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3.25
6 Votes

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Comments: 21
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.25
Condition: Normal
ID: 2830

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Updated:
July 7, 2006, 1:11 pm

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Cloud Wall

By:

Some hear The Blue calling them. They would rather embrace it than stay another day.

The cells in The Grand Castle GriffonStay are perhaps the easiest in the world to escape. Yet, no one ever escapes alive.

The Castle GriffonStay is one of the most unassailable castles in the Greater Realms. It is built in a high fertile valley, guarded by the Castle of the Vale - a curtain wall with towers that spans the narrow valley entrance, with only one gate. The valley supports a number of communities with a winding road that touches each of them and the first guard tower of Castle.  The tall near-pinnacle that GriffonStay is built on has three gate towers protecting the treacherous trail to it - Gracious Green, Lunar Kiss, and Snow. The trail is safe enough for a guide and mules at a slow pace, deadly for an army of foot.  It is in this great, unobtainable castle, that the most insidious cells in the Greater Realms, if not the world, Cloud Wall.

Cloud Wall is at the base of the Castle. The small cells are carved out of the rock there, three sides into the rock, with the 4th side facing the sky. Enough space that a average man might lay down and even move about if they were very careful. Each cell is exposed to the sky, with the floor slightly sloping downward. The walls, floor, and ceilings are smooth and ungrippable, angled away from the door, designed so no man could climb them. The cells are widely space apart, the howling wind takes any cry or call they might make.  A prisoner has nothing in the cell, no furniture and only allowed a soft wood bowl for their meals. (The bowl are shoved through a tiny slot that is opened and closed at the base.) A favored prisoner might have a blanket or cloak, but there is nothing to secure it to. 

There is nothing there, except The Blue.

The cells face the open sky. An occasional cloud slides by. The elements visit. The Sun shines directly. It shows one how tiny and insignificant one is against the sea of air. If one stares carefully over the edge, one can see the tiny vale floor so very far below. Most of the time, The Blue is there mocking them.  The Blue’s wind howls all the time, bringing cold and teasing the prisoner… trying to pull them into The Blue (and the many hundreds foot drop to the stones below). And since the floor slopes, one can never be completely at rest. Some cells slope slightly, others are nearly a slide. If one sleeps too deeply, one might roll off. Fatigue and cold begin to take a toll. Thus The Blue, the madness of the unending sky begins to claim each prisoner. They eventually throw themselves to The Blue because the final embrace is better the cold terror of The Blue while alive. People break under The Blue and the Lords of GriffonStay are careful not to leave a prisoner there too long. Unless of course, they want them to embrace The Blue.

Note: For those prisoners that can fly or have “unique” abilities, they are not kept in Cloud Wall. The Old Well is barely man sized. Prisoners are lowered to the bottom, to a place they can not sit or lay down. They also pray that no one else needing The Old Well is here at the same time.



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Comments ( 21 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Mourngrymn
July 7, 2006, 12:54
0xp
I keep commenting on this and it doesn't work.

I voted on this mainly for the idea itself. I can imagine the feeling of hopelessness sitting in an open room with nothing to hold on to knowing that any day might be my doom.

I would have voted a little higher but I feel that there is information not being said. Is the rulership heavy handed and that is why they have the cloud wall cells? They punish harshly so peace and order are kept?

I also read something like this in a novel, I think they were called sky cells except they were open completely except for one wall.
MoonHunter
July 7, 2006, 13:08
0xp
Game of Thrones series. However, somewhat realistically, that arrangement would kill a person within a few days because of exposure, rather than the madness. A high peak in a high mountain valley... can you say near immediate hypothermia and altitude induced dehydration? Even if they had some protection, they would fall off before those probably, as they drop from exhausion and slide off the space.

My way gives them a little protection from the elements. That way, they last longer. A little protection from hypothermia, even with the same lack of O2, altitude induced dehydation, and lack of sleep, and the target will last long enough to go mad. Mine is a prison, the GoT version is a slow execution.

I didn't comment on the rulership because it is flexible. The post is about the prison. The nice rulers use these cells and the un-nice ones use the exact same cells (though in increased numbers).

