FANTASY FRIDAY XXXVIII
Final Human NPC Towns
...that's a lot of Roman numerals. Anyway, hope everyone had a good week and remembered to check back every Friday! I'm really excited to share with you the last of our 11 human NPC towns (not including the many AI homelands found in Kingdom Wars or the smaller quest villages) that will be shipped with the game at initial release. All of these towns, as well as the three unveiled in Michael's showcase, were designed by senior mapper extraordinaire, Mr. Doug Bonds. We also have another treat mixed into these towns with two new variations of the human wall texture - a limestone and mossy wall - to make these towns stand out a little more. These first two wall variations were designed by one of our very impressive art interns, Nikola Odic, and there's several more on the way for each race.
Before I turn you loose on the screenshots, let's recap on what exactly an NPC town is. NPC, meaning Non-Player Character, Towns are just what the name implies - towns controlled by an AI rather than a human player. However, you can still interact with these NPCs in many ways - through trade, healing and training services, and battle. With the obvious exception of Silicia Mas, the 'minor' towns differ from the four 'major' towns in that they typically have little protection and can be sieged by early-game players as a sort of stepping stone to larger sieges. These towns often have no complete walls or just a palisade wall with an open gate. Some have a single layer of heavy wall, typically surrounding a central keep area. Each of these towns offers their expertise in different services - head to the port towns to buy ships to sail the seas, head to Felsing for good deals on lumber, head to Galehock for stone, head to Silicia Mas for mercenaries, etc. Sieging these towns will bring in a fair deal of wealth in loot, but is fairly insignificant later on in the game compared to the wealth of the larger towns.
See also: Major Towns
, More Minor Towns
Durian Foss is often associated with the most serene land in all of Teria. The city is nestled into the Southmont mountains with a dramatic waterfall running into the town from the melting alpine snow. In the winter, Durian Foss is a quiet, almost snowed-in town, but during the rest of the year, it's bustling with activity as the villagers are busy with farming and livestock while merchants haul the excess goods into the bigger cities daily. Its single layer of stone wall in the innermost section of the town was added later, during the War Without Kings, after the townspeople faced their first, and so far only, onslaught by a foreign army. With their own water source and a surplus food supply, the men of Durian Foss were able to hold off the enemy orcs long enough for the royal army of Dagbor to relieve them. That struggle, however, had a permanent effect on the once innocent, peaceful village, and it tied the loyalty of the Durians even more deeply to the Lords of Dagbor, whose side they are always ready to take in the fierce political intrigues that embroil the lands of Mythador.
Nestled on the coast of the Middle Sea, Welgeth has a long tradition of daring oceanic voyages. Men of Welgeth are proud of the fact that their town is the western-most city in Mythador, and from this port, hardy lads regularly set sail, bowsprit fixed due west, in the hope of finding new islands or even whole continents. Thus far all have failed. Or if habitable soil was found beyond the Western Ocean, the men who landed there never returned. Thus the eternal question of whether another land exists across the ocean fills local lore and continues to breed the hardiest sailors this side of the Silician Corsairs. This love of the sea spurs the shipbuilding industry of Welgeth. The town is famous for its sturdy ships and bustling port. The lumber of the great Wold forest is one of its prime exports and a defensible keep was built generations ago, overlooking the harbor, to protect this prolific industry.
Located in Rollingplain, Westerdale grew out of what was originally a small group of nomads who came here eons ago in search of food. The hills of the peninsula were full of sheep and fertile land and the nomads immediately recognized it as 'home,' something they had never felt before. As an additional bonus, the curved peninsula formed a natural harbor with a steep cliff to protect it from the fierce ocean winds. Soon the nomads realized that this unique cliff would also make their small village invisible from the sea. They could build up against the cliff as high as they wanted without attracting attention from passing pirates or enemy vessels. With an abundance of food for the first time, the citizens began exporting their surplus goods, which marked their city on the map for international trade. They took up shipbuilding and soon this peaceful village became one of the wealthiest towns in Teria. However, the Silician Corsairs, located just north, are the true rulers of the waves in this part of Mythador, and they have never taken kindly to Westerdale's competition. The Silicians remain a constant threat, ready to strike whenever Westerdale shipwrights infringe too boldly on their specialty. Consequently, the men of Westerdale have to maintain a constant state of military readiness, poised to repel the raids from their fierce rivals that come with certain regularity.
Located in Rollingplain, Galehock was one of the first cities in Teria. It was a force that rivalled even Dagbor and Menthorn. It was built on a large plateau that was home to some of the best stone in all of Mythador, which made Galehock an economic powerhouse. And this unrivalled masonry made Galehock into a near-impenetrable fortress. However, what the early humans did not know was that Galehock was built on a fault line. As the miners chipped deeper and deeper into the earth, the earth began to tremble. Smoke and fire erupted out of the old stone quarries, and the shaking began. The citizens tried to escape nature's wrath. Some did, but most couldn't make it down the steep cliff fast enough and were thrown down by the sheer power of the earthquake. The entire city was reduced to ash and rubble. Thus it remained for generations, overgrown and reclaimed by nature. It wasn't until after the War Without Kings that men began to return to the city. Displaced peasants from all over Rollingplain fled to Galehock after their villages had been pillaged by enemy armies. They recognized the value of Galehock's natural defenses and built a settlement on Galehock's ancient keep. They rediscovered the magnificent stone and set up trade routes which brought in gold and new citizens. The city slowly re-emerged, growing and prospering, and as her walls grow even stronger over time, Galehock seems certain to become, one day, another great rival for control of the land.