Wow! Info treasure! =D
I wonder if there's a way (not now, maybe not ever) to integrate this into the map somehow. Perhaps in a very thick border or... hmm. no, maybe not. meh. Can enjoy it this way, at any rate.
Other cities: Pileum, Veleum, Opascus, Lacunos, Incus
A Human empire with a proud history, Altistrad stretches out into the Northern Archipelago. They are the biggest Sea power in the world, and control much of the trade between Camulus and Strutis.
Extensive navy and merchant marine. Their galleys and triremes are well suited to the shallow coastal waters surrounding Altistrad. They are versatile craft; their large capacity of oars and oarsmen give them guaranteed means of locomotion when the fickle winds die down, and they can build up a good amount of speed for escape or for a ramming attack.
Once a mighty empire stretching into Lenticulum, decadence and overextension caused the Altistrade Empire to become fractured. It is now much closer to its original borders, contained on the western edge of the continent. Corruption, attacks from outside, and the collapse of the system tore the empire apart, but over the past 300 years it has picked itself up, reorganized into a new empire. The Emperor rules at Lucidus, the City of Light, and his lords command from Veleum and Lacunos. Lesser vassals in the form of Dukes of Pileum, Opascus, and Incus keep imperial rule throughout the continental empire.
The Imperial City of Lucidus will have a river running through it out to the bay in the northwest. The main port city of Veleum lies where this river meets the ocean. From the imperial city, Altistrad is ruled by the Dragon Emperor, but there is a mayor/governor who handles the day to day affairs of the city itself. The "Dragon Emperor” is not a true dragon himself, but is descended from dragons. He is Dragon Disciple sorcerer descended from a bronze dragon.
Tradesmen’s Guilds: Shipwrights, Carters, Coopers, Chandlers, Scribes, Smiths, Masons, etc. all have their own guilds regulating prices, trade, and product quality. There are some “professionals” who are higher level experts, who are often private contractors independent of the guilds. These experts will go to the guilds to hire out workers for projects. Sometimes these are Royal/Imperial commissions, sometimes they are merely approved by the emperor.
Other cities: Hobheim, Niflburg, Ork Knee
Savage lands of the north populated mostly by Goblins, Hobgoblins, Orks, and Bugbears. Several Warlords are loosely aligned under a “king.” This King changes frequently, and is often just whoever is the biggest baddest guy on the block at the time.
This land very much believes in “Might makes right.” There is very little in the way of formal “law.” Disputes are usually resolved in a Trial by Combat. The winner is considered to be in the right. Your power is legitimate for as long as you can keep it. A woman is your “wife” for as long as you can keep her. You lose all right to her if someone steals her away, or if she escapes.
Ork and Goblin longships attack coastal villages, conduct trade, and sometimes attack Altistrade galleons. Their pirates often attack Altistrade island colonies. Less often, they will sail further south to attack Strutis or enter the Mediterranean.
Orks and Hobs are the fiercest competitors. The hobs are more disciplined, but the orks are more driven to conquer. Orks and Hobs both are bullied when the bigger, nastier bugbears come around, though. In mixed race areas, though, everyone walks all over the goblins. There will occasionally be clever Goblins who rise in the ranks, and by brutal displays of their sheer cruelty and ingenuity manage to keep the others at bay. Such goblins hold onto their power by knowing when to play the stronger races against each other.
Tribes usually consist of just one of these races, though tribes often form short-lived “alliances.” These are mostly issues of dominance, where one tribe conquers another. Killing another tribe’s leader in single combat usually results in dominance over his entire tribe. The strongest of the conquered tribe would be given a measure of prestige, but most would be no better than slaves.
Kirric Iron is naturally (relatively) free of impurities, and produces much higher quality, stronger steel for weapons and armor, making it highly sought after in southern lands. The tribes of Kirrus have not developed the techniques to produce steel. Sometimes Kirric Iron can purchased from Goblin traders, but as often as not it means an incursion into the north.
Other Cities: Djoza, Ul-Qemeti
Populated mostly by gnomes, halflings, and dwarven slaves, Ulonimas is famed for its skilled mathematicians, architects, and artificers. Its skills in calculations enable the people to build their stunning architectural wonders, and their magical devices. Gold is highly valued as a conductor in their electro-magical devices. The clerics often commune with divine beings to create these wonders.
Djehauti is one of their most revered gods, after Oris’re, Is’Athor, and Anub’os. Those three are crucial to their very survival, but Djehauti allows them to be great. He is the one who teaches them the arts of magic and artifice. He teaches them sacred geometry, and how to make the devices that allow them to build fantastical structures.
