Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

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Pewskeepski
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Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by Pewskeepski »

I'm currently working on brushing up my campaign Burning Souls which takes place on the island of Bilheld. I was reworking some of the map design when something occurred to me. You see, by default, I figured the island would be tropical, most accurately comparable to Hawaii, as far as our own world is concerned. But then I thought, "Wait a second, isn't it up in the north-lands?" This question got me thinking some more, and I thought it best to open a discussion here on the forums. I couldn't find anything else on about it.

What exactly is the geology of Wesnoth? Myself personally, not ever being very profound on the subject, can't help but think in terms of comparison. For me, I've always guessed that, in relation to our own mother earth, the Kingdom of Wesnoth is the United States, while the northern lands (where campaigns like Son of the Black Eye take place) is closer to Canada. This would mean that the north-lands would get quite harsh winters. As I understand it (though if anyone wishes to correct me, please feel free to do so), Canada (particularly, the more northern region) gets extremely cold and incredibly long winters. So maybe the orcish ruled north lands aren't quite like the most northern areas of Canada, but maybe somewhere in the country's middle? It's an interesting thought!

And what about the lands south of Wesnoth? I remember seeing a map that had it as an arid, desert region, but what does that mean for the rest of the land? As far as the mainline campaigns go, we definitely see Wesnoth as an "all seasons" place, with warm summers, cold winters and the usual dosages of spring and autumn in-between.

And as far as Bilheld (which is my primary reason for posting this, but I figured I'd open it up to a more general discussion in case people find it interesting) is concerned, I'm toying with the idea that it may be closer geologically to Iceland, rather than Hawaii, since it's so far north. But I'd be curious to hear other peoples thoughts!
Last edited by Pewskeepski on February 9th, 2021, 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Wesnoth Geology

Post by skeptical_troll »

I'm not sure if you're asking about geology, geography or climate. In any case, if this can help you in some way, some time ago there has been a discussion about expanding the Great Continent and I tried to make a clumsy juxtaposition with Europe's map, to get a sense of distances and latitudes. Take it as indicative, but it could guide you on imagining how the climate of your island might be. Of course, for an island that would depend a lot of streams and winds, Northern Europe is much warmer than the same latitudes in Canada/US due to the Gulf Stream for example. Assuming Wesnoth to be in the temperate zone, anyway, I'd exclude any island in the map can be tropical unless much further South.
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Re: Wesnoth Geology

Post by Pewskeepski »

How embarrassing. I meant climate mostly, and secondly geography. :oops:
But again, I retort my lack of knowledge on these sorts of things.

Anyway, your comparison to Europe is interesting, as it puts the island of Bilheld closer to the Faroe/Shetland/Orkney islands around Great Britian. This is probably a more plausible comparison, as Iceland is quite large compared to Bilheld and more to the north. And your note about rivers affecting seasonal climate changes is helpful too; I didn't know about such effects. But that makes sense to my consideration to the northlands: if it was more comparable to Canada, as I originally presumed, they would be experiencing winters at roughly -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. That's really cold! And I don't think orcs have any special ability or method to survive too well in such climates. None that are any more successful than the efforts made by humans, anyway.

But if it's more comparable to Europe, that makes more sense. It's still colder in the north, obviously, but not so unbearable that the orcs have to be Eskimos for a major part of the year.
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Argesilao2
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by Argesilao2 »

Latitude is certainly a fundamental factor in determining the climate of a region; however the islands, especially if they are small, are heavily influenced by the sea streams; precisely in Iceland, the Gulf Stream allows the winter climate to be particularly mild in the southern part of the island; of course, mild relatively to the latitude of the island. :eng:

So, assuming that Bilheld's latitude is lower than Iceland's latitude, and assuming it is touched by an hot stream from the south, then it is not too far fetched to assume that it may have a relatively mild climate, even if it is difficult to assume a tropical climate. :hmm:

Regarding the possible vegetation on the island: if the climate is temperate, if there are no harsh winters (we could assume that the warm stream that touches the island prevents frosts) and if there is persistent humidity all year round (what which can easily happen in islands located in cold latitudes but touched by a warm stream), then we can also assume that the island is covered with lush vegetation, although not exactly with tropical species. ^_^

P.S.
Broadening the discussion, a region's climate can be heavily influenced by factors independent of its latitude.
For example the presence of mountainous reliefs can make a region colder or warmer, depending on the position of the mountains, their height, the way in which these mountains interfere or prevent the passage of cold or hot air currents; in a similar way mountains can make a territory arid or rainy, depending on how they obstruct the flows of humid air that come from the seas; the example of the Andes is particularly interesting.
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by PapaSmurfReloaded »

I happen to be a geologist, however your question has more to do with geography and climatology.

As far as I know as, it has never been specified how big the planet where Wesnoth is, nor exact position of the continent it, and those are pretty big factors determining climate.

The climate of a determined region depends of many things, latitude, the amount of illumination it has during the day humidity.

How does the wind flow? Where does it pick up the humidity Where does it discharge it? As the above poster mentioned, South America is one of the probably the clearest example of the wind direction, humidity and topography work.

In the north of South America, wind circulate from east to west, pick up humidity in the Atlantic and deliver it to the entire amazon forest, and the air only loses all the humidity it carries upon reaching the Andes in the west coast (around Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile), the result is that the east side of South America is green and humid at that latitude. However in the south of South America, south of Chile and Argentina, the winds circulate from west to east, picking up their humidity in the Pacific, and losing it immediately upon reaching the Andes, from there eastwards they continue as dry winds, and thats why the Argentina's Patagonia is arid (a rain shadow desert).

