Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

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Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:18 am

Maps

Replica of poster map from GAZ13, 2 miles per hex by Thorf, May 2009
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Updated map of the City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex by Thorf, May 2009
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Sources: GAZ13 The Shadow Elves (1990).

Notes on Updated map (GAZ13)
  • Ceiling – this map shows only the cavern floor of the Great Cavern. The City of the Stars is on the ceiling, above the position marked on the map. GAZ13 includes a few paragraphs describing the ceiling of the Great Cavern beyond the gates of the City of the Stars; other official details include Wendolen Village, the rather large spillover town northeast of the City proper, and beyond that the Sistyl Forest, a rather tame fungal forest that has been all but farmed out (DM’s Book page 22). The description seems to imply that the ceiling of the cavern has less features than the floor.
  • City of the Stars Cavern towns – both towns have different spellings on the maps and in the DM’s Book (page 20). Both maps have Dendromel and Piliny, while the book has Dendronel and Pilinyl. (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 20a-b) The DM’s Book names sound more elven, and more in line with the other GAZ13 names – especially Pilinyl – so this Atlas uses the DM’s Book names.
  • Ebon Lake – "The lake is deep (750 feet at deepest)..." (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 20a)
  • Gate of the Ancients – the map name is Gate of the Ancients, while the DM’s Book (page 20) misses out the “the”. It’s a minor issue, and most likely both names are in use. I have kept the map version as is.
  • Great Cavern Depth - official sources changed track several times regarding the depth of the Shadowlands. "The City of Stars is directly underneath Trollhattan, in the Broken Lands; the water from the city's wells, in fact, is filtered down from Troll Lake more than a thousand feet above." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4c) Lower Trollhattan is marked as being at a depth of 1300 feet on the Lower Broken Lands map, and the lake is described as "a large, shallow lake with a mushy island in the middle." (GAZ10 Players' Guide page 12a) This means that according to the Gazetteers the ceiling of the Great Cavern is at a depth of more than 2300 feet, plus the depth of Troll Lake. The first Poor Wizard's Almanac gives a very different picture: "600 miles straight down from Aengmor (Known World), and up from the Azcan Empire (Hollow World), in a gigantic cavern at the approximate midpoint of the world's crust." (Poor Wizard's Almanac page 24b) This was likely an attempt to explain the strange gravity effects of the Great Cavern. Nevertheless, the final official say goes to Poor Wizard's Almanac III, which provides yet another figure, more along the lines of the original conception: "Roughly 6,000 feet below the surface of the Known World". (Poor Wizard's Almanac III page 52a) It goes on to say, "Editor's Note: Previous reports of the City of the Stars inhabiting a cavern within the World Shield, halfway between the outer and inner worlds, appear to have been inaccurate. This entry reflects the most current survey data available." (Poor Wizard's Almanac III page 54a) The Atlas is tentatively going with this last figure: a depth of about 6,000 feet. This can be largely reconciled with the original Gazetteer figure by taking it as the distance to the floor of the Great Cavern; the City of the Stars is 2400 feet above that floor (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 36b), which leaves us with a figure of more than 4700 feet, plus the depth of Troll Lake.
  • Great Cavern – the text refers to the cavern of the City of the Stars as "The Great Cavern". (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 19c, 20b-c, etc.) There is also a single reference to the "Vault of the City" which also seems to refer to the Great Cavern, so the Atlas considers "Vault of the City" to be an alternate name. (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 17b)
  • Great Cavern Height – "The unusual gravity of the cavern allows a visitor to stand on the floor of the cavern and look up at the city, miles above, so far away that its streetlights and windows appear to be stars." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4b-c) The term "miles above" is presumably not to be taken literally here, because the text later on gives a concrete figure:
  • Great Cavern Size – GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4b refers to the Great Cavern as "the largest cavern known" to the shadow elves. This is contradicted by the 8 mile per hex map, which depicts several caverns larger than the Great Cavern. Perhaps it is largest in terms of height rather than breadth. Another possibility is that the cavern is considered larger since both the cavern ceiling and floor are usable.
  • Hills of Peril – the map misses out the “of”, but the description on page 20 of the DM’s Book lists the full name, Hills of Peril.
  • Nymiel’s Geyser – two inconsistencies for this one: the map has Nyniel’s Geiser, while the DM’s Book page 20 gives Nymiel’s Geyser. Geiser is a misspelling, but the name could go either way. In general the book seems to be more reliable than the map, so I have gone with Nymiel’s Geyser. The map's Nyniel's River has therefore also been changed to Nymiel's River.
  • Sistyl Forest - this fungal forest, described as lying beyond Wendolen Village, is "well worked-out and has few vigorous fungal growths outside a small number of intensively cultivated plantations. It is no longer a forest as such, and only provides work for some 1,000 shadow elves." Additionally, "More extensive fungal forests in the main cavern provide much better pickings." (GAZ13 DM’s Book page 22c) This last sentence could refer to the forests on the floor, but it seems likely there could be forests further from the City of the Stars on the cavern ceiling too.
  • Stalactites - "The principal feature of the City of Stars is of course the Temple of Rafiel, built against a face of the cavern on which is carved the Refuge of Stone, the religious text upon which the Way of the Shamans and all worship of Rafiel is based. The Temple of Rafiel almost entirely fills this niche, with stalactites hundreds of feet long hanging down nearly to the steps of the temple." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4c) It sounds as if the temple is entirely contained within a niche in the cavern wall or floor; unfortunately the map has things completely different, with the temple simply at the edge of the city, along the outer wall which is surrounded by clear terrain. Another possibility is that the stalactites referred to are the ends of massive stalagmites on the floor of the cavern far below.
  • Sulphur Springs – listed as Sulpher Springs on the map, while DM’s Book page 20 refers to it as Sulfur Springs. The Atlas uses British spellings in most cases, so the corrected name is Sulphur Springs.
  • Wendolen Village - "To the east and north of the walled city (still on the ceiling) is Wendolen Village, where some 40,000 shadow elves (included in the population of the City of the Stars) live. This is an overspill area; the walled city is already packed." (GAZ13 DM’s Book page 22c) The detail maps of the city (on the poster map as well as inside the trifold cover) both show this town, as well as some other details of the terrain immediately beside the city.

