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Fort and City Wall Conditions


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This is something that's always bothered me, and I wonder if anybody else has given it much thought...


That being the condition of the forts and some of the city walls, Whiterun being the prime example with cities.  It's been years since the end of the great war.  Not only that, but by all accounts that I recall, the fighting ended in Cyrodil.  That means it never reached Skyrim.  If I'm wrong somebody will correct me, lol.  Either way, there's been time to repair the walls.  Yet forts all around Skyrim sit in ruins.  Hell, draugr ruin exteriors are often in better shape.


It's reasonable that some forts might be older and abandoned.  All of them shouldn't look like old Roman Empire era ruins in modern times though.  Whiterun makes even less sense IMO.  It's a trade hub, being on the main road in from Cyrodil.  That's why it has such a nice castle, etc...  Yet with all the wealth coming in from trade, nobody can be bothered to repair the walls that protect all the merchants bringing in that coin?


I'm sure Bethesda was trying to make a poorly thought out artistic statement about how it symbolizes the state of the Empire's decay.  Still, I'd think even the abandoned ones occupied by bandits...  Well if I was a bandit with a prime base of operations like that, the first thing I'm going to do is make some rudimentary repairs to make the place properly defensible.  The ones that are actually occupied by either military should definitely be in better repair.

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Well, even in real, thriving medieval cities, older walls were regularly pilfered for building stone by residents.


Plus, some walls or fortifications may have been more important at one time, but have become less important over time, so rebuilding them might be wasted money. Maybe Magic means some of those extra walls aren't so important anymore. The main city walls seem well-maintained at least.


Or it could be a supply issue. Maybe the local stone isn't good enough (again, maybe magic has something to do with this) and the "right" stone is far away, expensive, or both.


Finally, there could simply be some good old-fashioned graft. Maybe the walls are "supposed" to be rebuilt but the money keeps "going astray" - "We're neutral! No one will attack us, right?".


(Incidentally, I use the Whiterun extension which puts vendors all along the path to the front gates, which REALLY makes it feel more like a proper town. I much prefer that to EtaC's Whiterun market, which sort of stretches out Whiterun too far while still leaving the gates empty).

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I think its probably a combination of the points made by SmedlyDButler.


theft by residents/visitors, less important currently, graft, and local inexpensive stone just won't do.


and if you look at what the Hearthfires houses use for its stone:  it is smaller sections then what the walls use, and those are small deposits.


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The same reason Windhelm was built next to a mountain instead of on top of it. The same reason why I can waltz into a Jarl's throne room and sit on their throne with no consequences. The Jarls are idiots and the guards don't give a shit about anything but sweetrolls and mead. I do agree that the areas need better defense and the guards need better training.

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