Project Application: House Norcross by Opaco

DutchGuard

Shadowbinder
Pronouns
he/him
Hey Opaco,

Great app, I've been looking forward to your submission. A few points of feedback and observations that spring to mind:

- Think you are totally justified having two towns, the highly navigable mouth of the Mander is bound to have a lot of trade coming in and going out from ports further along the river. In fact, it stands to reason that some of the largest ships might not be able to go any further upriver and would need a large port at the mouth to transfer cargo onto smaller river barges to continue the journey. The most likely spot for this might be the lagoon, as the larger main town would just receive smaller ships for direct trade.
- I love the headcanon! Seems very plausible.
- I know the map is only rough, but I want to point out that your proposed road network doesn't make too much sense. The main road through these lands would be directly connecting the largest town/port with the Roseroad which runs through Woodwright to the east. You also have some strange loops which encircle areas rather than lead directly to them. I've circled them below:
1660663166406.png
A better road network might look like this:
1660663247803.png
Don't be afraid of dead end roads! They don't need to circle back around to connect to another road.

- I don't have any issues with your "reclaiming" some land from Brightwater Keep. As I have said before project boundaries are not necessarily canon boundaries.
- At some point you write "With nearly every project on the coast north of the mander incomplete or outdated, it would be cool to have a subregional Brittany/Normandy style in the area." I am not sure I agree. Uffering to the north is a fairly recent and I think pretty good quality project. It also fits in with your Brittany inspiration I would say (though Eld can disagree with me on that). Maybe you meant south? Even then you have to consider Woodwright which is a fairly recently completed build, based more on an English style. Brittany would be a good transition style between the two projects.
- I am not an expert on style, but I think the materials you have chosen work for the area. I would just say that I personally dislike when wattle and daub "X" blocks are used horizontally as the ctm removes the vertical supports, which is a structurally less than ideal arrangement and fairly uncommon irl.
- I disagree that this project won't need a lot of terraforming. The rivers and streams are laid out, yes, but they still require detailing, not to mention that the coastline needs redoing entirely, ideally in the style establish at Uffering.
- You have two "septries" marked on the map. Could you give us a better idea of how large these will be? Are justifying their inclusion because of the Andal influence?
- I like the idea of the ruined coastal watch, do you have a test for one of these? Also I think it would be good to have some not ruined ones, the Ironborn still raid, albeit less frequently, so I don't think the Norcrosses would be completely negligent about defending the coast.
- Have you considered placing a lighthouse somewhere on the south shore of the mouth of the river? Uffering has one on the north side. The castle could incorporate one perhaps?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DjTorec

Opaco123

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
Hey Opaco,

Great app, I've been looking forward to your submission. A few points of feedback and observations that spring to mind:

- Think you are totally justified having two towns, the highly navigable mouth of the Mander is bound to have a lot of trade coming in and going out from ports further along the river. In fact, it stands to reason that some of the largest ships might not be able to go any further upriver and would need a large port at the mouth to transfer cargo onto smaller river barges to continue the journey. The most likely spot for this might be the lagoon, as the larger main town would just receive smaller ships for direct trade.
- I love the headcanon! Seems very plausible.
- I know the map is only rough, but I want to point out that your proposed road network doesn't make too much sense. The main road through these lands would be directly connecting the largest town/port with the Roseroad which runs through Woodwright to the east. You also have some strange loops which encircle areas rather than lead directly to them. I've circled them below:
View attachment 13329
A better road network might look like this:
View attachment 13330
Don't be afraid of dead end roads! They don't need to circle back around to connect to another road.

