Community Atlas: Wyvern Citadel Defence Zone on Kentoria

edited April 4 in Show and Tell

As suggested when I requested this part of Kentoria a few days ago, this is the WIP thread to try to show something of how this mapping project's been developing, and where I'm up to with it.

It all began in 2020 July, when Quenten suggested a series of potential mapping projects for various Forum "regulars" from an area in western Kentoria he'd just been mapping, called Shoenia. While I had no time then to do any mapping for "my" bit, Wyvern Citadel, I did some basic exploration of the area and made a few notes even then. Not much has been said about Kentoria, but what there is suggested to me a high magic-use continent, now threatened (if presumably only to an extent) by barbarians. I also discovered that this Citadel was the sole structure shown near the western shores of Kentoria on the continent map:

That suggested it was of considerable significance, and being next to the Barbarian Ocean (despite the considerable separation from the nearest land on that side of Kentoria) started suggesting reasons why, particularly seeing that Quenten's Shoenia map had provided a lot of obviously high-yielding agricultural land in the region, stretching for several hundred miles into the surrounding valleys (told by the numbers of settlements, as well as the extent of the farmed lands).

I toyed with a few ideas around all of this at different times, but it's only been this past week or so that ideas have really firmed-up. The orange boxed area on the Shoenia map here shows the area I decided would be useful to map in a little more detail around the Citadel itself, because that large, swampy, river delta seemed a likely place for barbarian sea-raiders to be able to strike unseen, tempted in by the obvious agricultural richness of its surroundings, ones likely equally rich in other resources, like gold, say!

What I've come up with is that the delta vicinity was attacked by barbarians last year, when an unusual sickness in Kentoria laid low much of the population, and prevented the folks hereabouts being as vigilant as normal. The raid also happened in the winter - or as much of winter as Nibirum's southern tropics ever get - during a spell of abnormally severe weather. It was so bad, the snowy remnants can still be seen on the south-facing slopes of many of the mountains hereabouts. It appears the weather was magically augmented by one or more powerful druids/shamans that accompanied the raiders. Some of the raiding ships were driven-off, though one larger fleet especially managed to land in the southernmost estuary of the delta, nearest Monseignor, which city was raided particularly heavily, losing much treasure, and having its Forum destroyed. While the Forum was quickly rebuilt, as the political leaders locally say, "bigger and better than before", the population remains very nervous, and has demanded further action, especially as the sickness seems to be dragging on in places into another year.

The area has been long known for its colourful wyverns. Indeed, some say the smallest kinds outnumber the birds in these parts, and are of comparable sizes. The region is sometimes called the Wyvern Coast elsewhere in Kentoria as a result.

So, wyverns. Wyverns in defence. Wyverns and their riders. Squadrons of wyvern-riders. Thinking here something on the lines of Anne McCaffrey's Pernese dragon-riders, with mentally-bonded wyvern and rider pairs. Aerial defenders made me think of the Battle of Britain in 1940, particularly because of KENToria, Kent being the English county above and near which much of the aerial combats then took place. Thus came about the recently-constructed Wyvern Citadel Defence Zone:

The perceptive may notice a certain - familiarity, shall we say - about some of the new place names. And some are just... well, why not?! I had to name the river and its delta, and The Great Stone Wall mountains conjured up for me the famous American Civil War general "Stonewall" Jackson. There'll be PDF and text-file notes to add more flavour to all this eventually in the Atlas.

There are four main colours of wyvern, as illustrated here by the four wyvern seals from Sue's brilliant new symbols pack with this month's Annual issue. Couldn't resist! Each colour has its own particular powers. The blue wyverns, for example, are extraordinarily powerful flyers, able to fly higher and for far longer than any other type of wyvern hereabouts. They also have the greatest wingspan of any of the wyverns. Or big wings, if you prefer. So, their primary training ground is the drome nearer the mountains where they're often found wild, at Duck's Ford. Obvious, if you know your Battle of Britain history, of course!

