Project Application: House Norcross by Opaco

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Inkednorc.jpg

A = the old tiers of the quarry used to build the castle. now used for part of the village? Postern gate/crane down for quick resupply of the castle connects to a road here too, if you want.
B = a small island that wouldn't be too stable but idk what could be done with it. Maybe a picnic spot?
For the abovemap I've tried to keep as much as possible of your planning, with my recommendations there also. This includes having only one eastern holdfast, between BWK and the vassal keep and filling in the lagoon area with a stream, fields and silvopasture. The roots would help stabilise the banks of the river, keeping the river course a little straighter than if it wasn't there. Also, the little drawings were because I wanted to play around with 3d perspective. They're not representative of overall size.

Maroon - fortifications. I suggest that you reposition the castle to be flush/directly above the town on the steepest part of the cliff and thus enable it to have natural walls. It also then can provide fire on incoming ships before reach rivercraft can engage with ironborn reavers.
Grey- Cliffs around the castle. I was thinking if it also had a steep incline on the SW side, that'd help with the idea of its existence as a separate petty kingdom.
Red - indicates the rough size of settlements. I've tried to the same locations are settlements
Light Green - Managed woodland. When together with white borders, this is silvopasture. Otherwise, they're for timber, or copses for brushwood, firewood and wattle.
Lavender - Septry.
Sage - Orchard of fruit trees, nuts or a mix of both. I'd suggest having some big walnuts or chestnuts (get a big oak then give it hop leaves and lime leaves mixed in for a chestnut) in or around a few settlements.
Grey - A farmstead complex. They run mostly sheep but have a dairy with cattle and manage the nearby orchard and vineyard. Specially supplies the castle with cheese (little details to make it more interesting?)
Purple - A small vineyard ran by the nearby farm
Orange - Shepherds crofts or shielings. Great examples on the moors at Rhysling.
Yellow - Herby scrubland. This could be rosemary, thyme, broom, wild lavender. Anything low and gnarled. Animals are let to graze in it too. Maybe some hives in it too.
Dark green and White - Same as your plans. Forest and Pasture.
 
- I think the "old norcross castle" you mentioned is a bit too much and doesnt make much sense realistically . back when they were building the castle , they'd likely choose the best spot possible to build ther castle and after it got destroyed , burned , pillaged whatever they would rebuild a new castle on top of the old . they wouldnt just move their castle somewhere else . even though their old castle was destoryed it would still have some free stone masonry to rebuild another which would need tremendous amounts of effort to transport from one location to the other .

- Another topic is keep in mind that ironborn were a huge threat before targaryens and seven kingdoms .

The salt kings and reavers who raided the shores of the Sunset Sea in antiquity are fondly remembered by singers and priests.[4] The First Men of the mainland did not have a strong seafaring tradition, so the ironmen controlled the seas from the Frozen Shore to the Arbor.[4] It is said that the ironmen of old had oft been blood-drunk in battle, so berserk that they felt no pain and feared no foe.[5] - AWOIAF(WIKI)

so yes , ironborn were actually a major threat and although their key power comes from the sea and their ships , the inhabitants wouldnt just ignore adding deffensive features to their strongholds .
 
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Opaco123

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ok lotta words incoming

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.
The stuff about HG and the RK is fair, but I still don't think that makes the style have no place on the server. I think you are using the full scale model to judge my plans for the castle. I would like to reiterate this model is outdated and I haven't included it in my app for a reason. The pic I did include was to showcase some of the palette. I haven't touched that model in a month at least and is no way reflective of my current plans for the castle. Everything outside the central building will be scrapped 100% and the keep itself will be heavily modified and shrunk. I would take a look at the small model I've put in the app as a lot of these issues aren't present.

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.
I'm totally willing to scale down the castle further. making the halls and towers shorter as well as reducing the footprint of the inner castle at least would be quite simple. Are the cliffs part of the same stretch? They only take up a small part of Norcross' shoreline. I do think they can be increased in height, considering there are no other elevated areas for reference nearby.

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.
View attachment 13343
This makes sense. I'm sad to see the lagoon go but it seems necessary.

The huge palatial gardens on your castle test. Yk, with the lower outer walls around them? I'd get rid of them.
I genuinely have no idea what you're referring to here. I have no plans for any gardens around the castle. Could you send me a picture of what you're looking at?

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 agree with you it needs to be smaller. Though I wouldn't say it's obsolete, as the mouth is much larger in reality than is represented on the server.

