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Author Topic: Duchies of Xaramon (and other stuff)  (Read 14549 times)
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Mina
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« on: 23 April 2007, 19:06:39 »

Help me see if this way of dividing up the province makes sense. 
Edit: slightly updated. 

Pink: The Ximaxian peninsula.  Not actually a duchy. 
Green: Vontron Forest, a sty'cal
Magenta: The northern steppes and the land between the Anghorth Alsae mountains and Vontron Forest. 
Red: Most of the southern steppes and the Lower Fores, and generally everything east of the Anaios Gap. 
Blue: Pretty much everything south of the river and west of the Anaios Gap. 
Aqua: Stuff west of the steppes and north of the river, including the Anghorth Alsae mountains. 
Yellow: The central steppes and the Ilian Plateau, and a bit of land south of the river. 
Orange: Horth and a bit of land to the west, up to the Anghorth Alsae mountains. 

As you can see, I tried to divided the province up along geographical features, which is probably how things would have worked during those times.  I'm not sure how realistic these results are though.  They still feel slightly arbitrary to me. 

It also turns out Horth is in an interesting position here.  It's located more or less where three provinces intersect.  It might be possible to make it (and probably a few surrounding villages) a small duchy, since at one point in history it was an independent duchy (see the Centoraurian entry).  However, it was later absorbed back into Centorauria when it was reunified and might not have remained a duchy after that, and in any case I'm not sure how a small town of just 2500 could function as an independent state. 

It's probably also necessary to add cities to those duchies that don't already have them (Horth isn't counted here, whatever it's actual duchy is; it's probably too small).  The Kyranians, who originally occupied most of the territory, would most likely have built some, and whoever got the land later (Centoraurians perhaps?) might have too.  Most of the land don't seem to be very suitable for cities though.  So, ideas where they could be located? 
« Last Edit: 09 May 2007, 03:43:29 by Mina » Logged

Bard Judith
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« Reply #1 on: 23 April 2007, 21:04:58 »

A combination of geography and 'arbitrary' has worked for most of history,  Mina!  :)

I like the idea of Horth having been independent and having lost most of 'its former glory' .

However, you've got the river pretty much being the main defining feature, and cities - main cities - are usually built around rivers.  It might work more realistically to 'wave' that territory back and forth so that the Red Duchy (name for now!) contains all of the lower Fores and thus the headwaters.  Then move the Yellow Duchy ("Holdings of Ilian"?) down slightly to give it some property south of the river and put a major city there.   I'm not too concerned about Blue as they have the whole coast AND one side of a river, plus the major towns Caelum and Naios.   

Aqua, however, could be too 'powerful' as it has the entire access to the Ximaxian peninsula controlled - surely the military/political strength in that  duchy would have tried to take over, or cut off, Ximax at some point, historically speaking.  That boundary must have wavered many times, so it doesn't seem realistic that it would currently be just Aqua's territory.  Perhaps Magenta (having lost the Lower Fores) could stretch out gracefully across the top there so that it has the sea access to Cyon Sola Bay, and part of its boundary touching Ximax?  Aqua still has its ports along Bay of the Sky, so that would work.   

Other ideas?
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Mina
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« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2007, 22:20:03 »

I've tried integrating your suggestion. 

1. I experimented with making Horth a small duchy.  It's now a sort of buffer between Aqua and Magenta. 
2. Yellow now has a bit of land south of the river, where we could perhaps place a city. 
3. Red has all of the Lower Fores now. 
4. Magenta's territory has been extended eastwards. 

It doesn't really seem to help Ximax though.  There's only one land route out of the peninsula, and Aqua still occupies the other end of it.  I don't really see a way around this.  It might be possible to leave the peninsula by sea though. 
« Last Edit: 23 April 2007, 22:24:03 by Mina » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 23 April 2007, 22:51:51 »

Yeah!  Looking good, don't you think?

Try squishing Aqua down just a little bit more - to the southeast side of those two mountains you see just above the S in "Shivering Woods".   That would be a natural geographical division, and allow for Magenta to touch Ximax a bit more obviously.  At the very least that ensures that control of the 'exit' is not bottlenecked by ONE power but split between two.  (Not that the duchies are in conflict at this point, but there's always the possibility that someone will be tempted by the idea of cutting off the Peninsula of Magic and somehow attempting to control its powers thereby... it's just safer all the way around!)

