Sunday, February 5, 2017

Where in the World Should I Go?

Having finished Britain, I have no particular concerns about where I should map next ~ so I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.  In the sidebar, the Gentle Reader will find a poll, asking what part of the world I could build.  The only necessity is that a new map connect to a part of the world that I have already made.

If I work on Iceland (and the Faeroe Islands), then Greenland, I will be in a position to start working on Canada sometime in the future, starting with Newfoundland.  That, no doubt, will appeal to Americans, who might want me to start working along the eastern seaboard.  Be warned, however, that the amount of coastline and research needed for that seaboard is immense, so that there wouldn't be much payoff for a long time, perhaps a couple of years.  After all, it took me 18 months to put Britain together (I do get distracted).

I had started working around the west coast of Africa already, getting as far as Senegal.  I'd probably keep going at least as far as Ghana, though of course the dream would be not to stop until I'd gotten all the way around the horn, then connect it up with Arabia on the east coast.  Reversing this by going down the east coast would ultimately have the same end goal ~ but it is also a fairly unpopulated part of the world, as as I learned with Mauritania, west Mali and Senegal, it is fairly dull mapping.

I did Burma and that was interesting, so it would follow that I would work my way through the rest of Indochina, then ultimately down into Indonesia.  That's a LOT of coastline, I know I'm not going to enjoy that.  Coastline is the hardest detail to add . . . but it would be interesting to add Indonesia to the trade system, since there are a lot of odd and rare products that originate there.

Interior China is a big hole in the world map I posted last autumn.  It would be nice to fill that hole, but I know that researching China is going to be a big pain ~ not because it is more work per area covered, but because the one source I'm working from is from 1952, before pinyin changed all the Ch's to Q's.  Since Chinese names are so similar, it is going to be hard trying to piece together the city dot on the old map I have with the name in the present day . . . and as far as I can tell, modern linguists are intentionally trying to make this very difficult.

But I'll give it a try if the vote goes that way.

I do ask two things.  First, that if the kind reader votes, that you might tell me why you picked the area you did in the comments below.  It would help if I knew what your interest is, as encouragement to go at least that far in my designing.

Secondly, if you ARE willing to ask me to pick a place and work on it, I would ask that you donate one, two or three dollars monthly on my Patreon.  I haven't mentioned Patreon in months, but it is still a part of my income that I depend upon.  It won't hurt much to give the price of a cup of coffee, but a dozen or so readers contributing will make a big difference to ME.  If you could be so kind.


Pandred said...

I voted Iceland out of selfishness. I might get to adventure there some day!

Alexis Smolensk said...

To be honest, Iceland wouldn't be that hard a make; a little bigger than Ireland, certainly with fewer inhabitants, a little city plotting and some difficult coastlines . . . wouldn't take that long to research, since the history is relatively short and again, not that many city centers. Was looking today, found that Reykjavik at least was founded in 870.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

I'll help with Chinese romanization issues, if you do go the China route.

Shelby Urbanek said...

Greenland! Not big on natural resources, but there's got to be something going on with the Northern Lights that a well equipped party can take advantage of somehow. That, and it's a stepping stone to the interior of North America, a land brimming with opportunity to oppress native cultures and exploit natural resources for fun and profit without as much interference from existing European power structures.

On a less overenthusiastic note, as a player in the online campaign I look forward to putting my ranger skills to use exploring new lands (and dungeons!), and there isn't land that's quite as new as the New World.

Pandred said...

Oh snap, all of a sudden the greenland votes jumped up. If we're not careful, the Juvenis party is going to be contractually obligated to go!

Embla Strand said...

While it seems highly unlikely that we will get to China, I have a deep-hearted love for the place.

Maliloki said...

Voted for China to fill in that big ol' hole, get one step closer to finishing Eurasia, and for the (I assume) major update to your trade tables...cause you don't do enough work. :)

Though West Coast Africa was a close second.

Ozymandias said...


Please note this has nothing to do with the Greenland votes now tying with Western China. That is purely coincidental. Purely.

I like the idea that we may, someday, get to see Alexis' take on the Americas.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Iceland + Greenland.

No time like the present.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have decided NOT to make most of the Americas populated by non-human races. However, as the "land-bridge" over which humans are known to have travelled to connect them to the Americas is heavily occupied by hobgoblins, norkers, cavewights and xvarts, as well as elves, that's not a route that humans could take.

