In Progress Summerhall - Cash

Veggie

The Old Bear
Happy for something as iconic as Summerhall to be one of my first approvals. I love that you've taken the time to demonstrate different levels of fire damage.

I assume that the fire began in the great hall, so it'd be good to see evidence of the fire eminating from that as it's source!
 
How does your nature revamp affect me at Harvest Hall?
It would be great to work with you to bring the whole Marches area more in line with canon.

This is the line that I figure should largely inform our canon view of what the Marches should look like:
To the west the hills rise hard and wild, pushing against the sky until they give way to the Red Mountains, the border between the Stormlands and Dorne. Deep dry valleys and great sandstone cliffs dominate the landscape here, and it is true that sometimes at sunset the peaks gleam scarlet and crimson against the clouds...yet there are those who say these mountains were named not for the color of their stone but for all the blood that has soaked into the ground.

Farther inland, beyond the foothills, lie the marches—a vast expanse of grasslands, moors, and windswept plains stretching westward and northward for hundreds of leagues. There in the sight of the Red Mountains, the great castles of the Marcher lords stand, built to guard the borders of the stormlands against Dornish incursions from the south and the steel-clad minions of the Kings of the Reach from the west. The greatest of the Marcher lords are the Swanns of Stonehelm, the Dondarrions of Blackhaven, the Selmys of Harvest Hall, and the Carons of Nightsong, whose Singing Towers marked the westernmost extent of the realm of the Storm Kings. All these remain sworn to Storm's End to this day, as they have been from time immemorial.
Here's my a better map of what I could reasonably guess to be Marches territory:
1225


As Ser Barristan said himself, Harvest Hall is in the in Marches, but I could imagine it as in the transition zone between the fertile Reach and the more dry/windswept plains of the Marches. The fact that the Selmy's use stalks of wheat for their sigil lends to the idea that their lands have wide stretches of wheat fields.

Issue with our current Marches is so so much of it looks like this:

1226

Our red mountains are littered with these assorted pine/birch forests, which I assume were based more on the generic Stormlands worldpainter terrain, rather than having their own specific design based on the area's actual canon.

1227

All these spruce forests don't exactly speak to the "vast expanse of grasslands, moors, and windswept plains" described in AWOIAF.

So at the least, I'd like to clear our these spruce forests, but what I'd REALLY like to do is swap the whole area's biome to the Mushroom Island desert biome. This biome switch instantly changes the feel of the grass and colours from the lush/wet Stormlands to the dryer tones you might expect to see from the Dornish Marches.

Some examples of how the current terrain would look if swapped to the desert biome

Gallowsgrey Castle

And this is my test terra area

Otherwise I think the mountains could be a little steeper and interesting, but wouldn't expect to change too much. I think the Stormlands terrain block is a little dark/brown but might be a little radical to change it now.
 
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Hey cash, I'm still concerned about the town you have being done here. It doesn't seem to be within the scope, size or style you applied with, and is much larger than it probably would be. The royal court wouldn't be here long enough for 2-3 story buildings to be built and occupied and thrive. It would make more sense for it to be low and sprawling, much closer to how you have in the app. I'm also still very interested in how and why you have the town partly flooding and why they would build a town where a river once flowed, the ground would be swampy and low and constantly too damp to build a proper foundation on.
 
Always happy to indulge your curiosity Enah;
Town size
  • I’ve already asked Veggie/Codd for feedback on the size of the town/number of plots and I’ll make any changes they suggest when they get a chance to review.
  • In any case I think there’s plenty of room for creative interpretation on the size of the town, given that the books suggest that people always gravitate to wherever the royal court sits.
  • E.g. King’s Landing was an empty hill when Aegon arrived, but within 10 years of him building the Aegonfort, it was already a “true city” and within 25 years it was the third biggest in Westeros.
  • We know that various princes lived there full time, and Kings as well for sometimes more than a year at a time, so I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable that the town would grow to take advantage of those coming to the royal court for one reason or another and providing them the necessary services (which would be hard to find elsewhere since the Stormlands doesn’t have any major trading towns).
  • The town of Windsor is almost certainly a reasonable example to draw on (though since Windsor was the monarchs full time residence I wouldn’t go as far as to make it a 1:1 comparison).
  • Plus I want the town to include all the other utilities needed to service the castle, as well as residences for servants and other officials.
  • The professions I planned to plot (largely immaterial since the buildings are going to be ruins anyway) are: Baker, Butcher, Carpenter, Cake, Wine merchant, Mens/Womens Tailors, Jeweller, 3 x Inns, Cooper, Fabric importer, Blacksmith, Chandler, Scribe, Silver smith, Inn, Grocer, Alchemist, Doctor, Cartwright, Glass seller, Wood crafter, Armoror, Bookbinder, Mason, Saddler and Money Lender.
  • The current number of professionals/residences is about 49, which compared to other castletowns, e.g. the 40 at starfall, 60+ at hawthornetown ~30 at Silverhill, ~40 at Bushytown, ~48 at Tarbeck Hall, ~30 at Banetown and ~40 at Appleton isn’t really that extreme given that it's attached to a royal castle.
Water
  • I think the water is cool and dynamic and it shouldn’t be hard to add whatever terraforming features necessary to make it reasonably plausible.
  • My thinking is that the palace designers diverted an existing stream to create an artificial decorative lake and gravity fed fountain for the town, but when the palace was abandoned the lake started to move and eventually started overflowing and the fountain crumbled leading to the town getting slightly flooded.
  • We’re trying to make a map that could be used for an RPG one day, I think things like this fit the themes of Targaryen strength and beauty slowly crumbling and their decisions for short term benefit and hubris coming back to haunt them.
  • It'll add to the spookiness.
 
