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The Turakian Age is Seriously Underrated

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I am only sad, not angry, that HERO doesn't have the budget to make books like WotC does.  I remember the old 1st ed, deendee books, that were also all black & white, and a lot of the art was primitive, and didn't relate to the text on the page.

 

I fully recognize that it takes a significant amount of talent to draw a good picture.  And it takes even more to draw a picture of a specific person, creature, or place and give it the right feel and personality.  And it takes yet more talent to draw all this from pure imagination, based on a writer's text description.  You can go to Mount Rushmore and draw what you see, but you can't go to Aarn to draw the colossus.

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Well, while it doesn't completely replace art drawn specifically to represent things in TA, or can't usually be put into other published books, for gaming session purposes the age of the Internet image search can often unearth something you can show your players at the table. For example, you want Avalar, the colossus of Aarn? Or Sa'akiv's Tower of Bone? Or a view of a fictional port city?

 

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I am not so sure that setting books don't sell. White Wolf did a great many of them, from Chicago by Night for Vampire: the Masquerade to Compass of Celestial Directions: Autochthonia for Exalted. It seemed to work okay for them.

 

Though some of this may be a function of branding and the audiences this attracts. WW was setting-intensive from the start, and attracted readers who liked that. Rigorous and robust game mechanics, OTOH, were... how shall I put this politely... not their main selling point. Hero, in contrast, generally seems to attract people based on game mechanics more than setting development. (Apart from a bazillion Enemies books for Champions.) I suppose it became self-reinforcing.

 

Dean Shomshak

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If no one objects, I'd like to continue my exploration and elaboration of Ambrethel, this time examining the Ulimar Jungle. The largest jungle on the continent of Arduna, it forms the southern border between Mhorecia and the Westerlands. It's described on TA p. 93 as "a thickly-forested, rainy region where even few Elves care to dwell. Although some tribes of barbaric Drakine live within the Jungle's confines, for the most part the Ulimar is home only to wild creatures." Yet p. 47 notes the Ulimar as holding one of the largest populations of Seshurma (lizard-people) in Ambrethel. Less than fifty miles off the coast lie the Elrune Islands, three relatively small islands forming a "kingdom" of Elves, which is tributary to the nearby realm of Men, Besruhan.

 

In the contradictions about the jungle I saw an opportunity to add some diversity and character/story potential. First I filled up and divided the Ulimar among the different races in its vicinity. I expanded the kingdom of Elrune to all of the presumably more pleasant southern coastal region of the jungle. Besruhan once attempted to conquer the kingdom, but found themselves caught in a protracted guerilla war against foes adept at fading in and out of the thick growth. Eventually Besruhan agreed to withdraw their forces and allow the kingdom self-governance, in exchange for annual tribute from Elrune, and the establishment of a trading post by Besruhan on the outermost of the Elrune Islands, now known among Men as "Traders Isle." The post supplies shipping between the Westerlands and Mhorecia, and provides a site for Elrunean Elves who wish to trade with the outside world and interact with other races. The GM's Vault section of the TA source book notes on p. 93 that raids by the Sharthak (shark-men) on the Elrune Islands have grown more frequent, for unknown reasons. With the arrangement above, both the Elruneans and Besruhani would have vested interest in investigating and stopping them.

 

The northwestern part of the Ulimar Jungle is the home of the Seshurma. Although some of their tribes are hostile and aggressive toward outsiders, others engage in trade with the Elves or the neighboring Tornathian city-state of Sarkund (see TA p. 78). That contact sometimes encourages more adventurous Seshurma to travel out into the wider world as mercenaries or adventurers.

 

To the northeast is the territory of the Ulimaran Drakine. Descendants of those Drakine who fled into the jungle to escape the wrath of Men during the Drakine Wars, they've reverted to a more "barbaric" way of life. Their sahishas (alliances of families which are the foundation of Drakine society) have evolved to become more like tribes controlling particular areas. The Ulimaran Drakine remember how their ancestors were driven from their homes, and hold a xenophic hatred toward all other races. They frequently skirmish with the Elves and Seshurma, and sometimes raid the settlements of the Besruhani, or trading caravans to or from the Cheldar Pass into Tornathia, for both loot and revenge. They distrust even Drakine from elsewhere, and usually kill members of other races who enter their jungle on sight, or more slowly if they're in the mood for "entertainment."

