Wolves Fall Castle
The "Wolves Fall Line" is a series of six forts or "castles" along the Kingdom of Shendenflar's Eastern border. They are named for their proximity to the lands of the Wolf Nomads. Built originally in CY500 to provide a platform to repel raiding parties from the Wolf Nomads, they suited a better purpose during the "Greyhawk Wars" as they provided a base of operations and a staging area for armies traveling east into the Nomad lands. The forts were extensively rebuilt and renovated during the war years making them stronger and larger. They are no beautiful graceful things. They are squat and solid and look the part they were built to play. Each castle is led by a General who commands a force of infantry and cavalry. No exact numbers are ever published but educated guesses place the numbers of troops at each fort to be around two hundred fifty. The majority of the forces are believed to be cavalry as they are tasked with patrolling the border of the kingdom and the Wolf Nomad lands. These castles are taciturn and dour. filled with men who have seen the horrors of the wars and have no wish to see these horrors visited upon Shendenflar. The citizens of the kingdom should sleep better in their beds at night knowing these brave men are there....."
Excerpt from "The Wolves Fall Line: A study" by: Gerro Milet Professor of Military History University of Riverhewn
It is a wonderful coincidence that Jacktannery is also creating a castle. This is another part of "The Darkness Falls: The Fall of the Kingdom of Shendenflar" project. The "Wolves Fall Line" (or Wolf's Fall Line as it is known in the kingdom) will be the first part of Shendenflar to fall to the "Black Wave" of Orcish Warbands. I have begun with the basic layout and the walls. I am using a different wall texture and I'm not 100% certain that I like it. I have also begun the layout for the towers. This will be a functional garrison and not at all pretty. (which should make it a bit easier for me) This particular map will feature the ground level of the castle and following maps will show the upper floors.
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The dark brown stone was quarried from a large pit 10 miles away from the construction site. One thing the Kingdom of Shendenflar had in abundance was good stone. Chief architect Maran Lolln had discovered that one could scarcely put a spade into the ground without hitting it. He briefly wondered how the kingdom had developed such good farmland with all the stone. His thoughts quickly turned back to the design of the Wolf's Fall Line castles. They weren't built for beauty. The king had ordered that they be strong and functional. A good plan too as they sat only a mile from the border of the Wolf Nomad lands. There had been raids across the border for centuries and with the expansion of the kingdom it was decided that it was time to fortify the Eastern border. The castles were square in shape with four towers. A large barbican guarded the entrance with two more towers. The walls reached 30 feet into the sky and were 10 feet thick all made with the solid Shendenflarian rock. Lolln had watched the castle rise from nothing to where it stood now 4 year later. The winters in the kingdom were not conducive to construction and the first snows had already begun to fall. It would be another long 5 months before he would return.....
As I often do I have started this over again. Mostly thanks to Jacktannery's awesome castle project. This is where I am with this now. The towers are re-colored versions of Jacktannery's re-worked versions of Kergon's awesome tower roofs. The walls are my take on Jacktannery's incredible castle wall sections that he so graciously shared. I step on the shoulders of giants with this one. I have always envisioned the rock in Shendenflar to be dark (I'm not sure where that came from but it's always been that way since the kingdom was in it's infancy) I think it's time to update my ground textures. Although I like this one I use it a LOT. Shendenflar is mostly what would be considered "flat" with no mountains or large changes in elevation. Because of this it is either covered in forest or tough hardy grasses. I see this map as being the "overall view" of the castle and I will do individual internal maps of the various buildings. I want to thank Jacktannery for all the inspiration to do this project. I only hope I can do half as good as him :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
Lord General Kerig Mallan stood atop the battlements of the castle and looked out across the border of the kingdom. He was glad for the fur cloak he had put on before coming up here. The first snows were falling early and it promised to be a long cold winter. Wolf's Fall Castle was the first of the six fortifications known as the "Wolf's Fall Line" to be finished. He had read the Chief architect's report written all those years ago. It had taken nearly 5 years to finish this castle due to the construction and the long Shendenflarian winters. Mallan knew that the area around the castle was once lush with trees. The first spring of the castle's construction was spent clearing the trees and turning the logs into lumber that was used for building the barracks and stables and the other buildings in the castle. almost 90 years had passed and there wasn't even a stump to mark the location of any tree. Mallan was grateful for the architect's careful attention to details. The walls were sturdy Shendenflarian stone and the design made for a strong and easy to defend structure. Mallan had held his post here for 10 years and the castle had never been attacked. The Wolf Nomads on the other side of the border doubtlessly knew that any such attack would be futile. Mallan drew his cloak around him tighter and headed back to the warmth of his modest apartments atop the barracks. Outside the wind and snow began to howl....
