Almondsey


Sagasity, Estalia


Sagasity Castle. This building is the official residence of the Moderator of Sagasity, who is in effect the theocratic dictator of Krum. He is elected for a life term by the Council of the Righteous, whose buildings are described later on this web page. The castle is mainly 17th Century, on the site of an older fortification, and is constructed on a scarped rock jutting into Sag Lake. It is built of an attractive ecru sandstone ashlar, which belies its grim reputation (although it is not strongly fortified).

Front Range and Courtyard. The castle is surrounded on two and a half sides by Sag Lake, and the rest by a combination of wet and dry moats. To the north, outside the precinct, is the market square, with a police station and gallows. There is a round tower at the northwest corner, and between it and the gatehouse are servants' quarters. East of the gatehouse, which holds the mounted garrison and is protected by a portcullis and drawbridge, is stabling. In the courtyard is a small prison for dangerous criminals and heretics under condemnation for execution. Underneath the courtyard is a large underground vaulted cellar for food stores. The whole of the south side is taken up by the Great Hall building, described below. The postern gate, by the private garden, leads to a small dock.


First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Upper Levels.

First Story: Above the official rooms on the ground floor (kitchen, pantry, and court and government offices) is the Great Hall; there is an alcove over the porch and a screens passage with its 'grand' staircase. The west tower range at this level contains the servery, sitting room, and official library, while the eastern range holds the solar, private chapel, and the Moderator's withdrawing room. The small chapel is a beautiful vaulted room with walls of alabaster and elaborate Thud/Lott mosaics. While the two-storied great hall, with its minstrels' gallery and huge fireplace, is for formal occasions, the Moderator normally dines in the 'sitting room', which has a small terrace for formal addresses to standees in the courtyard, by the servery. The upper level of the front range contains the hay loft for the stables and the grooms' chamber, the guard rooms, and the servants' dormitory (men-only -- the maidservants live in the garrett over the bedroom wing). Top floor of the police station outside the precinct is the constabulary dorm -- it will be noticed that having the police station is an effective substitute for a formal barbican.

Second Story: This is the wall-walk level for the northern part of the castle, with only the watch tower and armory rising above it; the 'armory' is actually a day room/mustering area for the garrison, which is very small, ten cavalry officers with commando training. Over the armory is a flat defensive tower-top, with two small cannons. Cannons are also mounted on the platform next to the gate tower, and on the projecting turrets at the northeast side. The 'watch' tower is also the commandant's bedroom. The upper part of the great hall is open, except for the minstrels' gallery, which is actually a viewing gallery, and a projection at the dais end from which the Moderator makes important announcements. West of the hall are three bedrooms for important officials -- not family, because the Moderator is officially celibate. In the eastern wing are his Privy Chamber, for important conferences and audiences, and his private study over the chapel.

Third Story: More bedrooms for big-shots (west wing, with the maidservants' garret over), and the Moderator's private suite in the east wing. There is a connecting passage between the two wings along the lake front wall overlooking the garden. A garret floor over the Moderator's great chamber houses his personal servants -- valet, butler, secretary, etc.

Plan of the Council Complex: The Council of the Righteous inhabit a building similar to a monastery just to the east of the castle, along the town wall.




Hall of the Righeous

Town Plan

This is a breathtakingly beautiful town, all built out of the local sandstone, very compact, and not 'suburbanized' outside the town walls. It has a wonderful lakeside setting, with verdant hills in the backdrop. However, it is one of the most hidebound, conservative, religiously intolerant towns in Estalia. The Great Temple, the Castle, and the Hall of the Righteous college are the main features, and a large parochial school for the county and the hospital (for the insane -- i.e., unbelievers who are not heretical enough to be executed). It is also a very actice market town, with a dock on Sag Lake dealing with lighter traffic up the River Ramat, a large market square, and a fine indoor mall. Given the very small population, the town distributes itself well class-wise: the poor living in the sector above the school and along the town walls by the hospital, the store-keepers along the high street, the established clergy and politicians north of the grand temple, and rich folks facing the inlet of Sag Burn opposite the castle. However, as in all Estalian towns, there are inns, two particularly goods ones on High Street: Rananak Arms and Foolbody Place; and the fine Flora Hotel, part of the Castello Chain. Although this town is fortified with a wall, there is no real defensive garrison or any attempt at artillery defense -- the place is considered as too out-of-the-way to be bothered with. The darker green belt within the ring road is the cemetery -- this is an old tradition, to protect your town with a ring of dead ancestors.


Sloe

This is the main port of the County of Krum, with the largest temple outside of Sagasity and an administrative 'castle'. There are farms to north and south and a large Common to the southeast. The whole face along the river bank is a quay. Note that fortification is very light; for some reason the Moderators of Krum never felt that this was a vulnerable site, or perhaps did not care. The temple on the Market Square is very large and elaborate. Note also the Tithe Barn (communal warehouse) in the castle, the court buildings, and the impressive keep tower on its motte.


Poggle

The town consists of a temple, a school, an infirmary, two docks, a market square and fish market, a battlemented wall with two gates at the east side (and a thin wall on the north and a duck pond), two inns, and about 40 small 3-story houses. A fish-salting plant is located a few hundred yards up the road to Sagasity; this was built in the 19th century to minimize the smell as well as to improve preservation of the catch. For a description of the fort, see Poggle Tower.


Estalia