Project Suggestion: House Darklyn of Duskendale

Discussion in 'Questions, Feedback & Suggestions' started by Rakdar, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    @EStoop exactly. My suggestion, which is in the main docs I linked, was to have empty fields/farms within the city walls, as well as abandoned buildings. The clearest historical parallel is post-1204 Constantinople. Brienne doesn’t note this decay, so it’s likely in the space between the city gates and the main streets. I’m unsure whether the decline should automatically translate to poor upkeep of the defenses, as it’s not mentioned in AWOIAF where Duskendale’s defenses are discussed, and despite all the town is still pretty rich and is consistently mentioned alongside the big cities of the realm (have a look at my research).
     
  2. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    The city gate birienne wanders from opens directly onto the market square, which is surrounded by houses and shops. I don’t think one can compare Duskendale to Constantinople... one had maybe 10-20k citizens max, the other a million. Also Constantinople’s abandoned fields and housing areas was a result of building booms into new areas leaving the old derelict and ruinous.
     
  3. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    Yes, I said in between the gates and the major roads, not next to them, i.e. there is settled area near to the gates and the major streets, but not so much in the outskirts of the city next to the wall where there are no gates or major streets. The city center would still be densely populated, of course.

    Duskendale has 10-20k by the time of the books. By the time of the Conquest it was larger than Gulltown, so it had a minimum population of 50k. Since King’s Landing’s 500k had to come from somewhere, I would put pre-Conquest Duskendale at anything between 100k and 150k, with 50k being the absolute minimum. Even with 50k, that’s still over a 50% decrease in population over a period of 300 years, which IMO justifies a certain “constantinopolitization" of Duskendale, in the sense that the post-1204 and especially post-Black Death city was severely depopulated and ruined when compared with before. Plus it gets across the decline very well and makes for a unique feature of Duskendale not shared by other urban areas builds across the server. Anyway, it’s not that important, only an idea to illustrate the canonical decline in clear terms.
     
  4. Lord_Stark_05

    Lord_Stark_05 Nobuild

    I always thought that the Crownlands houses were smaller and pettier because for the most part, they don't have a central lord or noble family to be supported upon, and the fact is also like you mentioned in that many houses in those lands were indeed Targaryen loyalists. The lack of a long standing family could be the reason why these houses aren't as grand as those in the Reach, who have the wealth and power of the Tyrell's behind them ever since Aegon's Conquest, wheras the Crownlands lost a lot of power and support from Robert's Rebellion and haven't had a consistant family to support. That is my hypothesis for why Crownland houses aren't as grand or large as others.

    I also forgot to mention that though the Targaryen kings had been ruling for 283 years, none of the kings were very consistent with one another. One benevolent ruler like for instance Jahaerys I could support the Crownlands houses, but the possibility of a Targaryen king being a cruel ruler after a benevolent one dies is very high. The lack of reliability and varying degrees of stability might be a reason why the Crownlands aren't as populous as others
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  5. AerioOndos

    AerioOndos Builder

    Duskendale is still a large town, but I don't think it should be given such an air or (former) grandeur as your images provide. While I agree that the Darklyns were powerful, the castle should be considerably large and what would play a large part in its construction is how Barristan got into the castle and out. Was the castle too large to man with the remaining darklyn troops or was there a flaw in the design that created overly large blindspots
     
  6. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    It was night time.
     
  7. AerioOndos

    AerioOndos Builder

    people scared of the dark. But not Brave Barristan
     
  8. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    Brave brave brave brave ser barristan!
     
  9. AerioOndos

    AerioOndos Builder

    aren't there meant to be 'oh's between those braves?
     
  10. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    not in my version
     
  11. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    Wow, thanks for all the comments, guys. I appreciate it.

    This past couple of weeks I have completely revised the Dusk Court design from my previous Project Suggestion. I was unhappy with it in the first place, so I took some time to plan out a new building. I was heavily inspired by the Red Keep throne room design in the server (especially for the windows and the interior). Here are some images, first of the façade and the rest of the draft build below the cut:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Do note that this is a draft build. The interior is incomplete and the building itself has not been submitted to the gradient yet. The motif is black and yellow, the Darklyn colors and also the traditional colors of day and night (=dusk).

