Updates and Modifications

This poor site has been neglected of late. This post is simply an announcement of pending action. I’ve decided to change the map of Sadwillow drastically.

I have two reasons for this.

The first is that I think Sadwillow fits my vision for it better as a cozy assemblage of a few small continents and some islands rather than the pangaea and smaller(but still respectable) continent that I have currently. I want Sadwillow to have enough space for some fun-loving semi-lazy socialistic liberals to coexist, mostly peacefully, with a small group of genuinely-lazy wannabe plutocrats without being overwhelming. Sadwillow as it is, is overwhelming. I also want Sadwillow to be mostly a pleasant place. A good place for a soft-living people. Without fudging my climates in a big way I think a lot of the major continent is going to be desert. Nasty desert. I just can’t plausibly fit the map to my vision.

The second, and controlling, reason is that I have a better use for that map. I’ve had a germ of an idea floating around for a particular kind of world. My original, and very sketchy idea was based upon a combination of the John Ford and Leslie Thompson ideas for Klingon history. From Thompson I retain the notion of the dominant ancestral culture being native to a vast and hostile desert. That and the name, at least as a working name, of Kazh. From Ford I take the notion of an ancient conflict between a powerful and immense land empire and a small but relatively advanced maritime culture. The land empire owes a lot to Stephen Gillett’s idea of a global coastal empire as he expounded on page 99 of his World-Building book. I’m assuming enough inland climatic variation to allow for inland horse-barbarians, though. The invasions happen, but as with China, the invaders are absorbed into the continuing stream of civilization and are historically considered as little more than new dynasties grafted onto a stable unbroken bureaucracy. I also took one attribute from the Klingons of the Star Fleet Battles game. The empire was founded by horse-barbarian mercenaries working in the service of one or another of the Old Kingdoms, a crowd of squabbling, relatively petty cultures that created agricultural enclaves along the coast of the southern part of the super-continent.  This is the Empire of Qethlas, named for a legendary horse-barbarian who is considered the founder of the original empire.

The continent on the northeast corner of the map(I intend to rotate the representation, such that this continent appears to the west of the larger continent. Across from the strait leading into the Central Sea), is the center of the Maritime Alliance. This continent, and many of the islands in the seas of Kazh, was colonized from the mainland in at least two waves. The first wave was refugees fleeing the invasion of one of the Old Kingdoms by some anonymous horse-barbarian tribe. The second wave was of those Horse Kings fleeing invasion by the Empire of Qethlas. Over time, these maritime people have developed a sailing technology sufficient to allow them to circumnavigate the world while Qethlas has not progressed much beyond many-oared galleys with sails only suitable for running before winds in a favorable direction. The land people look with wonder and envy at their enemies sailing almost into the teeth of the wind. Tacking is a mysterious secret of maritime sailors. All of these people of the sea are tied together by a loose and tenuous Maritime Alliance, that exists only for the purpose of defence against the expansion of the Empire.

Although this is based in large part on ideas about Star Trek’s Klingons, this is not Star Trek and these people, whom I call the Klarr, are not Klingons. I’ve been reading Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin books. I’m assuming at present that the Empire has had captured enough Maritime vessels and seen enough tacking in action to be able to emulate their enemies even if Maritime captains do consider the Imperials a lubberly lot in hardly seaworthy vessels.

I have no idea about the physiology of the Klarr, except that they are probably fairly humanoid if only in a Jar Jar Binks kinda way.

This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Sadwillow or the Skavoon, but it does mean I have to get to work writing. See you soon.

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2 Responses to Updates and Modifications

  1. jwbjerk says:

    I don’t know if this will be of help, but i’ve found myself in a similar situation, where once i’ve done most the work of building a planet up to climates, i find out that the climates are not what i wanted or where i wanted them.

    * Astronomic Stuff
    * Basic Coastline
    * High and low Pressure
    * Prevailing Winds
    * Surface Currents
    * Preliminary Precipitation (everything excluding elevation)
    * Finalized Elevation and Coastline
    * Final Precipitation
    * … The rest of the Climate

    Since i leave the serious work on elevation until after i’ve figured out wind and most of precipitation, i can place mountains/lowlands as needed to get the climates i want where i want them (within reason). This means ignoring or making up after the fact the tectonic plates… but i don’t see that worrying much of plates usually adds much value to the final product.

    • Astrographer says:

      I’m with you there.
      I’ve only recently figured out a decent way to add proper elevations to a specific pre-designed coastline, so my older workflow basically had to start with, “Keep running planetGenesis till something looks good,” And then I had to base everything off of that elevation grid.

      Right now I’m laying off of the mapping stuff until I get the basic astronomical attributes worked out. A whole new workflow. I’m kind of working from your broad process, although the astronomical stuff is working out to be the first half!

      Yeah, that ordering doesn’t work well with plate tectonics, but getting the climate you want can be a big payoff and you can usually fudge the plate structure to fit.

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