What better way to spend the summer holidays at the beach with the kids? The weather was gorgeous—not too hot, nice little breeze, just perfect. So, what do you do at the beach, you ask? Exactly…build epic sandcastles. To create a bit of a challenge, we decided to make Azurna Castle out of sand. Raylan and Galirras encounter this massive castle complex upon their return to Aeterra in book II of the Stone War Chronicles. So, we had some fun and took our time to construct the three leveled compound. Below is a quick description of the harbor city of Azurna and its castle. You can look forward to the adventures that take place there, when ‘Wavebreaker’ comes out.
“Raylan saw the castle complex come into view through the gate. A total of three gates provided access to the river castle island. Each gate had its own stone bridge leading up to it. Most of the city was at sea level. Because of it, two of the bridges, namely the south and the east bridge were low above the water. One bridge was accessed through the Sailor’s Gate, which was closest to the harbor, the other through the Central Gate to the east, which led to the oldest part of town.
On the north side of the castle was the High Gate; thanking its name to the fact that the gate that was placed on the northern shore of the river, high on the edge of a cliff. On the northern banks of the river a smaller part of the city was located, as the land quickly rose into hills there. The result was a high cliff that ran along the north side of the river for at least ten miles, before the land lowered again to water level.
All transportation from the north to the south side of the city was done by ferries and small personal boats, as not to obstruct the route for the larger ships going up the river. The exception was the High Gate, which was the only permanent connection between the northern part of the city and the castle island. Behind the High Gate, a tall arched, stone bridge stretched directly from the cliff to the second level of the castle. The bridge’s arches ran dozens of feet above the river water, which easily allowed boats to sail under them.
At the end of each bridge was a large wooden draw bridge, as well as another set of portcullises; it allowed the castle to effectively stop any approach by land, if necessary. The high sloped castle walls that rose from the water were overgrown with algae and other water loving vegetation; the grey color of stone clearly turned dark green near the water level. It was slippery at best, and kept any unwanted guests from climbing up the walls, if they thought to attack by boat. It was a strategic layout that had proved its worth for centuries.
The cliff on the north side of the river was rich with forests just outside the city walls. A strip of land was cleared with trees directly adherent to the city walls, but other than that, the forest remained surprisingly untouched. A situation aided by fact that the trees did not grow very tall and their trunks were full of twists and turns. It made them unsuitable to process into timber. Joined by the fact the wood gave of a strong, unpleasant odor when burned, there were not many reasons left to take down any of the forest.”
To celebrate the holidays (and some highly appreciated time-off), ‘Windcatcher‘ will run another promotion from the 19th of August until the 27th of August 2016. Please help spread the word early and let other people discover the epic adventures of Raylan, Galirras and the others. At .99ct it truly is a bargain.
– A.J. Norfield