It may seem very random, but I really, really want to see more brotherly interaction between Gareth and Mordred. Because they’d be the closest in age, after all, and I’ve always seen the age gap between Gareth and Gaheris as being rather larger than between the three older brothers (so Gareth was always the baby of the family).
Anonymous said: I'm trying to develop the city where my fictional story will take place. Do you have any resources for city planning, or different types of cities and architecture in different climates and cultures--or really anything about creating a city?
Planned vs. Unplanned
- Planned cities. These cities were made before they were settled or substantially renovated after they were settled. Planned cities are more navigable than their unplanned counterparts. Planned cities often use a gridiron plan. Planned cities include Washington, D.C., New York City, and Melbourne.
- Unplanned cities. These cities were originally small settlements that grew larger and larger without much organization. Unplanned cities are a haphazard dash of roads that often follow old footpaths. Unplanned cities that survive to the modern era usually have been substantially renovated. Unplanned cities include Boston, Rome, and Paris.
Most cities are near a large body of water. The water supplies the city’s inhabitants and takes away waste. The older the city, the more likely it is to be on the water. If the city is not near water (Las Vegas) or has insufficient water (Ancient Rome), it must be brought in via aqueducts, pipes, etc. A city on the coast will have salt treatment facilities, pipe water in from freshwater springs, or exclusively non-water beverages (fermented drinks, milk, etc.)
If a city is hilly, the most important people/most important buildings will probably be on the tops of the tallest hills. The hills will have names. A city on flat land will be easier to build on. A city built on swampy land (Venice, Chicago, St. Petersburg) will need to deal with the heavy buildings sinking into the muck. A drainage system or levies may need to be constructed to keep the water out of the city.
Before the great and glorious invention of affordable air conditioning, cities in hot or mild climates tended to have more open floor plans, like holes in the ceiling and open gardens within their house. There wasn’t a need to keep air inside the house, where it usually became hotter. Precipitation (chiefly rain) would have been a seasonal or occasional problem. Cities in the mountains or in cold climates do not have open floor plans. The windows are small to prevent heat from escaping. There is a minimum of doorways. All entrances to the house are covered to prevent wind, snow, or sleet from coming in.
Buildings in cold areas need slanted or onion-shaped roofs to displace the weight of the accumulating winter snow. Buildings in hot areas can have flat roofs because the weight of snow isn’t a problem. (Also, you could sleep on a flat roof.) Many buildings in cold-climate cities today have flat roofs, but it is a problem your construction crews should be aware of.
Much of a city’s “character” - including names, architecture, areas of interest, city stereotypes, sports teams, and so on - comes from the people who settled it. You will need to do a historical background before you name or build anything. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. Just list out what ethnic groups settled in the city and who has ruled the city over its history. For example, the city had a large influx of Greek settlers, so many of the older streets have Greek influences. The recent emigration of Indians will not have as large an impact because they haven’t been established as long. Let’s say for the last two hundred years, the city has been ruled by an Indonesian government. The new architecture - especially government buildings - in the city will look Indonesian. The Indonesian buildings will go up alongside Georgian-looking buildings from when the British controlled the city and Chinese-looking buildings from when the Chinese controlled the city. Since the city was largely influenced by Greeks, Indonesians, British, and Chinese, the street/circle/landmark names will be a mishmash of these languages. The name of the city itself likely comes from the first group to have a strong presence there.
The easiest way to start making your city is to divide it into neighborhoods, boroughs, regions, or something similar. There are three ways you can go about this:
- Culturally. Birds of a feather tend to flock together and this is very true for immigrants. Immigrants live together, within the boundaries of a few city blocks, where they can practice their religion, language, and culture with those of like mind. Many cities in America have a Chinatown and Little Italy for these reasons. People of similar income also tend to live together, so in addition to ethnic borders, you can divide by income. Richer people tend to live outside the city or close to the important buildings. The income boundary can shift over time - say the canal was a big source of income, so all the rich merchants lived there. When the canal went out of use, the rich people moved near the big road and people of lower income moved into the areas near the canal.
- By service. The financial district is here, the residential is over here, the clothing shops are here, the government is here, and the really good food is over there. It might lead to names like the Shopping District or the Government Block or Embassy Row or the Red Light District. People usually live near their work, so you should plan this alongside neighborhoods divided by income.
- Geographically. The city’s district names come from the points of the compass, like the North Quarter or the Southwest Section. The district names could also come from landmarks like the Wharf District or Riverside - or even weather patterns, like Foggy Bottom.