 

 

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:26 PM, Old Man said:

I'm out of likes for the day, but LL echoes something I've been tired of pointing out since 4th ed.  The writing quality of Hero books is stellar.  The art direction is not.  The pages of Hero books look like Word documents.  Compare them to any book from WotC or GW.  In fact:

 

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Colored headings.  Page backgrounds. Atmospheric yet readable fonts.  Table borders.  Icons to convey game concepts.  Margin art.  Full bleed printing.  I mean, I get that Hero has never had anything like a competitive budget and all these things are expensive, but I've always dreamt of having Hero books that were coffee table quality.  Instead, we got well-written but hard-to-read blocks of italicized text.  I will always love Hero as the best game system ever devised, but the art direction has always been disappointing, especially for a game that is based.  On.  Comic.  Books.

 

A friend of mine wrote an adventure (part 1 of 3) taking place in the Under Dark and the presentation and artwork (1 man show using some free artwork from the internet) are better than what I'm used to in HERO books.

 

I'm at a loss for words as to why my favorite RPG ever (by a lot!) never upped their production values over the decades.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

I'm at a loss for words as to why my favorite RPG ever (by a lot!) never upped their production values over the decades.

 

 

Money.  And complexity--wrangling artist royalties and copyrights is not fun.

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Just now, Old Man said:

 

Money.  And complexity--wrangling artist royalties and copyrights is not fun.

 

My friend's adventure was made on a budget of nothing by a single guy.

 

I understand that with a limited budget that art options will be limited, but they won't be nothing.

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37 minutes ago, Old Man said:

 

Money.  And complexity--wrangling artist royalties and copyrights is not fun.

 

35 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

My friend's adventure was made on a budget of nothing by a single guy.

 

I understand that with a limited budget that art options will be limited, but they won't be nothing.

 

A number of folks have made free utilities (the Homebrewery being one) that anyone can freely use to create near-perfect replicas of the D&D 5th edition layout and formatting, for use with the DM's Guild and self-publishing efforts in general.  

 

This might not be trivial, but it is certainly doable. 

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Did your friend sell the adventure (and paid for the rights to use the setting)? Did he print the adventure? Bind it? Ship it to game stores, or directly to purchasers? If so, bravo, very impressive. If not, consider the overhead involved.

 

Also, was this something he wanted to make money from, or just created for personal satisfaction?

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3 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

Did your friend sell the adventure (and paid for the rights to use the setting)? Did he print the adventure? Bind it? Ship it to game stores? If so, bravo, very impressive. If not, consider the overhead involved.

 

It's available at the DMs Guild in PDF at least.  

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Upthread on this post, I outlined what I thought would make a good starting location for a Turakian Age campaign, and why. But there are quite a few other interesting elements to that location stated or hinted at in the book, which I'd like to bring up for consideration. I may use more than one post to lay it all out, so as not to overburden anyone with all my blathering at once. 😌 Note that this will include some GM's Vault material from the TA book, so anyone wanting to play a PC in the area might want to look away. ;)

 

One of the elements I most wanted to pin down was the undefined "hill folk." The vast Valician Hills, and the kingdom of Valicia, obviously share a name, although they're distinct (despite the King of Valicia wanting to bring the Hills under his dominion). However, TA p. 79 notes that Valicia was settled by "Men from the Valician Hills, who spoke a language more akin to that of the Mhorecian lands than the West." P. 88 also states that the Tyrandines of Mhorecia, whose kingdom of Tyrandium abuts the southern and eastern Hills, speak Valician as their main language. That leads me to conclude that the Tyrandines, Valicians, and hill folk all belong to the same ethno-linguistic group. Exploring how I would run that for my own games, I would name the hill folk the Valici (distinguished from the Valicians), and pattern their culture after traditional Highland Scots clans. The Valici consider themselves a people distinct from their neighbors, and harbor distrust and resentment of the Valicians for their ambition and attitude of superiority.

 

The above has some bearing on the inhabitants of the central Shaanda River, with whom the hill folk regularly trade, and who are only superficially detailed. As that major trade route is described on TA p. 80, the Shaanda is dotted with large towns and small cities, none of them dominating the whole region. Ethnically the area would probably be very diverse, due to the many travelers on the river; although the largest groups would likely be Men of the Valician ethnicity, and Drakine. The most frequent languages spoken would be Valician, Northern Drakine (common language of the Drakine Realms), and "Trade-Tongue," a composite of several major languages of the Westerlands (see TA p. 198).

