City Planning: Beorinhal

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Yeti
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City Planning: Beorinhal

Post by Yeti » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:54 pm

Beorinhal

Role: County capital
Location: Southeastern region of The Reach, in the Sundered Hills
Architecture: Nordic Markarth buildings
Size: Medium small, 15-20 buildings including the Jarl’s hall. Built on elevated terrain like Markarth, only smaller and with no Direnni architecture. Protected by a wooden palisade.
Ruler: Jarl Horir, an elderly warlord who rules over a sparsely populated county, and shows only token loyalty to the King of The Reach.
Factions: No major guilds. An offshoot band of Horme bandits makes pit stops in the town. There could also be a minor Nordic clan.

History: Beorinhal, otherwise known as Granite Hall, is the oldest Nordic settlement in The Reach, founded by frontiersmen of the First Empire before the Direnni were driven from Markarth. From ancient days its Jarls have warred against the Orc and Reachmen tribes that inhabit the Sundered Hills, a tract of rocky wastelands between Falkreath and The Reach. A border stronghold for most of its history, the town guards important trade routes between the two Holds, which has led to an influx of Breton, Colovian, and Elven inhabitants over the course of the last century. Traditional by nature, the native Nords look down on these newer residents.

Economy: Beorinhal is a stopover trading post for merchants making their way between Falkreath and Karthwasten. Not much commerce actually happens here – it serves more as a place for caravans to take shelter on long trips than an actual market. Local commoners labor in nearby iron mines, alongside mistreated Reachmen migrants.

----

I decided to throw this together on a whim. Feel free to suggest possible changes and additions. Worth noting: I think this should be the only major settlement in the Sundered Hills region.

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roerich
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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:42 am

I like it. Some ideas I had earlier on:

- Baurichal is located near a stone quarry, which also plays some part in the local economy
- The city is located around a crude First Era Nord fortress, which acts as Jarl Horirs great hall
- The quarrels with the local newly migrated Reachmen tribes should be a major headache for King Barda, as the Baurichal warbands frequently trespass into Falkreath territory, effectively raiding Falkreath lands

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by worsas » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:55 am

I'd not place more than 12 buildings around here. It is a town situated in the wastelands and shouldn't be larger than Suran, in my opinion.

A variant of the name I like even better: Beorichal.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:54 pm

In this mockup I placed 20 buildings, including the jarl's fortress-hall. I agree that 5-7 buildings could be removed with good results. Location proposal as well, with shrinking it should just be one cell.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/bRsFd47.png[/hsimg]

Edit:
Beorichal
Would the Beorichal name sound too similar to Orichalum?

Worth noting: I think this should be the only major settlement in the Sundered Hills region.
Agreed. We've got North Hall opposite of Beorichal (on the south-east edge of Sundered Hills), which acts as Falkreaths northern border fort. Lainalten is close to the northern edge.

The SH region is a no man's land, but it belongs to the Kingdom of Falkreath by law, even though the area belongs to the Reach geographically and historically. This could be as a result of the fallout from the War of the Red Diamond. In that way, it acts as buffer zone between the two kingdoms.

Other settlements: We can put one or two walled homesteads (2-3 houses) along the roads, though I have a hard time seeing why any Nords would live here. The rest should be Orc and Reachmen camps. The Sundered Towers (5-6 interiors) is a semi-permanent Reachman hamlet, taxated by whoever gets there first, and with enough troops. Old Hrol'dan (10-15 interiors, mostly small huts and one or two of the large ones) is an autonomous settlement, but it acts more like a war camp than an actual city.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by worsas » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:53 pm

Edit: Would the Beorichal name sound too similar to Orichalum?
I don't mind incidental similarities like these. To me they evoke curiosity.

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Yeti
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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Yeti » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:20 pm

I like Beorichal. The size limit of 12 buildings is fine with me too.

Regarding the settlement's design, roerich, I was thinking of something with more variance in elevation in mind - with the houses on different levels of terrain and the Jarl's Hall overlooking them. But I guess I shouldn't draw too many conclusions from a simple mock-up.

Incidentally, what Hold is Lainalten supposed to be in? The Reach, Falkreath, or Whiterun?

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:30 pm

I was thinking Lainalten would be in Markarth county, along with Karthgad and Markarth. Makes the most sense geographically I think, but the Reach has so many settlements already. If not The Reach, then Whiterun.

And yes, I'd love some elevation as well! It'd have to play in with the style of the surrounding landscape. Which is pretty rocky already.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Yeti » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:41 pm

The Reach already seems a bit crowded in terms of settlements. I'd say Whiterun would be the right place to put the village (if we even include one named Lainalten at all).

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Infragris » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:50 am

Huh. This is awkward. Not really sure how this happened, but there is a location named Beaurichal planned for the northern Gold Coast.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:34 pm

We will need to duel this out. Each project must send one champion to Pale Pass, where the rights to the name will be decided by victory.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by worsas » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:35 pm

Infragris wrote:Huh. This is awkward. Not really sure how this happened, but there is a location named Beaurichal planned for the northern Gold Coast.
I had the impression that Hrafnir was specifically looking at Arena town names in western and southern Skyrim next to the known Colovian ones. His uncomplete vocabulary covers syllables likes 'Neu' (Neugrad) and translations of words like Oak (Oakwood) and Granite (Granite hall).

