I finished Citàlune! :’) I’ve worked on this town for years, but around Autumn 2017 I got a fire lit under me to work towards finishing it once and for all. If you would like to visit yourself first without being ‘spoiled,’ feel free to give Luna the address 4F00-001F-F5E6. But if you’d like to tour the moon side of town with me, read on! (Photo-heavy content ahead)
First, a little background:
The name Citàlune is a colloquial shortening that popularized over time; the full name, which is not said much anymore, translates to “city of the setting sun & rising moon.” The land is known for its beautiful sunsets and clear starry nights, and for its two prominent royal families whose power and influence have waxed and waned over time. Estel’s royal symbol is the moon, and Lyra’s is the sun. For now, they each have influence over their respective lands, and have their own courts and residents who are loyal to them. They have priorities and values that are vastly different, but in a way, compliment each other and work together to make the entire city have a place for everyone.
The focus of this post is the Moon-side of the river that Estel rules over, which is more calm, quiet, natural, and woodsy than the other side. Estel values peace and tranquility, the conservation of nature, and providing public services to residents in her moon castle.
We’ll begin the photo tour with the most important building on the moon side of town, Estel’s castle. I think it looks beautiful on the start screen, with a glimpse of the river flowing behind it. We’re not going to go inside the castle yet though, saving that for a later tour 🙂
In the past few years, I’ve experimented with different ‘framings’ for Estel’s castle, like streetlights, or just one tree on either side. But I went back to two trees framing the castle on either side, which I had in the early days of my town, and I’m glad I did!
My favorite, classic view of Estel’s castle ^^ I can never resist panning up to see this view on a starry night.
This is the center of Estel’s garden, which as a whole is supposed to have a formal French garden look. Estel is all about providing services for the townsfolk, so her castle’s landscaping is her way of giving residents a public park to wander and relax in, and to take in the beautiful mixture of nature and order.
The bottom of the garden has statue fountains mirroring those from the top half, then the hedges open up to a pair of benches overlooking the ocean.
The waterfall is really the finishing touch to this scenic area :’)
Here, the path starts to break away a little, signifying you’re leaving the formal garden into more casual/woodsy territory. I made cracked half-marble pieces specifically for this area, and tried my best to blend them into the unique spaces (part dirt, part grassy) they’re placed on.
This is the main path for the moon side of town, new to this DA update! I liked the dirt paths I had before, but feel like the new path patterns add so much more to the white glowy look I wanted this side of town to have. Plus, the way they kind of mirror the sun mosaic paths on the other side make my heart happy 🙂
The main 2×2 pattern has a full moon of bright marble as its centerpiece, while the rectangular 2×1 pattern has crescent moons. The moons are surrounded by a sky of blue and purple mosaic pieces, speckled with white starry pieces.
I feel the view across the bridge looks kind of mysterious at this angle…
Crossing that bridge takes you to the center of Citàlune, where you’ll find a moon garden ringed by trees and water.
Some river views that often go un-photographed 🙂 I feel like the river being so close on the moon side of town has limited the space and made it tricky to work with, but I do enjoy the natural atmosphere the river adds to this side of town: seeing the water peak through the trees, hearing the water flow as you walk along the path.
You can bathe in the hot spring grove, then dry off on the rock by the cliff while enjoying the ocean view~
The same path that connects with the bridge takes you to the ramp that leads down to the beach ^^
A particularly busy bit of the moonlit beach 🌕🌴
Between the sun and moon beaches, the moon side is probably my favorite. It’s not too big, not too small; it has the dock and a few cozy nooks along the clff; and I love the peaceful atmosphere given off by the white flowers.
The moon side of town is a bit more sparsely populated than the more city-like sun side of town. Two of its residents are Julian, a member of nobility in the moon court, and Bruce, a hermit who enjoys the peace and quiet.
Two dirt trails branch off from the main path here, one to a witch’s cottage and one to a seaside tavern. I felt like I had to make a special tile just for this one spot because it looked kind of weird without it 😛
Here is Violet on the trail to her home, where the air is hung with the sweet aroma of wisteria and violets. The lonely witch has made her mark on the gardens in her nook of the forest, but also lets things grow wild.
Violet’s cottage is nestled deep in the woodland, next to the largest lake in Citàlune. Most residents give her home a wide berth, though Violet means no harm and would actually enjoy having guests on occasion.
One reason why most residents avoid Violet’s home is that it’s rumored she lives in an area of the forest dense with fairies, who aren’t always kind to strangers. Violet has a working relationship with some of the fairies, and has met with them to trade magical artifacts before; this seemingly ordinary old stump is one such meeting spot.
The same dirt trail dotted with stepping stones continues south below the main path to lead travelers to Fern’s Tavern. Violet will sometimes walk the trail connecting their homes, for Fern is one of her few friends. Then they catch up and share tales together in the main hall of the Tavern.
Fern’s Tavern has humble accommodations, but travelers know it’s much preferred to spending the night in the wilderness. The busiest days of the year at the Tavern are when fairs and festivals are held at the town tree clearing nearby.
The windmill helps grind corn and grain for the Tavern ^^
Rumor has it that good fortune will come to you if you blow one of the dandelion puffs that grow near Fern’s Tavern out to sea. Fern sure doesn’t mind the extra business this rumor brings, and encourages it 🙂
A special sapling was planted in the forest long ago, which grew into a tree so large that it became symbolic and significant to Citàlune’s culture. Its roots spread far and deep enough that a natural clearing in the forest formed around the tree. Throughout the year, merchants set up tents full of wares from faraway lands, and fairs and festivals are held that attract a variety of travelers from all over. Lights and lanterns are hung from the trees around the clearing since the revelry often lasts long into the night. As the night wears on, travelers will often try to find an open room or bed at Fern’s Tavern.
The clearing is also known for its beautiful star-shaped flowers and crescent-shaped pond, which are said to be blessings from the forest in return for planting the sapling that grew into the town tree.
Close-up of the town tree, courtesy of the start screen 🙂
And a hastily made panoramic — don’t look at it too closely 😛
If you wander off the path, peeking behind some trees is a fairytale bench to be found by the waterfall ^^
And lastly, this is the bridge that will take you across the river to the sun side of town! ☀ But we’ll wait to cross the bridge until the next part of our tour. 🙂 Thank you for reading!