Gated Community (Part 1) (Graded)

(Alivilda)

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.
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Brent Forrester
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Gated Community (Part 1) (Graded)

55 Vhalar 719 – Gated Community (Part 1)

The repair of the Ardiechy wall had gone surprisingly well. There were, of course, some hiccups. On the colder nights, the mortar hadn’t dried as well and there were a couple of stormy days where hardly any work got done. The Alivilda villagers were still in good spirits even as they were trying to bring in the harvest, and took shifts on working on the wall. Brent had the Ardiechy hold especially to thank because even with dubious whispers of the reasoning behind all this construction, the family kept the project going till it was finished.

The next step to Brent’s plan for Alivilda’s defence was to construct a gate for the bridge. The river that ran through the village could be used as a natural barrier to block out potential raiders, but it would only be effective if the bridge could be securely locked and protected. He had talked with his brother Ted about the design, and they both agreed that the gate should be on the north side and mostly free-standing. Since any raiders would likely come from the south, this would give better protection to the north and where the Alivilda Great Hall was.

However, there were some dark mutterings as rumors got around that the beloved bridge of Alivilda was going to have a gate, dividing the community. While it may benefit the Ardiechy and Alivilda holds in terms of protection, it was not necessarily in the best interest of the four other holds located south of the river. Brent still grappled with the idea but he had already made his proposal to the Alivilda Aesir and gained acceptance. It would be impossible to build a wall around the entire village, or at least not anytime soon, and this was the most effective use of their resources.

Brent and Ted sat down in the Great Hall over a couple mugs of mead and went over the plan.

“First we’re going to get some good solid timbers into the ground,” Ted Forrester began. “This will ultimately be our wall, but to start we’ll just do a small semi-circle around the end of the bridge. We’ll leave a gap of course, but it’s easier to build the gate to fit the wall rather than the other way around.”

Brent sketched a close up of the bridge with the river embankments on either side. On the near side, he drew a half-circle.

“Since the timbers are going in vertically, with a couple of cross-beams for stability, you can make them look like tiny circles.” Ted added.

With a nod, the cartographer revised the drawing to contain a series of small circles where the wooden wall was going to be and then made sure there was an obvious gap right in front of the bridge.

“Now for the gate itself. We’ll need a good frame, which will look like some larger posts dug deep into the ground, with a top beam attached. And rectangular in nature. The swinging doors themselves will be a series of boards, with cross bars horizontally along the back to nail the boards into. They will also add strength to the door and we might consider adding an iron bar that can be shut to reinforce it.”

Brent spent a moment trying to picture the contraption. He made one sketch just of the door part with several vertical boards lined together, and then he added the horizontal cross-bars. He placed down a couple of hinges, or his best sketch of them, where he thought they might go. Finally, he made yet another sketch showing the frame on which the doors would be connected to.

“Now the timbers are your cheap wood. Not much finishing is needed. But the boards take a lot of careful cutting so that they are straight and even. So whatever work we do with those needs to be precise. Measure twice and cut once.” Ted finished with his final piece of advice. With some rough plans and a design, they were ready to get to work.
Last edited by Brent Forrester on Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 694
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Brent Forrester
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Re: Gated Community (Part 1)

Their crew of volunteers had dwindled down to about half a dozen, although fortunately the ones who stayed were the ones better suited for this kind of work. There was a large stack of fresh wooden timbers by the river’s edge. Earlier in the season Brent had asked his father and the Forrester logging business to help supply the wood that was needed, and it had been transported along the Vynmur river.

Ted first directed them to dig a trench where the wall was going to go. Even though the weather was cooler, it didn’t take long for Brent to start breaking a sweat. Using his foot to dig into the ground, he shoveled out the earth until the trench was at least a couple feet deep and the width of the widest tree trunks.

“Alright, one tree at a time boys!” Brent called out to the team. “Everybody ready? And heft!”

