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Ancient Monastery – Part 1

This is a project that I began back in 2009. It is unfinished and still sits in my basement. I hope to someday return to it and see it through to completion. It is, at the moment, my white whale. I will add what I have of this piece in installments.  The following writing is what I originally posted over at TerraGenesis, but as they have recently deleted most of their archived posts, this is now it’s only location.

An ancient, abandoned monastery, that once served as junction between the mortal and the divine. When the Cynwall retreated into the high mountains to exile themselves from the rest of the world, they left behind many of their buildings. The buildings of this monastery have mostly crumbled to ruins, but through the ages two relics have remained: 1. The great window of the chapel and 2. The ancient tree in the cloister.

Pilgrims still flock to this site to pray to their gods and receive the blessings of the relics.

I’ve been planning, sketching, and thinking about this for a long time. This is as good a time as any to start building. It will be a massive piece, at least 2 feet wide, 3-4 feet long, and who knows how high (did I mention this was another mountaintop piece?). There will be three different levels, the chapel, meeting rooms, etc.; the cloister below that; and a Solar Tower (kind of an observatory). Connecting the three will be various bridges and stairs. All of it will be in some state of ruin. I want this to be as playable as possible, and that will be my first priority.

Here is the basic layout of the facade of the chapel:


The basic chapel layout:


Inner wall:



01012141The basic layout of the chapel and dormitories/living space:




As I started to actually get this assembled, I realized I was dealing with less space than I imagined in my head. Confrontation is played on a 120 cm x 60 cm (4′ x 2′) battlefield. If I want this to be played on, then it can be no bigger than that. Because of this, I’ve had to squeeze the edges a bit. It will still work, just some minor bits will be changed or left out.

Here is the basic idea:


At this point I had one of the two side stairs carved out. This would have been the back kitchen/supply access for the original monastery, but now makes a great path from the top level to the chasm. More details and rock work will be added:



And then the other side stairs were completed:


Here is what the overall layout looked like at this point.  The basic outline of the piece is sketched out:





This is where my first step/post ended.  There is more progress made over the years, and I will post more steps in the coming weeks.




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