To Do List
  1. Make original colours version of replica map.
  2. Make a map of the ceiling of the cavern and the immediate surroundings of the City of the Stars.
  3. Check GAZ13 for geographic details and write notes on the updated map.

References
  1. Underground landscape types - discussion thread at the Wizards MMB.

Thanks to: John Calvin (Chimpman), Shane G (Plaag), Andrew Theisen (Cthulhudrew)
Last edited by Thorf on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:40 am, edited 9 times in total.
Reason: Added notes on GAZ13.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:12 pm

Update: I just uploaded the original colours variant replica map, and updated the other two. I have also uploaded PDFs of all three for you to play with - they are about 2.5 MB each, and the layers from Illustrator are present in the PDF. Go and have a look at them, play around a bit, and let me know what you think.

Uploading PDFs and replicas, plus thumbnails, means uploading to about five different directories, and the files are not small so it takes a minute to upload each one. Obviously saving the PDFs in the first place also takes time. These are some of the main reasons I am being slow with PDFs; I could easily take up all the time I have just by saving and uploading PDFs every time I update a file! :shock: So I'm trying to wait until I have the maps more or less in a state of completeness before giving you the PDFs. Please be patient if you find a broken link to a PDF. :oops:

In the meantime, if anyone has a request, that's a different matter. Please just let me know in the thread for that map, and I'll upload it. :D

Incidentally, I really like the original palette for this map. I may decide to adapt my palette to be a little closer to it - and it's easy to do, since there are only two maps with this palette. ;) Any preferences in that regard?
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Plaag » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:53 am

I like the hills and broken lands being a different color, but the old color scheme for the rest is good, especially the rocky hexes which have a little better tint/hue (whatever it is :) ) then the newer ones. The wording stands out better I think on it as well.

