Project Application: House Slate of Blackpool

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
While bog iron is something fun to include at the project, it should not be the namesake. For one, bog iron turns a pool red. Red silt, red clay-like soil. Black water is produced by a few things. Either there's dark loamy sediment or black peat washing into the water (like Blackpool in the UK), high levels of nutrients which is why the Arctic and Antarctic waters look dark, dense and opaque when compared to the tropics OR they're low in oxygen, going a black-brown colour.
The former and latter of these options make the most sense. The peat wash we can make using taiga biome colouring with a bit of Mesa and extreme hills imo and fits better than a blackwater event (the latter option), which are really bad events which lead to mass fish kills and loss of biodiversity. Now, peat cutting can yield some iron but imo, it'd be best to have some slate mines and maybe some vertical mine shafts and small delves around the place. Lead and tin will be something good to include in the local economy too.
Another reason I'm not a fan of bog iron is that its porous, soft and doesn't produce high quality steel for arms or industry. What it is good for is ships. It doesn't rust as easily. A single 'harvest' of a bog iron pond will produce nails for many longships. So its useful for trade and selling down the White Knife (around Slate or Condon would probably the highest navigable point before the rapids mentioned in Fire and Blood stop progress up river) but not what you want to have a blacksmith making horseshoes or hoes out of. Also, because of the generational nature of bog iron harvesting (you can only collect quantities worth the time approx. 30 years) it doesn't make sense to have settlements growing around it, especially as they aren't safe to drink from. the small pools next to each other on the eastern side of the ridge might be good for bog iron.

The White Knife Basin is the North's most densely settled region which Manderlys can draw hundreds of knights from. I suggest you make the holdfasts into little knightly estates, towerhouse/bastlehouse + farm, stable and housing for servants. As well as several farmsteads for light horse that also joins Robb's army on the Kingsroad.
This brings me to another point. The map you've made doesn't feel much like a former kingdom. The castle and largest population centre seem to be aligned with the Kingsroad rather than the river and possible industry. The Kingsroad is younger than House Slate and the project should reflect that, not to mention that there'll be similar income from trade on the river as there is on the road. So I'd suggest moving your castle and main settlement closer to or into one of the three stream valleys you've got in your project. They're nicely shaped already and the northern two are not too steep or rocky for fields so would work nicely for settlements there. Also the road could wind up into the forest in parts.

Adding some diversity to the forest would be fun too. But adding, rather than removing many trees. One or two, fine. Just don't nuke the forest.
However, I'd love to see how the heather turns out on the hills.

House wise, what kind of insp are you looking at? Your tests remind me of the two room cottages that are prevalent in Scotland but I was wondering whether you might put in some bothies in the forest and shielings in the heather, maybe? Having some old roundhouses and maybe some larger wooden halls would be fun too. You've got lots of wood, not just stone so experiment with how they work together. Also maybe try out having some bedrock and black stone brick rooves too? very slate-y

Love where this project is heading and am rooting for more details! Best of luck
 

FD001__

Envoy
While bog iron is something fun to include at the project, it should not be the namesake. For one, bog iron turns a pool red. Red silt, red clay-like soil. Black water is produced by a few things. Either there's dark loamy sediment or black peat washing into the water (like Blackpool in the UK), high levels of nutrients which is why the Arctic and Antarctic waters look dark, dense and opaque when compared to the tropics OR they're low in oxygen, going a black-brown colour.
The former and latter of these options make the most sense. The peat wash we can make using taiga biome colouring with a bit of Mesa and extreme hills imo and fits better than a blackwater event (the latter option), which are really bad events which lead to mass fish kills and loss of biodiversity. Now, peat cutting can yield some iron but imo, it'd be best to have some slate mines and maybe some vertical mine shafts and small delves around the place. Lead and tin will be something good to include in the local economy too.
Another reason I'm not a fan of bog iron is that its porous, soft and doesn't produce high quality steel for arms or industry. What it is good for is ships. It doesn't rust as easily. A single 'harvest' of a bog iron pond will produce nails for many longships. So its useful for trade and selling down the White Knife (around Slate or Condon would probably the highest navigable point before the rapids mentioned in Fire and Blood stop progress up river) but not what you want to have a blacksmith making horseshoes or hoes out of. Also, because of the generational nature of bog iron harvesting (you can only collect quantities worth the time approx. 30 years) it doesn't make sense to have settlements growing around it, especially as they aren't safe to drink from. the small pools next to each other on the eastern side of the ridge might be good for bog iron.
Ah okay, I think I'd go for the peat wash option as I'm looking to make the pool as dark as possible - so that the name makes sense and it is identifiable.

