Throughout the land
previously occupied by the Kyranian people, their
buildings still stand as a sign that that was once their land. The massive
castles, stone cities, and if one looks close enough, the soldier’s quarters
below ground are still there and used by the people that populate the land
today, who rather often claim other ancestry. It is easy to pick out the towns,
villages, streets, and individual homes that are lived in by those that call
themselves Kyranians, as they are best kept in the
traditional way as much as possible. Beyond that however, most areas are
obviously blended, with obvious Centoraurian
additions as well as those from other tribes that have flocked to the Xaramon
Below are the basic Kyranian standards for their buildings:
Kingdom castles made of stone, with some wood buildings were rather large. These
buildings housed all of the nobles, knights, court officials, staff, and
attendants in the area and lived in the castle with a majority of the army. The
main keeps of these castles stand about four to five stories tall, with the
towers being taller. The most noticeable feature however is the amount of land
the buildings cover. Most landowning nobility would live at the castle in their
area and use their sons or a trusted attendant to check on their tenants once
every two weeks or so to make sure that things were running properly. This
opened up more good land for farming and large castles could be built on land
that was poorly suited for crops and cattle. The
attempted to put everything they could to good use.
Lavish courtyards usually led to the main keep. In no way were they small, but they were not overly large either. These areas were well kept, with good soil bought from different areas and brought in so that the castle would have their own supply of plants. The various types were commonly selected by the head cook and would provide spices, seasonings, vegetables, and fruits for the meals, while flower growing plants were sometimes harvested to bring a little life to rooms of the keep. The courtyards were a favourite of the castle staff and many of the noble women felt themselves drawn to the simple labours of gardening during their days, providing a task for them to work at instead of spending their days lounging around the practice field.
In the later days of the kingdom, the courtyards were left to their original purpose though some of the lords of the castle had to sacrifice half or all of their gardens to erect temporary barracks. Most of the old courtyards have been built back up and tended by the current master of the castle. Some just grow the plans needed by the castles cooks while others also grow, or at least attempt to grow a range of flowers as well.
Behind the courtyard a large open area is used for tournament grounds, training grounds, the stables, temporary barracks, and smithy/armoury. The tournament grounds occupy a large part of any castle as there were commonly events held on the fields by the nobles within the castle, offering up a prize of their own coins or possessions in the name of good fun and sport. This was one of the outdoor events that the Kyranian nobility flocked to on a regular basis, a chance to be under the sun, being active, and competing in friendly competitions. The women of the court believed that Kyranian men never grew up, and they were somewhat right. Most nobles never seemed to grow out of their love for competition, and well into their later years, they would still be challenging their childhood friends and rivals. The massive tournament grounds and training grounds fuelled that drive for challenges and victory.
The courtyards led into a great hall, often decorate per the lord, or lady, of the house’s instructions. Massive halls, greeting chambers, the kitchen, and servant's quarters make up most of the first floor while the halls of skilled or privileged craftsmen dominate the second. From there on up there are guest chambers that are rather spacious depending on the family size. Though called guest chambers, certain families would inhabit the same set of rooms for many generations. However, the guest chambers are often at least half empty for most of the year, though this depends on the ruler.
The Kyranians didn't believe in wasting anything, even things that might not be seen as waste to others. Beneath the stones of the ground floor lies a whole separate level. A staircase in the court yard leads down to the Soldier’s barracks, which is usually located under the kitchen. Generally it was the mess hall beneath the kitchen. A gently declining ramp runs the length of the hall, allowing the kitchen staff to descend safely with food for the soldiers.
Each keep have more than one hall designated for sleeping quarters that could hold between one hundred and two hundred men in the three level bunks that take up as much room as possible, leaving barely enough space to walk. Thick wooden posts are set in the stone at the top and bottom of the rooms, keeping the soldier’s beds safe. Bunk halls are found all around beneath the castle, as they were expanded when they needed to. Hallways throughout the underground level led to various rooms for soldiers, but they also led to the cells that resided beneath the keep. Generally only the most dangerous were kept there, but that is often no longer the case.
Various towers and stone buildings surrounded the main keep; the towers stand five to six stories tall, some even reaching seven, while the buildings rarely reach four stories. The towers either have a staircase on the inside, lining the wall or on the outside with a railing that keep people from falling. Each level of the tower has a medium sized private dining/meeting room and a simple furnished room or two. The bottom of the towers had more rooms while the top floor commonly had one. Nobles with larger families would be situated in the lower level rooms while single nobility would be assigned the top rooms. The towers levels were one set of rooms on their own while the buildings were set up similarly with more sets of rooms per level.
Merchant Homes/Mansions. Merchants lived in wooden or stone (or both, though while stone was more common, wood showed their wealth) two or three story structures near the castle or in a city. In smaller shops, the first floor of the home is their store and large windows in the front display the merchant's wares on days with bad weather. Buildings are for the most part a few peds back from the street and heavy wooden or stone tables out front were where merchants could set up for a day of business. The upper levels of the house are the living quarters for the owners and their families.
The wealthier merchants had homes in another section of the city that were solely for living and owned buildings or warehouses in other areas where they conducted business. The poorer or beginning merchants had two story buildings with half the first level blocked off and they lived in the back part while they rented out the top story to another familiar. It wasn’t uncommon for new merchants to share a home with a supplier until they both got on their feet.
Craftsmen Shops/Homes. The craftsmen of the city lived in one or two story buildings, depending on their wealth. In two story buildings, a small front room is set aside for customers with a workroom in the back and their home on the second floor. A lot of craftsmen had two separate workrooms one being indoors with all their tools and materials while the other consisted of a sturdy work area behind their home/work where they could enjoy the sun while doing simple tasks that didn't need a good deal of set up and equipment. Those that lived in one story buildings had their workroom up front and open to the eyes of customers while their living quarters in the back depended on wealth.
Peasant Homes. The housing of the peasants usually consisted of small, one story stone buildings with thatched roofs. The stones used for these homes were often misshapen and clearly the broken pieces that couldn’t be used for larger projects and more distinguished homes. Those that lived within the city were often in another area of the city and worked at their craft within their homes. These houses are rather small and consist of two to three rooms with a cooking area and a working area. The working area was often used for guests as well. Peasants that didn't have a license from the King to trade would manufacture goods in their homes and sell them to merchants who in turn would sell them to others. It was not uncommon for these houses to fall due to the shape of the stones and poor quality of build. Many of the newer houses that have been put up, built in the same one story and two to three room style have been known to hold better.
The peasants that lived outside of the city and made their living as farmers of both animals and plants, resided in slightly larger houses with another large barn or warehouse near by for animals or crops. They were often better off as they built their homes with their own hands and often with the aid of the local nobility due to the fact that farming and raising animals was a big part of Kyranian life.