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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