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Thread: WIP: Aardia and the Kyzian Empire

  1. #11
      SumnerH is offline
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    Playing around with some filters to have passable looking mountains in Inkscape rather than have to switch to bitmaps and lose scalability:



    This is a base level of tan, a mid-level of grey that is inset by 15 pixels and has Filters->Textures->Ink Blot applied, and a top level of white that's inset about 20 pixels and has Filters->Textures->Crumpled Plastic. Both are with default options.
    Last edited by SumnerH; 01-30-2014 at 03:54 PM.
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  2. #12
      SumnerH is offline
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    Should I post more stuff about inkscape textures in here as I learn it, or should I start another thread in the tools forum for that?

  3. #13
      SumnerH is offline
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    Placing more rivers--is there anything insane about this placement?

    Brown areas will be mountains, light green areas will be hills (and where they run near mountains should be foothills becoming higher mountains, without flatland in between).

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      Azelor is offline
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    Your rivers look just fine. Your mountains from the last map look like clouds, they would look more like mountains if they where sharper.
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  5. #15
      SumnerH is offline
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    Thanks, yeah I'm still working out how to do decent textures in Inkscape (and whether I want to go for realistic or hand-drawn terrain).

  6. #16
      SumnerH is offline
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    Filling in some lakes and smaller rivers, and now that the rivers are placed I can start placing more towns and roads. The road will eventually continue south of Heliopolis once I figure some things out. It probably becomes more of a path at Innsbruck.

    Essentially, Porthelm is the capitol city and Heliopolis is the religious capitol of Kyzia, but the south (visible on above maps) is ruled by Phillippia. Those two areas are allied but fractured, and formerly were one vast empire (sort of like the Byzantine empire and Rome in later centuries). The northern areas were nominally under their control as well, but never very firmly.


  7. #17
      Falconius is online now
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    Well if you do the hand drawn stuff in Inkscape it will also be vectors and so the only issue will be that the icons wont shrink.

    I'm really curious as to why you seem to have Mediterranean sounding names such as Heliopolis and Phillipia (which I guess could be sort of Frenchy, but at first I took to be a spin on Philadelphus) in a region with mostly really anglo sounding names like Old Town, and Darby and so forth?

    I like the extensions you did on the rivers they look much more convincing now.
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  8. #18
      SumnerH is offline
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    On the phone, but briefly: the southern part of the map is all more Mediterranean, the north is more Scandinavian. This central part is more Anglo/Gaelic, but with some crossover especially in the major religious city of Heliopolis which sees many priests and pilgrims from the south.

    Sent from my LG-D800 using Tapatalk

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      Azelor is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconius View Post
    Well if you do the hand drawn stuff in Inkscape it will also be vectors and so the only issue will be that the icons wont shrink.

    I'm really curious as to why you seem to have Mediterranean sounding names such as Heliopolis and Phillipia (which I guess could be sort of Frenchy, but at first I took to be a spin on Philadelphus) in a region with mostly really anglo sounding names like Old Town, and Darby and so forth?

    I like the extensions you did on the rivers they look much more convincing now.
    Maybe names could be improved a bit for consistency for some but it's good in general. Also, Heliopolis and Phillipia , that's not french at all. Heliopolis is definitely greek and Phillipia is Phillipia.
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  10. #20
      SumnerH is offline
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    Thanks for the comments! More on the vector/hand-drawn issue later, this is mostly about naming.

    So here's my thinking. I'm not wedded to it, so definitely feel free to criticize/comment/etc:

    1. The original language was a Greek-style language. It's been supplanted most places, but in a few areas it remains--I'm thinking that Heliopolis, as the religious capitol, would be among the most conservative places in terms of name changes and so it's a holdover. Phillipia is similar as the capitol of the southern country (which was less influenced by modern cultural changes).
    2. After that was a latinate language, which is still the language of wizards and the educated; such names are more common in the south (Terra Nova and such), but those names also have some pull in the central area (which is the one I posted earlier).
    3. After that, the central area's current culture is of a predominately Anglo linguistic background--lots of British/Gaelic sounding towns in that region. They have some sway in the south as well.
    4. The north has a strong Danish/Norwegian/Scandinavian bent, so you see those names up ther.
    5. The dwarves have a Germanic bent, which you see toward the mountains somewhat in the central regions. In areas where they've been long-established, the humans have alternative names for them and so you see things like "Deep Delve" instead of Germanic stuff. Or if they were translated in earlier years they may have Latinate names (the Dwarven "Silvermouth" is "Argenta" to humans). But the smaller towns just go by the Germanic names (Jarndorff, which might be "Ironland" if it were ever famous enough to be translated, and the like) because they're not famous enough to have humanized names. Much like the real world, where Moscow and St. Petersburg have American/English variants, but once you get regions that do less trade with English speakers you're stuck with Sochi/Vladivostok/etc because they're not prominent enough to have popular Anglicized names.
    6. Other races also break the human naming scheme--the elves have cities translated into human tongues as Birchhaven, Ironwood, and the like. The bugbears have Myconeum and Underwatch, the halflings have Bramblewood, etc.

