Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) pt. 1: The Garden

@Zells - sepia stone - smallBlack Vine was actually the first player home I bought – it’s relatively cheap, has indoor & outdoor space, and it allowed me to jump in and start playing with the housing editor.  But it took me months to figure out how I wanted to use it, and months more to find the right ways to do it after I knew what I wanted.  Then additional weeks to pick away at the list of expensive, shiny achievement furnishings.  And then Icy put up her preview of the Clockwork City furnishings, and I waited a couple more weeks until CWC hit so I could include those shinies.

Black Vine Villa is Zellfire’s magical workshop.  It isn’t her home; it’s the secluded place where she tinkers with things that might explode or create portals or gain sentience and start eating people.  Which is really exceptionally considerate of her, given that she’s a product of Divayth Fyr and Telvanni ethics. 🙂

(Y’know, now that I think about it, she probably just moved there to keep nosey people from poking through her stuff.  Yeah… that sounds more Telvanni.)

It’s also the place where ‘Fire stores shiny things she picks up while adventuring.  If you’ve ever had an art studio, or builder’s shop, or if you do any kind of crafts, then you know how items that “might be useful some day” end up shoved into corners.  That’s how ‘Fire uses Black Vine – she sees something that might be useful (or just strikes her fancy) and has it shipped back to the workshop to play with later.

Because of that, I wanted the place to be half storage area / half mad scientist studio, packed to bursting with bits and bobbles shoved into every corner, but I also wanted it to be ridiculously pretty, with aesthetically-pleasing clutter.

This post’s pictures (after the cut) are of the garden; interior shots will be in part 2.

I fell in love with Black Vine’s garden, first.  The lighting in ESO never ceases to amaze me, and in particular, the Black Vine garden is always a shifting, beautiful canvas of light and shadows as the sun passes through the Malabal Tor tree canopy.  To accentuate that, I stuffed the place full of Jester’s Trees, with their falling pink foliage.  This is the sitting area to the left of the door when you enter:

BV ext left side platform

The painting of the Craglorn ruins is my favorite painting in the game (and my favorite loading screen), and I hung one on the wall early on, just because I had it and wanted to see it when I entered.  I also had a large wooden dock that I built by accident, so I shoved it against the wall to get it out of my bag space, then I put a chair on it, b/c I ended up with an extra one of those.  Eventually I decided I liked the little sitting area, so all the random stuff I tossed down ended up being the framework, but the only piece that stayed the same was the painting.

Just outside the east wall of Black Vine, and on the other side of a little stream, lies the Black Vine Ruins, an Ayleid dungeon.  I love the view of the dungeon, and I wanted to build platforms so I could see it, but it took me forever to figure out how.  I hate using those wooden planks for everything, and while it was possible to use the skinny ones for ramps, their long length restricted how the platforms were positioned.  (Dear ZOS: we need stair options!)

Then one day while poking through the Crown store furnishings, I found the Ayleid gates, and they are perfect as short ramps.  I like to think ‘Fire pulled them out of the ruins next door.  (In fact, since she’s my primary crafter and main dungeon-delver, I’m assuming that she built all the structures in this villa, and salvaged all the Dwemer and Ayleid pieces herself.)  I love the fact that they are decorative grates instead of solid planks, so the light shines through and you can see the crystals she’s stored underneath, and those little blue stones in the grates are a lovely accent here.

BV ext right side from door

The platforms themselves are the Daedric platforms and bases, turned upside down.  Given that I used a bunch of them inside, it took me a silly amount of time to think of putting them here.  And they are all supported by Dwemer pipes, which again – weeks to come up with that one, ‘tho the answer was staring me in the face all along.

Here’s a closer shot of this side:

wedding gazebo

That wedding gazebo was in the first batch of luxury items sold by the weekend vendor, and I have moved it to every house, trying to find the right spot for it.  That’s the spot. ❤  Here’s a shot from inside the gazebo, sitting on the little chair:

BV from inside gazebo

And a shot going up the ramps:

BV ext going up ramps

And when you get to the top, here’s my view of the ruins next door:

BV ext top platform view

Once I finally get the skyshard furnishing, I’ll put it on the end of that platform, I think.  Since I took this shot, the luxury vendor had a little telescope available for sale, and it’s now at the end of the platform.  I love it there, but I’m still looking forward to adding the skyshard.

And that’s the garden!  Next time we’ll go through the house.

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One thought on “‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) pt. 1: The Garden

  1. Pingback: ‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) part 2: Interior | Letters From Tamriel

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