Uloniman religion differs from that held by most of Camulus. Theirs is an earth-centered animistic religion, with a different pantheon of major deities than their neighbors. Halflings, Gnomes, and Dwarves all share common ancestors. All were (or are to some extent still) subterranean races. They all have a psychological desire to return to the earth, which manifests in an obsession with the “underworld” in religion. They are buried deep in the ground upon death, and thought to come up from the underworld at birth. The earth itself is deified in the form of Ghebbis, and all creatures are thought to have souls. They are not to be mistreated or killed lightly. This is especially important as their gods often take animal form, so you never know whether an animal might be a god in disguise. Birth rites, death rites, hunting rites, building rites; all aspects of life are given a ritual, religious meaning. It is the belief of this people that failure to properly perform the rites results in catastrophes, and could even result in the destruction of the world.
Standard technology in Ulonimas has lagged, in favor of artifice and magical advancements.
More to come.
Last edited by Seraphine_Harmonium; 07-25-2012 at 05:06 PM.
Other Cities: Spisatum, Logens, Stratiforma, Undulatis, Pannum
“The Eastern Empire”
At the height of its power the Empire of Altistrad stretched all the way into Lenticulum. But this proved to be too great a strain on the rulers and the overextended military, so the empire was cut in half. Over the years, the middle has shaken free of imperial rule, and new powers have risen.
Now Lenticulum’s Western border is protected by mountains, the only land route guarded by the Greyspires, flanking the pass like sentinels. Travelers to the Eastern Empire would first stop at Logens, a city nestled into the hills at the edge of the Grimholt Marsh. Its stony walls defend its people from both Lizardmen and foreign invader alike. In the hills beyond the wall resides a sizable Halfling demographic native to the area, with houses built right into the hills themselves. A rough palisade surrounds the community, as an afterthought gesture.
The jewel of Lenticulum however, is its port capital Uncinium, where the emperor sits. It boasts two luxury palaces, one for the emperor, and one for the mayor, and fortified keeps for defending the city in case of a siege. The walls of the city are brightly colored, and include relief carvings of Dragons, Gargoyles, and scenes out of myth and legend. The architecture is peppered with pillars, arches, and domes, often gilded with gold imported from Ulonimas. Many come to visit the famed bath houses, which are said to be the most luxurious anywhere.
The city sports a dedicated sewer for managing waste. Several Otyughs, Gelatinous Cubes, and other oozes are left to roam the sewers, devouring trash and waste. Killing one of these results in a heavy fine. Any remaining waste is taken by a series of channels to the river, which deposits it in the bay.
Other Cities: Falstreak, Strasfarne, Flockas
A smaller kingdom seeking to establish itself as a power in its own right, Arkus is constantly out to prove that it can stand up against Altistrad and Lenticulum. Though in a perpetual state of tension with the two empires flanking it, they are at present holding to a tenuous peace with these two powers. Their military force is concentrated on the isle of Fraecte; the ruined and bloody battleground of a war between Arkus and Strutis. Here both sides constantly build strongholds, only to have them destroyed by the enemy. This island is considered crucial, as its central location in the Strait of Skaiye would give the winner almost complete control of trade along the Strait between East and West.
Arkus is known for its disciplined regiments of Archers, with their signature Composite Longbows. Though some cast aspersions on the kingdom for "unchivalric" combat, the people of Arkus are much more concerned with success and victory than with honor and chivalry. They have been known to use underhanded tactics or spying, stealth, ruses and trickery to come out on top. They are known to hire rogues and mercenaries to sabotage their enemies, and to take out key targets. "All's fair in war."
Last edited by Seraphine_Harmonium; 07-25-2012 at 05:45 PM.
Nice, I'm always a sucker for these kind of maps.
People come and people go. I walk amongst them, I see their faces; but none see mine. I pass them in the streets but nary a glance is spared my way, for what interest would they have in a Wanderer? Not of this world... Forever Alone... Forever Wandering... LoneWandererD...
RIP Angel "Ingy" Yates - The first inspiration that guided me towards art. You will be missed...
I agree the forest labels are a little hard to read. You can also try turning up the opacity on the glow around those labels to bring up the contrast. Other wise an excellent map !!
"Aye The skies be clear , the seas be calm and the winds be with us .....
ARGH!! but the damn compass be broken!! "
Capt. Noah Swalter Last voyage of the " Silver Crest"