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Thread: [Region 1][Map 13] Groam - By Torq

  1. #21
      Torq is offline
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    I think I'm pretty much there barring any amendments that may assist ny neighbours. I have finished the labelling and have extended my Southern mountains as a result of discussions with Venardhi.

    A bit of backstory will follow shortly.

    Torq
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  2. #22
    Guild Artisan industrygothica's Avatar
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    I certainly wish I had you guys' skill. Beautiful map.

  3. #23
      RobA is offline
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    Very nice, Torq!

    I really like the farmland you slipped into the NW of the map.

    And for IG: here is a link to Torq's first overland map to show how his skill has improved (Not that it was a bad map )

    -Rob A>

  4. #24
      Torq is offline
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    Man that's embarrassing! Thanks Rob . Weirdly enough this very afternoon I deleted that from my harddrive together with a whole bunch of other early efforts, thinking "Well at least I'll never see those again". Just goes to show you can never escape your past.

    On the other hand its nice to know that I really have learned all my mapping here. I know that there are and will be in future many who can claim that. Great credit to the good folks on this board. Gives me a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling. Right, back to work then.

    Torq
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  5. #25
    Guild Artisan industrygothica's Avatar
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    It's inspiring, to say the least.

  6. #26
      Torq is offline
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    A Brief History of Groam - Part 1

    “Groam’s lifestory is an ancient tragedy, written in halting metre, devoid of heroes, seasoned with villains, and with its ending, as yet, unwritten.”

    The Bard Edgor


    Groam was not a prosperous land in ancient times. Initially the home of an ancient people who dwelt in caves and whose strange and macabre rock art is still found in the many caves that pock mark the high places. They named the area “Grohamz” which means “weeping land” in their tongue. They exist to this day, in small pockets, isolated from the peoples who have swarmed over the lands leaving great trenches in their wake. These people lived relatively peacefully until the discovery of rich veins of tin and silver in the uplands.

    Thus began the great silver rush and prospectors (human immigrants) swarmed into Groam from the North and established camps that swelled to cities in what seemed the blink of an eye. In no time at all a community became a kingdom. But it was a lawless kingdom where banditry and corruption ruled the day, and all morality seemed to fade in the heady sheen of silver and the life it promised.

    Silvervein became Groam’s capital and the seat of a loosely formed but steadily more powerful government of mining magnates and crimelords. Even these recognised the need for peace and lawfulness and thus was formed the military Order of the Silver watch, keepers of the peace. They were an elite military unit of horse and infantry loyal to the “Council” as the rulers now styles themselves. The silver watch patrolled the uplands pushing far Westwards as far as the Tuthberg and established a fortress and waystation in its Northern foothills at Eraz Madui.

    As the mining towns boomed so a new infrastructure centered on logging and food supply burgeoned in the West with cities such as Arkender and Zantarma grew to relative prosperity.

    Sixty years after silver was discovered Groam had grown into one of the wealthiest kingdoms in the region, if not the wealthiest. Silvervein was known as the Jewel of the North and it avenues and parks saw opulence and wealth grow to unprecedented levels.

    Then the plague came. Not quickly like the fall of an axe, but slowly, insidiously, like the coming of a winter from which Groam would never recover. Firstly there were only a few reports from the East of a illness that was claiming the lives of miners, brought by refugees from across the mountains. When the reports carried into the cities of the Uplands became more frequent the Council formed a new military order from the ranks of the Silver Watch. They were charged with preventing the influx of the dreaded scourge. For this they were given the city of Kamzal (re-named Grey Fortress) as their base. They sent units Eastwards in great numbers and were merciless in driving any refugees back the way they had come. Their unenviable task earned them the nickname “The Grey Watch” after the ugly grey blotches that were the grisly signature of the plague on the skin of its victims.

    From their journeys in the East many of the order’s commanders reported to Silvervein that the epidemic was far worse than had been dreamed. The only solution, they suggested, a great wall to control the influx of the infected and the destitute.

    The council had no choice but to empty the coffers to pay for the wall and empty them they did. The Grey Watch began the task of building the first wall, which took 7 years to build. They became a law unto themselves in the Eastern parts, but the influx of the infected slowed, for the time being at least.

    Torq
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  7. #27
      ravells is offline
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    That's a great description. Perhaps the Barrow-men on my map are somehow related to the original Groam people? What's quite nice is that my region acts as a wilderness barrier to the West of your region (which explains the influx from the north).

    I really like the font you used on your map as well, it's got lots of character - spikey and nasty - like the Groamish people!

  8. #28
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Torq, do you have a legend for this map? I'm starting to work out some narrative for mine, and it would help me to know what the different symbols you've used mean.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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  9. #29
      Torq is offline
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    I donthave a legend. There is only one big city, Arkender. The rest are towns. The ones with black dotted lines surrounding the red dots are fortifications. Skulls are places that used to be settlements whose status is now largely unknown to the people of west Groam.

    Torq
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  10. #30
      Torq is offline
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    Groam, a brief history Part 2

    Thought I better add this, as Groam seems to be getting some focus from the creative writing types, to be used or dicarded..

    "....But communications broke down. With the grey watch controlling most other roads Eastwards, they seemed less and less inclined to take orders from Silvervein. Rumours reached even Arkender of atrocities committed by the Watch and strange religious practices practised by it.

    Many took the plague to be the vengeance of the gods against the moral decay of the people of Groam. Doomsday cults began to prosper throughout the region, including some strange cults that focused on illness as a form of divinity. These were found in all the major centres.

    Quaran was established as a healing centre on the North-East corner of the Redmarch. It had a small but well managed agricultural economy destined to produce not only food crops but curative plants of every kind. But the plague kept coming and the Grey Watch were heard of less and less, although refugees and travellers from those areas occasionally gave testimony to seeing writers in drab grey armour bearing plain grey standards still patrolling the upland roads and manning the isolated granite watchtowers that dotted the land.

    More walls followed as the plague moved inexorably West, each previous wall falling gradually into ruin. Other than the plague itself the single factor that has shaped Western Groam the most is the huge flight of the healthy Westwards. Entire towns became ghost towns over night as the migration from East to West continue towards the shores of Lake Festus. Silvervein itself was eventually abandoned and Arkender became the de facto capital.

    Arkender itself quadrupled in size over the course of one year. The city could not cope with influx of people, most of them now destitute, that descended upon it. Huge slum towns have sprung up, poverty is rife, as are the health issues that flow from it. Crime is rampant and the city is now almost completely lawless, run by criminal gangs who are contracted by the Council which now sits at Arkender. In an attempt to deal with the over population and the replenish the much depleted army, Groams’ leaders have introduced compulsory military service for all males over the age of 16.

    In recent years the Grey Watch are long-forgotten, the subject of late-night tavern talk and gossip. The plague’s ravages seem to have slowed, and with it the volumes of the migrations. There are rumours from the East that the cities, deserted by the healthy have become occupied by the “unclean”. Vast armies of the sick are said to occupy Silvervein united by their barbarous religious beliefs and fervent desire to make a new life for themselves.

    Rumours speak of the furnaces of the tin mines burning again and the sounds of diabolical machinery echoing from those pits.

    Visitors to the last wall claim it is being re-fortified, but from the East this time. Over the new cities, they say, a strange grey banner flies, not plain but the black imprint of a mailed fist."


    Torq
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