All of the cities and towns in Dragon Pass were founded in the last three centuries.
The early settlements were initially just villages. The founders would draw a line around the area to be settled – the line would later be where the city walls would be built, so the area needed to be small enough that at least a palisade could be erected. Priests would ask the gods where to place the temples to Orlanth, Ernalda, and shrines to other important patron deities. A level area or clearing served as an assembly ground and market.
The area within the walls unclaimed by the gods and the community as a whole would then be divided among the full members of the community. The initial settlers would build homes and other buildings within their allocated areas. Most settlements were arranged along a handful of streets. Depending on the size of the initial community, the early city might have had 20-50 small huts, and a dozen or so larger homes, all built out of dried-clay brick and wood, with thatch or wood roofs.
Several of these settlements quickly grew and became the nucleus of proto-tribes. Others remained no more than villages. Bagnot grew the most and may have had 10,000 people within a century of being founded. As Tarsh became rich and powerful, Bagnot got rebuilt by skilled crafters, with buildings of stone and fired-brick.
Later some of the cities were partially rebuilt by Lunar or Sartarite crafters, and the city’s buildings, if not the layout of the city, reflect that. City walls, temples, and public architecture are most likely to have received this work.
Sartar came from Kethaela and was aided by his friend and companion Wilms, an architect, stone-mason, and artist from Esrolia. Sartar would first meet with all those who would settle in his city. Each would count their followers, add their wealth, boat of their exploits, and determine what they would receive in the city to be built. Wilms would then design a plan that satisfied all. Decisions were made and everyone would agree; oaths would be sworn, pacts made, and promises spoken.
Sartar would then stake out the limits of the city walls. Others performed parts in the rites as well. The city ring met in the center, swore their oaths, chose their leaders, and founded the city. The walls were begun, the streets laid out, and the buildings started. This initial construction was mostly in stone, and within a generation, Sartar had the best human stone-masons in Genertela. Later buildings might be in whatever the owners could afford – stone, fired brick, or air-dried brick.
All of Sartar’s cities followed the Jrusteli pattern, a city plan found mainly in the coastal regions. It has a central market, a nearby public and temple complex, and straight main streets. The city becomes a microcosm, with the temple complex as an axis mundi, the main streets having magical significance, and energy (and people) able to move about.
However, each Sartarite city was unique and reflected the needs and desires of the original founders, their clans and cults. Boldhome was particularly special, as the initial construction was made by dwarf stone-masons, whose skill and speed was unmatched by any human. The city was built in a high mountain valley, and much of the city’s architecture integrated the natural geography.
Hon-eel the Artess founded Furthest as a Lunar Heartland city in Dragon Pass. In the Fifth Wane, the Lunar Empire refounded numerous cities that had been depopulated or destroyed by Sheng Seleris and his nomad army.
Hon-eel and her priests would identify a propitious place for the city, and then the Irrippi Ontor scribes would get to work measuring, designing, and drawing a master plan. The city would be arranged on a rectangular grid. Individual blocks would be assigned to rulers, temples, nobles, regiments, or divided up among the individual settlers that came with her (who included the crafters that built the city).
The layout of Furthest is largely identical to that of Red Fish in the Karasal satrapy, down to the Oslira temple and river port. In the center is a public area with temples to the Seven Mothers and other Lunar deities, as well as administrative buildings. Nearby is a central market dedicated to Etyries and Issaries.
The city was built in fired brick, sometimes faced with stone quarried in the nearby Falling Hills.
Are there any other cities on Glorantha that could rival Boldhome, Furthest, Nochet and New Pavis or alternatively Pavis in the old days?
Rival them how so? Glamour is a huge city, built intentionally to be an imperial city, certainly is impressive. So are Chi Ting, Garguna, and Sog City (with its own decrepit shabby chic). Raibanth used to be pretty spectacular, but its Babylon is long eclipsed by Seleukia-Glamour.
But I think Boldhome and Old Pavis are the only dwarf built human cities. At least that I can think of offhand.
My purpose in posting this is to emphasise that there are several very different styles of cities in Dragon Pass.