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.
I don't think it would be easily represented ingame. More than likely one side (probably Florents) would have just packed up and left for Dragonstone rather than the lands splitting in a mini civil war IMO. Though it doesn't matter either way since the whole family would still be declared for Renly at this point as Marg pointed out.

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).
You might be overestimating the amount of trade I planned for the town. I never planned for it to be a diverse trading port like LHT. It's supposed to be more of an export hub, with lots of lumber, ships, and other wood products being shipped to the shields and up and down the coast. Goods sailing up the river would more than likely have to move through the town, though, especially if merchants don't want to dedicate the trip of sailing up and down the river.

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.
Sorry this is bad wording on my part. I meant the outer walls and defenses of the castle, not the second castle, as that's a vassal holding. I only plan for the inner building to be built in the loire style. All the defenses on the outside is meant to be in an older, more militarized style that would tie in more with Uffering to the north.

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 the issue of defenses is addressed in my previous comment. The castle will have strong defenses. Though, I think you're over representing IB invasions. The Greyjoy Rebellion was during the most tumultuous period of Targ rule when they were at their weakest and in the midst of a rebellion; plus Balon was overly ambitious. They took their targets by surprise because everyone thought the days of major IB raids in Westeros were over. Also keep in mind that when they attacked Seagard, Jason Mallister met them outside of the castle. 95% of IB raids wouldn't even bother with the castle, they would just raid the undefended lands along the coasts. Still, I get where you're coming from and I assure you I plan on having strong defenses for the castle.

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 never meant for the docks in the lagoon to be a trading port if that's what you mean. Just a place to anchor the warships. But since the lagoon is going the town can definitely be moved east.

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.
This all sounds good.

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.
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.
I originally planned to have this castle be more like Chateau de Falaise. An old first men keep with a new tower or two added on that would represent the new Andal owners. But this idea is good as well. I think either one would work.

View attachment 13347

A = the old tiers of the quarry used to build the castle. now used for part of the village? Postern gate/crane down for quick resupply of the castle connects to a road here too, if you want.
B = a small island that wouldn't be too stable but idk what could be done with it. Maybe a picnic spot?
For the abovemap I've tried to keep as much as possible of your planning, with my recommendations there also. This includes having only one eastern holdfast, between BWK and the vassal keep and filling in the lagoon area with a stream, fields and silvopasture. The roots would help stabilise the banks of the river, keeping the river course a little straighter than if it wasn't there. Also, the little drawings were because I wanted to play around with 3d perspective. They're not representative of overall size.
This map looks really good, thanks for making this. I originally intended for that island to be open for an immersion project of some sort.
Maroon - fortifications. I suggest that you reposition the castle to be flush/directly above the town on the steepest part of the cliff and thus enable it to have natural walls. It also then can provide fire on incoming ships before reach rivercraft can engage with ironborn reavers.
Grey- Cliffs around the castle. I was thinking if it also had a steep incline on the SW side, that'd help with the idea of its existence as a separate petty kingdom.
Red - indicates the rough size of settlements. I've tried to the same locations are settlements
I think this is a good idea. The towns are a little bigger than what I had in mind, but not by much.

Light Green - Managed woodland. When together with white borders, this is silvopasture. Otherwise, they're for timber, or copses for brushwood, firewood and wattle.
Lavender - Septry.
Sage - Orchard of fruit trees, nuts or a mix of both. I'd suggest having some big walnuts or chestnuts (get a big oak then give it hop leaves and lime leaves mixed in for a chestnut) in or around a few settlements.
Grey - A farmstead complex. They run mostly sheep but have a dairy with cattle and manage the nearby orchard and vineyard. Specially supplies the castle with cheese (little details to make it more interesting?)
Purple - A small vineyard ran by the nearby farm
Orange - Shepherds crofts or shielings. Great examples on the moors at Rhysling.
Yellow - Herby scrubland. This could be rosemary, thyme, broom, wild lavender. Anything low and gnarled. Animals are let to graze in it too. Maybe some hives in it too.
Dark green and White - Same as your plans. Forest and Pasture.
All of this looks really good. I'm a little confused though, did you mean orange to be holdfasts and tan to be the shepherds crofts? I also did want a little more vineyard tbh, perhaps that small marked wooded area between the roads on the southeast side could be another vineyard?

