Friday, November 04, 2016

Sketch map of Dark•Heritage Mk. V

Well, here it is.  No labels yet, because I'm not sure what names will be attached to what places quite yet; that's still a work in process.  Of course, no doubt there will be a lot of names carried forward from Mk. IV (just like Mk. IV has most of its names carried over from either LENG CALLING or Mk. III.

As you can (probably) see, this map has a certain rough resemblance to the eastern half or so of North America during the Ice Age when the Sea Level was higher.  The Great Lakes are fused into a gigantic super-great-lake, Florida is fatter, and the West Indies are lumped together into one really big island and much fewer smaller islands—although this is a sketch and isn't supposed to indicate that there can't be more details.  The rounder mountains are older, weathered mountains like the Appalachians, Urals or the Scottish Highlands.  They're heavily forested, and the rolling, hilly piedmonts around them are also heavily forested (as can be seen) although the coastal floodplains are by now more settled, cleared and farmed.

The northland is almost completely covered by a vast boreal forest, north of which remain vast glaciers.  A range of jagged, high alpine mountains makes up the effective western limit of the mapped area, although I do have a few ideas of what lies beyond and more or less where; I just don't want to get into spending too much time detailing it either way.

A vast plain separates the forested lower mountains from the rocky craggy mountains of the west south of the gigantic lake, and a few unusual features mark it (see that little Chimney Rock look-alike I drew there? That's not meant to imply that it's completely unique...)

Rolling limestone karst hill country is south of these great steppes until a great hundreds of miles long escarpment leads to the high plateau and red rock desert of the south—not as hot as one would think given that it's 4,000-6,000 feet high.  And finally the jungles of the southern shore of the Mezzovian Gulf are the southernmost area mapped... although I don't have much intention of spending a lot of time detailing what's going on there.

The boreal forests up to the southern edge of the super-great-lake is where Lomar now is, after their former home further north was inundated with Inutos, forcing them into new lands.  Sometimes known as the "Forest Ghosts" the pale-skinned and white-haired, gray-eyed Lomarians are a strange and alien bunch who have little interest in congress with the rest of the southern races.  Most impacted by the move south from Zobna are the Wendak Tribes, who mostly live between the great lake and the eastern mountains.  This large group used to occupy territory east of the mountains as well, but has been displaced in that direction as well by the Norsmenn and their petty kingdoms of Trondmark, Agdalen, and Vingulfold.

The southern reaches of the eastern Highlands are mostly made up of the Gaidhel and their mixed kingdom of Brochwel.  Their allies, the Marrings live in the forests south of the Highlands with their petty kingdoms of the Archenlands and Westry, although in reality all three ethnic groups are fairly mixed, and all six of these kingdoms are known as the Colonists, who are united politically in loose confederation.

South of the great lake and between the mountains and the forest, stopping (perhaps arbitrarily) at the great natural landmark of Finger Rock (seen on the map) is Kurushat, an ancient kingdom ruled by a race that has (apparently) little to no connection to any of their neighbors.  The Kurushi have brick red skin, pale, wispy blondish hair and golden "wolf eyes."  While they seem to have once ruled a larger empire, they are not the original inhabitants, and strange ruins cover much of the land that they live on (and other territory further east as well, for that matter.)

In the mountains are the hamazin, the former lords of Baal Hamazi, a rump state of another older empire in decline.  Most of the subject peoples have revolted against the old hamazin dynasties, however, and now wander the southern plains and the hill country as nomadic herders and raiders; the Untash, the Haltash and the Tazitta.

A few communities of the Kayenta and Azani peoples still live in their traditional cliff dwellings in the Red Rock plateau, but for the most part, these peoples have been conquered and ruled by the Terrasans for many generations now.  The Terrasans came, like the Norsmenn, Gaidhel and Marrings, from across the great Eastern Ocean many generations ago, but they came earlier and in more force, and their "New World" empire is now greatly in decline.  Much of their population is originally aboriginal Kayenta and Azani in nature, but they now speak Terrasan and to greater or lesser degrees are genetically mingled together; the vast lower classes are, however, still strongly aboriginal in character and the upper classes are taller, with Mediterranean features.

The large island is culturally Terrasan (mostly) but an independent entity (well, a city on the west coast of it is, anyway): Porto Liure,

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