Nestled into a narrow valley of a jungle island lies a battered and weathered inn, a business of questionable repute and a common haunt for adventurers. The Sultry Siren is inn, bordello, bare-knuckle boxing joint, and anything else its customers can afford to pay for.
When I started this project, it was half a year after making the jungle landing area described in Monday’s post. You can see the inn from the outside if you like, and I recommend it! The Electron toolset handles interiors as tiles. Each tile consists of a room or a part of a larger room, and comes with pre-configured walls, windows, floors, and doors. In many cases this limits the internal architecture of buildings to a rigid, square grid. Furthermore, interiors for buildings in Neverwinter Nights 2 are often considerably larger than the building exterior, since it’s quite difficult to cram anything into such a small space with such unwieldy tools.
The challenge I set myself with this area was to make the inside resemble the outside as much as possible when it comes to layout. The TARDIS effect is cool and all, but it doesn’t have a place in the dark ages. About half of the visible walls in this area are parts of tiles, and the rest are assembled piece by piece with placeable assets. You can tell the difference if you look closely, but I think that inconsistency is appropriate for a building that’s likely been repaired time and time again with whatever material was at hand.
With that out of the way, I’ll hop straight in. Right through the front door stands an impressive open fireplace. A concierge desk sits against the wall, with ledgers and lock-boxes waiting to accommodate the inn’s patrons. The inn’s small tavern consists of a bar, a communal table, and a few booths for those in want of a (slightly more) private conversation. Down a narrow hallway to the side lies an open room ideal for dancing and large gatherings. A small stage is crammed into the corner, occupied equally often by musicians and less than fully clothed women. The cramped back room doubles as a kitchen and a gambling house, with a large card table occupying much of the floor. The narrow spaces either side of a downward staircase serve as storage for ales, wines, and cooking supplies. Fun fact: This is the only staircase in this area that came as part of a tile. While the toolset lets you assemble stairs, it doesn’t let you cut holes into the floor, so I had to make do with one of the default options.The basement is a cavernous chamber hollowed directly into the bedrock. Frequent drips of water have cultivated a number of molds and mushrooms on the earthen floor. A makeshift ring is used for bare-knuckle boxing matches, on which the inn’s patrons undoubtedly wager. The cellar can be accessed from within the Sultry Siren, but also from just outside. Both of these staircases aren’t part of any tile, and were constructed out of component parts for a personalized touch.Tucked into a corner back on the ground floor is a small sitting area and library. The inn’s meager collection of books struggles to fill a few rickety old bookshelves while a warm fire and comfortable couch add to the room’s cozy atmosphere. Stairs in the corner lead to the inn’s many bedrooms.Across from the landing on the upper floor is a small common room furnished with a few sofas and tables. A narrow, claustrophobic hallway serves as a testament to the need for efficient use of space. Patrons have a number of sleeping arrangements available to them, ranging in size and number of beds. Most rooms have a desk or table and a bath, as well as a few artful decorations. If you haven’t noticed it yet, the inn’s favorite color is blue. In fact, the only objects to be any other color are the red booth seats, which couldn’t be altered in the toolset. Finally, for those more technically minded, I’ve included three overhead shots from the toolset that depict the floor-plan of each level. The grid of tiles can easily been distinguished by the creamy color along the top of certain walls, which contrasts greatly with the many other walls that form little nooks and crannies and other architectural oddities.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour. Interiors are a different animal than the irregular landscapes I’ve been showing off. Focus is drawn to the little details that bring a room from feeling spartan to cozy and lived-in. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as easy to find picturesque angles that also show you a good amount of a room’s contents, but as ever, I will continue to do my best.
Until next time, peace!