Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:58 pm

...and the following scenario just occurred to me:

So, around AC 975, what was a small collection of huts of local fishermen and farmers sees a new merchant, just starting out, come into town. He decides to turn this into a waypoint, and buys out the local tavern, creates a decent sized inn and stables, and sets up a great place for meetings and barge/caravan traffic.

It becomes a trading post, and in an expansion of the village in AC 997 or so, while digging for new construction, they discover the ruins of Londredos. The merchant (or his son?) finances a pair of scholars to come in from Akorros, Akesoli, or Darokin to root through it for a while. The scholars start talking about the one-time kingdom of Sashenta, Londredos, etc.

So the merchant, being a merchant, opens a historical site/tourist trap as an additional point of interest (and research facility, but that's just to draw the people in, really) for his slowly-growing but high-traffic village.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Chimpman » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:08 pm

Bonetti wrote:...and the following scenario just occurred to me:

So, around AC 975, what was a small collection of huts of local fishermen and farmers sees a new merchant, just starting out, come into town. He decides to turn this into a waypoint, and buys out the local tavern, creates a decent sized inn and stables, and sets up a great place for meetings and barge/caravan traffic.

It becomes a trading post, and in an expansion of the village in AC 997 or so, while digging for new construction, they discover the ruins of Londredos. The merchant (or his son?) finances a pair of scholars to come in from Akorros, Akesoli, or Darokin to root through it for a while. The scholars start talking about the one-time kingdom of Sashenta, Londredos, etc.

So the merchant, being a merchant, opens a historical site/tourist trap as an additional point of interest (and research facility, but that's just to draw the people in, really) for his slowly-growing but high-traffic village.

And of course said merchant will probably have some minor troubles (requiring the services of adventurers perhaps) when he disturbs something that has been buried since the fall of Londredos. ;) I wonder what that could be?
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:38 pm

Oh, and Toney House might come along, looking for a cut, if said merchant wasn't already a member of the Great House.

Caught between a recently re-awakened horror and a protection racket? Hmmmm.....

I'd take the horror :-)

(Man, at this rate, I may have to write a new Darokin Gazetteer just to hold all the new information...)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby micky » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:07 am

how in the world did I miss this thread... found it after checking out the Marstrich Moor thread... great work Bonetti! :D
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Chimpman » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:19 am

micky wrote:how in the world did I miss this thread... found it after checking out the Marstrich Moor thread... great work Bonetti! :D

You must be loosing your touch micky ;)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Gecko » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:50 am

micky wrote:how in the world did I miss this thread... found it after checking out the Marstrich Moor thread... great work Bonetti! :D


In that case I hope you haven't missed the Outer World: Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex thread over in Thorf's Mystaran Mapping subforum. Another great (and increadibly ambitious) mapping work also by Bonetti.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:57 am

And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the swamp...

Some quick development notes (from campaign prep). I wouldn't mind a little feedback to ensure I'm not being silly/stupid or overlooking something obvious on these villages.

Populations are quasi-random, but intended to be appropriate for villages not large enough to make the main map. I figured Ameron sees a fair amount of traffic, being on the "trade" bank of the river and a suitable distance south of Darokin. It's the likely stopping point for the first night for most traffic, and has a slightly higher inn to population ratio than the others.

My thought on Hellwych is that the lumber mill (or whatever the correct facility for turning logs into lumber is in this era) would be near the town, thus the theme since it warehouses most of the logging from Woodhaven and environs. I assume the logs would be finished before shipping on the Streel (upriver or down), otherwise it would seriously interfere with a major trade route.

I have some quick-notes on about half the inns and taverns, too, but those will have to wait until I have a little more time :-)

Ameron
pop: 450
11 taverns (4 are inns)
Inns:
  • The Unnamed Ox
  • Caravan's Repose
  • The Still of Night
  • Amongst the Reeds
Taverns:
  • Donal's Den
  • The Tipsy Trout
  • The Nine Bells
  • The Bullfrog
  • Broken Crossbow
  • The Old Hermit
  • The Drunken Orc
Other Facilities:
  • smith
  • livery/ostler
  • a few fishmongers
Constabulary: 8, plus posse