  • In any case I think there’s plenty of room for creative interpretation on the size of the town, given that the books suggest that people always gravitate to wherever the royal court sits.
  • E.g. King’s Landing was an empty hill when Aegon arrived, but within 10 years of him building the Aegonfort, it was already a “true city” and within 25 years it was the third biggest in Westeros.
  • We know that various princes lived there full time, and Kings as well for sometimes more than a year at a time, so I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable that the town would grow to take advantage of those coming to the royal court for one reason or another and providing them the necessary services (which would be hard to find elsewhere since the Stormlands doesn’t have any major trading towns).
  • The town of Windsor is almost certainly a reasonable example to draw on (though since Windsor was the monarchs full time residence I wouldn’t go as far as to make it a 1:1 comparison).
  • Plus I want the town to include all the other utilities needed to service the castle, as well as residences for servants and other officials.
  • The professions I planned to plot (largely immaterial since the buildings are going to be ruins anyway) are: Baker, Butcher, Carpenter, Cake, Wine merchant, Mens/Womens Tailors, Jeweller, 3 x Inns, Cooper, Fabric importer, Blacksmith, Chandler, Scribe, Silver smith, Inn, Grocer, Alchemist, Doctor, Cartwright, Glass seller, Wood crafter, Armoror, Bookbinder, Mason, Saddler and Money Lender.
  • The current number of professionals/residences is about 49, which compared to other castletowns, e.g. the 40 at starfall, 60+ at hawthornetown ~30 at Silverhill, ~40 at Bushytown, ~48 at Tarbeck Hall, ~30 at Banetown and ~40 at Appleton isn’t really that extreme given that it's attached to a royal castle.
Arguably the Targaryens visited and resided at Summerhall to escape from the busy city that is Kingslanding, and to enjoy activities such as hunting and whatnot. Surely the Targaryens would limit the growth of the castle town to ensure they do not end up with yet another castle situated in the middle of a city. The Stormlands does have at least one thriving town, Weeping Town, and probably has numerous smaller towns throughout the region.

Kingslanding is noted to have been build by Aegon, rather than magically appearing below his castle walls. This means some proper effort has been put in for the city to develop, although it is noted that the small fishing village that would one day grow to become Kingslanding developed into a town by the time Aegon finished his conquest. Why would Summerhall be one of the few places in the Stormlands to develop into a large town (given the professions), rather than places like Storm's End (which was a royal seat for centuries), Bronzegate, Blackhaven, Parchments, Amberly, Stonehelm, Gallowsgrey etc..

Would a royal court purchase locally crafted jewelry, candles, books, silver, potions, carts, glass, carved wood, armor or saddles? I think they would purchase those from all over the kingdom, in order to get the best quality. What need would the town have for a money lender? Why are there so many inns? Would the town be large enough in order to have highly specialized professions such as wood carver or fabric importer? What prevents the tailor, or any craftsman, to import his own materials or to provide multiple services? Can a simple wood worker not repair a cart? Wouldn't castle specific professionals reside at the castle itself?
  • I think the water is cool and dynamic and it shouldn’t be hard to add whatever terraforming features necessary to make it reasonably plausible.
  • My thinking is that the palace designers diverted an existing stream to create an artificial decorative lake and gravity fed fountain for the town, but when the palace was abandoned the lake started to move and eventually started overflowing and the fountain crumbled leading to the town getting slightly flooded.
  • We’re trying to make a map that could be used for an RPG one day, I think things like this fit the themes of Targaryen strength and beauty slowly crumbling and their decisions for short term benefit and hubris coming back to haunt them.
  • It'll add to the spookiness.
As far as I know, the castle burned down due to an unknown accident. The town would have a major economic hit as a result, but would otherwise be perfectly able to maintain the surroundings, including the watercourse. I think it would be more fitting to show that the people can manage perfectly well without the Targaryens rather than showing the people become hopelessly lost without them.

