Legacy of Loki world map
"Legacy of Loki" is the name I'm currently using for my fantasy world (gaming world, and potentially a fantasy book, if I can get my act together).
The general idea with the world is it was once a land on which the gods walked amongst the men. However, an apocalyptic war broke out between the all-father and creator Ahn, and his children led by his eldest son Resha.
After a giant battle, with millions of soldiers lost on each side, Resha manages to slay Ahn through a combination of trickery and a secret weapon. The slain god's mortal form shatters, unleashing a catastrophic explosion of energy.
This event is called the sundering, and is kinda necessary break the existing societies, and plunge them into a cultural and technological dark age. My big problem though, is how exactly this would affect the land.
Attached is a rough draft i quickly hammered out in photoshop, showing the rough landscape, along with mountains (grey), rivers (light blue), grasslands (yellow-green), desert (pale yellow), forest (darker green), and marshes (a reddish kinda colour that was meant to be brown). I'm colourblind, so those are at best approximations for what may actually show up on your screen :P. There are also a few cities as black dots.
Note that some areas I haven't thought about much yet, and so they aren't particularily developed in terms of their geography.
What I really need help from you all on is this: were such an explosion to occur how would it affect the landscape?
Right now I have the Sundering creating essentially a giant circular crater, probably about the size of France. Is this really what would happen though? Also, were the explosion to occur near water, what kind of effect would a tidal wave of those proportions have? If it were to, say, sweep across some grasslands to meet the ocean on the other side, would it scour away the earth and leave a channel? Or would it just wash away everything in its path and leave a big soggy patch of mud?
Note, my current plan was to have the area under that circle as being the cultural center for the first empire of man, which was all but obliterated by the sundering.
Also, I have almost no idea how any geographic features form, so I'd huuuugely appreciate any comments / criticisms / suggestions about how change things around so that they're more realistic.
Thanks for reading!
I like your landforms. And I feel for you; I am also color-blind, and it's a real handicap. I go by rgb values a lot... but that approach is naturally somewhat limited.
There are some river violations on your map. In general, rivers can merge but they don't split up. Lakes will have only one outlet. And rivers won't connect two oceans (you'd have to have your fantasy world's population dig a canal for that).
Thanks for your reply Bartmoss.
I'm guessing the "river going into two seas" is up in the north , with a dot right in the middle. That's actually two rivers, one coming from the west and another from the east. The two rivers come within maybe 10 miles of each other before diverging off in different directions. I actually threw this one out to the community before, and from the response it sounded as though it was possible, if unlikely, an occurrence. The idea was for two cities to grow in tandem along the banks of two rivers that formed major trading routes. They eventually grew into each other and merged into a single city, and eventually became the centre for a major roman-styled empire.
The two-rivers-coming-out-of-one-lake thing though, is that strictly impossible? Or just unlikely?
I really need to make myself some earth science or geography friends or something :)
Working madly away at a paper due Tuesday, so I really shouldn't even be considering any of this stuff right now. Funny how the creative inspiration always seems to come when you're procrastinating on something more important...
Oh on the colourblindness thing, I also go RGB values. I used to have a big chart printed out next on the wall next to my desk actually haha. Or I'd have a palette with named colours in another PSD and use the dropper-thingy to select the colour I want.
Really is a huge PITA trying to do any sort of graphic design work if you're colourblind. One of the big reasons I gave up and decided to go the academic stream instead haha. It really is a surprise nobody's made some sort of plug-in or utility for helping us disabled folk. Though I suppose there probably is and I just haven't come across it yet...
If you have two river outlets, both must be on the same height. And that all the time. And there's never exactly the same terrain surrounding the lake so one of the outlets wash away the sediment faster. The faster it wash away the more water runs down -> the other outlet dries out. Maybe, if you just have a lake created (by an earthquake for example) it could have two outlets but not for very long. I think a few months, maximum a year, and that's too less to have settlements around.
yep - zar is right - only one river out... just like cagefighting "two rivers enter.. one river leaves" *lol* ...
If a giant explosion ripped your world apart, you have to think a bit how the explosion happens - the circle you have drawn looks a bit like an explosion formed like a giant ball (sort of like Arnold arriving in terminator) and just removing the stuff in the ball. A normal explosion would blast from the middle thus still being able to make a round form but blasting the removed earth out to all sides - making new landforms where they land... Then the water would rush in and fill the crater - but with a crater this huge it would probably change the sealevel all around the earth - thus baring new land where sea was before - which would be barren for a long time before nature creeps in an takes over. In addtion to that, the waves from the water rush would probably destroy the shape of the crater here and there where the ground is mostly soil and not so rocky. The splashes of the waves could form inland lakes, but I guess they would be temporary as they won't be replenished - remember the ocean level is now lower than before.
Another thing to concider is dust - if a vulcano erupts it spreads fine dust all for miles and miles around making the atmosphere inpentrable to the sun and thus making the fields gold and the country cold. You could argue that an explosion of your size would do the same, and probably on a world wide basis - thus plunging the planet into an icewinter for many years.
Looking forward to seing an hearing more about your world :)
As stated.... strictly impossible.... as a long term stable system without some sort of "management".
It can exist as a temporary situation after a significant natural change in terrain. It can also exist if it is managed, like by a dams, etc, where there is no erosion allowed and the openings can be adjusted by some means.
Standard disclaimer: I am not a geologist. I am not a geographer. I am not most things. Take all of my discussions with a pound of salt.
