Solnorus is a city with a bit of a sordid founding, although it has now come to a somewhat stable existence with its various quarters and generally small permanent populace. Most citizens live either inside the small but crowded streets or along its western edges in the high forest meadows. Because of the steep mountainous terrain, high plateaus and thick forests, there is little room for farming, but Solnorus's people have carved out an existence and a beautiful city from the surrounding mountains, albeit on a much smaller scale than some of the greater-sized locales of the west and south.
Solnorus was a small kingdom, with its main area of land given to a holy order in approximately 987 1st Age. the King, Aleric the Winged, was a righteous Leige, having spent the better part of his years away form his lands and on conquest. In an attempt to seek restitution for his adventurous youthful ways, he donated the entire north eastern plateau of his Kingdom to the Holy Order of Torm, there to build a great Church unlike any in all of Western Flannessia. They began their grand designs with a quite magnificent cathedral, which still stands to this day, its main feature being it's central western-facing stain glass window.
But in his later years, Aleric grew weary of travel and turned to the care of his family and lands, most urgently to the attention of his eldest daughter, Exandria, a frivolous and rambunctious youth who spent many of her young adult years in the company of soldiers, thieves and less than savory characters. It was to the holy Order of Torm that Aleric sent Exandria, there to learn either the ways of the female Paladins of Torm, or the wise ways of the Monks, committing her to the nunnery or to schooling, as she so chose.
Now while the Cathedral and surrounding monastery were little other than a Paladin training compound, they did attract, as would be expected, the required craftsman that any good outpost does. With armourers and blacksmiths, farrier's and farmers, came pilgrims, travellers, and even thieves and brigands. And it was these supporting citizens that ultimately blossomed into Solnorus as it is today. But it is Exandria, that is responsible for the coming of King Aleric to Solnorus, and there to remain for the rest of what would be his brief life.
Exandria had of course, sought out and found, the very heart of vile depravity and darkness that at first began as only a small seed in the hearts of pick pockets and highway brigands, bringing their ilk to Solnorus in a slow and deliberate attempt to rot the Kingdom from within. There she aimed to create for herself a power base from which she could rule alone, away from the watchful eyes of her Father.
Using her power and birthright, she focused her studies ever more on the black arts, excelling not in the Holy studies of Torm, but in demonology and Lich lore. And some still speak in hushed whispers and in dark corners that it was Exandria that single-handedly ushered in to Solnorus the greatest threat in the western Ered Ethlu'n, the infamous Shadow Society, joining their ranks and providing a northern locale for their society to continue its evil plots.
As her power and influence over the Priests of the Monastery grew, so did the city's corruption, and eventually, revolution was at the door of King Aleric. As a result, in 995 1st age, Aleric assailed his own city, eventually taking it back from his now all but corrupt and cursed-undying daughter. further and faster did Exandria spiral into the form of a cursed Lich, a witch with extreme power and pacts made with the very lords of shadow and darkness, giving her far more access to power far beyond her age and training. This, as all should know, prematurly ages one seekign such vile arcane knowledge, and Exandria was hardly the young woman she once was.
As the soldiers loyal to the Kingdom raised siege ladders and rolled their great massive towers up the mountains steep winding roads, Exandria's gathered forces rained down fire and ash from the great walls of the city, tossing the soldiers like toys into the 500' deep ravine below, scattering their ladders like straw in the wind. But through their sheer numbers they overcame, finally breaking through the main drawbridge and into the narrow streets of the city. It was through the western gate that the citizens fled, leaving few in the walls but the evil Exandria brought from every dark corner in the western mountains, and so it was to the slaughter that these forces went, by sword and spear and arrow and bolt did they fill the streets with their dark blood. The number of her forces that perished that day is still uncountable, so great was the force that was gathered there.
But it was to King Aleric's heartbreaking dismay that he found his daughter in the upper tower of the Cathedral, there in the thralls of a last-effort spell to destroy all he had built in this once holy place. Turning from her trance-like ritual, she lunged and thrust a dagger into the heart of her father, just as he too attacked, sliding his sword simultaneously through her middle. Together there they died in a sad ending to the city's once great potential. Were it not for King Aleric's newly born son, an infant Exandria knew nothing of, the Kingdom's lineage may have fallen that day.
