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Author Topic: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle  (Read 3293 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« on: September 08, 2016, 03:45:35 pm »


Coroth Castle: home of the Dukes of Corwyn. A marvel of a medieval Castle built on a plateau on an ancient site of pre-byzantyun magic. Five towers in a perfect pentagon have been built up over five single granite slab foundations, inscribed with strange runes of the old tongue, which no one can decipher.

It is believed that the five towers represent the five Protocols of Orin.  Each is attributed to a color: Green, Gold, Blue, Vermilion, and Black. In Alaric Morgan's time only the Green Tower is in use. The others have been locked up.

From the map of the Eleven Kingdoms image of Coroth, I extrapolate that the castle main gates face south toward the city and lead to the docks of the harbor in the southwest.   The west edge of the castle is on a cliff over looking the bay. The green tower should be attached to the Keep, because Morgan moves within the walls from one to the other. We also know that the very center is an open garden in the courtyard called the Barrough, this is the site that an ancient chieftains tome was found. (Codex: Green Tower page 106). Now, I realized the walls between the towers do not need to be straight lines; they could move in and out, or up and down with the lay of the land, but for simplicity sake I have drawn it this way.

So, here is the question. Which towers  do you think would best fit which colors? The green tower can only be 2, 3, or 4.  Not one of the south towers.
Any ideas where best to put the Keep and the green tower?

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 02:04:41 pm »
I have been rereading key parts that have Coroth Castle mentioned. I have still much research to review, but so far this is my personal conclusion of what the layout for Coroth Castle may look like. Please pitch in if you have other ideas.

  Codex Derynianus tells us there are five towers in a pentagon type formation.
  The Eleven Kingdom map suggests the entrance is to the south and the natural bay is to the west with a river traversing into the bay from the North.
  We know Castle Coroth is on a plateau overlooking the city and bay.
  We know the Green Tower is the highest tower and can be seen from far and wide.
  In chapter 3 of Deryni Checkmate we learn:
     There is a long narrow room off to the side of the Great Hall called the Solarium that looks out over the garden below.
     Alaric exits the Great Hall and sees the Forge and stables across the Courtyard.
     He turns to the right to pass through a gate in a stone wall and enters the garden.
     The Falcon Mews are next to the stables on the garden side of the wall.
     Alaric walks away from the falcon mews, down a  gravel pathway to a reflecting pond and then beyond that to the Grotto of the Hours: a tome for the first Corwyn Duke.

Thusly, I am  going to conclude that the Black Tower is in the south next to stables and forge and then the Great Gate; that the Keep and Green Tower are in the North. The Blue Tower would be west next to the bay and the Gold Tower would be in the east with the rising of the sun. That leaves the Red Tower in the South East with the Barracks and implements of war.

Here is my Lay out of Coroth Castle.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 03:20:24 pm by Laurna »

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 02:45:10 pm »
The positions of the colors make sense to me compared to the positions of the angelic presences and their symbolic colors in the Wards Major.  (Green is a healer color, but it's also associated with earth/growing things, which makes it as suitable for Uriel's position as black, and IIRC the gold/red/blue colors are also in their proper positions for a Ward Circle.  The black tower is sort of the odd one out in this configuration, but it makes sense to have the martial colors that represent war and death closest to the gatehouse designed to keep enemies out and allow warriors to enter and exit.)

The Green Tower being sheltered by the Keep makes a lot of sense; this would help explain why it alone of the towers did not lose all of its window glass when ap Norfal's spell went awry.  In theory, all of the towers are connected to the Keep via the curtain wall (the outer wall of the castle), which would be extremely thick and likely to have passages running through it to the other towers.  But in position 3, the Green Tower could be even more directly connected to the Keep if it is at the back of the courtyard, which would be the logical place to put a Keep (i.e., far enough from the gatehouse that it could be more easily defended if the enemy somehow managed to breach the outer gates).