As for the Scrying Detection Finders, I'm sure someone will eventually start calling this system "Scrydar"...

The mapping was done using the CA128 Parchment Maps style from 2017 August, including the font, plus Sue's seals, as mentioned.

I'll add a copy of the Defence Zone map to my Gallery shortly, with more to follow on the area later!

MonsenLoreleiQuentenAutumn GettyLoopysueBlackYetiWeathermanSwedenIndara1920
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Comments

  • This is just so awesome - and the lore with it is fantastic in all senses of the word. What a great imagination.

    Now @Monsen has NO excuse for not doing the city in his honour. Hint, hint.

  • Great map and background information. Looking at the map, I couldn't help but feel I should do a map in that style. It's interesting you drew the parallel to McCaffrey; I immediately thought of the Mystaran Thyatian Empire and its Retebius Air Squadron made up of wyverns, gryphons and other flying mounts.

    Quenten
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I love it, Wyvern :)

  • Thanks folks! Nothing fresh to add about the mapping today; ran out of time with other things demanding attention (first of the month real-life stuff, primarily).

    @Autumn Getty - Hadn't come across the Thyatian Empire before. The whole Basic, Expert, etc., version of D&D came about some time after I'd started playing with the original three booklets in the white box, and I ended up going down the AD&D route for a while beyond that, so I've had to do some hunting online to find out a bit more on the Retebius flyers. Sadly, I couldn't find anything that mentioned wyverns - dragons of numerous types and other aerial creatures, certainly - though I may just have missed it so far. Someone else had mentioned the Anne McCaffrey Pern stories last week (can't recall where now, of course) so they'd been fresh in mind.

  • edited March 3

    The fortress of the Citadel. The idea is it's a reused ancient castle, which has been brought up-to-date with modern Kentorian conveniences. Being a high magic land, I've gone with these being things like decent indoor plumbing, heating (to an extent; this is in the tropics, after all) and lighting comparable to mid-late 20th century norms, fitting with the overall concept of the Defence Zone's basis too. I think "electrickery" (not my invention as a term!) fits the bill for how it all works. It also means I've been playing around with some repurposed Cosmographer 3 symbols in places. Eventually, there will be magical rooftop Strickfaden Lightning Cannons in place of arbalests and ballistae. [Strickfaden? Look him up!!!]

    I'd already decided some while back that the basis for the actual fortress was going to be the castle in this video, produced by Dwarven Forge in July 2020, Build of the Month: UnNamed Castle.

    For those who don't know, Dwarven Forge make highly-detailed, modular, cast scenery for RPGs and wargames in 28mm scale. They started out as a one-man operation in New York City back in the later 1990s, when all their castings were made in a solid type of resin, pretty robust for its time, and indeed it still is (mine's survived completely intact since '03, for instance). The great selling point, aside from the incredible detailing (all hand-sculpted, also as still), was that all of it came hand-painted, with primarily options for dungeon and cave settings. At the time, nobody else made modular caves as cast models, so this was really A Thing!

    Time passed, and the company, while still quite small (about eight or nine full-time staff currently, I think), remained NYC based, but their business model shifted to a KickStarter one, roughly one major KS per year since 2013. This different funding model allowed them to move away from resin to (now) a proprietary resin-plastic mix, trademarked as "Dwarvenite". This is lighter and a lot more robust than the old resin - many users quite happily let their kids play with it, as it's pretty well indestructible through any kind of normal use or accidents. It also now comes with the option of being DIY unpainted, or hand-painted still.

    Nobody would pretend it's cheap; the painted version of that castle model in the video would, if all its component parts were in-stock currently (they aren't, in case anyone should be tempted!) would cost you nearly $1500 before shipping (or taxes & import duty, etc., if you're not in the USA). The modular castle pieces are however particularly expensive, as being complex castings requiring more expensive moulds.

