Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

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ghype
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Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by ghype »



note: this thread is part of the project for developing a dunefolk campaign for mainline. Here is the thread that introduces you to whole project while here is the thread that tries to consolidate the dunefolke lore. enjoy



Introduction:

This thread is part of the project that aims to expand the Dunefolk and their habitat. There have been some threads discussing possible expansions (which I am gonna base this thread on), none of them ended up being canonised however. With the occasion of consolidating Dunefolks world, I want to reopen the discussion in the hope of making some of the new expansions official.


Update On The Old Discussions:
The old discussion of expanding the Great Continent was just generally talking shapes and not aiming to include concrete final decisions, but rather give a better understanding for UMC creators to place their maps. It also heavily focused on the North-East part of the GC. The maps designed there were taking also UMC content in consideration, which made it so much more difficult to finalise anything. Now that we have the Dunefolk, we have a concrete goal and know what we want to do. It also does not interfere with any currently existing UMC campaigns. This really just focuses on expanding the south parts.

Dunefolk & The South:

Just to quickly remember what the situation currently is: We have the Dunefolk which an origin story that has not yet been confirmed. What we do know however is that they at some point inhabited the southern borders the the Great Continent. They have had their Golden Age later then Wesnoth and due to that they never really had reasons to engage in war with the norhtern parts - not to forget that somewhere there lays a the biggest Desert (the Great Desert) between them and Wesnoth in the northern Hemisphere. While they were a quiet peaceful as an faction, they seeked trades wherever they could. If the Dunefolk had any contact to wesnoth, than it was based on trading and not warfare.

Referenced Maps

The following two maps are the ones my of my work is most based on. This Map was the latest of zookepers attempts of expand the Great Continent. It shows an open end towards the south which I tried to latch on. This map is yet another one of zoopekers, that puts the Old Continent in relation to the the Great Continent.

As mentioned in the other threads related to this project, the background of the Dunefolk is yet not 100% agreed upon. If the Old continent is needed or not the background of the Dunefolk is one question. What we want to focus is to establish how the Dunefolk developed in the Great Continent (wether they arrived from somewhere else or have been ever existing on the Great continent)

I however want to focus first only on the South Part of the Great Continent.
For that I will present a couple of maps I worked on:


Map #1



This map shows the northern part of the GC as we know it form the mainline campaigns. Every location and terrain is listed there. Everything above the horizontal white line is considered canon as I only used the maps from the in-game campaigns as a reference. If you look at the south, you can see my approach of expanding the GC, which means that everything under the horizontal white line is not yet considered

Here some quick notes to not have a wall of text:
  • The Southern Landmass is bigger then Zookpers sketch as it will provide more room for content to fill that space. The smaller it becomes the more likely it would have had been for the Dunefolk to encounter Wesnoth on more political means than economical
  • The Great Desert is humongous and could be even bigger, with expansions to the west and south
  • There are some named cities and terrains, those are either featured from an already existing map which I will talk about soon, the others are from developing the campaign
  • It is still quiet empty, draw anything that might hinder us to develop the Campaign. Instead heaving to adjust the Campaign to the terrain I'd much rather adjust the Terrains to the campaigns.
  • To better follow the development on the maps and story here is the link to the campaign stories
  • Out goal now should be to fill the empty space ... together. Or to at least hear opinions



note: this map really just serves the purpose of development. The eastern expansion desplayed on this map too should be ignored as it is not what this thread focuses on.

note: this map also shows the Green Isles as Yumi envisioned it with her new ideas for the compiling the mainline campaigns into arcs. For what I want to achieve it is irrelevant but I was meaning to mention it
New Irdya-3.png


Map #2

Now this map is what we currently use for developing the campaign. And it should help to especially be able to take the perspective from the campaign development process when expanding the great Continent. This is a combination of two maps, one made by kwandulin for his UMC campaign and another made by me. I will now talk a bit more concrete about both maps.


