with Mushroom Island under the dead scrub
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Style 3:
Trying to emulate this pic:
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Much Dry
Isolated patches of scrub grass
Base biome is Mushroom Island, except there's Plains under the leaf bushes and green scrub grass, patches of arbor dorne pebbles with sandy grass gradient

This pic has the Better Foliage extra grass mod setting enabled, since it creates a low ground cover of grass, which helps distinguish the scrub.
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Without the Better Foliage it looks kinda lame
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Style 4:
Style 3 but with dead scrub in some of the blank areas of grass

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Style 5
Just Style 4 but with Wheat crops scattered in!
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Style 3,4,5 suck but might be give some ideas to others on how not to do it!
 

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AerioOndos

Sorcerer
Style one and two looking good, style four also if it had the better foliage on.
However, I am against green scrub grass and wheat. The former looks far too weedy and bright green for the area and its shape stands out from the rest of the foliage.
The wheat at :6 might look good among the lower grasslands though which are closer to the cockleswhent (savanna, jungle tallgrasses, some fescue, some two high bracken. maybe bedstraw or cowsparsley instead.

Maybe I just need to se it from ground level.
 

AerioOndos

Sorcerer
I think that is something we can come to when it arises. easiest thing to do would be for someone to go over wetter spots as the project of the area is being completed.
At Summerhall, Cash put bushes along the stream and I believe there might be some higher grass and fescue there once it gets regrassed. Depends how he wants to play it.
 

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
Have been thinking it will be more productive to take a larger view of the terra plans so it's clear how they will factor into the other projects/areas in the region.

I've tried to match the zones to mountain ranges and the area around established projects.

1. Hornhill territory - Whatever Wolf wants to go with, could mirror Starkpike
2. Starpike, high mountains, coniferous forests, see /warp spterra for in game example + Sser's terra insp
3. Reach/Dry Dornish Marches Transition Zone. Could mirror the Starpike style but with more open stretches of grasslands. Still general Reach vibe but transitioning into a more Torrentine style.
4. Reach/Wet Dornish Marches Transition Zone. Still general Reach vibe but transitioning into the more monotone grasslands around Summerhall.
5. Blackmont Lands. Whatever Tsar wants to go with.
6. Darkdell/Leygood/Nightsong. I think the terra is fairly complete around here but if it needs to be updated it could be a torrentine style like what Endy is working on in Wyl.
7. Harvest Hall/Dry Dornish Marches windswept grasslands + whatever Iwan wants to do. Transitions into the Wyl style.
8. Summerhall/Wet Dornish Marches, Serra de Sao/ Castillo de Zafra style. Some trees, not too many, stretches of green but monotone grasslands.
9. Western most edge of the classic Stormlands style. Coniferous forests/arable land.
10. Skyreach/Prince's Pass. Terra also mostly complete here, essentially dry rocks and scrub.
11. Wyl. Torrentine, as developed by Endy
12. Yronwood, I think this is complete too.

As part of the Summerhall terra I'll be focussing on zones 4 and 8.
 

AerioOndos

Sorcerer
okay, so for most of that, it sounds magnificent. However I have some issues.
6. The terrain here makes no sense. it exits in a bowl where there should be a large lake forming from runoff from the red mountains AND from the whitegrove-starpike lake because a large portion of it is lower.
In general, the hydrology is bad and same with the placement of Darkdell. There is no valley that could be the namesake dell as the castle is on a lone hill.
This hill also sits directly above the Wide Way/Princes Pass, which is one of Nightsong's identifying features. The Stormlander castle sits at the head of the Wide Way.
Another point, it is horrifically worldpainter. the mountains to the west of Darkdell and Carron rise up without much in the way of foothills.
I have drawn up plans of making steams, including some dried up steams -filled in spring- , than are fueled by run off from the red mountains and have carved gullies into the plain. This way there can be dells, agriculture like at Starpike in the gullies and then livestock grazing on the hilltops, like at Rhysling.
I have previously made a case for moving Leygood out of a mountain area, something that the name of the house would support (it can mean 'good hill', doesn't that sound like a hill meadow above the cockleswhent e.g. between Ashford and Cockshaw?).

9 The Slayne river valley is completely different from what we currently have. it is meant to have plenty of rapids, pools and waterfalls, some of which have been the chokepoints in major battles. It is also still in the Marches. we could do something interesting with a hybrid environment of wet garrigue with more bushes etc.
10 Complete? Yes. Contradicting new canon and open to redo rule? Yes. It is implied in canon that Skyreach sits on the eastern side of the Princes Pass or that the pass is not one singular valley but changes from a N-S running one before traversing a E-W that houses the nameless yronwood river.
11 The Torrentine is the river valley that Dayne and Blackmont are in. Endy does seem to be doing different things to there.
 