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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:25 am

Plaag wrote:I like the hills and broken lands being a different color, but the old color scheme for the rest is good, especially the rocky hexes which have a little better tint/hue (whatever it is :) ) then the newer ones. The wording stands out better I think on it as well.


The irony is that I got most of the colours on both maps from scans, but my "new" palette is mostly from bad quality scans (probably from the PDFs), which is why it's so different. :? The original colours palette is taken directly from my high quality scans, so it's really close to the original.

Anyway, I agree with you about the rocky colour - the original colour is lighter, which means it fits my pastel palette better than the dark blueish/purplish colour.

I also agree that the hills and broken lands being the same is not good. Well, actually they're ever so slightly different, but not nearly different enough. I don't think I'll be changing the hill, mountain and broken land hexes from my standard palette. (On a side note, did anyone notice I redid the hills hex art? :D ) I'll probably keep my solid rock (light grey) colour too.

Hmm... I think I might adopt the original colours for the fungal forests and moss plains. They're warmer than the colours I came up with, although that might make them less compatible with the GAZ10 colours. (I'll have to do that one in its original colours soon too!)

Thanks for the input. :mrgreen:
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:55 am

The City of the Stars cavern ceiling map on the To do list is going to be a map showing the ceiling, where the City itself is located. There are not many details of this area in the Gazetteer itself, so it'll mostly have to be developed anew.

But why do all the roads on the cavern floor seem to lead to the city, even though it's actually far above, on the roof?! Can anyone think of a decent reason for this? Is there something on the cavern floor directly below the City?
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:39 am

Interesting question. Offhand, I could think of a couple of answers:

1) There's nothing there. The roads beneath the City of Stars are just roads, and the apparent convergence is simply due to that being the place where travellers must traverse the walls to reach the city itself.

2) There might be some kind of waystation or military installation/fort on the ground beneath the City, to serve as either first contact (merchants/travellers) or first defense (military) against people travelling on the road. I could definitely see some sort of settlement existing down below the city, if only just because it would seem a great place for enterprising merchants to try and get "first dibs" on caravans making their way via the roads there.

Then again, it could be considered just an extension of the city itself- sort of like the suburbs of modern cities.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Sun May 10, 2009 3:16 pm

Update: New versions of all the maps using revised colours and Feinen.

The new updated map has some innovations from my notes on GAZ13, such as an attempt at the depths of Ebon Lake.

Note that I will be revising the cave walls with the Poor Wizard's Almanac III map at some point soon. At that time I will change all the dotted lines to two-walled tunnels, as featured on the source map.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Chimpman » Mon May 11, 2009 4:23 pm

I like the updated map Thorf. The colors for water depth look good.

Here is something I've been thinking about - the cavern for the CIty of the Stars has 2 gravity planes, correct? One for the cavern floor and the other for the ceiling? What do we know about the map for the ceiling? I've always felt that we only got 1/2 the picture with this map.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Tue May 12, 2009 1:11 pm

Chimpman wrote:I like the updated map Thorf. The colors for water depth look good.

Here is something I've been thinking about - the cavern for the CIty of the Stars has 2 gravity planes, correct? One for the cavern floor and the other for the ceiling? What do we know about the map for the ceiling? I've always felt that we only got 1/2 the picture with this map.


Yes that's quite right! And in fact it's already on my to do list above. :D It's one of the dream maps that I've been wanting to make for years. (GAZ13's maps in general are among my favourite Mystaran maps.)

There is a fair bit of info in GAZ13 about the ceiling, although it will take a bit of thought (and development) to make up the map.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Tue May 12, 2009 3:20 pm

I did some more research and added some notes.