    For all the model has a nice, clear, 5-foot-scale square grid engraved across its horizontal surfaces, this has proven a tricky conversion into a CC3+ drawing so far. Plus I'd already amended it in places to add some internal-courtyard ancillary buildings, and add or move some of the internal accessways. Even to get to a hand-sketched version needed stills extracting from that video, poring over printouts of them and from the product pages on the webstore, plus the free PDF downloads showing how each component section is built. Even then, a few places have had to be winged, as I could find no useful images of certain areas, and the video castle build has a few minor variants compared with the standard build in the PDFs. It is modular after all!

    Of course, a hand-sketch is all fine and good till you start fitting that into the precision of a CAD drawing, when suddenly things like whether those shooting slits in the wall-tops might be better at 1 foot 3 inches, not 1 foot 6 inches, wide starts to become an issue. I have made compromises, and there are likely to be more subsequently!

    And then the castle drawing is only one part of the whole, as it needs to have a background as well. I'd decided in advance that the Citadel was going to be on a rocky ridge, probably one of its higher parts, and separated from the rest of it by deep trenches/cliffs to give greater protection, as well as some point to retaining that wooden drawbridge.

    My first thought was to try some bevelled polygons for the ridge in the castle's vicinity. This is an early version of those on the Ground Level drawing for the fortress:

    The castle itself here is in the basic DD3 style, though I had to add the Bogie stone steps, and the beds from the Jon Roberts Dungeons CA style, as the DD3 beds were just too elaborate for what's essentially a military base. And don't ask about the spiral stairs... Each step is on its own Sheet!

    I'd picked the cooled lava fill for the ridge, because that has a suitably rough, rocky texture, but the bevelling - and I persisted with it for some time - just never looked right. Oh yes, and I really loathed the angled roadway from almost the moment I'd finished it; it just looks wrong approaching the drawbridge anything other than directly. So that didn't last long...

    Having abandoned the bevel idea, I thought I'd try Shessar's cliffs and contours options (PDF guides available elsewhere on the Forum here), and after a bit of tinkering around with those, this is what I've settled on at present:

    The castle's had a couple of minor tweaks, which may not show at this resolution, since as I've been drawing the higher levels, I've had to make fresh adjustments of some of the lower level drawings as well. The current plan is there should be five above-ground levels and two smaller subterranean ones. The below-ground ones - haven't quite decided on their full extent yet, perhaps with some old unused sections, as well as those in-action presently - will also be prepared drawing on some old Dwarven Forge dungeon layouts, to maintain this part of the theme of the project, and will include the Citadel's main purpose now, as the command and control centre for the Defence Zone. I already have the design for the table-top in the Operations Room, based loosely on the appearance of actual Ops Room tables during the Battle of Britain:

    Although a reduced-size version is intended for the table in the final drawing, it seems useful to add this map as a separate FCW file with the set, I think. Ten-mile grid squares, incidentally.

    Enough for now though, since on any given day, I've essentially the choice of providing an update here, or getting on with the actual mapping ?

    BlackYetiMonsenLoopysueQuentenRalfAleDWeathermanSweden
  • edited March 7

    About time for another update, I think. It's been a bit of a battle over recent days with others of the upper levels for this fortress, however, and I seem to have to keep going back and forth between maps to make amendments on those just "finished" still. I also wanted to put a grid on the areas belonging to each level, but that's proven difficult too, trying to get to something which is legible, yet not too off-putting. This is the Ground Level map again (as above), but with its grid:

    The main snag is getting something that doesn't just vanish into part of the background floor texture. I've tried different glow colours, and grid colours, and this is about the "best" I've managed so far. I decided too to give the option of a whole-map grid as an alternative, but at a 10-foot square scaling, although that's just in the ordinary map-grid fill styling:

    Here too, it's obvious this works better in some places than others. Overall, I've come to think that leaving things as they are, and giving Atlas users the option to toggle either grid on or off, leaving the grids themselves as items which can be adjusted in the FCW file should anyone wish to try, is perhaps the better option.