I know this is a slight tangent, but as it has been brought up, I just wanted to mention this area is super messy with regards to borders (which I why I haven't bothered drawing them)

1602425160762.png
Black = regional borders, Red = project borders

I would propose that Nightsong and Darkdell swap location, as part of any future mass re-terra or project redo's.

The canon book map shows Horn Hill and Nightsong at roughly the same latitude, and currently Nightsong is too far south. By moving it further north we could get a more congruous Stormlands border, following through from the lands of Harvest Hall (and then we wouldn't have the weird Aladdin's foot situation we have atm).

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Leygood, as it is currently, could be renamed to another Stormlands house, or be absorbed into the Nightsong project. The move would also give Kingsgrave a little more breathing room.

Darkdell has no canon which indicates it's current situation specifically. It could be shunted a little further north and be in more of a "dell" or put perhaps in another land-rich area of the Reach such as within the current borders of Longtable, or Fawnton and Sloane to the north east.

A decision or discussion on this doesn't need to be had now, but just wanted to share my thoughts from a project coordination perspective.
 
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Margaery_Tyrell

Bloodmage
I know this is a slight tangent, but as it has been brought up, I just wanted to mention this area is super messy with regards to borders (which I why I haven't bothered drawing them)

View attachment 5391
Black = regional borders, Red = project borders

I would propose that Nightsong and Darkdell swap location, as part of any future mass re-terra or project redo's.

The canon book map shows Horn Hill and Nightsong at roughly the same latitude, and currently Nightsong is too far south. By moving it further north we could get a more congruous Stormlands border, following through from the lands of Harvest Hall (and then we wouldn't have the weird Aladdin's foot situation we have atm).

View attachment 5392

Leygood, as it is currently, could be renamed to another Stormlands house, or be absorbed into the Nightsong project. The move would also give Kingsgrave a little more breathing room.

Darkdell has no canon which indicates it's current situation specifically. It could be shunted a little further north and be in more of a "dell" or put perhaps in another land-rich area of the Reach such as within the current borders of Longtable, or Fawnton and Sloane to the north east.

A decision or discussion on this doesn't need to be had now, but just wanted to share my thoughts from a project coordination perspective.

How would swapping the locations of Dark Dell and Night Song help? That would only complicate things further as we would now have a Reach house south of a canon Marches house.

And I wouldn't really trust any of the maps provided as from book to book, those maps change quite a lot including in Woiaf where Night Song is *North* of Horn Hill

rgicbdajy4731.jpg

I'd like to see an example of the redrawn borders in concept before we move forward, so we can see if any further changes are warranted, as House Caron doesn't really need a castle redo, but more of an update on the lands (adding farmland for one) and House Vyrwel of Dark Dell requires fairly expansive land as a principal bannerman to the Tyrells that wouldn't fit within the (vague) space between Longtable, Sloan and Fawnton
 
How would swapping the locations of Dark Dell and Night Song help? That would only complicate things further as we would now have a Reach house south of a canon Marches house.

And I wouldn't really trust any of the maps provided as from book to book, those maps change quite a lot including in Woiaf where Night Song is *North* of Horn Hill

rgicbdajy4731.jpg

I'd like to see an example of the redrawn borders in concept before we move forward, so we can see if any further changes are warranted, as House Caron doesn't really need a castle redo, but more of an update on the lands (adding farmland for one) and House Vyrwel of Dark Dell requires fairly expansive land as a principal bannerman to the Tyrells that wouldn't fit within the (vague) space between Longtable, Sloan and Fawnton

sorry wrong choice of words. Nightsong should move to where Darkdell is currently, and Darkdell moved elsewhere in the Reach.
As you have pointed out, Nightsong is too far south according to canon maps.

This isn’t something that needs to happen right now I just wanted to add it as a footnote to the discussion.

I’ll post a drawing later today.
 

AerioOndos

Sorcerer
NOTE EDIT AT BOTTOM

I'd suggest a modified form of what Dutch is suggesting that might make things a little bit easier.
So, this area above the Wide Way has passed hands between the Stormlands and the Reach multiple times, Nightsong was once a Reach castle.
We currently have an issue with hydrology in this area.

Why not combine the two solutions? So yes, there is a huge amount of area around Sloane, also there does not seem to be any particularly formidable castles around there and the environment, north of the Red Mountains rain shadow (The steep mountains between Griffins Roost and Bronzegate need to be turned into hills) but maybe that would be a good location for Leygood (it can translate to 'good hill/s).
This might make sense as Randyll Tarly could have met up with them before heading towards Duskendale.