    The dimensions are:
    • Interior Length: 43 (about the same length as the Merman's Court at White Harbor)
    • Interior Width: 11 blocks (main aisle, enough to place at least two rows of tables for feasts) & 19 blocks
    • Exterior Length: 50
    • Exterior Height: 32 (only half as high as the Iron Throne hall)
    • Exterior Width: 27 (including the tower things, I forgot what they're called)
    I realize there has been some controversy in this thread on whether the Dun Fort should have a grander Great Hall than your average castle. I understand the viewpoints of those who have rejected it, but I still make the suggestion. The Darklyns were wealthy and powerful enough to build something like this and they had the whole craftsmanship of Duskendale available to them, back when the city was the most important Westerosi port on the Narrow Sea (I can't stress this enough). I do not think it is unreasonable, as it is not that large by server standards (especially the height) and it is about the same internal size as the Merman's Court. If the Manderlys could afford it and wanted to show off, so could and would the historical Darklyns, who reigned as kings and were wealthier and potentially more powerful than the Manderlys until the Conquest.

    For the back window, I took inspiration from the Sun of Nilfgaard and the Seven-Pointed Star. Looking at Nilgaardian soldiers, as depicted in Witcher 3, reminded me a lot of the Darklyns:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notice the black armor with golden details (the Darklyn colors), the quasi-fusily on their thighs (the Darklyn sigil) and the sun on their chest. It screams Darklyn to me. For a house identified with the dusk, light and dark and the shadow in between, I could make an educated guess that the sun would play a large role in Darklyn symbolism - for obvious reasons. Indeed, I liked it so much that I wrote a piece on "the Knights of Duskendale" when I was inspired:

    The "Knights of Duskendale" are mentioned as a specific military force in Fire & Blood and were instrumental to the Black victory over the Greens at the Battle of the Kingsroad. Since GRRM is usually conservative when using the "knight" terminology (often using freeriders and the like when he doesn't want to say they're knights), we may extrapolate from this passage that Duskendale has a knightly tradition that is recognized by the Maester who writes about the Dance even after House Darklyn's extinction.

    Anyway, I chose to stylize the "Sunset Star" (a Seven-Pointed Star adapted as a Seven-Pointed Sun by the Darklyns) in the back window, above where the high seat of the Darklyns would be. Just a little detail and a bit of worldbuilding to make the Duskendale build more unique, once it is eventually done. Even if you decide against building this grander Great Hall and go for a more conservative design, I hope the Sunset Star may be incorporated in the decoration.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    I like that you incorporated a meaning to the dusk part, but I suspect it isn’t sunsets but just a general “darkening” that dusken in old English meant, referring to the Blackwater Rush which the Darklyns held sway over. Dosk and little dosk are also of the same rootword by grrm. However, regarding the grandiose and elaborate hall, it is really best to make everything simpler and less ornate. Just because they were kings does not mean they were super powerful ones, as they were what is called petty kings. Meaning they held a small territory and it was a kingdom. They held little sway over the future area of the Crownlands, You have to remember at the same time there were like 5 kingdoms within 50 miles of Duskendale. The furthest they had ever gotten power-wise was Crackclaw Point. They fell to the Andals, who incorporated them into other realms, such as the Stormlands. We know there were hundreds of petty kingdoms in the centuries and even millennia before Aegon's Conquest. The Darklyns hadn't been kings in possibly (depending on how accurate history is) six to two thousand years. And after the Conquest, the city drastically lost almost all of it's wealth and power. The great hall should be modest, even great houses don't always have massive or fancy halls nor do some even have halls at all. Also, the sigil of House Rykker us "Two black warhammers crossed on a white saltire on blue" and Darklyn's I'm sure you know. The star, while attractive, doesn't suggest either house.

    Another thing, the Manderly's were extremely powerful and rich in the Reach, and still are in the North, I can scarcely believe that the Darklyns were ever more powerful and rich than they. Duskendale should remain poor with slight glimmers of former wealth in the town.
     
    lemonbear and DylanLovesYouJP like this.
  13. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    Please, I urge you to have a look at my canon research in the main document linked in the OP. I address all of this with canon quotes.