Hellwych
pop: 200
4 taverns (1 is an inn – not a common town to stop except for trade)
Inn:
  • The Slumber Yard
Taverns:
  • Bert's Place
  • The Old Buzzsaw
  • The Sign of the Red Splotch
Other Facilities:
  • lumber mill
  • log warehouse
  • log receiving
Constabulary: 1 constable, 1 part-time deputy, posse drafted as needed
Other Features: Local brew: Logger's Lager (brewed for the Old Buzzsaw, but mimicked elsewhere)

Bethal*
pop: 300
6 taverns (3 are inns)
Inns:
  • Harnsby's Haunt
  • The Lit Candle
  • The Traveling Wagon
Taverns:
  • The Draught Horse
  • The Watering Hole
  • Graf's Tome
Other facilities:
  • smith (shoeing, farming implements)
Constabulary: 1 constable, 1 deputy, plus one squad on rotation (leave, sort of) from Strenny Keep

* I had picked the name Bethel because I needed a name, it came from an area with some English colonies (where I lived for a few years), and stood out less than others in the area (Yorktown, Grafton, Tabb, Jamestown, Williamsburg). However, I missed the religious connotations until I started doing more research. To avoid injecting that into Mystara, I've renamed the village but haven't updated the map yet.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:03 am

Lockport
pop: 100 - 250 (seasonal due to mining camp and cargo fluctuation)
8 taverns (3 are inns) (higher concentration due to traffic through the canal)
Inns:
  • Hawlen's Leisure
  • Dew Drop Inn
  • (The Inn) By the Gate
Taverns:
  • Jeros' Watering Hole
  • The Iron Toe
  • The Low Bridge
  • The Drowned Gnoll
  • Lizardman's Last
Other Facilities:
  • beast of burden rental (for hauling along the canal) -- paired facilities here and in Athenos
  • smelting for ore?
Constabulary: constable, 2 deputies, plus the garrison
Other features: Permanent 10-person crew manning the locks, with a small garrison for protection (major trade artery); extra lodgings for seasonal workers
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:03 am

A couple tidbits about a few of the inns/taverns:

The Nine Bells (Ameron): This tavern has the silhouettes of nine large bells decorating the front of the building. Each one has the name of one of the Great Houses inscribed on it.

The Sign of the Red Splotch (Hellwych): As the sign for this tavern was being painted (originally, The Three Logs), an unfortunate mishap left an indistinct splatter of red paint. The proprietor, overseeing the work, liked the effect enough that he kept it.

Bert's Place (Hellwych): Old Bert was once a bard, traveling the Known World and entertaining many. After an unfortunate incident involving a poorly chosen anecdote, a lord, and being chased by hounds, Bert decided it was time to settle down. He chose Hellwych and opened a pub. These days, he listens more than talks, and he'll often offer a free meal to anyone with a really good story to tell.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:17 am

re: Lockport...

How does the local economy sustain so many drinking establishments? With a base population of 100 permanent residents, that's one drinking hole (most inns traditionally served as pubs in addition to offering lodging) per 12 local inhabitants - men, women, and children. If we assume a population split equally between those three, that's barely enough adults to staff the pubs and make the alcohol.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:45 am

You're correct, except for the traffic I figure goes through there. (I use 50:1 as my base for a low-traffic town, and knocked it to around 40:1 for Ameron and Bathel because they're such natural stopping places.)

Virtually all sea trade between Darokin and the rest of the world goes through Athenos. That should see a tremendous amount of traffic through the Athenos canal (I would expect that as Darokin's trade rose post-merger, the canal is probably nearing its capacity at peak times).

I've placed Lockport at one end of the locks, and Athenos at the other. This is a practically mandatory stop for all barge traffic, which means crews passing through all the time. So, I don't envision them as being sustained by the local population. In fact, I'd set it up so that one of the establishments (probably the Watering Hole) doesn't advertise, is tucked away in a corner, and is where the locals hang out. The rest sprang up to service crews, and because of the transient nature are probably sub-standard.

(My view is that there is a series of locks at both ends for the altitude differential, and the bulk of the canal is one long, flat canal. That way, the guards aren't spread out over the full length, and it fits in with the idea of "self protection" as suggested by the Gazetteer. Lockport is at entrance to the canal.)
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Spellweaver » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:21 pm

Just saw that you had included my Gallows Tree tavern in your map and stories. I am very honoured, sir!

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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:08 pm

Glad you like it :-)

The more I look at the expected traffic, the more I think I may have missed the intent. Should it be a little further off the beaten path?
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Spellweaver » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:12 pm

Bonetti wrote:Glad you like it :-)

The more I look at the expected traffic, the more I think I may have missed the intent. Should it be a little further off the beaten path?