Worldmap_expansion-1.png

Map - Continuation of TSG



While I was not the creator of this map, this map does an amazing job for the first steps of extending tGC soutways. Now, when developing a dunefolk mainline campaign, we could have just this map for that. While being technically true, it would situate the Dunefolk too close to Wesnoth (which in itself is not a problem) but it leaves everything south of that unexplored. Again, the goal is to not squeeze Dunefolk into wesnoth but instead to use the Dunefolk to explore new parts of the the Great Continent. That' way I created the a further expansion which shows the the great continent's southern border. So what I ask to, is - while there is no mainline campaign needing this map - to at least be considered canon for future content to come. The cities here are an important merchant cities for the dunefolk, that open up traid to wesnoth. So again, while this map does is not used by any mainline campaign, it offers a lot background and lore possibilities.


ooa_bigmap.png

Map - Southern Border of the Great Continent

This is the map I made for demonstrating how it could look like in the end. While this map is nowhere near the quality of the map before or the mainline maps, its enough for the development purpose. Once the terrain, cities and rivers of this map is established, then it can be finalised and polished.

Few things to the map, the locations feature on this map are locations featured or referenced in the campaigns we plan to develop. While the placement of the objects on the maps are as good as it gets from the perspective of developing the campaign, they are not constrained to the current formation. Meaning if we have to move something around, it would be easy for me. More importantly, would be to fill out the empty spaces around what we got. We are talking cities, tribes, forests or maybe djungels, rivers, hills etc... Using gimp or even paint anyone reading this can suggest their ideas of what should be added.


Worldmap_expansion-south-3.png



Summary:
  • focus on expanding the south part of the GC
  • considering to make the map expansion of TSG canon
  • fill the empty spaces and or re-arrange existing objects of the southern map


Thank you for your time and looking forward for your thoughts.
Last edited by ghype on April 14th, 2020, 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by zookeeper »

The one thing I'd be wary of is making the new southern parts overly massive. I've noticed that when expanding maps, usually geographical features tend to get bigger and bigger; in this case, there's an absolutely gargantuan desert that's about as big as the whole previously known part of the continent. The Sandy Wastes was already intended to be so big that it's an almost impenetrable barrier for all but an extremely well prepared expedition, but here it suddenly looks more like a sandbox.

Now, it's not implausible by any means (just look at Sahara), but I'd suggest that for facilitating campaign content, shorter distances work better. Many campaigns involving large military campaigns with weeks of travel between scenarios fit onto the traditional titlescreen map of Wesnoth, and an endless number of small campaigns can fit onto a fraction of that. The generally more inhospitable environment already makes travel more difficult and dangerous than just taking the road from Elensefar to Weldyn, so is there any purpose in making the distances so vastly greater as well? Also, if you can take a land route from Th'Arwya to Argbraba, then that would seem to make pretty much any travel in a mainline campaign seem quite trivial in comparison.

If you look at how much content can comfortably fit in and coexist on the known parts of the continent, I don't think there's any danger of running out of space in the south even if it was a third of the size.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

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This is the first revision. I scaled the southern part to approximately 2/5ths of the first version and is just slightly bigger than what zookeeper drafted in the older threads (I for now ignore east part behind the white lines). The Great desert now only seems bigger as it directly connected to the ashland desert. The distances now between the Th'arwya and Argrhaba is about the twice size of Elensefar to Weldyn. But if one was to travel from Argrhaba to Th'arwya, then they would probably do it by ships.

I do think the size is acceptable. I also changed the locations to one make them seem more natural and better fit the stories. If it seems better now, I would now continue to fill in the gaps with terrain.


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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Edwylm »

Well there are many ways and how things are suppose to be made. I do not want to be nit picky on how geography things should be as this is a fantasy world and things can be thrown out the window.
Deserts are affected by the rain shadow, planet's desert zones/equator and ocean currents.

With the Great Desert a question is how/what caused the region to become a desert?
from my understanding its in the southern hemisphere which makes it understandable to have it a desert on the west side of the landmass. The mountains in this area does not help explain the great desert and the lake itself is big enough to create lake affect or it simply will not live unless the Great desert is expanding one could say the ice melting from the mountains or underground reservoir, which is fair but seeing that its in the center of the desert would indicate these mountains do not see a lot of rain to begin with.

Some interesting outside ideas would be making it a large salt flat with pockets of high salt water lakes. the great desert was a result of some kind of magic disturbance. Or what ever else seems cool.

