Just one more building today..I'm hoping at least one-a-day might yield a result worthy of Torq's lands. Anyway, if I don't finish it for the comp, I'll make sure it's complete for the world.
::: Edit ::: oh wow, I like the new thumbnail program! It supports transparency on the thumbnail!
I pulled this from the web once because it seemed a really authentic point of view. It might be useful...? I did not write it.
Real Life Monasteries
I was educated at a Catholic HS run by Cistercian monks, and even stayed in one of their monasteries in Rome while on vacation.
Things to consider, in no particular order:
1) The food was simple, but fresh and plentiful. Most was either straight from the surrounding farms that morning or raised/farmed/made by the monks themselves. Agriculturally, the Cistercians in particular are reknown for beers, wines, liquors, and cheeses. A jolly, rosy-cheeked brewmeister would not be out of place.
2) Some monasteries have servants, but in others, the monks and brothers do all or most of the work themselves. Unlike Eastern monestaries, the physical exercise in a Western monestary is almost exclusively menial labor- farming, cleaning, sweeping, etc. A PC with in-depth knowledge of herbalism and animal husbandry would be appropriate.
3) Priestly duties rule the day. They have a rigid schedule for prayers and for performing ceremonies for the surrounding community. Everything else in their day revolves around their prayer schedule.
4) Many monasteries had incredible libraries, and scrivening was a major way for the monasteries to make money. The labor involved in duplicating an illuminated text was NOT cheap. Archivists, loremasters, and the like would be common.
5) As a tangent of the skills involved in duplicating illuminated texts, many monesteries have embraced their members practicing and teaching the arts. My own experience included a monk whose sculptures grace not only his monestary, but are also in collections all over the world, and another who gave me private lessons in classical music on his 400 year old cello. Thus, an archetypal artist- even a PC with Bard levels- would not be out of place.
6) It wasn't uncommon in both the Western and Eastern tradition for people who had lived terrible lives to enter the monasteries in order to repent their evil deeds and recenter their lives. There are some who posit that St. Peter was a mercenary of some skill and money before being called to the faith. Several European rulers spent time in monesteries and cloisters.
7) Depending upon the particular religion or religious order, science was either embraced or supressed. Some monestaries were key in preserving the works of Greek, Roman and Arabic theoriticians...while others put such works to the flame. Both the alchemist/true scientist and the witchhunter can coexist in such a life.
Because of the compartmentalized structure of monastic life, it was possible to commit great evils even within the walls of the monestaries. In a fantasy world, though, the existence of magic may make that much more difficult.
9) The "idiot" may not be an idiot at all, but may just be feigning a condition in order to observe the inner workings of the monestery. He may be an agent of the Crown, the heirarchy of the church, or some unknown power...
10) Despite their busy days, monks still have leisure time. While some pursue the arts, many more become phenomenal linguists. Of the monks I know personally, only a couple are merely bilingual. Many know 4 languages fluently, and fluency in 7 or more languages was not uncommon. Someone like this could be quite worldly and well-traveled, acting as a translator or even a diplomat.
Gosh, I'm glad you like it, Sigurd. I was beginning to think it looked a bit blah. The problem about mapping at this scale is that each building needs to be drawn individually and I wanted lots of them but just don't have the time. Here is the latest WIP which is still very much a WIP, but I'm just playing around with how the buildings should be located outside the monastery walls, but nothing's really working.
Originally Posted by Sigurd
I might start labelling it this weekend, and sure you can have a copy labelled and unlabelled. This is all done in drawplus X2 which is like a poor man's illustrator but much easier to use.
Thanks for all the monkish info and cheers, your message really cheered me up about this drawing!
### Latest WIP ###
I think I'm done now. I just couldn't get the outside bit to work, so, it's just within the walls. To tell the truth it was all getting a little too hard!
There's a labelled and unlabelled version.
### Latest WIP ###
Lovely ! - but isn't that a sort of French way of spelling amphitheater ?
Edit -- I am getting either er or re on the end depending on who you use to look up the word but all have the 'h' in it.
Oh! I thought amphitheater was the US spelling? I looked it up on onelook.com and Wiki and it looks like they are both acceptable. You had me worried for a moment there!
Theres still an 'h' missing tho yes ? You have Amphiteatre instead of Amphitheatre.
Yikes! Thanks...I'll amend and repost!
:: Edit :: Done - and I had to sneak in one of those cool symbol fonts that Jaerdaph found.
Its very pretty, but I think the red numbers are too lurid for my tastes. Just my .02.
I love the attention you pay to the wall outline. It really suggests interesting stone work.