[Outer World] Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

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[Outer World] Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:04 am

Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex by Thorf

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Sources: GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome (1988).
Last edited by Thorf on Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Rewrote post completely.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by multizar » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:56 pm

That's ironic. I was just looking at this picture last night in the Rockhome Gaz. I was going through my Gazatteers and making bitmap copies of all the maps and interesting pictures in them.

I hope to see you do more of these maps including the ones from the Alfhiem Gaz. :)
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Havard » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:03 pm

This is quite useful!
I'm looking forward to seeing the Darokin Tunnel on the fully integrated maps :)

Thanks Thorf!

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:18 pm

The strangest thing about the Darokin Tunnel is that, as the bracketed "trail" implies, it is not in fact a tunnel - at least according to the Gazetteer. :? But if it's not a tunnel, why call it the Darokin Tunnel? And isn't a tunnel a bit more interesting?

More of a point, what do the straight lines on the map mean? Usually that symbol is used for roads, but it seems quite inappropriate here, and besides, the roads over by Lake Stahl are black, whereas these lines are grey.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by metal » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:37 pm

Is it possible that the grey lines are tunnels?

If that is the case......Any ideas on the make up of these tunnels?
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Havard » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:43 pm

Thorf wrote:The strangest thing about the Darokin Tunnel is that, as the bracketed "trail" implies, it is not in fact a tunnel - at least according to the Gazetteer. :? But if it's not a tunnel, why call it the Darokin Tunnel? And isn't a tunnel a bit more interesting?

More of a point, what do the straight lines on the map mean? Usually that symbol is used for roads, but it seems quite inappropriate here, and besides, the roads over by Lake Stahl are black, whereas these lines are grey.
Yeah, I didn't quite understand that either. Straight lines like that sometimes means Mountain Pass as well, don't they?

What if these are actually both underground, but "trail" means the tunnel isn't really finnished in those sections yet?

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:06 pm

Read the page with the map in the Gazetteer - it specifically states it's not a tunnel. :?

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by metal » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:32 pm

Oh well.....
I already had a picture started in my head of a grandiose dwarven tunnel system. :?
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:03 pm

To be honest, in this case I think it would be better to ignore the whole "not a tunnel" thing... After all, the map clearly shows it as a system of straight paths and winding trails - and the paths are most likely tunnels. Plus there's the fact that it's called a tunnel. These facts added together give us two different official pictures: it is a tunnel, and it's not a tunnel. This in turn leaves us pretty free to choose if we want to reject the "it's not a tunnel" thing.

At least that's how I see it currently. Even if we accept that it isn't a tunnel, we still need to explain the straight paths on the map.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:07 pm

Thorf wrote:To be honest, in this case I think it would be better to ignore the whole "not a tunnel" thing... After all, the map clearly shows it as a system of straight paths and winding trails - and the paths are most likely tunnels. Plus there's the fact that it's called a tunnel. These facts added together give us two different official pictures: it is a tunnel, and it's not a tunnel. This in turn leaves us pretty free to choose if we want to reject the "it's not a tunnel" thing.

At least that's how I see it currently. Even if we accept that it isn't a tunnel, we still need to explain the straight paths on the map.
If, by the word 'tunnel,' the writers refer to an artificial, constructed passage, then could not the 'Darokin Tunnel' be series of valleys connected by passes and natural caves? Similar to the Great Pass through the Black Mountains. After all, the Great Pass is as much cavern as it is valley.

As to the straight lines, perhaps the mapping of the caverns/valleys/passes is not very detailed. It is just known that if you start here you end up there, even though the path itself is actually quite winding.
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Gecko » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:23 pm

Perhaps naturally occuring lava tubes?

Perhaps even the 1st and 2nd sections (when traveling from Greenston to Darokin) were originally (geologically speaking) the same tube but the river in a combination of its current and/or prevoious course has eroded the valley inbetween the sections away. Thus when traveling from Greenston you enter the tube with a gradual upwards slope, exit and have to go down the valley, then back up before reintering another tube that also slopes upward.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:50 pm

I have a bit more time than I did earlier, so let me collect together the information given in GAZ6 about the Darokin Tunnel.
GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, page 5 wrote:The Map
... ... ...
Darokin Tunnel: This is a game trail and pass through the Altan Tepe Mountains and into Darokin. The pass, which is not known to the humans of Darokin, is often used by adventuresome young dwarves for quick raids into the Alfheim forests.
GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, page 47 wrote:Passes and Accesses
There are only a few easy accesses into Rockhome—four, to be precise. They are:

The Darokin Tunnel: This is a game trail through along [sic] mountain slopes and through a couple of mountain passes; it cuts through most of the Altan Tepe Mountains and into Darokin. The trail ends at the northeastern base of a small mountain, and travellers must make a difficult climb over this mountain to reach the foothills of Darokin. The elves of Alfheim and the humans of Darokin know that such a trail exists, but they do not know where it is. The Tunnel is often used by adventuresome dwarves for quick raids into the Alfheim forests.
GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, page 80 wrote:Incidents and Encounters
One: Getting to Canolbarth
... ... ...
...the place where the so-called Darokin Tunnel (actually nothing more than a game trail through otherwise seemingly impenetrable mountains) begins to follow the Nordern River.

It's five more days of hard trekking along the trail before the characters reach the foothills beyond the Altan Tepe Mountains. They'll pass one or two anonymous mining communities set up along the Norden River...

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:05 am

Clearly, at least as written in the GAZ, the 'tunnel' is anything but. So, the question is, where did the name come from?

Perhaps, the governments of Darokin and Alfheim, who only know that dwarves are somehow getting through the mountains, made up the name to explain the situation. This way, they didn't have to admit that they had no idea how the dwarves were getting through. A 'tunnel' would certainly be believable.
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by metal » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:09 am

CmdrCorsiken wrote:Clearly, at least as written in the GAZ, the 'tunnel' is anything but. So, the question is, where did the name come from?

Perhaps, the governments of Darokin and Alfheim, who only know that dwarves are somehow getting through the mountains, made up the name to explain the situation. This way, they didn't have to admit that they had no idea how the dwarves were getting through. A 'tunnel' would certainly be believable.
OK, interesting take on that. Real interesting.

I still have that picture of a grand tunnel in my head.
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:56 am

metal wrote:I still have that picture of a grand tunnel in my head.
Well, obviously, you fell for the Darokin Foreign Ministry's explanation for the dwarf incursions... ;)
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by metal » Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:56 am

CmdrCorsiken wrote:
metal wrote:I still have that picture of a grand tunnel in my head.
Well, obviously, you fell for the Darokin Foreign Ministry's explanation for the dwarf incursions... ;)
:? Ummm maybe I did. :oops:
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:28 am

CmdrCorsiken wrote:Clearly, at least as written in the GAZ, the 'tunnel' is anything but. So, the question is, where did the name come from?

Perhaps, the governments of Darokin and Alfheim, who only know that dwarves are somehow getting through the mountains, made up the name to explain the situation. This way, they didn't have to admit that they had no idea how the dwarves were getting through. A 'tunnel' would certainly be believable.
Yes, that's something I've been thinking about too - where does the name come from, who uses it, etc. It could also be a deliberately deceptive name adopted by the dwarves who use it - or it could be both, originating with the humans and/or elves and adopted by the dwarves in the interests of national security.

This last issue - security - is a pretty big one, as the adventure "Race for the City" at the end of GAZ6 explicitly states. The last part of the adventure write-up deals with the consequences of orcs finding the Darokin Tunnel, which is to say that the trail would need to be expanded and a new fortress placed at the end to guard it permanently. What amazes me is that the dwarves haven't done this already - especially when the trail leads directly into Darokin's Orc Lands region! The chances of orcs finding the trail in the course of time seem pretty high, and yet the dwarves leave it unprotected. This suggests that it is actually very well hidden, and somewhat difficult, although again in "Race for the City" an army of 500 orcs has no problems proceeding along the trail once they find its entrance.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by multizar » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:32 am

In the book Son of Dawn the heroes travel from Ylarium into Darokin using an annelid tunnel. It comes out in the Altan Tepes mountians between Fort Hobart and Selenica.

The blue dragon in the book states that Greater Annelids leave passages "greater,wider,and straighter than your puny roads".

The tunnel portions could be the result of ancient annelid tunnels.

Just a thought.....
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:52 am

multizar wrote:In the book Son of Dawn the heroes travel from Ylarium into Darokin using an annelid tunnel. It comes out in the Altan Tepes mountians between Fort Hobart and Selenica.

The blue dragon in the book states that Greater Annelids leave passages "greater,wider,and straighter than your puny roads".