- I don't have any issues with your "reclaiming" some land from Brightwater Keep. As I have said before project boundaries are not necessarily canon boundaries.
- At some point you write "With nearly every project on the coast north of the mander incomplete or outdated, it would be cool to have a subregional Brittany/Normandy style in the area." I am not sure I agree. Uffering to the north is a fairly recent and I think pretty good quality project. It also fits in with your Brittany inspiration I would say (though Eld can disagree with me on that). Maybe you meant south? Even then you have to consider Woodwright which is a fairly recently completed build, based more on an English style. Brittany would be a good transition style between the two projects.
- I am not an expert on style, but I think the materials you have chosen work for the area. I would just say that I personally dislike when wattle and daub "X" blocks are used horizontally as the ctm removes the vertical supports, which is a structurally less than ideal arrangement and fairly uncommon irl.
- I disagree that this project won't need a lot of terraforming. The rivers and streams are laid out, yes, but they still require detailing, not to mention that the coastline needs redoing entirely, ideally in the style establish at Uffering.
- You have two "septries" marked on the map. Could you give us a better idea of how large these will be? Are justifying their inclusion because of the Andal influence?
- I like the idea of the ruined coastal watch, do you have a test for one of these? Also I think it would be good to have some not ruined ones, the Ironborn still raid, albeit less frequently, so I don't think the Norcrosses would be completely negligent about defending the coast.
- Have you considered placing a lighthouse somewhere on the south shore of the mouth of the river? Uffering has one on the north side. The castle could incorporate one perhaps?
I'm at work currently, but I didn't want to wait. I'm glad you like the app!

- Your definitely right about the roads. I may have went a bit overboard with the loops. I like the proposed network a lot.

-Sorry this didn't quite come out as I was thinking. I meant the coastal area right around the shields not all NW Reach, and I meant to say it would work well with uffering and tie the area together and make it a bit more unique.This was more a thought than a suggestion. Not something I had my heart set on and you can feel free to ignore it.

- I'm not too picky about w/d patterns. So messing around with the facades shouldnt be an issue

-Yeah thinking on it I agree there will be a lot of terraforming expanding the wooded areas of woodwright in particular. I'm prepared to tackle that though. And as for the streams I was not really thinking about hand done terra when I wrote that, more voxel/WE/script stuff

-This is a mistake, only the southern one in the woods should be marked as a septry, the other one is supposed to just be a farm

-I can definitely make tests for these. I was messing around with a test for a small ruined castle on my plot. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it part of the project or not, but the ruins would be in that style most likely.

-the northwest tower in the castle will be a lighthouse. Sorry if its hard to see in the pics.
 
F

FD001__

Hey pac!

A few things from me:

The castle should change a bit. I think removing the palatial gardens around the footing of the castle, and trying to condense it further would help. The large beacon tower is also strange, I think that it would be better if it were to the eastern end of the castle - you could have beacon fires along the Mander river (or old ones) that would've warned for invading forces sailing past the Shields into the estuary. It's current position just looks a bit strange. I'm happy with the size tho, since you've scaled it down (massively, the old size was far too big).

I also think the headcanon is a bit strange personally - I think a position as important as Warden of the Delta would've been mentioned in canon sources, and they would probably be amongst one of the major Tyrell vassals if this was the case (Tarly, Hightower, Rowan, etc). I think the plans for an older keep to the east is fine, as they moved from the coast to avoid raids, but I don't think that the newer western castle and lands would be much richer even though they're on the Mander - the Ocean road actually bypasses Norcross, it passes through Uffering, along past Ball and down to Highgarden. In fact, the eastern older keep would probably see more trade.

Image of major roads

I think that you should rethink some of your plans.
 

Jakethesnake8_8

Aeromancer
Pronouns
he/him
Just my little two cents here, I’d be careful about the size of the castle still, because you’re going to be putting a large structure on a cliff. The trouble being this could affect the proportions of the area and make the cliff look tiny/castle look huge. Think Bandallon for scaling, it doesn’t compete or overwhelm the landscape and stays true to the Reach style.
I’m also not sure if the lagoon should stay. The Mander delta seems to be in a low (but not lowest) tidal state, so that stands to reason that areas in the estuary would reflect that as well. I’d recommend putting salt marshes along the coast, as there’s significant shelter for them to form, and they are commonly found on the fringes of estuaries. You could play around with the script I made a few months back so that it reflects a lower tide and works with the area.

Best of luck !
 
i agree with jake , given that the castle will stand atop a hill overlooking the detla , your current test would likely dwarf the town and delta surrounding it . Moreover , as you have mentioned in your app , the castle defends the mouth of mander against possible ironborn attacks thus my suggestion is make the castle less chateau-like with shorter , non-connected buildings and more of a defensive open layout . your current test is not only big(tall) in terms of size but also looks more fancy even like a royal palatial complex . There are over ten thousand castles/fortresses in france i have no doubt there are some cool ones fit for a deffendible location like norcross .

good luck with the app!
 

Opaco123

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
Hey pac!