I would suggest looking at Australia for inspiration and working east to west when working with geography in the southern hemisphere.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by ghype »

Edwylm wrote: April 14th, 2020, 6:05 pm The mountains in this area does not help explain the great desert and the lake itself is big enough to create lake affect or it simply will not live unless the Great desert is expanding one could say the ice melting from the mountains or underground reservoir, which is fair but seeing that its in the center of the desert would indicate these mountains do not see a lot of rain to begin with.
Note that Rivers are not yet drawn into the map. The "lake" in the center is supposed to be an oasis that emerges from underground waters from the mountain. So technically it does not requiere a river in that case. But I guess drew it still too big if it can be mistaken for a large lake. If you have any ideas how rivers could flow into mainland, that woudl be helpful. I will reduce the size oasis for the next revision.
Edwylm wrote: April 14th, 2020, 6:05 pm the great desert was a result of some kind of magic disturbance.
This is actually one explanation we currently offer for the creation or at least emerging of the great desert. In Ancient time, there have been devastating wars between the dunefolks and a faction that uses magic. you can read the full backstory on what I referenced here under "why dunefolk hate magic".
Edwylm wrote: April 14th, 2020, 6:05 pm I would suggest looking at Australia for inspiration and working east to west when working with geography in the southern hemisphere.
Could you give me a hint why would I work from east to west. Is there a particular reason for that? At the moment, try to avoid that as i do not want to focus on the east, but if needed I will do that.

Thanks for your comments
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Edwylm »

ghype wrote: April 14th, 2020, 10:36 pm
Note that Rivers are not yet drawn into the map. The "lake" in the center is supposed to be an oasis that emerges from underground waters from the mountain. So technically it does not requiere a river in that case. But I guess drew it still too big if it can be mistaken for a large lake. If you have any ideas how rivers could flow into mainland, that woudl be helpful. I will reduce the size oasis for the next revision.
Well it depends on the environment and if you want to use rives. If you use rivers you have good places to have settlements and trade routes.
But to note if its from underground you still have to consider of how the underground water is maintained. I wouldn't mind that the lake itself is slowly evaporating due to the over use of water and not replenishing. it would create more of a need for nomads that they are. the size is not a problem until you know how you be able to maintain the large amount of water and what comes with it.
ghype wrote: April 14th, 2020, 10:36 pm Could you give me a hint why would I work from east to west. Is there a particular reason for that? At the moment, try to avoid that as i do not want to focus on the east, but if needed I will do that.
as i have stated it looks like the Great desert part of the world is in the southern hemisphere thus wind and ocean currents would circulate counterclockwise
Image

And due to this you can not use the Sahara method unless the Great desert is in the northern hemisphere. that is why i suggested using Australia as inspiration and work east to west.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... tralia.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aust ... cation.svg

However there are some exceptions that you will need to work out. But at least it be a good start.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

zookeeper wrote: April 14th, 2020, 11:14 am The one thing I'd be wary of is making the new southern parts overly massive. I've noticed that when expanding maps, usually geographical features tend to get bigger and bigger; in this case, there's an absolutely gargantuan desert that's about as big as the whole previously known part of the continent.
This. I definitely think the great desert is too big. I think the Bay of Clouds as the core of the dunefolk nation would have been fine, we didn't even need another whole Great Desert even further south. Sure, there could be a fair bit more desert south of the map centring on the Bay of Clouds, but I'd suggest it be about a quarter of the size - filling just around half the map square. You could still maintain basically all the features you have on the larger map (the two mountains with a lake between them), just shrunk down in size and placed a little closer together.

I also think extending the desert right up to the southern sea is a little unrealistic. You could add some jungle and/or savannah to the south; it may be part of the dunefolk nation (maybe Al-Shizirad is a port city similar to Alexandria, sitting upon a fertile river delta), or it could be occupied by other nations or races. If it's jungle, perhaps there could be another elven nation.

