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View Full Version : May/June 2014 Lite Challenge: The Toll Keeper's Hold



jtougas
05-29-2014, 10:04 PM
Garak was sure that he smelled meat cooking. He lifted his rather large nose into the air and took a deep sniff. Definitely meat and definitely close. Where had Bellig and the others found meat? There hadn't been a boat through the Toll in weeks and there was hardly foot traffic these days. He was tired of eating the tough tubers that grew wild near the river. He lifted his nose once again and began to follow the smell. Horse or Deer or Human, meat was meat and Garak intended to have his share......

Map making.... I THINK I remember how to do this.... ;) This challenge seemed a perfect way to once again kindle the creative fire inside me and make me remember how much fun this all is. From the above story blurb you can gather that a band of Orcs have made their home in an old fort that once guarded the entrance of a river. Garak the "Toll Keeper" has managed to live fairly well from extracting a tithe from each ship that attempted to navigate "his" river to reach a large city several hundred miles downriver. Things lately have been not quite so good however.....

This image represents the basic outline of what I am hoping to accomplish. All the colors and text and lines are just placeholders as I find it easier to create a "notes" layer to just doodle on until I get everything just so. I'm thinking I will do this in a texture "heavy" style as that is what I enjoy. We will see how Garak (and I) fare..... :)

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Domino44
05-29-2014, 10:59 PM
I like your concept a lot! I really liked your little story blurb and good luck!

jtougas
05-30-2014, 08:24 PM
The meat had been goat. Garak had been slightly disappointed that it hadn't been human or even better elf. Garak loved elf, sweet and tangy and not at all stringy. He contented himself with the fact that goat was far better than river tuber as he sucked out the last bit of marrow from a leg bone before tossing it into the river. HIS river. The stupid humans from the city had tried to take it from him before. The sheer cliffs and narrow pass of the river here made it very hard to attack and very easy to defend. The had realized that it was better to pay Garak's "toll" and leave with most of their cargo and their lives intact. None of them wanted to end up on the spit. Times may be a bit lean now Garak thought, but they would improve, they always did. He looked longingly at the pile of goat carcass and wished for an elf just one, even a little one would do....


I like your concept a lot! I really liked your little story blurb and good luck!

Thanks :) As you could probably tell the story is always the focal point for me. Get an idea, create a bit of story and then map that story. I'm glad you enjoy it. :)

Started working on texturing. As usual there are lots of layers and lots of adjustment passes. I'm actually kind of surprised I remember how to do this... ;) After I get the overall look to where I want it I will begin the buildings and details.

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Francissimo
05-30-2014, 08:29 PM
nice work with water texture!

jtougas
05-30-2014, 11:19 PM
Garak walked around the perimeter of the old fort wall picking bits of goat from his teeth. The wall was much like him, craggy, worn and old. He had lived much longer than most Orcs mostly due to luck and more cunning and guile than his species usually displayed. Yes he was much like this old wall. It's attackers had thrown everything at it and although it may have chipped it had never broken, just like Garak.....


nice work with water texture!

Thanks. I always have a bit of trouble with water as I like it really textured. I'm starting to wonder if this is a little too bright?

Last update for tonight. I started work on the walls and "motte" for the massive barricade that stretches across the river. The motte is constructed of piled earth that has compacted over time giving it a rough and worn look.

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jtougas
05-31-2014, 04:30 PM
The humans had built this hold very quickly. They had constructed it for defense from an enemy that never attacked. The city downriver had grown so powerful that it's enemies quickly learned that it was better to be their allies. The river was the one quick and relatively safe passage for goods and people to reach the great city The overland route was long and the one narrow road wound it's way around formidable mountains and equally as challenging rocky terrain. With the safety of the river assured, the humans used it almost exclusively and abandoned their river hold. Garak was more than happy to take it for his own. When he and his band had arrived the quick and shoddy construction was evident. The walls had merely been large rocks piled on top of each other, the towers were slightly better built but not by much. Garak and his followers had spent months reinforcing the humans haphazard work. The hold was strong and secure now. Secure to the point that the humans had not been able to take it back. Garak looked across the narrow entrance to the river, the one thing the humans had got right was the location, it was perfect and it was his.....

