Rise of Rathmore
Built good and strong, it’s opulent and we like it!
Sitting like an argent jewel amidst grassy rolling hills, the Rathfort commands stunning views of Iron Man’s bay to the north, the rustic hamlet sprawling about the basin of Giant’s Dale to the south, and the terrain for leagues around. Built in the time since the Blackfyre rebellions, the Rathfort is a new structure built in an ostentatious display of new money. Although the Rathfort is more fortification than one might expect to preside over such a small population, its real purpose it to protect the wealth of the Giant’s Dale Mines. Wealth that is spoken to in the rich appointment of the fortifications – the tall keep crowned by a lighthouse, the circular curtain wall, and its 2 watch towers east and west are all faced by white marble veined through with gold.
Beyond the sturdy south-facing iron portcullis and gate house, the Rathfort courtyard is neatly ringed round by wooden outbuildings nestling against the curve of the curtain wall. Opposite the entrance stands the marble-faced keep, wide staircase leading up towards double oaken doors studded in iron. In the northwest quadrant stands the newest building, an imposing stable with room for 40 animals. The stables conceals a guard’s entrance to the keep. Directly west lies a watch tower housing the armory and guard’s quarters. To the southwest, a bustling forge operates during daylight hours. In the southeast quadrant lays a tidy kennel, complete with fenced dog run. The eastern watch tower also hosts the Maester’s quarters, rookery, and library. Finally, off the northeast quarter of the yard, the two story servant’s quarters. A servant’s entrance to the keep is contained within these quarters as well.
Despite the ostentatious display of wealth, the Rathfort has been designed primarily as a defensive structure. The high hill commands a near unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside within the range of most siege engines. Only neighboring hills provide any sort of natural cover for an attacking force. Any direct assault must progress directly up the hill under withering fire from the slightly sloped 30 foot tall curtain wall. Crenel stones top the wall, with numerous arrow slits halfway up, attesting to a middle level of defense. On east and west sides, the watch towers stand, studded by arrow slits. Aside from the heavily fortified gate house, sally ports are found at the base of each tower, and behind the keep.
Inside the Rathfort, defenses become more subtle to avoid disrupting the decadent display. Staircases feature statues and tapestries placed to hinder a right handed attacker climbing the stair, while a right handed defender descending the stairs is free to attack. Overhead, curtains hide where portcullises have been installed in hallways to further deny access to attackers. Within a specific cellar, a hidden door guards a spiral staircase leading down into a natural cavern beneath the earth, which forms a refuge for noncombatants.
Yes, I know this doesn’t look like the description above, but I didn’t read it closely before I started painting. And for some reason I thought hills should be brown, rather than green.
This is a bit more accurate:
Top view (WiP)