I definitely like the idea of a river connecting the oasis between the mountains to Al-Shizirad. Perhaps the entire area between the mountains is fertile, maybe due to the mountains' presence increasing rainfall between them. (Of course, there would be a fertile strip all the way down the river.)
ghype wrote: April 14th, 2020, 5:30 pm The Great desert now only seems bigger as it directly connected to the ashland desert.
I think you're misunderstanding a key point here. At least in my view, the Great Desert, Ashland Desert, and Sandy Wastes are all part of this new gargantuan desert. It doesn't matter what they're called. All three of these are new areas. The size is simply excessive in my opinion.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by MoonyDragon »

Hello,
since ghype invited participants to also share their thoughts via modified maps, I doodled some random thoughts into this beauty here:
ashlands.png
All names which are marked by (') are merely generic descriptions with generic themes that can and ought to be improved.

'Orcish Mountains' = it does not have to be orcs, but something should be here as to limit dunefolk expansion and facilitate conflict material for campaigns.
'Dwarvish Mountains' = dwarves live here and trade metals. thats about it for my imagination.
'Drakish Mountains' = xenophobic drakes live here and serve as a barrier between dunefolk and whatever lies in the impassable jungles. they hunt dunefolk livestock in the ashland desert, giving further conflict for campaign material.
'Jungles of Death' = only the gods know what lures here... man-eating plants? man-sacrificing saurians? southern elves? ancient undead-inhabited ruins of a long-forgotten civilisation? one thing is sure: none of the civilized races wants to go there.
'Impassable Jungles' = same as the jungles of death, maybe inhabited by pyramid-building saurians or something the like. spices and rare goods are found in both jungles. They give exploration material for campaign builders and treasure hunters.
'Sleepless Coast' = coasts are most likely inhabited, but the question is by whom. something there should be a hindrance for dunefolk expansion by sea, confining them to the deserts and bay of clouds.

As always, feel free to accept/reject any part you like.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

I kinda like that map, although I'd still recommend that there's a narrow fertile river basin connecting the lake and the two major cities, which widens out at the coast.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

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Celtic_Minstrel wrote: April 15th, 2020, 3:52 am Bay of Clouds as the core of the dunefolk nation would have been fine,
I was not aware of that. I thought that would have put the Dunefolk too close to wesnoth, but If thats okay, then it should be possible. I can rethink the campaign set ups and make it fit for that. The map I worked on that shows the details we discussed before, has for that reason the new location descriptions missing (because as said - gotta rethink them).

I reduced the mainland size a Now rather having 2 deserts , we have one seemingly big dessert that is made out of the sandy wastes and ashland desert. The size of the dezerts are identical to the ones from the OoA map. I only connected them along the river and expanded it a tiny bit south ways. But it still has just about a quarter of the land mass size. I drew also the river that would lead into a delta on the south side.


New Irdya-7.png

MoonyDragon wrote: April 15th, 2020, 1:39 pm since ghype invited participants to also share their thoughts via modified maps, I doodled some random thoughts into this beauty here:
hey Moony, thanks for your ideas. Since CM liked the layout of your design, I will use most of the things you have drawn and update it the bigger map. The only thing I would change form your design is to maintain the current size of my map as your seem to end up being quiet smaller than what even zookeeper drafted. If one say that the map should become as small as yours, then I will revert to your size. Similarly, I will keep the the lay out of may desert. Everythign else I will try to incorporate. But first I will take care of the other threads.

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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Xalzar »

I like MoonyDragon's version, so I'll wait eagerly to see how ghype will interpret it before entering into details, but for now I can say that we must remember that in the past it was clearly declared that this game is named "The Battle for Wesnoth" and the region and the kingdom of Wesnoth are to remain central to the setting.

Now, this should not limit our imagination and curiosity to explore new lands, but as Zookeeper said we should try to not add too much and reduce the centerpoint of the setting to a minor and distant landmass.

I also believe that interactivity between the various factions of the main continent should be encouraged, so I'd keep distances under control. We can not always copypaste factions in the south to keep the continent cohesive (such as Southern Elves, Dwarves, Drakes, Orcs), expecially when it makes little sense such as Orcs (I have some idea to justify them, but I'll wait for that).

Also I fear that massive deserts present little room for UMCs, since they are quite an homogeneous biome and restrict many possibilities. Let's take as an example the variety of geographical features of the northern continent (expecially the Wesnoth area, as the Northlands suffer a bit from the variety standpoint) and let's try to avoid coloring the souther part of the map with big patches of the same color.