Aleric the second, "the Savior of Solnorus," took the throne some 15 years later, and from him has followed an unending line of noble kings, still ruling this city from its central cathedral and royal keep. Solnorus, now the capitol city of the kingdom stands as a glowing beacon upon the mountains, guarding against the darkness brought some 2000 years prior by the witch Exandria.
But within the winding passageways and deep corridors of the under mountains, some swear the evil Exandria brought still festers, lying in waiting for their next call or awakening.
A "mini-sized" tour of a recent cityscape, based on and encompassing the mountain top walled city if Solnorus...
The surrounding forests of Solnorus. Trees made from wood trunks and bunch foliage. rocks and pond from War Torn Worlds (wartornworlds.com)
distant peak made from recycled plastic and applied plant moss.
Drawbridge to the western wall. Stone bridge and upper entrance purchased (Heroscape Bridge set/Schleich medieval fortress) with side walls (in foreground) made from recycled wood blocks (scrap housing trim) and a splotch-applied grey and black base paint with a stone over-spray (granite grey).
The lowered round bridge entrance to the main drawbridge of Solnorus. It was after the battle of Solnorus that the roads were so destroyed that not even a single road or bridge could be constructed over the great chasm that surrounded the city. So it was, that an ingenious lowering drawbridge was developed that opens twice daily allowing merchants entrance to and from the main market. This has unfortunately, raised the cost of goods coming in and out of Solnorus, making it a fair place to sell, but a poor place to purchase, as goods are not easily come by or delivered.
Tower on lower left made from a thread spool, a round cardboard tube scrap (small) and a wood block scrap. Splotch painted grey and black with stone spray overlay. Drawbridge is a broken piece of plastic from a child's toy (thrift store purchase-about $.50)
Main drawbridge entrance to Solnorus's central market.
Looking east through the "meadow arch" and beneath the central guard towers of solnorus. It was thsi gate that was alter developed in peacefull years to accomodate travel to the small farms and forest regions of the lower plateu west. In the distance is seen the stairs to the Aleric Cathedral church, the resting place of King Aleric.
Cardboard 3d printed building from Wargame vualt, pilalrs are stone-sprayed cardboard tubes (small 1") set with hot glue onto wooden discs (craft/hobby store).
The central market of solnorus with the Eagle and Child Taverna nd Inn visible in the background. Walls and flooring from War torn Worlds, building is stone sprayed wooden block set (Ikea). Eagle and Child Tavern and Inn from Wargame vault, re-inforced foam and paper 3d model. Barrels are hand painted wood accents availabel at any craft-hobby store.
Looking east into the morning sun accross thecentral market square. Outer wall visible in teh background. foam and paper 3D model from Wargame Vualt.
Through the central Keep, looking west to the Church of Aleric. Rug in the foreground is a small sample piece avaialble from any cloth or fabric store/hobby shop. Finished edges with wax coating to make small 25-28mm scale floor rugs. Trees are made with cardboard base, faux landscape clump foliage and small rocks from a nearby discount dollar store.
Western forest, creekbed and rocks. All water and rocks made from scratch, constructed with a recipe combination of hot glue, gorrilla glue and rubber cement. Look for the upcoming tutorial on water and formation construction using standard glues and pastes.
The central Cathedral tower of the City of Solnorus. Here the burned remains of exandria's keep still remains, untouched for nearly 2000 years. A cursed place where few venture, and closely guarded, lest her evil should reappear once more.
Tower is paper 3d printed mold made with re-inforced foam on the inside for structure. Flames and charring added inside and available on outer walls as part of printed piece. Available from Wargame Vault. Wooden blocks are from Ikea, stone sprayed and inlaid with moss and grasses for added natural effects.
Main keep is from Heroscape, War of the valkerie set, flag painted in arms of Aleric.