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Author Topic: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle  (Read 3440 times)

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Offline siemanthepieman

First Settington, 1 September 1901

On 17 July 1901, King Schmo I tasked his eldest son, Prince Schmo, with the job of finding and creating a suitable port for the region. Upon his arrival in 1856 on what became the Greater Isle of Schmo, the King found his preference in the high country in the middle of the island and built his castle upon the top of the island’s highest peak.
 
From there he reigned over the main island and a number of much smaller islands that surround it and a small settlement developed.

As the King’s family grew (Prince Schmo, the first of 7, was born on 17 July 1874) so too did the settlement surrounding his castle. The settlement became known as Schmotenton. The King was incredibly wealthy and, partly due to his benevolence and partly due to its small but thriving local economy, the islanders enjoyed substantial wealth themselves.

Eventually though, by the time of Prince Schmo’s 26th birthday, the royal coffers were becoming stretched and the thriving settlement was in need of a small port facility to ensure its continued prosperity.
   
Fiercely independent – and therefore, the King though, perfect for a potentially lengthy expedition to establish a port town – Prince Schmo commenced planning immediately. He decided that the logical course was to follow the Simoleon River which ran to the north east of the island, the opposite direction to river mouth where his father first landed 45 years earlier. It was well known, and indeed much lamented, that the river mouth where King Schmo first landed was entirely unsuitable for a port facility.

A ballsy sim, always willing to back his judgement, Prince Schmo decided he would build the rail track to take him to his new port before actually sighting it. From the say so of the early explorers, it was anecdotally known to consist of a large gulf, with rather large mountains running right up to the coast on either side. It was supposedly a very beautiful part of the island, with wooded plains equally suited to both forestry and clearance for agriculture or development. Prince Schmo decided that if worse came to worse, he would simply establish a seaside village and branch a new track off at some point in the hope of finding a suitable port bay the second time around.

By 1 September 1901, Prince Schmo had made substantial progress. After his track was 5000 sleepers clear of the town limits, he declared his first region of exploration as First Settington. He stuck close to the river to start with.



It wasn’t long before his workers had to construct their first rail bridge. At this point, so pleased he was, Prince Schmo decided it was time to settle in to his new region. It was simple digs at first – just  a couple of small workers huts, one for him and one for his workers so that they did not have so far to return home each night and progress could therefore speed along!



As the working party ploughed onwards, always trying to scout the flattest possible path for the rail lines, the tracks hugged the foothills for a period, deviating where necessary.



And crossing back closer to the river if the land dictated that it be so.



Eventually, a strange arrow (through which it was later discovered trains could magically pass) just popped up on the tracks. Prince Schmo decided it was an appropriate time to take stock of his progress and declare a new region. He named the new region East Settington and it was really just an extension of First Settington. There was nothing there, the working party simply built the rail line as fast as it could skirting the edge of the river and heading ever hopefully onwards.



So keen was the working party for progress that it didn’t even stop when the next mystery arrow appeared on their tracks. They carried right on until they came to an interesting watercourse that followed the river for a small while and then curved inland connecting the river to a large body of water. The working party followed the watercourse closely for a bit but became disheartened when they realised they might not find a suitable place to cross. They had almost turned back on themselves when, luckily, Prince Schmo himself noticed what was almost a natural causeway. Whilst of course the earthworks required to fully block an inland body of water from the river it drains to will never be insignificant, there was not a great deal of work required to complete a level causeway across the watercourse leading to what a short time later became known as Lake Schmo.



The finished product was rather pleasing and certainly sturdy enough to carry the heavy freight carriages that Prince Schmo envisaged crossing it in years to come.



Even more pleasing to the Prince, once the tracks crossed the causeway, they naturally came to a nice little clearing.



Almost immediately, the Prince decided to declare a new region – Settington Inlet – and a small workers hut and goods station was built to enable goods being transported from Schmotenton to be stored closer to where they were needed and to save the workers from having to return to First Settington each night.



This would be the site of Prince Schmo's first real home outside his father's immediate realm, but it certainly wouldn't be his last.

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline APSMS

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Fun way to start, and I'm always a sucker for a good rail line. I look forward to seeing what becomes of Prince Schmo.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline art128

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This reminds me loosely of Criquette's (Marrast) CJ a long time ago.

Nice start, the train line is so smooth and nice looking.

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Interesting! I repeat Arthur, the railline looks very smooth  :) The popping arrows - what a mystery? Maybe a sigh from the God, showing them the direction, they should follow? What could that be?  ;D

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline Akallan

I agree with the comment of art128, your rail seems very natural with beautiful curves and marries the relief. Simple, but beautiful! :thumbsup:

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

Akallan, kbieniu7 and APSMS - Thank you for your kind comments. I am quite pleased with how the line turned out. It is my first real use of smooth curves and FA rail. Much more tedious to lay than straights and diagonals but worth it in the end.

art128 - Thank you, but I am afraid I am only going to disappoint from here on in if you are expecting anything too Marrast like. I've not seen his CJ (I will go and find it after this) but if his custom content is anything to go by my skills won't remind you of his for too much longer.

