Building Commission [Svariella Stone]

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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Building Commission [Svariella Stone]

Building Commission
8 Cylus, 720

A dozen pairs of eyes were on him and Brent fidgeted where he sat. He hesitated, but the expectant silence soon became overwhelming.

“So, um, we’re gathered here to talk about a potential new building for the Svariella community,” he began awkwardly. “I’ve done work on community projects with my brother Ted, in the past. We were able to build some basic walls for Alivilda and improve its defences. We could also do something similar here at the Svariella Stone, as I’ve heard that the Myrkvior’s Kin have been hostile to you, or we could pursue another building project.”

Once the cartographer had gotten started, he seemed more confident in his words. It was still a bit nerve wracking to speak in front of all the people responsible for the community, despite the small distraction of the fire that they all gathered around.

“What other buildings could you do?” Asked one of the women at the back, whom Brent hadn’t yet met.

“So there are defences, like walls or gates. I could also design a small temple around or near the Svariella’s Stone. It would be a place to worship with a roof over your head in case it rains or snows.”

“What about a winter lodge?”

There were several nods of assent. Clearly it had been a cold Cylus and it was not over yet.

“Or a tavern? A big hall to drink?” This suggestion came from a young man who clearly had his priorities.

The healer, Yvonne, interrupted saying, “Any warm winter lodge could also be used for festivities and drinking.”

Brent nodded quickly. “I agree. Any large building should be able to have multiple functions. This is still a small settlement and you’ll want to make the most of what can be constructed.” Turning to address the healer specifically, he asked, “Yvonne, have you any need for a healing house?”

The woman shook her head. “What I have will do for now. As the others have stated, we need a place of gathering most of all.”

“But who’s going to pay for all this?” Interjected one of the men, the one who had initially been very critical of Brent when he first arrived in town. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t have extra coin to spend. And there’s not all that many of us here even if we all chipped in.”

For a moment Brent was at loss for words, as all eyes went back to him. He had thought there might be some money within the community. “The labour, my labour, I could do for room and board. I came here not for work but to be of service. When I constructed the defences in Alivilda, we were able to get help from members of the community to do some of the construction and less skilled activities. But the cost of the materials and supplies…” That alone could cost a fortune.

“I know!” Adelaide piped up. Brent had been staying at her and her family’s house, and he was surprised that such a homely young woman was part of this impromptu group of representatives of the community.

“I heard news that the Circle may be offering grants to worthy petitioners,” Adelaide went on. “My friend in Fensalir said that the old city is sending at least five representatives to Raelia to speak on behalf of the city. It wasn’t all construction related, some of it was funding for the healing arts or education, but we might be able to send our own representative for our village.”

The group broke into a series of mutterings. Several of the people seemed optimistic about the idea but others expressed concerns about whether it would even be attainable or if they’d end up in debt to Raelia or the Ragnari.

The discussions, while important, were not really going anywhere so Brent decided to speak up. “Hold your thoughts! Let’s put it to a vote. Who would be in favour of trying to get a grant, whether we succeed or not, as long as there are no obligations or consequences tied to the money we get?”

A couple hands shot up right away and then a few more hands were raised more hesitantly. Brent counted those who agreed. “Nine out of twelve. And who would like us to ask for just the money needed for materials, instead of also the money for labour?”

This time the result was more muted. “Seven out of twelve. Still a majority.”

Seeing that he was gaining momentum, Brent decided to ask the other key question. “So have we decided what building project we would like? There was the winter lodgehouse and the temple. Or something entirely different? How many people would like the winter lodge?”

There were six hands for the winter lodge, five for the temple and one for ‘other’.

“What is your ‘other’ suggestion?” Brent asked.

“I was thinking a bathhouse. A bathhouse with… with gardens.” The young lady stammered but was met by a deafening silence. Clearly she was the only one thinking a bathhouse was important at this time.