 

For my own games I would want the cities (named ones are Blackrond, Garwyn, Ishthac, and Telisarn) to be large enough to be interesting, but small enough to be manageable. I defined them as ranging in size from 20,000 inhabitants up to the largest, Ishthac, at 40,000. Each city exerts hegemony over its neighboring smaller settlements. They vigorously compete among each other for wider influence and a larger share of the river trade, but are quick to unite, militarily or diplomatically, against any threat from the larger kingdoms at either end of the Shaanda. Because of that potential for aggression, as well as the threat of "monsters" coming down from the nearby Valician Hills, the settlements are probably well fortified and likely maintain citizen militias as well as full-time city guards.

 

I decided Ishthac would make a good PC base of operations due to its size, and its location near the geographic center of the Shaanda River (see the map on TA p. 74). None of the Shaanda cities have their cultures and societies defined, so they could be given whatever qualities a GM thinks would be interesting and useful to their game group and purposes. For my purpose I would want Ishthac to be a genuine "good-guy," a place PCs would feel justified in defending. So I would give it all the more "progressive" qualities of the various nations around it: tolerance of different ethnic groups and religions; legal equality between males and females; banning the slave trade (although transients owning slaves could bring them through the city); and a semi-democratic government similar to that of Tavrosel (see TA p. 85).

 

In my next post on this subject I intend to further elaborate the considerable adventure potential of the region surrounding the Shaanda River. :)

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5 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

My friend's adventure was made on a budget of nothing by a single guy.

 

I understand that with a limited budget that art options will be limited, but they won't be nothing.

The difficulty you may be missing, is print costs. Your friend made his adventure specifically as a PDF, with no concern given got print costs, or distribution. His project was a solo, fan created work. Hero has to plan that their projects, even though unprinted, are prepared for print, and legally covered. So that means some cost. So Hero generally limits their print output to two color. Four color printing with page bleeds is vastly more expensive in terms of labor costs, materials (coated paper), and full color, painted art, which often also needs longer deadlines. Your friend hopefully got permission for the publication rights for the art they used. That would be something Hero would have to pay for, that your friend might slip under the radar for. 

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11 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

The difficulty you may be missing, is print costs. Your friend made his adventure specifically as a PDF, with no concern given got print costs, or distribution. His project was a solo, fan created work. Hero has to plan that their projects, even though unprinted, are prepared for print, and legally covered. So that means some cost. So Hero generally limits their print output to two color. Four color printing with page bleeds is vastly more expensive in terms of labor costs, materials (coated paper), and full color, painted art, which often also needs longer deadlines. Your friend hopefully got permission for the publication rights for the art they used. That would be something Hero would have to pay for, that your friend might slip under the radar for. 

 

Part of me thinks a professionally designed sample advertised through Kickstarter could help raise the money needed for printing.

 

I've toyed with the idea of creating individual adventure modules (Fantasy HERO) to sell online as PDFs. I'm a graphic designer and media coordinator with a commercial printing background, so the layout part isn't a problem at all. If I do it they would be nicely designed and not just black and white columns of text.

 

HERO could definitely use the wow factor of some nice artwork and layouts.

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14 minutes ago, MordeanGrey said:

 

Part of me thinks a professionally designed sample advertised through Kickstarter could help raise the money needed for printing.

 

I've toyed with the idea of creating individual adventure modules (Fantasy HERO) to sell online as PDFs. I'm a graphic designer and media coordinator with a commercial printing background, so the layout part isn't a problem at all. If I do it they would be nicely designed and not just black and white columns of text.

 

HERO could definitely use the wow factor of some nice artwork and layouts.

I am of the same mind, ( coming from the illustrations side) but rather than Adventure modulesnfornFH, it was more of a race book for GMs. Good layout and organization is very necessary, especially these days. 

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Everyone keeps saying the a colorful layout and art are out of reach and yet I keep getting great products via KS that funded at right about what FHC funded.

 

FHC funded for $20k in Jun 2014.

 

The Sassoon Files funded for $24k in Oct 2019, and is gorgeous.  Better than some WotC products.

 

And there are others. 

I am not in the industry, but I see a lot of inconsistencies when comparing projects and costs.