A few things from me:

The castle should change a bit. I think removing the palatial gardens around the footing of the castle, and trying to condense it further would help. The large beacon tower is also strange, I think that it would be better if it were to the eastern end of the castle - you could have beacon fires along the Mander river (or old ones) that would've warned for invading forces sailing past the Shields into the estuary. It's current position just looks a bit strange. I'm happy with the size tho, since you've scaled it down (massively, the old size was far too big).

I also think the headcanon is a bit strange personally - I think a position as important as Warden of the Delta would've been mentioned in canon sources, and they would probably be amongst one of the major Tyrell vassals if this was the case (Tarly, Hightower, Rowan, etc). I think the plans for an older keep to the east is fine, as they moved from the coast to avoid raids, but I don't think that the newer western castle and lands would be much richer even though they're on the Mander - the Ocean road actually bypasses Norcross, it passes through Uffering, along past Ball and down to Highgarden. In fact, the eastern older keep would probably see more trade.

Image of major roads

I think that you should rethink some of your plans.

Hey thanks for the feedback.

-I'm not sure what your referring to with the gardens. No such gardens exist in my tests. Are you talking about the Godswood? Or maybe the orchards south of the castle?

-TBH I am still unsure of the beacon tower as well, and am still messing around with what I want there. I did initially plan to have it be a warning beacon where if it ever went out it would be a signal that enemy ships were sighted. I disagree it should be on the eastern side though, as it's supposed to guide ships into the delta. I do like the idea of beacons along the river.

- I forgot to put this in the app as I thought of it a while ago and forgot about it, but the "Warden of the Delta" title was meant to be obsolete, as the Shield lords have long since overtaken Norcross as the primary defense of the mouth of the Mander. Part of the split in the house is because of this, as some members believe they could regain their status if the Florents (a house they have close ties to) were in Highgarden instead of the Tyrells.

-I would keep in mind that the vast majority of Westeros' economy was built before any of the major roads were. The wealthy towns of the Mander and east coast were built from shipping over water. All goods moving from Oldtown to LHT, Lannisport, and Lordsport would move by Norcross, and any goods shipped upriver to HG, Ashford, Bitterbridge, etc. would have to move through Norcross. Large sailing ships trading up and down the coast would have to choose to either take weeks out of their journey to sail upriver (itself dependent on the size of the ship, wind, and tide) or to just sell/move their goods to barges and river galleys at the mouth to move upriver. Also Norcross would be a point where trade can come out of the heart of the Reach to ship to the shields and across the coast. And the Shields, being islands, would be dependent on the lumber coming form the mainland.
 

Opaco123

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
Just my little two cents here, I’d be careful about the size of the castle still, because you’re going to be putting a large structure on a cliff. The trouble being this could affect the proportions of the area and make the cliff look tiny/castle look huge. Think Bandallon for scaling, it doesn’t compete or overwhelm the landscape and stays true to the Reach style.
I’m also not sure if the lagoon should stay. The Mander delta seems to be in a low (but not lowest) tidal state, so that stands to reason that areas in the estuary would reflect that as well. I’d recommend putting salt marshes along the coast, as there’s significant shelter for them to form, and they are commonly found on the fringes of estuaries. You could play around with the script I made a few months back so that it reflects a lower tide and works with the area.

Best of luck !
I get where your coming from with the castle, but I do think I've scaled down the castle enough to not dwarf the cliffs, I think that would be something to be addressed once I can terraform the cliffs to what I want and actually start plotting the castle on the cliffs themselves, and have an actual comparison. I don't really know about the lagoon as its not something i'm knowledgeable about. I would definitely prefer to keep it though.
 

Opaco123

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
i agree with jake , given that the castle will stand atop a hill overlooking the detla , your current test would likely dwarf the town and delta surrounding it . Moreover , as you have mentioned in your app , the castle defends the mouth of mander against possible ironborn attacks thus my suggestion is make the castle less chateau-like with shorter , non-connected buildings and more of a defensive open layout . your current test is not only big(tall) in terms of size but also looks more fancy even like a royal palatial complex . There are over ten thousand castles/fortresses in france i have no doubt there are some cool ones fit for a deffendible location like norcross .

good luck with the app!
I chose a project on the Mander because I wanted to build a Loire castle. I don't have any plans to change that honestly. I wanted to find a middle ground where I could build a loire castle and also have an older more fortified look. That's why I went with "built on old castle" thing. The idea is that the outer walls would be from the old castle, and be more fortified and functional, while the chateau rises from within. I also disagree that it must be one or the other, or that a Loire castle cannot also be a frontier castle. The Tres Riches Heures depicts the Chateau de Saumur in the early 15th century, in the midst of the 100 Years' War. The area around central France was hotly contested, and Brittany was France's enemy just a few decades earlier.
 

