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Ahriman
02-18-2009, 06:43 AM
Greetings. I've been lurking around these forums for a pretty long time, while working sporadically on my campaign map over the course of a few months. This is done mostly for enjoyment, despite having been used in numerous D&D and MMO games.

Azuyra is a world I've been developing for years, ever since I learned how to customize the map of a very old MMORPG. I've written, rethought, and rewritten countless pieces of information about this world, and these days I'm trying to put it all down to virtual paper in one, finalized format. My first step was to develope the broader scope, concerning the origins of the universe, the making of the world, and the nature of all things divine and arcane. My second step is this map... I find that I'd rather view the relationships of nearby areas on the map, and write about them, than try to make a map from scattered references Ive already written.

Avencia is the largest kingdom, as well as the youngest, settled by the remains of two naval fleets who pursued a pirate fleet across the oceans on a mission of vengeance... it's a long story, but the pirate fleet had sacked and unintentionally razed the ancient city of Genova, the center of art and reason on the southern continent. Genovan architecture and the militaristic influences of Atheron (a nearby country which dispatched the second fleet) have led to a colorful fusion of cultures, cemented over time in the city of Valcora. It's a place where the ingenuity of da vinci meets martial law and modern politics.

Eventually, the Avencians gained further footholds into this sparsely populated land and established settlements further inland. Chief among these settlements is Ironoak, a fortress-turned-city. It was built to control the Firewine River, the longest and widest, and therefore most profitable river on the continent.

In all this represents about 20% of the landmass on the map, which I will hopefully finish by the time I'm 90.

One note for the "river police"; I know there are a number of inaccurate or unlikely representations here. Some of them Im sure Im unaware of. Most, though, I've either got a fantasy reason for, or simply decided not to represent in this limited space. If anything really pops out at you though, feel free to mention it.

Steel General
02-18-2009, 07:08 AM
Very nice... the color scheme works well. The only thing I didn't really care for was some of the fonts you used, but that is a preference thing not a 'ding' against your work.

As a member of the River Police I didn't see any obvious infractions (though I only gave it a quick scan).

Welcome aboard and since you uploaded a map in your first post I dub thee newly repped *bonk*

Bohunk
02-18-2009, 07:42 AM
Love the map, good work.

woekan
02-18-2009, 08:08 AM
I like it. Nice style!

Eilathen
02-18-2009, 08:17 AM
Nice. I really like this style. I hope you'll show us the world map?

Ascension
02-18-2009, 07:49 PM
This is great. I'm not wild about the A Charming Font font but like the other fonts used. Really nice, reminds me a bit of the maps used in "The Barbarians" shows on History Channel.

torstan
02-18-2009, 08:24 PM
This is a lovely map. It's great to have another lurker come out from the dark.

Ahriman
02-18-2009, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. It really inspires a person to keep going, you know? Im exploring alternatives to A Charming Font... Ive heard a few people now mention that as their only gripe. I admit it's prettiness could be a little outshined by its readability issues.

Someone was interested in seeing the full map. I'm not doing the entire world (so far), simply because I feel a continent is about all I can manage with the level of detail I want to achieve. However, here is a 1/4 sized image of the entire thing, with a lot of the names and clutter removed.

Ascension
02-18-2009, 11:38 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news cuz this looks so damn nice but...there's a river problem. I highlighted it in red. The area in yellow is an area where I would erase some in order to get two rivers rather than one that connects two coastlines. Again, I'm really sorry...hope your not too mad.

Ahriman
02-19-2009, 12:00 AM
Ahah, yessir, if that's all you found Im actually very pleased. That particular superlong river is intended to defy the normal laws of rivers... See, when I first created this world, I started with the city of Ironoak, which as described in my first post was built to control the most profitable river on the continent, the Firewine; this one.