    Better have something fresh now. This is the next level up, imaginatively called the First Level:

    Each vertical level is about ten feet high, three metres or so. The courtyard buildings are essentially lean-to structures, using the stone castle walls as their higher "back" wall as far as the roof slopes are concerned, so rainwater drains off only into the courtyard. As promised, there are also some Cos3 symbols scattered about in places here as well. Each old arrow slit in the walls has its own wooden hinged shutter inside, to theoretically keep out draughts. I felt leaving them ajar, like all the door symbols, helps make these features stand out a little better. And as many here may likely guess, the fading of everything below the current level was achieved simply with a white cover for the whole map fitted with a high Transparency Effect. Terrifying to open the file and find it's mostly blank without the Effects active, of course!

    Onwards and upwards, the Second Level:

    None of the courtyard buildings have more than two storeys, so are roofs only from here on up. However, we also have the first open-air walkways along the top of the main castle walls now, and as you'll see, I've added a deliberately heavier dark glow around these "outdoor" elements to help separate them from those places that are still enclosed. It was a little tricky to work out how best to do this, as the shadows from the various different Sheet elements sometimes don't work to best advantage in such circumstances (when you really want them to be able to go under OR over some things they're adjacent to at times!). A few more Cos3 symbols here as well.

    The Winch Room (3) is a bit complex, as the drawbridge winch cables have always had to drop vertically from the next level up to the roller shown here (or its older version, anyway - this one's a bit more high-magic-tech), and then out through the holes in the wall. All so as not to snag the old system for raising and lowering the portcullis. That's been simplified to a pair of devices worked by electrickery now though, that only need fastening to the side walls! There are classic "murder holes" in the floor of the Winch Room too, to allow shooting down onto any foes that have got as far as into the Gatehouse beneath it, and that's an especially long ladder on its south wall, as it goes up through the suspended ceiling of said Winch Room, and on up to the tower roof on the Fourth Level.

    Plus a handy Jon Roberts style gargoyle/statue for the parapet. There are more of these to come. Wyverns might have been better, but I haven't managed to find any suitable as statues in a compatible style till now.

    Two more upper levels to finish, and then the underground...

    LoopysueMedioMonsenRalf
  • Had a bit of a rethink on the internal castle grid option today, and have tried switching to just white for the grid lines with a medium Transparency Effect. This is the Ground Level view with it on:

    This seems clearer overall I think (and also on some of the other castle levels), and doesn't give quite the same impression of not being in-focus as the black with pale glow version earlier.

    And as something fresh, this is the Third Level with no grids:

    The Winch Room loft has no solid floor, just foot-wide beams, as it's only used to access the winch machinery when needed. The ladder continues up to the gatehouse roof through the beam-lattice.

    Cos3 symbols to work the drawbridge and in a couple of other places, plus the first of the famed Strickfaden Lightning Cannons on the barbican and square tower roofs, the Mark I (on the square tower) and Mark III. If you peer closely, you might spot some murder-holes near the outer parapet walls of the square tower roof. They're sized to fit the original Dwarven Forge castle model, but you can barely see them even on the original CC3+ drawing from a distance. Actual shooting slots like this weren't often large either however, so this is realistic. There are also pierced shooting slits through two of the square tower walls (each is above one of the murder holes), and at the raised backs of the two barbican towers, while the square tower has pivoting wooden panels in the broader gaps in the wall, each of which also has a central shooting slit! More holes than stonework, you start to feel!

    Of course, it's these complex wall piercings and additions which have taken up so much time on these upper levels. There are six Sheets just to create these outer walls, because the bevelled wall-tops have to be separated from one another to avoid the Effects clashing and spoiling the illusion.

    More still to come though...

    LoopysueBlackYetiQuenten
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Beautiful work, Wyvern :)

  • This is looking great. I've been uncertain how to do things like castles, so the thread is super helpful for me.

  • edited March 9

    This is truly wonderful.


