That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

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That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 19th, 2013, 6:46 pm

Have any of the mainline campaigns elaborated on what's in that huge chunk of the map bordered by the Aethenwood and the dotted line connecting Blackwater Port, Aldril and Fort Tahn? I'm considering using it for my campaign but I'd like to know what that area is like if it's been established at all.

My plan is to have great portions of it be very hostile territory overrun with necromancers and rogue mages, and which Konrad and Li'sar decided to attempt to colonize, founding a city in the middle of it called Eskard, which due to the aforementioned hostility has quite the sizable army. The gradual building of this city takes place from 520 YW to 563 YW (the vast majority of Konrad and Li'sar's reign), and my campaign will take place in 564 YW.

Are there any massive glaring violations of canon here?
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby Paulomat4 » December 19th, 2013, 6:55 pm

sounds pretty much like the plot of the southguard (mainline campaign), which is set exactly in the same time, in the area there. You can look at all the mainline maps to get an impression.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 19th, 2013, 7:01 pm

Paulomat4 wrote:sounds pretty much like the plot of the southguard (mainline campaign), which is set exactly in the same time, in the area there. You can look at all the mainline maps to get an impression.


It looks like the south guard is regarding the area southwest of fort Tahn, which would be somewhere off the map. Am I mistaken? Is it the same area?

Also, these events take place about 1 to 1/2 of a century before the south guard is even formed.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby Paulomat4 » December 19th, 2013, 7:09 pm

yeah, the southguard takes place south of the aethenwood, but the plot with the rogue mages and necromancers is still pretty similar.
You could of course also let konrad and Li'sar colonize the area from the southguard and create the city of for example westin. that would connect your story with another mainline campaign.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 19th, 2013, 7:13 pm

Paulomat4 wrote:yeah, the southguard takes place south of the aethenwood, but the plot with the rogue mages and necromancers is still pretty similar.


So it's believable that the area to the north of Aethenwood would also be full of them in the century previous, or perhaps that they were driven back across the river into southern lands by the time of the South Guard story?
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby Paulomat4 » December 19th, 2013, 7:16 pm

yes, why not? :)
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 19th, 2013, 7:20 pm

Paulomat4 wrote:yes, why not? :)


Excellent. And that leaves a gap of 34 years between the "Aethenwood Madness" and the founding of the South Guard, and 43 years between the Aethenwood Madness and the beginning of the South Guard story.

But back to my original question, is that big area north of Aethenwood essentially canonically up for grabs?
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby zookeeper » December 19th, 2013, 8:12 pm

I don't think anything's canonically established as being there, so it's pretty much up for grabs. I've been assuming that it's just mostly featureless lowland plains, with a farm or village here and there but nothing strategically important.

However, to me it does sound a bit weird to have large pieces of territory "overrun with necromancers and rogue mages". I mean, what are they doing there? It's not like necromancers and rogue mages would simply find a nice natural habitat, settle down, make lots of baby necromancers and overrun the place with their numbers. I'd suggest coming up with something a bit more detailed; as a quick example, maybe it's a hostile environment simply because the land isn't very good for cultivation and there's not much game, the distances are long, there are no roads or rule of law? And instead of the area just naturally being infested with necromancers, maybe in the past it's housed a large necromantic cult or something which used to raid the surrounding regions and which is still alive to some degree. Or something.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 19th, 2013, 8:33 pm

zookeeper wrote:I don't think anything's canonically established as being there, so it's pretty much up for grabs. I've been assuming that it's just mostly featureless lowland plains, with a farm or village here and there but nothing strategically important.

However, to me it does sound a bit weird to have large pieces of territory "overrun with necromancers and rogue mages". I mean, what are they doing there? It's not like necromancers and rogue mages would simply find a nice natural habitat, settle down, make lots of baby necromancers and overrun the place with their numbers. I'd suggest coming up with something a bit more detailed; as a quick example, maybe it's a hostile environment simply because the land isn't very good for cultivation and there's not much game, the distances are long, there are no roads or rule of law? And instead of the area just naturally being infested with necromancers, maybe in the past it's housed a large necromantic cult or something which used to raid the surrounding regions and which is still alive to some degree. Or something.


Thanks for the tips.

Considering the timeline for this (the settling starting a few years after Asheviere's death), I figure that whatever threat occupies this area would be a remnant of Asheviere's reign of terror. That would point more towards a pocket of orcs that was cut off when Asheviere fell.