As for WHY it defies the normal river laws; it is actually the artificial seam where Taudoc, god of creation, repaired Azuyra (the world). She used to be a living goddess, at a time in the ancient past when a now-dead pantheon orbited Chaos, the Bright One... there was no sun or stars at this time, but Chaos and the Gods looked a lot like a normal universe then. Anyway, Azuyra was the last of her pantheon, who were all slain one by one by Chaos when he decided it was time for life to End. He hurled a... lance of sorts (its a very long story, but in modern minds would sound almost like a comet.) into Azuyra, which ended her life and dislodged two massive chunks of her body, aka the planet, which became the moons.

After all that, the current set of gods came into power. Mortals had never existed before, and were only created as a result of the accidental effects of Azuyra's death. So, amused after an eternity of empty universe, the gods eventually repaired Azuyra, to restore its... structural integrity. Thus, the river is outside of normal physics and has no gravitational flow to speak of. I havent yet researched it yet, but I would expect there could be a seasonal flow that would change throughout the year. If scientifically plausible, this would be the ideal situation. It could also be that being located in the Northern hemisphere would influence its flow... again, havent researched that yet.

Long story short, the Firewine River is in fact the seam where Taudoc 'welded' the world back into a sphere, rather than a deflated basketball.

Sorry for the wordy and probably confusing story. I have it all written in a presentable, explanatory form, but I didnt think this was the correct place for the full version.

Thank you for giving it a look over, Ascension! If that's the only infraction, I'm more than happy.

Ascension
02-19-2009, 01:24 AM
Hey no prob, I repped ya anyway :) As for having the river's flow change my first thought is that maybe it could be influenced by something like the Gulf Stream that maybe changes per season...flowing one way in summer and another in winter. Not sure if that's even plausible but heck, it's magic right? :)

Ahriman
02-19-2009, 01:50 AM
Hmm... flowing different directions seasonally would be perfect after all. It would truly make the river an important economic resource, as well as create a pulsating kind of life for the fictional settlements along it.

Your reference to the Gulf stream is pretty fascinating, now that I've looked it up. I'm also reminded of the African rift lakes... Id love to implement some similar biology to the river, as Im a fish enthusiast and keep a large tank of lake malawi cichlids.

I could go with the magic route, definitely... but I actually like to keep the basic elements of the world mundane. The seam or scar or whatever may have been created by divine means, but Id like to find a realistic solution to why it hasnt eroded away afterword. So now that this has all come up, maybe some of you geography experts might be able to help me make it work.

First, the 'seam' left behind wouldve been extremely deep and of approximately uniform depth. Given that the surrounding rock would be extremely hard and slow to erode, could this formation continue to reach the ocean at both ends for centuries? Perhaps the river IS eroding to a point where it will split into two, but hasnt reached that point YET? Possible?

Second, is there any way that the inhabitants of the continent couldve extended this state of affairs, possibly even indefinitely? There have been thousands of years of civilization. Is there any system of damming or digging that could produce this result?

What about tectonic activity? This would obviously be an unnatural fracture in the existing tectonic plates... could it be that the river has split in the past, but tectonic activity continually widens the river at random intervals, interrupting that normal erosion process? Maybe throughout history the river has split and rejoined several times. This option might be the best, as it could resemble the situation with the Great Rift in Africa, giving me a point of research to start with.

Any of these things sound possible? Thanks for your help in advance.

Soixante
02-19-2009, 06:54 AM
Lovely style there. The water is especially nice, how'd you do it?

Ahriman
02-19-2009, 07:55 AM
I started with a tutorial I found on these forums... I have to leave for work shortly, but when I get back Ill see if I can find it again. At first I was following it fairly religiously, but ended up making some drastic changes as it went on.