I could imagine the big desert south of Wesnoth being some sort of mid latitude desert (which would imply the planet is way larger than what we know). There are some latitude shat are more arid because of how air circulates vertically in the atmosphere. Wet and warm air goes up around the equator, cools down losing the humidity, and decends again upon certain latitude in both sides of the equator as dry air. Those are area constantly bombarded throughout the year with dry air (because the equator is warm and throughout the year so the process I described is always happening) so ends up being arid.

Ocean currents can also makes a big difference, someone mentioned how the warm current keep Europe from freezing, and thats not an exageration.
Not 50 million years Antartica still had quite a lush climate, even though the distribution of continents was not that different from how the planet looks today. Before South America and separated, the cold water could not go around in circles around Antartica, so when it reached the landbridge between both continents would just collide into it and the current was forced to go north to more temperate regions, and to compensate, water from warmer latitude had to go down to Antartica.

However from the moment Antartica and South America separated, cold water began circling around the continent and isolated it from from warmer currents, and Antartica became what it is today. That as well changed the weather in what is now Argentina, since it used to have colder water before, that means less evaporation less humidity, all the green plains/pampas of Argentina used to be rather desert back then. However since the influx of cold water stopped when the land bridge was cut off, water became warmer and the land more humid.

Sorry about nerding out.

As for Billheld, I would kinda imagine as some rather dry, rocky island. If the Silent Forest and Greenwood were not in the same latitude one could say its a northern mid-latitude desert. While Shimmering Island would more tropicalish-caribbean like. The Hearth Mountains could be akin to the Himalayas, they can be cold if they are high enough, even if they are in a tropical zone.

But well then again, its a fantasy world, it does need to make much sense but interesting. Once with a bunch of friends we tried to figure out the geology of Middle Earth and of course it does not make much sense out of it.
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by name »

Pewskeepski wrote: February 8th, 2021, 1:53 pm You see, by default, I figured the island would be tropical, most accurately comparable to Hawaii, as far as our own world is concerned. But then I thought, "Wait a second, isn't it up in the north-lands?" This question got me thinking some more, and I thought it best to open a discussion here on the forums. I couldn't find anything else on about it.
You should also check out the map for scenario 7 "Bilheld" from the mainline campaign Dead Water. (Which depicts a battle between invading mermish and the drakes resident to the island).

As far as that mainline depiction goes, Bilheld looks like an ocean regulated temperate climate (extremely mild winters at sea level) and there are even a few palm trees growing nearest to the coast (palms can grow in parts of real life Ireland, so this is not at all implausible.)
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by shevegen »

> What exactly is the geology of Wesnoth?

That's a fun question. I think it is hard to define because the terrain plays a role in
the game mechanics e. g. defensive bonus.

I would assume that wesnoth is rich in forests (see the original starting campaigns),
also has vast amount of ocean around, and a bit of a mountain here and there,
but probably have more forest than mountain and perhaps also more plains than
mountains. So I would ASSUME that mountains are a little bit more rare in comparison.

As for geology, well - I think we have to ask whether there are volcanos or other
things that push sediments on top for new land growth. I don't remember the
lore but I think in scepter of fire there was one volcano or something? So perhaps
wesnoth has one active volcano at the least. Probably not many more than that
as we might have seen it in other campaigns.

Anyway, I assume the campaigns are sort of some main "drivers " of parts of
the lore. My local pen and paper crew created their own unique game world
and one problem I always had was trying to remain consistent, rather than
flip-flop about every day. Best solution I could come up with is to try to
SPECIFY everything, as much as possible, and fit new additions to that
knowledge base. So I think it may be best to add the geography stuff
too. I even defined how many NPCs live in a given settlement. That helps
indirectly, e. g. some larger cities may allow you to recruit better units
and more, whereas smaller villages have less way to choose. And geography
can relate to trade and access to resources e. g. smiths and what not. So
I always recommend to specify as much as possible!
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by shevegen »

> As far as I know as, it has never been specified how big the planet where Wesnoth is, nor exact position of the continent
> it, and those are pretty big factors determining climate.

Even on earth you have lots of differences though, see Canada versus Australia.

I assume the most logical assumption is that wesnoth is "earth-like" to some extent if you refer to the planet as such.
But possibly wesnoth or wherever the campaigns play, is not the only island/continent. Although I just wrote that
everything SHOULD be specified, I don't necessarily think one has to fill out ALL details from the get go in regards
to EVERYTHING. In other words, I think it is ok to just specify wesnoth as such, without wondering about "how large
is the whole planet there". The NPCs may also not know what a planet is either by the way.
LienRag
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by LienRag »

Interesting debate...

Lore should be fixed someday, but not too hastily either.

One important question has been omitted here : is Wesnoth round ?

I guess that the second (and third) Suns from Under the Burning Suns hint that it is and subjected to normal orbital mechanics, but still that question needs a more definitive answer.

Also, the ability of magic to shape climate and nature in a broader sense is something that would need to be established.
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by gnombat »

LienRag wrote: July 19th, 2022, 6:18 pm One important question has been omitted here : is Wesnoth round ?
From the campaign The Rise of Wesnoth:
Spoiler:
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Re: Wesnoth Climate + Geography (and Geology)

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

For further clarification, Wesnoth is the name of the "country"/"nation"...not the world (which many seem to think)
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