The White Knife Basin is the North's most densely settled region which Manderlys can draw hundreds of knights from. I suggest you make the holdfasts into little knightly estates, towerhouse/bastlehouse + farm, stable and housing for servants. As well as several farmsteads for light horse that also joins Robb's army on the Kingsroad.
This brings me to another point. The map you've made doesn't feel much like a former kingdom. The castle and largest population centre seem to be aligned with the Kingsroad rather than the river and possible industry. The Kingsroad is younger than House Slate and the project should reflect that, not to mention that there'll be similar income from trade on the river as there is on the road. So I'd suggest moving your castle and main settlement closer to or into one of the three stream valleys you've got in your project. They're nicely shaped already and the northern two are not too steep or rocky for fields so would work nicely for settlements there. Also the road could wind up into the forest in parts.
I wasn't sure how densely populated the area should be - as the North is usually sparse. I'll change that.

As for the castle, the castle is located amongst the hills in the centre of the Slate lands - from that point the castle would have clear vision of both sides. The castle is also going to be designed to much older and defensive on the eastern side - to reflect that the castle has sat here for a very long time. My personal view is that the current iteration of the Slate castle sits upon much older ruins from pre-Stark rule, with a small ringfort to the north just across the road still in use. I'll be making drawings that explain this further, so stay tuned.

The lands to the east of the castle are forested - and placing the castle further down the hills away from the ridge would hinder their view over the Slate lands + White Knife. It would make more sense that they'd place their fortifications upon the highest point possible - especially between two natural barriers such as the bog, and the forests. Both would slow down an attacking force, and then once they cross they'd have to move uphill, across open ground with defenders firing down arrows from above. The road narrows between the castle and the ringfort, with the castle's entry positioned in a way so that a large force would have to turn 90 degrees + defend themselves from attacks in both directions.

The position of the castle makes sense imo.

Adding some diversity to the forest would be fun too. But adding, rather than removing many trees. One or two, fine. Just don't nuke the forest.
However, I'd love to see how the heather turns out on the hills.
Yeah, wasn't planning on nuking anything - just additive and creating a better transition into the moors.
House wise, what kind of insp are you looking at? Your tests remind me of the two room cottages that are prevalent in Scotland but I was wondering whether you might put in some bothies in the forest and shielings in the heather, maybe? Having some old roundhouses and maybe some larger wooden halls would be fun too. You've got lots of wood, not just stone so experiment with how they work together. Also maybe try out having some bedrock and black stone brick rooves too? very slate-y
I was looking at shielings out amongst the heather hahah, that's what those tests are inspired by. Also similar to the houses at Wells.

If I'm gonna shift the main town to one of the three streams flowing into the White Knife, then these dwellings would have to be timber halls/houses - probably similar to some further down outside WH. Generally my idea is that the western Slate lands are stonier, and the east is timber. I might keep something similar to those tests for small farmsteads out in the west alongside the kingsroad. There's still going to be a settlement there - so they can collect from trade.

Slate lands copy.png

Here's an updated map for the area.
Orange - roads
Dark red - estates, with their own farms/small hamlets
Light blue - settlements of varying size.
Yellow - Slate castle
Green - quarries
Purple - First men ruins

Apologies for the wall of text haha.
 