Your outbuildings all look to be in logical positions to me.  One thing I would change is the location of your solarium.  Solarium is another word for a solar, which was typically placed on an upper floor directly overlooking the Great Hall, and usually positioned directly over the dais and high table.  There was often a peephole known as a squint or a small window that could be used by the lord and/or his family to peek down into the Great Hall from the solar above.  I don't recall if a minstrel's gallery is mentioned, but it was often over the opposite end of the hall, above the screens.  (The screens is the partition between the entrance to the building and the main part of the room.  It's usually a wood paneled wall with doorways in it, and having them there helps to keep the cold air from blowing directly into the great hall in winter.) So I would put your solar where your stairs and part of the kitchen are now, but on an upper floor overlooking the hall.

Kitchens in this time period were usually not directly connected to the main hall due to the danger of fire.  (At Rhemuth Castle, KK says the kitchens are on the lower floor beneath the Great Hall, but that is an atypical arrangement.  Bet it keeps Kelson warm in winter, though!)  You could perhaps have them in a building beside the Hall (like the one the residences are in, with an adjoining door between them. And you wouldn't need a space that large to hold the stairs. Or simply switching out the solarium and the kitchen/stairs on the map might work.  Often the stairs would be built directly into the wall, if you have stone walls, or there might be a small tower containing a spiral staircase.  Or you could have a dedicated stairway space, I suppose, but it probably wouldn't be quite that large in relation to the main hall.  Consider the size of that stairwell in comparison to the size of your chapel, for instance.  If it's meant to be a showy Grand Staircase, then sticking it in the very back of the keep is an odd location for it, and if it's meant to be a regular staircase, then it's in a huge space for utility stairs.  Personally, I'd assume the stairs are built into the thickness of your walls and just mark out where those stairwells are.  Often on castle maps you'll see these marked inside a wall with something that looks like a round pie with a slice cut out of it. I will assume there are also garderobes in various locations (probably also in the thickness of the outer wall) so people can tend to Nature's call.   ;D

I am going to assume that the residences are for Alaric's officers and their families, and other members of the household entourage.  Generally the lord himself and his family resided in the solar (and possibly adjoining rooms).  Historically, the solar wasn't just used as a lady's bower or a parlor, although it often served that purpose during the day.  At night it also became sleeping quarters for the lord's immediate family and sometimes even his closest retainers.  However, since KK's nobles seems to enjoy a little more privacy than the early 12th Century nobility of our own world, we can assume that he's got a private bedchamber that's perhaps adjoining the solar, or perhaps somewhere in the Green Tower closely situated to the solar.  He may prefer that over sharing his sleeping space with both his new bride and Lord Derry!  ;-)  Once the kids come along, their nursery would probably be close by as well.

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 03:02:57 pm »
Also, your version looks more like an authentic medieval castle than Deal Castle in Kent, which is Colonial era, IIRC, but have a quick peek at this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_Castle.  I love the aerial view of Deal Castle; to me, it looks like what you'd get if you allow hippies, or perhaps a gardener, to design your castle.  LOL!  But seriously, this is another way that you could have a multi-tower configuration for a castle.  But this has the courtyard in one of the outer "petals" rather than more centrally located, so your configuration is a much more likely layout for Coroth.  As Coroth moves from the medieval age to an age of artillery, however, I can see its outer defenses eventually being adapted and enlarged upon to make them more cannon-proof and allow heavy artillery defense of Coroth Bay.
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 03:33:44 pm »
Once cannon's are developed, I can see Coroth City building huge thick walls about the whole of the city. Even in Alaric's time I believe their would be walls about the city to keep out invaders. As for the castle I can see where the walls between the towers could be rounded and moved outward to give more internal space. I think the ground to the west side would be slopping slightly downward toward the bay. The Blue tower may be lower than the other towers even if it stands at the same height.  KK says that Morgans private study at the top of the green tower is about 20 feet in diameter.  So adding width for the inner wall, the circular stair going up,  and the thick outer wall, I would well believe that each tower is at least 80feet across that the base.

As to the lay out of the inside of the keep and the residences, I have no idea. The word I put as "stairs" just meant I thought they would be at the back of the hall some where but ?.  When Morgan Haldane was running around the castle chasing bad guys, did he have a good modern floor plan to run through?

