Terra Project - Field of Fire

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
For some reason the Field of Fire has been a WIP placeholder terra splodge for the entire time I've been on the server, so it'd be nice to fix that.

Background
The Field of Fire was the site of a decisive battle during Aegon's Conquest. It saw Aegon and and his sisters smash the combined might of the Reach and the Westerlands with their three dragons, ending the ancient House Gardener, heirs of Highgarden and Kings of the Reach, their defeat providing a major source of swords for the Iron Throne.

Canon Description
King Mern IX Gardener and King Loren I Lannister marshalled over 55,000 men, including the Oakhearts, the Florents, the Rowans, the Peakes, and the Redwynes to march on Aegon's forces, on the plains south of the Blackwater, near the present Goldroad.

Aegon and his sisters took to the air on their dragons, Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar. The dragons began to set the dry field aflame on all sides, especially upwind of the Gardener and Lannister armies.

The battle, the only time in Aegon's Conquest in which all three Targaryen dragons took to the battlefield at the same time, become known afterward as the Field of Fire.

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Location
Here is the current plotted location of the Field, given the completed state of the other projects along the Blackwater it seems like the most appropriate place to keep it.
There is the question of whether or not a house would currently occupy the Field. I figure if we need the space to squeeze in another project they can just factor the completed Field into the project's plans. Better to have a completed area that's updated later than leaving a big area of placeholder sand indefinitely.
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Inspiration
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The Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has some delightful explanations of how vegetation and soil recover from fires.
"After very hot burns: the soil is virtually sterilised. All plant material and seed is destroyed and the fire burns into the top organic matter layer of the soil. Very hot burns occur under hay bales, windrows, on sheep camps, on soils with a thick root mat or where an intense fire emerges from bush areas onto pasture land. Almost all plant material will be dead so the area should be cropped or resown to pasture following the fire."

I think there's a reasonable chance that most of the area would've recovered in the 300 years since the battle. I do wonder if there's scope to leave some telltale traces of where the Targaryen's directly blasted the ground with dragon fire. Maybe it was hot enough to melt the earth and stone, fusing it together like Valyrian Roads?

Tests
I've tried out a few approaches that could be taken.

First I thought, maybe the field is crisscrossed with scorched melted stone.

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Then I thought, what if we try something cute and now streaks of fireweed and orange trollius grow along the path of dragon fire. (Dragon magic, change to the soil chemistry all that)
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Then I tried a combo of the two with more of the stone covered with gross.

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And then here's a regular field
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Give me a vibe check on these or if you have some other ideas for interesting features to add.
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A local entrepreneur digs up pieces of blackened stone to sell at the gift shop.
 

Nomorefun_

Playwright
Maybe be good to put any mark about battle in lands, for example after Battle of Grunwald in 1410, at grounds of battle was build chapel to honour 18 000 people who died in it. So any chapel for seven mostly for Stranger funded by Ageon after his coronation by Great Septon in Old Town, to mark his victory?
Also after 600 years of battle there you can found steel elements like parts of sword, or arrowhead in place of fight.
 

DutchGuard

Bloodmage
Ranger
With regards to who controls the land, I have currently included it as part of House Roxton's holdings, but only because the neighbouring houses were already quite large. I don't think it really matters in any case.

I also think the fields should extend into the northeast corner of these lands, replacing the existing vanilla forest. This area is described as "plains" meaning the field of fire itself might only be a small part of a larger plains area.
Total area in purple:

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It would be good to have an established plains region of the Reach, I worry that the current trend of filling up all the unused space around builds with forests is making the region more forested than it should be, though I'm no expert on the subject. For varieties sake it would be nice to see most of the north and north eastern Reach, between the Mander and Blackwater, as a plains area. Hopefully this terra project can set a good precedent.

Perhaps in future this canon plains area south of the Blackwater can be extended east and west along its southern bank.
 
I love the tests! and agree with Lemon and dutch, the combo one looks the best, and imo should be a bigger fields area where the battle happened in only a portion of them. Also the tests you showed had some blobs of grass, flowers and meadow fescue very regularly placed, maybe add some more noise to the commands you use to lessen the blob effect and make a softer more natural vegetation.
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CashBanks

Shadowbinder
Thanks everyone these are some great ideas.