Your crater is roughly 600 miles in diameter, making it 6 times larger than the buried Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan, meaning it would have released roughly 200 times the energy (i vageuly recall think energy in this situation required to produce a creater of a particular size is the is proportional to size cubed - i'd have to go do some research to be sure). If the estimates that nothing much larger than a rat survived the Chicxulub impact, then a similar mechanism to produce a crater 6 times the diameter size would not be good for intelligent life or anything resembling cities. A crater that's roughly 10 percent of the planetary radius may not be compatible with a stable crust for a long time afterward.
As tilt has suggested, however, if a different mechanism (or different type of energy release) were to occur, then the results could be radically different. If the blast was more planar than spherical, then the energy release would be much smaller. It would still be massively destructive. Likely there would be a huge atmospheric shock wave sufficient to knock down stone buildings around the world. There would be severe ground shaking for a long way out, too. Assuming a coastal location, figure that the water would effectively be pushed back into a tidal wave several kilometers high. This wave would likely go around the world several times. Landfall of the wave would run several hundred kilometers inland, pushing everything inland and then scouring the coastal plain to bedrock on the way back out. I wouldn't expect to really find much evidence of life after that sort of event, either.
I can't think of a scenario for an explosion that would leave a 600 mile diameter crater and still have a typical fantasy biosphere afterwards. You might have something like a plain of glass left at the detonation site, but it would still be fairly smallish.
One option is to invoke something like a wormhole where most of the blast would end up going away in the sense of in a direction different than the usual 3 dimensions. The 600 mile section would effectively cease being there with a little bit of energy backlash for pretty colored lights. The implosion of atmosphere and ocean into a hole that large would be quite messy, but probably still survivable for places moderately far away. If the destruction was mostly planar there wouldn't be the problem of a huge hole through into the molten mantle or nasty mantle reflow effects. Just the sort of nasty that you're looking for because it's easily tunable. The fun part about this kind of scenario is that some parts of the "missing" landscape might still exist "elsewhere" and there might be weakened portal-type areas within the blast area that allow access.
If you have a low peninsula then a tidal wave of sufficient height would sweep over it, doing all manner of damage (look up channeled scablands for an example of the sorts of things large volumes of water can do in a short time). If the peninsula is mostly sediments, then channel formation is a distinct possibility. A couple of small ranges of hills flanking the desired channel area could well direct enough water energy to assure channel formation.
Looks to me like you don't want an explosion so much as a radius of disintegration. Probably more of a disk-shaped effect than a sphere, to minimize effects on sea-level, so I'd make the sea shallow where the divine cookie-cutter effect was applied.
The short-and-sweet version of the story behind the crater is this (i'm going a little overboard on the world-building because its an outlet for my procrastination, so the actual story is...well...lets just say it'd be a thread in itself haha).
Basically, when the universe formed there was one god named Ahn and the earth (in a very plain, malleable sense). Ahn was the supreme being, and comprised essentially all energy in the world. He created two sons from himself, one named Resha he tasked with forming the land, and one named Loki he tasked with covering the land with life. He then created a daughter, whom he took as his wife. Long story short Resha had an affair with Ahn's wife and had a bunch of children together, Ahn found out and beat his son to within an inch of his life and killed his wife, Resha was ****ed and gathered his children together to seek revenge and created a weapon with which to defeat Ahn (who was vastly more powerful than them without it).
The resultant war scarred much of the land, but it was when Resha slew Ahn with this special weapon that the crater was formed. When the creator of the world was slain, his body shattered. Being the vessel for all his godly powers, when he died all that power was released and caused an explosion that caused a catastrophe known (tentatively :P) as the Sundering.
The Sundering is an event sort of like the disaster in Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time series. Ahn died at the foot of his towering citadel, around which was essentially the center for all intelligent life in the world. The explosion would have obliterated the seat of mankind's first empire, and destroyed much of the fertile land upon which it was built. Much of the rest of the face of the world was altered (but not entirely reformed). Some of the more barbaric civilizations towards the outermost reaches of the world were untouched, but by and large civilization was set back a thousand years.
The war also fundamentally changed the balance of power in the world. The gods were now locked in their own alternate plane, warring with each other to replace Resha as their leader (since he died in the explosion as well). The most powerful remaining beings were the dragons, who were quick to assert their dominion over the world, and enslaved nearly everybody who survived the Sundering.
Their rule was tyrannous and long, and they did not much care for innovation. This conveniently allows the world to heal to a level of normalcy, which better facilitates the sort of civilizations a fantasy world needs. The Draconic empire was their whole race became afflicted by a curse, followed by a bloody civil war. Those that remained fled to crawl into the earth into hibernation, hoping to wait out the curse.
This sets the stage for the story to be told. The sundering destroys the Golden Age, when gods lived amongst men and there was relative peace, while the Dark Age of draconic tyranny allows the world to heal from the sundering.
Therefore, the blast need not be nearly as big as it is now. It just needs to be visible (a physical reminder to the races of the Sundering, and of the titanic power of the gods, as well as a visual cue of the same to the reader / player). It also needs to have been powerful enough to alter the face of the planet, but not destroy it utterly (the continents used to be essentially one continent, with perhaps an inland lake, or just have that central sea be much smaller).
I'm also not dead-set on it being circular, it was just drawn as such in the rough for simplicity's sake.
Thanks so much for the input everyone. I'll implement the advice on the two-outlet-lake in the next rough draft, and alter that crater a bit perhaps.
edit: apparently I can't spell at 2 am. Makes me wonder why I'm always writing papers at that time...