A little update. The other half of the hold is now complete and I am now going to start work on the barricade which I have changed my approach a little. I'm thinking of a massive chain that can be raised and lowered...

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Domino44
05-31-2014, 10:59 PM
I like the texture and the dark water. Your story is interesting and fun to read, it makes the map come alive.

jtougas
06-01-2014, 03:44 PM
I like the texture and the dark water. Your story is interesting and fun to read, it makes the map come alive.

Thanks :)

Well as so often happens I've spent some time looking at this and I just didn't like it. The overall look was okay but the hold was a mess. The walls were oddly shaped and the towers were just plain junk. I went back and reworked some of the textures to add a bit more "cragginess" and I think I've settled on the water. You may recognize the wall segments, they were originally created by JackTannery for his epic castle project. I modified them only by adjusting the color and adding a slight texture along with a bit of bump to "age" them. The towers are JackTannery modified versions of Kergon's originals. I have used these pieces several times in the past and they are terrific. The towers recived the same basic modifications as the wall segments. So far I like this better, I will of course be building the holds counterpart on the other side of the river and I am still thinking about what kind of barricade I want.

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jtougas
06-02-2014, 12:37 AM
There are days when I wonder why I even get out of bed.... ;) This idea started out so well developed in my head and then quickly turned into a steaming pile of..... I went over this AGAIN and came up with this. To be honest I don't even like this very much as it's too.... I don't know BIG I guess. Well I still have plenty of time to figure it out....


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jtougas
06-03-2014, 11:13 PM
Garak looked around the old tower and the massive chain that was it's centerpiece. He had often wondered how the puny humans had managed to turn the giant winch to raise the huge chain to block the entrance to the river. He had finally decided that they had never actually moved it. it had been rusted nearly solid when he and his band had arrived. It had taken several days of rubbing with goat fat to loosen the enormous links to where they would move. He had drilled his band on raising and lowering the chain quickly. He grudgingly gave credit to the humans who had designed this barricade, they had known that the river was deep but narrow in this spot and the current was strong enough that once ships entered they could not easily back out. The first few ships they had plundered had been taken completely by surprise. They could not turn around, nor back out, nor could they could go forward for fear of having their masts ripped off by the unyielding chain. It was the perfect trap......

NOW were getting somewhere... This is more what I had in mind. Simple towers and a simple barricade. Now come all the little details that (for me) make the story come alive. :)

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jtougas
06-04-2014, 03:26 AM
Well I think this is "completed" I finally got it close to the idea that I originally envisioned. I finished it off with some of Greytales (http://www.greytale.com/wp/) EXCELLENT map objects. This was a fun project and a fun return to mapping after another long absence. As always feedback is more than welcome. :)

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Domino44
06-04-2014, 09:44 AM
Very nice! I love how the water looks!

jtougas
06-04-2014, 12:51 PM
Very nice! I love how the water looks!

Thanks very much :)

Meshon
06-12-2014, 02:52 PM
This looks perfect. I also really like the bits and pieces of story that you added throughout the process, the story grew with the map. Also... you're a keener! Done 10 days early? ;)

Edit: Also, I meant to ask, what is that net-looking thing for? A sort of collapsible bridge? I have to admit I'm liking my vision of orcs doing a tightrope walk along the chain to get from side to side. Or just to show off.

cheers,
Meshon

jtougas
06-12-2014, 09:59 PM
This looks perfect. I also really like the bits and pieces of story that you added throughout the process, the story grew with the map. Also... you're a keener! Done 10 days early? ;)

Edit: Also, I meant to ask, what is that net-looking thing for? A sort of collapsible bridge? I have to admit I'm liking my vision of orcs doing a tightrope walk along the chain to get from side to side. Or just to show off.

cheers,
Meshon

Thanks for the kind words :) The nets are simply a way for the Orcs to 'offload" their spoils from the ships. They are usually rolled up on the riverbank and can be quickly unrolled to provide an easier way to bring things to the towers. I like the idea of tightroping Orcs though.... :)