Vadong

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Vadong

A vadong is a type of residence that is commonly found throughout Liaghwa. Throughout Duqanic history, the vadong layout was used for residences, communal buildings, and government buildings. In ancient times, an average vadong would be occupied by a dozen families all related by patrilineal or matrilineal ancestry. Today, the vadong are still a popularly built building, but now modern variations have been designed to be similar to an apartment block.

Names

Vadong refers to a grouping of multiple buildings interconnected surrounding a main courtyard closed off with a wall. Sometimes also called a “grand family complex/compound.”

History

Vadong dates back to the early Duevi period, shortly after the Duqanic migration ended, a history of over 2500 years. They are considered to be the fundamental core of Liaghwese architecture. They exist all across the Liaghwese islands and even western Soltenna and are the basic template of most buildings in Duqanic society.

In the modern era, vadongs have been adapted to fit much more families by increasing the amount of floors, similar to an apartment block. The courtyard now functions as a community center, gathering place, park, and playground. Restaurants, businesses, and offices are on the ground floor. In the suburbs vadong are more similar to traditional styles but instead act more like a neighborhood block of connected houses.

Materials

The local environment provides all the construction materials a vadong is built with. Since most of Liaghwa is forested, wood is the most popular material used in construction. Stone or mud bricks are also a very popular material, used sometimes in flooring, pillars, and walls.

Layout of a Simple Vadong

The building positioned to the northeast and facing the southwest is the seshe, or main house. The buildings facing northwest and southeast are the ghiva, or side houses. The building that faces northeast and is opposite to the main house is the lichu, or opposite house. The shrines of the four Hanulan gods are located at each of the four corners of the vadong, each corner directly faces a cardinal direction. Covered passages dissect the complex and wrap around a large courtyard. Traditional vadong are only one-story tall.

The entrance gate is situated on the southwestern face of the vadong. Some wealthier vadongs had multiple courtyards and gardens or even extra additions to all four buildings.

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Seshe

The seshe houses the quarters of unmarried females and female servants, female baths, a kitchen, bakery, buttery, pantry, library, quiet room, dining room, guest room, and the private quarters of the family head and their spouse.

The family head quarters is usually one of the most extravagant rooms within the vadong. A massive bed and lounge for the head couple with expensive rugs and tapestries decorate the room. A large wardrobe and dressing room are placed near the back wall. An intimate reception hall with a raised dias, low table, and an extravagant chair akin to a throne allow the head of the family to meet and discuss with other leaders within the grand family. Folding screens separate the different sections of the private head quarters.

The Quiet Room is partially connected to the library by a moveable screen and its intended purpose is for reading, writing, calligraphy, and meditation. It is common for a vadong to require total silence in both the library and the Quiet Room. Boisterous children are generally restricted entirely from this room.

The library houses important scrolls and documents for the grand house. Various texts are kept within this room. A lounge with some tables and chairs provide a nice place to read or write.

The female ward is made up of three rooms: the female servant quarters, unmarried women’s quarters, and the female bath room. All single females above the age of three sleep in these quarters. Males are restricted from entering these rooms. The female bath room consists of a few pools, a fire place, spa, and lounge.

The female guest house is for women who visit the vadong. When not in use, this room functions as a women’s lounge and sitting room. Men are restricted from entering this room.

The kitchen, bakery, and buttery are located near the women’s quarters. Depending on how big the vadong is, there may be multiple giant firepits or fireplaces to cook in. A zhonta, a large shallow water basin, sits elevated on a counter; used as a source of clean water. One or more mud brick ovens are used to bake bread and pastries. Depending on the available space, counters, cabinets, and a pantry may be installed. If there is no room for counters in poorer vadongs, a simple wooden table suffices.

The dining room is one of the biggest rooms in the vadong, since it needs to fit the entire grand family during meal times. The dining room is an open air room with tall ceilings sitting atop beautifully carved pillars. Giant folding screens close off the dining room during the winter and colder months.

Ghiva

The two side buildings are called the ghiva, they house all the married couples within the vadong. These buildings are split up to provide private rooms to the couples. Infants and children under the age of three also share a room with their parents. Sometimes the ghiva may be as large as a seshe or lichu depending on how many married couples a vadong has.

Lichu

The lichu houses the quarters of unmarried males and male servants, male baths, a work room, storage room, two guest rooms, a music and paint room, living room, reception room, and the foyer courtyard.

The foyer courtyard is the first “room” one enters when entering a vadong. A gate opens up to a small open air courtyard with tall pillared ceilings. As the very first room in the vadong, this courtyard is richly decorated and overflowing with art. Flowers, shrubs, and trees are meticulously maintained.

The reception room is the second room one enters, and it is also very richly decorated. This room is for receiving strangers and guests into the vadong without having them enter directly into the primary residece of the grand family. A lounge surrounds a table and chairs on a raised dias where people may meet and talk.

The Music and Paint room is a room where members of the vadong gather to play instruments, sing, and paint pictures. This is a relaxing room similar to the quiet room, except one may talk freely here.

The storage room and work room, like the kitchen, are probably one of the most used rooms. Both sexes work here either crafting, washing clothes, making pottery, carving, sculpting, weaving, and countless other crafts.

The male ward is made up of three rooms, the male servant quarters, unmarried men’s quarters, and the male bath room. All single males above the age of three sleep in these quarters. Females are restricted from entering these rooms. The male bath room consists of a few pools, a fire place, spa, and lounge.

The male guest house is for men who visit the vadong. When not in use, this room functions as a men’s lounge and sitting room. Women are restricted from entering this room. The married guest house is for couples who visit the vadong. When not in use, this room functions as a quiet tea room for everyone.

The living room, like the dining room, is one of the biggest rooms in the vadong. A massive lounge and sitting area with tons of pillows and blankets make this room one of the most popular in the vadong. People generally spend a lot of time here with each other when they are not busy with work or school. Children are often seen playing here. The living room is an open air room with tall ceilings. Like the dining room, giant folding screens close off the room during the winter and colder months.

Central Courtyard and Walkways

The central courtyard is the most popular place in the vadong. The courtyard usually has a water feature or a pond surrounded by lush vegetation of all kinds, including trees. A number of activites may be done here, but most importantly school is conducted in this courtyard. One or more priests of the vadong teach school children for a few hours each day.

Covered walkways act as the arteries of a vadong. Ornate paintings, tapestries, and other artwork decorate some of the walls beside the walkways. Tall pillars hold up vaulted wooden ceilings that are often carved with local designs.

Shrines

Four shrines, corresponding to the four Hanulan gods, sit at each corner of a vadong. Usually a mini courtyard open to the elements, filled with vegetation, and having a tall obelisk and altar in the center of the courtyard. People of the vadong visit each shrine once throughout the day to perform their daily prayers. Shrines are considered sacred spaces that must be respected. Silence is required when at a shrine.