In Chapter three of Deryni Checkmate, KK writes
     "Lord Robert of Tendal looked up from the document he had been reading and frowned as he glanced across at his employer. The duke was gazing out the solarium window to the barren garden below, his thoughts miles away."
 and  on the next page
        "Robert rolled his eyes heavenward in a silent appeal for patience, then waved dismissal with a gesture of defeat. Morgan jumped up and bowed with a certain ironic flourish, then turned on his heel and strode out of the solarium to the great hall beyond."

I am thinking that rather than a private solar, which would be part of the dukes apartments, that this particular room is equivalent to a withdrawing room or war room found on the main floor next to the great hall. Since we know the garden is on the right side of the keep than there has to be a window to look out.

Making an inner diagram of the keep is more than my mind can think on. Where is Shiral when I need her?   ;D LOL
 
Keep the ideas flowing.

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 03:53:53 pm »
The positions of the colors make sense to me compared to the positions of the angelic presences and their symbolic colors in the Wards Major.  (Green is a healer color, but it's also associated with earth/growing things, which makes it as suitable for Uriel's position as black, and IIRC the gold/red/blue colors are also in their proper positions for a Ward Circle.  The black tower is sort of the odd one out in this configuration, but it makes sense to have the martial colors that represent war and death closest to the gatehouse designed to keep enemies out and allow warriors to enter and exit.)



Evie, I am glad you pointed out that green is also suitable for Uriel. As I had trouble reconciling the north tower being the Black Tower.  Since you have mentioned this, I feel even more secure that the green tower is in the North side of the Castle fortifications. Presumably this castle was built on  the foundations of a Pre-Byzantyum architecture and was a  place of high magical power. Interestingly they had five sources of power. Over the centuries, did the Deryni loose one source of power, leaving the four archangels, were there originally five?

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 03:55:49 pm »
Interesting.  The solar was thus called because it was generally an upper story room with windows to let in light, so maybe the solarium (which does indeed seem to be on the same level as the great hall, if Morgan went directly from one to the other without going down stairs) also has a lot of windows that overlook the garden area.  Or it could even have cloister-style arches or arched doorways leading into the garden courtyard, sort of like a covered porch/outdoor room space, though given Gwynedd's climate, I imagine a fully walled room is more likely.  Either way, I imagine it has a lot of natural light coming in from somewhere if it's being called a solarium.  I can see Richenda taking advantage of the light in that room to do needlework while Alaric does his daytime reading in the same sunny space.  (If this were in a later century, I could even see a greenhouse style structure being called a solarium.  I put a conservatory in Rhemuth Castle's gardens in Visionaries, but it's a tad anachronistic for this century.  However, since Gwynedd's tech level tends to be a bit advanced compared to ours, it's vaguely possible Alaric might have one also.  Possible, but unlikely, given that unless it's a recent build, the same explosion that destroyed the other tower window would have also blown a greenhouse building to smithereens, not to mention the prohibitive expense of that much glass being used to build a room off the Great Hall.  No, an adjoining stone-walled or timber-framed room with lots of windows is far more likely, alas for my imaginings!)
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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 03:59:10 pm »
The positions of the colors make sense to me compared to the positions of the angelic presences and their symbolic colors in the Wards Major.  (Green is a healer color, but it's also associated with earth/growing things, which makes it as suitable for Uriel's position as black, and IIRC the gold/red/blue colors are also in their proper positions for a Ward Circle.  The black tower is sort of the odd one out in this configuration, but it makes sense to have the martial colors that represent war and death closest to the gatehouse designed to keep enemies out and allow warriors to enter and exit.)



Evie, I am glad you pointed out that green is also suitable for Uriel. As I had trouble reconciling the north tower being the Black Tower.  Since you have mentioned this, I feel even more secure that the green tower is in the North side of the Castle fortifications. Presumably this castle was built on  the foundations of a Pre-Byzantyum architecture and was a  place of high magical power. Interestingly they had five sources of power. Over the centuries, did the Deryni loose one source of power, leaving the four archangels, were there originally five?