There might be gryphon riders at this castle... thus arial escape might be possible, but unlikely... as someone might try a break out... and the flying guard would take them down. Hey that would be a great scene for a game or movie.
Mourngrymn
July 7, 2006, 13:23
0xp
I didn't want to tell the name of the books... but the other three books (in a six books series no less now turned seven, Robert Jordan anyone?) seem to be pretty good so far. Can't wait.
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 13:28
0xp
ok, now I'm really confused...Moon, "your way" is exactly like the book's way. Three walls, one open to sky, so ummm..huh?
MoonHunter
July 7, 2006, 14:31
0xp
Actually the impression I got from the reading (and I am in the book you are all trying to remember) is what he said... that they are basically a platform out (or mostly a platform out).

That is why I gave the differences about the angled wall

\_/

and there being a walls..
Voted Cheka Man
July 7, 2006, 12:57
0xp
I wish we had something like this in rl.
MoonHunter
July 7, 2006, 13:22
0xp
Cheka needs to move to France, where the creedo is "Better nine innocent men rot, than one guilty man go free; vs the England's and US's "Better nine guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer". The quotes are from English jurist William Blackstone and either the head of the French Court or a French Ambassador of the time (can't remember).
Mourngrymn
July 7, 2006, 13:24
0xp
Grim, but true.
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 13:26
0xp
Yep, ask Dreyfuss :D
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 13:11
0xp
Actually they are exactly like the Game of Thrones Skycells. They were not 3/4ths open. They were exactly like these.

Now, I LOVE Martin's skycells, but am not sure how to vote on this, since its more or less (more) straight out of the book. What does a vote indicate here? That..."yes, that was a cool concept in GoT book?"
Mourngrymn
July 7, 2006, 13:22
0xp
You sure? My image of them that I gathered form the books were of 3/4 open. Hmmm I am rusty on the older novels as I am reading the fourth one atm. May be my mistake...
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 13:24
0xp
yep I'm positive. One and the same.
MoonHunter
July 7, 2006, 14:32
0xp
Again, see above. My impression was a cell with nothing but blue around it. I will hunt down that passage sometime in the next day or so and double check.
MoonHunter
July 7, 2006, 14:41
0xp
As for the vote, much of are "product" is like things found in fantasy books, with some slight modifications. (Can you say Tolkein Elves?) So vote it on its merits, the write up, the interesting details, and useful bits.
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 15:26
0xp
no need to hunt..trust me :D three walls...slanted floor...and Big Blue.
Murometz
July 7, 2006, 17:39
0xp
fine...but...i dunno. To me, it still seems like simply writing down what someone else wrote/created and changing the names....dunno. Well, I do love Martin, so I guess for any GoT referrence to appear here works for me.
Voted Scrasamax
July 7, 2006, 14:37
0xp
A rather bleak and barren locale, but it seems rather forced into being for the sole purpose of these cells. Who came up with them? Why did they conceive of such a form of open imprisonment? Visuals are stunning, but it feels hollow. Might just be me.
Voted CaptainPenguin
July 7, 2006, 16:13
Only voted
Voted Pariah
July 8, 2006, 21:05
0xp
Never read the books so I wouldn't know if this is a copy or not.
dark_dragon
April 2, 2007, 19:18
0xp
I dont quite get the setup...

is it like this:(A)
|__
|__
|
or like this:(B)
|__|
Either would work, I guess.

However I dont understand how the prisoner can see the green valey in (B), so you must mean (A) (especially since you mention a ceiling) but then, the prisoner could climb out... actually a good climber could climb out of either cells... *baffled as to how you keep people in*

Ok, you did say they were designed so no man could climb them... but then, would weathering create grips?

Effectively the only way you could do this is by having concrete technology. the entire cell would then have to be a single poured concrete block, or a sanded down pit of rock, but the civil engineering involved would be a momentus task for most fantasy kingdom, who are still building castles out of stone blocks. Perhaps instead of being a castle this could be a volcanic rock cliff face? the volcanic rock, being ressilient to weathering, could then be smoothed down so that the prisoners cannot limb it. However, I think that if this was made out of stone blocks, rather than carved into a cliff face, the prisoners might actually be able to climb it... Magic might help, though, or a particularly slippery type of algie, growing on the rocks, would then stop people climbing onto them.


edit:Actually, I take that back, thinking of the engineering knowledge of the romans, a kingdom without modern methods could probably pull it off.

On a different note, the locale is very good, and the sense of remoteness is well written. Still not sure which way the cells are pointing though...
Voted valadaar
October 16, 2014, 14:30
Only voted

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