    I note on your limit of defence map you have left out the river and Monseignor - just wondering why, as they are two very prominent features in the defence range

  • Thanks very much folks!

    @Quenten - The Ops Room map table view is pretty much exactly how the Battle of Britain maps were drawn - if a bit fancier here, because of the parchment background and coastal Edge Striping lines, admittedly - which normally excluded all ground features except the coastline, and which showed only the fighter aerodromes as named features. Basically, everything that was essential for controlling the aerial combatants only. Not even London appears on most of those I've seen, for instance.

  • Well, I thought I'd finished the above-ground castle, until I realised I'd forgotten the courtyard horse-trough! Isn't it always the way - some small detail that just throws out all your plans? While fitting that in, I discovered I'd somehow managed to shrink the access-stairs platform adjacent to it - essentially, I just drew the trough into the Ground Level map, and then copied & pasted it over to the First Level one using the standard 0,0 coordinates for the paste. Where it no longer fitted snugly by the platform. So one horse trough, lot of redrawn platforms on all the other maps...

    Anyway, this is the upper, Fourth, Level for the Citadel, without grids, so you can play "spot the horse trough":

    There are just the three highest tower tops on this level, with more of those Lightning Cannons, though you may notice the different one on the larger round tower. That's the Mark V Strickfaden, still a bit experimental/temperamental, and nobody really likes having to test-use it currently. That's also the tower where any visiting wyverns and riders can land, though that only happens for very urgent matters usually. Unless someone with prestige wants to make An Entrance. Great way to end up on A Charge unless you're particularly senior, naturally!

    So, having (probably...) finished the upper storeys of the castle, I headed off below ground:

    I wanted to show how the early sub-surface structures related to the main castle, and this first underground level is somewhat complex anyway, so having lightened the backdrop for the upper levels, I thought darkening it here made sense for going below ground, and turning the solid castle features ghostly, as they're really only for illustrative purposes now. Rooms 2 and 6 (and 6's connecting passageway) are actually on the level below this one. However, the windows in the Observation Deck look directly down to the table in the Operations Room, so both of those had to be shown together, after which adding the Ice House too seemed a natural follow-on. I did a pale fade over both though. The Gatehouse Pit drops another ten feet to its spiked base on the next level down as well, but I opted to use the nicely darkened pit from the Jon Roberts style here to suggest that. The switch back to the DD3 spiked pit base should be on the second level down.

    As the two "dead" rooms 9 might hint, the construction of the upper part of Room 2 was relatively recent, and based on its lower level footprint. This will also lead into the much deeper, and rather different, third level down.

    This is the first Community Atlas mapping project I've not really used any random design systems for (there will be a small element of that in the write-up for the earlier Defence Zone map though). However, the Citadel has been designed using Dwarven Forge model layouts as noted earlier, albeit added-to and modified. The subterranean levels are also all going to be based on such designs, using their original dungeon models in this case. However, for the first two levels down, I've had to reduce the size of the original plans by half, as they were too large to fit under the castle! In reality, this would be crazy of course, given digging out a dungeon takes far more effort than building a castle on the surface. While the plans I used were from the original plan booklets sent with some of the dungeon model sets, the third level down is a revision of a CC3 map I constructed back in early 2014, which itself was copied from the hand-drawn originals I made when I laid out the actual model design for real back in 2005! For that level, I'm holding to the original scale sizes, as we may eventually get to see, if I ever get back to mapping it! So, enough for now, I think!

    QuentenLoopysueBlackYeti
  • @Autumn Getty - I'd forgotten your comment about castle maps earlier.

    I've rather drawn this one "by-hand" as it were, instead of using some of the shortcut options CC3+ might have provided. The Castle Walls add-on from the Cartographer's Annual for 2010 adds some useful commands for drawing the walls particularly, for instance. I wasn't sure how it might handle some of the variable size crenelations I needed here though, but it would have added fancier doorway and archer-window options than the simple straight cuts I've used, certainly.