While I am on that point - a bit about me and my CJ. Like all of us, I play for fun. While I try to give my cities a nod to realism, I don't consider it the be all and end all. I plan to tell the story of Prince Schmo developing his realm through my CJ and will take considerable artistic licence as I go to make the story fit what I can achieve in the game and to suit the way my cities develop. I just hope the fun comes through in the CJ so that others might enjoy reading it. I am a not modder, or a lotter or a batter - although I have used the LE and Reader before to modify a couple of lots and properties. I hope that my CJ will allow me to both show off some lots I hope to make and enable to seek help and obtain feedback when I need it.

And without further ado, on with the story of Prince Schmo ...

Update 1 - Settington Inlet

Shortly after the first construction in First Settington, the Prince ordered the construction of a water tower and a number of small storage sheds and it was decided to split the rail line and develop a small town around the two terminating lines.



Prince Schmo then decided it was time to build a proper residence for himself – even if it was fairly modest by royal standards. Of course, all royals desire some level of security around their residence and Prince Schmo was no different. While building the wall around the township of Settington Inlet, Prince Schmo realised that the casueway he had constructed could well be the only way that any form of transport could ever get through to the port he ultimately hoped to build. He realised that a small fortification across the causeway would enable him to control who crossed into Settington Inlet and beyond. With that realisation, Prince Schmo fortified the causeway and declared himself King Schmo II - considering all lands north east of what became known as the Settington Inlet Forts to thereafter belong to his own autonomous region. The port, when it was found, would be entirely his and the ability to easily impose a toll on any rail traffic needing to use the causeway (which would be all of it) would ensure financial prosperity for all time.



So pleased was the Prince having declared himself King, he doubled the size of his residence and settled in.



And it wasn’t much longer until a large warehouse had been built and substantial stores accumulated to enable work on the rail line to steam ahead.



And steam ahead it did ...

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline art128

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Oh don't worry if you don't have the same "quality in skills" as Marrast... His CJ dates back from 2005 so a lot of things have evolved since then. (Notably HD terrain mods, seasonal flora etc.)

Seems like our new king set in a nice place. It'll be interesting to see how this area evolves in recent times. :)

By the way, here's Marrast CJ: http://community.simtropolis.com/forums/topic/5072-aureliano-flareflakes-rush/

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES:

art128 - Thanks for the kind comments (and the links to Marrast's CJ - certainly some inspiration in there!) and for following along. It seems I have collected my first follower. Hopefully, as I progress through the evolution of my city I can collect a few more.

MUSINGS:

I thought I'd add a little bit more about the point and aim of this CJ - if it isn't apparent yet, it will become apparent that this CJ will be of a growing city and region. Later on I hope to present some perfectly laid out cities like I admire on here from others, but to start with, it will show rail lines being laid, suburbs and industrial centres and CBD's and business hubs being developed and, as cities grow, infrastructure being improved and expanded. And I am very much still learning all there is to learn about this game. I hope that my CJ will allow me to showcase improvements in my work and allow for other to offer helpful pointers to help me develop my skills even further. PS: I have already noted that I need to remember to turn off the grid when taking photos of my cities.

UPDATE:

Work progressed very quickly from Settington Inlet – the rail line largely skirted the river as it worked its way through the new regions of Valley’s Flat and then Chilliwack Flats (a large region including South West Chilliwack Flats, South Chilliwack Flats and North East Chilliwack Flats).



Apart from a nice little set of bridges in Chilliwack Flats proper…



… there was nothing really of note until the rail line arrived at Tribute Isles where another rather neat set of bridges had to be constructed to cross the river toward the much anticipated gulf which would eventually house the new port.



The working party then stuck as close as it could to the river, declaring the new regions of Knoll West, Goose Island and then Goose Flat.



It was easy going, with no construction of note other than a small abutted bridge towards the eastern edge of Goose Flat.



After the bridge the rail line continued beyond Goose Flat and the tracks returned to the banks of the river. As the tracks came close the banks of the river again, King Schmo notice a complex set of islands, beyond which he could see what seemed to be the start of a mountainous range next to a flat and open plain. The winds started to feel different and King Schmo could have sworn he could smell salt in the air. It wasn’t long before the river started to bend back toward the south and King Schmo, confident the sea was imminently north of where the working party had come to, thought it was time to declare The Crossing and head due north for the sea. And so they did, at least for a short distance.

