Unexpected Inspiration Location: Quarters of Silveridge


Here's another look inside Silveridge, the capital city of Concordia! In an earlier post I showed what the city as a whole looks like. Here I'm talking about a few of the specific quarters/sections of the city. From left to right are the Artisan homes, the Protectorate homes, and the caravanserai where the carnival performers of Silveridge live. These pictures aren't exactly how I envision these places, but they're close.


Artisans:

I’ll start with the Artisans since they and their guildhall are the center of Silveridge. The Artisans are the group of people in Concordia who posses art magic and this group has existed since the time the country was founded. The building that now serves as their guildhall once housed the entire population of the small country, back before the population grew. This massive building served as a safe home for the first people of Concordia, but eventually some brave individuals decided to build outside the safety of the walls. They began to place their houses outwards from the guildhall in a kind of spiral pattern. At this time the rivers were still prone to flooding, so for extra protection they built their homes on stilts and used boats to get from house to house, as well as to dock on the hill the original building rested upon. Just like how their guildhall still stands 450 years later, many of these Artisan homes are still the originals.

That’s something that’s key to understanding Concordians and the Artisans in particular: they don’t get rid of anything if they can avoid it. Trends change, time passes, but they never discard the old. They just add the new right on top. In the case of their houses, literally on top. These houses were built upwards as generations passed, each adding another room or floor, with each addition a different style than the last, and each generation improving on the technology in the house. Even after the river receded and the land around their houses became soil, they never built downwards and any new Artisan house was built in the same elevated style. The reason for this is because all artists are bonded to a sentinel, their bodyguard/spouse, and sentinels tend to be gardeners. Plants are so important to them that their property is full of gardens and trees. The best way of telling where one family of Artisans lives verses another is to look at the gardens; their sentinel’s preference for plants will extend to the corner of their lot. The Artisan houses are all each unique and each painted brightly in eye catching (but aesthetically pleasing) colors. They probably look like they’re floating over a sea of green in the warmer months when the plants and flowers are in bloom. They also tend to look like they could fall over at any moment, but the buildings are safe because of the woodworking magic built into them.

Protectorates:

Speaking of plants, that brings me to the Protectorates, the other oldest group in Concordia. All of Silveridge is lined with plants and trees, and the Artisan section has even more, but if visitors to the city think that the Artisans have a lot of plants, they haven’t been to the Protectorate neighborhood/quarter. Or possibly they have visited and just assumed it was a large, wild expanse of park! (To explain the connection, sentinels are one type of Protectorate; sentinels simply guard individual artists instead of art/trade in general like the other Protectorates.) In most places you’d expect the soldier-equivalent to live in neat, orderly, traditional-looking houses arranged in a nice grid pattern. Not Concordia’s soldiers. There is a long, flat, well-fortified one story bunker-type dwelling at the center of their “park”- this is also one of the city’s original buildings and it now houses some offices and the training ground. Way back at the beginning of Concordia’s history, after the area was safe and there was no more threat to the people who lived here, the Protectorates began building their homes in the style that best suited them. Being made of wood is the only similarity these houses have to the Artisan ones. Because many Protectorates possessed Concordia’s native land-magic and this gives them influence over plants, they built around nature and shaped nature into their homes. The pictures I chose to represent the Protectorates have these houses elevated, but while some of them might be treehouses, I think the majority are at ground level.

Carnival Performers:

The other location in Silveridge I want to mention is the caravanserai where the city-carnies live. All other carnival troupes travel around the country and continent in their hovering homes. Silveridge, though, has a permanent troupe who perform at various venues and locations throughout the city. Their caravanserai is hidden in plain sight, disguised as a warehouse among a bunch of other warehouses that are filled with old art. (Like I said, Artisans don’t toss anything if it could potentially be useful in the future and after a while it just... stacks up.) This secrecy is partly to keep the performers from being followed home in a general, annoying kind of way, but it’s mostly because this troupe has a second function: they’re reverse-thieves who return stolen and ill-gained art back to its creators. To keep these carnies safe, their building is disguised and the entrance nowhere near the building itself. A tunnel that runs below the river leads to an illusioned wall at the end. Unless you know what to look for, you wouldn’t know that there’s a door there. Unless you know the knock and password, you wouldn’t be allowed in even if you could spot the door.

On the other side of this secret door is an open, grassy courtyard square. On two sides are the apartments of the carnies. Between these is the building that contains the communal kitchen (each apartment has one, too), the office of the troupe leader, rooms for records and organizing the art that needs to be returned to the artists, and group gathering rooms. I’m working under the assumption that the caravanserai was once a large inn, at least until the carnies tell me otherwise, but it could have actually been a warehouse at one time that was rebuilt inside. The caravanserai buildings don’t follow any sort of decorating style found in the city because that would involve some unifying "style." The carnies just have fun with painting everything and their taste and talent definitely isn’t as good as is found in other parts of the city. It’s special to them, though, and they put their hearts into it because they paint murals and symbols and things to represent the carnies who live there. Everyone contributed something to this colorful mess and it makes this home uniquely their own. It’s a good thing not many Artisans enter the place because the lack of a unifying aesthetic would probably make them really uncomfortable!


At some point I'll make some posts about other cities in Concordia, as well as other locations on the continent, but for now I hope this little tour of Silveridge was interesting. :)

CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like an amazing place to live. :) I really loved reading about it. And as an artist, I would love to be able to perform art related magic.
    -Quinley

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    1. Awww thank you so much for your comments here and on other posts. I just logged in and saw them and they brought a smile to my day. :) I'm an artist, too, so it was definitely wish-fulfillment when I put it into my world building. If only I could do magic with my crochet hook! Less tangled yarn, for one thing. ;)

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