“Could you kindly re-vote, miss, for either the lodge or the temple?” Brent prompted gently.

She looked nervously around at the others by the fire as if worried about pressure from her peers. Eventually she settled on her answer. “The winter lodge is a good idea.”

Brent nodded, pleased that they had come to an agreement. He wasn’t sure how he would have handled it if their votes were completely split down the middle. Would the Circle even allow for two grants? Would he even be able to organize such? It was going to be a lot of work as it was and even though he was disappointed not to be designing a temple, the winter lodge seemed much more practical.

“Lastly, who would like to go to Raelia as a representative of the Svariella Stone community, to speak in front of the Circle?” Brent asked. But their response was not what he was expecting.

“I thought you were going to go.”
“We still have things to do here. It’s a long way to Raelia.”
“I can’t go since I’m stormtouched. I need to be near the stone each trial.”

Brent waved his hands out in protest. “Me? I can’t go. I’m not one of your representatives. I… are you sure you want me to represent you in front of the Circle? I’m just…”

“You know how to build. You’ve spoken in front of us. You would know how much it would cost, more than any of us.”

Brent considered the idea. It had certainly not been his plan to represent this community in front of the Circle. He was also much more mobile than most of them and was even considering visiting Raelia this cycle.

“Adelaide, do you know when these Grant Hearings are?” Brent asked the woman who had first mentioned them.

“My friend from Fensalir said early Ashan. I think around Ashan 20th to 30th.”

It was a good time for traveling, early Ashan. And it would give them enough time to get the construction project started early in the year. It was strange to be representing a small community like this but at the same time, he could see their hesitation for going all the way to Raelia and back when they had so much work to get done in and around the settlement. Early Ashan was a time for planting, hunting, fishing… They would be wasting precious trials on a trip to Raelia.

“Alright, but you need to tell me more about what you want this winter lodge to look like.” Brent finally said.

For the next break or so, they discussed the details of the winter lodgehouse. Obviously it had to be warm and it had to be large enough for big gatherings. It would have not one, but two fireplaces, and an area to prepare food and drink. There would be a spot for someone to address a large crowd and the majority of the building would be a large open space. When addressing building materials, they agreed that most of it should be made of wood but perhaps to consider stone for the foundations. A basement cellar was considered but it would depend on how constructible it was. It reminded Brent a lot like the Alivilda Great Hall, and when he returned to the town he would take notes on how that one was made. But of course, the Svariella Stone inhabitants wanted lots of bright colours and decoration inside, and perhaps even a firepit in the middle to dance around.

Brent wrote down many of the requests and criteria, and specifically noted any of the ones of key importance. There were some debates about the layout and whether it should also include beds or a second storey. But there were too many disagreements that the representatives ended up letting Brent decide on a functional layout.

By the time the cartographer and now ‘architect’ was preparing to leave, his mind was a whirlwind. How was he suddenly responsible for representing this community? And what if he didn’t manage to get the grant? He would stay one more night at the community and confirm any last details in the morning before returning to his home in Alivilda. Then it would be time to start preparing his proposal for the grant hearing.

Template Credit: Navyri
word count: 1602
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Re: Building Commission [Svariella Stone]

Review Rewards

Bob the Builder

Points awarded: 10


Leadership: Leading a communal discussion
Leadership: Using votes to get a fair decision
Leadership: Including input from multiple people
Design (architecture): Defining the purpose(s) of a building
Design (architecture): Assessing different features needed by a building
Design (architecture): Considering constructability choices

Magic: No magic exp

Other: +10 renown for leading the community meeting, and being elected to apply for a grant

This was actually pretty great. I loved how you wrote the NPCs, all believable with their own priorities and ideas. They very much felt like individuals, rather than a hive-mind. Also Brent's anxiety at having to speak for the group --and then being elected to represent the community-- was a nice touch. He's new to this, but not unsuited to it. I think he'll grow into the role marvelously!

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