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A Question About Heortling Steads

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4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I guess having spent at least one winter north of the arctic circle does change one's outlook...

Spending every winter in the Alps changes one's outlook in a different direction. In much of the Italian alps you get plenty of precipitation but still have a lot of mediterranean style architecture (alongside typical Bavarian or Tiroler style buildings). Given that the Heortlings are from Kethaela, I strongly suspect that their buildings look more Esrolian than folk give credit.

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Thanks for the new insight Jeff.

For me this makes more sense. In the past some interpretations have had too many Viking connotations for my liking, making it difficult to interpret/accept in the bigger cultural picture. 

There's a much better flow to the regions and cultures now.You can see how they relate ( from esrolia to dragon pass, to pavis for example) I very much like this clarification of the orlanthi stead

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Excuse my ignorance, but is The Coming Storm meant as an update and replacement for Sartar kingdom of Heroes? or as a compliment and extension of that material? 

From the discussion it could be interpreted that it may have additional background clarifications, that supersedes the previous Sartar books? 

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9 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Does this affect the material on Orlanthi steads in the OP RQ3 supplement Doraster, or does that still stand as is?

The steads in Dorastor are frontier steads of the Talastari in the Skanthi style. Given the proximity to Dorastor, those steads are fairly hastily bullt (like the sod homestead in the Cherokee Outlet my grandmother was born in). The settlements in Dragon Pass are older (more than a century old) and their rulers far wealthier and cosmopolitan than those of the Bilini (not to mention the Skanthi). 

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3 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The steads in Dorastor are frontier steads of the Talastari in the Skanthi style. Given the proximity to Dorastor, those steads are fairly hastily bullt (like the sod homestead in the Cherokee Outlet my grandmother was born in). The settlements in Dragon Pass are older (more than a century old) and their rulers far wealthier and cosmopolitan than those of the Bilini (not to mention the Skanthi). 

Thanks these distinctions really help. Your grandmother must have been a tough cookie :) 

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2 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Excuse my ignorance, but is The Coming Storm meant as an update and replacement for Sartar kingdom of Heroes? or as a compliment and extension of that material? 

No, The Coming Storm details the Cinsina and especially the Red Cow clan and their neighbors, so it provides a more detailed examination of some people and places mentioned in earlier books.

Where there's any apparent discrepancies, regarding house design, I imagine those can be attributed to variation within a culture: pre-modern societies never presented the same monoculture in architecture we are used to.

Edited by M Helsdon
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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Spending every winter in the Alps changes one's outlook in a different direction. In much of the Italian alps you get plenty of precipitation but still have a lot of mediterranean style architecture (alongside typical Bavarian or Tiroler style buildings). Given that the Heortlings are from Kethaela, I strongly suspect that their buildings look more Esrolian than folk give credit.

Esrolians are one of five types of foreigners in the Hendriki domain, according to History of the Heortling Peoples, and kept to the coasts in the early Imperial Age, along with the Pelaskites. The major agricultural culture in Hendrikiland were the northerners, refugees from the Bright Empire, who brought their building style with them - the same that saw the immolation of Brolarulf Burnt Poet.

Esrolia went up and down in Hendriking esteem. The betrayal of Finelvanth in the Adjustment Wars probably poisoned the relations for quite a time, and the general support the grandmothers gave to Belintar did not endear Esrolia to the emigrants from Hendrikiland, either. I expect a trend to live in a non-Esrolian way after the Adjustment Wars, and those who would not accept Andrin's actions as Belintar's puppet wouldn't have celebrated a "lets go back to Esrolian ways" movement either. The first steads in the Resettlement would have been sturdy houses big enough to bring people and lifestock through the winter.

 

I have little problem seeing this kind of stead in Esrolia, where it will be far from optimal, but workable. (I am still curious about "inner" and "outer hearth", though.) Low lying parts of Heortland, impractical but doable, too.

High up in the Storm Mountains, on the rain and snow side?

I don't see Harmast Barefoot and his Hendriki wife (from "Nine Women Well Loved") inhabiting anything like this kind of structure.

2 hours ago, Jeff said:

For style, look at old houses built around a courtyard in the Vinschgau or other parts of Alto-Adige (I took plenty of pictures of stone and timber houses some 4 or 5 centuries old built around a courtyard in the Vinschgau). Although the western slopes get as much as 175cm of precipitation, the eastern slopes and protected valleys get closer to 75 cm. Roof is slanted and covered with wood, thatch, stone tiles or terracotta tiles.