    If you're intending to draw a lot of castles, you might want to think about the Source Maps: Castles pack too. It is an older system which hasn't been updated for CC3+, and probably won't be now as far as I recall. However, you can use it with the usual DD3, etc., fills and symbols instead of the simpler vector options it comes with (it was designed to the old CC2-Pro standard). Beyond the information in the product pages I've linked to, if you also have the Tome of Ultimate Mapping, there are some additionally helpful discussions and tutorials regarding all the Source Maps products there as well, so you can get a better feel for what it can do for you.

    LoopysueQuentenAutumn Getty
  • I have the castles source maps add on, and have played around with it a little. I hadn't thought of checking if the tome had entries on them, I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  • Keep forgetting I should update this topic.

    The maps are all complete now, but may still need further tweaking. Like yesterday, when I found I'd blocked one of the staircase exits with a large cabinet, and forgotten to open the main gateway from being a solid stone wall... I tend to spot things like this only when pulling together the accompanying notes, and that process is still ongoing, however. So, subject to minor (if at all) changes later, the second underground level:

    The idea for the Operations Room table is that the Atlas version can have the hotspot link to the full size table map - the table design here is simply a reduced-scale version of that actual FCW, with the Effects ranges tweaked to fit its reduced form. Not many surprises with the other rooms, except possibly those curious white passageways...

    My thinking here is that in ages past, long before the castle was built, there was a temple or a shrine on this part of the rocky ridge, created to mark the spot where the descent began to the Tomb of the First Wyvern Lord. The straight passageway is then the surviving part of that initial descent into the octagonal room that's now been adopted as the Operations Room. This was the chamber where the body would be prepared for its final burial - vaguely like some of the Egyptian pyramid tombs and the temples near those - and then carried down the long spiral stairway that area 3 here represents to the tomb itself. The spiral winds around two and a half times, so the tomb is about another 100 feet (30 metres) below the surface.

    Over time, the temple/shrine fell into ruins, and whatever traces may have survived were swept away centuries later when the castle was built here. There's no sign on the surface now of where the shrine/temple may have been, so the upper part of the straight white (actually marble-tiled) passage isn't simply blocked, it's been effectively erased beyond this small segment.

    The spiral is fully intact though, and goes down to link in with that revised 2005-2014 dungeon layout mentioned earlier. That remained remarkably intact in the final version, though it has had a few tweaks and a couple of amendments. The largest of those was to change the original external link from a cavern and horizontal corridor to this spiral. I decided also to reuse it here partly because I was reminded of it through this topic on long, thin dungeon maps I started late last month. So here it is, the Tomb of the Wyvern Lords:

    There's obviously something more going on here - the broken segments of the long white corridor leading to the Great Tomb (= First Lord's Tomb), for example - while the perceptive may spot some unusual bodies in Tombs G and H. So by activating the GAME MASTER ONLY Layer suddenly we see still more:

    And for anyone struggling to see much at this scale, we can zoom in a little more on the GM's view:

    All the room layouts and traps were from the original Dwarven Forge dungeon sets, incidentally, though the wall and floor colouring has been adjusted here because CC3+ let's you do things like that easily! The tombs and most treasure items were also based on resin or metal castings I used in the original layout, though the chariot in the final tomb was actually a standard Celtic-style with a double yoke for two horses. This version has been adjusted to be suitable for a wyvern. Yes, the first Wyvern Lord had a flying wyvern-drawn chariot. And those are the remains of his beloved wyvern.

    The critters are a mixture of physical and incorporeal undead types (the latter are transparent, but as that didn't make much impact at full-map size, I also added a green glow to them as well). They only manifest if anything in their tomb is disturbed by something living. While they can be driven off and apparently destroyed, they can't actually be got rid of as long as intruders remain anywhere in the Tomb complex, and will keep coming back for more time after time until then.

