Olenis - Coastal City
A trading capital of the continental map I posted here: Xillihav. Olenis is within the Olene Lowlands which is a human-dominated territory-region. They do not let the "lesser sub-species" within their great cities or lands for fear of contamination - so Olenis is a human zone. The weird little bit coming off the bottom right, near the docks, is a sandbar. And yes, at the top, that is a wall going all the way to the island. They're attempting to make their city as defensible as possible. (I understand that building a wall out like that may be unlikely but it would look so cool if this were real that I couldn't resist.)
As for the second set of docks on the island, those are the military docks; they're close to the opening into the port so that they can defend more easily in case of an attack.
Is that a river? If so, the mouth seems far too narrow.
A river mouth can be that narrow, the river banks at that point could be a much harder rock than higher up the river, all it means is that the water will be flowing a lot faster at that point in the river to retain the same discharge.
Great map and nice walls, I love it!
I don't think it really happens that a river mouth is so narrow, maybe a small stream. Also, narrowing just at the point of reaching the mouth makes it even stranger.
Socks just what purpose does the wall to the island accomplish,for example is this a roadway also because there is some important resource on the island? It is still essentially open to all sides, therefore no real protection is afforded, military docks or not. It seems to me that the wall you've established around the city is for protection from the land side? I think feanaaro's advice about opening the river mouth up some will help the layout appearance some. As you are using pencil / paper do some overlay sketches to explore the possiblities of developing different ideas. I think you can detach the sandbar from the land mass, for one use a different line style to create the sandbar this will help define water areas also. Is this a lake city / ocean port?
I'll take these suggestions into consideration as I work on my second draft. But I did have one question regarding the comment about how it was open to all sides. As I understand it, with the reef/sandbar and the wall, the only route of attack from the sea would be through that smallish opening. Making for an effective bottleneck. This was my hope/idea. And I will be adding the interior soon.
I was thinking that the keep would either be on the island thing in the river. Or near the military docks on the north side of the city. And this is a coastal city.
And in the event that I can't fid the answer on google what is an "overlay sketch"? Sorry but I don't really know drawing terms.
And in the event that I can't find the
Ok if I understand the layout (correct me if I don't) sea area to right / land area to left with the town proper within the walls on the seaward side. Then the area between the upper island and the sandbar is entirely open for warships to enter. don't forget that an invading force will use a land army also ;) This then opens the entire seaward side of the city as an "assault beach". Now the fortress on the river island that would afford better protection. This make sense to you? Or have I gotten your intentions all wrong?
Originally Posted by Socks
Socks are you locked into this layout because of an existing campaign? If not take the time to refine the design some while conforming with some basic geography. You state this is a low lying area, then the river will more than likely be "slow flow = wider" vs "fast flow = narrower" (generically), so the river mouth will spread out into the sea area. Your river will not have any height to make this a waterfall type of cut, if it is in say a "Delta Plain".
Also a good harbor will over protection from storms, usually in the nooks and crannies of a coastal profile. I'd use google as my friend and find terrain you like to match and refine your work. I think you have a good idea going, just need to refine. Good Journeys
Scale here would be very important to determine the best placement for defensive structures. Important considerations when creating a defense are the capabilities of the defending forces as well as the capabilities of an attacking force. If the defenders have trebuchets, which would be limited in effect against a moving target, you certainly have more range/distance to work with as far as a defense goes. Arbalests and ballistae would have a much shorter range, but more functionality as far as defense goes. If you have magic casters throwing fireballs and the like, they're range is also going to be limited.
On the other side of the coin, the harbor you present is rather easily blockaded from the sea, depending again on the capabilities of the aggressors. A fleet of ships with a handful of corsairs could keep the city landlocked for quite some time with adequate supplies and logistics. If they have trebuchet mounted on their vessels, they could park and lob things at the city at will, given adequate ammo (barges loaded with boulders?)
Some things to consider as you plan the defense of this city are additional natural features, such as a large coral reef a bit off the coast, perhaps one with a labrynthine arrangement that only the local sailors know the path through and is a very closely guarded secret by the local lord/guilds/military. Michael Moorcock built a maze into the walls of Imryyr in his Elric books that only one person knew the way through, so if this is for an RPG, something to consider. Perhaps extending the sandbar or the erection of a seawall, depending on ocean currents and winds? Some strange magical catastrophe that formed some mighty rock formation? There's any number of ideas, but consider the history of the city, the region, their traditional enemies and the capabilities of any potential forces in the conflicts you intend to forestall and that should guide you in fleshing out the map. Also, if this is for an RPG, it might germinate some ideas that you'd never considered!
It's a great start!