Ok, so we forego neolithic, bronze age and iron age farmhouse architecture for late medieval/Rennaissance north Italian farmhouse architecture, using saw-cut timber?

Sorry, Jeff, but that's too modern for me. That's from the black powder era...

The La Tene culture builders of Manching used more or less the same design that was used by the Anglo-Saxons before they came to Britain, and that while using the city planning of Hippodamus. I am fairly certain that the migration age peoples settling outside of the Roman Empire used the same style, and the people whose lands they took did as well. And yes, the Vikings used this basic arrangement, so did the slavs between the Baltic and Erzgebirge, as did northern German farmers up to the 20th century. It works for the climate and precipitation, saves fuel, and offers a good arrangement for the beasts and the equipment.

You want an earth rune shape for the stead? Three major buildings, a long house in the back of the arrangement, two houses flanking forward. Surround it by a stout wicker fence, have a bit more open space in the yard - you need it for poultry. Have a separate structure for bathing, pottery or baking, so that your main structure is not exposed to these extra hot fires (Gustbran, not Mahome). Have a well or a cistern so you don't have to drink any muddy water from the puddles that are bound to form in the court. Have an outhouse, probably next to the pigsty and the dung heap (you will keep some pigs and the oxen nearby year around; the horses, donkeys or mules, too). Where do you want to store your hay and your straw? Your turnips? Your firewood (or peat, or if you are going to be posh, your charcoal)? Where will your plow rest, where your wagon or ox cart?  Won't you have a small herbal garden inside your fence?

Most likely, a carl and two cottar families will share a "solitary" stead, so the two lesser houses flanking the court will likely be cottars houses, lesser versions of the big steadhouse. This will house about two dozen adults of various ages, and again that number children and adolescents. The stead will have eight oxen and a plow, a dozen hard heads and hand weapons, and a like number of household implements for the women to bring to the moot. At least one of the cottars will be known for a craft serving more than the immediate stead.

The main hearth in the steadhouse also has the house shrine to Ernalda. A column bearing the roof will be ornamented with intricate carvings in honor of the ancestors, and there will be a weapon display with sacred masks where small sacrifices to Orlanth will be held (like offering beer). Cottars' houses will have a fireplace if they are proud enough not to rely on the steadholder to warm them through Dark and Storm Seasons. Less proud cottars or stickpickers will occupy low status bedding near the stabling area, or sleep in the hay above.

The gate to the stead probably will have logs across rather than a hinged gate. It will be wide enough for the cart to enter, and for several cows to leave or enter abreast. In the warm seasons, cattle and sheep will be kept away from the stead, supervised by the herders, and the pigs will roam nearby woods, or fallow or recently harvested fields.

 

If you really want the "Heidi" stickpicker hut romance, you can have that, of course. Most likely as summer domicil (like the one that was burnt down in the Prince of Sartar comic) from where the herds on the high pastures were overseen. (Transhumance? Wasn't there such a word used for the Orlanthi?)

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I did a quick search on the locations Jeff suggested, but seemed to pick up photos of houses of later periods, not many looked ancient. My google-fu may be weak, and I will investigate further when I have time.

From what has been indicated, I do like the Earth Rune shaped design; it makes sense from a runic point of view. However, like others I am wondering how good it is for retaining warmth in winter. I could envision perhaps a fat longhouse for the rear wall, which also contains a hearth. The hearth would be in a main living area to make things hospitable in winter.  Having an open courtyard would be problematic in deep winter, perhaps animal skin tarpolines could be stretched across the courtyard, but this sounds impractical.

Edited by Mankcam

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I'd just get rid of the central courtyard and have the square inside a square wall, encompassing an outer courtyard.

 

I'm a fan of the old traditional Tibetan houses.

124P.jpg

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3 hours ago, Iskallor said:

I'd just get rid of the central courtyard and have the square inside a square wall, encompassing an outer courtyard.

 

I'm a fan of the old traditional Tibetan houses.

124P.jpg

Nice, but unfortunately refuted by canon or at least deeply embedded and verbose tradition - rural Sartarite housing is single story, no chimneys, smoke-filled slanted roofs. Stone as building material outside of the cities?

I don't see any potential for spiked trap houses against giant incursions in the Far Point, either.

Fine for Esrolia, unlikely but not impossible in Vendref country (where the farmers have a lot less lifestock), and highly tradition-breaking for the Colymar (who are the Sartarite tribe with the best hints pointing to an at least partial Esrolian origin).

