Player name(s): Benzathoth
Player rank: Overseer
Private or Public: Public. Open to applications of individual locations.
Location name: Westfold
Lore: The Westfold was the western part of Rohan, close to the White Mountains and lying between the river Isen and the Folde. The North-South Road ran through the Westfold from the Fords of Isen to Edoras. Its defensive centre was the Hornburg in Helm’s Deep.
Etymologically, this is Old English folde (Old Norse fold) ‘earth, land, country’, not connected either with the English verb fold, or with (sheep)fold. Compare Vestfold and Østfold in Norway.
“Still some miles away, on the far side of the Westfold Vale, lay a green coomb, a great bay in the mountains, out of which a gorge opened in the hills. Men of that land called it Helm’s Deep, after a hero of old wars who had made his refuge there. Ever steeper and narrower it wound inward from the north under the shadow of the Thrihyrne, till the crow-haunted cliffs rose like mighty towers on either side, shutting out the light.
At Helm’s Gate, before the mouth of the Deep, there was a heel of rock thrust outward by the northern cliff. There upon its spur stood high walls of ancient stone, and within them was a lofty tower. Men said that in the far-off days of the glory of Gondor the sea-kings had built here this fastness with the hands of giants. The Hornburg it was called, for a trumpet sounded upon the tower echoed in the Deep behind, as if armies long-forgotten were issuing to war from caves beneath the hills. A wall, too, the men of old had made from the Hornburg to the southern cliff, barring the entrance to the gorge. Beneath it by a wide culvert the Deeping-stream passed out. About the feet of the Hornrock it wound, and flowed then in a gully through the midst of a wide green gore, sloping gently down from Helm’s Gate to Helm’s Dike. Thence it fell into the Deeping-coomb and out into the Westfold Vale. There in the Hornburg at Helm’s Gate Erkenbrand, master of Westfold on the borders of the Mark, now dwelt. As the days darkened with threat of war, being wise, he had repaired the wall and made the fastness strong.”
Erkenbrand is the lord of the Westfold, and has his seat in the Hornburg. As our server is set 12 years before the War of the Ring, it would be appropriate to show repairs being made to the fortress.
“The Deeping Wall was twenty feet high [6 blocks], and so thick that four men could walk abreast along the top [3 blocks], sheltered by a parapet over which only a tall man could look [2 block tall parapet on top of the wall]. Here and there were clefts in the stone through which men could shoot. This battlement could be reached by a stair running down from a door in the outer court of the Hornburg; three flights of steps led also up on to the wall from the Deep behind; but in front it was smooth, and the great stones of it were set with such skill that no foothold could be found at their joints, and at the top they hung over like a sea-delved cliff.”
“A broad stairway climbed from the Deep up to the Rock and the rear-gate of the Hornburg.”
“Aragorn strode on through the inner court, and mounted to a high chamber in the tower. There stood the king, dark against a narrow window, looking out upon the vale.”
There would have to be a stable, as they rode out from the fortress.
“Soon they turned back and went to the midday meal in the hall of the Burg.”
“There are no great weapon-hoards here, lord.”
Theoden also says of the Deeping Coomb: “This was a rich vale and had many homesteads.”
The Glittering Caves
“Good provision [is or can be stored in the caves], it is said. And the air is wholesome there because of the outlets through fissures in the rock far above.”
“I have seen a greater wonder in this land, more beautiful than any grove or glade that ever grew: my heart is still full of ft. 'Strange are the ways of Men, Legolas! Here they have one of the marvels of the Northern World, and what do they say of it? Caves, they say! Caves! Holes to fly to in time of war, to store fodder in! My good Legolas, do you know that the caverns of Helm’s Deep are vast and beautiful? There would be an endless pilgrimage of Dwarves, merely to gaze at them, if such things were known to be. Aye indeed, they would pay pure gold for a brief glance!’
‘And I would give gold to be excused,’ said Legolas; ‘and double to be let out, if I strayed in!’
‘You have not seen, so I forgive your jest,’ said Gimli. 'But you speak like a fool. Do you think those halls are fair, where your King dwells under the hill in Mirkwood, and Dwarves helped in their making long ago? They are but hovels compared with the caverns I have seen here: immeasurable halls, filled with an everlasting music of water that tinkles into pools, as fair as Kheled-zâram in the starlight.
