View Full Version : September/October 2013 Challenge: Palace of the Marsh King

09-27-2013, 06:52 PM
I guess now that I am registered I should go ahead and jump into one of these challenges!

My entry will be a survey of the ruins of the fifth Wonder of the World, the Palace of the Marsh King. Located in a saltwater lagoon/swamp the Palace was once home to Derium 'the Swamp Snake', pirate and self-proclaimed King of the Marshes. The ever-changing sandy islands of the marsh did not encourage permanent construction, and for many centuries its few inhabitants migrated with the fluctuating isles. Until a successful Derium appeared. The locals tell the story of his Palace appearing overnight, but that mystery was solved with the discovery of nearby mainland quarries of a similar green veined marble stone to the Palace. However there is still no explanation for how the building could have been so rapidly erected without the locals' knowledge.

After Derium appeared atop his grand Palace a new city emerged from the shifting isles, Mora. Slowly Derium encouraged the taming of the small spits of land and brought in more wood and stone to fortify the handholds of humanity. Mora grew for eighteen years encouraged by and under the protection of Derium. The summer of the eighteenth year Derium did not appear for the annual celebration of his 'founding' of the city. When the locals investigated they found only half a palace, and no signs of anyone living in what was left.

Almost as big a mystery as the missing Derium was the missing section of the palace. No sign of the whole third floor or the 'sun' wing were evident. The stone had apparently vanished. The palace was left vacant and Mora was almost abandoned after the Disappearance, but it eventually regrew to a small but influential independent city. The next 300 years saw many attempts to locate the missing stones, but nothing but muck was dredged from nearby waters, and no construction in Mora contains any of the particular green-veined marble of the palace. Some speculate that Derium used the stone to build a vault to store his treasures left from his piratical days, others contend that since it appeared through magic it was destined to eventually disappear completely through the same means. Today, no-one knows exactly what happened to the stone of the Palace of the Marsh King.


I kind of confused myself with the floor plan I was making, originally it was going to be the first floor, but I have some elements I wanted on the second floor in there now as well, so I need to sort that out. Room names are currently for my reference, I will probably only label the main rooms in the final version. In addition to the two floor plans I am hoping to add a sketch of the elevation (from 300 yrs ago when it was still whole), a legend, a map of the island/lagoon and some text on the side describing the mystery. I typically only develop maps for myself, so I will be trying to learn about good methods/styles for finishing the map. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and border/font suggestions would be even more greatly appreciated. Time (and ability) will probably temper my ambitions, but we will see how far I can go!

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09-28-2013, 12:10 AM
That looks like it's going to be pretty cool.

Welcome to the Guild!

09-29-2013, 08:23 AM
Nice start, interesting story, I am looking forward seeing more of this ...

09-29-2013, 05:37 PM
Some progress has been made on the floor plans. Below should be a start on a couple quick mock-ups of different looks and another image showing the latest plans. Still have not committed to a look/layout (which I should probably do soon).

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58037 58038 58039

10-06-2013, 09:26 PM
I prefer the first mock-up. Very nice floor pland BTW!


10-07-2013, 12:38 AM
Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Unfortunately I did not have a lot of time to spend on this during the week, but I put in a little time today.

I first tried adding color, but somehow I ended up with a piece of modern art...:o

So I went back to black and white for now. The lagoon is still in progress (as well as the text), if I continue with the solid lines for water I will probably add dashed lines to show marshy/swampy areas.

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10-07-2013, 12:50 AM
It's looking good. I like your last version but the others where great too.

10-14-2013, 02:15 AM
A little more progess, and I'm not entirely happy with all of it. I was going for a messy/sketchy/drafty look but the messiness may have gotten away from me. There is finally an elevation, but still needs another level of detail. Hopefully more to show soon!

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10-15-2013, 04:24 AM
OK, I guess I am out of time. I am not sure what the exact cut-off is for the contest but it is unlikely I will have extra time in the next few days.

The elevation could use some sketchy construction lines to help it blend with the rest (I will pretend our scribe finally figured out how to use an eraser), I'm not too happy with the splotchyness of the land, and there are a couple spaces that could be better utilized.

The lagoon is based loosely on Venice, and I find it growing on me a bit. Maybe I see potential for an interesting city map in Mora, dunno.

If I had to draw this again I would probably pick a less messy style and try to show the parts of the palace resting in the shallows. I'm probably not good enough to do that in a month though. :P

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10-15-2013, 02:14 PM
I'm going to be closing out the contest tonight, probably around 9PM Pacific time.