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Thread: [WIP] World of Flammarion: The Holy Empire

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    Guild Journeyer Gracious Donor Klaus van der Kroft's Avatar
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    Default [WIP] World of Flammarion: The Holy Empire

    Well met!

    As part of a setting I've been piecing together lately for my current Pathfinder campaign (a roleplaying game very similar to D&D 3.5), I've begun drawing some maps for it, both to illustrate my players and because drawing maps is always fun.

    Here's the WIP of a region known as the Holy Empire, which is where the campaign, at least for now, takes place. It is heavily inspired by the real Holy Roman Empire, in the sense of being a sprawling, nigh-ungovernable dominion conformed by a large number of smaller realms with various degrees of independence, although also incorporating cultural equivalents of regions not traditionally associated with the original's reality, such as Spain or Scotland.

    Just like the one in our world, it is not really an empire in the formal sense of the word, although it does -allegedly- have some degree of holiness to it, as the several families that constantly vie for the imperial throne claim to descend from the agents sent in the deep past by the Lord to straighten man back into virtue. Supposedly tied to certain constellations, these families rise and fall from power depending on the configuration of the heavens, which makes the imperial office something quite fleeting, with some emperors having to be forcibly deposed when the lineage they come from no longer dominates the skies or others rising when no proper candidate could be produced. As a result, the political stability of the region is as solid and dependable as morning dew.

    Joined together by a faint sense of shared divinity that serves to give some kind of authority to the Emperor -along with the ever-watchful presence of the Church-, these lineages exists nonetheless are virtually independent states, oftentimes warring more between themselves than with external threats, to the point that the Holy Empire has turned out to be more a general territorial reference than an actual, cohesive nation.

    This is the blank geographic outlook of the region. The old-paper texture I used as background was created by Eric Salvi (http://ericsalvi.deviantart.com).




    The second one shows the political divisions within the empire. The names are made up and not supposed to mean actual things, but rather sound like the cultural equivalents the regions they are inspired after (so Castillian/Català-sounding names for the Iberian-like regions of the empire, French-sounding ones for the respective area, and so on). I hope I didn't accidentally write down an insult in a language I don't understand, though!




    Finally, the third map show the language distribution of the region (including some that are outside the Empire itself. The empty areas have no significant population in them). Had to make this one since the players were picketting me for directions on what languages to choose for their characters. While not entirely homogeneous, the liguistic areas roughly represent culturally-close realms.

    Last edited by Klaus van der Kroft; 02-26-2012 at 06:26 PM.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    Very cool! I made multiple maps like that for a setting at one time, and it was great fun ... I've been a lazier DM since then

    Are the languages so similar to various European ones on purpose? (I know I've DMed games where I made players speak Common as a pidgin without complex tenses, to indicate that it's not a real language, and then used different languages we had in common for other languages in game ... it didn't go on for too long before we came to the conclusion that the Orks are obviously mutes (Nemci) and there's no sense even trying to parley with them )
    Last edited by Lukc; 02-26-2012 at 06:32 PM.

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    Guild Journeyer Gracious Donor Klaus van der Kroft's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Aye, most of them are purposedly similar to European languages (the names of each language on the map are hispanized, though, since we speak Castillian). Cervanes/Cervanish is basically Spanish (but more markedly Catalan in nature), Landorano/Landoran (from "Lang d'Or") would be emulating French, Obernes/Obernish emulates German, Etanes/Etanish is some sort of Baltic-Dutch smorgasbord, Belghadi/Belghadic goes after Gaelic, Maroviano/Marovian is inspired by East-European tongues, while Tramontano/Tramontanian is for all purposes Italian.

    The other tongues listed have less direct ties. Antiguo Imperial/Ancient Imperial is somewhat Babylonic-sounding, while Irgardi/Irgardic, Ordobaradi/Ordobaradic, and Bestial don't have an equivalent. Imperial is a special case. It acts as the Common for the campaign, with its source depending on the language spoken at the table. So, since we speak Castillian in real life, Imperial is a tongue derived from Cervanish; if we spoke French, then it would be derived from Landoran. T'was an easy escape route I made up to quickly explain how Common works in the game, why does it sound strangely like the language we actually speak, and how come it is spoken in many parts of the Empire (however, it is not spoken by everyone, so maybe your Average Joe MacPeasant has no idea how to talk in it, but all important imperial documents, merchants and the like would at least handle it good enough to tell you who kidnapped the princess and where's the bathroom).
    Last edited by Klaus van der Kroft; 02-26-2012 at 06:50 PM.

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    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    Try to write "sch" instead "sh" in Obernisch, its sounds more authentic Germans dont use sh in their language.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    Sure you do! You just spell it with a lot more letters than other people ... "š" vs. "sch"

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    Guild Artisan Eilathen's Avatar
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    Very nice map! I dig the style and landforms you've chosen. Have some rep.!
    I'm trapped in Darkness,
    Still I reach out for the Stars

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    I like this very much. The landform is nice, and there are a lot of regions and names. I'm sure you spent quite a lot of time with that :-)

    My only complaint is conditional: if there's a sea, I think the map would look better if it was more present, if it looked more like a sea; on the other hand, maybe you're just trying to convey the meaning of an incomplete map, showing only those regions you already have. If so, I'll shut up and just bask in the map's glory :-)

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    Guild Journeyer Gracious Donor Klaus van der Kroft's Avatar
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    Moitas grazas, Cabeza de Prata.

    You are correct about the sea; I need to make it more noticeable. I'll try adding some greyish-greenish tint to it and enhance the coastlines so it can be properly told appart. Thanks for the heads up!

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