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Posted: Jul 12 2011, 06:48 AM
Member No.: 99
Joined: 31-December 04
Exaegis Castle Besaid is a bastion of defense, rennovated out of an old Shadow Clan building, which stands as a headquarters and a stronghold for the exiled Knights and their followers. It stands at the top of a hill overlooking the town, with its back turned to a cliff that falls directly into the ocean. It is protected by five walls, arranged in a pentagonal fashion, each ten feet high, with ten foot trenches at their base, except for a road leading up to the gate. Two towers stand at the gatehouse, and one at each corner of the pentagon, for a total of seven guard towers.
The keep itself is within these walls, toward the sea-edge, at a point equidistant from the three towers on that side of the keep. It is twenty feet tall with thirty foot towers at the four corners. Each of the outer towers is topped with a balista.
The space within the walls is given over to a stable complex for chocobo, a landing bay for the Opal Aegis, and a space for the squires to train with their Knights.
Approaching the Castle
Because of its high vantage point, the Castle has a good view of the surrounding level, including the city of Besaid and her oceanic aproaches. Aproaching the castle from the city itself is ill-advised, as it stands at the top of a fifty-foot cliff overlooking the water, leaving a narrow lip of natural ground before the ten-foot castle walls (which are protected from scaling by means of a ten-foot trench). The main approach is by means of a dirt road from the city itself, deeply worn with carriage-ruts, which leads to a stone bridge over the trench and upto the gatehouse.
The approaches are covered by a single man, keeping watch, each of which has the ability to sound the alarm, summoning the available men to the defense. The walls themselves are crenelated, and can be traversed to connect from tower to tower.
The gates in the "front" wall are seven feet tall, flanked on either side by hardened guard towers, distended somewhat to form oval guard-houses that span the length of the gatehouse. The first set of gates encountered by visitors are solid oak, six inches thick, banded with iron. On either side of the outside of this gate, there is a grated window of about six inches by six inches, looking into the guardhouses, from which each of a pair of guards can address visitors. These guards can open the gates without ever leaving their guard stations by virtue of a unique locking pully system.
The gatehouse itself is capped with an extra story in the form of a barbican. This barbican's floor has many murder holes which allow for pouring quicklime onto any attackers who managed to break through the first gate. The far end of the gatehouse is protected by a portcullis that can be dropped readily into place by men at the barbican.
The Castle Grounds
The large, empty space "below" the keep (if we consider the keep to be positioned near the top of the castle), has seen some rennovations, including the addition of a scaffolding and cradle for docking, loading, and disembarking the Opal Aegis, along with a fuel shed nearby for storing coal. On the other side are a series of stable buildings and an enclosure for putting up chocobo.
The remaining area has been cleared away and established as a training area, but unless the knights are actively using it, the dummies are usually packed into a second storage shed, behind the keep.
The Keep itself is a large structure, containing many features. Its four guard towers and walls are all themselves crenelated, allowing defense of the keep itself in the same manner as the castle walls. These outer walls are stonework, though the interior walls and roof of the keep are wooden, to save space and cost.
The ground foor offers interior access to the four guard towers. There are also two staircases on the side walls, each midway through the keep, which spiral upward. The one on the left side goes down into the catacombs.
This floor encompases the living space of the Knights, including three seperate barracks with ten births each; the division is itended to be males, females, and squires (co-habitating). Each of these barracks has a single privy. They are against the back wall from the door, the furthest part of the back floor. These privies drain directly into the ocean, but it is necessary to "flush" them with a bucket of water. There is also a large basin for bathing.
Also on this floor are three solitary bedrooms, each with their own (substantially nicer) privy. These bedrooms are private quarters for the leaders of the orders of the clan. There is a rudimentary dining hall with a fairly well-equipped kitchen (not that any of the current knights can cook all that well.) Opposite the dining area is a simple chapel, plain enough to be used by men of any faith.
The basement of the castle is a dim, dank place, ill-ventilated save for the occasional grate to the floor above. Much of the basement is still gutted from the unusued period of the castle's history, but three rooms have been finished, carved out of the bedrock and shored up against the weight of the castle by colums; a prison cell, with an iron door, suitable for about six individuals, a steel-doored vault, and a wooden-doored (but often locked) storeroom.
A spring, accidentally discovered, feeds a large cistern in the basement.
The upper floor shares the same basic layout as the lower floor, but the arrangement of individual rooms is somewhat different. This is intended as a working area for the knights, hosting, in clockwise order around a large, square common area (starting with the upper left):
Leadership - 100% (3/3) - Ideal
Guards - 7% (1/14) - Poor
Ordinaries and Squires - 27% (4/15) - Poor