I've reworked the stone/gravel mix a bit. Swapped in Reach pebbles for the gravel.
Still trying out flower mixes, but not hating this mix of fire weed/buttercups/orange sun stars/red asters.
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I tried out the volcanic stone and reckon it could work, but super restrained since it can look a bit bubbly.
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Dutch I agree that we shouldn't let forests become the space filler by default, so not against giving the Reach more plains in principle. I'm just trying to figure out if the forest to the north west you've suggested is vanilla or was added as part of Bushy(?). It doesn't look too bad (pic below), so not in a huge rush to clear it out.
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Rough plan of the fire streaks. The Targ forces were described as encamping in the north (having come from Stoney Sept), with the Gardener/Lannister forces in the south. The dragons then swooped in and breathed fire on all sides to trap them in, making them easy pickings for the Targ archers/spearmen.
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The books describe the field at the time of the battle as a "field of golden wheat". I'd be fine to extend the existing wheat fields in the east, though you could make the argument that the fire sterilised the soil for crops and the area was abandoned for farming, getting slowly reclaimed by nature in the centuries since.

Lastly a small sept would be a really cool idea NMF! Maybe Aegon had it built afterwards as a recompense to the Seven for the slaughter/pay respects to the Warrior. If this gets approved I'd totally open it up to expressions of interest in completing it as a mini.
 

Elduwin

Sorcerer
Hey CashBanks
Great app, and great to see this area completed!

As discussed in game,it might be worth to try to make the ditches a bit curved, not necessarily all along, but on some places. And it would uncover darken molten stone, while the surface would be more pebbles and dirt mix.
It would add some variation in the terrain, which would risk to be a bit flat otherwise.

The idea of a small sept/chapel is great as well. Somewhere on a small height, not necessarily in the center.

I also think this should be moved to immersion.
 

DutchGuard

Bloodmage
Ranger
Just a reminder that the Goldroad goes right through the indicated area. The battlefield likely predates the existience of the Goldroad as a major trade route, as KL had not been founded yet. There might be some interesting ways the development of the road might interact with the battle scarring. Having the sept along the road, with some kind of vantage point for tourists and the like to view the battlefield from, might be a reason why the road goes straight through the field.

I disagree with Eld on the flatness. Fields are generally flat, after all. It might even be a seasonal floodplain, which would make it very flat. Not a fan of introducing topographical variety for its own sake, there should be some reasoning behind it.
 

Elduwin

Sorcerer
Yeah, wasn't talking about variations of more than a slab or a block of height. Also, there's flatness in fields irl, which I completely agree on, and MC flatness, which tbh can gain from slight variations.

Gold road is a good point indeed, interesting to have it cross the FoF in the middle
 

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
Quick update, I've finished up smoothing out the gentle slopes of the field and just about finished plotting out the dragon blasts.
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Eld and I have discussed including the finishing up of the river that runs along the Gold Road from Hawthorne in the project. I'm fine to do this but think it will need a little bit of replotting first.
Current Gold Road/River
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I'm not a huge fan of the way the Gold Road currently crosses this river no less than five times. Given the heavy traffic on the road each one would probably need a bridge, and in that close proximity ithat seems a little excessive.

We've since discussed untangling the Gold Road and river a bit, cutting the number of gold road crossings from five to one.

This would mean Bushy would need about three extra smaller crossings for access to its various towns and hamlets from the Gold Road, but their lower traffic would mean more flexibility/room for creativity with the crossing solutions.
Proposed Re-Route
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It would also be nice to reroute the east end of the Gold Road through the forest a little bit to line up with how I've plotted it running through the field of fire.

Let me know if any thoughts, I'll make a start on the river when there's consensus on the best route.

I've also done some full scale tests of the block mix. Happy with the stone but not sure if the eastern islands pebbles are too contrasty.
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Anyhoo thanks for reading this far.
 

EStoop

Firemage
Is the shape of the new plotting of the river indicative or is it going to meander?

Is it really neccesary to have 4 side river crossings? Judging on the map it can easily be cut to 2 (at bushyhf1 and near that village without a warp) without having to chance anything in the infrastructure of the project.
 