- I think the "old norcross castle" you mentioned is a bit too much and doesnt make much sense realistically . back when they were building the castle , they'd likely choose the best spot possible to build ther castle and after it got destroyed , burned , pillaged whatever they would rebuild a new castle on top of the old . they wouldnt just move their castle somewhere else . even though their old castle was destoryed it would still have some free stone masonry to rebuild another which would need tremendous amounts of effort to transport from one location to the other .
I don't think you understood my head canon correctly. What I meant was the old castle of Norcross would have been built while the First Men castle overlooking the mouth of the river still stood and was ruled by petty kings. Norcross would have been their vassals. They only rebuilt the main castle there after they retook the land in the west. Well after the petty kingdom's ruling family and castle was destroyed by the IB. Until then the ruins had been used a base by he IB for sending raids upriver to Highgarden, which is why HG supported Norcross in driving the IB out, The castle in the east was never destroyed, it was given to the Andal family they married in exchange for helping them drive out the IB.

- Another topic is keep in mind that ironborn were a huge threat before targaryens and seven kingdoms .

The salt kings and reavers who raided the shores of the Sunset Sea in antiquity are fondly remembered by singers and priests.[4] The First Men of the mainland did not have a strong seafaring tradition, so the ironmen controlled the seas from the Frozen Shore to the Arbor.[4] It is said that the ironmen of old had oft been blood-drunk in battle, so berserk that they felt no pain and feared no foe.[5] - AWOIAF(WIKI)

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but this is specifically talking about times before the coming of the Andals. The main castle would have been built after the Andals intermarried with Norcross and improved them technologically. This quote actually fits quite well with the head canon I derived IMO, since the petty First Men kings were destroyed by IB invasions.

so yes , ironborn were actually a major threat and although their key power comes from the sea and their ships , the inhabitants wouldnt just ignore adding deffensive features to their strongholds .
Yes like I said above the defenses of the castle will not be loire, but more in line with Uffering's style. I don't intend to not add real defenses.


Ok, I think that's everything lmao. Hopefully you can understand a little better where I'm coming from.
 
This map looks really good, thanks for making this. I originally intended for that island to be open for an immersion project of some sort.
You touch island you die, just kidding. I had originally worked on a test for this site as you can see from the link below, however I found myself lacking in certain skills and decided to abandon the whole thing. Though the test is still saved on my plot. Seeing as it is still untouched, I may revisit the prospect of working on it and having something there. The original idea was that of a ruined first men ring fort that had some significant fortification updates. The site would act as a rally point for Reach House Knights to rendezvous their levies and men-at-arms units in reaction to either sighted Ironborn raider fleets, an Ironborn invasion nearby, or an Ironborn siege of Norcross. The gathered Reach army could then march to the relief of a besieged Norcross castle. Thank you for bringing this still untouched area to my attention, I think I will definitely revisit putting a Rallying point of sorts there.
 
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Opaco123

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You touch island you die, just kidding. I had originally worked on a test for this site as you can see from the link below, however I found myself lacking in certain skills and decided to abandon the whole thing. Though the test is still saved on my plot. Seeing as it is still untouched, I may revisit the prospect of working on it and having something there. The original idea was that of a ruined first men ring fort that had some significant fortification updates. The site would act as a rally point for Reach House Knights to rendezvous their levies and men-at-arms units in reaction to either sighted Ironborn raider fleets, an Ironborn invasion nearby, or an Ironborn siege of Norcross. The gathered Reach army could then march to the relief of a besieged Norcross castle. Thank you for bringing this still untouched area to my attention, I think I will definitely revisit putting a Rallying point of sorts there.
Well like I said its open for applicants choice. I think this sounds like a great idea. I checked out the test on your plot. I know it's quite an old test and incomplete, but if you decide to go forward with it would suggest having it look a lot older and with little or no Andal influence. Maybe have one tower/building that was added later to showcase the reconstruction. The main palette should also be changed to one similar to Uffering, as that's what I intend the older construction in the region to look like. The palette for any Andal additions as well as wall repairs can be the reach one currently there. That way it can parallel the palettes of the castles. The palette test on the freestanding wall in the application showcases what I'm talking about with the old/new combo.
p4kxyRpOBx-x8_Gi2Q9T-8_RWKirXjw_2RR-dRvJruz00m1HGrXD5kCrHS2Je2ZMEFKk_QRmDfRIOR-nUkWJgcx_Ek2E2hkDKEqq0BH1ItmuflvYpJOpmUgYhai02jWoga5ufFSDwrC1gEZcBEbK_hc

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.
Also, the cliffs at bandallon are around 2/3 - 3/4 the size of its tallest tower. What ratio would you think would be needed at Norcross?
 