    Investigations by the current Citadel's occupants didn't progress beyond the first pillared hall. There are tales about this place that have somehow survived, while all memory of where it is has supposedly been lost. So the stone doors were closed, and walled-off, and scarcely anyone now involved beyond the leading commanders is aware such doors exist, let alone what they may lead to. There will be more information on all this when I get round to constructing the text and PDF notes for this level. I hope!

    For now, and as some folks here seem to appreciate the flavour notes, a couple of extracts from the current iteration of the places lore from the area map to close with. From the Wyvern Dromes list:

    Duck's Ford: Legend holds that this place-name derives from a cunning fellow who once tricked a dangerous bandit (or an ogre, or a demon) into drowning themselves in the river here, by telling them the ducks were just walking across the river bed, not swimming, despite the Jackson's breadth. The river bed is in fact unusually deep in the area, and a ferry runs between both banks regularly by Duck's Ford village on the southern bank, as there is no way to safely cross close-by otherwise. The Duck's Ford squadron base is set on a steep, stepped hill on the northern side of the Jackson, and its wyverns are exclusively blues, because this is the main training base for the big-winged blue wyverns. A key region for breeding blues is in the mountains up the stream that runs through Duck's Ford village, from where new recruits are often brought.

    And from the SDF one:

    Dunnish: Set on some high dunes by the coast east of the main River Jackson channel's mouth in the midst of the Delta, this is probably the most detested posting of all the SDF locations. Completely surrounded to landward by dense swamp-mangrove forests, this is accessible only by sea for cargo and most personnel movement. However, as the bays near this river channel have clearly long been favoured by raiding barbarians as temporary camp sites - there are remains of numerous such places scattered along the coasts in the vicinity - the base has a higher proportion of military ground and boat-based forces to try to prevent further such incursions. The SDF dome is a very recent addition. Its location affecting the personnel, and the presence of the dense mangrove brakes creating interference at times, means the SDF reports from here are commonly unreliable, and suggestions have been made that it should be moved to the nearby "Jackson Five" island instead. That though would mean having to construct a suitably raised site, as the island is too flat and low-lying towards its north-facing coasts. While the place-name derives from "dune", the personnel sent here darkly say it really originates as the place most likely to be visited by unspeakable horrors, following from one or other folk-story told of a fictional land called either "Ingland" (where a town called Dunnish or Dunwich once fell, or was dragged, into the sea), or "New Ingland" (where a town of similar name was assaulted by an invisible cosmic horror). Two Mark III Lightning Cannons help guard the shoreline, with an experimental ship-borne Mark I Cannon (the oldest, relatively weakest, but more robust type) set on one of the larger craft based here. This has never been tried before, and although tests so far have been satisfactory, it has never been used yet against an enemy raid.

    "Jackson Five" island? Yes, the four largest islands and the one large promontory along the outer fringe of the Jackson Delta needed naming, and this seemed the most obvious option to go with...

    BlackYetiQuentenLoopysueMonsen
  • 16 days later
  • I've just sent Remy the final files for this project, after the last descriptive PDF file, for the Tomb of the Wyvern Lords, took rather longer than anticipated to complete. Yep, got a bit carried away with it all yet again... Some extracts:

    A rare cycle of tales in Shoenia speaks of a great leader, Murgon, who saved the country from invasion millennia ago by his wit, cunning, magic, leadership, strength and good fortune. His recounted exploits give him demi-god-like status. Said to have been the first person to discover how to bond with wyverns, he became inseparable from "his" golden wyvern (a type of wyvern long believed extinct, if it ever existed at all), Malvernus Thunderchild. When the pair died defending the nation in one final battle, they were buried together in the same tomb. Other tales in the cycle suggest instead that they never really died at all, but went voluntarily into a subterranean chamber with a hundred of Murgon's best rider-warriors and their wyverns, there to sleep until the nation should be in its direst peril, whereupon they would reawaken and emerge to save the day. Murgon's greatest achievement, some say, was his invention of the magical flying chariot that could be towed by a bonded wyvern, and which all his warriors also used. It is thought he took his chariot, the first and greatest, with him to his long sleep - or his tomb, depending on which version of the story is being related. Such chariots, like the golden wyverns, no longer exist, if they were ever more than a figment of a storyteller's imagination. Much of the cycle of tales regarding Murgon the First Wyvern Lord are regarded now as little more than entertaining myth-stories.