DutchGuard

Bloodmage
Ranger
It would be wonderful if you could get around to sorting that little river out Cash! I should think most of the crossings could be fords, bearing in mind that the Kingsroad crosses the (much wider) Trident at the Ruby Ford. Couldn't we reduce the number of crossings just by running the River to the north of the Goldroad, as it sort of is already?

This arrangement would only need three crossings:

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From left to right:
1: A wide, short stone bridge with a level span crossing a narrow rivulet.

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2. This is the main route between Bushy Town) and the rest of the Reach north to Stoney Sept. Provided the river is shallow and calm enough there could be a ford, or a permanent crossing (likely wooden over a wider span) should it be terraformed less hospitably.

3. This connects only the Bushy town and that unnamed village to the north, should be a ford, and if it floods the "long route" must be used.
 
The easier way to get to Stoney Sept from Bushy/rest of the reach would be to head to Tumbler's Falls on the Blackwater and then go by river from there, wouldn't it?
Tumbler's Falls is already mentioned as a barge launching point suitable for thousands of men from the Reach side, why shouldn't it also be a trading hub?
 

DutchGuard

Bloodmage
Ranger
The easier way to get to Stoney Sept from Bushy/rest of the reach would be to head to Tumbler's Falls on the Blackwater and then go by river from there, wouldn't it?
Tumbler's Falls is already mentioned as a barge launching point suitable for thousands of men from the Reach side, why shouldn't it also be a trading hub?

For heavy freight I would say yes but for passenger travel and light goods I think the land route would be quicker (provided the road is in a good condition and the threat of bandits not too high). Bearing in mind distances on our map have shrunk down so the detour you suggested is on the magnitude of a few hundred miles in the wrong direction from Bushy to get to Tumbler's Falls, before heading to Stoney Sept by water (which would also incur additional transport costs).
 

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
Thanks for those suggestions guys.

I don't have a major preference, though your proposal Dutch, with the three Gold Road crossings would probably be the most straight forward to do. I guess also given your point about the squished distances maybe it's not too unreasonable to have the three crossings, be they some kind of bridge or fords (the river's very shallow in those parts anyway).

Lemme know if you've got a preference Elduwin and WhereRmyDragons.
 

CashBanks

Shadowbinder
The Field is now just about finished!
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Now that the layout is locked in I can turn my mind to the potential for adding a small septry/shrine to the field.

The more I looked into historical inspiration for this sort of thing (building churches on the sites of previous battles) the more it makes sense.

The Battle of Hastings saw the victory of the Norman-French army of William “the Conqueror”, over the defending English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England.

So Battle Abbey, commissioned by William upon the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, seems kind of perfect as inspiration, as it was established as a memorial to the dead of the battle and as atonement for the bloodshed of the Conquest.

“William and his supporters had imperilled the everlasting safety of their souls because of the violence of the conquest. Even by medieval standards the Battle of Hastings, and the subsequent suppression of English resistance, were exceptionally bloody. Founding an abbey was a way for William to atone for such terrible sins. Other victors had done so before him: Count Fulk Nerra of Anjou founded Loches Abbey after his victory over the Bretons at the Battle of Conquereuil in 992, and King Cnut established a memorial church on the site of the Battle of Assandun in 1016, where he had defeated Edmund II (Ironside) to take the English throne.

The fact that the battlefield was given over to the Church was also a major contributing factor to the reason the land remains preserved to this day. So if we want to still show visible signs of Aegon’s dragons, it makes sense that we still can because the fields were preserved and managed by the Church.
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Mini-App Proposal – Small Septry to the Warrior (maybe Father?).

I’m thinking the septry could go in this red circle on the north east end, where the Gold Road gets close to the river and where Aegon's forces would've encamped and where swords would've been shipped down the Blackwater. I’m open to suggestions though. The green circle is the top of the hill where Aegon’s forces made their stand. Battle Abbey was said to be built on the exact spot King Harold II was killed.
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The Church was given extensive lands around the Hastings battlefield itself to farm and reap, which gave it the wealth and resources to build a sizable abbey on the grounds. I'm thinking this septry should be kept fairly modest though. I don’t feel too compelled to try and replicate the lavishness of Battle Abbey, particularly since this is all speculation, and the lands around the Field of Fire are densely occupied already. But again, open to suggestions.

Feel free to post ideas here/talk with me in game about it if you're interested in applying.
 
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