Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Castle of the Bloated One - Prison Levels

August 26, 1977 Original Concept

The prison was built directly onto the existing Flora Lab foundation beginning in 528, incorporating it's layout onto the sub-structure. Each floor has a Continual Light Mirror built into the ceiling, which can be adjusted with a baffle rope/pulley system.

The first floor is filled with cell blocks, while level two contains a walkway to oversee the cells below and duel guard quarters. Level three is for special cases and also includes a sparring area. The basement is used for storage, but has some undiscovered, and dangerous, secrets.

The Prison Levels:


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Castle of the Bloated One - Prison Complex

August 25, 1977 Original Concept

The Floral Lab was originally designed as a facility for study of Flora and Fauna, and had minimal access from the ground level. Rather, a hidden entrance was devised to keep the place secretive, and documents speak of odd experimentation being the prime focus.

One such example occurred in 502. The village of Rhad-du-cet, which borders the Deep Marsh, was overrun by Shambling Mounds and it's entire population decimated. In 504, the Sage Miros Chanel discovered that the entire population of the village had been infected with the Shambling Curse by a contagion that was created in the Floral Lab. All research in the facility ceased immediately and the building remained empty for 7 years while Miros and the Council of Crestfallen dealt with the plants and neutralized the facility.

In 528, work began to expand the lab, and it reopened in 533 as a prison for the vile and hardened criminal faction. No entrance above ground lead into the prison from within the castle proper, although there are unconfirmed rumors of hidden passages.

Presented below is the Prison Complex:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Castle of the Bloated One - Motte & Bailey Tower

August 25, 1977 Original Concept

The Motte & Bailey Tower at Vargas was originally designed as a storehouse of information, predating Crestfallen Library by some 400 years. In it's day, travelers came to seek the council of the sage - Miros Chanel, and spend time searching the large (for it's time) 800 book collection.

Miros designed the layout based on an early M&B South of Yggsburgh, adding in a few surprises and secrets of his own. The sub-level gave direct access to the dungeons, and another large collection of books, although the proper magic to open the doorway has long since been forgotten.

Presented below is the M&B Tower complex, with levels and furnishings:


The Castle of the Bloated One - Mausoleum Complex

August 25, 1977 Original Concept

The Mausoleum was created to house the Helmgren and Linkholm clans, but it also came to be a place where the minor Lords (and Ladies) of the land found their final resting place. In 652, the last corridors were finished and the first Lord, Davish Penlin was laid to rest shortly thereafter. Davish had been the unfortunate victim of a ghast attack near the old village, and his head was buried separately from the body.

The first ceremony within the Mausoleum was laying the bones of Vargas Helmgren. Harrod Helmgren and Semias Linkholm felt he deserved a place of honor and his is the only tomb to have a separate chamber.

The finished Mausoleum Complex:


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Castle of the Bloated One

August 24, 1977 Original Concept

Having finished the town of Troyen, home to the Bloated Blowfish, my next task was to develop a castle befitting the events that led to part of the Crestfallen Mountains collapsing. I remembered reading on Motte & Bailey's in my Encyclopedia Britannica so I decided to create one that had a tower on the Motte instead of the traditional castle/manor. The manor proper would be more of a summer home and would be centralized on the Bailey - while the Motte's Tower would be a 5 level construction (with 2 levels below ground). At this point I was unsure whom would reside in the tower or even what it would contain.

Motte & Bailey at Vargas Background:

Originally built in 326 by Vargas Helmgren as an outpost along the Salt Route, the M&B was caught in the middle of a war that broke out over land rights to the South. For 130 years peace was unattainable since both sides had a claim to the land - all based on a 800 year old scroll found in an abandoned Abbey.

In 515, the war ended when King Prothall ruled the land belonged to the freemen whom had lived there for a thousand years. This set precedence, and led to the Great Land Rush of 519. Harrod Helmgren, the great-grandson of Vargas and Semias Linkholm took advantage of the ruling and began construction on a larger fortification. The Motte & Bailey at Vargas circa 519:

In September of 1977 I imagined an outer and inner courtyard, with which a Prison, Church/Temple, and multiple buildings would slowly build up around Vargas as the years past. I first built the walls to the West, and extended them northward till they ran into a natural rock encampment that became a harbor point. From there, I used Medieval Demographics to promote the increased population, and added more housing around the Motte, slowly expanding outward.

The Motte & Bailey in 730, with outer walls and expanded road/housing

Finally, it came to me that a central Castle that could fade in and out of this existence/plane might be an interesting focal point for some of the oddities that one might find in the area. I wasn't quite sure how the castle would move about so I left it alone for a few years.

In between, I developed the prison, split the castle into upper and lower precincts, and decided that the area around the Motte would be considered Oldtown. Then, in 1984 N. Robin Crosby and his magnificent Harn introduced EarthMaster sites. The concept of special sites all over the world that could be activated by long forgotten magic/energy played directly into my hands, and I was able to finish the vision I had of a massive Castle that enveloped the original Vargas M&B.

Next the Motte & Bailey had a subterranean section added where "secret magics" could be performed and to the North an underground Mausoleum was created to house the Helmgren and Linkholm clans. Lastly, an underground entrance to the Prison was devised, which I decided early on would not have access within the castle's walls.

Below is an overlay of the Dungeon/Catacombs with the Castle proper outline visible:

Below is the finished Castle with elevation, roads, buildings and enclosed Motte:

Thus, The Castle of the Bloated One came to be...