Mapvember #2

Well at this rate, I won’t even get the castle top levels out before the month is out. This is a nearly completed version – I got held up when I had to digitally add in windows that I had forgotten to include. I would like to add some more details to the rooms later but they aren’t needed for the main details.

The ground floor levels of Castle Caras Celairnen are reached via a drawbridge and bridge that span a wide defensive ditch. As the central castle is at the top of a rocky outcrop and backs onto the steep cliff down to the river, the risk of seige machines being brought to the main walls is very remote. Hence the purpose of the ditch is to create a killing field for the archers of the castle. Like all castles that have developed over time buildings have been added into the central courtyard, defensive structures have been converted to other uses and the overall feel is now of a ruling administrative palace rather than a defensive fortress.

  1. Defensive towers are three floors tall and topped by blue slate conical roofs. The lower levels are only accessible from the wall levels via the spiral stairs. The embrasures provide a wide arc of fire out onto the defensive ditch and also down to the river below.
  2. Central River defensive tower is similar to the corner towers described above except access to the tower can also be gained from the ground floor via a hidden door in room 18 which can be barred from both sides as needed.
  3. The right gate tower is similar to the corner towers. It has a stairway leading to the main wall above the gate and can be entered through a stout oak door which can be barred from the inside and outside of the tower.
  4. Central town-side towers are similar in style to the corner towers. Spiral stairs give access up to the defensive ramparts and both towers can be barricaded from both sides by stout doors.
  5. At the far end of the courtyard is the town’s administrative offices. The outer office is staffed by six scribes responsible for the administration of landing fees, permits and the other day to day minutiae of running a Charter town.
  6. Inner office staffed by two senior scribes.
  7. Records libraries lie off the inner office and are stacked with scrolls and papers related to the trade and administration of the town over the last twenty years. The doors to these rooms are often open during the day but are firmly locked at night (PL Medium).
  8. A series of steps lead down to an iron gate which is locked at night (PL medium) and a stout wooden door barred on the outside. These steps lead to a hidden water source down in the rock from which all the castle water is drawn. During the day in peacetime, it is often left open and unguarded.
  9. The kitchens are a constantly busy place. It would be difficult to pass by them without being noticed. A kitchen boy sleeps in the room to tend the fire and help the baker prepare bread for the morning.
  10. The larder is guarded by a single wooden door. Inside a wide array of perishable goods and preserved rations that keep the castle functioning are kept. A single arrow embrasure is closed up with wooden boards which can at need be removed.
  11. The guardroom can be entered from the main courtyard. The castle no longer garrisons a full militia here but 14 soldiers are permanently billeted within the walls. They man the walls in two shifts and are supplemented by locally billeted other members of the militia. Consequently, there will be 7 soldiers at ease here sat by the fire, eating, playing cards or in the dormitory beyond.
  12. The dormitory is filled with 7 bunks and 14 trunks for personal effects. The trunks have very simple locks (PL light). At the far end a curtain hangs over the embrasure for the arrow slit. When not sleeping the guards keep the wooden shutter down unless the weather is inclement.
  13. The door to this room is, like the door to the armoury, made of stout oak, bound in iron and locked (PL Very Hard). The ancestral armour of the house Silanir is kept within.
  14. The sergeant’s rooms are often occupied but are clearly empty when is voice can be heard dressing down one of the guards. It is simply furnished with a desk and bed.
  15. A stout oak door bound in iron and locked (PL Hard) protects the armoury from the casual intruder. Inside is a store of weapons needed to protect the castle in a time of siege. Not that this has happened yet but the captain makes sure that all the weaponry is well-tended and ready for action.
  16. Hall chamber with stairs to upper levels and locked oak door bound with iron.
  17. Great Hall
  18. Storage room with a hidden door (perception Light) concealed by a hanging and a rough plasterwork wooden door made to look like stone.
  19. Entrance hall. A set of wooden stairs lead to the next floor. Two locked wooden doors (PL Light) stand in the far wall.
  20. Storage
  21. The muster room
  22. Guardroom – metal grill looks out on to the hallway from the main door.
  23. Hall. Stairs lead up into the tower on the left and down to the gaol below
  24. Entrance hall. Designed to serve as a defensive space for the tower funnelling attackers into the kill zone from the arrow slits of both guardrooms.
  25. Muster room
  26. Guardroom
  27. Walled garden
  28. Minor hall used for general castle functions and meetings. Stairs lead up to a wooden structure that makes the second floor.
  29. Open walled courtyard with a rain-fed pond.
  30. The main courtyard is often busy throughout the day with castle staff, administrators, day guards, merchants and the general public. At sunset, the main gate is closed to the general public and the courtyard becomes a quieter place.
  31. The upper story to this building overhangs the one below. Beneath is space for stabling several horses of a short period of time. Longer-term stabling of horses is provided closer to the Causeway gate.
  32. Used as storage space but part of the defensive structures of the castle. The doors in and out can be barred in either direction to hinder attackers progress. Stairs lead up to the next floor.
  33. Anteroom to 32 and 34 is again another part of the defences of the castle that has slowly been converted to more prosaic day to day use. In this case a temporary tack room
  34. Used as storage space but part of the defensive structures of the castle. The doors in and out can be barred in either direction to hinder attackers progress. Stairs lead up to the next floor.

Mapvember #1

So Mapvember has arrived and as a little fun and to keep me going, I am going to try and join in this year. I can’t promise a map a day but I can contribute a little of the work ongoing in Caras Celairnen. Castle Basement level.

  1. Stairs passage from outside kitchen to the hidden well used to draw water in case of seige.
  2. A rough area for transporting smuggled goods. The stairs lead up to a secret entrance in a lodge beside the main keep.
  3. A locked door (Pick lock: Hard) of hardened oak bars entrance to a store area for smuggled goods. D10 crates with Southern wines and spirits. D10 pouches of hallucengenic herbs hidden in each crate (Perception: Medium). In the far wall is a secret entrance (Perception: Medium) to the excavation site beyond.
  4. A 25′ diameter cirular chamber of rough hewn rock stretches up in a small dome. Torchlight flickers off of a enormous pale yellow skull of a great dragon.
  5. The guard post stairs down from the keep lead to the dungeon. A single guard keeps a lonely vigil until relieved every 2 hours. His only task is to ensure that prisoners have not found the means to escape. The cell keys are kept by the guard captain and the chamberlin.
  6. Each cell is barricaded by an iron door (Pick Lock: Hard). Inside two small wooden benches serve as beds. In one corner is a piss pot and the other a small jug of water.