EDIT 2: Fixed.
EDIT: It seems putting in spoiler tags fucked up my quotes. I'll fix them soon.
In the near future, I would like us to finalize a general concept for what we Indoril Chapels (formely known as Castle Estates) should look like. Progress on settlements like Roa Dyr requires a framework for what buildings and NPCs are found in all Indoril Chapels. What are their roles and purposes? And what layout features should most Indoril Chapels share?
To help faciliate discussion, I’ve gathered together relevent posts from the old forums that touch on the subject. Important points to address include the names and roles for the indvidual structures discussed in Swiftoak and Gnomey’s posts, along with how they should be arranged.
Do you have more recent thoughts on this topic, Gnomey?
Sload: Indoril Society (Proposal) - 4 June 2014
The Indoril do not live among the people they rule. They live in their castle-estates, dispersed throughout the wilderness of their lands or in the great city of the Mourning Hold.
The castle-estates of the Indoril are in the Mournhold style. They are not as numerous as the townships, but because of their vertical orientation and majestic form, they are more visually prominent in the distance. They will not have services for the player unless the player is a member of House Indoril. Each that exists needs to be thought out and they should not be especially numerous (on the order of a half dozen to ten)
Sload: Indoril Castle-Estates – June 17, 2014
The castle-estates should be regarded as very large, self-sufficient houses. There should be minimal individualized, private spaces - such as homes and shops. Everything should be oriented around service to the Indoril lords: public squares should be the courtyards and entry-plazas of the Indoril's castle; work spaces should be situated in relation to the Indoril's castle, not the worker's abode. Above all, these are not towns.
Each castle-estate has a name which is unrelated to the name of the family which holds it.
The castle-estates should be fortified and imposing. They should have walls and gates, they should tower over the landscape, if possible. They should visually and geographically represent the rule of the lord over the surrounding territory.
They should not be open. If a castle-estate is located at a crossroads, it is above, overlooking, controlling the crossroad, not directly at it, allowing the traders and pilgrims and what not to pass through the heart of the castle-estate. While they may have more than one entrance, it should not be the logical route along a road to pass through the gates of the castle-estate.
The NPCs in each castle-estate must all have a clear relation to the Indoril lord who rules it.
- They might be the Indoril themselves, each castle-estate must have a small number of Indoril who rule.
- They might be their sworn guards, who protect the castle walls and establish order within the castle.
- They might be their servants, either their house servants who wait on the Indoril, or those who do some craft in the Indoril's service.
- They might be their Apologists (name open to change), members of the Temple order which serves the religious need of this particular Indoril family. Each castle-estate has an order like this.
Castle-estates should offer no services to non-Indoril players. No one who would offer services should have the presentation of a "shop," their activities should be presented as being done, for free, for the Indoril lord. Once players are full members of House Indoril, they can use their services (which will be barter just like any other service, let's not overdo it).
The castle-estates should not generally have fast travel, and if they do, they should not be central nodes, but rather off-shoots. It should be a decision the player makes to visit a castle-estate, whereas they are more likely to pass through the Velothi villages as they cross Indoril lands. Some castle-estates will have to have fast travel (in Gorne, for example, it is necessary), but this should be done with intentionality and caution.
Number and location
Every castle-estate is ruled by an Indoril Lay Elder (or Illuminated Elder, if that elder serves in the Serene Assembly). Each castle-estate should be said to rule a certain extent of territory around it. There may be a few castle-estates that are very small (essentially large manors) and that rule only a small area, but these should be few.
The placement of castle-estates should be preplanned across all Indoril territory.
Yeti: Indoril Castle-Estates – June 18, 2014
Outlanders should show up sparingly. The Great Houses on Vvardenfell employed them in noticeable numbers, but they weren't as socially cloistered as the Indoril are. But since the Indoril are fine with putting the player to work, they shouldn't be completely against employing other outlanders as well. I assume they'd end up working the menial courier jobs, or filling in a specific craftsmen niche.
Swiftoak – Indoril Castel-Estates – June 21, 2014
For worldspace design, I very much think keeping the building count on the low end (I would go even less than 10) will emphasize the uniqueness of MH architecture. That's not to say the estate can have more sections than structures, but I prefer something more consolidated and integrated. These are estates, not castles with a few buildings around them. I don't think this is the most important issue atm though.