Darkdell? I'd say that being next to or near the Wide Way makes it a very important house so perhaps I have drawn up this map that relies on even more shuffling.
Paint2.PNG

So, Caron gets moved NW, towards Darkdell's current position.
A stream flowing from the Wide Way descends down through the current position of Darkdell and hooks to the east and then to the north, carving a passage between the Reach and the Stormlands. However, this is not deep and easily fordable, especially in summer, and the land around it provides little cover. On the plain, Nightsong stands out on a set of hills that sit at the entrance to the way into Dorne.
Caron absorbs current Leygood. I suggest reducing the altitude of the lake by a significant amount or adding a stream.

Darkdell gets moved north onto a new ridgeline.
This new set of hills will stop the Whitegrove lake from overflowing into the basin to its east and into Vyrwel lands. These hills will be pocketed with some steep cliffs that will be similar to those at Starpike.
House Vyrwel of Darkdell gets control of Cockshaw lands that stretch too far inland and Cockshaw gets refocused around the Cockleswhent.
Again, the idea for this is in its name. Cock - Cockleswhent, shaw - a forest, Cockshaw - the wood on the Cockleswhent. To me that makes them what Manderly is to the Mander.

Now. This idea revolves around Nightsong being in a no man's land. The land is relatively without trees outside of the gullies and sheltered areas of the plain, with stands of rock sticking out. Nightsong is built on a set of hills that gives it a commanding and imposing view of the area around. However, the Stormlands truly begin at the ridge behind it, which currently separates Leygood and Harvest Hall.
Similarly, the Reach truly begins at the ridge that Darkdell is on.
Therefore, Nightsong is smack bang in the middle of one of the most contested zones of Westeros. The Dornish want it. The Stormlanders want it. The Reachmen want it.

Yes, this idea relies on tearing apart sections of an abandoned, but not far off project to make way for better terra, sense and working water systems.
TL:DR Cut Cockshaw off so a line extends from WG to the Ashwood corner, perhaps even a little further north, and give the rest to Vyrwel. Also it would involve nuking Leygood's western hamlet and Cockshaw winery.
 
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I'd suggest a modified form of what Dutch is suggesting that might make things a little bit easier.
So, this area above the Wide Way has passed hands between the Stormlands and the Reach multiple times, Nightsong was once a Reach castle.
We currently have an issue with hydrology in this area.

Why not combine the two solutions? So yes, there is a huge amount of area around Sloane, also there does not seem to be any particularly formidable castles around there and the environment, north of the Red Mountains rain shadow (The steep mountains between Griffins Roost and Bronzegate need to be turned into hills) but maybe that would be a good location for Leygood (it can translate to 'good hill/s).
This might make sense as Randyll Tarly could have met up with them before heading towards Duskendale.

Darkdell? I'd say that being next to or near the Wide Way makes it a very important house so perhaps I have drawn up this map that relies on even more shuffling.

So, Caron gets moved NW, towards Darkdell's current position.
A stream flowing from the Wide Way descends down through the current position of Darkdell and hooks to the east and then to the north, carving a passage between the Reach and the Stormlands. However, this is not deep and easily fordable, especially in summer, and the land around it provides little cover. On the plain, Nightsong stands out on a set of hills that sit at the entrance to the way into Dorne.
Caron absorbs current Leygood. I suggest reducing the altitude of the lake by a significant amount or adding a stream.

Darkdell gets moved north onto a new ridgeline.
This new set of hills will stop the Whitegrove lake from overflowing into the basin to its east and into Vyrwel lands. These hills will be pocketed with some steep cliffs that will be similar to those at Starpike.
House Vyrwel of Darkdell gets control of Cockshaw lands that stretch too far inland and Cockshaw gets refocused around the Cockleswhent.
Again, the idea for this is in its name. Cock - Cockleswhent, shaw - a forest, Cockshaw - the wood on the Cockleswhent. To me that makes them what Manderly is to the Mander.

Now. This idea revolves around Nightsong being in a no man's land. The land is relatively without trees outside of the gullies and sheltered areas of the plain, with stands of rock sticking out. Nightsong is built on a set of hills that gives it a commanding and imposing view of the area around. However, the Stormlands truly begin at the ridge behind it, which currently separates Leygood and Harvest Hall.
Similarly, the Reach truly begins at the ridge that Darkdell is on.
Therefore, Nightsong is smack bang in the middle of one of the most contested zones of Westeros. The Dornish want it. The Stormlanders want it. The Reachmen want it.

Yes, this idea relies on tearing apart sections of an abandoned, but not far off project to make way for better terra, sense and working water systems.

Yep this is pretty close to one of the first options I had in mind. It would be worth bearing in mind for a future Darkdell project/Nightsong update. I totally agree with Marg on the castle, but it could be moved fairly easily as there is little to no sprawl.
 
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