Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The court architect Phraanc L'loiid Rait

Still thinking about the dead Aral Sea equivalent and the vaguely Arabian elves who lived by it before they murdered it with their grandiose plans. Did you know that among history's finest instances of a grandiose plan – a vaguely Arabian grandiose plan, no less – is Frank Lloyd Wright's unrealized plan for reworking downtown Baghdad? Behold -

bigger here http://66.media.tumblr.com/b72fd83a1624bafcf7a5055788669ea9/tumblr_mrfhehXfhK1syx7edo1_1280.jpg
Obviously this was never built, and indeed it's a fairly supreme example of somewhat cringeworthy Western imposition of their idea of what a native culture might have been like (neither here or there right now, but it's interesting how Wright was a master borrower of other architectural cultures in the US but went to the bad on the rare occasion he he tried to actually work in those cultures), a bit like if someone tried to actually build the Baghdad of that issue of Sandman. And indeed Wright bigged it up with much patronising talk of Aladdin and Ali Baba.

But as a place for some adventuring, wow: as a plan for the overplanned, overdone, overpatterned city of the decadent and dying elves, well, all the work is done for you: the sweeping avenues, the encounter-friendly narrow bridges, the pleasure pavilions with their cruel pinnacles, and in this excellent post even some nice interior dungeon maps (there's a planetarium under the opera house! Put this in it!) and the requisite bazaar where you can allow your party to waste a session if you are feeling generous. In the salt-choked, sand-strewn cities of the elves, there is little now that is needful to buy: but a desperate elf might part with immortal gifts for a mortal price.