Swiftoak – Indoril Castel-Estates – July 16, 2014
Super rough proposal detailing the various aspects of a typical Indoril estate. Obviously this can be flexible as to avoid being monontous/formulaic. This also does not necessarily mean number of buildings. Actual layout can vary between a few structures and a single structure. These are just typical sections.
Edit for clarification: The following is just a specific example of how this could play out. What I want to emphasize is not any particular forumla or layout, but what (generally) composes of a (typical) castle estate, and their function.
Main Keep/Manor/Residence: This is pretty self-explanatory. This is the residence of the local Elder, and their immediate family. Fortified and well-guarded. For the most part, this should be the most isolated, inaccessible aspect of the castle.
NPCs: Illuminated/Lay Elder, Family members, servants (possibly service NPCs too) and slaves.
Services: Elders usually have personal services. These services should not be merchants, and the services should be tailored explicitly to the needs of the Elder and his family. These can be housed in a seperate building or attached to the main keep (perhaps in smaller estates). I don't think these should be "shops" either, or have a very merchantile nature to them. (IE the blacksmith maintains the needs of the elder and their garrison, the alchemist would tend to the needs of the family (the goods they offer should be tailored accordingly) etc.) No general-purpose merchants.
NPCs: Service people, apprentices, possibly also servants themselves if not in the main keep.
Hall of Delyn's Creed:This is basically the audience chamber of the estate, and perhaps the only part of the estate where local serfs can bring forth their grievances. However, the Illuminated Elder does not hold audience here, prefering to entrust such affairs to a subordinate (probably a relative of lesser stock). This sub-ordinate should be a Keeper of Delyn's Creed, upholding both the laws Ordained and Determined in the name of the Triunes and the local soverign. This should be placed at the periphery of the estate at a location which is accessible. Probably a low key structure, or the entrance hall of a smaller estate.
NPCs: Keeper of Delyn's Creed (could be any rank between Creedman and Concordant Minister), their clerks and stewards.
Sanctum of the Apologists: Basically the place of worship for the local Elders. This could be a seperate chapel or basically a room in the main structure. Also houses residences for temple servants.
NPCs: Temple clergy.
Barracks: Pretty self-explanatory. The castle garrison. I would assume the local prison would also be here.
NPCs: Guards, blacksmith possibly, prisoners, an accorder or partisan to head the local garrison.
Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – July 19, 2014
I personally think Indoril castle estates should serve as prisons in Indoril lands, as Imperial forts will be understandably lacking in the area. They should as such all have jails. I'm assuming that Almalexia will also have a prison. I'm thinking that Indoril castle estates should generally not serve as Almsivi Intervention locations; temples in the Velothi towns and Almalexia would probably suffice.
Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – August 6, 2014
First of all, Ayemar, while rather small, basically gets every point right in my opinion, so it can be used as a reference in lieu of my plugin.
1. I think Indoril Castle Estates should always be monolithic structures. Everything should be a visual extension of the central residence. I think curtain walls should be avoided when possible, and when present should generally be rather low, so as not to distract from the residence.
This would also set the castle estates apart from Imperial forts, which are little bubbles of Imperialism in a hostile land. For castle estates, the surrounding lands are basically the garden.
Estates in Lan Orethan could be a bit of an exception, often having walled-off courtyards. (They really would be closed-off bubbles, like Imperial forts). The surrounding walls would not so much be for protection from siege as for blocking out the outside world, though.
When discussing Indoril Castle Estates a long while back on IRC (specifically Akamora) Sload mentioned Pyke from Game of Thrones, which I think illustrates this point rather well. Japanese castles also tend to do a better job of illustrating this point than European castles.Tibetan fortresses might provide the best examples, though.
2. related to the above, Indoril Castle Estates should be imposing and intimidating structures, but I don't think they need to necessarily be very fortified. Indoril lands are probably the safest in Morrowind, especially for Indoril nobles. I think Indoril Castle Estates should be palaces first, fortresses second.
Estates in the Mephalain mountains could be a bit of an exception, being more fortified and martial in nature. Roa Dyr could also be an exception, in which case it was probably more recently fortified due to Hlaalu gaining the land on the other side of the Thirr.
