Who Lives Where, part 2

I hope you saw part 1 of this series. If not, scroll down.

I asked Don to add things to the map and include some of the other major kindreds of Rrr’lfff.  He did, and this is the result.  I am very pleased.

Trollworld Peoples 2

I’m not sure all the colors work here, but some things become obvious. The elves are everywhere. They should be. They were the first intelligent immigrants to Rrr’lff, closely followed by dragons.

The gray background on the legend doesn’t work to show off the colors very well. Skeletons are supposedly violet, but it’s hard to tell them from the Orcs who are darker blue. Ogres have a light blue that is also hard to see.

I told Don about hobbs living on the borders of men and elves, but he has called them halflings. Don, there are no halflings on Trollworld–that term belongs to That Other Game. The hobb color is too close to the elf color. I totally missed it on my first and second look at the map. How about red, or perhaps brown for hobbs?

Light brown is a strange color for goblins, and I almost missed them, but closer examination does show them in places where they ought to be.  I’d give them the hobbs green color, preferably olive green. The fact that I could miss that on my first examination proves the map is very complex and needs to be looked at closely to really understand it.

Now, if I asked Steve to clean up the map for inclusion in Deluxe, the two things I would want him to do are: (1) make the color key more legible, and (2) possibly change some of the colors to achieve greater contrast in some places.  And change halflings to hobbs on the key.  Hobbs may sound a bit like hobbits, but is not hobbit, and is a distinct term that no other game, that I know of, uses.

How do you like this ethnographic survey of the Dragon Continent?


Who Lives Where?

Trollworld PeoplesDon Clarke, Dhonn of Trollhalla’s inner elite, has put together this preliminary map of who lives where on the dragon continent. I think it’s pretty cool, so I’m publishing it here, but I think it could be even better.

Trollworld is home to dozens, possibly hundreds, of different intelligent species. That being said, it is reasonable to say that only a few are really widespread and dominant in their areas.  Those would be: humans, elves, dwarves, urookin (uruks). nagas, gharghs (gargoyles), lizard men, goblins, hobbs, ogres, centaurs, minotaurs. Although both trolls and dragons are widespread and powerful, they tend to be solitary creatures and so fail to actually dominate any particular part of the world.  The big ones are feared and respected. The smaller ones get along the best they can.

So, let’s talk about the ethnography of Trollworld.  This is the Ken St. Andre version of Trollworld.  Yours may differ, and that’s perfectly ok. Trollworld is a bit like Roger Zelazny’s Amber multiverse.  There is one true Trueworld (mine) and then all the infinitie shadows of it (yours). To those who play (or live) in them, they are all equally real. A world is a world is a world after all.  This is only one corner of my Trollworld, and what I am saying here, is really only true for Rrr’lff (Ralph, the Dragon Continent).

Humans are the most numerous kindred on Trollworld. They adapt to every climate. They are fertile and have large families. They organize and work together well. They are magically adept. They generally like to live together in cities and near cities. Areas where they predominate are shown as flesh-colored on the map.  Don has them mostly on the dragon’s head and breast down to the foreclaws. What would be more accurate would be not to shade the whole area, but to have them around the human cities and in narrow strips of territory along the roads that connect those cities. He also apparently does not know that those are all human cities along the dragon’s belly, so that there should be a narrow strip of flesh-tone along that coast except for the heart of the Naga jungles. The island of Sonan Ie is also a human region, as is most of the dragon’s tail, and the islands up in the dragon’s wings.  Human lands interpenetrate lands where other kindreds would be numerous of perhaps dominant.

The Skeleton Men, who are a type of humans with transparent flesh, control all the area on the south coast of the Dragon’s Mouth. The old abandoned city of Khorror is their unofficial capitol. Their lands are part of the Empire of the Goddess.

Dwarves are perhaps the second most numerous kindred. There are actually several different kinds of dwarves–just as there are different kinds of humans, but they get along well with humans. Dwarves aren’t farmers. They are miners. Dwarf country would be islands all over the map, wherever there are good mineral deposits. They have a notable underground city as part of Khazan. They would be up in the mountain ranges and hills everywhere, not much in the forests.  Dwarves and trolls compete for the same resources–the dwarves want the minerals, but the trolls want the territory. Beneath the surface there is a neverending war between dwarves and trolls.

Elves dominate the forests, but the dark elves live underground in caverns, mostly the caverns below forested areas, but some in the hills and mountains too.  You would see elves in all the forested areas, even those fairly close to human cities. What you would really find on the map are interlaced ribbons of green and pink.  Hobbs do well on the borders of both groups, so if we had a hobb color on the map, I’d put it in islands bordering both elves and humans.

The urookin have mostly had to subsist in the borderlands that are not fertile enough to support large groups of humans or elves.  They have the surfaces of the low hills, and the edges of the plains and deserts. We may as well go ahead and call them orcs again. I believe that terminology is coming back in the deluxe edition. Orcs are akin to humans in that they can adapt to almost any environment, so although most of them would be in hills and semi-barren country, you might find clans of them in the mountains.  It was the Red Orc clan who gave their name to the Red Orc mountain range north of Khosht.