DutchGuard

Shadowbinder
Pronouns
he/him
I chose a project on the Mander because I wanted to build a Loire castle. I don't have any plans to change that honestly. I wanted to find a middle ground where I could build a loire castle and also have an older more fortified look. That's why I went with "built on old castle" thing. The idea is that the outer walls would be from the old castle, and be more fortified and functional, while the chateau rises from within. I also disagree that it must be one or the other, or that a Loire castle cannot also be a frontier castle. The Tres Riches Heures depicts the Chateau de Saumur in the early 15th century, in the midst of the 100 Years' War. The area around central France was hotly contested, and Brittany was France's enemy just a few decades earlier.
I know this is going off topic a bit, but did you consider applying for Dunstonbury? Perfect location for a Loire style castle.
 

Jakethesnake8_8

Aeromancer
Pronouns
he/him
I did but I was told it would have to be in line with / reflect NewCastle's style which I wasn't really interested in.
To be fair, Newcastle is based heavily of Chateau Pierrefonds, which is consistent with the style of much of the Mander river catchment. As I understand it, Dunstonbury came first, and when the Manderlys went north they replicated it in White Harbor. So you wouldn't really be deviating too much from the style you have planned for Norcross anyway. Buildings would be less ornate and more practical in their design, but they'd still be similar enough. That being said, I'd honestly advise against using Loire Valley castles as inspiration, as they typically *look* a lot more modern than the time period we usually shoot for architecturally. That's why the castle tests look very palatial - something that wouldn't necessarily serve the best purpose considering Norcross would be the first major obstacle for the Ironborn Raiders.

I get where your coming from with the castle, but I do think I've scaled down the castle enough to not dwarf the cliffs, I think that would be something to be addressed once I can terraform the cliffs to what I want and actually start plotting the castle on the cliffs themselves, and have an actual comparison. I don't really know about the lagoon as its not something i'm knowledgeable about. I would definitely prefer to keep it though.
To my other point, I've looked in-game at your castle test and I have to disagree. The castle (~40 blocks) is *at least* double the height of the cliffs (~20 blocks), which will definitely dwarf the terrain and contribute to the sentiment that the castle is overscaled. Onto the lagoon, at such a low elevation, having a separate water body from a flowing river doesn't really make much sense unless the lagoon is blocked in by man-made earthworks, because why would the water not go into the Mander directly? It makes more sense to just have the streams flow into the Mander without any lakes/lagoons or ponds.

One further thing I'd urge you to consider is the scale of the lands. You've marked out two towns and two castles, each which would take up significant space, particularly the towns, as you'd need to provide adequate agricultural sprawl for them to be properly supported. I also wonder if having a port town in an estuary is the best idea. Estuaries are typically shallow which limits the size of boats that can come through. Unless you make it a man made harbor, an estuary is probably not the best spot for a thriving port.

- Jake
 

Opaco123

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
To be fair, Newcastle is based heavily of Chateau Pierrefonds, which is consistent with the style of much of the Mander river catchment. As I understand it, Dunstonbury came first, and when the Manderlys went north they replicated it in White Harbor. So you wouldn't really be deviating too much from the style you have planned for Norcross anyway. Buildings would be less ornate and more practical in their design, but they'd still be similar enough. That being said, I'd honestly advise against using Loire Valley castles as inspiration, as they typically *look* a lot more modern than the time period we usually shoot for architecturally. That's why the castle tests look very palatial - something that wouldn't necessarily serve the best purpose considering Norcross would be the first major obstacle for the Ironborn Raiders.


To my other point, I've looked in-game at your castle test and I have to disagree. The castle (~40 blocks) is *at least* double the height of the cliffs (~20 blocks), which will definitely dwarf the terrain and contribute to the sentiment that the castle is overscaled. Onto the lagoon, at such a low elevation, having a separate water body from a flowing river doesn't really make much sense unless the lagoon is blocked in by man-made earthworks, because why would the water not go into the Mander directly? It makes more sense to just have the streams flow into the Mander without any lakes/lagoons or ponds.

