Elements of the City
The walls of Rosewood can be divided into the Outer Walls and the Inner Walls, distinctly marking off the three main parts of the City, the Purlieus (located outside the Outer Walls), the Slums (located between the Inner and Outer Walls), and the City Proper (located within the Inner Walls).
While the Inner Walls are ancient and built upon the ruins of old Roman fortifications, later Frankish walls, the Outer Walls are relatively new, only finished around the year 1210, during the reign of Queen Elanore.
The Outer walls are 40 feet tall and around 6 to 12 feet thick, while the Inner Walls have been repaired during the Restoration and rebuilt to be 50 feet tall and 10 to 14 feet thick, making them the largest walls in all of Europe.
The Outer Walls have 41 fortified watchtowers in total. Both them and the walls are equipped with the modern architectural feat known as “Machicolations”, as well as two floors with murder holes and windows facing both the outside, inside, and the gatehouses.
The Inner Walls count 31 fortified watchtowers, although they lack the machicolations of the Outer Walls, the make up for in both height and thickness.
The City Gates
Rosewood numbers 11 gates total on both of its walls. They are all built in a similar fashion. As high as three men, and four men wide, save for the gates on the Highroad, they were twice as wide. Every gate has its own name, as well as an inscription above it.
(A Friend of the Crown)
St. Philip Gate
Opus Iustitiae Pax
(The Work of Peace is Justice)
II Imperial Gate
Ius ad Bellum
Domine Salvum Fac Regem
(O Lord, Save the King)
Omnia Cum Pretio
(Everything with a Price)
Omnia Vincit Amor
(Love Conquers All)
I Imperial Gate
(God is with Us)
(Woe to the Vanquished)
Qualis Rex, Talis Grex
(Like King, Like People)
(By the Grace of God)
The City numbers 4 bridges that connect its western and eastern parts. All built during different times, the oldest one being the Highroad bridge, and the newest, the Mayor’s bridge. These feats of architecture serve a functional and an aesthetic purpose in Rosewood. Their length is impressive, and only possible due to Roman engineering, seeing as all but one bridge was constructed during the Roman period. French masters only restored them and added modern accents to make the bridges presentable.
Torrino’s Bridge is a restored Roman bridge, and likely the first or second one created after Rosewood was established as a Roman settlement. The French masters repaired and upgraded it, increasing its width significantly. It is 30 feet wide and 2000 feet long, making it the biggest and most important bridge in Rosewood.
It is lined with the statues of the Emperors of the Sirius Empire, as well as the Kings of France, with the final statue added, depicting Queen Elanor. Besides that, the stonemasons’ work can be seen with imperial and royal motifs, as well as the typical Rosewoodian floral theme.
St. Leena’s Bridge
St. Leena’s Bridge was heavily damaged during the Fall of Rosewood in 1168. However, its restoration was funded by the Roman Church, specifically by the Archbishop of Rosewood’s Cathedral, and in its name, the bridge was renamed to St. Leena’s.
It is humbler than Torrino’s Bridge, however, it is still a marvel of Roman technology. It is 1600 feet long and 20 feet wide. While Torrino’s Bridge is host to all sorts of travelers and pilgrims, St. Leena’s position makes it ideal for the citizens of Rosewood, in order for them to reach the Cathedral or the Main Square.
Andrey’s Bridge is likely the oldest Roman bridge in Rosewood. It was damaged during Rosewood’s many sieges during the Fifty Years’ War, and as a result, the Rodomir family invested heavily into its repair. Its rudimentary design leaves little to desire visually, despite this, the bridge serves its purpose. It is 980 feet long and 16 feet wide.
Named after the Armington family which once owned Headow Keep, which resided upon the same hill, Armington Bridge sits on the Seyne, as Rosewood’s only bridge which was constructed without a prior Roman base. Incorporating the Spanish Arch method, Armington bridge soon bridged the gap between the Mayorly Palace and Rosewood’s Western part. It is 800 feet long and 13 feet wide, with no notable architectural points to make, except that has a drawbridge at the end of it, enabling it to completely cut itself off from the rest of the City.
The roads within and outside of Rosewood can be separated into three groups:
- Stone road
- Dirt road
The Highroad is the main road which goes throughout the Kingdom of France, linking all major cities and some towns. It is regularly patrolled by the Watch of every settlement, within its range, however, there are stretches of the Highroad which are too far from any settlement to maintain. These are the most common chokepoints for banditry. Despite this, the Highroad remains the safest route through the Kingdom of France.
Stone roads are an uncommon sight. Really the only place they can be seen is within Rosewood’s City Proper. The King maintains the roads personally through his treasury. This includes the replacement of stone bricks once they have been damaged in order to allow faster travel both on foot and by horse. Rosewood’s City Proper is also paved with gravel in its entirety, allowing the City to combat undergrowth, and avoid the spread of fire, which was crucial during the Fall in 1168.
Within the Slums and the Purlieus, as well as throughout most of the Kingdom, we can observe the typical dirt road. Muddied and untamed, they are any path which people walk over, preventing the growth of grass. While these make up around 90% of the Kingdom’s infrastructure, they are severely unreliable during rainy months and the winter, since they become unusable. The Highroad is relatively immune to the winter, although rain does slow down travel times up to double the average time. Rosewood’s stone roads, however, have no such weakness. They are expensive to maintain, but offer optimum speed and safety all year round.
Homes vary significantly depending on the part of the City we’re looking at. The homes of the farmers, tree fellers, and miners, who often live in the Purlieus or Slums are recognizable by their simple construction. They are one-storied with thatched roofs hanging over their walls in order to protect them from rain. Of course, if they were constructed exclusively out of timber, then there would be little requirement for such protection. However, oftentimes the walls of these homes would be out of wattle and daub and would require shielding from the wet rain. The floors of these homes are generally dirt and they possess one to two glassless windows, as well as no chimney, but two horizontal holes within their roofs to allow the hearth’s smoke an easy way out. It also wasn’t uncommon for these homes to have timber roofs as well, but the gaps would have to be stuffed with dirt to shield the peasants from rainfall. If they were timber, then turf roofs would provide excellent isolation.
Once we step further into the Slums, and the homes of less wealthy artisans and craftsmen, we begin to see half-timber homes, which show off their wooden frame. They still used the typical daub and wattle to construct their walls, but could also have chimneys, and had exclusively thatched roofs. Not to mention, as many as three glassless windows. These are the most common type of homes within Rosewood.
Once we step into Rosewood Proper, it is like you’ve entered a new world. Here, established artisans, prominent families, wealthy merchants, as well as their apprentices live in homes of stone. They are half-timbered as well and occasionally use slate roofs. Their walls are of stone, covered in quicklime plaster, but the inside is often lined with fur or some sort of cloth to offer proper insulation during winter months. Additionally, these homes are two-storied most of the time and possess up to four glassless windows per floor. Chimneys are obligatory for these types of homes.
Finally, as you move closer to the center of the City, you will encounter the homes of the wealthiest. Perhaps a prime example would be the homes on Thornhill, right beside Fernyard Fortress. They are either half-timbered with brick, or simply brick buildings with as many as four stories. They have tile roofs, often red, a chimney, and sometimes even windows lined with glass. Their floors are insulated with both timber, stone, and dirt, as well as fur on the top. Elegant tapestries line their inner walls, offering maximum warmth during the winter months. A few dozen of these homes even have balconies on their last floors, as well as the occasional garderobe for their waste, while the rest of the City has to make do with private or communal cesspits. Truly, these were the homes of nobles or at least extremely affluent people.