Goblins mostly live in wet and swampy areas. The region known as the Great Sump is a huge marsh full of goblins. Don did not have a color for them. A narrow band of goblin color should follow all the major rivers, perhaps in islands. There are goblins up and down the Khazan/Thar river, and along the Khosht River and elsewhere. Still, they are adaptable, and where there is underground water, there are underground goblins.

Ogres live in wild and inaccessible places–often ruins of former glory. You would find them up around Tharothar and also around the Blasted City and D’Tryt.

Lizard men live in even harsher territory than Orcs. Their homelands include the Scorpion Lands and the Scorching Veldt. There are also aquatic, dinosaurian lizard men called the L’zhan, who live in the archipelagos of islands called the Dragon’s Wings and the islands east of the Dragon’s Tail and north of the Mane Lands. They are great mariners and fighters and a menace to all who encounter them.  They have enclaves of settlements along the north side of the Dragon’s Back.

Centaurs and minotaurs prefer more open country, and their stronghold is the plains south and east of Khazan.

Fairies live in the forests with the elves, and have also invaded the cities and live alongside humans.  They are like pigeons, or bees.

Leprechauns take over isolated hills usually not far from human settlements. They do so love to take advantage of the clumsy big people.

Nagas live mostly in the Naga jungles in the Dragon’s midsection, but there is a large population of humans there as well. The humans are a slave race for the serpent-people.

The far east, the Dragon’s Rump, is the home country of the Gharghs–a winged people who dominate the large human population by force.  They are dragon minions and protected by the large number of dragons who make this part of the continent their home. Dragons also dominate all the highest mountain ranges, especially the sky-scraping peaks north of Khazan, Kasar, Stormgaard, and Tharothar.

Ratlings live mostly in the undercities where humans can be found.  They tend to be more scavengers than producers.  All human cities require a large underground support system to carry water, and sewage, and those tunnels can be adapted to other purposes as well.  Ratlings and goblins are an underclass there, with dwaves usually in charge. Trolls tend to be predators in such areas.

As you can see, the ecology and ethnology of Trollworld is complicated.

Heh! But I have to say I love seeing maps like this, and I hope Don will go on to add more colors and further show the (rough) ethnography of Trollworld.

–Ken St. Andre, Nov. 15, 2014


Trollworld Roads

Our world has roads that link pretty much every place to every other place, but the ancient world did not have such things. People didn’t travel much. Merchants had caravans or followed overland trails made by those who had gone before, or they put everything on a boat and sailed to their destination, but mostly when people travelled they just took off overland. The Romans changed everything. They went out and made roads, at least within the empire they made roads, and because they had roads, they could move their armies faster than most of their foes. They could also move goods and people around better. They even made roads in gods-forsaken corners of the empire like Britain. Khazan_Road (1) We are concerned with Trollworld. Are there many roads on Trollworld? I kind of think there are, even if the official Trollworld map doesn’t show them. There has been a Great Khazan Road connecting Khazan to Khosht since the earliest days of T & T. There’s a road leading out of Gull into the wilderness, even if we don’t know of any other cities on Phoron. There are roads following the shorelines of the Dragon’s Throat, and a road running downriver from Khosht to Knor. Yorrdamma Vrash has done a lot of world creation in Trollworld. He believes in roads. Here’s a map he sent me, and it seems like the road, and what you can reach on it is the main feature. For tvp, send me an email (kenstandre@yahoo.com) telling me what you think of the roads question. For lots of points, send me a map of your corner of Trollword (or whatever world you play in) and if there are roads between important places, be sure to show them. Note that roads are not the same as streets. Most cities and towns have streets. At first they were just the space between buildings, but as things got more organized, roads were actually planned, and sometimes even paved. Kings and nobles really hate mucking around in mud and dust. Streets allow one to get around on the ground inside urbs of different sorts. Roads connect urbs and other places with lots of non-urban space in between. Khaghbbooomm has commented on the roads in his part of the world. He says:

travel features a lot in the games on the Kraken Continent. I attach a map – roads are marked in green and underground canals in blue. There are not many major roads: distances are too great and the population too sparse; powerful wizards use spells, of course. There are many caravan routes and small, rough roads but most overland travel away from Khaboom requires a degree of protection. Dwarves have hacked out some underground canals (there are no major surface rivers); the seas to the west are dominated by kraken so shipping is not a viable option to connect the bigger towns in the west to other coasts.
Kraken_Map_with roads and canals
Here’s another roads contribution, this one from Europe. It shows a bit of that very first road I imagined to link Khosht and Khazan. It doesn’t show the riverside road between Khosht and Knor, but that’s ok. I don’t think I ever said much about that one, or showed it on any previous map of Rrr’lff.  It’s kind of interesting that the road penetrates into the desert for a ways and then just stops. It looks like it should continue on to Kartejan, but it doesn’t. It just stops. Methinks there is a story there. You know, there is a subterranean city of giant scorpion riders down there in that part of the desert somewhere (as told in my GM adventure HOT PURSUIT). Could the road have come too close to their hidden base, thus prompting attack after attack until the road-building was abandoned?
Carte du poitrail du dragon bis

Cartographers, show me your stuff! –end