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Let's not forget that Hero Games did give us flashier books when they were flush with Cryptic Studios cash. The Champions Villains trilogy. The Champions genre book and Champions Universe for 6E. Book Of The Machine. The new Strike Force. Glossy paper, full-color artwork, color layout, SF and BOTM were even hardcover. (I may have forgotten others.)

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13 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Your friend hopefully got permission for the publication rights for the art they used.

 

It's right in the sample pictures.  They have a pool of free artwork for DM's Guild Adventures.

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Getting back to the Ulimar Jungle...

 

This setup has good adventure potential. Indeed, you could build a campaign (or at least a story arc) around the jungle and dealing with its inhabitants. As it happens, I presented such a campaign premise in the part I wrote for Masters of Jade, for WW's Exalted. For background, the Guild is a world-spanning commercial organization. Much of it was designed as an unholy cross between the Triangle Trade, the Opium Wars and the East India Company, but I tried to slip in a few suggestions that commercial exploration did not necessarily have to be Eeevil. Here's an excerpt:

----------

<2>Trading Posts and Voyageurs

At the other extreme from the massive caravans, lone voyageurs paddle canoes and walk forest trails deep in the Eastern wilderness. Some of the Guild’s most precious medicines, such as age-staving cordial and seven bounties paste, are made from plants that only grow in places no caravan could ever reach. Voyageurs also hunt rare birds and animals for their pelts, parts and plumage. For living treasure, they risk disease, toxic animal, plant and insect life, and the lethal attention of hungry beasts, maddened spirits and unfriendly natives.

 

In Nathir, a feather-worker takes delivery of gleaming purple plumes that shall complete a priest’s ceremonial cloak. A master swordsmith pays a full dirham for jars of forest mimic blood; it will quench a new artifact, the Lying Blade. One cloaked and hooded voyageur presents himself at a side-door to Doctor Alethia’s fortified compound. He — she? it? — brings the great physician living, disembodied arms taken from the Wyld, as replacement limbs for the maimed and very rich. Or maybe something else.

<snip description of Doctor Alethia>

 

<3>Trading Posts

Instead of hunting rare plants and animals directly, some Guildsmen think it makes more sense to befriend the natives and pay them to do the work. The catch is that the intrepid trader must visit the natives where they live… and in the far East, that often means up in trees that may grow a mile high. The Tree Folk and other Eastern tribes feel comfortable in trading posts that resemble bird’s nests or spider webs of living vines. Visitors from civilized lands find it takes some getting used to. With this much money at stake, they make the effort.

<snip description of voyageur Jinru Rose-of-Dawn>

---------------

So: Explore the Ulimar Jungle looking for valuable (magical?) plants and animals, try to avoid or befriend natives as needed. If the latter, get involved in their problems and conflicts, with each other and the wider world.

 

Or reverse it: The PCs are Ulimar natives facing both promise and peril from outsiders.

 

Dean Shomshak
 

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Getting back to the Ulimar Jungle...

 

This setup has good adventure potential. Indeed, you could build a campaign (or at least a story arc) around the jungle and dealing with its inhabitants. As it happens, I presented such a campaign premise in the part I wrote for Masters of Jade, for WW's Exalted. For background, the Guild is a world-spanning commercial organization. Much of it was designed as an unholy cross between the Triangle Trade, the Opium Wars and the East India Company, but I tried to slip in a few suggestions that commercial exploration did not necessarily have to be Eeevil. Here's an excerpt:

----------

<2>Trading Posts and Voyageurs

At the other extreme from the massive caravans, lone voyageurs paddle canoes and walk forest trails deep in the Eastern wilderness. Some of the Guild’s most precious medicines, such as age-staving cordial and seven bounties paste, are made from plants that only grow in places no caravan could ever reach. Voyageurs also hunt rare birds and animals for their pelts, parts and plumage. For living treasure, they risk disease, toxic animal, plant and insect life, and the lethal attention of hungry beasts, maddened spirits and unfriendly natives.

 

In Nathir, a feather-worker takes delivery of gleaming purple plumes that shall complete a priest’s ceremonial cloak. A master swordsmith pays a full dirham for jars of forest mimic blood; it will quench a new artifact, the Lying Blade. One cloaked and hooded voyageur presents himself at a side-door to Doctor Alethia’s fortified compound. He — she? it? — brings the great physician living, disembodied arms taken from the Wyld, as replacement limbs for the maimed and very rich. Or maybe something else.

