Almondsey


Miscellaneous Places in West Estalia

West Estalia is rather impoverished and primitive even by the standards of Estalia, yet it has some fascinating places. This is a catch-all web page for places not otherwise mentioned.

Urgoth Castle on the Isle of Lis

Lis is now an uninhabited island in the Folgor Channel between Sargon Island and the Lowlands of Parll -- intentionally uninhabited because the Estalian government, when it established the prisons on Sargon, evicted all the residents. Urgoth Castle, now unroofed and falling into ruin, was once the stronghold of Hrolf Harlafsson, a Viking pirate in the 13th Century who established a 'kingdom' on Sargon and its islands in the Bay of Bisquet. He chose Lis for his castle, as Vikings tended to do, because it was isolated except by sea and easy to protect, having no landing places other than just under the hill the fortress is built on. There was once a small town at that harbor.

The castle itself is very small and simple, consisting of a thick polygonal curtain wall, a three-storied keep tower, a low building for the retainers (with the vaulted kitchen cellar under it), and a basic gateway with a guard room above it and a wooden hoarding over the entrance. The other building is a large great hall with an attached kitchen, both of which rise the height of two stories but have no upper floors. The banqueting hall had no wall fireplace, but rather a hearth in the middle of the floor the smoke of which wended its way out through the thatched roof and the three small windows. There was a narrow balcony reached by ladder opposite the dais that was used as a minstrels' gallery.

Every now and then, this ruinous place is taken over by bandits and squatters, but they are soon rooted out by the garrison of Sargon. Escapees from the prisons are often able to swim to Lis, but soon run out of food and surrender or are recaptured (then severely punished).

The castle ruins have a very picturesque silhouette atop their steep hill and have often been painted by romantic landscapists.

(a) Powder magazine, (b) WC, (c) Staircase, (d) Barracks, (e) Armory, (f) Kitchen, (g) Pantry, (h) Mess hall, (i) Commandant's room, (j) Muster room, (k) Big cannon

Fort Lingus on Sargon Island

Fort Lingus and its twin Fort Lotus guard the north and south ends of the prison island of Sargon in the Bay of Bisquet. They are simple square artillery fortifications on the mid-18th Century, basically not much more than redoubts. Lingus is on a height, Lotus on a lowland; otherwise they are nearly identical. They have four arrow-shaped bastions (with powder magazines underneath) at the corners, a ditch around the site, and a moat along the entrance side. Approach is by a causeway at right angles to the gateway, covered by a mural gallery with gunloops, and ending at a drawbridge. The interior consists of three two-story buildings with flat roofs -- a barracks for the small garrison, a mess hall and kitchen, and a muster room. There is a square staircase in one corner of the courtyard and another external stair near the gate, leading to the parapet. The staircase continues up to a third story that serves as a watch tower.

Prehistoric Villages on Mockmoor

As early as metal was discovered, Mockmoor was a mining center for lead, tin, and copper. The aboriginal Estalians built several small protected villages, or raths, for the mining community. Shown here is the best-preserved one, Momerath, far to the south near Soliva. It consists of an oval dry-stone (unmortared wall) with ten circular stone huts within its surrounds; there are also remains of a silted-up double ditch and embankment, and several huts outside the wall. These huts were basically just a large round room, with an open hearth in the middle of the floor and little storage alcoves in the walls. The roofs were conical and thatched, with a hole in the center to provide light and ventilation. There was a well in the courtyard, a small enclosure for sheep, and a drainage area at the north; access to the wall-walk was by two stairs by the recessed gateway. It is not known who their enemies were that they should need such protection, but one suspects it was their neighboring raths.

Urchinfield Hall

Baronet Munch is the secondmost important nobleman in Palmania, holding the lands of the upper So-Ar valley under the Lavor-ta'Lott Hills. His estate, a fortified hall-house with attached manor farm and other outbuildings, is tucked into a fork of the So-Ar north branch, and is very remote from civilization apart from his Palbo-mim east of Soliva. The 'castle' is a small Great Hall with an attached round tower. The ground floor contains the kitchen, a well, and four vaulted cellars. Main floor is the two-storied great hall with its minstrels' gallery, oriel window, and large fireplace; the solar occupies the first floor of the tower and is in the shape of an irregular octagon. The north gable side has some small mural chambers for the use of servants (who lived in the outbuildings), and has a wall-walk at the top, reached by trap-doors in the angle turrets, a watch room for the two-or-three men-at-arms, and a portcullis room. The southwest angle projection houses a garderobe, the baronet's bathroom, and a private terrace on top. The upper two floors of the tower are, respectively, the withdrawing room and the lord's bedroom; its top is a flat battlemented structure, with a very low conical roof hidden behind the parapet.

Yizmuth Tower

This tower-house is at the foot of the Lavor-ta'Lott Hills on the road between Liga and Parson and is basically just a toll or customs post attached to an inn (The Dog of Lavor). It is a simple four-storied structure built into the hillside: vaulted cellars, kitchen and guard room on the entry floor, hall and withdrawing room on the second, and the solar, main bedroom, and caphouse at roof level. There is no parapet, the only defences being the caphouse, the thick walls, some loopholes, and an internal machicolation over the front door.


Estalia