    I'm very open to discussion on this--I think names are very important, and while I've thought about it a fair bit I wouldn't be shocked if some of you have some cool ideas here.

    I guess this conversation needs some of the rest of the place names.

    The North:


    The South:


    Just a few reasons for some of the specific naming choices:

    Lots of the north draws from pseudo-Nordic/Scandinavian stuff. e.g. the Vikings referred to barbarians or outsiders as Skraelings; the town of Skraalsberg is a border area that was intermittently controlled by northerners or by the outsiders from below.
    Koeningshaven is basically "Kingstown"--that's sort of a joke/sad happenstance. It's not the ancestral ruling city, it's where the kings had to retreat when the Empire conquered most of the north.
    Vallekilde is roughly "Valley of the Killed"--it's a borderland area where many brutal battles took place.
    Tradsborg is "the city of Trade", located centrally and a major market town.
    Cumbria has an Anglicized name, as the primary city that the south conquered and held for a long time.

    In the central region (from the post above):
    Bath is a hot springs area, named for the baths there.
    Lochsberg is at the north end of a loch (lake)
    Unnamed as of yet are the underwater cities of the lakefolk (called "gillfaces" by many insensitive humans).
    Birchaven/Ironwood are Elvish.
    Innsbruck is the northernmost city that wasn't a border/war town during wars with the north, hence the most northern travel destination where there are many inns.
    Norford is the ford to the north of Porthelm (the capitol city, where many positions are judged from). Sudford is the closest major ford to the south of Porthelm.
    Eastgate stands at a mountain pass that leads to the desert--it's the "Eastern Gate", pretty literally.
    Harvieston lies next to fertile plains and supplies harvests to most of the empire, hence the name.

    To the south:
    The central and south are cut off by plains dominated by gnolls and kobolds (kobolds are small dog-men, not reptiles); Dog's End is the name of one of the primary defense cities against those folk (as humanoid hyenas/dogs, they're referred to as curfolk or dogmen or the like, and Dog's End is a blustery place name intended to hold them at bay).
    Fort Briar is likewise named for local fauna and position as a defense town.
    Grappa is a vineyard/wine town.
    Argenta and Deep Delve are dwarven mining/homeland towns old enough to have humanized names.
    Pine Harbor is an important shipbuilding area with very tall, straight local trees (akin to the cedars of Lebanon or such in Earth's history)
    Terra Nova was an outlier far enough away that its name was never Anglicized; it's pseudo-colony, pseudo-city and of great (though currently unrecognized) importance in the history of the realms.


    Like I said, I think naming is extremely important so please feel free to offer suggestions, criticisms, etc!


    Last, a very brief description of the intelligent inhabitants I had already written (the players begin in the small town of Cragshead):

    The empire of Kyzia (in which Cragshead is situated) lies between the Southmarch and the Northlands, to the west of the Grey Mountains. Long ago all three were unified as the Kyzian Empire, but approximately 200 years ago the empire began to shrink.

    First the Northlands--only recently conquered to begin with--rebelled and split away, leaving the region in the hands of a rough and barbaric band of human occupants.

    Later, in the south, hostile hill people (the dog-folk, Anthrocrocuta minimus and A. erectus, known colloquially as kobolds and gnolls) drove a wedge between the Southmarch and the remainder of the empire. While Kyzia and the Southmarch remain amiable, the union is fractured. The hills and mountains of the Southmarch are the ancestral homeland of Homo fossor, the dwarven folk--they are rarely found elsewhere, though a small colony has moved to the Dark Hills high on the Falls River to work the mines there.

    The Grey Mountains are home to the cave-folk: Troglo vulgaris, the common goblin, and its larger siblings Troglo terriblis (the hobgoblin) and Troglo destructor (the fearsome urgoblins). History claims that their cousin Troglo ursus (the bugbear) was once nearly as feared as the urgoblin, but the Empire at its height drove them close to extinction to the point where they capitulated and implemented the code of honor for which that noble folk are now known.

    A handful of other intelligent species merit mention: both the peaceful Homo minimus, the halfling folk, and the larger and more aggressive H. colossus (the ogres) live in the hills extending westward from the Grey Mountains. The latter can be aggressive on their own territory, but are generally unwilling to approach human settlements for fear of retribution. Many of the high lakes are home to Icthyus anthropus, the gillfaces, who tend toward xenophobia but aren't overtly aggressive if left alone. And the giants, Homo gigantus, tend to make their homes in the high hills and mountains--even the cave-folk leave them alone.
    Last edited by SumnerH; 02-06-2014 at 12:25 AM.

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