<snip description of Doctor Alethia>

 

<3>Trading Posts

Instead of hunting rare plants and animals directly, some Guildsmen think it makes more sense to befriend the natives and pay them to do the work. The catch is that the intrepid trader must visit the natives where they live… and in the far East, that often means up in trees that may grow a mile high. The Tree Folk and other Eastern tribes feel comfortable in trading posts that resemble bird’s nests or spider webs of living vines. Visitors from civilized lands find it takes some getting used to. With this much money at stake, they make the effort.

<snip description of voyageur Jinru Rose-of-Dawn>

---------------

So: Explore the Ulimar Jungle looking for valuable (magical?) plants and animals, try to avoid or befriend natives as needed. If the latter, get involved in their problems and conflicts, with each other and the wider world.

 

Or reverse it: The PCs are Ulimar natives facing both promise and peril from outsiders.

 

Dean Shomshak
 

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On 1/9/2020 at 8:15 PM, PhilFleischmann said:

.  You could probably run a good long campaign without ever going more than 100 miles from Aarn.

 

As it happens, that was my group's last FH campaign. Not Aarn -- my friend created a homebrew setting -- but we had quite a nice campaign as the neighborhood watch of Caravan Court in the city of Bridemore. Fights against gangs and assassins, solving mysteries (including hints about mysteries of the world itself), getting tangled in the political struggle between the city's duke, the nobles, and the merchant guilds.

 

It was unfortunately a short-lived campaign when the GM ran into work/life issues, but it was fun while it lasted. I've stolen the premise for my new D&D campaign.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Thank you for all that salient input, Dean. It was my hope in collating this setting info and ideas that they'd be a springboard for other GMs. :D

 

In that vein, I'd like to continue my discussion from this post of my suggestion for a campaign location in Ambrethel, this time focusing on the Shaanda River and areas immediately adjacent to it. There are several details in the source book that are easy to overlook. Geographic details would be easiest to follow on the map of the Eastern Westerlands on TA p. 74. Again, anyone thinking of playing in a game set here should probably skip over this post. :whistle:

 

Despite the heavy mercantile traffic along the Shaanda, no major city has grown to take advantage of it. Most people attribute that to the rugged landscape of the river valley, sandwiched between the Valician Hills and the Drakine Mountains. But TA p. 284 reveals another, more insidious reason. After the slaying of the Spearlord the shattered shards of the Graven Spear fell into the river, which has been "poisoned" ever since, bringing ill luck to the Shaanda settlements, as well as attracting dangerous monsters to them, so that none of them can grow very large. Finding and removing any or all of the shards could remove that curse and bring enhanced prosperity to the region. OTOH a shard would likely grant malevolent powers to its holder, and gathering them all might allow the reconstruction of one of the most potent and sinister magic weapons in history.

 

Two pairs of kingdoms share either end of the Shaanda River, one on each side: the Drakine realms of Basidrun and Seldrion, and the human kingdoms of Tyrandium and Valicia. The specific adventure potential in each realm is described in their individual entries; but there's particularly interesting stuff going on toward the end of the river at Lake Beralka.

 

For one, the ruined former Drakine city of Chonath, sacked and abandoned during the Drakine Wars (p. 75), is now only frequented by Goblins inhabiting the area, and other "monsters." Chonath was once home to powerful wizards, and adventurers sometimes brave its dangers in search of magical treasures. One particularly potent artifact, the so-called Dragon-God Staff, is said to be able to summon and control dragons, but has never been found. Recovering the Staff could become a priority for several realms in the Westerlands and Mhorecia facing looming threats from dragons: Khirkovy (p. 63 sidebar), Szarvasia (pp. 282-83), and the Sirrenic Empire (p. 84, "The Desolation Of Skarm").

 

The map on p. 74 appears to show Chonath sitting in a valley on the Shaanda River side of the Drakine Mountains, which is at one end of a pass through the mountains leading into southern Basidrun and its border with Vendrigal. If Chonath could be reclaimed and that pass made safe for travel, it would open a direct land connection between the Shaanda and the heart of the Drakine Realms. That's a prospect the Syndics of Chiref -- the mercantile oligarchy ruling Basidrun -- would doubtlessly pay much gold to bring about.