I think some magical traditions use five elements rather than four (or the four archangels), but I don't know what the fifth might customarily be.  Spirit, I think.  In the movie The Fifth Element, that fifth element (besides Air, Fire, Water, and Earth) was Love, but that might not be the most authoritative reference for researching lost Deryni traditions.  ;)
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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 04:15:56 pm »
The fifth element in a lot of traditions is Spirit, and Camber actually referenced it at one point, I think when they were scrying for Ariella's battle plans/troop placement, but I could be mistaken about the exact time.  I know he did make reference to Air, Fire, Water, and Earth being united by Spirit in one of his endeavours, though.
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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 10:20:22 pm »
Good point DR.
Not long ago I recall reading one of the ritual magics, and duplicating it for  a story where they mentioned the spirit as a 5th part, and I wondered about it not understanding the significants. When I get home from work I will look it up. Thanks.

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2016, 12:39:24 am »
Also, your version looks more like an authentic medieval castle than Deal Castle in Kent, which is Colonial era, IIRC, but have a quick peek at this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_Castle.  I love the aerial view of Deal Castle; to me, it looks like what you'd get if you allow hippies, or perhaps a gardener, to design your castle.  LOL!  But seriously, this is another way that you could have a multi-tower configuration for a castle.  But this has the courtyard in one of the outer "petals" rather than more centrally located, so your configuration is a much more likely layout for Coroth.  As Coroth moves from the medieval age to an age of artillery, however, I can see its outer defenses eventually being adapted and enlarged upon to make them more cannon-proof and allow heavy artillery defense of Coroth Bay.
I visited Deal a few years ago and it was originally a 16th century construction, I'm not sure if that would fit 'colonial' era but I'm the wrong side of the Atlantic for that to make sense to me.

Once cannon's are developed, I can see Coroth City building huge thick walls about the whole of the city. Even in Alaric's time I believe their would be walls about the city to keep out invaders.
Effective defenses against cannon require very extensive walls (low, thick and often with multiple moats).

Coroth Castle having five substantial towers would be an unusual feature in our history - usually the central keep would be the tower, with perhaps the gatehouse and some very low towers along the wall (at most 1 storey higher). That's certainly not the impression I get of Coroth though.

It's also worth remembering that Coroth was home to the Kings of Mooryn for centuries. It probably encloses a considerable area.

I'd suggest turning the Great Hall so that one wall merges with the wall between the Green Tower and the Gold Tower. This would mean a simpler construction and the solarium would face south-east rather than east, meaning side windows would get sun through more of the day.

Also the walls connecting the towers are probably not the outer wall of the castle. If you look at this picture, remove the central square keep and have the five towers each part of the inner wall that surrounded it, then there's still the outer wall containing space for more extensive facilities for occasions when the castle needs to host a significant number of vassals and their soldiers.



And although you show a residence, I'd think the towers themselves would contain significant residential space (although an additional residential wing might have been added by the time of Morgan Haldane). Unless the towers are quite narrow, of course.

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2016, 01:07:42 pm »
Thankyou Drakensis
Dover castle is a great example of what Coroth could look like as a castle by the sea. Love the outer walls traversing the hill sides. I wonder what KK used as a visual guide as she wrote our favorite novels. I am not sure that the 5 tower configuration came into being until a little later in the story arch when she starting devising Lewys Ap Norfal's spell gone awry.

Coroth itself is already a thousand years old, being that it is such a strategic natural bay between the Southern Sea and the Twin River deltas, I well imagine a lot of funds were spent on its defense from a very early age. For the Duchy of Corwyn to claim neutrality after the Haldane restoration, it had to be well fortified to not be swallowed by either Gwynedd or Torenth. That is until the battles of Rengarth.  ;D Thus my interest in the lay out of the castle and court yard.  ;)

I am playing with your notion of turning the keep to match the north/east wall. Unfortunately it then defies KK's description of Morgan walking out of the Great Hall and seeing the stables and forge across the courtyard and turning right to enter the garden through a gate in a wall that goes from the keep to the stable. This wall would then cut the entire castle grounds in half and make for a much smaller courtyard. Maybe that would work, but I am not yet happy with it. I am still playing with different ideas. If anyone has other quotes that I have missed please share them. 
Thanks
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 01:09:23 pm by Laurna »