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Opaco123

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I made a new castle test model based on people's suggestions. I moved to the southeast part of the cliffs like Aeks suggested. I compacted both the outer yard and keep, lowered the keep's height, and raised the cliffs based on Jeff's suggestion. I rotated the keep so the large windows of the great hall face inland/ toward the town rather than out over the bay. I also made the "older" sections on the outer walls more prominent with less repaired sections so the difference is better portrayed. I believe the defensiveness is much higher now, with the south and east side being unassailable due to the cliff, a long winding approach covered by many points of missile fire and up to three layers of fortification on the southwestern side, a large moat cutting off the main and postern gates, and three gates before the keep is taken. There is also more usable room in the yard which is a plus. The height ratio between the cliffs and castle is about the same if not a little larger than Bandallon in the model.


I'm also going to work on a new map when I get the chance, using a lot of Aeks' ideas.
 
F

FD001__

I made a new castle test model based on people's suggestions. I moved to the southeast part of the cliffs like Aeks suggested. I compacted both the outer yard and keep, lowered the keep's height, and raised the cliffs based on Jeff's suggestion. I rotated the keep so the large windows of the great hall face inland/ toward the town rather than out over the bay. I also made the "older" sections on the outer walls more prominent with less repaired sections so the difference is better portrayed. I believe the defensiveness is much higher now, with the south and east side being unassailable due to the cliff, a long winding approach covered by many points of missile fire and up to three layers of fortification on the southwestern side, a large moat cutting off the main and postern gates, and three gates before the keep is taken. There is also more usable room in the yard which is a plus. The height ratio between the cliffs and castle is about the same if not a little larger than Bandallon in the model.


I'm also going to work on a new map when I get the chance, using a lot of Aeks' ideas.
I think this more - but lose the outermost wall to the SW.

More walls = more forces required to garrison the castle, bigger isn't always better in that case. The more compact a castle is, the easier it is for forces to move around internally from wall to wall to tower to gate in a short space of time. If that lower outermost wall is hard to access, it could also lead to defending forces becoming cut off during a siege if the besieging force pushes to the 2nd (in my view, main) gate. Think about the varying degrees of retreat and how they could retreat.
 

DutchGuard

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I think this more - but lose the outermost wall to the SW.

More walls = more forces required to garrison the castle, bigger isn't always better in that case. The more compact a castle is, the easier it is for forces to move around internally from wall to wall to tower to gate in a short space of time. If that lower outermost wall is hard to access, it could also lead to defending forces becoming cut off during a siege if the besieging force pushes to the 2nd (in my view, main) gate. Think about the varying degrees of retreat and how they could retreat.
I don't entirely disagree with this but you need to bear in mind the practical needs of a castle when it isnt under attack, which is ultimately about 99% of the time. A large outer bailey, lightly defended, is an almost essential part of a large castle, especially one situated on a steep rise. Horses, stores, workshops, and a rallying/practice area on a mostly level ground are incredibly useful for trade and military training. Even if this is an unmanned palisade, or just a courtyard of structures, I would consider it an important feature that should be kept. The area would likely be sacrificed during an attack, but just the number of yards/baileys does not detract from a castles defensibility, if anything, it improves it with additional defensive layers. Yes, some care should be given to avenues of retreat, but a garrison would at some point be expected to suffer heavy losses when defenses fall.
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
“I never meant for the docks in the lagoon to be a trading port if that's what you mean. Just a place to anchor the warships. But since the lagoon is going the town can definitely be moved east.”
I did mean anchorage for anything except v small barges and fishing craft. Definitely not warships.

Also no, orange is only the crofts. The holdfasts are the towers of maroon, just three of them. Your earlier map had two very close togethwr, and just next to the vassal. This doesn’t make sense to me, particularly as it’s the side they receive support from.


And another point is that the Greyjoy rebellion happened within the first ten years of Robert Baratheon’s reign. The ironborn burnt the lannister fleet as the initial, surprising beginning to the conflict so that it would take a long time for a counter attack to reach them. The ironborn’s advantage is that they can quickly strike in large, well armed numbers and retreat before moving huge distances to another target. They just didn’t expect to be defeated at sea.