If you are afraid of falling into European stereotypes, how about some pre-Columbian housing like the mound culture?

Darn, looks just like European neolithic housing.

MississippiMound.jpg

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42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Nice, but unfortunately refuted by canon or at least deeply embedded and verbose tradition - rural Sartarite housing is single story, no chimneys, smoke-filled slanted roofs. Stone as building material outside of the cities?

 

fgrfttteb.jpg

 

The only piece of "canon" that contradicts this is Sartar Kingdom of Heroes' reference to log longhouses. Which I already amended in the Guide to state that:

"most Orlanthi reside in sturdy, all-purpose wood, stone, or half-timbered houses (called a "hall" or a "longhouse") appropriate for the weather and resources in the region. A typical stead includes a couple of longhouses, each housing one or more nuclear families and often their livestock; villages typically have more. Other buildings include sheds for animals, hay, and other storage, workshops, and other outbuildings." Given that said description covers everything from Esrolia to Fronela, it hardly seems to restrict me.

So just to restate: most steads in Sartar and Heortland consist of a group of buildings arranged in an Earth Rune formation around a courtyard. They typically have stone foundations, and then are build of wood, stone, or half-timber, depending on the local resources. 

The difference between Inner and Outer Hearth is who is permitted within. You entertain guests in the Outer Hearth, family in the Inner.

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2 minutes ago, Jeff said:

So just to restate: most steads in Sartar and Heortland consist of a group of buildings arranged in an Earth Rune formation around a courtyard. They typically have stone foundations, and then are build of wood, stone, or half-timber, depending on the local resources. 

Sure. I never argued against that basic assumption of a rectangular (if possible, square) enclosed area, and offered my interpretation of the same information. I think that you will agree to me adding adobe or wattle and daub, cob, or grass sods for wall building material, depending on local resources.

Stone foundations prevent walls from ripping open when the soil sets, equalizing the pressure on the ground. Stones are cheap - usually collected from the fields when plowing, where they tend to grow out of the soil as if they were crops. If you have podsol soils, you could also collect the ochre-rich baked stuff below the sandy soil that may create trouble when plowing or when too strong rains come.

 

2 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The difference between Inner and Outer Hearth is who is permitted within. You entertain guests in the Outer Hearth, family in the Inner.

That would be the backside of the fireplace for the family and the central side of the fireplace for guests of comparable or lesser status in a poorer household.

I still think that guests of significantly higher status (like a tribal king staying the night at a carl's stead) would get access to the area behind the fireplace, but expected to avoid the shrine corner.

Thanes and higher status Heortlings probably will have a prestigious guest hall that will have its own fireplace to heat up when occasion calls for it. Just the bare minimum for playing at politics. But your run-of-the-mill carl won't have the means for such fripperies.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

fgrfttteb.jpg

 

The only piece of "canon" that contradicts this is Sartar Kingdom of Heroes' reference to log longhouses. Which I already amended in the Guide to state that:

"most Orlanthi reside in sturdy, all-purpose wood, stone, or half-timbered houses (called a "hall" or a "longhouse") appropriate for the weather and resources in the region. A typical stead includes a couple of longhouses, each housing one or more nuclear families and often their livestock; villages typically have more. Other buildings include sheds for animals, hay, and other storage, workshops, and other outbuildings." Given that said description covers everything from Esrolia to Fronela, it hardly seems to restrict me.

So just to restate: most steads in Sartar and Heortland consist of a group of buildings arranged in an Earth Rune formation around a courtyard. They typically have stone foundations, and then are build of wood, stone, or half-timber, depending on the local resources. 

The difference between Inner and Outer Hearth is who is permitted within. You entertain guests in the Outer Hearth, family in the Inner.

Ah ha. So thats the kind of look for Orlanthi settlements in Sartar,  combined with the info you've given us on the steads built to a Square earth rune shape with courtyard? So a settlement like Apple lane would have this sort of style of building, and Jonstown too?

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

The only piece of "canon" that contradicts this is Sartar Kingdom of Heroes' reference to log longhouses. Which I already amended in the Guide to state that:

"most Orlanthi reside in sturdy, all-purpose wood, stone, or half-timbered houses (called a "hall" or a "longhouse") appropriate for the weather and resources in the region. A typical stead includes a couple of longhouses, each housing one or more nuclear families and often their livestock; villages typically have more. Other buildings include sheds for animals, hay, and other storage, workshops, and other outbuildings." Given that said description covers everything from Esrolia to Fronela, it hardly seems to restrict me.