One further thing I'd urge you to consider is the scale of the lands. You've marked out two towns and two castles, each which would take up significant space, particularly the towns, as you'd need to provide adequate agricultural sprawl for them to be properly supported. I also wonder if having a port town in an estuary is the best idea. Estuaries are typically shallow which limits the size of boats that can come through. Unless you make it a man made harbor, an estuary is probably not the best spot for a thriving port.

- Jake
At the time I interpreted it as adapting specific elements of Newcastle rather than just similar style, which is why i was uninterested. I'm pretty set on the loire style, but I feel like I've made a good compromise having the outer castle be older and more militant. IB raids the vast majority of the time aren't a threat to castles, so it's not like this is comparable to a marcher castle. I disagree with the idea that we have a consistent time period which loire castles fall out of. Highgarden is an obvious example and the red keep even has early modern military elements with its bastions. Also I don't really wanna bring others' potential projects into it but I believe Marg is going for a similar style for BWK, and I think with the ties I want to have between the two houses (and the fact that Norcross was originally going to be built as part of the same project as BWK) the style fits.

You may be right about the cliff, but I feel like this isn't too much of an issue. The cliff is the only elevation in the area, so it can be raised a bit if needed, and towers can be made shorter. I don't really feel that the cliff at Norcross is supposed to be very big since it takes up so little of the coastline. Not really like the cliffs at Bandallon. More of rock promontory than a cliff. Also I would just like to say again that the full scale model is more of just a test of style and individual elements at this point and shouldn't be used as an indication of the castle itself.

In regards to the lagoon, it was created during the Mander redo and there when I started making plans, and those who were going to do norcross before were planning for it, so i did as well. I can't really speak to how realistic it's formation is, but IMO its a unique feature that the project wouldn't really be improved on by removing. With the town, I don't know much about the geography, but canonically seagoing ships can sail well into the Mander, so I don't think having a port here is an issue. I originally had the town on the ocean coast outside the delta, but was told the inside would be better since it is a natural harbor. I think between the fields, pastures, orchards, as well as fishing from the river and sea there is enough to support the two towns and castles.
 

Jakethesnake8_8

Aeromancer
Pronouns
he/him
At the time I interpreted it as adapting specific elements of Newcastle rather than just similar style, which is why i was uninterested. I'm pretty set on the loire style, but I feel like I've made a good compromise having the outer castle be older and more militant. IB raids the vast majority of the time aren't a threat to castles, so it's not like this is comparable to a marcher castle. I disagree with the idea that we have a consistent time period which loire castles fall out of. Highgarden is an obvious example and the red keep even has early modern military elements with its bastions. Also I don't really wanna bring others' potential projects into it but I believe Marg is going for a similar style for BWK, and I think with the ties I want to have between the two houses (and the fact that Norcross was originally going to be built as part of the same project as BWK) the style fits.

You may be right about the cliff, but I feel like this isn't too much of an issue. The cliff is the only elevation in the area, so it can be raised a bit if needed, and towers can be made shorter. I don't really feel that the cliff at Norcross is supposed to be very big since it takes up so little of the coastline. Not really like the cliffs at Bandallon. More of rock promontory than a cliff. Also I would just like to say again that the full scale model is more of just a test of style and individual elements at this point and shouldn't be used as an indication of the castle itself.

In regards to the lagoon, it was created during the Mander redo and there when I started making plans, and those who were going to do norcross before were planning for it, so i did as well. I can't really speak to how realistic it's formation is, but IMO its a unique feature that the project wouldn't really be improved on by removing. With the town, I don't know much about the geography, but canonically seagoing ships can sail well into the Mander, so I don't think having a port here is an issue. I originally had the town on the ocean coast outside the delta, but was told the inside would be better since it is a natural harbor. I think between the fields, pastures, orchards, as well as fishing from the river and sea there is enough to support the two towns and castles.
Bringing up Highgarden is moot, as it is the most lavish castle in Westeros and is stylistically meant to stand out as having larger, more palatial structures. The same is also true for the Red Keep. Norcross, on the other hand, is not nearly at the same level of economic prosperity, and while Ironborn Raids wouldn't exactly threaten the castle, it would need to have defensive features to withstand *potential* invasion. As such, Norcross' castle should reflect that - which it does not currently. Here's some specifics you could change. You've got large, ornate windows facing the sea and river, which would be where the castle is susceptible to attack. This poses a significant structural threat should projectiles be fired at the windows, as if those windows go, so does half the hall. Secondly, the decorative turrets you have on quite a few buildings also convey the sense of a palace. You've got a colonnaded terrace overlooking the first yard of the castle, which completely negates the rest of the castle's defences, as attackers could very easily use ladders and climb into the castle that way. Removing the lighthouse tower and the gatehouse inspired by the Tour Des Horloges would help the size and scale of your castle feel a little more realistic. You could relocate the lighthouse tower to somewhere else, like the town for instance. There it would be the responsibility of an alderman.