The whole thing is done in photoshop, and the water is just using a texture overlay. It was months ago that I did this, so I dont recall where I got the texture, but it took some hunting around. The landmass is actually 2 images of the same shape, one right on top of the other. The first has a fairly wide Outer Glow effect, with a high Range setting. The second, which is semitransparent, has the much shorter black effect around the edges. The whole map is designed to look like it was inked in, and then painted, leaving the ink to bleed a little bit around the edges.

bartmoss
02-19-2009, 08:22 AM
Yeah looks good, Ascension found the only river "problem" and you are allowed to violate the laws of physics in a fantasy world, if it is internally consistent with the "rules" your world operate under so I see no objections.

jfrazierjr
02-19-2009, 10:11 AM
Hmm... flowing different directions seasonally would be perfect after all. It would truly make the river an important economic resource, as well as create a pulsating kind of life for the fictional settlements along it.

Your reference to the Gulf stream is pretty fascinating, now that I've looked it up. I'm also reminded of the African rift lakes... Id love to implement some similar biology to the river, as Im a fish enthusiast and keep a large tank of lake malawi cichlids.

I could go with the magic route, definitely... but I actually like to keep the basic elements of the world mundane. The seam or scar or whatever may have been created by divine means, but Id like to find a realistic solution to why it hasnt eroded away afterword. So now that this has all come up, maybe some of you geography experts might be able to help me make it work.

First, the 'seam' left behind wouldve been extremely deep and of approximately uniform depth. Given that the surrounding rock would be extremely hard and slow to erode, could this formation continue to reach the ocean at both ends for centuries? Perhaps the river IS eroding to a point where it will split into two, but hasnt reached that point YET? Possible?

Second, is there any way that the inhabitants of the continent couldve extended this state of affairs, possibly even indefinitely? There have been thousands of years of civilization. Is there any system of damming or digging that could produce this result?

What about tectonic activity? This would obviously be an unnatural fracture in the existing tectonic plates... could it be that the river has split in the past, but tectonic activity continually widens the river at random intervals, interrupting that normal erosion process? Maybe throughout history the river has split and rejoined several times. This option might be the best, as it could resemble the situation with the Great Rift in Africa, giving me a point of research to start with.

Any of these things sound possible? Thanks for your help in advance.

Well.. the easiest solution is to have it geologically not be a river at all, but a separation of two tectonic plates where the water from the sea flooded as they were separated.

Perhaps the one who repaired it wanted to create some type of barrier between the two sides and thus kept the water there instead of healing it "whole". It, it would be like a very long straight or channel or whatever you want to call it separating two landmasses, it just happens to be one that the locals "call" a river where in actuality, it is not.Depending on plate movement and volcanic activity underground, this arrangement could survive for much longer than human memory. Though, if you plan to make this into a plate boundary, you might want to think about making cliffs along the entire route overlooking the "river".

Disclaimer: I am not a geologist, nor do I play one on TV.

Korba
02-19-2009, 10:56 AM
Thats a lovely map :)

Regarding the river you could have the city situated at the Continental divide. That is the point on the continent where a drop of water falling one side will go to one edge and the other side to the opposite edge. On a smaller scale Devizes in the UK would be a good example, A small section of locks on a canal allow continuous water travel from Bristol on the West coast with the Thames and therefor London on the East coast.

You describe Iron oak as a fortress city so it being on the line of hills that divide the continent would also work.

Just an alternative idea that would allow you to have a continuous stretch of water from one side of the continent to the other but i really like your mountains and the rich history of the world you have created.

Korba

Eilathen
02-19-2009, 02:20 PM
Cool, thank you for showing us the worldmap. I like it a lot :)

Have some rep (eventhough it does you no good [no rep-power yet], it's the sentiment that counts ;) )

Cheers
Eilathen

Ahriman
02-19-2009, 11:17 PM
Some really cool ideas there, thanks again for the references to real life situations that I can research. I think some combination of the tectonic boundry idea and the continental divide... It sounds pretty plausible. At the same time, the idea of Devizes' lock system might be scaled up to a tremendoes feat of manpower and engineering, just the kind of thing ancient civilizations seem to leave behind.

Ill keep things updated as I add to the map.

Mako
02-20-2009, 09:59 PM
My only crit would be that with the use of darker blue for water around the edges it gives the appearance that the water is deeper at the shores than further out to sea. Perhaps that was intended, either way still a great map.