Like the concept!
So I have a confession to make. I started Yet Another World. I certianly did not WANT to but I had an idea today, one that I liked a fair bit. So I felt compelled to sit d down and begin building it. You know - while the idea was still fresh on my mind.
Let me explain with a little sketch:
1) The world had a large - very large - underworld. This was mostly unknown above-ground, and it certainly did not matter much to the surface people. They built their societies up, founded cities, researched magic, whatnot. Not pictured in this step are the height of their achievement, flying cities.
2) Some day, The Catastrophe hit. Perhaps a meteor strike, perhaps an evil wizard who tried to destroy the world. Perhaps a god went on a rampage: At any rate, the Underworld collapsed. The oceans drained into the colossal caverns below, leaving the world above dry.
3) While the world above begins to try out and become a parched wasteland, the rubble from the collapse of the caverns turns into lush, new continents.
4) Status quo: The world is arranged into layers.
a) Flying cities - many of them died, too, but a few remain the last remnants of the old civilizations
b) Cloud layer - in a fantasy world, this might include floating islands, or there may be additional flying cities etc hidden here. Some mountains are probably high enough to reach the clouds.
c) The old surface world: Barren, dry, desert, except where rain keeps rivers flowing - his is very rare now because most of the water cycle happens underground. There may even be remnants of the oceans, depening on the outflow rate (I kind of envision having one old ocean around). The remains of the ancient civilizations are all over the place, and he remaining creatures and people fight a bitter war over dwindling food resources, or try to emigrate to the new continents etc. Think barsoomian deserts for the old surface world.
d) The former underworld. Much of it is still underworld, just flooded - creating shadowy subterranean oceans. The rubble piles have become overgrown continents, think Lost World type places.
e) Mmmh, perhaps there's more stuff even further down...
Anyway, I started mapping this world. It's very basic, but I figured I'd post a first WIP. Ignore the legend explaining water depths and land levation, right now it's simply a combination of the old surface, the new rubble continents, and the oceans. I hope it's fairly intuitive otherwise I'll post a better legend on the next WIP.
Last edited by bartmoss; 09-12-2010 at 04:25 AM.
Neat idea, looking forward to seeing where you take this.
My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.
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This is really cool. Gets my imagination going.
1. This is sooo cool
2. Except the flying cities - Thats sorta lame ^^
3. Is that a ocean that hasn't collapsed? (On your latest wip.. If so.. Shouldn't there be some green areas around it?
Have som rep (Always wanted to say that..)
The cities will work. Trust me on that. This is clearly a high fantasy setting (such a huge underworld could never exist otherwise), and since the concept calls for multiple layers, what else can I put up into the air? If you have any clever ideas, by all means and quite seriously, please do not hold back. :-)
I do want them to have a sleek, almost technological look, not the Krynn type floating fortresses that ripped a bit of earth out of the ground with them (or Dalaran, if you play World of Warcraft - I hate that look). They will mostly consist of interconnected individual buildings, but of course some larger public spaces and parks do exist too. Most - not all! - of the flying cities are as dead as the civilization on the ground, however. Supply problems: They depended on food imports and those ceased quite suddenly. Floating cities or houses etc won't have more supplied stored than necessary.
In addition to the layers I depicted in the drawing I do have two more that I am thinking about: Subterra, an Underworld underneath the Underworld. Some of it got flooded, but not all. What lurks here is anybody's guess, but creatures that live that far down must be utterly alien. I also thought of having an actual, factual hell in the molten core of the planet - Since this is clearly not a "natural" planet (no plate tectonics) one could do that, but unless I can come up with a good twist then yes that'd be a tad lame. I briefly considered the Collapse to be the consequence of the gods trying to drown out Hell with water, but, what can I say, that idea came to me as I was falling asleep at my desk at 3am. :p
The other layer, of course, is "above the skies". Again since this is not a natural world I can probably get away with giving it rings AND moons. That gives me another 1-3 layers, depending on your definitions: Low orbit; The Rings; and The Moons. Again with a high fantasy setting I can get away with anything, including various ways of connecting the world and the rings and moons (portals or even a Space Elevator / Beanstalk type construct).
I am really not convinced I'll include that, it may give me some fancy exotic settings for adventures / stories, but I have a feeling the setting will be tighter, more focused without them.
Excuse the rambling.
Anyway, yes, that is indeed an uncollapsed ocean. I did some math, and it turns out that even with a HUGE waterfall, draining an ocean the size of, say, the Atlantic, can take hundreds or thousands of years. There's just a LOT more water in them than we can easily imagine. (The oceans more in the central part of the map just basically collapsed all at once, so the process was faster.)
There are some green areas around it, the current map does not show rivers or vegetatoion yet. Basically the only areas of vegetation left on the surface world are where there's enough rain to form rivers. Think Nile river. That flat area encircled on 3 sides by ocean and on the east by higher ground looks like it should be prarie / steppe, for example. Will have to work on that at some point.