About the cliff, it is an issue because you're going to dwarf the terrain in and around your project. This exacerbates the scaling issues that we've been talking about. Right now you've got a castle that's too big for flat terrain, but by putting it on top of a cliff that makes the castle look bigger, and the cliff smaller. It will also outscale the town when that's build, and it will completely dominate the skyline. The Norcross cliffs are part of the same stretch of cliff as Bandallon, so I think having them be similar is on the table.

Onto the lagoon. I've attached a diagram explaining the competing flow of the mander, the streams coming from Norcross and the effect it would have. Marked in red arrows is the current of the rivers. You'd get lots of water being forced through the lagoon opening and stream, which would speed up lateral erosion very quickly, and as the Mander meanders, (say that 10 times fast) the lagoon would be opened up and flood the Mander. The opening of the lagoon would lead to downcutting, marked by the purple horseshoes. This would increase the water speed significantly, and erode at similarly worrying rates. Once the lagoon completely opens up, it would drain and leave exposed mudflats. It would pose a lot of danger to surrounding structures. I think keeping the stream all the way to the Mander would be the least problematic.
Screenshot 2022-08-17 at 07.52.46.png
 
F

FD001__

Hey thanks for the feedback.

-I'm not sure what your referring to with the gardens. No such gardens exist in my tests. Are you talking about the Godswood? Or maybe the orchards south of the castle?

-TBH I am still unsure of the beacon tower as well, and am still messing around with what I want there. I did initially plan to have it be a warning beacon where if it ever went out it would be a signal that enemy ships were sighted. I disagree it should be on the eastern side though, as it's supposed to guide ships into the delta. I do like the idea of beacons along the river.

- I forgot to put this in the app as I thought of it a while ago and forgot about it, but the "Warden of the Delta" title was meant to be obsolete, as the Shield lords have long since overtaken Norcross as the primary defense of the mouth of the Mander. Part of the split in the house is because of this, as some members believe they could regain their status if the Florents (a house they have close ties to) were in Highgarden instead of the Tyrells.

-I would keep in mind that the vast majority of Westeros' economy was built before any of the major roads were. The wealthy towns of the Mander and east coast were built from shipping over water. All goods moving from Oldtown to LHT, Lannisport, and Lordsport would move by Norcross, and any goods shipped upriver to HG, Ashford, Bitterbridge, etc. would have to move through Norcross. Large sailing ships trading up and down the coast would have to choose to either take weeks out of their journey to sail upriver (itself dependent on the size of the ship, wind, and tide) or to just sell/move their goods to barges and river galleys at the mouth to move upriver. Also Norcross would be a point where trade can come out of the heart of the Reach to ship to the shields and across the coast. And the Shields, being islands, would be dependent on the lumber coming form the mainland.
The huge palatial gardens on your castle test. Yk, with the lower outer walls around them? I'd get rid of them.

If the beacon tower is a lighthouse, then its obsolete because there's one already in the delta @ /warp uffdunes. You could have a small lighthouse just within the castle so the Mander delta is visible from the southern approaches, but not the size you currently have.

I think it could be cool if you have a Norcross split between the Tyrells and the Florents, but I'm unsure of how you'd show this. Could there be a small holdfast to the south that flies Norcross and Stannis banners instead of Norcross and Tyrells? Not sure, but it could be a good thing to involve in the project.

The goods would move past Norcross not through it. If you look at the location of where the town will be, it is within the Mander estuary (Jake has already mentioned his points about the town, which I agree with) then it would be a stopping point along the coast. However, it lacks a deep-water harbour like Uffering and Bandallon, so it wouldn't benefit as much from naval trade as you think; especially when we consider that Lord Hewett's Town is off the coast and has a deep harbour which would allow for ships with deeper draughts (bigger boats).
 