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2016, 01:29:01 pm »
Also, your version looks more like an authentic medieval castle than Deal Castle in Kent, which is Colonial era, IIRC, but have a quick peek at this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_Castle.  I love the aerial view of Deal Castle; to me, it looks like what you'd get if you allow hippies, or perhaps a gardener, to design your castle.  LOL!  But seriously, this is another way that you could have a multi-tower configuration for a castle.  But this has the courtyard in one of the outer "petals" rather than more centrally located, so your configuration is a much more likely layout for Coroth.  As Coroth moves from the medieval age to an age of artillery, however, I can see its outer defenses eventually being adapted and enlarged upon to make them more cannon-proof and allow heavy artillery defense of Coroth Bay.
I visited Deal a few years ago and it was originally a 16th century construction, I'm not sure if that would fit 'colonial' era but I'm the wrong side of the Atlantic for that to make sense to me.

Yes, it fits.  "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" is the rhyme all schoolchildren of my generation were as familiar with as English schoolkids are with 1066 as a reference point. Our state (the former colony) of Virginia was founded in the 1500s and named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.  And Jamestown was named for her successor, James I.  We learn about Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake in our Colonial Period studies.  So 16th C. falls smack dab in the middle of all that.
Quote

Once cannon's are developed, I can see Coroth City building huge thick walls about the whole of the city. Even in Alaric's time I believe their would be walls about the city to keep out invaders.
Effective defenses against cannon require very extensive walls (low, thick and often with multiple moats).

Coroth Castle having five substantial towers would be an unusual feature in our history - usually the central keep would be the tower, with perhaps the gatehouse and some very low towers along the wall (at most 1 storey higher). That's certainly not the impression I get of Coroth though.

It's also worth remembering that Coroth was home to the Kings of Mooryn for centuries. It probably encloses a considerable area.

Good points re: the walls.  I imagine that the city was walled in addition to the castle having multiple walls (an outer bailey and an inner bailey) so if the outer gate is breached, the inner gate can still hold off attackers before they reach the keep.

Quote

I'd suggest turning the Great Hall so that one wall merges with the wall between the Green Tower and the Gold Tower. This would mean a simpler construction and the solarium would face south-east rather than east, meaning side windows would get sun through more of the day.

 
I agree. And Coroth Castle's builders would probably thank you, since it would save on stone cutting to have a shared wall on one side of the Keep.  If Morgan turns right at the great hall door because he's heading for the garden gate, he'd still see the stable and forge across the courtyard from him as he's making his way to the garden, so I think it still fits the book description Laurna mentions. The shape of the garden needn't change, just the angle of the keep, making Morgan's walk to the garden gate just a little longer. Basically, pretend there's a pivot point at the rear of the Keep and pivot it on that axis until it's flush against the wall to the right.
Quote

Also the walls connecting the towers are probably not the outer wall of the castle. If you look at this picture, remove the central square keep and have the five towers each part of the inner wall that surrounded it, then there's still the outer wall containing space for more extensive facilities for occasions when the castle needs to host a significant number of vassals and their soldiers.



And although you show a residence, I'd think the towers themselves would contain significant residential space (although an additional residential wing might have been added by the time of Morgan Haldane). Unless the towers are quite narrow, of course.

Yes, the towers would definitely be used for housing as well as storage needs, and quite likely there'd be some sleeping quarters in the gatehouse as well for the off-shift guards posted there.
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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 04:05:00 pm »
Mind if I go crazy for a moment.....!

My Kindle e-book version of Deryni Checkmate chapter three reads:
"Morgan scanned the courtyard automatically as he left the great hall. Far across the yard by the stables, he saw a stable boy running beside a handsome chestnut destrier, one of the R'Kassan stallions the Hortic traders had brought in last week. .... And to the left by the forge, Morgan's young military aide, Sean Lord Derry, was talking earnestly with James the blacksmith....
  He reached a side gate to the right of the great hall and let himself through.  .... He saw a man cleaning the falcon mews far to the left, close by the stable area..."


My Hard copy, real book, reads "...He reached a side gate to the left of the great hall and let himself through..."

Is one a typo? Is one changed on purpose?  EECK! :o
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 07:31:55 pm by Laurna »

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Re: Help me figure out a good Layout for Coroth Castle
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2016, 04:12:01 pm »
I'd say pick a direction and call it good.  It's probably an accidental error.  Stuff happens, particularly when converting from one format to another.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

 

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