Wednesday 21 March 2007

Egelric's castle.

Although it was one of the most recent castles to be built in Lothere, Egelric’s castle will be the first of the castle tours, partly because Devin asked for it, and partly because it is my favorite.

Castle Exterior

My first castles – namely Lotheresburh, Nothelm, and Bernwald – were built with little regard to realism. Egelric’s castle, on the other hand, is roughly based on a real castle, Warkworth Castle in Northumbria.

Warkworth Castle.Warkworth Castle.

The two pictures of Warkworth above are from this resource.

Here is a plan of the ground floor of Egelric’s castle:

Ground floor.

It should be rotated 45 degrees counter-​​clockwise to line up with the above plan, i.e. the room labeled 1 corresponds to the room in the lower right, with all the pine trees in front.

Warkworth and Sceadwung-​​clif are both square keeps with a projecting bay on all four faces.

The small square in the center of Warkworth is actually open to the sky and has small windows leading into the rooms, providing a little extra air and light. Unfortunately I couldn’t add this feature in Egelric’s castle, since the game engine would have treated it as an enclosed space for lighting purposes, even without a roof.

Here is a view from the air:

View from the air.

The castle has three full stories and a partial fourth story consisting of two unconnected ranges of towers. That single window towards the back on the top story is supposed to be Iylaine’s old room (though it is undecorated). When she ran away, she escaped by hanging a rope down from that window and “risking a sheer climb of nearly four stories”.

Egelric’s castle faces westward, so this view is taken looking east. As I once wrote, “Egelric’s bedroom had a single window through which the sun never shone. It faced east, but the sheer wall of rock behind the castle rose up only a few dozen yards beyond it.”

The “sheer wall of rock” is made, of course, by three of the giant neighborhood rocks which I arranged in a U-​​shape around the 5x6 lot. However, they overlap slightly onto the lot, because I wanted to build a tall wall “inside” of them. Neighborhood decorations do not cast shadows, and I wanted the cliff to appear to cast shadows. Here are two shots of the same view, one without and one with the cliffs:

Shadow-casting wall.Shadow-casting cliff.

The sun is rather high here so the shadow only goes as far as the first rows of pines, but when the sun is low the effect is impressive. These cliffs are the reason for the name of the castle, Sceadwung-​​clif. It makes more sense if you know that “sce” is pronounced like “sh” in Old English, so the name is essentially “Shadowing-​​cliff”.

Here is a shot looking southeast so you can see the entrance:

View of entrance.

The entrance is at that shadowy area at the bottom, up a flight of steps to the big door. Egelric built for defense, so this is the currently only entrance to the castle.

I will leave you with a picture of Paul at the foot of the steps looking up towards the door, from the night when he came to beard the lion in his den. Next time, we’ll have a look inside.

At the entrance.