I'd put a nice main city for the Yellow Duchy right in the river bend (look about two mills above the e of 'Steppe')    Red gets theirs on the headwaters of the river (what river is that, anyhow?  too lazy to open another window and check.... :P ) perhaps right in the fork where it splits.... very dramatic and fun to describe...    Magenta - hmmm... a major port on the Bay, or a nice pastoral sort of setting along the lakes to the north?


Did I say I love Horth?   And does this mean Arti might do a 'closeup' map for Xaramon next, or are you just giving us some top-down necessary organization at the moment?    Thumbs up either way, Mina!

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Mina
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« Reply #4 on: 23 April 2007, 23:37:28 »

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), Arti hasn't mentioned any plans for making a new Xaramon map yet.  It's just me trying to organise stuff.  :D

So, what you're saying is give Magenta the Anghorth Alsae mountains?  While that would give it a border with Ximax, it's still mountains all the way.  I don't understand how that's going to help, unless I'm vastly overestimating the difficulty of crossing mountain ranges. 

The river is called the Dorashi River, according to the river map.  And the headwaters are the Milaripaw Headwaters (north) and the Rusik Headwaters (south), if I'm reading it right. 

I wonder what we can do with Horth though.  A population of 2500 (according to the entry), plus whatever amount is in the rest of the land, doesn't seem quite enough to hold that territory to me.  Oh, and if we do keep it, the Centoraurian entry already gave a name for it: Hypheria. 

This post is getting slightly long with all the edits I'm making...
This time I'm wondering what to do about the city suggested for Yellow.  It could be placed just south of the river, governing a fief that consists of the portion portion of the duchy on that side of the river.  Or it could be a city that is bisected by the river, maybe with the fiefs divided up some other way.  Or maybe we could have two or more cities along the river? 

And another edit.  :D
How wide is the Anaios Gap?  Could it be easily bridged?  I've just found out that the 'O' in 'Xaramon' covers two mountains on the map.  The land between the mountains and the Gap would probably go to whichever duchy has easier access to it, I'm guessing.  I have no idea what could be put there though.  It doesn't look particularly useful for anything, though I could be wrong. 
« Last Edit: 24 April 2007, 00:02:10 by Mina » Logged

Rakshiri
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« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2007, 21:33:13 »

Any geographical references to the actual size of Xaramon for distances? That could give some clue how big/ small the province and thus its duchies are to better judge how it is split up in districts.

Just to mimic the chaos of feudal structures one could also consider free baronies/fiefs, cities and stuff depending wether it fits. The duchies of the early Holy Roman Empire wer structured like own kingdoms but with time stuff got more incoherent by the year leading to duchies that were completely fragmented, marches bigger than most duchies etc. Given the age of even the united kingdom assuming a mostly herderitary system for the human lands such fragmentation might give a feel of age to the whole structure and allow for all kinds of stories and llinks between certain areas.

For comparison and what I mean:
~1000 AD
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/maps/962germa.jpg
~1400 AD
http://www.rootsweb.com/~deubadnw/history/maps/d1380.jpg
(whole site http://www.rootsweb.com/~deubadnw/history/maps/maps.htm)

Just some other thoughts:
- Do our temples have land as well. In a polytheistic religion a clerical branch of worldly leaders would make things really, really complex but if I followed the timeline discussions correctly there was a time when temples took over certain authorities and such leftovers would be interesting
- Aren't the provincial leaders called "dukes"? Not sure if there is a new title now, but I think back in the day they were refered to as dukes.
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Mina
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« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2007, 22:01:54 »

The Ximaxian peninsula is 480 by 640 strals, according to a measurement Talia made some time ago. 

The provincial rulers are called Thanes now.  Dukes are the next highest rank. 

I'm not sure about the other stuff.  Manthria, which is the only other province whose duchies have been defined so far, doesn't look as chaotic as what you're suggesting though. 

Edit: It's also possible the region isn't populated enough for that sort of fragmentation.  I don't know how settled steppes can be, but I'm guessing not too much, and much of the province is steppes. 
« Last Edit: 24 April 2007, 22:28:21 by Mina » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: 24 April 2007, 23:06:43 »

Yes, Xaramon should stay fairly simple, but what Rakshiri suggests is absolutely something to consider as we move west from the parts of Manthria we've already detailed.  A Freehold is something I've had my eye on for a while now -  a couple of baronies - (want to define a 'fief' precisely, anyone?) -  and definitely, a 'Holy City" which is its own independent district would add so much colour!