During Roberts Rebellion, Quellon Greyjoy allied with Robert and raided the reach coastline but we don’t get much information on how bad this was. Especially as the reach didn’t really do much with the exception of Randal Tarly at bitterbridge. However, I’d say it was enough of a worry that the reach didn’t want to risk moving too far away from HG (the furthest the army went is Storms End. The longest stretch of travel between SE and HG would be SE-> cockleswhent river. After that the army would go by water for the rest of the way.
Now that you mention Falaise, that would work much better for insp of the main castle to the west. It’s large yard would give you room to use massed archers and siege weapons against ships on the river, as well as plenty of room for the town to shelter in.
I’ll send some pics by discord because they aren’t working for upload rn while on mobile.

for the vassal, going for a smaller castle like the kerouzere is better imo, because a full size keep is going to dominate the surroundings and make ball and any other structures in the area small. Hell, falaise there would be a larger vassal than ball or woodwright’s main seats are.
 

Opaco123

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I did mean anchorage for anything except v small barges and fishing craft. Definitely not warships.

Also no, orange is only the crofts. The holdfasts are the towers of maroon, just three of them. Your earlier map had two very close togethwr, and just next to the vassal. This doesn’t make sense to me, particularly as it’s the side they receive support from.


And another point is that the Greyjoy rebellion happened within the first ten years of Robert Baratheon’s reign. The ironborn burnt the lannister fleet as the initial, surprising beginning to the conflict so that it would take a long time for a counter attack to reach them. The ironborn’s advantage is that they can quickly strike in large, well armed numbers and retreat before moving huge distances to another target. They just didn’t expect to be defeated at sea.

During Roberts Rebellion, Quellon Greyjoy allied with Robert and raided the reach coastline but we don’t get much information on how bad this was. Especially as the reach didn’t really do much with the exception of Randal Tarly at bitterbridge. However, I’d say it was enough of a worry that the reach didn’t want to risk moving too far away from HG (the furthest the army went is Storms End. The longest stretch of travel between SE and HG would be SE-> cockleswhent river. After that the army would go by water for the rest of the way.
Now that you mention Falaise, that would work much better for insp of the main castle to the west. It’s large yard would give you room to use massed archers and siege weapons against ships on the river, as well as plenty of room for the town to shelter in.
I’ll send some pics by discord because they aren’t working for upload rn while on mobile.

for the vassal, going for a smaller castle like the kerouzere is better imo, because a full size keep is going to dominate the surroundings and make ball and any other structures in the area small. Hell, falaise there would be a larger vassal than ball or woodwright’s main seats are.
Sorry it's been so long since I updated this thread, my semester started and I haven't been able to get on much these past two weeks.

I made a new map based on the one you made but with a few changes. The colors are all the same except orchards are in light teal. I also added in marshes as dark teal because I liked the way my test turned out so I want to keep them somehow. I added a second septry on the cliff opposite the castle. both of the septries will be small and I want the area to be very pious so I think it's ok. Other than that everything mostly stayed as you marked them. I also forgot to mark the crofts but they would be where you marked them as well.
new map.png

I told you this in DM but I'll say it here for the record, I didn't mean for the second keep to be comparable to Falaise in size at all. I was talking about how it has an older norman keep with a newer tower keep built alongside representing First Men origins with Andal renovations. The castle itself would certainly be no bigger than the seats around it. But I do think Kerouzere would be a good fit instead.

I made a couple new tests. Here's one for the outer walls. You can see where repairs have been made at the top of the wall with new stone. I'm not great with palettes so it might be changed.
2022-09-04_04.30.22.png
 

Enah

Warlock
I am finding the talk about Bandallon and it's cliffs funny. Bandallon's design is a 16th-17th century chateau with extra walls, and it is built to reflect having been eroded and reduced drastically in size from it's old first keep. The castle is the converted barbican/outer ward of the First Men castle. So scale of the castle is not an issue to me, just the ornament. Just throwing this out there
 
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I am finding the talk about Bandallon and it's cliffs funny. Bandallon's design is a 16th-17th century chateau with extra walls, and it is built to reflect having been eroded and reduced drastically in size from it's old first keep. The castle is the converted barbican/outer ward of the First Men castle. So scale of the castle is not an issue to me, just the ornament. Just throwing this out there
I agree.

I always find the arguments over whether or not the castle 'looks too big' against the cliffs a bit silly tbh. A lord wouldn't say 'ah my castle is too tall and makes the hill look small smh, I can't build more :((('. They'd always want to project their power - in fact, having a large, towering castle projects a show of strength and wealth - building taller = more expensive = more wealth in the family.

However Norcross is not a powerful/rich house by any means, so it seems fair that the castle be more modest in scope and size.
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Mostly its a matter of aesthetics scale. We can't build a 1:1 mander mouth. That'd take up half our reach. because of that, we need the structures immediately next to it to not reduce its scale in perspective. I'm fine with horizontal size being large, just not heaps of verticality.