Bree-land

Project Title: Bree-land

Player name(s): Hearthseeker

Player rank: Overseer

Private or Public: Public - projects open for application

Research


Inspiration:

Sketches and concept art



Historical/cultural research:
https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/national-farm-building-types/national-building-types-2014/
http://users.bestweb.net/~jfgm/FootersWeb/I-Book01_files/I-Book01-9DiscussionText.htm

Lore:

Bree-Town

“There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land; and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world, one that was founded long before even the Brandywine was crossed and the Shire colonized. They lived mostly in Staddle though there were some in Bree itself, especially on the higher slopes of the hill, above the houses of the Men.”

  • Hobbits were apparently primarily living on the ‘higher slopes of the hill’, however as its wording implies (the use of ‘especially’), there are also a small number living within the lower village as well. One or two small Hobbit smials will be included, perhaps slightly above the settlement of the Men, yet still being on the ‘lower’ portion of the layout.

“But in the Bree-land, at any rate, the hobbits were decent and prosperous, and no more rustic than most of their distant relatives Inside.“

  • This shows us that the Hobbits should have a decent amount of wealth, not particularly poor or ‘rustic’. Their numbers and dwellings would be normally inhabited, not having any deserted smials.

“The village of Bree had some hundred stone houses of the Big Folk, mostly above the Road, nestling on the hillside with windows looking west. On that side, running in more than half a circle from the hill and back to it, there was a deep dike with a thick hedge on the inner side. Over this the Road crossed by a causeway; but where it pierced the hedge it was barred by a great gate. There was another gate in the southern corner where the Road ran out of the village. The gates were closed at nightfall; but just inside them were small lodges for the gatekeepers.”

  • The quote mentions 100 stone houses of the Big Folk. When compared with the previous quote of Hobbits also dwelling on the lower slopes by the settlement of the Men, this shows us that those Hobbits wouldn’t have lived in houses, but also in smials at the foot/bottom of the hill. Another possible explanation would be for the ‘lower’ Hobbits to live in houses not built of stone, yet that seems less plausible in the context of the wider Bree.
  • The dike is described as deep, not particularly wide, allowing us to reduce the overly big dike we have on the server now.

“Down on the Road, where it swept to the right to go round the foot of the hill, there was a large inn. It had been built long ago when the traffic on the roads had been far greater. For Bree stood at an old meeting of ways; another ancient road crossed the East Road just outside the dike at the western end of the village, and in former days Men and other folk of various sorts had travelled much on it. Strange as News from Bree was still a saying in the Eastfarthing, descending from those days, when news from North, South, and East could be heard in the inn, and when the Shire-hobbits used to go more often to hear it. But the Northern Lands had long been desolate, and the North Road was now seldom used: it was grass-grown, and the Bree-folk called it the Greenway.”

“The hobbits rode on up a gentle slope, passing a few detached houses, and drew up outside the inn. The houses looked large and strange to them. Sam stared up at the inn with its three storeys and many windows, and felt his heart sink. He had imagined himself meeting giants taller than trees, and other creatures even more terrifying, some time or other in the course of his journey; but at the moment he was finding his first sight of Men and their tall houses quite enough, indeed too much for the dark end of a tiring day.”

  • Self explanatory, but in context to the wider Bree, passing detached houses would imply near the epicentre of the village further up the road the houses are mostly attached. This of course further backs up our layout as having gardens and allotments mostly near the west and easing into a more populous urban environment south-east.

“‘It seemed to make off up the Road, eastward,’ continued Merry. ‘I tried to follow. Of course, it vanished almost at once; but I went round the corner and on as far as the last house on the Road.’”

“‘I found him, sir,’ put in Nob. ‘Mr. Butterbur sent me out with a lantern. I went down to West-gate, and then back up towards South-gate. Just nigh Bill Ferny’s house I thought I could see something in the Road.”

“The hobbits took no notice of the inquisitive heads that peeped out of doors, or popped over walls and fences, as they passed. But as they drew near to the further gate, Frodo saw a dark ill-kept house behind a thick hedge: the last house in the village. In one of the windows he caught a glimpse of a sallow face with sly, slanting eyes; but it vanished at once. ‘So that’s where that southerner is hiding!’ he thought. ‘He looks more than half like a goblin.’”

  • Something

“Over the hedge another man was staring boldly. He had heavy black brows, and dark scornful eyes; his large mouth curled in a sneer. He was smoking a short black pipe. As they approached he took it out of his mouth and spat.”

“Tom will give you good advice, till this day is over (after that your own luck must go with you and guide you): four miles along the Road you’ll come upon a village, Bree under Bree-hill, with doors looking westward…”

Prancing Pony

“Sam stared up at the inn with its three storeys and many windows, and felt his heart sink.”

“Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes. It had a front on the Road, and two wings running back on land partly cut out of the lower slopes of the hill, so that at the rear the second-floor windows were level with the ground. There was a wide arch leading to a courtyard between the two wings, and on the left under the arch there was a large doorway reached by a few broad steps. The door was open and light streamed out of it. Above the arch there was a lamp, and beneath it swung a large signboard: a fat white pony reared up on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters: the prancing pony by barliman butterbur. Many of the lower windows showed lights behind thick curtains.”

“But we’ve got a room or two in the north wing that were made special for hobbits, when this place was built. On the ground floor as they usually prefer; round windows and all as they like it. “

“He led them a short way down a passage, and opened a door. ‘Here is a nice little parlour!’ he said. ‘I hope it will suit. “

“If you want anything, ring the hand-bell, and Nob will come. If he don’t come, ring and shout!’”

“They found themselves in a small and cosy room. There was a bit of bright fire burning on the hearth, and in front of it were some low and comfortable chairs. There was a round table, already spread with a white cloth, and on it was a large hand-bell. But Nob, the hobbit servant, came bustling in long before they thought of ringing. He brought candles and a tray full of plates.”

“In a twinkling the table was laid. There was hot soup, cold meats, a blackberry tart, new loaves, slabs of butter, and half a ripe cheese…”

“The company was in the big common-room of the inn. The gathering was large and mixed, as Frodo discovered, when his eyes got used to the light. This came chiefly from a blazing log-fire, for the three lamps hanging from the beams were dim, and half veiled in smoke.”

“On the benches were various folk: men of Bree, a collection of local hobbits (sitting chattering together), a few more dwarves, and other vague figures difficult to make out away in the shadows and corners.”

“Frodo jumped up and stood on a table, and began to talk.”

“It was not until they had puffed up the embers into a blaze and thrown on a couple of faggots that they discovered Strider had come with them. There he was calmly sitting in a chair by the door!”

“Mr. Butterbur had arrived with candles, and behind him was Nob with cans of hot water. Strider withdrew into a dark corner. ‘I’ve come to bid you good night,’ said the landlord, putting the candles on the table. ‘Nob! Take the water to the rooms!’ He came in and shut the door”

“‘Where was I?’ said the landlord, pausing and snapping his fingers. ‘Ah, yes! Old Gandalf. Three months back he walked right into my room without a knock.”

“It was on Monday, and all the dogs were yammering and the geese screaming. Uncanny, I called it. Nob, he came and told me that two black men were at the door asking for a hobbit called Baggins.”

“‘Stay here, and do not go to your rooms! They are sure to have found out which those are. The hobbit-rooms have windows looking north and close to the ground. We will all remain together and bar this window and the door. But first Nob and I will fetch your luggage.’”

“Their bags and gear they piled on the parlour-floor. They pushed a low chair against the door and shut the window. Peering out, Frodo saw that the night was still clear. The Sickle* was swinging bright above the shoulders of Bree-hill. He then closed and barred the heavy inside shutters and drew the curtains together. Strider built up the fire and blew out all the candles.”

“He opened his eyes, and heard a cock crowing lustily in the inn-yard. Strider had drawn the curtains and pushed back the shutters with a clang. The first grey light of day was in the room, and a cold air was coming through the open window.”

“But very soon he came back in dismay. The ponies had vanished! The stable-doors had all been opened in the night, and they were gone: not only Merry’s ponies, but every other horse and beast in the place.”

“‘The two or three riding-ponies that there were in Bree were stabled in my yard, and they’re gone.”

“At last they came to The Prancing Pony, and that at least looked outwardly unchanged; and there were lights behind the red curtains in the lower windows.”

Planning


Overhead map:

Professions and production:

Population: 400


Guides:

There is an in game representation of the 2nd Townhouse figure, please feel free to view the floorplans and details closely as I will be referencing them often and will make requests of builders to make certain rooms.

Type 1, Townhouse










Detached Houses/Farmhouses

Pending

Tests


In-game concepts:

Models:
These mini models will showcase how our Bree-houses evolved to what they are now. They are located at the guide.


Terrain: Pending

Sub-projects: Pending

6 Likes

Combe is finally open! A lot of houses are already seemingly half-done, but most of them require a thorough revision. Anything that’s already there should be wiped if it doesn’t comply to the project signs. We’re using the same system as in MT, in the sense that gradients are already specified by blocks at the project signs. Can find the gradients next to /warp combeguide. That’s also the main guide you should be using, make sure you read it carefully before building your first house, even if you’re an experienced builder. Hobbit plots will be opened later, so stick to humans for now.

And in the spirit of transparency, here is our plan for the future. (Subject to change slightly)
To Do/Deadline List

23rd of March: Finish Bree rural house guide

1st of April: Open Combe (human plots only). Start working on smial guide

14th of April: Finish smial guide. Open hobbit plots Combe

21st of April: Finish Combe. Start working on hobbit houses guide.