Mina:  I know in the Xirghurim entry (still not up, sorry, go check the Forum rather than the Compendium) I mentioned some land use in Ximax, and right on that northeast corner of the Ximax region (where it borders Magenta now) was described as good vineyard land.   The peninsula itself is/was heavily volcanic, so there has to be some merge from this mountainous, geologically active region into these peaceful steppes.  Perhaps a bit like parts of Mexico, only not as warm?  I'll go look later and see if I can't get you more info about the borderlands.
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Mina
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« Reply #8 on: 24 April 2007, 23:22:42 »

You need to get back to working on them.  You're even misspelling the tribe's name now.  :P  I'll check out the entry.  I think I did read it once, but that was so long ago. 

What's a freehold? 
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« Reply #9 on: 25 April 2007, 03:40:31 »

Well, I've said that if it can be made quite precise where you want to have mountains (how high, where snow caps etc.), lakes, rivers, towns etc. then the province of Xaramon would be the next detailed map I'd draw. So the more detailed you can make it how the map should look like, the easier it will be to start with it. I've also put up the size comparison to the Manthrian map already, where the details should be filled in - see here. This is the size Xaramon will have if it follows the scale of the Manthrian map. As you can see the map definitely lacks still a few details...  grin

I'll also contact Curgan to take a look here, at least he is also pretty much involved with his Centoraurians here and maybe can help a bit.
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Mina
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« Reply #10 on: 25 April 2007, 03:47:40 »

Adding all those details will probably take...quite a while.  I'm only just starting to plan where they will go. 

Could you make another such map showing the whole province instead of just the peninsula?  Without buildings and with the province border, if possible.  I think now that we're working with the whole province rather than just the peninsula, that would be more useful. 

Also, do we have anyone who's a Kyranian expert? 
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« Reply #11 on: 25 April 2007, 17:37:02 »

The idea of Horth, being a small independent duchy reminiscent of a former glory is very good.

As for the city adding I think that there should be one at the magenta probably in a safe distanse from the forest), two at yellow (one by the river and one on the plains) and one in the red plains.
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« Reply #12 on: 25 April 2007, 17:51:56 »

I don't know about 'reminiscent of a former glory'...it was never very large, it seems.  I'm thinking it used to be a small city-state that only managed to retain its territory because it was in the right position to act as a buffer between two stronger states (Aqua and Magenta).  Later all of them were reintegrated into Centorauria, but still remained as separate administrative units.  How does that sound? 

Also, I'm wondering if maybe I can remove the land west of the Shivering Wood from Aqua and perhaps administered by a collection of lower ranking nobles.  This would make things less threatening for Ximax, and could perhaps be explained as those land having once been Ximaxian territory? 

To preserve the balance of power sketched out in the first paragraph, perhaps the land near the northern coast(between Horth and the Vontron) forms a separate duchy from Magenta, and historically was also independent?   

Edit: Here's a new picture showing what I'm talking about.  I changed a bit of stuff.  Let's see if it works. 

1. Centorauria becomes fragmented in 617 b.S. as stated in its entry. 
2. Kyrania takes over what is now Magenta. 
3. Horth, Dark Green, and Bright Red become independent, along with Ximax. 
4. The territories return to Centorauria when it is reunified, except for Magenta, which remains with Kyrania. 
5. Ximax later becomes independent again. 
6. Even later, Ximax joins Tharania.  Kyrania has probably collapsed again before then.  Edit: Apparently not.  The history chart doesn't seem to mention Kyrania, but Thar's entry does. 

I'm wondering if maybe the area south of Naios on both sides of the Anaios Gap should be made a separate duchy too.  It was historically Eyelian territory. 
« Last Edit: 25 April 2007, 19:55:38 by Mina » Logged

Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #13 on: 25 April 2007, 19:37:26 »

I'd extend the territory of Horth a bit more into the Platueau.  It seems to be straddling the border, which is a bit un-realistic for a capital of a province.
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« Reply #14 on: 25 April 2007, 22:39:09 »

With the scale of the house icon to the map, you can't really tell.  Besides which, it's not necessarily true that a capital is 'dead centre' of a province - it's wherever the power can best be administered from.   Usually capitals grew up around rivers - transportation nexuses (nexi?)

Look at Canada!  Really, Toronto ought to be the capital (a lot of non-Canadians think it is!) but Victoria felt the same way as you and put her finger on a spot further north.  Ottawa is way too cold and isolated to really be a good capital (which is why we just keep all our politicians up there out of trouble.  If she'd moved her finger even further they'd all be deep-frozen!  Shucks....) 

I'd advise against making Horth any bigger or it won't hold the territory.  The precise location of the city can be adjusted on the large-scale map, which is exactly what we are talking about!
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