I had to reread the original entry at the Vault and actually discovered a mistake. In my text it says the inn and tavern is between Athenos and Mar. It should, of course, be between Athenos and Hinmeet (as it is in your map).

You are correct that Penard's establishment does not get a lot of visitors - it is not a prosperous place. Rather it is a place for outlaws and other people not seeking a lot of attention to hang out. If you are worried about the Gallows Tree not fitting in with a lot of highway traffic, consider this:

When the Gallows Tree first opened, it had a bright future because most of the caravans going north from Athenos stopped there. But as the years went on, the merchant guilds felt that the road was too swampy causing all kinds of problems for the wagons and animals. So they built a new 20-mile section of road a bit further to the west where it was more dry. As a result, the Gallows Tree lost a lot of customers and eventually became a run-down place that only the locals, people who had lost their way and people looking for solitude frequented.

Then Penard came by and he like the isolation and the fact that he did not have to do a lot of work, so he bought it and the original owner was all too happy to let him have it.

How does that work out?

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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:50 pm

Mar and Hinmeet as described in the GAZ11 text are clearly swapped on the map. Thorf corrected it on his 8mph map, and I carried the correction over. Your text matches the original Gazetter map just fine :-) (I stuck with the intent...)

My vision of history in this area is basically this: Athenos is pretty close to as old as cities get in Darokin (dating to the original influx of the humans who eventually became Traldar/Traladarans, i.e. about the same time Salonikos/Selenica was founded), mostly because it was a defensible spot for a small city-state. It survived the wars and occupations because of this, when many other old cities didn't. However, it was always a relatively independent city, and it wasn't until the Great Merger that it became a major trade center.

Once Darokin merged and trade between the rest of Darokin and Athenos became practical, as the only viable port city, Athenos' traffic and importance grew by leaps and bounds. I see it as a city of 4 - 6,000 at the time of the Great Merger, 14,500 at the start of 1000 AC, and a city (15,000 plus) before the year ends.

So, the Streel becomes ever more traveled, with ever more sophisticated means of traveling up and down river. Many boats are now so laden that they can afford extra crew to speed the trip (many oarsmen) instead of plodding along in barges with one or two animals (or a few men) hauling them.

Then, around 955 ("less than 50 years ago"), Hinmeet is founded, and it rapidly becomes a center of trade, too. This draws the land traffic away from the tracks along the Streel, so most caravans start making detours to hit Hinmeet in case of good deals either selling or buying. So, anything along that original track is going to see a steady decrease in foot traffic from 950 AC to 1000 AC.

OK, I've talked myself into leaving it where it is on the 2 2/3 mph map. I think my error is on my 1 mph map, where it's just off the road from Hinmeet.

This does prompt me to think that there is a delapidated village in the area, too, which has seen much of its population leave as trade and traffic shifted elsewhere. That would feed into the whole "failed inn" idea, and it would be easy pickings for bandits to come in and dominate.

I guess I'd better update the 1 mph map before I forget again.

Thanks!
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:23 pm

Hrm, I should probably share the current the 1 mile Athenos Canal map. (So far, my players seem to not have found this material, so it should be safe :-) )

Athenos Canal: 1 mile per hex:
ImageImageImageImage

After the zoom-in, I added some tiny islands along the coast, a few villages near Athenos (a mix of farming and fishing), a couple camps, and some ruins to play with. After developing this terrain, it occurred to me that I need to either fix my terrain, or overrule the Gazetteer, on the placement of the locks.

My current thoughts are that Lockport and its matching (unnamed) village are the "up" and "down" lock locations, respectively.

I haven't done much with the interior of the swamp yet, I was more concerned with making sure the canal itself was well enough developed to work for the party going through.
Last edited by Bonetti on Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Spellweaver » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:32 pm

A very nice 1-mile map, but pardon me for asking: Is that jungle north of Lockport??? :?

Oh, and I think you story about the trade route shifting to go by Hinmeet makes sense ;)
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Chimpman » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:12 pm

Spellweaver wrote:A very nice 1-mile map, but pardon me for asking: Is that jungle north of Lockport??? :?

