View Full Version : [CWBP] [Region 1][Map 12] [Location 01] - Finger Islands

06-06-2008, 11:23 AM
I'd like to map the finger Islands as a fortified trading post for civilized folk in the region.

I hope this is ok with people. Rav? ?

It might get done for the contest but then again it might not :).

I put a note in the wiki. Anyone with anything to say please pipe up. Assuming there are no issues, collaboration and suggestions from nearby areas\settlements are welcome.


06-06-2008, 11:52 AM
That would be lovely! Map away!

Is it my birthday or something? Everyone's mapping the Beastlands! This is great!

06-06-2008, 01:07 PM
This map is drawn from Section 12 of the CGWP 'Beastlands'. Ably and swiftly put together by Ravells. Thanks to everyone for their work and enthusiasm!

Its a friendly project open to anyone who sees a way to fit in... Come on, you know you want to. I hope this doesn't dissuade people but I need to get a feeling for a region before I can plunk down a city or start a map. The following is me thinking aloud for the purposes of the project. I will leave it to Ravells to approve the final version for the Wiki etc.... If there is something you don't like or doesn't sound authentic feel free to point it out!

Its nominally a June entry but the focus is the map not the contest.


Above you can see the map selection with regions numbered from left to right. People can contirbute to any region or work together if that's productive. We want to fit in with the base information from the Map project but mostly we want to use the information as a springboard not a wall.


This is an island peninsula on a large lake surrounded by swamp and forrest with nasty creatures and perilous danger. The water is fresh. The land is hilly.
I would like to keep this game system agnostic but if you are thinking in D20 terms thats probably ok.

1. The Beastlands - Everything in the area has to survive\thrive in the face of the beastlands.
- Chief challenges - Centaurs, Kalabar Swamp, Raiders on the lake?

2. This is probably the ideal village\city location - trees and a bay. If the region is safe this is where settlement will want to be.

3. A private lake! This may not be very deep and may flood seasonally. It might be the basis for a particular type of crop (Cranberries?) or a protected water zone if its deeper. This might really be an extended mudflat depending on the season.

4. Bay Choke Point- This is probably the most desirable fort location if the bay is important. The headland between 4 and 5 might also be a good more defendable city location.

5. Defensible Keep. The water surrounds this place accept for a small spur that attaches to the land. My guess is that for the lake to be navigable these islands are actually pretty rocky.

6. Finger Island (And the little islands around it) - if trade between shores is important and the land is really dangerous this might be a great site for a monastery and\or village. I estimate its roughly about 35x6 miles or 210 sq miles. Its not as small as you think.

7. The Far Shore - This leaves section the Beastlands and borders Groam. Trade? Population sources? If the Beastlands have mostly beasts maybe the islands are a refuge or a first step in settlment.
- Groam, Castaran, the Plague - silver prospectors?

Anyway thats the logic for this selection. Now to determine how it interacts with the region(s).

Opinions, contributions and Sophistry are welcome.


06-06-2008, 02:25 PM
Peoples and Influences.

Groam to the East - Casteran Across the lake.

Casteran - anyone know more about it?

Some reflection of the people of Groam will exist in the peninsula. Homesteaders fleeing Groams corruption would be absorbed. Trade with the east would be llikely.

NO PLAGUE - I think it is an important distinction that the island has been free from plague perhaps because of its isolation perhaps because of its moral lifestyle.

Kalabar Swamp - The WIKI mentions Druids - perhaps this is where the druids hang out? Perhaps not.
Kalabar Swamp - Old Elf Enclave
- not particularly friendly to humans - more often side with Centaurs
- More Like Old English Elves with ties to Faery.
- Allies with Druids
- Allies with White Hoof Centaurs
- Grudging allies of Finger Island.

Centaurs - The Centaurs stand to be important allies. Centaurs are not known for being very coastal preferring inland areas. Most of their territory seems to be on the other side fo the Kalabar Swamp. Perhaps they are surly and unfriendly because they have no allies against the denizens of the swamp?

White Hoof Centaurs - Beyond the Swamp
White Hoof herd in the northern regions of the Beastlands. Unfriendly and surly folk, they are known for their warlike nature and desire for solitude.

Contrast Groam
- Older than the Silver Boom
Kingdom Structure - I think this settlement should contrast Groam's Chaos and be strong enough to not be rolled over by Groam's Corruption.