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AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Walls of text are good! Love these ideas so far and the update of the map is nice. Have you got a layout in mind for the castle? Having a mini model would be a great help.
Considering the road heading through, you could even do a ridge castle, meaning its got two main gates with the road passing through it. Maybe there could be some interior gates or outer baileys with low walls to help increase the defence of the castle. Regardless, I'd love to see your ideas.
 
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FD001__

Envoy
Walls of text are good! Love these ideas so far and the update of the map is nice. Have you got a layout in mind for the castle? Having a mini model would be a great help.
Considering the road heading through, you could even do a ridge castle, meaning its got two main gates with the road passing through it. Maybe there could be some interior gates or outer baileys with low walls to help increase the defence of the castle. Regardless, I'd love to see your ideas.
Yeah, I built a mini earlier.


The castle is along the ridge, but the road doesn't pass through it. I might add a low palisade across the gap however, to make that entry point into the castle even more dangerous for attackers.

I should also say that, the castle is built on the site of first men ruins (the ringfort to the north was part of a larger site), and that these ruins were quarried away and reused within later iterations/reconstructions of the castle. This is also why the palette for stone houses in the area has basalt/bedrock blocks - these are older stones taken down from the ruins in the hills and reused as building blocks. Historically, this happened all the time - the locals would use old ruins as quarry, and I think we already have this in the North (Frost or Amber? not sure which one).

Reminder that this is all at my plot, if anyone's interested go to /warp finn01
 
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FD001__

Envoy
There's an example of it at Knott too.
I'm liking that mini. Nice work. I think I've got some more feedback but I'll let you know soon.
I forgot to mention too - the reason why I want to add more forest - there are currently three patches of forest that are all distinct atm.

From south to north: pine forest, some sort of birch forest with other species, then birch forest. I want to create a better transition between these, with mixing of species near the streams. Maybe some patches of certain trees with birches, vice versa too. Logging maybe too.
 

FD001__

Envoy
Another update from me!

I should talk about my plans for settlements in the area.

Slate lands copy.png

(Image of Slate lands from previous post)

The largest settlement and the main town of Slate will be the northernmost along the White Knife - my reasoning for this is that canonically, there are rapids along the White Knife that prevent the travel of goods from White Harbor to Winterfell by river. I assume that these rapids exist further upstream, and along the westerly fork of the White Knife (passes by Winterfell). I have then assumed that the Slate town would be the last navigable stop on the White Knife before reaching Cerwyn, and then Winterfell. This coupled with whatever trade passes along the Kingsroad to the west, would result in the settlement here becoming the largest.

Slate main town.png
(image of main town plans relative to the White Knife)

Light blue: main town, located further upstream as the ford on this stream sits at the narrowest point - the mouth of the stream is fairly wide and boggy. Nestled along the stream.
Orange: Birch/Ash forests, with some Pines/Elms/Aspens etc scattered throughout.
Yellow: Managed forest; used by locals for firewood, construction etc. Coppiced trees, pines, etc.
Purple: Old ringfort ruins, on a small hillock near the forest. Used as quarry by the locals.
Red: Roads, with forest paths shown. The main town has several paths that wind through it, with a main road passing through the centre.

Generally, this town would rely on forestry/trade for its economy. I also plan on having a small pier near the mouth of the river where it meets the road, so traders can disembark here and offload goods. Timber would also be floated downstream to be sold/processed in White Harbor (shipping, timber products, etc).


I also haven't really touched on the religious side of my plans either, but considering the influence of the Manderlys I should probably state that there will be very minor FoTS influence in Slate. Slate is further upstream, and predate the Manderlys (they held the Wolf's Den before). At most, there will be a handful of worshippers near Ashwood in the southern hamlet, but the majority of the populace still adheres to the Old Gods. Maybe I could show some religious strife? Unsure. That's something I can cover later if needs be.


Finally, I produced a new castle model for those who are interested.