It soon became apparent that to complete the crossing heading exactly north would involve crossing a number of very small islands that didn’t have the foundations necessary for rail traffic. But without turning back around either clockwise to the south or anti-clockwise to the west, the only option was a diagonal bridge. Even though it was 1921 by the time the working party made ‘the crossing’, superstition still held the wood over pure physics and it was strongly felt that bridges should only be constructed running north-south or east-west. A diagonal bridge had never been built. But circumstances dictated that engineering prowess finally overcome superstition and, at least as far as King Schmo was aware,  the world’s first known diagonal bridge was constructed to complete the crossing.



Directly to the north of the diagonal bridge a large mountainous range rose from the river banks. To the west a smaller mountian, probably nothing more than a large hill really, peaked a little inland, with a ridge that ran south west down to the river. King Schmo hoped that a scouting party sent along the ridge to its highest point would enable the working party to take stock and see exactly where they had come to. With any luck, the sea would be sighted for the first time since they set off.

Until next time ...
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 04:52:34 AM by vortext »

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline art128

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The first diagonal bridge in history. :D

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Yeah, the part about the diagonal bridge as a miracle of Engineering made me laugh :D hope to read more about some other achievements of King Schmo's team.

I love the ambience of that story - wandering trough the wilderness, conquering the land laying by the wide meandering river. Personally, I live in rather mountainous part of Poland, so whenever I go to the northern part of my country I always feel amazed by hugeness of the wide forested flatlands and wide rivers. And I had the similar feeling reading this story and watching the photos! I can't wait to see the coast!

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline compdude787

I like the storyline you have going here! Looking forward to the railroad reaching the sea! :)
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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

As the working party rounded the foot of the ridge, they noted a small protected pocket on the lee side that King Schmo decided would be an ideal spot to build a small workshop and warehouse – provided the party was on track to hit the sea in the direction it was headed. King Schmo sent a scout up the ridge who returned to assure the King of two things – the sea was almost certainly less than 10 km to the north and that the top of the ridge would form an ideal footing for a substantial castle should the King decide to settle the area. That was enough for King Schmo to establish a small station at the foot of the ridge.  If nothing else, the King was tired of travelling what was now close to 40km back to Settington Inlet whenever he wanted to return home after a day on the rails with the working party.



Stores were quickly accumulated again and progress sped along once more.  North of the ridge the land was incredibly flat and the railway was able to run straight for a substantial time. 

A small curve around the foot of another hilly range …



…and then it was just a matter of the working party snaking the rail line all the way to the water’s edge. 



On 1 September 1923, King Schmo had finally reached what he was looking for. And what a perfect small port it could make. Assuming the sea was deep enough, a little excavation to open up the enclosed sea lake would provide the ideal location for the Isle’s first waterside docks.



Looking back it was a long but rather uneventful voyage. Perhaps attempts to explore further, as yet unknown, regions of the Isle would throw up some more adventure. There is certainly plenty of unexplored alpine country to the north west and the south east of King Schmo II’s rail line to the port. Perhaps once King Schmo I learnt of the fortification at Settington Inlet and had to pay his first toll to access the port that was meant to be established in his own name there might be some recriminations for King Schmo II. Who knows, maybe one of his younger brothers will want some of the Isle’s turf for their own as well.



But King Schmo did not dwell on the lack of excitement the last 20 years of rail building had provided. He was looking to the future. He wanted to establish himself as the King of his own region and force his father to feed his region’s coffers by sending freight to the port. So King Schmo II established a small workers' terminus, and an equally simple three station freight terminus and immediately set to work constructing four large waterside warehouses with eight very modest docks. Nevertheless, through New Portland the Greater Isle of Schmo could now establish trade routes with the rest of the world. If it turned out that there was no other suitable port location on the Isles, King Schmo II would almost certainly be able to ensure prosperity for his regions and it peoples for years to come.



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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline compdude787

I like how you did the railroad! It's great to see that King Schmo II found a port for himself. I'm really liking the storyline so far; keep up the good work!
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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline FrankU

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Nice story and beautiful region you have here.
Does King Schmo have a theory about the squares his world is divided into? Is it maybe a base for some religious philosophies?

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline noahclem

Lovely start to your MD  &apls  I enjoy the landscape and smooth transit networks--and had a good laugh at your diagonal bridge technology, which is a harder technology to master than it sounds like :D

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Uh... this single straight stretch of the railway is mindblowing!

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES:

compdude787: Thank you. After all that time laying tracks King Schmo was very pleased to finally hit water.

FrankU: Thank you. I cannot take any credit for the excellent region - it is one of drunkapple's marvellous creations. King Schmo has no theory about the little squares - they are just the result of a Mayor who is still picking up all the tips and tricks of MD'ing. I 'banked up' a few photos before starting my MD so the grid will be around a little longer but eventually you will see that I learned to try to make sure I switch the grid off before snapping away. At some stage, I might even learn how to disable the UDI balloons. Hopefully at some stage my diary will even get up to scratch with the rest of them on here!

noahclem: I have been actually reading through your siilijoki MD these last few days - what a fine inspiration it is. My transit network might be smooth, but is nothing on yours.

kbieniu7: Sometimes, if the terrain allows it there is no way to go but straight ahead!

