Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Half-orc Sanjak of Cumana

This sort of thing is an awful lot of detailed, niggling work.  With repetition brought on through missing small details.

While this map isn't exactly a dream, I don't mind.  I have figured out the secret for getting highest quality maps reproduced through the wiki (it involves linking the map to itself, which never occurred to me).  Thus, if the reader will follow the link shown above to the wiki page - and the links at the bottom of that page to 'sheet maps,' as I am calling them, the first perfectly clear maps of my world can be seen online.  For example, this one.  Click the map itself and a big version should appear.

This is wonderful.  Over the next few weeks I will be moving most of my big sheet maps onto the wiki.  I kept from doing it because I had not yet worked out the weird linking system.

In reference to an earlier discussion, Cumana represents the part of the Ukraine that did not measure up to 1 person per square mile - which some will find surprising, since this is one of the most populated parts of present-day Eastern Europe.  The region I'm calling 'Cumana' corresponds to the Kharkov Oblast - but Kharkov was not founded until 1654, four years after my world takes place.  Additionally, virtually every city in the Donets Basin (an industrialized area that compares with Silesia, the Ruhr and Lorraine) was founded after the start of the Industrial Revolution - many were founded by the Soviets.

Once all these places are removed, the population on the ground gets pretty thin.  This country was always pretty piss-poor farmland . . . subsistence at best, one of the reasons why Stalin made the attempt was move them off the land and into cities.  Hey, I hate Stalin as much as the next guy, but one of the things that gets forgotten when the millions that starved to death are counted against him is that millions had been starving in this part of the world for centuries.  Every seven or eight years there would be a gruesome famine that would devastate the country, encouraging the formation of groups like the Zaporizhians and the Don Cossacks, who would raid into every other region to compensate for having no food at home.

But . . . we're supposed to pretend that history in the region started in 1925.

It was a good place, for me, to settle as a half-orc kingdom, to explain where half-orc player characters came from.  If players are given free rein to pick, there are always an unusual number of half-orc characters chosen.  This is because of the bonus strength and constitution from AD&D. Elves are picked in the same way for sword bonuses and dexterity. I don't mind, even if my parties seem to end up being at least 75% either elves or half-orcs.  Dwarves don't seem too popular, nor halflings or gnomes.

Anyway, I'll be working on the provinces for Cumana next and then transferring details about the tribes from the blog to the wiki.  After that, looks like I'll be working on the gnome Kingdom of Harnia and the Kingdom of Hungary.  I'm going to concentrate on Eastern Europe for awhile.


I've finished the tribes page and a detailed description of the Cumana Het.  Keep an eye out on links that previously had no content - I'm continuing to work on the page.


Maxwell Joslyn said...

Loving the high-res maps.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, I love that at last readers can see them as I do.

Vlad Malkav said...

Wow, those maps are great ! Eh, but Infrastructure is missing - which is normal, as it is not something that the players would probably need, but still, I fell in love with the Infra concept :P .

It is fascinating, as always, to see the deep merging of D&D and our Historical World; reading the wiki is a pleasure !

So much foood for thoughts ...

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thanks Vlad. In time I'll be sure to add the infrastructure maps as well.