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Rondstat

Rondstat

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Elf of Seren said:
I want to write something from an Architectural Historian's point of view on the founding of the cities, and how they got to where they are from the small outposts that they were, but I am not an architect, and the timeline on the cities still fuzzes me out a bit.




Oh man,that sounds like an awesome idea.

I don't claim to be an architect either, but it is one of my interests, and I've certainly taken note of Runescape's architecture.

Ullek was the largest, most opulent metropolis in the 2nd Age, and probably a good indicator of early architecture. From what ruins we can see, it's got a slightly hellenistic feel, more Ptolemaic than the Old Kingdom style of most of the desert. Large pillars and lintels carved from single pieces of sandstone.

I like to imagine that most of the city was built more open-air on top of the mesa - agora and stadia - so the residents could revel in the light of the sun, while the sandstone itself was quarried from the centre, creating ever lower, shadowed tiers. Perhaps the chambers carved into the stone were originally a sort of Necropolis. Either way, a wealthy, extravagant society is almost certain to have a large, oppressed underclass, and with the rifts in the mesa and the neighboring swamp, you can see how society might have been physically stratified.

Situated as it was at the edge of a vast forest, it's probably also safe to assume there was a lot of wooden architecture - maybe more for lower classes.

Senliten's dialogue suggests that Bedabin have always been a separate group. I'd guess their abodes haven't changed much over the millenia, a series of intricate, portable tent structures.

Uzer is the next known settlement, and it features plain walls - no bricks, mortar, or stonework. Situated as it is, close to rich clay sources, and with its legacy in golem creation, I'd guess it's constructed of packed earth/clay walls.

06-Apr-2017 09:41:10

Rondstat

Rondstat

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These would have had a much better shot of surviving in the drier north Kharid climate than in the swampy south - which may be why we don't see this elsewhere.

The Uzer Mastaba represents a large jump forward in architectural sophistication, with its corinthian columns, stone mouldings, stucco work (I'm assuming from crushed lime), and, of course, its brick construction. As a tomb for the pharaoh, this is probably far more excessive than most contemporary architecture.

Menaphos/Sophanem was a fresh, tiny settlement in Senliten's time, I'm guessing with wood construction. It soon became a metropolis, though, with its widespread limestone brick construction and pyramids. Since one of these was for Osmumten (who was presumably pharaoh during the Zarosian-Kharidian war), I'd place this in the early-mid 2nd Age, maybe shortly after Tumeken 'sploded.

The Duel Arena is 2nd Age, and dedicated to Het. That said, I'd guess it was built before the Zarosian-Kharidian war, and rededicated some time later. It's primarily limestone brick, but also displays column work, woodframes, and elaborate stone lintels. I see it as a bridge between the old Kharidian style of Ullek, and the more modern style of Menaphos. Limestone brick as a material would facilitate faster, cheaper construction than fully hewn sandstone, but would also require much stronger and more precise tools.

At some point tool materials and availability must have advanced enough that granite became a viable material - which I believe is first used in Enakhra's Temple and Jaldraocht - 3rd Age structures. Nardah, another 3rd Age settlement, may be constructed of limestone or granite brick - perhaps a combination. The destruction of the forests made wood unviable as a construction material, and likely provided impetus for a stronger move towards brickwork.

06-Apr-2017 10:05:42

Rondstat

Rondstat

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The last three major settlements, Pollnivneach, Al Kharid, and the Bandit camp, all appear to use some form of adobe and terracotta.

Wattle and daub appears to have been invented in the 4th Age, with its use quickly widespread across Kandarin, Asgarnia, and Misthalin. My guess is that adobe is a way of recreating this building method using materials readily available in the desert.

Instead of clay bricks and straw, adobe bricks would likely use a combination of soil, papyrus sedge, and camel dung (as the soil would be far too sandy to form bricks on its own). Without wooden frameworks, desert builders would need to make their bricks wider, and their walls thicker. Instead of hay or shingles, structures appear to use a few, valuable wooden beams (for structural integrity), supporting a clay roof. The finished building would then be treated with a stucco or whitewash finish.

Al Kharid was built in the late 4th Age, and I'd think the other two were likely built around the same time, maybe a bit later.


Heh, too much, huh? At least, this is what I pieced together with what architectural knowledge I have.

06-Apr-2017 10:16:49

Rondstat

Rondstat

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Elf of Seren said:
@Round ... Maybe you should just write it? lol. Since you did the research


Oh man, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to steal your thunder. This was more reference stuff to help out. There are a lot of interesting environmental clues in game - Dragonkin architecture, Vyre architecture, 3rd age architecture, tomb architecture, etc - that tell a story of their own, and I really enjoy parsing non-verbal lore.

Maybe we could collaborate?

07-Apr-2017 22:48:58

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