The group of eight struggled a bit with the heavy wood, but soon got the first timber up from the river’s bank to where it would be placed to form the wall. One of the tricky parts was rotating it to vertical, and almost as soon as it was up, they shoved it into the hole they had formed. The sheer size and weight of the tree meant that with a couple of repeated drops, it wedged more firmly into the ground. However, Brent noted that both the bottom and top were flat, where a saw had clearly cut the tree trunk.

“Ted, what if we sharpened the bottom and the top? Then when we drop it into place, it would be like a giant stake and might go deeper into the ground for support?”

“And what about the top?” Ted countered, curious at the idea.

“Well, it’s not as fun trying to climb over a wall when it’s all pointy.”

The elder brother gave a laugh at Brent’s comment. “Alright boys, two of you hold the first one in position and we’ll try this new idea on the next.”

Ted had several tools on hand and grabbed a two-person hand saw. “Let’s see if we can get these ends all ‘pointy’ like you said,” he replied with a chuckle.

The two brothers angled the saw and worked it back and forth until they freed a wedge of timber. Then after a quick rotation of the log, they did it again and a third time. After repeating the task on the other end, it was time to get the next timber into place.

With a big heft from the team, they manoeuvred the next log. This time when they dropped it in, it sank much deeper and there was a cheer from the team. It also looked more impressive seeing the spiked top.

“Alright, you two start sharpening the ends, and you two can fill in some of the earth around the timbers.” Brent said starting to get a feel for what needed to be done. “Remember, we need to place them tight together. We’ll need at least five on each side of the gate before we can even think of building the door.”

The work started to get a flow to it. While moving the logs usually took all hands on deck, the other tasks such as digging the ditch, preparing the timbers and filling in the earth could be done individually or in small teams. It was grueling, but Brent found it oddly satisfying as well.

Ted excused himself from working on the wall and instead laid out two of the largest trunks and a flat heavy beam. It was clear that he was puzzling over the best way to make the frame for the gate.

“Brent, could you measure the current gap? And double check that what we have will be big enough for a cart to get through?”

The cartographer leapt to his feet at the request. He paused a moment, knowing that the length was much bigger than his arms but then he went to his bag and got one of the strings he used for surveying and staking land. He measured the gap along the ground, and held the string in place to mark the distance. He was quite sure a cart could get through, even with the extra width of the pillars that made up the frame.

Ted carefully aligned the timbers based on Brent’s measurement and used an iron square angle to make sure that the wood was laid out perpendicular. The bottom of the timbers were spiked, but the tops were flat so that the beam could lay flush against wood. With Brent holding the wood in place, Ted hammered in long nails to secure the pieces together.

The afternoon had slipped by, but they still had to get the frame in place. This was definitely going to need all hands because it was comprised of two of the biggest timbers plus a beam connecting them together. Brent made sure that the ditch was extra deep so they wouldn’t have be jostling it into place and instead just fill in the earth to secure it.

“One, two, three, heft!”

Some of the men staggered under the weight, but they managed to get the frame into place where the gap in the wall was. As they filled in the dirt around the two pillars, Brent couldn’t help but be excited with how far they had got. It was already looking like something, something of a defence system.

But at this point everyone agreed that they would return the next day to continue. Building something as big as this was not what you did in a sprint, it was a marathon. And they would have to see how the rest of it went.
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Doran
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Re: Gated Community (Part 1)

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Brent:

Knowledge:
Design (architecture): Basic door and frame design
Construction: Digging a trench for a simple foundation
Construction: Sharpened posts are more easily driven into the ground
Construction: Joining wood together at perpendicular angles to form a frame
Leadership: Doing a task simultaneously as a team
Woodworking: Using a saw to sharpen a tree trunk

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I love reading about the progress of Brent’s project, and I appreciate that you put so much effort into it!

You added just enough details to your posts so that it was easy for me to envision what was happening.

Adding the picture was a great idea as well!

It’s good that Brent has a brother who is a little more skilled than he is, by the way!

If Brent had to work on this project alone, he would likely have a much harder time!

Great job, and enjoy your rewards!

P.S.: Your timestamp was incomplete. It should be “55 Vhalar 719” or something similar!


word count: 185

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