- Not dwarves site too watery
- Self sufficient would be good in the region
- Like islands (IMHO)

Its taking shape :)

06-06-2008, 04:01 PM
Since there are 3 of us doing stuff in a fairly close region we're going to have to work together to get things meshing well.

I'm thinking I might also do the Orchards and Limbeck Mines as well after Irontown if no one else gets to them first.

Other things I'm thinking of adding to the current Region map (If no one has a problem with it) is:
1. Dreadwood's Valor. A fort on the river in the Dreadwood, basically right above the second D. This is a save haven for the foolishly brave, groups of warriors that gather to hunt in the Dreadwood to test their skill and prove how truly powerful they are. Will also serve as a way point on the Jeedon River Way, one of the paths from Irontown/Limbeck Mines to travel north.

2. Jeedon's Halls. A fort/Village at the large fork in the river, home to traders who only put up with the issues of living there for the valuable bits of critters that some lucky few send out of Valor. These two points will make the main section of the Short River Way.

3. A smaller Fort/docks on one of the loops in the river near the coast, this will be the wet step for the Long River Way, that runs from here back over the south edge of the Iron Heights, to Limbeck Mines. This way is used by the more careful merchants carrying iron and steel works from Irontown to the north, while the daring/foolish cross the Iron Heights, and attempt to make a mad dash and push all the way to Valor before night falls completely, and shave several days of walking off their trips.

I'm also thinking of putting pirates on Camber's Isles and The Specks. Those on the Specks will force some merchants to try their hand at the overland route from Jeedon's Halls and pass through the edge of the Red Hills, some also take this longer route to trade with the Centaurs.

Any objections or changes to this? Anything someone would like me to include in Irontown to help reinforce something you want in their map/story?

06-06-2008, 05:02 PM
I love all these ideas! If you want to build extra settlements and things, it's no problem. Tell me where you want them and I'll amend the main map accordingly.

06-06-2008, 05:48 PM
I'll constrain this to the selected area of the map. 2-5 are what I see in the region. 1 & 7 really represent whats already there.

I'm trying to bring out a plausible situation for the development, not just plunk down a building.

Talroth - I'm fine with pirates in the Specks but can we leave them till we have an idea of the trade and population levels they'd prey upon?

If you think there is Iron traffic across the lake, how about into Casteran and then Groam?


06-07-2008, 05:08 AM
Casteran, was added as a bit on an afterthought when I asked to Ravs to allow for one of Groam's roads to actually lead somewhere, but I dont think either of us, or Redrobes for that matter have much of an idea what it is. I think it would be more Groam and less beastlands in fluence due to its position, but thats just a guess.

Groam is desparate for trade as it has few trade partners and its main trading partner Orvaelos in the South is getting a a little stroppy, Maybe Casteran is where the iron comes into Groam.


06-07-2008, 10:39 PM
So after looking at the work so far I went back to the Fractal Terrains file to tighten up scales and distances. FT gives me a much smaller scale and accordingly the main island is not 35 miles across but 18!

Here is a prettied up first draft with the work from FT.


I will marry the two versions together so that they fit stylistically before I'm done.


I think I will keep the FT scale though because it suits my purposes to be smaller.

- Sigurd.

06-08-2008, 12:06 AM
What is the region north of Lake Festus? They don't seem to have any trade easy trade routes planned into here.

From Irontown, I see trade running:

North: to Jeedon River, with ships going to Farpoint and Casteran in the Beastlands, and Arkender, Feral in Groam.

South: to Riverwash in the Beastlands, and Udynaeses in the very south of Groam. From there, trade of the fine Irontown steel goes where ever.

Maybe I'll sketch out some basics of the regions that aren't filled in, just lay out positions for cities, if no one is currently working on those regions.

06-10-2008, 01:46 PM
I have decided that this is far more fun if I don't rush the project.

My plan is to fill the little map at the top of the page, or explain why it isn't filled :).

I have guestimated the island as 57sq miles and decided to start there.

Basic Outline:

Talworth Island - Has been inhabited by halflings for a great deal of time and rather chaotic. With the rise of Groam a leader appeared (human or ?) who was able to build a keep in the region and convinced the halflings to exchange fealty for his protection. Not universally popular but no rebellion either.

I am using various random population generators to refine my idea based on the area taken from the map and its situation, an island.

