Well, I managed to finish off my list of island names, and also come up with names for the coastal towns (incidentally, I think I've managed to avoid repetition but if you spot one let me know!).
Spent the afternoon tinkering with town images, ended up making my own, not sure if I'm convinced but they'll be easy enough to change if I come up with something better. Might tone down the colours a little on these....
Starting to feel like it's coming to life now, but because it's a bit cluttered I'm not sure if it will tolerate more detail like roads or landscape marks. We'll see.
If you're wondering, the blank space at the top will house the Prince's hastily scribbled riddle, so I'm not going to fill it with other stuff.
Anyway, that's where we are up to now, here's the WIP
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Looking great.. I love the colors
This is really a cool piece. It gives me an idea for a tutorial and the focus of a story on a map. Wouldn't it be tragic if the messenger got into a sword fight and the map was stabbed through by a thrust that ruined the exact location for the meeting? :((
Ooh! I reeeeally like that idea, RP!!!
The war was supposed to be over. After thirty years of bloodshed, thousands of men lying dead on the myriad beaches of the Straits of Moraebus, and who knows how many ships sunk or carried out into the Corlavon Ocean, they told us that it was finished.
The Argeans had agreed to a truce. Their great Emperor sailed out to Son Dian and shook hands with our King. Generals and Advisors broke bread together, complimented each other on their strategies, and carved up the Isles as due redress for all our wounds.
Our leaders were like old friends, putting past differences behind them. Our King introduced his son, a Prince of Cassolin already proved in war, now more than ready to work for peace. The Emperor revealed his daughter, slight but strong, with a beauty all but forgotten in these lands of smoke and tears. The two would be married, and together in harmony the two great dynasties would rule the known world, crossing oceans and deserts, conquering the mountains until all were granted the peace and joy that took root here on Son Dian.
But peace is too fragile a thing to be left in the grip of men of honour. The unbending will of a monarch can fan the smallest slight into fires of war before the ink dries on a treaty, and at the sound of clashing steel the delicate bloom of our hopes shrivelled to dust.
Blood was spilled, ships were launched, and armies sallied forth to reinstate the long siege of the Islands. But my Prince did not forget his betrothed. For all the hate he bore the Argean's Great Emperor, he could not discard the joy he had known in his short time on Son Dian. He knew that he could never be happy without this woman that fate had shown him, and in his heart he knew that she dreamed of him too.
Even as our fleets clashed at Fhelrhyn the Prince conceived a plan. Taking one of our charts, he hastily scribbled a note to his beloved, a riddle to guide her to a secret rendezvous. Folding the map tightly he pressed it into my hands and charged me with delivering it to his Princess in far off Pashnagur.
And so I set sail, beyond the noise of battle and thence towards the Argean coast. Many days have I spent prowling in enemy lands. I have skirted the Great Swamp of Heredia, and crossed the southern reach of the Keldaran Desert from Matrogur, but now I see the golden spires of Pashnagur rising in the distance, and my journey is nearly done.
Tonight I must enter the sanctum of the enemy, and find some way to deliver my Lord's message to his Princess. Perhaps together they will find a way to bring peace to us all...
Finally managed to get this done. Please note that this is not supposed to be a difficult riddle, but rather the sort of puzzle that a group of gamer's might figure out in order to lead them off in pursuit (or support) of the eloping Princess.
(If anyone actually needs to arrange a secret rendezvous with a beauteous Princess without her warmongering father finding out, I would strongly suggest using a cipher like delgondahntelius' Legend of Mata-Gara which had me scratching my head for days before I realised that I was never going to get it! Clearly the choice of the professional Princess plunderer:D )
Anyway, I digress. I've tested this out on a few friends, and am pleased to say that it appears to be solvable, but with perhaps a little work. Some people have come up with the wrong answer, but have felt that something was not quite right. Those who have reached the right answer seem to have then felt pretty certain that they were right, so I guess if it doesn't feel right it's time to look again. If there isn't a confident answer on here by tomorrow I'll try to get a text file up that explains all the steps...
So, for literally no prize at all, the question is, to which island should our Princess flee in order to meet her betrothed..?
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I like this one very much. I'll PM you my guess... I feel pretty sure about it !
Dammit I was wrong. Being given a slight hint I can see the real answer now. When he says sure he means really sure. If you have any doubt then its probably wrong.
This is such a good puzzle as well as map. I'll slink away in humiliation now... :D
Hehe - no need to slink away. I got a batch of emails from a few friends today and it turns out that my puzzle is perhaps harder than I intended. Only one of today's batch had got it right, and he's another vet so his mind's as twisted as mine!
Anyway, as promised I'll throw up a few clues, and a solution should anyone be interested...
And since it only let me add 5 files to the post, here is the solution, and a final musing about the oddities of the world...