G U I N E V E R E
ENTJ: The ENTJ will be assertive, energetic and will love a robust debate, as this is their method of conversation. Because they are so confident and outspoken they may inadvertently upset people with their directness. The ENTJ will often think they have had a gentle discussion whilst the other person feels they have been in battle. x
Libra Rising: Everybody seems to like Libra Ascendant natives. They just come across as nice, pleasant, and fair. Libra rising generally appear to be smoothing everything over. They have charming smiles, a gentle approach with others, and an easygoing image. Libra rising people can be enormously persuasive, although they will almost always use a “soft sell” approach when they want to win others over, which is all of the time! x
Mercury in Libra: Libra communicators come across as very pleasing. Diplomacy comes naturally to these natives. At the very least, they take many pains to be diplomatic. Libra can go off on so many tangents, and offer excessive disclaimers for any opinion presented, that they end up all over the place. If you think Virgo is critical and a perfectionist, spend some time with a Mercury in Libra person (and many of them have Virgo Suns too). These natives play devil’s advocate far too often. Many times they don’t even truly believe the side they have taken—they are simply engaging in an intellectual argument. x
L A N C E L O T
INFJ: Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support. Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends. x
Aquarius Rising: These individuals are just that — individuals, and they won’t let you forget that fact. Often turned to for advice, these natives possess intellectual poise and savvy. Not that they are flamboyant by nature, but they do like to, albeit quietly, get a rise out of others. Most people with this Ascendant are quite friendly and likable. Curiously, Aquarius rising people can be a little standoffish while also coming across as humanitarian and kind. x
Mercury in Leo: When Mercury in Leo people speak, they do it with authority. Some of them come across as know-it-alls, but the more mature ones speak with style. They want others to know about their presence of mind and their know-how. Mercury in Leo men and women are adept at seeing the big picture, sometimes at the cost of ignoring the details. They are generally skilled at the art of persuasion. While others may try to win people over with logic, guilt, or wit, Mercury in Leo does it with warmth and good will. x
M O R G A N
ENTP: Often confused with the ENFP the ENTP shares the ability to charm, cajole and persuade others. However the ENTP and will be pragmatic decision-makers using empirical data, evidence and logic to decide. The ENTP has incredible people skills and will enthuse and entertain people who will want to be part of their set. However they are not really emotional and so will move on easily when they get bored. x
Leo Rising: Leo rising people cannot help but be noticed. They radiate a special energy and magnetism that gets others’ attention. They are given to rash decisions, temper tantrums, and excesses. However, they have plenty of staying power, drive, and their idealism keeps them from getting into too much trouble. The tendency to overestimate things, and themselves, is generally present. x
Mercury in Aquarius: Very quick to contradict others, and to offer a different perspective, these natives enjoy intellectual debates. They’re very quick and alert, and their powers of observation are particularly strong. Mercury in Aquarius people can make for delightful company. They usually have something interesting to say, and their perspective on issues can be delightfully unusual, quirky, and surprisingly insightful. Their sense of humor is often well-developed and unique. x
M O D R E D
ISTJ: Formal processes such as writing letters of complaint or going through the proper channels plays to ISTJ strengths. They are measured and formal and so will be very factual and non-emotional. Because of their intense focus ISTJs may be seen as slightly detached, cold and impersonal, possibly even as uncaring. This is not deliberate but it can alienate those trying to get close or get to know them. x
Capricorn Rising: There’s a seriousness to Capricorn rising people that is unmistakable. Even when they’re joking around, it’s of the deadpan variety. They come across to others as hard-working, competent, and dependable people. What others may not see under that cool, even suave, exterior, is an inner struggle. Although they’re rarely showy, their quiet air of success is often a result of conscious effort. x
Mercury in Libra: Libra communicators come across as very pleasing. Diplomacy comes naturally to these natives. At the very least, they take many pains to be diplomatic. Libra can go off on so many tangents, and offer excessive disclaimers for any opinion presented, that they end up all over the place. If you think Virgo is critical and a perfectionist, spend some time with a Mercury in Libra person (and many of them have Virgo Suns too). These natives play devil’s advocate far too often. Many times they don’t even truly believe the side they have taken—they are simply engaging in an intellectual argument.
C A Y
ENTP: The ESTP will easily share their thoughts, factually and directly but will not really see the need for emotions, as they would not really help get the job done or the problem fixed. Direct and economic with words, the ESTP will tell it like it is and expect others to do the same. x
Aries Rising: They have a youthful, direct manner that sees what it wants and generally goes for it. Their mannerisms are rather simple and straightforward. Often, Aries rising people are quick to smile, and they possess a youthful charm throughout life. Despite a rather brusque and independent manner, these natives are usually very willing to compromise in their relationships, and are very attached to the people they hold dear. x
Mercury in Sagittarius: Freedom of thought is what Mercury in Sagittarius strives for — at least in theory. These people communicate in an optimistic, forward-looking manner. Conversations with Mercury in Sagittarius are always interesting. You can’t help but admire their enthusiasm. At their worst, they take to preaching instead of conversing. Mercury in Sagittarius natives think they are very open-minded—and they are in spots—but they can come across as quite moralistic at times too. Bluntness of speech is a trademark of Mercury in Sagittarius. These people get impatient with indirectness and beating around the bush. When they’re not fired up about some issue or another, these people are fun-loving. They love to laugh, and it’s usually pretty easy to get them giggling. x
B E D W Y R
INTJ: INTJs are private and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misunderstand. INTJs want people to make logical sense and so feelings are difficult for them to fathom. x
Scorpio Rising: Scorpio rising people can be quiet or loud, but they always seem powerful and determined. They have a strong need to control their environment and are experts at strategy. Rarely people who will blow their chances with impatience, they plan out their moves carefully and deliberately, relying on their awesome ability to feel out others and situations. x
Mercury in Virgo: Mercury in Virgo people are rarely flashy in their communication style, but they do thoroughly appreciate it when others acknowledge their brainpower. Mercury in Virgo natives may appear humble at times, but they get quite protective when it comes to handling day-to-day affairs. They can be very impatient with others, feel they do these things best, take on more work than they should, and then complain that they are doing all the dirty work. x