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...

1 comment:

  1. The whole Castle of the Bloated One complex is very cool. While not a megadungeon in the strictest sense, there's so much to do in it it might as well be one. Btw, is the Castle a ruin?, town? (my guess), or an evil stronghold? Posted a link to your blog on the cartographersguild.com. Hope you don't mind. Good gaming and keep mapping.