UPDATE 4: The establishment of the Establishment at Bran Castle

Of course, the King had no interest in living anywhere too close to the port, nor the workers who would inevitably come. And so Bran Castle was built atop the rigde where, sure enough, it turned out the scout who assured the King of an excellent footing was absolutely correct. It was quite a task constructing the road to the top, but well worth it for the views it afforded from the upper levels of the Kings new home.

4.1


It wasn’t long before industry started filling in around the docks and a dirt road was built to follow the railway lines back to Bran Castle.

4.2


4.3


Virtually overnight, industry took hold in New Portland and it wasn’t long before the industrial demand outstripped the accommodation that the small rail side worker’s huts could provide.

4.4


Like the King, no one wanted to live too close to the newly developing port.  For one thing, it was clear that the port and its surrounding industry would eventually expand to cover a substantial area – and who would want to end living in the middle of an industrial park? – and it was probably less than 10 kilometres back to the foot of Bran Castle. It was an uneven and snaking road but the general consensus was that the commute was, or in the future would be, worth it.

At this time, about 1926, the King was erecting a substantial wall around his castle and he invited his earliest and most loyal workers and industrialists to settle within the walls of his immediate domain. If nothing else, he was sure King Schmo I would become decidedly displeased with his plans to start his own kingdom at some time in the future and he felt safer having an impromptu army of troops at his doorstep.  In fact the King even offered a great number of ‘free’ quarter acre and half acre blocks to anyone willing to build within his castle walls.  Of course, the land offered was offered as a fief – so the workers were actually obliged to fight for the King if ever required – although they were also paid for the work they performed in their jobs at the port (they had to be able to pay their taxes after all!).

4.5


Next update we will probably have a look at what the township that developed inside King Schmo's castle wall looks like today.

COMMENTS:
You'll see in picture 4.2 and 4.4 a couple of my very first experiments in the Lot Editor. I didn't like having to leave a one tile gap between deadwood's excellent rail utility lots so I jumped on in to the LE to group 3 or 4 of his little lots into larger lots. My other foray into the LE can be seen in the first picture of my previous update - where I removed the passenger station from one of cogeo's Rural Train Station lots so that it was basically just a freight yard. I am quite pleased with the outcome but, sadly, it has now been so long since I did it that trying again would be like doing it for the first time all over again (plus I have changed machines so have to re-download the program, etc). I will do it at some stage (there are some lots I'd really like to tweak) but not sure when. At the moment, the plan is to build the region on a broad level, then go back in and tweak and detail, etc.



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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline art128

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Nicely done. Now the king can overlook the whole region from his bedroom. :)
It just needs some farmlands around the walls and it will be perfect.

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Yes, I repeat Arthur, fields! Fields is what is needed there! Hectars of wheat, that shines in the golden rays of sun!  ;D

I understand this dillema between choosing details or broader sights... it's a tough decision!

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

art128 &kbieniu7 You are both going to like and then be bitterly disappointed with the field situation just beyond the castle walls. Stay tuned to see what happens in that respect...

UPDATE 5: Bran Castle today (or a little while ago at least)

The oldest neighbourhood in Bran Castle underwent a number of developments in its early years – right up until settlement outside the castle walls became commonplace when it settled down. It is one of the few neighbourhoods where all of the various classes of workers lived together, although it was pretty clear from the houses in which they lived who fell where on the pecking order at work.

5.1 - Across the top of this picture you can see the 'Management W2W's' that were filled by middle management workers and then the 'real workers' row houses in the middle


5.2 - Across the top and down the left of this picture you can see the homes given to those who were the biggest help in building the rails to the Port. The 'U' shaped assortment of simple homes are even today fiercely held by the region's first workers - the warehousemen of the first docks of New Portland. They are simply homes but with a rich heritage and in a prime location.


5.3 - An overview from some years ago of the region's first neighbourhood. Today the common between the row houses is somewhat more leafy.


5.4 - Back around to the eastern side of Bran Castle, a corner of soon to be ‘swisher’ homes in what would become a slightly more leafy suburb established. 


5.5 - Eventually, but still much sooner than in most other parts of the region, gravel roads were laid. The homes were grew bigger and nicer than in other parts of 'the hood' within the castle walls and the region's first school was established. Later it became home to one of the region's first round-a-bouts, a small commercial hub and some small but useful civic services.


5.6 - There are some really quite nice houses amongst the humble workers huts as we move toward the castle walls.


5.7


5.8


More from inside the castle walls (and beyond!) shortly...

« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 05:38:02 AM by siemanthepieman »

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