    It is a misconception that the Darklyns were petty kings. Petty kings do not rule a kingdom as large as they did, which extended from Crackclaw Point to Blackwater Rush at its height, i.e. roughly what is today the Northern Crownlands. They were bordered by the Stormlands to the south and the Riverlands to the west, until Benedict II Justman conquered Duskendale. There is no mention of other kingdoms in the Northern Crownlands area, nor of any royal houses. The Darklyns, alongside the Masseys, are the only royal house we know of in the Crownlands. The Darklyn kingdom is more akin to a failed state à la the Riverlands than a standard “small First Men kingdom nobody knows of today”. As for their fall, as far as I know there is no reference to the Andals having conquered Duskendale. The Maester tells Brienne the Darklyns were conquered by “larger kingdoms”, not Andal kingdoms.

    I suggested the star from a worldbuilding perspective, since it makes sense as the Darklyns have no established sigil other than the black and gold fusily. It’s only supposed to be eye candy that makes sense in-world and makes the build more unique and less generic.

    Duskendale was larger and wealthier than White Harbor up until the Conquest. Perhaps the Manderlys controlled more territory and had more manpower in the North, but the Darklyns were certainly richer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  14. I think the main problem here is that your tests don't fit the regional style - no matter its age and other circumstances, the build has to be recognizable as a *Crownlands* project. The materials and styles you provided don't fit that requirement. I'd look at some newer castles nearby, such as Rosby and Mallery, and the real-life castles they have been inspired by (iirc, Kenilworth and Trim castles).
    In a nutshell: while your ideas and plans are creative and interesting, they should still follow some unwritten stylistic rules that come with Duskendale's location.
    But that's just my opinion

    -Dragons
     
  15. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    I actually agree. I wrote about it in the Project Suggestion too iirc.

    In my defense, the Great Hall fundamentally follows the Red Keep style, and basalt was liberally used on next door Driftmark. As for the grey and granite parts of the rest of the castle, I based it not only on its age, but also nearby Hollard Castle, which is canonically grey and built in granite. Hollard Castle is the closest we get to a description of the building materials in the area. Given the geographical and historical proximity between Hollard and Duskendale/Darklyn, it stands to reason that the Dun Fort resembles more Winterfell than Rosby/Stokeworth in building materials, although not necessarily in style.

    However, I concede the point that the inspirational images I used in the Project belong more to the Stormlander style than the Crownlander one. Of course I’m not suggesting that my tests are literally taken into the game (since I’m not a good builder and an even worse planner), only providing them for inspiration for when the actual artists take to the field once Highgarden and Oldtown are done.
     
    WhereRmyDragons likes this.
  16. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    The red keep is a Targaryen style. And dun means brownish. Our red computing is meant (to me) to red sandstone. Driftmark (Valyrian also) is also probably a redo in the near future due to the released canon which drastically changes the islands layout and history. I am sorry if I seem argumentative lol but I get really into these discussions:D
     
  17. Rakdar

    Rakdar Nobuild

    Nah, it’s fine. It’s good to debate.

    Honestly, Duskendale was such a big trade hub that I would be extremely surprised if there was no exchange other than commercial with the Valyrians. Fernand Braudel showed us that there were such wider cultural and political exchanges all across the Mediterranean, and the Narrow Sea is basically Planetos’ Mediterranean when it comes to linking radically different cultures and political systems by sea in a single trade circuit. Ideas, standards, norms and even people tag along the flow of trade, and combos like these have great transformative potential. At Duskendale you might see much more Valyrian influence than you would at, say, Rosby and Stokeworth, which were in the periphery of the network while the former was one of its centers. Duskendale sits at such an interesting crossroad of cultures (Riverlands, Stormlands, Narrow Sea/Essos) that a lot can be done in its build, perhaps unlike any other. To treat it as just another feudal Westerosi build would be just such a waste IMO.

    Tl;dr if the Darklyns wanted to project power and splendor they might as well try to imitate the massive Valyrian Freehold sitting right next door. :D
     
  18. Enah

    Enah Mother Nature and Lord in Bandallon Maester

    That’s why the crownlands are unique in design :)
     
  19. AerioOndos

    AerioOndos Builder

    I think the Valyrian style is quite difficult to emulate for all other groups as fusing stone is almost unique to them. As such, the Dun Fort may have some late additions that are more Conquest era but will have practically nothing added since then of import. The base would be more similar to older castles and could, like Winterfell, have clear evidence of expansion. What era would be best inspiration for such a trade town? A mixture of Romanesque and Kenilworth-like structures?