How could we justify the absence of the Dunefolk from many other campaigns? (even if I hope they could be introduced in some few selected scenarios of preexisting ones)
If we consider the two-deserts-divided-by-a-bay option, I can see the Dunefolk core nation rising up in the south, then on the Bay shores and along the major rivers, only then expanding north along the Mountains of Peril. This chronology could justify their absence in the Wesnoth region for a long time.

The things I like the most in these maps: the Bay of Clouds, the presence of rivers, the desert mountains/canyons, the jungles (IMO they need to be somewhere, there is jungle terrain in mainline but no sizeable jungles anywhere on the map!)

Thing I can't understand yet: the function of the various islands at the mouth of the Sleepless Sea, the Black Forest (I know it appears in mainline, but I've never understood what's in there exactly), the necessity to have the Mountains of Peril be so thicc (unless some species or nomads get to live there, but then maybe we should have more hilly terrains and less impassable mountains), the empty stretch of land between the desert and the Bitter Swamp.

Obviously I know it's a work in progress, so not everything is explained yet, I'm only highlighting some map features which I think should be more clearly defined when the work is done.

Tangentially, I'm also curious about the changes to Morogor and the Green Isle, and where can I find infos about that.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

So I guess Cloud River is the dunefolk Nile, actually… meaning that a hypothetical additional river like I mentioned in a previous post, running from the oasis in the middle of Ashland, thru Anghraba and into the sea at Al-Shizirad, would be a more minor river in comparison. Still, having a second river there explains their presence in the Ashland Desert – if there was nothing but sand, no-one would live there. For similar reasons, if the Sandy Wastes doesn't have many oases, that's probably explanation enough for lacking much communication north of the desert. Serrul could be an oasis town, or it could be a port town on a minor river near the desert's edge.

So I guess what I'm thinking is, there should be one or two more non-ruined cities on the Cloud River, and there are probably tens or even hundreds of villages there too.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

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So I have not yet implemented anything, because I am not yet sure about some things.
I reckon you guys like Moony ideas which I am ok with, but first I wanted to just show you in comparison how much smaller that map has become with the northern mainland. The Black frame shows how much of OoA maps is showing. Considering that, It would almost make more sense to just enlargen OoA Map or have two versions, one smaller and one bigger instead of making a completly new one for the bottom part.


New Irdya-8.png


Personally, while I have not problem with the size, it's more abotu the shape which feels a bit unnatural but thats just my taste. So if you guys still think that this is the right size for the southern part, then I might just directly use Moonys Suggestions. Some things do not work out in his draft.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: April 15th, 2020, 3:52 am I also think extending the desert right up to the southern sea is a little unrealistic.
So i would expand a bit the coast southways so A-Shirizad does not lay in the desert.

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: April 15th, 2020, 3:52 am Sure, there could be a fair bit more desert south of the map centring on the Bay of Clouds, but I'd suggest it be about a quarter of the size - filling just around half the map square.
That would mean I would keep the desert around Cloud river and compress the desert sideways so it's not too large and so the desert doesn't hit on jungle directly.
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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by ghype »

So here is the version where I Implemented most of Moony bigger areas and adapted it so its conform what was said earlier in the comments.
If this OK, then I will start to add the details, if Moony's version is still prefered, i will just revert to that.
The Black frame suggest what parts of the map could be featured on a new "world map" for the game.


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Re: Expanding The Great Continent - [Dunefolk Habitat]

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

Hm, in this map relative to the previous one, I like how the two deserts are more linked together, with desert on both sides of the Cloud River. The Ashland Desert does seems smaller though; but I'm not sure if this is a problem. I would suggest that perhaps the Cloud River originates beyond the desert, maybe even beyond the eastern edge of the map. I see you've turned Kesh into a desert city too.

Are we abandoning the idea of twin mountains in the middle of the desert, with an oasis that possibly feeds a river linking to Arghraba and Al-Shirizad? Will Al-Shirizad be at the desert's edge in this map, or on the coast? What kind of biome is the light brown in the south, anyway?
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