‘And, Legolas, when the torches are kindled and men walk on the sandy floors under the echoing domes, ah! then, Legolas, gems and crystals and veins of precious ore glint in the polished walls; and the light glows through folded marbles, shell-like, translucent as the living hands of Queen Galadriel. There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, Legolas, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces! Still lakes mirror them: a glimmering world looks up from dark pools covered with clear glass; cities. such as the mind of Durin could scarce have imagined in his sleep, stretch on through avenues and pillared courts, on into the dark recesses where no light can come. And plink! a silver drop falls, and the round wrinkles in the glass make all the towers bend and waver like weeds and corals in a grotto of the sea. Then evening comes: they fade and twinkle out; the torches pass on into another chamber and another dream. There is chamber after chamber, Legolas; hall opening out of hall, dome after dome, stair beyond stair; and still the winding paths lead on into the mountains’ heart. Caves! The Caverns of Helm’s Deep! Happy was the chance that drove me there! It makes me weep to leave them.’
‘Then I will wish you this fortune for your comfort, Gimli,’ said the Elf, ‘that you may come safe from war and return to see them again. But do not tell all your kindred! There seems little left for them to do, from your account. Maybe the men of this land are wise to say little: one family of busy dwarves with hammer and chisel might mar more than they made.’
‘No, you do not understand,’ said Gimli. ‘No dwarf could be unmoved by such loveliness. None of Durin’s race would mine those caves for stones or ore, not if diamonds and gold could be got there. Do you cut down groves of blossoming trees in the spring-time for firewood? We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap - a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day - so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock. And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lamps as once shone in Khazad-dûm; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest, we would let the night return.’
‘You move me, Gimli,’ said Legolas. 'I have never heard you speak like this before…”
The Fords of Isen
“Long slopes ran swiftly down to where the river spread in stony shoals between high grassy terraces… The road dipped between rising turf-banks, carving its way through the terraces to the river’s edge, and up again upon the further side. There were three lines of flat stepping-stones across the stream, and between them fords for horses, that went from either brink to a bare eyot in the midst.”
Unfinished Tales states that there were “earth-forts” on the western side of the Fords.
Grimslade was the ancestral home of Grimbold, a lesser captain of the Mark. Nothing is known of the location other that it was in the Westfold of Rohan. The word “slade” seems to imply that it was either in a clearing or on a hillside.
Overhead plan: Most of the Rohirrim live in small villages and homesteads located near centres of agriculture, and are primarily based near the White Mountains. Based on this article (http://www.stephenwigmore.com/2012/08/populations-of-middle-earth-lord-of.html), the population of Rohan at our scale would be roughly 8600. Assuming the Westfold holds 20% of the total population, there will need to be ~1700 beds in this project.
Hornburg x 1 = 80 people (Erkenbrand + family + servants + builders + garrison)
Earth-forts x1 = 30 people (garrison)
Homesteads x 18 (20 people average) = 360 people
Lumber camps x 2 (20 people average) = 40 people
Villages x 6 (100-150 people average) = ~750 people
Large village x 1 (200 people) = 200 people
Burh x 1 = 250 people
Projects open for application
Projects on hold
A high proportion of occupations are to do with agriculture and animal husbandry. Men, women and children all helped on the farm. Most villages should not have that many services, instead the people make most stuff themself. Below is a list of tasks that a family normally have. Make sure that some of the tasks is portrayed in the settlements.
In bigger villages some occupants may be involved in some services. For an example: saddler, shoemaker, cobbler, tanner, weaver, carpenter, baker, butcher, jeweler, tailor, ropemaker, cooper, chandler, roofer, smith, potter.
In-game guide: The overall style of the buildings should be simple with a central fire and a hole in the roof to let the smoke escape. Buildings should vary widely in size, most of them being square or rectangular, though some round houses are okay to add.
The natural resources dictates what type of building materials can be used.
Straw is valuable commodity that can be used for the feeding of stock, thatching and as bedding material for both humans and animals. There are no glass windows, instead a wooden slit would be used covered by shutters. Toilets are just pits dug in the ground surrounded by walls. The seat would be a piece of wood with a hole in it. In each village, a main hall should be in the centre, provided with a central hearth.
For the roofs i want to keep it simple, I would prefer that you use the staircase block for the thatch and shingles roofs. Use the cross design on some houses as the examples below.
Regarding interior, usually there is only one room shared by everybody, with a hearth with a fire for cooking, heating and light. Poor farmers share their house with animals divided from them by a screen. Animals body heat also helps to keep the house warm. Floors are usually made of earth but wooden floorboards can also be used.
All villages and homesteads must be surrounded by plots of land, on which the owner could grow vegetables and rear pigs and chickens for his family.
The village layout should follow that of a nucleated settlement or a linear settlement.
Terrain: I will personally do the farmland.