The tunnel portions could be the result of ancient annelid tunnels.

Just a thought.....
Good call - I had forgotten about this uniquely Mystaran reason to have very straight and extensive tunnel systems. Perhaps some of the shadow elf tunnels could have the same origin. I wonder how common these tunnels are... Presumably they were made simply by the annelids moving about, so there could be quite a lot of them, although many will have collapsed over the millennia. (Of course in the case of the shadow elves, they have tunnelling magic of their own devising so there's already a reason for tunnels to be pretty straight.)

I'm still divided over the whole tunnel/trail issue, though. I've been trying to search for another example of a path called a tunnel without any underground passages, but so far I haven't found any.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Hugin » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:11 pm

To me, it looks as though they are saying it is not a tunnel (as in one single tunnel), but rather a series of trails and tunnels.

Got to say I really like CmdrCorsiken's suggestion of the name being applied to outside Rockhome to explain something that they are incapable of explaining. Nice!

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:57 am

Hugin wrote:To me, it looks as though they are saying it is not a tunnel (as in one single tunnel), but rather a series of trails and tunnels.
That's certainly what I get from the map. But the Gazetteer seems quite clear to me about there being no tunnel (or tunnels).
Got to say I really like CmdrCorsiken's suggestion of the name being applied to outside Rockhome to explain something that they are incapable of explaining. Nice!
Yes, and it also helps explain why they might be willing to leave such a weak point in their otherwise very strong defences: their main defence for that route is propaganda.

Unfortunately propaganda doesn't necessarily work so well with the Orclands humanoids. But then, perhaps they have their own tunnels anyway. Still, I don't like the apparent ease with which the orcs find the entrance to the "tunnel" in Race for the City. It suggests that the dwarves have been really negligent in their defence of that entry into Rockhome, which doesn't make sense given their very serious defences on all other passes.

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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:41 am

Agreed that it's too bad the Gaz doesn't describe it as being a tunnel, especially since (IIRC) the Gaz also provides some really interesting pictures of dwarven tunnel traps. (At least I think I remember them being in the Gaz; maybe I saw them somewhere else?)
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by multizar » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:52 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:Agreed that it's too bad the Gaz doesn't describe it as being a tunnel, especially since (IIRC) the Gaz also provides some really interesting pictures of dwarven tunnel traps. (At least I think I remember them being in the Gaz; maybe I saw them somewhere else?)

No, the only picture of dwarven big weapons is The Dwarven Mechanical Light Catapult. I do not recall where the picture of dwarven tunnel traps are, but I have seen them before in something..... :oops:
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:57 am

multizar wrote:No, the only picture of dwarven big weapons is The Dwarven Mechanical Light Catapult. I do not recall where the picture of dwarven tunnel traps are, but I have seen them before in something..... :oops:
Just checked- it's on the inside cover of the Gaz. Tunnel with an acid trap. (Knew I'd seen it somewhere. :D )
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Re: Outer World: Darokin Tunnel, 4 miles per hex

Post by Belathauzer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:12 pm

Interesting topic.

I'm of the same opinion of CmdrCorsiken here. My take on it is that the way the Darokin Tunnel is described it could be something akin to the "Underground Railroad" of the USA. The Underground Railroad was neither underground (in the literal sense) or a railroad, it was rather an informal network of like-minded individuals who used secret routes and safe-houses to aid runaway slaves in reaching the Free States in the north and the Canadas.

With this in mind, the Darokin Tunnel could be more of a series of interconnected natural and man(or rather dwarf)-made paths consisting of valleys, passes, caves, tubes, and at times even tunnels. The "way" would only be known to those who have walked it before and the knowledge would be passed along by guiding others. Mapping it would be considered sacrilege as the dwarves would not want this information to fall into the wrong hands. There could even be a society of dwarves who act as guardians; maintaining the routes, providing shelter, and acting as guides and defenders of the "tunnel". The peoples of Darokin & Alfheim, at a loss for how the dwarves were passing, created the legend of the "Tunnel". The dwarves have decided to let the name stick as both a badge of honor and also as a means of disinformation; for if other countries think the dwarves to be advanced enough to bore straight through the mountains, then why couldn't they dig holes right up under their cities (much like the legends and fears, based somewhat on truth, that Americans had in the past of Chinese, Vietnamese, and other Asians digging tunnels beneath them with ill intent). ;)

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