Huh, just noticed this as well. I'm assuming that you are using jungle to represent a wooded swamp (but could be wrong). I think there are actually wooded swamp and wooded marsh hexes out there (I use them in some of my other maps) - they look like normal tree hexes but in the swamp color.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:39 pm

Actually, I just copied them from the detail map on Vaults of Pandius. You're probably correct on the original intention, and it's almost certainly a good idea to replace them.

I already re-created the single-tree swamp hex for hexgimp, I suppose I can do the heavier forest one, too, and rework the maps when I get the chance.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Dave L » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:55 pm

Bonetti wrote:I already re-created the single-tree swamp hex for hexgimp, I suppose I can do the heavier forest one, too, and rework the maps when I get the chance.


HexGimp??

Quick Google later - you must be joking! Do you realise what this means??

Resurrected thread

This is the first I've heard of Thorf's hex artwork being available in a form everyone can use.
Thank you so much for this - this means I no longer need to use Paintshop Pro for the layers, which will make things much less complicated. Thank you! :D
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:00 am

There's a thread about hexgimp, which is how I found it. It's a great tool for knocking out maps.

I'd like to get Inkscape up and running with Thorf's art at some point, just for that extra finish and control. Still, it's a fantastic tool which has done well for the Darokin maps :-)
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Mike » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:08 am

I was always bothered by the fact that the Streel separates into two rivers just below Darokin City, the side branch feeding the Malpheggi and the main river bypassing it. I also thought of the Malpheggi as the "Streel delta" and this whole arrangement seemed mighty peculiar and not very well thought-out.

Anyway just yesterday I somehow ended up on Wikipedia looking at the Atchafalaya river, how it splits off from the Mississippi 315 miles north of the Gult of Mexico, and is trying to "capture" the river. The Atchafalaya feeds a swampy basin while the Mississippi flows on to its own delta. Today looking at the Athenos canal mapping thread, it suddenly occurred to me that this is exactly the situation in Darokin. (And the Streel has its own delta, thank you very much. The Malpheggi is a basin not a delta...) It looks like someone on the design team was familiar with Louisiana!

- Streel River = M-Mississippi River
- Arbandrione River = M-Atchafalaya River
- Malpheggi Swamp = M-Atchafalaya Basin

Incidentally the Atchafalaya basin with its gloomy cypress swamps and huge population of alligators (apparently the largest swamp in the USA) makes a nice model for the Malpheggi.

Some interesting links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atchafalaya_Basin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_River_Control_Structure
http://www.cclockwood.com/stockimages/atchafalaya.htm - see the "landscapes" gallery
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:40 am

Good points, and fascinating links, thanks!

I've been loosely equating the Streel with the Mississippi all along, but that information gives a lot more potential information about the geography of the swamp itself.

The one difference I would note is that the Arbandrine is somewhat seasonal. The Gazetteer has this to say:
Gazetteer wrote:The Arbandrine River is also heavily traveled from Darokin to Tenobar, though it is not as swift or wide as the Streel. During the rainy season (primarily in the fall), ships can easily trafel from Lake Amsorak, down the Amsorak River, and on to the Arbandrine. This is not as certain a proposition during the other seasons of the year, but the waterway is often still possible with luck.

That suggests to me that the Arbandrine goes from navigable to impassable, depending on season. It probably doesn't go away altogether, though.

I'm not familiar with the Atchafalaya River, but the Wikipedia page notes that there's an ongoing engineering effort to keep it navigable. Perhaps it would be similar without intervention?

If Tenobar had the funds, would it be worth their while to make a similar effort to encourage more trade down that branch? (I would imagine that there's a fair amount of traffic back up the northern Arbandrine to come out at Athenos, and being a much smaller maintenance headache, it might even be periodically dredged by the movers and shakers in Darokin City so the trade passes through there, then takes advantage of the Streel.)
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Hugin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:53 pm

Very interesting insight, Mike. Thanks for sharing that. This also serves to reminds me that this region has likely changed drastically over the course of the previous three millennia.
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Re: Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

Postby Bonetti » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:41 am

Minor updates to the map and notes:

  • (map) Changed jungle hexes to forested moor hexes
  • (map) Adjusted label size to match with other 2 2/3 mile per hex maps (smaller)
  • (notes) Added Stoneford (incorporating Cthulhudrew's suggestion, too), not sure how I missed ever having a description :-)
  • (both) Finally updated map with new name of Bethal

I will probably (eventually) write up more about the region (history, timelines, additional notes), but the map is pretty much done.
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