Ideas I'd like some feedback on.

1. 'Festor/ is a fairly benevolent shape changing dragon. In his human form he has far lower food requirements and can disguise his presence.
He is the patron of a mage school on the peninsula.

2. Navy of the Inner Sea.

3. The Finger Islands are the center of a Principality that includes the main islands, perhaps the specks, and a city on each shore.
So the city in the Bay, and the edge of Groam would both be trading centers owing allegiance to a central keep and Prince.

I'd love any response to the above ideas.

- sigurd

Here is a pdf of early demographics based on the "Low Fantasy Population Generator" by Erin D. Smale. I find it much easier to start with something then morph it into something different.

06-10-2008, 02:07 PM
Does anyone have a problem with me making the Principality of Kalabar?

I chose the name by way of explaining the swamps.

It is far older than Groam but has never seen the wealth that Groam saw in the silver boom. They're ship builders and Magic makers and very Druid friendly. The Prince, there is no king, has a Druid Seneschal.

The ruling family is old, reclusive and very traditional. It is rumored that they have 'special' ties to the swamp etc...


These are their claimed lands. (reality can of course differ)

Ok with people?


06-10-2008, 03:03 PM
Sounds good to me.


06-10-2008, 04:25 PM
Fine with me, once you're done with the project I can edit the main map to suit, so please - go with your imagination...which is a pretty good one from what I'm reading.

06-10-2008, 07:08 PM
Kalabari:The Kalabari are a fierce tribe of superstitious Northmen. They are excellent sailors and knowledgeable guides of the inland seas. Kalabari boats are clinker built and very agile.

They are organized into clans that gather in "Things". An island or coastal settlement might be one clan or a group of clans. The biggest ritual things are at the solstices. Things may be called by royal decree, for religious observances, or to respond to threats or omens.

Voting at the Things is based on the number of manned warboats a clan supports.

Their religious center is the high temple in the Kalabar Swamp. The Priestess of the Kalabari is called "The Keeper". From her place in the temple she advises the Prince and heads a network of druids and witches primarily made up of women. Each Kalabar clan will have at least one keeper of their own to advise and lead religious observances. Traditionally keepers help choose life paths among the clans by vision and divination.

Clan keepers may be male or female but they must receive training from the central temple. Local keepers are chosen by clan leaders and the High Keeper at a ceremony in the high temple. Keepers almost never return to the clan of their birth.

The symbol of the Kalabari royal household is a serpent or dragon. The Prince of the Kalabari is said to be able to raise storms and even Festus herself.

On lake Festus, dark nights, or terrible storms are sometimes called "Kalabari" weather. Kalabari have been known to attack settlements under these conditions.

Polygamy (male or female) exists rarely among the clans. Poverty is grounds for divorce for any spouse after the first. Divorced women may choose to 'Marry the Prince' and become brides in waiting. The Prince's family often resettles these women among other clans or absorbs them into the household. Divorced men may choose to 'Marry the Land' and wander the wilderness in search of a mate or clan that will accept them. Some of these men become Keepers, even late in life, others become hermits or mercenaries.

They have a deserved reputation for being fierce pirates and unruly neighbors. They are equally known for being very generous with their allies and loyal.

- Sigurd

What do you think?

Talroth - How bout making the pirates renegade vikings? They could be Kalabari rebels gone viking.

06-10-2008, 07:09 PM
I am so loving this! A great history!

06-10-2008, 08:38 PM
I wouldn't call them Vikings personally, "The Speck Pirates" or "Reivers of the Specks" or something sounds better than Viking in my mind. But I would put them in small, fast ships, ones slightly larger than Norse Longboats. Crewed by 20 to 30 warriors when raiding, or as little as 6 to 12 when out trading for their own reasons. Sometimes raiding in small packs of 4 to 8 ships, often herding their prey into traps. Maybe making use of some magic items to allow them to communicate, and better ambush ships.

Should they be the polite "Give us the better half of your cargo as 'tax' and get lost?" or "Yeah, you're going to die, your ship is now ours, and we'll 'enjoy' any women you have aboard, dead or alive." type pirates?

I'm making the southern ones as rather blood thirsty, but often pull themselves up short to keep from drawing too much attention to themselves, often relying on spies from Irontown to help them zero in on the best ships to take out.

06-11-2008, 12:03 PM
"Reivers of the Specks"

Interesting term choice. Any relation to the Reavers in Firefly?

-Rob A>

06-11-2008, 12:14 PM
Sorry I was unclear, "Viking" was originally a verb similar in meaning to Pirate. Thats how I intended it. I'm sure pirate crews, or raiding crews, would try to be purposely vague about their identities and organization :).

My thought was that the Kalabari have an unruly society that values and builds war boats. Independence is a central tenant. Fringe members, or just greedy ones, would make natural pirates. The rest of the society might cover for them out of loyalty or greed. They'd officially condemn the act for diplomacy. Still unless raiders preyed on Kalabari lands, the worst punishment they would receive might be being made outlaws. If the 'Speck Pirates' have been outlawed, whose to say what their detailed membership is.... or even if a clan, hard on its luck, keeps a set of colours around just in case. :)

I've sort of designed the culture to spit off people, guides and rugged settlers. They might be found on any appealing coastline or island in the inland seas. They might be mercenaries working in Irontown or Groam. They might be religious figures on dream quest in some far away wilderness.

Alternately, Groamites??? or other people from the Beastlands might join Kalabari tribes to swell the ranks of soldiers that man the war boats. The status associated with boats creates a need for sailors and a justification for a lot of boats\trade\piracy. If a tribe is recognized by the Prince it gets a vote at Things according to the war boats it maintains. Acts of piracy and crimes against the Kalabari are heard and settled at the appropriate Thing. There's a mechanic to recognise other nations by their nautical power as well.

I'm trying to create the impression of a lot of rugged people living by their wits with a religeous center and a political champion. They would want to be lawful and useful as well as warlike. The whole human spectrum. Irontown should not know where to hunt the pirates and be uncomfortable with the idea of randomly attacking the Kalabari.

Its a point of tension for the region. One region, one people, is very static. I'd like to think that 3 peoples in 2 regions is a natural triangle with tension and intrigue. More opportunity for story.


Feel free to use the background if it helps or do your own thing. I'm writing from the Kalabari perspective which certainly would be different from Iron Town's. The Kalabari will put trading posts and warning camps on the specks closest to the main island. The rest are deserted, or ruins, or whatever....

06-11-2008, 11:32 PM
Sphere of influence map, mostly to help me organize my thoughts for the region.

Cities are named, villages and beacons are not. Kalabari clans, other than the prince, often shift locations for better fishing and resources. Lesser clans are often completely mobile.

I think this map under achieves. The final map will probably move the settlements around and scale the dots by relative population. Also, for a political map, It makes no mention of neighbors.

I'd love any constructive criticism I can get.


06-12-2008, 02:35 AM
It involves lake Festus and the birth of the Kalabar.

I'd appreciate any comment.


06-12-2008, 05:14 AM
Is there a typo in the regional population and distribution table ? It shows 1 town with 0 population and 0 cities with 2010 population.

06-12-2008, 05:58 AM
I really love the history Sigurd. Great imaginative input. Make sure it finds its way into the wiki.


06-12-2008, 08:39 AM
All the population data is incomplete. Just stabs at something to build ideas on.

I'm trying to come up with a sense of whats big and whats small. 10,000 people sounds like a lot for me - I certainly don't want to go and stat them all :). But I don't really know.

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).

The Random gen I use claims to be based on the numbers from the 12c Doomsday book. I figure that's not a bad comparison to start with. It claims typical cities of 2000 and hundreds of villages between twelve and seven-hundred people. That's quite a spread!

I like the idea of lots of villages. Kalabar's strength is its people. It doesn't have a lot of opulent wealth but it also has very few trappings. They are potentially warlike almost nomadic barbarians. I'd like the region to have high population density. Sun, land and lake water deliver good food supplies but useful land is scarce. Lots of water gives them good sanitation and low disease.

So it sort of depends on the populations in the adjoining areas.

Kalabar and Groam justify the fortification of Irontown.

In its rich days Groam would have been a courted ally or dangerous threat. Now, after the plague, the wall and the chaos, she is literally divided and perhaps a target. Barbarian clan leaders may be considering campaigns in Groam (Just as one possible plot device). Groam is bigger and wealthier but her resources are stretched thin.

Perhaps Groam is cultivating ties with Irontown? Paying a water tax to Kalabar for trade and security?

Or perhaps the barbarians control a large amount of trade by merit and ability? Maybe Kalabar is the great pirate hunter of inland seas? Maybe Groam is simply buying the threat away by hiring Kalabar Clans as mercenaries to protect and control the west. I can imagine mercenary camps anywhere on the inland seas.

These are the sort of hooks I like for gaming.

Kalabar is a little like Norse Scandinavia but much closer to other settlements.

Satisfying these questions, or choosing a good story line amongst them, is a pleasant challenge.

How big are world settlements?


06-16-2008, 07:20 PM
I think the use of something like Fractal Terrains in a group project affords a huge benefit to accuracy and eventually usefulness.

I have a question however....

The last map I posted in this thread is a rectangle slightly wider than it is high. http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=4287&d=1213241733

But if I look at the data from Fractal Terrains the 'real world' measurements are the reverse!

So the map square measured inside of FT...

4 corners:

51' Lat 51' Lat
67.5 Long 70.34' Long

48.9' Lat 48.9' Lat
67.5' long 70.34' Long

Width & Height. (Miles)
E/W Range 2.86527 deg, 129.12 mi
N/S Range 2.14052 deg, 149.84 mi

Picture Measurment in (Pixels w&h)
sml 1200w 897h pixels

This means that measured across a pixel is 129.12/1200 = 0.1076 or .1076 miles

And measured top to bottom a pixel is 149.84/897 = 0.1670 or .17 miles.

So the perceived size ratio on the screen is approximately 3hx4w while the mathematical ratio is 1.7 high to 1 wide.

That's a huge discrepancy mostly because of the lands position on the globe nearer the north pole.

I don't think there is anything wrong with ignoring the difference and choosing a value to measure your space with. I like to have a scale that I can express in number of pixels per unit. I envision my pixels as square. So I have to pick a value for my scale...

Realistically, I can probably pick .1 or .15 miles per pixel and make the project work. Nobody is going to suffer in any case. Still there's this hard to maintain thing called accuracy..... hm...

In this case I am going to average the two numbers which gives me a pixel value of .1373 miles per pixel. So I'll round it to .14 miles. 7.28 pixels is 1 mile or 15 pixels is 2 miles.

75 pixels is 10 miles

I don't know if there is a better route to go than averaging the x and y pixel size. This will work for me in my next step.


Ilwis is free GIS software (Ilwis.org) that someone on the site pointed out. I've never used GIS software but I'm working with a small bit of land and this looks like an interesting excuse. So here goes.

NB- this is way too slow and too much micromanaging for any role playing game I"ve ever seen. But since I have such good measurements from the original FT map, and I've never done it before, I feel it might teach me things. Don't feel this is an advised or necessary step for any of your projects....


06-17-2008, 08:18 PM
This is a poetic map of the region, found in a cache some distance from the lake. I tried to make something on a dried skin written with the crudest tools.

Its Ugly - I'm not sure I'm ok with that ? - but its believable. Yes its spelled 'wrong'. Maybe the green is too neon..... hmm. I'll probably redo it so it looks like verdigris.

(I think everyone has to try their hand at making parchment and skins to write on.)


<picture snipped for space considerations>

06-18-2008, 01:43 AM
I really like the parchment and the land outline. It looks very authentic. The writing I dont like. Yes, I agree its colour is wrong and too bright, but also it looks like its been written with a felt-tip marker. I think something more crude would have been the writing implement.


06-18-2008, 02:04 PM
Here's something more rough in writing - less neon more like a verdigris shade

Its really hard balancing realistic with obscure and unreadable.


06-21-2008, 02:31 PM
I'm obviously doing more legwork than working out a single map for the contest.

I like the project -- the contest is not a focus for this.

Could someone please move this to the World Building Forums and off the contest forum?


06-21-2008, 07:34 PM
Do it for the CWBP and just enter whatever you have anyway !

07-23-2008, 07:18 PM
Just looking to add this map to the overall one and it barfed about the scale. Do you realize that the 10mi scale icon you have on the map means that the map is larger than the whole Beastlands. Here is the Finger peninsula with a 10mi grid on it for some reference.

Edit -- Unless all four dashes are one 10 miles in length ? Is that the intention instead ?

07-24-2008, 06:53 AM
Edit -- Unless all four dashes are one 10 miles in length ? Is that the intention instead ?

That's the way I read it, with each of the four sections being 2.5 miles.