Tol Sirion and Minas Tirith

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, the island-side drawbridge has to raise to the island side, as far as practical value. As to 'why a gatehouse, then?' the answer could be that there's a conveniently placed rock in the river rapids that served as the base, and that each individual drawbridge only has to be half as long, which makes the questions of cantilevering it around much easier to solve. So, yeah, maybe keep those towers on the island side!

As for size of the island....I don't necessarily have a great concept of scale here. The fortress should be bigger than the gatehouse, certainly, so maybe a little bit more island? It doesn't have to be a particularly large island, though, so it's not like you need to make its footprint 3 times bigger or anything. I really do like the craggy rock, though!

As for architecture, I like the tiered effect of Kathrin's artwork. It very subtly suggests the later Minas Tirith without looking like it.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
Yeah, the island-side drawbridge has to raise to the island side, as far as practical value. As to 'why a gatehouse, then?' the answer could be that there's a conveniently placed rock in the river rapids that served as the base, and that each individual drawbridge only has to be half as long, which makes the questions of cantilevering it around much easier to solve. So, yeah, maybe keep those towers on the island side!

As for size of the island....I don't necessarily have a great concept of scale here. The fortress should be bigger than the gatehouse, certainly, so maybe a little bit more island? It doesn't have to be a particularly large island, though, so it's not like you need to make its footprint 3 times bigger or anything. I really do like the craggy rock, though!

As for architecture, I like the tiered effect of Kathrin's artwork. It very subtly suggests the later Minas Tirith without looking like it.
Thanks for the input! I will definitely take it into account when I get a chance to work on it again.

As for scale, I'm not working from a place where I am 100% sure of scale myself. I have a rough guess, but I will likely adjust it some as I build the actual fortress.

I'm glad you like the Rock, I was fairly surprised it was as easy to make as it was.

ill have to remember to make a large rock for the gatehouse to sit on as well.

When I do start on the fortress/tower, I plan to try to incorporate the craggy rock as part of the walls, using their natural defense to the advantage, and adding walls where they're needed.

Small detail about the draw bridge: should it have chain to raise it, or rope?

What could we have on the island that are eventually used as the dungeons Beren and Finrod and Co. are kept in? I don't imagine it actually having a dungeon.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input! I will definitely take it into account when I get a chance to work on it again.

As for scale, I'm not working from a place where I am 100% sure of scale myself. I have a rough guess, but I will likely adjust it some as I build the actual fortress.

I'm glad you like the Rock, I was fairly surprised it was as easy to make as it was.

ill have to remember to make a large rock for the gatehouse to sit on as well.

When I do start on the fortress/tower, I plan to try to incorporate the craggy rock as part of the walls, using their natural defense to the advantage, and adding walls where they're needed.

Small detail about the draw bridge: should it have chain to raise it, or rope?

What could we have on the island that are eventually used as the dungeons Beren and Finrod and Co. are kept in? I don't imagine it actually having a dungeon.
Perhaps the fortress is built over some caverns?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Storehouses of Finrod converted to dungeons of Sauron?
Wouldn’t the Orcs need the stuff in the storehouses? Or did they take whatever was in them so they could have a free for all for the food and leave the storehouses to be converted to dungeons?
 

Kathrin

Well-Known Member
Did an update for Minas Tirith; removed the 2nd bridge, also the island is actually visible now. I worked on the architecture a bit so it's somewhat more defined. Also I added a couple towers in the outer wall for stability and defense, that smooth outer wall seemed not quite right to me.

Unbenanntes_Projekt_compress18.jpg
 
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Kathrin

Well-Known Member
It very subtly suggests the later Minas Tirith without looking like it.
phew it's subtle at least :p While I was drafting it I'm sure 3rd age Minas Tirith was in the back of my head, and then I erased the walls about twenty times afterwards because I thought oh fuck no this looks just like some lazy hack half-assedly photoshopped minas tirith into a river..
 
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Darnok

Member
I feel like we almost have to include the tall roofed towers of the Tolkien drawing, since we have original source material from the Proffessor himself.
 

Kathrin

Well-Known Member
Ah I think I know which one you mean (this one right)? I could do that but I'm just personally not very inclined to over-use the tall-roofed towers since that feels a bit too cliché-medieval architecture. Also in this picture there is so much more energy put into the atmosphere and landscape than the architecture, so it feels less authoritative to me concerning the castle. I don't wanna dismiss the professor's pictures, they are wonderful, but here I really get the impression this building says "castle goes here" more than "this is how the castle looks".

But, dunno. What does everyone think? If we would work at developing coherent artistic periods (art, music, architecture) through time and cultures of middle earth, we would focus on early noldorin architecture heavily now. I gotta admit I only have a reaally vague understanding yet. I'd associate certain periods of middle earth art history with certain design preferences, but not with a specific art period, say, "baroque french architecture". So you have to build those art periods from scratch, from a couple of design choices. A preference for all buildings to be as high and filigrane as possible would be something that leads to those high-roofed towers for example (I have nothing against those towers specifically, just if every castle picture has them).

If you look at catholic churches you can draw some loose parallels from how high/ornate the churches were in that period to the general philosophy and doctrine of the church in that period. But what would be a middle earth trigger for that kind of preference? I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall when I draw these castles, for now. Ideally we would get to a point were the whole architecture feels embedded in these ages & cultures.

