When I first heard about the three shapes challenge I was playing the history of the three kingdom mod for Civ4. I made a connection. At first I wanted to make three kingdoms, each one representing a shape, fighting for supremacy. Heretic movements like rectangles and ellipse (representing yellow turbans, barbarians and Taoists…) would also be in the brawl to contest the other shapes. But then I realized that I was just making a silly copy of 3nd century China, so it might just be better to do the real thing. Less room for creativity but more challenging. Speaking of creativity, I used a couple of maps (no many maps) for reference. Most of them have more romance than history and there are no 3 kingdoms since the emperor of the Han dynasty is still in place.
It’s a map of the Han dynasty, around the year 200 (year of the metal dragon), just before the battle of Guandu. The Empire is still united; it will only be dissolved in 220, with the abdication of the last Han emperor. 220 marks the beginning of the three kingdom era. Right now, it’s just a group of warlords fighting for power.
It’s mostly a layout, but at least I have the information’s right, I think so…
A couple of info about my map:
In white: the name of the 13 regions of the empire. I don’t think I will keep that info because some regions are divided. They do not seem useful. (But they were for tracing boundaries)
Big black font: the names of the warlords; 9 in total (maybe more than 9 but the others are too marginal: Meng Huo?) and some surrounding kingdoms/people. Korea is not united, but when you are the center of the world, why bother with the little details. The Xiongnu and others nomadic people of the north are pretty important. They are the main reason why the Great wall was built by Qin.
Blue: river, lake, ocean
The rest should be pretty obvious and all the odd labels colors will change… in time.
I made a political map but I’m not sure how I will use it. I need to find a way to show ‘’political boundaries’’ but I don’t want them to be overwhelming.
I’m hesitating between using pinyin or traditional Chinese. Pinyin is usually easier to read for westerners. Sadly most of the fonts used are not optimised for pinyin so it looks awful and apparently Chinese people don’t understand pinyin very well. So I might go toward the traditional characters but I will keep the pinyin for reference. Some cities also have 2 names old/present name, it's also temporary.
There are still no triangles, squares or circles neither but they are coming!
Warning, there will be a lot of non Euclidean triangles!