NIghtfort Server Build - Gift Settlements

CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
Dark greetings from the Wall!

From the outset of the project, the Nightfort Server Build was seen as a chance to breath some life into the Wall and its surrounding areas. While the Nightfort itself is coming together (and I hope to have it opened up for mini-apps in the next month), there's lots of work to be done in the vast tracts of land in the shadow of the Wall, the Gift.

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The Gift, consisting of Brandon’s Gift and the New Gift, is the area stretching fifty leagues south from the Wall, being land given to the Night’s Watch in perpetuity to support and aid the Watch. It is supposedly under the protection of both Winterfell and the Watch, but has fallen into neglect and been largely abandoned to the Watch’s diminishing resources and threat of Wildling raids.

Our Gift is currently pretty empty. That's understandable, since we don't have any canon locations marked in the Gift besides Last Hearth, Queenscrown and Mole's Town.

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So that means we've got a blank, white, snow covered canvas to work with.

In the map below I've (somewhat arbitrarily) marked out some potential locations for points of interest, be they abandoned hamlets, holdfasts, mills, ancient First Men ruins or Wildling Camps.

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Mods will be plotting out some hamlets at a few of these locations in the next few weeks, but would love to see some expressions of interest to take these spots on as mini-apps or Immersion builds.

"Jon: The land belongs to the Watch.
Ygritte: No one lives here.
Jon: Your raiders drove them off.
Ygritte: They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought."

Jon: Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It's easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.

So the general idea is that any settlements in the area will be abandoned, either because Winter is Coming and they're making the seasonal migration to Winterfell for shelter, or because they're tired of Wildling raids and moved south to get away.

Settlements can be of varying size and we can show a range of when they were abandoned. Some super old, just rubble, and some more recently abandoned. I'd be open to seeing some kind of fortified holdfast or heavily palisaded hamlet that's managed to withstand the wildlings too. You'll find some tests at /warp nftest. The building styles will be influenced by Winterfell and the northern clans.

So I hope this sparks some interest, feel free to post your proposals for mini-apps/immersions to this thread and otherwise stay tuned for plots to become available. Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Just gonna drop here that could there be a kingsroad update? make it a little smoother, blend in better with the snowy surrounds and maybe sometimes have a ditch nearby? just some interesting features that might make the snow covered grassland and bog seem a bit more interesting.

Apart from that, what are the plans for updating terra in the NP2 area Cash? What can we editors help out with? Also, the far western edge of Norrey (terra west of norreyhf2) can be redone by this project if it clashes too much.
 

CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
New Gift hamlet plotted at /warp giftham3
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Regarding the Kingsroad, I'd be open to us following through on the Adopt a Highway program and dividing up the various main roads into chunks that people can take point on updating/adding detail to if interested. Will cover it in a separate thread once a plan's ready.
 

Homiesucc

Playwright
Pronouns
she/her
New Gift hamlet plotted at /warp giftham3
View attachment 9381

Regarding the Kingsroad, I'd be open to us following through on the Adopt a Highway program and dividing up the various main roads into chunks that people can take point on updating/adding detail to if interested. Will cover it in a separate thread once a plan's ready.
Is it open yet? Its hard to tell
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Hey Cash, I've just had a check out of Giftham3 and have a few things to note.

- Its within sight of Eastwatch, likely in the bay originally intended for ships to berth as its less mountainous than the spot near the wall. Despite being closer to EW than Mole's Town is to Castle Black, it is mostly destroyed.
-The gradient could use a bit more organisation, like Johan's work at Hoarfrost Hill gift hamlets. At the moment it looks a bit haphazard with bedrock touching the much lighter dark cobble in many places.
- Because it is so close to Eastwatch, it will inevitably be in the way of or be updated along with the forest it sits next to. The Gift is mostly grassland but gets more forested and mountainous as it goes west (Lands of Ice and Fire) and so the large forest will need to be trimmed into smaller copses with evidence of the Black brothers hewing it down for agricultural space and for seaworthy timber.
- It also sits on terrain that should be changed so that there is an adequate port for Eastwatch. Currently the 'rolling plains' are steep hills on the site.
- The building style is, to put this bluntly, outdated and messy. The almost flat rooves would struggle under the weight of snow. There is no specification for how to build the 'longhouse' in the village, which is nothing like the 5x7 buildings of the styleguide. If you need help coming up with interesting structures, please ask for help.