I worked a little on the ground layers of this tonight. I added a road and a couple of small hills on either side of the castle. I was going to add trees and tree stumps but realized that 1. trees around a fort wouldn't be realistic as it would hinder line of sight and 2. that all the trees in the area would have been felled for construction. No stumps because this map depicts the castle almost 90 years after it's construction and all the stumps would have rotted away. Next up buildings.... As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)
Looks great. I think its really great that we are both working on castles at the same time; and did you see that Bogie (in his elements thread) is making some castle related objects. Thanks for being so nice about my tower and wall segment!
Trees are a funny thing. While any fortification worth a darn would cut back the forest outside the wall at least to projectile range (to give your archers a good shot at approaching bad guys), there might be trees either left inside the wall or planted asap after it was built. Animals waiting near a stable will be in better shape if they can take shelter from the sun in the shade of a tree. The blacksmith needs to set his forge in a stone building with a roof to protect his tools from the weather, but he will do his hammering under an open shed or beneath the branches of a tree.
Some trees are grown and protected as part of the defense industry - wood for arrow shafts, wood for bows, wood for axe handles - all needing certain characteristics and potential candidates for inside a castle wall.
Or of course, your castle might have no trees.
I just wanted to point out that 'trees' or 'no trees' is completely YOUR choice - history and logic support either choice.
The supplying of the Wolf's Fall Line castles was initially a problem. The design of the castles had called for large amounts of timber to be felled and milled into lumber for construction. This was the easiest part of the equation. Food and other raw materials needed to be transported from other parts of the kingdom. There were no farms along the Eastern Border. Raw metals that could be forged into tools and other items were also transported and often caused construction delays as blacksmiths waited for metal to forge. There was also the problem of water. There were over 500 workers employed in the building of the castles and deep wells had to be laboriously dug to supply water for men and animals. All these problems did not keep these brave men from toiling mightily during the damp springs and hot summers.....
Thanks. As I said they are just a re-work of Jacktannery's original incredible design.
Originally Posted by Bogie
This is very true. The generals in Shendenflar tend to be very practical and trees around the perimeter (in their minds) are just asking for trouble. With the limited amount of area that I am showing outside of the castle proper I think I can get away with no trees. Thanks for all the great ideas.
Originally Posted by atpollard
I have to say that even though I knew that I was going to have to do a castle (or 6 )at some point it was really your project that got me motivated. It wouldn't be where it is without all your great work. I noticed that Bogie was going into the "castle decoration" business which is great. :)
Originally Posted by Jacktannery
Here is today's update. I realized that (again for a defensive standpoint) that hills on either side of the castle would not be good. So I removed them and placed the castle on a bit of a hill. I am really getting stumped with the buildings. It's the layout that I'm wrestling with at the moment. There has to be a HUGE stable (for at least 100 horses) and a large barracks and all the other support buildings that a fortification like this would require. Oh well that's all part of the fun.... :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :) *EDIT* the buildings that are there now are just placeholders while I work on the layout.
This is looking really nice, can't wait to see it all populated.
Chief architect Maran Lolln wished once again that he had been allowed to build this castle bigger. He had argued with the king at some length about the design and the need for more room inside the walls. He of course had lost that argument and some measure of face with the king as well. There were so many things that needed to be built inside the walls of the castle. A huge stables complex capable of boarding and supporting a hundred horses. A barracks that could house at least that many men plus support staff such as cooks and healers and stable hands. There would be need for a blacksmith to forge horseshoes and swords and any of a hundred other metal items the castle would need. There would need to be a armory where weapons and armor could be stored and repaired. A Bowery was needed to supply the archers with arrows and repair bows. There would need to be kitchens to feed all of the castle's inhabitants. So many things so little space. Once again Lolln wished he had not been so eager for this assignment.....
Thanks. Me too !! :)
Originally Posted by anomiecoalition
Today's update: The layout for all of this is giving me a headache but I think I'm getting it now. I've added the stables and blacksmith and barracks buildings with more to come. I also changed my grass texture a bit although I'm not 100% sure about it yet. The labels are only for illustrative purposes so people can see what building is what. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
really like it. But to me, it sort of looks like the keep sits in a valley rather than on a hill...maybe you could try switching the dark and light grass background to make the "hill" part lighter and the other part darker? (Not sure if this will make it look better or worse, but be interesting to see.)