Why would the town need to be spooky? Isn't an abandoned burned castle spooky enough?
 
Update
I've spoken with Veggie and Codd and both have approved the current plotting of the town and given the greenlight to start work on the ruined houses. The flooding has been scaled back a bit and I'll make sure to add the necessary mud/pebbles/greenery/biome change to make sure it doesn't contrast too starkly. I've also reduced the number of houses and the houses that aren't on the main street will be smaller/one story with professional work areas moved to the yard rather than building second stories. .

I'll aim to open up plots for builders interested in helping out this week. I want to use this as a chance to explore creative ways of showing ruins/decay/destruction with our block set, and use that to inform the ruins of Summerhall itself, so would love people to get involved and try out new ideas. I'll just ask builders to only work on one plot at time until I've approved the work they've done.

I've also tested out some ideas for moorland style terra with the new blocks added in the latest texture update, I might make a separate thread to coordinate the terra work of the Marches with other builds in the area.
 
Simbas Feedback:
Town:

-while I am not a fan of the town, especially since its ruined by greatest concern is frankly what happened to the water prior to the town being flooded? where did it flow? my concern still applies, as you have quite a large water source flowing into the pond and then ending in the middle of nowhere in the town. Wouldnt it be able to form a bed? to drain into a larger body of water and eventually into the ocean? And how was the stream looking before their was any human settlment? surely it had to flow somewhere?

-why would they abandon the entire town when only half of it got flooded, the other part being atleast a meter above the flood level?
- wouldnt a town of this size require some sort of agricultural base to support it? and even with it being abandoned for the last 40ish years, there would still be signs of fields, meadows, etc... I highly doubt that all of the people living in it would be able to afford to import the food, especially due to its backwater location.
- some of the houses still have valuable items left inside, that would most likely be taken by the townsfolk during the abandonment -> knives, cloth, gold (especially the flooded cellar with coins, silver/tin in it) glass cabinets etc...

Summerhall:
- are you sure that creeping plants would be able to grow in the biome (moorland)?
- shouldnt the terrace/retaining wall be less damaged? It wasnt in the center of the fire and its largely made of stone, and it should be a rather sturdy structure against weathering, yet 40ish years later its largely crumbling without any reason really...
- you should work on the groundcover abit, the random dirt/gravel/fallen leaves patches are random, and do not look good, nor make any sense to me.

Thats my opinion here.
 
Is the terra still somewhat WIP? I know I've been making suggestions on how the server could more closely follow canon in regards to the region, but the northern marches are a bit confusing. Summerhall is also nearby the northernmost branch of the Red Mountains and the Slayne valley .
There is some conflicting canon also.
The marches are described being made up of grasslands, plain and moor and yet the Red Mountains pass through them south of Summerhall (based on maps).

A solution that also helps with the idea of Summerhall being a place where courtly pursuits such as hunting can be conducted, is to make the terrain have some higher plateau-y moorland tops with forested bottoms. Similar to the area near castle starpike. but with less extremity.
The below right hand side is what I mean. Forest, that could have been cultivated for hunting (maybe there are older sections in neat rows) with moorland above it

Stormlands.jpg
 
Yep I cleaned out all the ground/grass mix in anticipation of a grander plan for the Marches region. I’d definitely be open to some kind of kingswood hunting forest if it makes sense with the plan that’s decided on.

Summerhall area could perhaps be a transition zone between the wetter green Stormlands and the drier windswept plains of the Marches as they continue west.
 
Oooh! If you take Aeks' suggestion please do a ruined royal hunting stand.There were several built across Tudor England so that fat Henry VIII could use them for hunting parties.
The idea was that a steward herded deer out of the forest to run past the stand and provide easy targets for the king to fire at with a bow and arrow.
1595522142586.png
This is a speculative sketch of what Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge in Epping might have looked like originally.
Here it is today in it's altered state (it was enclosed and glazed during Queen Elizabeth's reign, hence the name).
1595522368739.png
 
Summerhall area could perhaps be a transition zone between the wetter green Stormlands and the drier windswept plains of the Marches as they continue west.
Yeah that's how I have been thinking about it. Wetter Marches = NE.
The soil is not as fruitful as Harvest Hall but trees could form wooded dells.

Also I agree with Simbaa's point about the stream, it is weird that it doesn't really have a drainage point. but I blame that on Trant lands and Worldpainter terrain.
 
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Yeah with the stream, my thinking was that since they had a luxury of choice as to where they'd build it, they'd chose somewhere with a convenient source of water (which might be less common in the Marches). I added the small dam to show how they wanted additional water reservoirs, and it allowed them to dry up the marsh land which the town was built on (the soil would be more nutrient rich for growing crops compared to the surrounding moorlands as well). When the town was abandoned the dam decayed, allowing the water to slowly resume. The width of the stream could be slimmed a bit if that would alleviate concerns about drainage.
 
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