Another point is that Eastwatch is on the Shivering Sea. These are the most profitable fishing grounds in the world, near Skaagos. Communities would fortify their settlements, or move closer to the Black Brothers in order to maintain bountiful harvests. Canon indicates that there are fisherfolk, and north of the wall Storrolds Point is likely the most settled location Beyond the Wall. This is where coast where most of your points of interest should be. Sorry that I didn't mention this earlier when you released that map.
Best of luck to you with the project,
 

CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
- Its within sight of Eastwatch, likely in the bay originally intended for ships to berth as its less mountainous than the spot near the wall. Despite being closer to EW than Mole's Town is to Castle Black, it is mostly destroyed.
- Given that our map is not really 1:1 scale with reality I'm kind of reluctant to place too much weight on concerns about realistic proximity. If you're saying the Gift requires re-terra then the cove that's actually closest to Eastwatch could easily be reterra'd and used as its primary harbor. This hamlet is still further from Eastwatch than Eastwatch is from Greenguard, which seems a bit far for it to be their preferred choice of harbor. Ships docking at Eastwatch would just dock at Eastwatch imo.
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-The gradient could use a bit more organisation, like Johan's work at Hoarfrost Hill gift hamlets. At the moment it looks a bit haphazard with bedrock touching the much lighter dark cobble in many places.
The block mix is the same that's used across the Northern Clans and Wall castles, since the buildings themselves are all ruins I wasn't particularly concerned about contrasting colors as just adds to the derelict look. Since we may be getting Northern Cobble walls/slabs/stairs sometime soon I was expecting any gradients would probably need to be remixed anyway when they were added.
- Because it is so close to Eastwatch, it will inevitably be in the way of or be updated along with the forest it sits next to. The Gift is mostly grassland but gets more forested and mountainous as it goes west (Lands of Ice and Fire) and so the large forest will need to be trimmed into smaller copses with evidence of the Black brothers hewing it down for agricultural space and for seaworthy timber.
- I agree that it looks like the Gift is mostly grassland the further east you get. As you say it makes sense that any settlement would be deliberately close to a wooded area as a source of timber (or they deliberately plant one), so I think it's reasonable to expect some trees to remain around it, even if 80% of the forest to the west of it is removed.
- It also sits on terrain that should be changed so that there is an adequate port for Eastwatch. Currently the 'rolling plains' are steep hills on the site.
- Again mostly a scale issue, but in any event I'm not too concerned about two hills on the coast that represent a small fraction of the total Gift area that could be the rolling hills you want. Some more love will be paid to the terra once the look and feel of the hamlet is more developed and I've got some time in game.
- The building style is, to put this bluntly, outdated and messy. The almost flat rooves would struggle under the weight of snow. There is no specification for how to build the 'longhouse' in the village, which is nothing like the 5x7 buildings of the styleguide. If you need help coming up with interesting structures, please ask for help.
- These "houses" are for the most part going to be rectangles of collapsed stone, so the rooflines aren't really a priority, The longhouse was an invitation for people to propose a design, but again given it's marked as a moderate level of collapse a lot of the key design elements would be ruined, unrecognisable anyway.

I appreciate the second set of eyes and holding me accountable for my quick hand wavy project plans. I'd encourage you to submit a proposal for one of the mini-apps aswell to keep the Gift growing.
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Alrighty, that answers pretty much my entire post. Only thing I'd still like to say is about the ships and a harbour. The space right next to the wall probably isn't the best place to have ships so maybe the northern side of the cove in between both your and my suggestions?
It'll also give room for Eastwatch to be unique among the wall castles, as it functions as a port most importantly, which doesn't have to be right next to the wall. What if Eastwatch was assembled more like a town with multiple fortified holdfast like buildings? Considering it also needs a mule breeding compound, this would help show how wall castles have had the opportunity to expand after the decree that they can't have southern facing defenses.
 
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JJLyric

Playwright
Pronouns
he/him
Hey dudes, I am here to apply for a small gift settlement/hamlet near queens crown, more specifically just exiting the forest east of queens crown. Anyways, aeks said that this would be appropriate as long as the hamlet was a bit undercover and discrete as the kings road is nearby. the hamlet shrives on livestock and farming. All houses will be made out of turf to complement the undercover-ness a little bit more. I took main inspo from norrey as there hamlets have nice terrained? builds. that is where I would encourage all builders building here to go to for inspo. terrain set is plots, bronze is plot outline red is a big communal livestock area and centre of action.
thanks for reading and here is my plans, see my plot for more/ jj, Thanks jj
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Nice work JJ! I've got a little bit of feedback which is to change the two bottom left buildings to be either next to each other or for the bottom right larger house to be tilted so its parallel to the road (turned 90d). Also, only other thing I'd like to note is to try and make each house have a small barn inside them, rather than having a separate barn. That way you save fuel for heating.