So, I postulate that 25,000 years ago, weather patterns in the south Pacific altered so that travel east to west across the gap between the west coast of South America and Polynesia became easy and practical for about four thousand years, just at the time that migrations were taking place out of Asia and into Oceania. This puts some ten thousand persons on the South American continent, who then multiply and spread outwards, north rather than south. I can then make "native Americans" that are similar, but different, to the usual construct.

How different I haven't decided . . . but I do intend to make them more advanced, more able to protect themselves and capable of [perhaps] a magic use that isn't Eurasian/African in construct.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Last night, I did some preliminary work on looking over general Chinese history. In 1650, the region was in a sorry state. It is usually given in books that the Manchus replaced the Ming dynasty in 1644, but of course China is a big region and this did not happen all at once. The southern provinces were still under the "Southern Ming" dynasty until 1658; a general was not committed to fighting them all out until 1653. The province of Fujian and some places elsewhere had been subjected to punishment that resulted in the mass genocide of hundreds of thousands of former Ming supporters, causing these areas to become depopulated. A despot in Szechuan (Sichuan) province had been deposed at last in 1648; he, too, was a mass murderer of terrific qualifications, supposedly killing some two and a half million or thereabouts in the previous five years of that province's history. Sichuan is under the sovereignty of the Manchus in 1650.

Meanwhile, Outer Mongolia hasn't fallen to the Manchus, nor the provinces of Sinkaing (Xinjiang), Tibet (Xizang) or Kokonur (Qinghai), all of which are still under the control of various Mongol tribes. In my world, the Mongols were orcs and uruk-hai (or Haruchai, as I spell it), the latter being comparable with the "ogrillon" from the Fiend Folio.

If I draw a northwest line from the corner of India/Burma, I can include the Mongol states noted, leave Sichuan undone for the time being, then add Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia; these last three provinces are all part of the Ming Dynasty, but it makes a clear line that will fill the hole. Eastern China can then be finished later.

Jonathon said...

I voted for Southeast Asia for the benefits to the trade system. Historically, a respectable chunk of the adventuring and exploration that was done in the centuries prior to the present of the campaigns was done explicitly to establish trade routes with that part of the world. Textiles! Medicines! Spices! (Spices, man, worth more than their weight in gold!) We're within a decade of the onset of the tea trade!

I'm using a lot of exclamation points because treasures beyond imagination lie in the region!

Alexis Smolensk said...


Here's a quick list of goods that I have for:

SIAM: artworks, cement, charcoal, cloth, coconuts, cotton, edible bird's nests, elephants, fish, flour, fruits, gemcutting, hides, maize, perfume, rice, ruby, salt, sapphire, slaves, spices, spinel, teak, timber, tin, tobacco, tourmaline, tungsten, vegetables, woodcraft, zircon

MALAYSIA: bananas, betel nuts, buffalo, camphor, catechu, charcoal, cinnamon, cloth, cloves, coal, coconuts, coffee, copra, cotton, dried fish, ducks, edible bird's nests, elephants, embroidery, fish, fruits, gemcutting, gold, groundnuts, hemp, honey, iron, jelutong, kaolin, lead, limestone, maize, manganese, meat, medicinal plants, nutmeg, palms, pepper, perfume, pineapples, pottery, rattan, refined sugar, resin, rice, salt, shipbuilding, snakeskin, spices, sugarcane, swine, tapioca, timber, tin, tinsmelting, tobacco, tungsten, vegetables

INDOCHINA: antimony, arrowroot, bananas, beans, betel nuts, brass, buffalo, cabbages, cacao, cardamon, castor beans, cement, chromium, cinchona, citrus, cloth, coal, coconuts, coffee, coppersmithing, cotton, cotton cloth, distilling, dried fish, dried fruit, ducks, dyestuffs, fish, flour, foodstuffs, fruits, glassware, gold, gum benzoin, hides, iron, ivory carving, jewelry, kapok, lac, lead, limestone, maize, manganese, paper, pepper, pottery, rice, ruby, salt, sapphire, shipbuilding, silk, silk cloth, soap, spices, sugarcane, swine, tea, teak, timber, tin, tobacco, tungsten, vegetables, yams, zinc, zircon

Remembering that Indochina comprises Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Keltoi said...

I voted for Southeast Asia for the effect on the trade table.