So just to restate: most steads in Sartar and Heortland consist of a group of buildings arranged in an Earth Rune formation around a courtyard. They typically have stone foundations, and then are build of wood, stone, or half-timber, depending on the local resources. 

Jeff,

I think the issue here is part of a wider one, you seem to wish the Satarites to have a more Mediterranean feel than many have been used to in much of the the body of Gloranthan material to date. 

Others (myself included) are very happy with the psuedo northern European cultural feel that many associate with Satar and the Orlanthi, and feel a Mediterranean feel in Satar just doesn't work as well for them.  Hill and Mountain bound worshipers of Gods of Storm and Rain wont look and act like a bunch of Cretans if you ask me, and behavior,dress and architecture that suits the climate would be in order.

Looking at what comes from the real world, (apart from roman villas) courtyards didn't make it northern European climates until the mid medieval period and then in a different form.

Now obviously you are in a position to drive your vision through, but may I suggest a certain amount of flexibility which allows people to interpret as they see fit. There can be an Esrolian style, a longhouse style and a roundhouse( stolen from celt iberians). Variations in both designs will exist due to materials, wealth and topography. So why not culture and preference too?

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For me Jeffs clarifications make sense. I always found the sudden change from areas like Esrolia to the pseudo northern european image rather jarring.

Looking at Dorastar again, the Talastari orlanthi feel more tribal and wilder now, in contrast to the more civilised Sartar clans. Theres more contrast to distinguish them, which I feel makes sense. 

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 I was thinking. On other games forums they discuss how to get a few more points of damage out of a class and how your character sucks is he is not maximized for damage output. Here we discuss what type of house our character will see on his travels.

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4 hours ago, TRose said:

 I was thinking. On other games forums they discuss how to get a few more points of damage out of a class and how your character sucks is he is not maximized for damage output. Here we discuss what type of house our character will see on his travels.

More importantly what type of house are we going to be chasing Broos around with our broad swords!?

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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Purely my interpretation (and I've made a few changes to Jeff's design) but taking the outline and a few other sources, I come up with the following:

  • A Steadholder's House, or Longhouse. Private habitation and hearth to the left, barn to the right.
  • A Chieftain's Hall, modified slightly to fit into the square template. The 'public' hearth below, with a raised platform to the right, and private partitioned rooms for guests and retainers; the chief's private hearth above, with the chief's quarters and those of his guard. The Chieftains Hall might also be the house of a wealthy farmer.
  • Two twinned longhouses, sharing a common open yard. I doubt the actual layouts would be exactly similar.
  • An 'Ernalda House' with the barns above, a central courtyard (though it might be a roofed space), the 'inner rooms' to the left, including a hearth, private rooms for the family fronted by a platform; the 'outer rooms' to the right, including a hearth and guest chamber.
  • A variant 'Ernalda House' similar to the first, but with the outer hearth below and two other chambers for guests, retainers, etc.

I've assumed that in the 'Ernalda Houses' retainers and lesser members of the family sleep in the inner hearth. The variant provides the guards or door keeper with a hearth and so might be more suitable for colder climes. Regarding heat, the animals in the barn will generate warmth, and the hearths will circulate heat for the private rooms.

 56df0f510b04a_OrlanthiHouses.JPG.4f6e1be

Orlanthi Houses2.PNG

Edited by M Helsdon
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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

For me Jeffs clarifications make sense. I always found the sudden change from areas like Esrolia to the pseudo northern european image rather jarring.

Looking at Dorastar again, the Talastari orlanthi feel more tribal and wilder now, in contrast to the more civilised Sartar clans. Theres more contrast to distinguish them, which I feel makes sense. 

I like variation and its got me looking wider for inspiration, I have now taken my anglo blinkers off when looking at celtic comparison so looking to dacian, thracian, pre-celt, celt Iberian as well as Gaulish and Briton.  I know the orlanthi are not celts but its added diversity to where I steal inspiration from. I'm still also very willing to dip into vikings and saxons for cultural ideas.

Edited by Jon Hunter
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28 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

 

 56df0f510b04a_OrlanthiHouses.JPG.4f6e1be

I should also add that I looked at some house plans for Mycenaean and Minoan houses.

Also suspect that a cottar and half-carl's cottage is square, but laid out like a Steadholder's House, but without the barn.

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