    The tales, however, are true. Well, not so much the "hundred sleepers" one, but Murgon existed, and he bonded with a golden wyvern, flew in a magical chariot, was a great leader known as "The Wyvern Lord" in his lifetime, and was finally laid to rest with the body of his wyvern in an impressive tomb far below the ridge near where Wyvern Citadel now stands. Only nobody knows this for certain.

    Following from this, I set Murgon's lifetime and burial at around 2,500 years ago. The subsequent tombs in the final underground level came about at various later epochs. The two Mummy Tombs, for Amet (or Efnut) the Great and his son Telesthon date to about 1,900-2,000 years ago, then the Scarlet & Angel Tombs, for, respectively, Ndi! the Seeker, also known as "Dragon Lord, Wyvern Rider", and Fhasmet High-Flyer, who ruled for 10-15 years, came in at roughly 1,700-1,800 years ago. ("!" represents a type of tongue-click where the tongue is dragged sharply forwards along the upper palette from the back of the mouth here, incidentally.) The occupied Pillared Hall Tombs then fit between approximately 1,600 to 1,400 years ago, for Dagmet of the Web (circa 1,500 years ago), Xas! (who ruled for 12 years; otherwise unknown and excluded from the preserved Wyvern Lord lists still extant modernly), Khan (who appears not to be buried here, but who is listed as having been Wyvern Lord after Dagmet, and who ruled for 40 years or so, elsewhere), Eshmet Mage-Warrior (said to have reigned for 60-70 years after Khan), Elt (a later Lord who is not buried here either), !ar (ditto), and four other Lords whose names are not preserved modernly, the last of whom died probably around 900 years ago. After this came the Bloodline Lords, until the last of them died out some 400-500 years ago, following which the title fell into disuse.

    There are certainly large historical gaps in this sequence, and it's complicated by the fact the records suggest sometimes more than one Wyvern Lord may have been around simultaneously. This may be because the Wyvern Lord position was originally occupied by someone of appropriate capabilities who was chosen by the wider community as a leader in times of strife and emergency. Once the emergency was resolved, the Lordship became more of an honorific title, as ruling power shifted back to the individual settlements and areas making up the community, at least in theory. Some of the early Lords apparently tried to establish bloodline ties to retain the post in their own family, though this seems to have become the established pattern only for the later Lords, none of whom are buried here.

    Those familiar with parts of Earthly history/archaeology and folklore/mythology may recognise items shamelessly ripped-off adapted from elsewhere in all this, which naturally is par for the course in devising RPG settings!

    I'll see about posting copies of the final maps in my Gallery after adding these notes.

    [And so, having created innumerable problems for anyone trying to map in this part of Kentoria subsequently, with one mighty bound he was free to wreak havoc elsewhere!]

    QuentenLoopysue
  • Wonderful work. Glad you put Monsiegnor back.

  • Slightly confused @Quenten - Monseignor never went away...

    Might be a while before this hits the Atlas, incidentally, as there's still quite a queue because of the fire & ice contest entries, aside from other items by Quenten and JimP (and possibly others!).

    JimP
  • Sorry, I was confused myself - I got the whole thing wrong. i did want to see Monseignor in the defence zone map, but you did explain why not. (I still wish you would, though ?). Sorry for the confusuon. ?

  • 17 days later
  • Thanks very much Remy!

    It's great to know the Atlas has grown so much, especially with the recent boost due to the winter contest. Amazing to think when that competition began we were still a couple of maps short of 500!

    Loopysue
  • We will need a 600 map competition soon (no prizes though, just for kudos)

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