2022-08-26_13.47.06-min.png

Another wall of text, but I hope it was interesting. Bye!
 

Jakethesnake8_8

Spellsinger
Pronouns
he/him
Hi Finn, just a few things from me!
Firstly, the town looks quite large on your map. I’m not sure if it’s the scaling of it, but I’d be careful not to make it too large or too urban.
Secondly, while the Slates are influenced by house Manderly, it’s important to note that the Northmen in general are very untrusting people and overall seem resistant to religious and political conventions in the south. As such, I don’t think the faith would have been adopted outside areas where it would be accepted (large trading towns, cities and major castles).
Lastly, I’d consider having sheep pastures in the area, as they’d be a food source and provide a potential for a wool-related industry. Additionally, sheep would be suited to the steeper slopes of the hills, so it would be lucrative for the locals to use the landscape to their advantage.
- Jake
 

FD001__

Envoy
Hi Finn, just a few things from me!
Firstly, the town looks quite large on your map. I’m not sure if it’s the scaling of it, but I’d be careful not to make it too large or too urban.
Secondly, while the Slates are influenced by house Manderly, it’s important to note that the Northmen in general are very untrusting people and overall seem resistant to religious and political conventions in the south. As such, I don’t think the faith would have been adopted outside areas where it would be accepted (large trading towns, cities and major castles).
Lastly, I’d consider having sheep pastures in the area, as they’d be a food source and provide a potential for a wool-related industry. Additionally, sheep would be suited to the steeper slopes of the hills, so it would be lucrative for the locals to use the landscape to their advantage.
- Jake
Ye, the town will be slightly larger than Ashwood town (12-16 houses max), with appropriate outbuildings such as barns, granaries, etc.

It's accepted enough that Ashwood doesn't have a godswood and only has a sept? Again, I mean a handful literally - as in maybe the castle smith is Southron and follows the Seven.

Yes, I didn't really cover that but there will be farmsteads and pastures to the west along the Kingsroad side of the Slate lands. Generally this area is open and barren and unsuitable for crop growth apart from hardy crops (grains, some veggies, etc).
 

AerioOndos

Donkey Lord
Also sheep can be ran through the forest as they'll eat pretty much anything they can digest. They particularly love flowers in my experience. In my little sheep distribution head canon, this is an area where you'd get a mixture of different breeds and specialisations.

Here you could have varieties of larger sheep like Lincolns, Clun forest and leicesters (wool sheep), Dorset (can lamb through the winter) etc, Finns, Tsigai and Zwartbles (milk sheep), katahdin, Romanov (meat and pelt sheep) with herds of smaller breeds like the Welsh Mountain, herdwick and hebridean sheep with coarser, hairier fleeces that are more water resistant. Basically, have some barns with only 1.5 blocks of head space or less while others have at least two. Many of these are legit the size of dogs and can be more agile. So have some small pens in houses.
 

FD001__

Envoy
Also sheep can be ran through the forest as they'll eat pretty much anything they can digest. They particularly love flowers in my experience. In my little sheep distribution head canon, this is an area where you'd get a mixture of different breeds and specialisations.

Here you could have varieties of larger sheep like Lincolns, Clun forest and leicesters (wool sheep), Dorset (can lamb through the winter) etc, Finns, Tsigai and Zwartbles (milk sheep), katahdin, Romanov (meat and pelt sheep) with herds of smaller breeds like the Welsh Mountain, herdwick and hebridean sheep with coarser, hairier fleeces that are more water resistant. Basically, have some barns with only 1.5 blocks of head space or less while others have at least two. Many of these are legit the size of dogs and can be more agile. So have some small pens in houses.
Pretty much all the houses will have space for animals - a third probably of each house will have its own little part sectioned off for animals such as dogs, goats, sheep and cows.

Would be cool to let the sheep/cattle run through the forests too, letting their manure fertilize the ground and encourage more plant/herb growth when the forest sprouts up again.