These are part of the development of images for a personal project. A huge environment/collection of locations called the Cities of The Wall. The idea being a huge ancient, Ghormanghast like fortress, a collection of interlinked castles that run for hundreds of miles along the edge of a mountain ridge that surrounds a land no one is allowed to escape from. Imaging Mordor but in reverse, with the mountains that surround it topped with a watchful series of towers and great dreary stone walls and parapets. Stories abound of the horrors held at bay within, but decades and centuries have passed, and the cities of the wall have fallen into a feeble watchfulness, more concerned with internecine squabbling between the various stewardship lines of the towers/now cities of the wall. The Cities of the Wall is a setting in which spies and spymasters, bureaucrats, assassins, leech prescribing alchemists, heraldic historians, dusty and vague advisors to self-indulgent overweight and quite often age addled lords thrive and quite often die. But each new lord takes on the same dusty mantles of petty squabbling, one-up-manship and paranoid murderous intrigue. Travellers hoping to get beyond this strange partition might first have to deal with one of the lords or ladies of the realm, perhaps taking on a task or rendering a political favour before getting what they wish.
I also liked the idea that in spite of everything, all the bile, and fear, that small medieval towns and economies would still find their way to attach themselves to the more prominent parts of this sprawling bureaucratic fortress. And there in the shadow of the great tower courts of these strange lords and stewards, you would find ragged villages and hamlets with names based on the by-product of the towers above then upon which their economy was originally based. Names like Ergot, Kale-rot, ColdSlag, Fishbone, Old-door, Rue, Markstone, Tallow’s End, Thrumm, and Lyepool.
(I’ll get around to annotating the individual images at some point)