Another thing with the style, it only works if its an odd width. Currently it looks like many if not most of your structures are 6 or 8 blocks wide, which will produce a wider top that doesn't really work with the smoke hole idea positioning either.

Can't wait to see a bit more work on this!
 
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JJLyric

Playwright
Pronouns
he/him
Thanks for the quick response! I worked on the plotting but was kinda confused on the barn inside the house. I knew you didn't mean a literal barn INSIDE the house so I used the most logical option which was a small shed/addon next to the house where animals and supplies can be kept

the first image on the link is a idea I had for the most northern left build witch could be possible, More of a stone fortified build kinda like the tests for liddle we made. again I found it at norrey.
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
I do mean barns inside the houses! These might be separated by partitions of wattle or halfdoor but they're still part of the same rough heated space. Yes, there can be annexes, adjoining sheds etc but in the end they should be roughly under the same roof and sharing body heat.

I'm glad you found Norreyham3. Its got a few gems of the turf style there and that hall is one of my favourites. The idea of its walls is that its stone overlayed with turf, which is visible in the lower section. More expensive and fortifiable than the smaller houses.

With those sheds you've added, some of them are in strange places. I'd suggest just to make the houses maybe 2 blocks longer on average rather than trying to create the small attached sheds. It'll give you more room to work with in the end. Additionally, sheds like those are somewhat fun to put in for firewood or tools that don't need to be kept warm, potentially also hay or other fodder. Remember also that you could make a root cellar or small storage pit house. It would only need to have a floor sunken one block down but would be an interesting inclusion to the settlement.
 

JJLyric

Playwright
Pronouns
he/him
aha! I haven't seen the barns inside the houses, I guess when I heard barn I came up with a full on building image but the ones inside seem fun!
Anyway I have attached a strip of red wool to the entrance to the barn on each house, the blue strip is a wall/fence that will lead out to a big livestock pen.
I kept one barn protruding out again on the same north west build as I thought it would give the place some difference to the rest of the builds.
I also came up with a idea to name this ham. I don't think it would be appropriate to have every ham named on the server as that would be too much but these gift settlements are somewhat different. Obviously they will have meaning and be appropriate for a northern settlements but it is just a fun idea :D
EDIT: I noticed on the bottom middle one it has a L shaped barn witch if blocked with wattle leaves that 2 block gap kind useless so maybe occupy with firewood or tools? or just extend it to the full width. I also added a small communal she where they can keep firewood etc
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Aight okay so now to exploit the anticipation. So, mostly I think that the second smaller building and the split of that red section doesn't need to happen. If the smaller building were simply added on the other side of the larger building, it would work completely fine and not clutter up the pasture.
 
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CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
Thanks for those notes Aeks.

JJ I'm fine to approve this now, believe Aeks has also confirmed his approval as well if you'd like to make a start.
 
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eag_inc

Poet
Would like to apply with Gawain777 for a hamlet in the gift. Below is a rough plan (w/ guide) of our idea. Not included are plans to possibly add a wooden palisade around the general area, and some pastures & garden plots. There's a small holdfast and around 5-6 houses, all of whom are peasant farmers who will probably die a horrible death in the coming weeks due to the crippling cold and dwindling resources.
We also plan on changing the terrain a little in regards to the ice sheets, some parts of the hill, rocks etc as well.
 
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CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
Looks great guys, I'd encourage you to get creative with the terra features to distinguish it from the other Gift hamlet to the north (Aeks has some notes on that one above which might be useful). Feel free to add some small details like signs of ice fishing/sleds etc to help show how the hamlet occupants are supporting themselves as well.
 

Gawain777

Street Preacher
Looks great guys, I'd encourage you to get creative with the terra features to distinguish it from the other Gift hamlet to the north (Aeks has some notes on that one above which might be useful). Feel free to add some small details like signs of ice fishing/sleds etc to help show how the hamlet occupants are supporting themselves as well.
Will do! Ice fishing is already in the plan (we forgot to put it in the original post). We were thinking coppices/pollards for firewood and maybe even a small shrine in a little cave farther up the slope as well.