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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ford

Buildings in Kaharian

Designing homes for the people of m

y created world.


For the houses in this region I need buildings that can withstand heavy snowfall for most of the year and that are low to the ground so that they don't get battered by the coastal wind.

They also have to be built from a locally abundant material, which in the case of Caldahorne is wood.

The idea I have in mind for the people of this realm is that they are similar to Vikings or Celts, so I have been researching the historical buildings that these people would have constructed in the Viking Age and the Iron Age, which did overlap in Britain.

The Iron Age was a period in human history that started between 1200 B.C. and 600 B.C., depending on the region, and followed the Stone Age and Bronze Age. During the Iron Age, people across much of Europe, Asia and parts of Africa began making tools and weapons from iron and steel.

The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) is a period in the history of the Scandinavians, during which they expanded and built settlements throughout Europe and beyond after the main European Migration Period.As such the Viking Age applies not only to their homeland of Scandinavia, but to any place significantly settled by Scandinavians during the period. The Scandinavians of the Viking Age are often referred to as Vikings or Norsemen, although few of them were Vikings in the technical sense.

Pages 1 & 2 from my Sketchbook

Pages 3 & 4 from my Sketchbook

Pages 5 & 6 from my Sketchbook

Pages 7 & 8 from my Sketchbook

My references for this section are:


Rauhallinen is a jungle realm, so the houses need to be capable of staying cool in high heat, and be waterproof due to the frequent rainfall. I did not want these buildings to be constructed in wood, because I wanted buildings that can withstand the test of time and stone lasts longer than wood, they also need to look beautiful, so they could not be constructed from just any stone. Since the elves like to show off their wealth and power their homes had to be constructed in marble, which not only remains cool in high temperatures, it is also expensive and alludes to wealth and good taste.

My references for this section are:


Why build on top of a mountain when you can build into it instead?

Asuntovauni isn't just a city, it is the entire realm of the dwarves in my world. They live deep within the ground where they are protected from the constant cold and high altitude of this mountainous region of the world. As such, I wanted their homes to be built directly into the rock within the space they have excavated from the mountain.

I began my research by looking at Petra, it consists of temples and tombs that are carved into the rock.

The “Rose City” is a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan some 2,000 years ago. Hidden by time and shifting sand, Petra tells of a lost civilization. Little is known about the Nabateans—a nomadic desert people whose kingdom rose up from these cliffs and peaks, and whose incredible wealth grew from the lucrative incense trade. Raqmu, or Petra (as the Greeks knew it), grew into the Nabateans’ most prominent city, linking camel caravans between the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, from Egypt to Syria and beyond to Greece. Control of water sources and an almost magic ability to vanish into the cleft rocks ensured the Nabateans remained unconquered for centuries. The Romans arrived in 63 B.C., signaling a new era of massive expansion and grandiose construction, like the theater that sat more than 6,000 spectators, as well as some of the city’s most impressive facades. Carved into the rock face, the Treasury and the Monastery both have unmistakable Hellenistic features, with ornate Corinthian columns, bas-relief Amazons, and fanciful acroteria. Knowing that such architectural feats were achieved by carving from the top down makes it even more impressive. Petra’s engineering phenomena are legion, including the sophisticated water system that supported some 30,000 inhabitants. Carved into the twisted passageway of the Siq, the irrigation channel drops only 12 feet over the course of a mile, while underground cisterns stored runoff to be used in drier times of the year.

I also looked at traditional cave houses in Andalucia.

Cave dwellings are among some of the oldest accommodations known to man. Usually they envisage a cramped, damp, and cold space that at most could serve as protection form the element until something better could be found or constructed. Spain has thousands of modern-day “cave-dwellers” who call these literal holes in the wall their home. From Guadix to Galera and all across the Altiplano area, there are some incredibly beautiful houses carved out of the Andalucian mountainous rocks although there are many other areas throughout Spain which also advertise cave living as a viable option. In Granada, there are numerous areas where cave dwelling is the norm. The mountainsides of the Baza region are dotted with doors to leading to these cave homes. The mountainous region Guadix is another famous area for cave construction with a hundreds of dwellings. Most of these regions have long histories in terms of cave settlement, some which can trace their early days to Arab Spain, over 500 years ago. In fact, cave dwelling has been a tradition in North Africa for over 1000 years. People in these regions have become experts in all facets of cave construction with many people having generations of expertise within their family.

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