29th of April: Finish hobbit houses guide. Open Staddle.

13th of May: Open first Bree plots (1/7 of Bree total - rural edges). Start working on Bree town house guide

20th of May: Finish Staddle

10th of June: Open second Bree plots (rural edges/smials area), first Bree plots finished

8th of July: Bree town house guide done. Open third Bree plots (town houses), second Bree plots finished

5th of August: Open fourth Bree plots, third Bree plots finished

2nd of September: Open fifth Bree plots, fourth Bree plots finished

30th of September: Open sixth Bree plots, fifth Bree plots finished

28th of October: Open seventh Bree plots, sixth Bree plots finished

25th of November: Seventh Bree plots finished. Final month to complete anything that’s been left behind.

5 Likes

In the Bree-lands I’m seeing a pattern of inconsistent knowledge of how to create a good looking plot of land along with each house. With gardens ranging from cluttered messes of too many details to underdeveloped grass plots consisting of three blocks: bushes, weeds, and flowers. I’d be sarcastic and tell everyone to just google “Medieval Garden.” But the results aren’t concise enough to yield good results.

I also want to cover what a piece of land would look like. Rather than teaching you how to use boolean operators and strings or hours of diving into researchgate; I’d rather give you a solid foundation to work from when searching. Hopefully this will be useful information for all projects.

Farming Systems:
Burgage: Interchangeable with the combination of the two terms below, burgage(pl. burgesses) is the plot of land owned by a lord or freeman, the land would normally include the following:
Toft: A toft is simply the yard containing the home, containing most of the outbuildings and either small gardens or pens for animals.
Croft: A croft is the entire arable plot of land, sometimes defined as including the toft, or just the adjoining land given as part of the property. Usually a long and narrow strip of property with either grazing land for cattle or fields of peas, turnips, other vegetables and so on.

Tofts, Crofts, Burgage Examples

Gardens
Potager Garden: Potage, in the English sense of the word, is another old word for soup. Probably due to soup and boiling food being an inexpensive and easy way to go about it. Just throw your vegetables and scraps of meat into a pot. A Potager’s Garden is essentially the Kitchen Garden. In our world, this is something that came about in France, but these garden types are seen repeated in other cultures.

Rather than having disorganized gardens, I want them to have more structure. There will be screenshots included with the album below, but there are already some great examples of organization in other projects so far.

Garden Examples

Building Layouts and Progressive Urbanization
As villages developed into towns and then into cities, the tenants and land-owners needed to accompany the demand in resources such as food and living space in less space. Houses became taller with more floors. Lofts were built above previous cattle bays and pantries. Crofts were split with multiples houses occupying the same space in order to extract more rent and goods from more residences.

At the current stage of Bree, its starting to develop back into a larger town again, so we are seeing old structures being refurbished and re-used as well as newer and larger structures and additions. While cities would eventually progress to cattle being kept outside of them, within the hedges of Bree we still have a fairly rural environment. Included below are images and floor plans for houses during periods of rapid urbanization.

While our houses won’t be as extreme as medieval London, for example, I hope they provide a reference for how Bree could eventually look in the 4th age and get your mind thinking about how these plots are established.

House Layout & Expansion Examples

Farm Buildings, Extra Details Needed
I want to address a need for ideas on how to improve your plot with simple inclusions of details consistent with farming villages in the real world. While we can certainly mark plots with extra buildings we’d like to see, such as a multi-storied poultry(chicken coup) or a hayloft over a cattle barn; we can’t think of everything.
Look for any opportunity via your profession request, or if you notice a lack of certain features you find interesting and add them. Below will be a Rural England Farm Document that will showcase some things you could add to your plot.

Please message me or Fruit (IN DISCORD) to see about approval to add other structures to your plot if its going to be anything major. But for the most part–what will make the towns feel more like real life is you getting in the mindset of the person inhabiting the plot: What do I need to feed myself and my family and maybe provide extra. If you add a small structure for pigs, or a sheep pen and a small shed with sheers and wool hanging, we won’t be offended with your creativity.

Farm Building Examples

Interiors
There’s not much to say on interiors as there’s a few successful ones in game already. And each house will have different needs and will be refined as best as possible. However, the main goals are: simplistic, rustic, and as little furniture as possible. Look up things such as “Peasant House Interior” and try to strive for the images that look the least bit comfortable. Newer homes will have hooded smoke vents and some chimneys(thanks to dwarves, but limit chimneys) while the older buildings and poorer farms will have smoke going out a window or up through the thatch roof. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Only think of putting something in your space if it makes sense and is something necessary to the occupants daily life and needs. After that, limit any flair or decoration.

Interior Examples

Thank you all for reading, and enjoy!

4 Likes