After a second look Granite = Beurin and not = Beaurich. It seems I got that mixed up. :roll:

We could settle with Beorinhal, if everyone is for it.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Infragris » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:57 pm

Well, it doesn't matter all that much. PC Beaurichal is supposed to be a kind of seaside castle ruin - which, come to think of it, doesn't actually have much to do with granite. Probably better if we change the PC name to something suitably nautical.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Luxray » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:33 pm

I like Beorinhal a bit better I think.
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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:48 pm

Another mockup. This time emphasizing the (former) role as border fortress. I assume Skyrim's western border would be somewhere around here, prior to the acquisition of Karthwasten etc. This is still a crude mockup, but it has a mixture of elevation, palisades and first era Nord fortress architecture.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/ulo9RZl.png[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/aqNJMD3.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Z2c9D7O.jpg[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Nh7jqNt.png[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/lzSLyYB.png[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/ChcyagS.png[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/A10GoHw.jpg[/hsimg]

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by griff » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:56 am

Beautiful. I have no problem with that layout.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by worsas » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:08 pm

It's nice stuff. Ideally the whole landscape east of this elevation should be higher than the landscape west of it to have that constant abatement towards west, I'm dreaming of.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:07 pm

That would be achieveable, worsas. I really want that as well!

Now, we have some vague concept of the city outline. We should expand upon the history and lore of the place.

I reckon something that would have shaped the inhabitants would be the centuries of acting as a border fort, trapped between the enticing but unaccesible Aldkarth Lowlands, and the lifeless wastelands of the Sundered Hills. An isolated, grim bunch of Nords, half forgotten in their stark fortress-city. Nothing grows in the SH but gnarly roots and dry grass, so they rely on imported food as well as hunting.

Recently, Reachmen migrants and Orc marauders have been raiding outlying farmsteads and mines in an increasingly frequent rate, as well as raiding the caravans coming from the east. When the Nord warbands gather for retaliation, they are entering Falkreath territory, angering the local Jarl of North Hall. This is leading to an escalating diplomatic crisis, with king Barda urging Jarl Horir to stay within his borders, straining the Beorinhal-Markarth relationship as well as the Reach-Falkreath relationship. Jarl Horir is secretly planning a grand campaign to take Old Hrol'dan and commit genocide on the Reachmen settlers.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by berry » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:00 pm

That fortress looks fantastic. Did you use barrow tileset for it? It doesn't look makeshifted at all.
Roerich wrote:grim bunch of Nords
Now, isn't that a tautology? :D With all seriousness though, I like that backstory. It fits the gloomy atmosphere of the Sundered Hills perfectly.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:54 am

I did. I lost some of it in a crash (tried dragging a "Nordic Warrior" NPC into the render, turns out it was one of the skeleton race with no mesh-NPC's....) but there's most of it left.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by Scamp » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:16 pm

roerich, you are blessed with the skill of designing memorable and distinctive town layouts. There's not much more I have to say. I love the top-right screenshot.

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Re: City Planning: Baurichal/Granite Hall

Post by roerich » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:38 pm

Thanks Scamp, I appreciate that!

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Re: City Planning: Beorinhal

Post by roerich » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:37 pm

http://i.imgur.com/MwqXtfC.jpg Beorinhal as seen from the border of Lorchwuir Heath,
the final resting place of a long-forgotten chieftain
marking the border of the badlands.


Backstory:

The fortress of Beorinhal dates back before the First Empire, and is the oldest Nordic settlement in the entire Reach. It is built on a strategic location overlooking a narrow pass through the mountain ridge that separates the Sundered Hills from the Lorchwuir Heath. In those days, the Sundered Hills were a much more fertile and prosperous land, mostly home to Reachmen tribes and lording Nordic settlers. Infighting and land feuds were common among these populations, but the building of the fortification cemented Nord rule over the land, and the Reachmen were ruled with a stern hand.

The city grew up around the fortress, as it was an important trade route stop between both Colovia and southern central Skyrim to the growing city-states of the west. But the local mining industry and stone quarries also served their part in the city's growth. Over the centuries, the city was an important medium sized settlement, and a strong Nordic military power center in the often shifting borders of the Reachlands.

After the War of the Red Diamond, the fortress was now located directly on the border of a diminished and humiliated Skyrim. The fortifications were improved upon, but the population dwindled as a result of trade blockades and the generally uneasy relationship between the Nordic kingdoms and the new Crown rulers of the Reach and Karthwasten in particular. The military aspect of the city was strengthened, and came to play a large part of the local identity.

http://i.imgur.com/Xa57Xkn.jpg The unmaintained abandoned houses of the
dwindling settlement leaves a half-ruined city.


Current events:

The city has seen constant decline since the loss of the Reach, even after the reconquests of the War of Bend'r Mahk. The Sundered Hills have degenerated into a drought-plagued badlands where lawlessness and banditry run wild, and the caravaners have found other routes as a result, further damaging the economy of Beorinhal.

The resettlement of large amounts of Reachmen in the region (and the ruins of Old Hrol'dan) haven't helped, and the area now sits as an uncomfortable unruled buffer zone between The Reach, Falkreath and White Hold, who each have claims to different parts within the region. With the new border, Beorinhal has even lost its identity as a strong border fortress against the Crowns, now serving more as a defense from the marauders of Sundered Hills.

Jarl Horir and the Nords of Beorinhal still cling to their role as border guardians, and are preparing a campaign against the Reachmen tribes - much to the disagreement of King Barda, as the Reachmen have settled on land that lawfully belongs to the throne of Falkreath. These actions could very well end up in an outright war between the two kingdoms, as the attack on Old Hrol'dan will rightly be seen as an invasion of Falkreath.

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