The key factor here is that this city has to have a justification for having a decent military despite being so close to their elfish "allies". I'm not deadset on it being undead and rogue magi, and in fact now that I think about it that kinda conflicts with "Liberty". Hm...
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby Paulomat4 » December 19th, 2013, 9:09 pm

I could also imagine, that the hostiulity of the elves in the Southguard comes from the events of your campaign. That would fit nicely.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby zookeeper » December 19th, 2013, 11:39 pm

RaustBD wrote:Considering the timeline for this (the settling starting a few years after Asheviere's death), I figure that whatever threat occupies this area would be a remnant of Asheviere's reign of terror. That would point more towards a pocket of orcs that was cut off when Asheviere fell.

Yes, it sounds likely that there'd be quite a lot of orcish groups left within the borders of Wesnoth, especially in sparsely or not at all populated areas. Considering that Asheviere had some necromancers on her side as well, having some of those band together somewhere around there (whether or not they're allying with the orcs or not) doesn't sound odd at all either. Orcs wouldn't mind that much about Wesnothian politics, but it could be that all sorts of pro-Asheviere factions would try to unite after being driven out from the major cities.

But in the end it doesn't need to make that much sense. It's much more important to have decent quality dialogue to make the encounters interesting and varied enough that you don't mind if it doesn't make perfect sense on paper.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 20th, 2013, 2:05 am

Alright, I'm going to post this in my campaign thread too, but I figured I should post it here as it's relevant here as well. Here's my rough draft of the intro text for "Defenders of the Crown". I feel it may be a bit too long, but I can't think of anywhere where I can trim it, it all seems too crucial:

518 YW: The Dark Queen Asheviere’s reign of terror was finally brought to an end thanks to the efforts of Delfador, Konrad, Li’sar and Kalenz. A mere 17 years of her tyrannical rule, however, had been enough to scar the country for decades to come. Abusive officers had pillaged the defenseless towns they were supposed to protect. Orcs and the undead had been allowed to run rampant across the country. The economy had been ruined. The reclaiming of the throne by King Konrad and Queen Li’sar did not make any of this simply go away.

However, there was some immediate progress. Soon after the death of Asheviere, the Wesnoth army was brought under the control of the new rulers, with the exception of various pockets of dissidents still loyal to the memory of the old queen. Over the next few years, however, these pockets dwindled and eventually vanished.

Of course, the Dark Queen Asheviere had enlisted the support of far more than just Wesnoth’s normal army. There were the massive bands of orcs that had previously been welcomed by the old rulership, and the various necromancers that the queen had turned a blind eye to. It wasn’t long before the orcs got wind of the fact that they were no longer welcome. The orcs who could make it fled north back to their homeland, while others fled east to the Estmark or Dulatus Hills. The rest, like cornered wild animals, lashed back wildly at the Wesnoth countryside, pillaging and burning everything in sight. Fortunately, the majority of them were swiftly crushed by the new army, with one major exception.

The area immediately northeast of the Aethenwood became the site of an infestation of orcs and undead so extensive that it simply refused to be crushed. It soon came to be called “The Orcscar”, and its tenacity and resilience was truly a terror to behold. Their numbers grew rapidly, sustained by methods that continued to be a mystery to the Wesnothian people for decades, and by the time Konrad and Li’sar turned the army’s attention to it, it was far too firmly established to be easily eliminated. Blackwater Port, Aldril and Fort Tahn were regularly the victims of attacks from it, and many feared that this land would never be reclaimed.

Fortunately, they were wrong. In 540 YW, a brave and brilliant general by the name of Destigan took his forces and, like a mighty multihuman lance, carved a violent and bloody path straight into the heart of the Orcscar and set up camp in a truly impressive natural fortress that the Orcs had foolishly ignored. From this keep, which came to be known as Eskard, Destigan proceeded to destroy the Orcscar from the inside out over the next decade.

Eskard grew from a natural fortress to a real one, and then in the 550s, as the Orcscar came close to being utterly purged, Eskard grew into a city. By the year 563, when Konrad and Li’sar died and their daughter Ana’sar took the throne, the horrors of the Orcscar were but a memory, and the remaining orcs were no more of a menace to the surrounding farmland and villages than bandits were elsewhere. It was a truly wonderful moment in the age that was otherwise rightly to be called “The Age of Fear”.

…And it came right before, and was the site of, one of the moments that earned the age that title, and which historians unanimously agree to be the single darkest moment in Elven history: The Madness of the Aethenwood.



What do you think?
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby Turuk » December 20th, 2013, 2:20 am

RaustBD wrote:Alright, I'm going to post this in my campaign thread too, but I figured I should post it here as it's relevant here as well. Here's my rough draft of the intro text for "Defenders of the Crown". I feel it may be a bit too long, but I can't think of anywhere where I can trim it, it all seems too crucial:


To keep responses unified, it might be best to link to your campaign thread at this point and direct people there for further comment. That way once the campaign is playable, people can see the process used to develop your idea in one place.
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Re: That big empty space on the map by Aethenwood?

Postby RaustBD » December 20th, 2013, 2:25 am

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