F

FD001__

At the time I interpreted it as adapting specific elements of Newcastle rather than just similar style, which is why i was uninterested. I'm pretty set on the loire style, but I feel like I've made a good compromise having the outer castle be older and more militant. IB raids the vast majority of the time aren't a threat to castles, so it's not like this is comparable to a marcher castle. I disagree with the idea that we have a consistent time period which loire castles fall out of. Highgarden is an obvious example and the red keep even has early modern military elements with its bastions. Also I don't really wanna bring others' potential projects into it but I believe Marg is going for a similar style for BWK, and I think with the ties I want to have between the two houses (and the fact that Norcross was originally going to be built as part of the same project as BWK) the style fits.
What is the outer castle? Are you talking about the older one to east? I was under the impression that was a ruin. If not, then that's not sensible as the Norcrosses are far too poor (relative to other noble houses) to hold two castles at the same time. Even the Tarlys only have one, I can't think of other houses apart from ones such as the Martells, Baratheons, Arryns etc who have more than one castle.

I think you should take into consideration that IB raids were probably more frequent than wars with the Dornish were. There have been raids along the coast for a long time, even during Targ times. The Greyjoy rebellion happened abt 20 years before the start of AGOT, and the IB burned the fleet at Lannisport. The Dornish haven't fought a war with their neighbours in 100ish years.

I think you shouldn't be afraid of changing your idea if you can't justify it well.
 

Margaery_Tyrell

Shadowbinder
For the c
I think it could be cool if you have a Norcross split between the Tyrells and the Florents, but I'm unsure of how you'd show this. Could there be a small holdfast to the south that flies Norcross and Stannis banners instead of Norcross and Tyrells? Not sure, but it could be a good thing to involve in the project..

There would not be Stannis banners at BWK as they have declared for Renly up until his death, the entire Reach was for Renly and didnt fracture until after Renly’s death.
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
The lagoon was created well before the Mander redo. I know I've expressed how I wanted it to still be part of the project in dms but honestly, having looked at the river again and seeing Jake's points the lagoon isn't feasible, beautiful though it is. It should be saved to oldbuilds though imo. Its a beautiful example of how to do lake edges. Maybe it could be used for a lake somewhere in Crakehall, perhaps?

When I suggested a river port to you, I did mean something on the Mander itself, rather than a port in the lagoon. Similar to how Ball has a port. However, I was thinking a quay or wharf without peers (like what was suggested for Harrentown) could work for a small river port east of the lagoon, pretty much where the older castle is. This dock could allow traders and levies heading from the Southern Reach to join the Ocean Road, a shortcut to avoid going all the way inland to HG. Even with Ball nearby, it'd make sense for at least a ferry landing. Its also more stable and safer for longterm building than the edge of the lagoon. Its also better for woodworking industry.

I'd suggest having the pastures and fields that support the village to its west, and to the east an extension of the Woodwright forest where the pastures, eastern holdfast and orchard is. This would be tightly managed woodland or alternatively silvopasture (tree plantation with animals grazing through it. The best trees to use for this would be oak with a pruned trunk so they look more like CarciTallPine. Alternatively, use that named schem then convert it to oak bark and leaves). To replace the lagoon, there could be a large cleared area to the west of pasture and field to support both towns. This would support both the original crossing and the main village.

For the old castle, which we your headcanon suggests is occupied by an Andal vassal, I'd suggest making it like a fortified manor built on top of the old fortress structure.
Something like le bois orcan or Chateau de clos luce with some old buttresses of a larger fort and earthworks, or maybe a remnant motte.
1660735423719.png1660735376125.png

Otherwise, something like Château de Kérouzéré might work. My main pic was toolarge toload but Kerouzere has a few features that make it look like it once was a larger fort. Some outbuildings and a low outer wall to a small estate would help make it feel like the vassal or minor house. Whitegrove vassal is a brilliant example of how to make small castles feel lively.
1660735710970.png



I'd suggest going for more and more shrublike conditions as you go west so that on the coast the only trees are twisted, knotted things. In the place of forest, you could have large meadows filled with broom or rosemary and these will give visual interest and create an interesting landscape on the coast. Further inland forest would be great but otherwise come up with some interesting meadows. This corner of the reach gives the perfect opportunity to create a landscape that doesn't need forests on all of their borders.