One thing about Furthest – it is built on a rectangle with 1 main north-south street and 6 north-south arterials, and 1 main east-west and 6 east-west arterials. The areas right near the city walls are not considered a street. This forms a checkerboard pattern with 64 blocks.
Because we all have a classical geek vibe, we immediately think of the Romans or maybe if we are really on-target, the Greek plan of Hippodamus of Miletus. But perhaps a better documented source are the instructions given by the Spanish kings for establishing new settlements. In 1573, King Philip II issued a complete set of urban guidelines concerning the founding of new towns.
The 1573 Ordinances direct:
* Consensus with locals and a masterplan
110. (…) On arriving at the place where the new settlement is to be founded – which according to our will and disposition shall be one that is vacant and that can be occupied without doing harm to the Indians and natives or with their free consent – a plan for the site is to be made, dividing it into squares, streets, and building lots, using cord and ruler, beginning with the main square from which streets are to run to the gates and principal roads and leaving sufficient open space so that even if the town grows, it can always spread in the same manner. (…)
* A healthy location:
111. Having made the selection of the site where the town is to be built, it must, as already stated, be in an elevated and healthy location; [be] with means of fortification; [have] fertile soil and with plenty of land for farming and pasturage; have fuel, timber, and resources; [have] fresh water, a native population, ease of transport, access and exit; [and be] open to the north wind; and, if on the coast, due consideration should be paid to the quality of the harbour and that the sea does not lie to the south or west; and if possible not near lagoons or marshes in which poisonous animals and polluted air and water breed.
* A space for gatherings and social activities:
112. The main plaza is to be the starting point for the town; if the town is situated on the sea coast, it should be placed at the landing place of the port, but inland it should be at the centre of the town. The plaza should be square or rectangular, in which case it should have at least one and a half its width for length inasmuch as this shape is best for fiestas in which horses are used and for any other fiestas that should be held.
* A defined urban fabric:
113. The size of the plazas shall be proportioned to the number of inhabitants, taking into consideration the fact that in Indian towns, inasmuch as they are new, the intention is that they will increase, and thus the plaza should be decided upon taking into consideration the growth the town may experience. (…)
114. From the plaza shall begin four principal streets. (…)
115. Around the plaza as well as along the four principal streets which begin there, there shall be portals, for these are of considerable convenience to the merchants who generally gather there; (…)
116. In cold places, the streets shall be wide and in hot places narrow; but for purposes of defence in areas where there are horses, it would be better if they are wide.
118. Here and there in the town, smaller plazas of good proportion shall be laid out (…).
129. Within the town, a commons shall be delimited, large enough that although the population may experience a rapid expansion, there will always be sufficient space where the people may go to for recreation and take their cattle to pasture without them making any damage.
* Mixed uses:
119. For the temple of the principal church, parish, or monastery, there shall be assigned specific lots; (…)
121. (…) the hospital for the poor and those sick of noncontagious diseases shall be built near the temple and its cloister; and the hospital for the sick with contagious diseases shall be built in such a way that no harmful wind blowing through it may cause harm to the rest of the town. If the latter be built in an elevated place, so much the better.
122. The site and building lots for slaughter houses, fisheries, tanneries, and other business which produce filth shall be so placed that the filth can easily be disposed of.
126. The plaza (…) shall be used for the buildings of the church and royal houses and for city use, but shops and houses for the merchants should be built first, to which all the settlers of the town shall contribute, and a moderate tax shall be imposed on goods so that these buildings may be built.
* Equal land distribution:
127. The other building lots shall be distributed by lottery to the settlers, continuing with the lots closer to the main plaza, and the lots that are left shall be held by us for assignment to those who shall later become settlers (…).
103. (…) The person responsible for the town must select urban lots, farm, and pasture lands for the person willing to populate the town, who shall receive the amount of peonias and caballerías on which he is willing and able to build as long as no one is awarded more than five peonias nor three caballerias if given the latter.
* Beautiful architecture:
134. They shall try as far as possible to have the buildings all of one type for the sake of the beauty of the town.