 

The Beralka end of the river terminates in a large, unnamed swamp, inhabited by Ran-tari (frog people). Basidrun and Valicia both claim the swamp for its obvious strategic value, and have fought each other for control of it. It could make for a poignant scenario if Ran-tari refugees from their latest conflict start making their way down the Shaanda River, begging the city inhabitants for help defending their homes. :( (But the Ran-tari might not be such innocent victims, at least not any more -- see below.)

 

Basidrun has attempted to drain the swamp by magic so they can claim the land (I would expect Valicia to have tried that as well), but the Ran-tari "have thwarted their efforts with powerful counter-magics" (p. 75). I have to wonder where the shamans of the Ran-tari obtained such potent magic. It's possible one of those shards of the Graven Spear ended up in their hands, bringing with it implicit attendant negative effects. It's also possible the obstacle has nothing to do with the Ran-tari. Sargelioth Zir, the capital city of the Lord of the Graven Spear, was raised by his magic from the waters of Lake Beralka not far from the mouth of the Shaanda River. With the Spearlord's death the city collapsed beneath the waves. (See TA p. 15.) Its malignant influence could be affecting the spells to drain the swamp; and perhaps even corrupting the Ran-tari dwelling there. Ending that influence is only one of the possible reasons why adventurers might seek out the sunken remains of the Spearlord's probably demon-haunted city.

 

Although not stated anywhere, it's my theory that the swamp was actually created by earthquakes and floods from the fall of Sargelioth Zir. That disaster would undoubtedly have destroyed any settlements in the area. Given the value of control of the mouth of the Shaanda River, it's very possible a Drakine city could once have stood there, likely a rich one. An abandoned city full of treasure, lost in a big swamp full of humanoids with a siege mentality... 'nuff said. :winkgrin:

 

When I next return to this subject, I intend to outline the adventure potential in the vast Valician Hills abutting the Shaanda River.

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Speaking of the Shaanda River, one thing that bugged me about The Turakian Age was the lack of indication on the maps as to which way the rivers flow.  This is not always obvious from the maps.  After much careful examination and reading of the text, and re-reading of the text, and re-re-reading of the text, I have come to the conclusion that the Shaanda flows east, out of Lake Beralka, into the Sea of Mhorec.  But I wish they had just put a few arrows on the maps to indicate this.  And also for the Ordnung/Tarnwater/Bernina/Loskell/Erasarth/Hreshule/Whitsuth river system - which has sources in the Thurisian Mountains, the Hangclaw Mountains, the northern Drakine Mountains, in two different places, and the southern Drakine Mountains, and flows through the Nagyrian Mountains; and then flows into the Sea of Storms in two places, and also into (or out of?) Lake Beralka.

 

I'm certainly no expert in geography, but as I understand it, lakes and inland seas, usually only have one river flowing out of them. but Lake Kalkana seems to have two.

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I agree that the paths of rivers on the TA maps can sometimes get a little convoluted, particularly the Tarnwater et al in the Eastern Westerlands, as you note. In the case of the Shaanda River, TA p. 80 clearly states that it flows from Lake Beralka to the Sea of Mhorec. That's consistent with a few features of geography I try to keep in mind when deciphering these river directions: usually rivers flow from higher ground to lower ground, and from smaller bodies of water to larger ones. So, all the rivers shown with one end in mountains or hills can be presumed to flow from that end. Those rules suggest that Beralka has two outflows, one via the Shaanda River to Mhorec, the other the Ordring River, which merges with the Tarnwater and later the River Loskell, before finally emptying into the Sea of Storms. OTOH the Sea of Mhorec appears to drain only via the Larnaca River, into the Gulf of Velkara and thence the Khelvarian Ocean.

 

Lake Kalkana in Mitharia does indeed look to empty via the Chatac River into the Jade Sea, and the long Dialoso River to the Uncharted Seas. I don't think there's any hard-and-fast rule about how many outflows a lake can have, though. I believe it depends on the local geography, the size of the lake and how much inflow it has. Mhorec, Beralka and Kalkana are all huge by modern standards, with multiple major rivers draining into them. By my measurements and research, the Sea of Mhorec has more than half the surface area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lake Beralka is comparable to the Caspian Sea, modern Earth's largest "lake." Lake Kalkana is more than twice the area of Earth's next-largest lake by area, Lake Superior; and is said to be notably deep.

 

(BTW mad props to Steve Long for coming up with the dizzyingly vast array of names for places on these maps.) :hail:

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