3. Indoril Castle Estates should not be square or rectangular. The Mournhold tileset seems prone next only to the Imperial tileset to make developers forget to ever turn off grid and angle-snap. I object to the practice for the sophisticated reason of thinking that the resulting structures tend to look boring. When using symmetry, I'd prefer if triangles (which nicely illustrate the Indoril noble's piety), circles (which nicely illustrate the Indoril noble's ego-centrism) and other shapes (like Ayemar's pentagonal courtyard, or a star fort for all I care) were used. I think organic shapes work best, though, as seen in Roa Dyr.
As for interiors, the following seem sensible to me. Not all need to be present in every castle estate, even partially, and they should probably never all be present as individual structures. The names are naturally open to change. There can also be other interiors, if additional interiors makes sense for the specific castle estate. (Like a dock house if the estate is on the waterside).
Residence: obviously where the noble lives.
Barracks: often a guard tower. Where the guards sleep.
Jail: usually included in the barracks. Very important, as this is where the player gets sent when he commits a crime in Indoril lands.
Hall of Craftsmer: where the craftsmen of the castle, such as the blacksmith, work, though the blacksmith's forge could equally well be located in the barracks.
Hall of Toilmer: where all of the servants (as opposed to slaves) sleep and eat. Often merged with the Hall of Craftsmer.
Hall of Tollmer: the offices of the court bureaucrats who oversee things like regional trade.
Hall of Delyn's Creed: as Swiftoak described it. This should always be on the periphery of the estate, whether it's a separate structure (as I think it usually should be) or not.
Council-hall: this is the audience chamber for people the noble actually wants to meet personally, generally peers. When not the residence's main entry, this would be located in a nice spot such as a garden. I personally think this could also often be an outdoors thing, for example under an EX_MH_bazaar_booth_01. Pagodas are also rather good for this purpose, though too small for larger meetings.
Sanctum of the Apologists: just as Swiftoak described.
Shrine: where the noble performs any religious rights personally. Often either a room in the manor or connected to the Sanctum of the Apologists. (Or, naturally, both). Not having a personal shrine would be frowned upon. Not using it at all, leaving that to the apologists, would be general practice, at least in some places.
Slave's quarters: I think these are best located in Velothi cave-dwellings just outside of the manor but within easy view of the barracks, if not necessarily the main manor. (Out of sight, out of mind, after all).
Swiftoak – New Roa Dyr Design – August 15, 2014
I was away all week and I should have mentioned this. I think servants should live in the basement level of the main structure, rather than a separate structure. And the basement should be done in the to-be-made foundational set. Having them live in opulent-MH style buildings goes against the plan we approved for Indoril.
Also, the "Hall of Delyn's Creed" should be called the "Chapel's Entryway". Technically all Indoril above the Creedmer rank are k.C.D (the mention of Delyn's hall in my originalo proposal was a mistake). I like the idea of having a separate non-rank title for the estate's steward. Also this should be the only building outside the estate proper.
Gnomey – New Roa Dyr Design – August 15, 2014
While I understand your argument, I think this building is small enough and its interior looks poor enough. Its being in the MH set should reflect more on Ilvi's wealth than the servants', as the building is his property even if it is a stand-alone structure at the edge of his estate.
I also have the more practical concern that the foundational set still needs to be made, including the two or three exterior pieces, and making it a requirement for castle estates would tighten the bottleneck on progress in Indoril lands even further.
Gnomey – New Roa Dyr Design – August 16, 2014
A lot of the buildings you removed have specific roles in the castle-estate, and would need to be replaced. The ceremonial roles of those buildings as well as the gardens are far more important features for Indoril castle-estates than fields or the like. Castle-estates are Indoril utopias. Form over function.
Castle-estates do not need to highlight the gap between Indoril rich and poor. Castle-estates are sanctuaries for the rich; gated communities. The poor are not wanted, except to directly serve the lord. Fields and mines are not to mar the noble's view over the blessed lands of the Indoril.
Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – May 22, 2015
As far as the first is concerned, as Roa Dyr was getting a little too crowded for me to be able to play around with it comfortably, I set up a new prototype estate. I chose the location of Bet Yhdas near Fort Windmoth to that end. I have attached the .esp below. Here are some images of my current progress: