View Full Version : January/February 2014 Lite Challenge: Town of Leak

01-20-2014, 11:34 PM
Here's a circle, and a square, and a triangle. This will get a bunch more details - I'm shooting for a style like that of circa 1900 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/sanborn/texas.html)... start rummaging among those at your own risk - Perry-Castaņeda alone has hundreds, and many other US states have online archives.

A bit of story, that I'll elaborate on as I go - in some land on some planet, a major city had to import its water with a truly massive aqueduct. No big deal - any major empire with hundreds of thousands of forced laborers over a hundred years could construct such a project. Thing is, one part of the aqueduct route was subject to quakes, and had to be repaired every so often. The location of this trouble area was up in the mountains above a desolate desert plain. Nobody lived anywhere near, nor was there much of a way to support a community to do repairs. For a while army camps sufficed, since one can order one's army into really crummy conditions at will. But eventually an administration with some engineers and some civil ambition set up a permanent solution: an oasis town watered by a fraction of the flow of the very aqueduct that needed servicing.

Hardy pioneer types (i.e. unscrupulous ruffians, profiteering entrepreneurs, jailbirds, and persons of low repute and less opportunity) were set up downhill from the typical area of fractures, and masons were hired to provide the expertise. A land route was needed through the area, so the town doubled as a waypoint on a desert highway, and the officials permitted a defined fraction of the flow to be diverted, in return for perpetual responsibility for repairs. The place and the people were mostly left alone, so long as water continued to flow.

Fast forward a hundred years or two. The setup has matured to a prosperous town. The desert highway is gone - bypassed by a better automobile route to the east. On the other hand, a trans-desert railroad has a need for a water stop, and wells don't flow here. Leak, though, has a dependable flow from uphill, and constuitutes a sort of civilization, so the railroad has been filling locomotives here for a good forty or fifty years. If you want a rough equivalent in technology and tone, picture the American southwest, maybe between 1880 and 1910.

Desert means dry, not necessarily hot, and the area indeed suffers bitterly cold winters. This frequently ices over the flow from the diversion station uphill, so the town has an ample reservoir to store months worth of their needs. Once the top freezes, the depths tend to stay liquid, so trains and townspeople never lack for a drink.

A large water tower or three would have been good enough circles for this contest, but this freezing bit tends to solidify aboveground tanks. Plus they're teeny, compared to a town plat. So I gave the railroad a turntable. Any locos needing maintenance park in a nice square engine house. And there's a big triangular city park around the reservoir - the only green for hundreds of miles in any direction. What you see below is just a street layout, and the required elements. Tracks will come later, since I'll have to lay them out carefully.

### Latest WIP ###


01-20-2014, 11:36 PM
Nice work on the names. :D

01-20-2014, 11:53 PM
Yeah, the astute viewer will recognize the names of some of the streets of this town. I took most from references right here in the CG. If you doubt that, here's the mentions:

Ascension Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapmaking-requests-archive/4441-%5Btaken%5D-%5Bunpaid%5Dadding-details-map.html#post71030)

anomiecoalition alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/16821-mapping-elements-starting-preset-tables-chairs-37.html#post213430)

Aval Penworth Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/11330-city-calanara.html#post122462)

Blaidd Drwg Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/5478-%5Baward-winner%5D-quick-hand-drawn-style-forests.html#post63328)

Eilathen Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/7866-tropan-version-umpteen-million.html#post88504)

both references to (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/7414-what-your-medieval-profession.html#post83673) Gidde Alley - ratcatchers (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/7414-what-your-medieval-profession.html#post83676)

Vellum Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/21476-riverlands-regional-map.html#post202977)

su_liam alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/12753-december-entry-kazh-homeworld-klarr.html#post136196)

Lukc Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapmaking-requests-archive/18427-i-need-map-book-under-contract-simon-schuster.html#post183702)

Nighthawk Alley (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/18225-%2A%2A%2A-april-challenge-cinematic-fight-scene-%2A%2A%2A.html#post182044)

torstan street (http://www.cartographersguild.com/news/4092-paizo-open-call-5.html#post46941)

ravells street (http://www.cartographersguild.com/reference-material/1171-island-lost-maps.html#post9748)

jtougas street (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/20457-making-history-ben-robbins-microscope.html#post198644)

Ramah Street (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/17511-%5Bwip%5D-aetherworld-map-water-flows-up-mountains-too-right-help-rivers.html#post176434)

Redrobes Street (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/5758-roleplaying-cwbp-3.html#post67536)


Now, if any of the worthy Guildspeople who seem to have been memorialized by these roadways perfer not to be a part of Leak, I'll be happy to scrounge up some mundane substitute. On the other hand, if anyone wishes to propose appropriate businesses along 'their' street, I take requests. The stores and such only show up named on the various zoomed-in area views, so any such requests might influence which detail views I decide to work up.

Gidde - ratcatchers? In the desert? I guess there's kangaroo rats ...

01-21-2014, 12:02 AM
Ascension alley ought to have a couple of sages/teachers/wise men (for all Big A's tutorials...).

01-21-2014, 12:21 AM
I love maps, but nothing beats a map with a great story, I have great hopes for this one!
I'll be following this thread with a bucket of popcorn :)

01-21-2014, 01:18 AM
*steals popcorn*

Me too 8)

I'm all jealous now. Great idea... great story...

Side note: I tried to open the link in IE and it wouldn't open. It worked in Chrome and Firefox, though :P

PS: I want to be a street name ... maybe an alley? "Jalyha's Ramble" ? the kind of thing everyone avoids? 8) *tries to bribe you with cookies and "likes"*

01-21-2014, 01:35 AM
What? No Bogie Byway? The Bogie Block? I shall go to my room and sob....... ;)

01-21-2014, 02:03 AM
Town this size should have room for all sorts of businesses. Named businesses :-). What emporium, office, or edifice would be appropriate?

Which link did IE not like?

The swiveling assemblies of wheels under each end of a railroad car are 'trucks' in US parlance. Europeans call them 'bogies'... With a railroad in town I'm sure I can devise some thin excuse for bogie labels on SoMeThiNg :-).

01-21-2014, 02:19 AM
Appropriate for me or for bogie? :o For me.. I'm annoying AND new, so something no one else wants... y'know... tar pits... outhouse... landfill... something...

IE wouldn't let me open the *map*. Everything else worked fine. :)

01-21-2014, 10:31 AM
Jalyha, things & people that have been around for a long while are 'old hat', right? You haven't been, so you must be 'new hat', ergo your shop must be the milliner in town :-). Which in a desert town with trains servicing a betimes-crumbling mountain aqueduct probably includes steel hard hats, straw coolie hats and other sunshades, Stetson-equivalents, pinstriped engineer-caps, conductor officer-type headgear, and bowlers. And whatever degree of frippery or practicality the ladies in town go for - I haven't thought that far. As well as general dry-goods merchandise - I understand period small-town milliners seldom dealt only in hats.

01-21-2014, 10:45 AM
YAY I have a hat shop. :P

(Lol at "new hat", seriously)

01-21-2014, 03:08 PM
Gosh I love your level of history detail!

01-23-2014, 08:25 PM
Update? :o I want to try on my hats!

02-14-2014, 02:22 AM
First, I offer the index map for the town. The Stonemade Insurance Company, much like our world's Sanborn Insurance Company, would provide such an overall view as this, then a separate sheet at larger scale for each of the numbered/ tinted areas. If I have enough time, I could attach one of the closup views, or if time runs out, this is plenty complete enough to show the requisite triangle (the park), square (the engine house), and circle (the locomotive turntable).

Smaller settlements near a major one would often be handled with insets and supplementary sheets, rather than the company producing a separate edition for what was after all likely an economically connected community. Here, the actual work site up near the most frequent aqueduct repair areas is such. The name comes from the danger of getting there, not from any larger than usual chance of homicide -- the earthquakes that crack the aqueduct also unsettle cliffs up this valley, and falling rocks are a frequent hazard. Trucks that carry men and materiel uphill are armored across their roofs. It would be downright stupid to travel there without such protection - the local saying is that "no one just walks into Murder"...

I mentioned a game. Among model railroaders - at least ones of thirty to forty years ago - there was a track arrangement known as "The Timesaver". I'm unsure why, because its purpose was to be a time *spender* ... it was a puzzle arrangement where one would try to arrive at a given placement of railroad cars with the minimum number of switching moves. The stingy array of tracks here can be used thusly. If I had a Stonemade Insurance map on my wall (as several businesses and banks in town do) then with a set of tacks (or a sheet of steel beneath the paper) I could move around a set of magnets to simulate the train movements. In fact (manufactured fact :-) ) one Jason Tucker, Esq, a junior partner in the law firm of Quincy, Burlington, and Mayhew, has such a map and magnet set, and on his lunch hours he is likely to be seeking to beat his good friend Wallace Johannasen in the Third Provincial Bank (whose office has a similar map and magnet setup) with a phoned set of moves. Telephones? Why yes - the town has such a system - purely local and somewhat finicky, but quite sufficient for a game of Load the Leak Limited.

So unless I can scrounge a few hours more before the contest closes:

### Latest WIP ###

Note that if I was truly going to duplicate the look and feel of a Sanborn map, I'd have had to spend six times as much time on just the title as I did for this whole map. Google Sanborn Maps and see what I mean - absolutely gorgeous ornate hand-lettered complexity, as befits a product the company would sell for the equivalent of thousands of today's US Dollars.

The Hat Shops and Ratcatchers and Banks and homes and grocers and such will be individually indicated on the various detail sheets -- sorry I haven't had time to tack that on just yet :-).

02-14-2014, 11:36 PM
Found a way to get Jalyha her hat shop without working up an entire detail sheet -- the annotations and symbology on those detail sheets need a key, which can go in an inset on this index map. Like so:

### Latest WIP ###

02-14-2014, 11:56 PM
Love it! (Maybe this should have been for the "map the guild" challenge too! :o )

It looks great. Plus, y'know... I got HATS!

02-15-2014, 12:06 AM
Staring at it I saw the lack of a compass rose. Other than that, I'm satisfied. Low standards, but satisfied :-).

### Latest WIP ###

Details that could've made it if I had done *all* of the detail sheets include the Ice House (bitter winter, reservoir surface freezing, sub-sub-sub basement, and the mayor gets ice in his sasparilla year-round). The Ice *Skate* House (once the ice basement is filled, the surface becomes a skating rink). Steam powered shadoofs (dipper-crane water lifts for garden plots between Park Avenue and the creek). The coal towers (more squares). Game pieces (rail cars and loco outlines). Dozens of garages and mechanic shops (keeping trucks and the lone bus running in extreme conditions). Tenements with outside stairs and no plumbing. Prosperous homes with indoor plumbing. The various fountains in the park. A hundred and three punny businesses. Four serious businesses. The Provincial Opera House and Meeting Hall. Mrs. McKenna's Dining Room. Evidence of the fires of '21 and '37. Six Sinustrian Laundries. Schools of surveying, cartography, mining, hydraulic engineering, and drama (isolated communities have MORE rather than less culture, above some critical size and sophistication). Grammar school and upper school. The Osbet Memorial Library. Churches. Teahouses. The Bulk Potato Storage Facility (Leeks and potatoes go together, wot?). The bowling alley / indoor firing range (downstairs/ upstairs). And a partridge in a pear tree (bronze, actually - the clock-statue at the corner of Station and Main).

<shrug> ... Another map, another time.