 
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Octoburn

Active Member
Okay. Slight update. Added walls, two towers and fixed the drawbridge. Took a few design cues from Kathrin's paintings, in terms of tower designs and walls. Oh, and added the rock the gatehouse sits on in the river. Any thoughts?

I might be pushing it to get it textured and in game by the last session, though.
 

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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome! I'm starting to get a sense of scale with these now, I think. I like how the image MT5 shows the layout and gives the connection between the bridge, the walls, and the towers.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
Awesome! I'm starting to get a sense of scale with these now, I think. I like how the image MT5 shows the layout and gives the connection between the bridge, the walls, and the towers.
I thought of adding another set of walls within the first, but the island's size really doesn't accommodate for it's necessity. Plus it may have been TOO reminiscent of Gondor's Minas Tirith.

Speaking of which, I feel there are mentions of Finrod's tower being white. I am actually a bit opposed to doing this, for the same reason. But I don't know if I want to go with gray stone, or something else.

I plan to make the only way to enter Finrod's tower to be by ascending the other tall tower and crossing over (similar to how Kathrin depicted hers, though she likely didn't have it as the only entrance) this would put Finrod's seat (and eventually Mairon's) at a nearly inaccessible place for enemies trying to get to them. And making some of the lower potions of his tower into what is eventually Mairon's dungeons.

I will be putting some barracks and/or stables around the walls, eventually.

Again, I'm hoping I can get this in the game so I can make a video before the 2/14 (?) session.
 

Kathrin

Well-Known Member
Wow these are really looking great. I like the way how the walls and buildings adapt to the rocky terrain, and the details on the palace&tower.

I think the question of multiple walls is really a question of size. Your walls are more or less the size of my inner walls, and the settlement is mostly palace, tower and maybe a couple of buildings, (maybe some space underground?), while I imagine there being an upper city that is mostly the palace and an under city along the inner canal that's much more residential. To avoid too much similarity to the 3rd age Minas Tirith I broke up the inner wall with some open stairs in the 2nd draft, so is much less a set of concentric defensive walls, and more owed to the fact that the city is built on roughly two height levels, and in my version they built up the second one so the had a flat foundation.

As to the access to Turgon's tower, I imagined it more as a convenience thing, so you didn't have to walk down and up *a lot* of stairs to go over from one to the other top floor, but it could of course be a question of defense too.

One person I showed my picture to had the tactical question of: wouldn't having only one bridge be potentially a big tactical risk? If you're gonna get attacked and the attackers burn the bridge, having a bridge to the other side wouldn't be that bad... But on the other hand a Fluchtburg would be stronger if there weren't too many ways to come closer. Also maybe if you really had to evacuate you could row up the river or something?
 

Octoburn

Active Member
One person I showed my picture to had the tactical question of: wouldn't having only one bridge be potentially a big tactical risk? If you're gonna get attacked and the attackers burn the bridge, having a bridge to the other side wouldn't be that bad... But on the other hand a Fluchtburg would be stronger if there weren't too many ways to come closer. Also maybe if you really had to evacuate you could row up the river or something?
I was considering this earlier as well. But everyone seems set on one bridge. So, I thought maybe there would be a small "port" of sorts, on the Western side, with a small getaway boat or two. But, that leaves you open to someone infiltrating the island by boating down to that small port and entering that way.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I was considering this earlier as well. But everyone seems set on one bridge. So, I thought maybe there would be a small "port" of sorts, on the Western side, with a small getaway boat or two. But, that leaves you open to someone infiltrating the island by boating down to that small port and entering that way.
Just make sure the landing is very small, with only a postern gate (maybe with a couple of right angles) to get inside.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think the emphasis has been on the inhospitableness of the western shore. So, no one would expect anyone to attempt to march an army down the western side of the river, because there are cliffs and just overall very difficult terrain. Whereas the eastern shore is more flat with trees, and easy enough to march through.

So, perhaps it is more accurate to say that there needs to be a bridge reaching to the east, rather than saying it is strictly impossible to have a bridge to the west.

Orodreth is going to survive the attack on Minas Tirith when it is overrun by Sauron, so clearly there *will* be a method of escape. Boats or an alternate bridge do seem to be the options. I think I would prefer the boats, but likely there are ways to make either option work.

I don't want to constrain artists more than necessary, just offer guidelines that 'fit' with the rest of the project.
 

Kathrin

Well-Known Member
Oh no worries, just the presence or absence of a bridge won't constrain me :D (unless, you know, that particular bridge the important part of the composition). It's more the fact that the moment you start actually drawing these things you start questioning everything much more because you're seeing it before you. Everything gets a little bit less theoretical and the viewer will also want the things that are right out of frame to make sense. If, for example, I'd included the really steep western border in the picture that thought wouldn't even have sprung up with me or people looking at the picture.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
While the double drawbridges of Minas Tirith are effective against ground-based armies, Sauron, Thuringwethil, and the other Vampires can fly. If they wanted to control the bridge, all they need do is fly over to the gatehouses. kill the guards, and lower the bridges for the rest of their army to cross. Perhaps this could be how we show Minas Tirith captured, while the Elves escape on boats down the river.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
Sooo... Unfortunately, (short of a major miracle) I will not have this done in time for the next session. I thought it would be done, but it's not looking good. I will have to work on it (and some others perhaps) in between seasons.
 
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