Notes on Updated map (GAZ13)
  • Great Cavern Depth - official sources changed track several times regarding the depth of the Shadowlands. "The City of Stars is directly underneath Trollhattan, in the Broken Lands; the water from the city's wells, in fact, is filtered down from Troll Lake more than a thousand feet above." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4c) Lower Trollhattan is marked as being at a depth of 1300 feet on the Lower Broken Lands map, and the lake is described as "a large, shallow lake with a mushy island in the middle." (GAZ10 Players' Guide page 12a) This means that according to the Gazetteers the ceiling of the Great Cavern is at a depth of more than 2300 feet, plus the depth of Troll Lake. The first Poor Wizard's Almanac gives a very different picture: "600 miles straight down from Aengmor (Known World), and up from the Azcan Empire (Hollow World), in a gigantic cavern at the approximate midpoint of the world's crust." (Poor Wizard's Almanac page 24b) This was likely an attempt to explain the strange gravity effects of the Great Cavern. Nevertheless, the final official say goes to Poor Wizard's Almanac III, which provides yet another figure, more along the lines of the original conception: "Roughly 6,000 feet below the surface of the Known World". (Poor Wizard's Almanac III page 52a) It goes on to say, "Editor's Note: Previous reports of the City of the Stars inhabiting a cavern within the World Shield, halfway between the outer and inner worlds, appear to have been inaccurate. This entry reflects the most current survey data available." (Poor Wizard's Almanac III page 54a) The Atlas is tentatively going with this last figure: a depth of about 6,000 feet. This can be largely reconciled with the original Gazetteer figure by taking it as the distance to the floor of the Great Cavern; the City of the Stars is 2400 feet above that floor (GAZ13 DM's Guide page 36b), which leaves us with a figure of more than 4700 feet, plus the depth of Troll Lake.
  • Great Cavern Height – "The unusual gravity of the cavern allows a visitor to stand on the floor of the cavern and look up at the city, miles above, so far away that its streetlights and windows appear to be stars." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4b-c) The term "miles above" is presumably not to be taken literally here, because the text later on gives a concrete figure:
  • Great Cavern Size – GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4b refers to the Great Cavern as "the largest cavern known" to the shadow elves. This is contradicted by the 8 mile per hex map, which depicts several caverns larger than the Great Cavern. Perhaps it is largest in terms of height rather than breadth. Another possibility is that the cavern is considered larger since both the cavern ceiling and floor are usable.
  • Nymiel’s Geyser – two inconsistencies for this one: the map has Nyniel’s Geiser, while the DM’s Book page 20 gives Nymiel’s Geyser. Geiser is a misspelling, but the name could go either way. In general the book seems to be more reliable than the map, so I have gone with Nymiel’s Geyser. The map's Nyniel's River has therefore also been changed to Nymiel's River.
  • Stalactites - "The principal feature of the City of Stars is of course the Temple of Rafiel, built against a face of the cavern on which is carved the Refuge of Stone, the religious text upon which the Way of the Shamans and all worship of Rafiel is based. The Temple of Rafiel almost entirely fills this niche, with stalactites hundreds of feet long hanging down nearly to the steps of the temple." (GAZ13 Players' Guide page 4c) It sounds as if the temple is entirely contained within a niche in the cavern wall or floor; unfortunately the map has things completely different, with the temple simply at the edge of the city, along the outer wall which is surrounded by clear terrain. Another possibility is that the stalactites referred to are the ends of massive stalagmites on the floor of the cavern far below.
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Re: Outer World: City of the Stars, 2 miles per hex

Postby Thorf » Tue May 12, 2009 3:35 pm

Two more expanded notes from the description of the Great Cavern's ceiling:

Notes on Updated map (GAZ13)
  • Wendolen Village - "To the east and north of the walled city (still on the ceiling) is Wendolen Village, where some 40,000 shadow elves (included in the population of the City of the Stars) live. This is an overspill area; the walled city is already packed." (GAZ13 DM’s Book page 22c) The detail maps of the city (on the poster map as well as inside the trifold cover) both show this town, as well as some other details of the terrain immediately beside the city.
  • Sistyl Forest - this fungal forest, described as lying beyond Wendolen Village, is "well worked-out and has few vigorous fungal growths outside a small number of intensively cultivated plantations. It is no longer a forest as such, and only provides work for some 1,000 shadow elves." Additionally, "More extensive fungal forests in the main cavern provide much better pickings." (GAZ13 DM’s Book page 22c) This last sentence could refer to the forests on the floor, but it seems likely there could be forests further from the City of the Stars on the cavern ceiling too.
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