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Western Oerik; Empire of Lyhnn, Tharquish Empire, cont'd

 
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Western Oerik; Empire of Lyhnn, Tharquish Empire, cont'd Reply with quote

So ... I can't beleive that this conversation began about a year ago, but, it's massively long at eight pages, and I didn't want anyone to miss out on it just because they hadn't seen "Part I".

So ... Not too terribly long ago, we were discussing the areas of Western Oerik, and how we found out that the areas that were named on the Dragon Annual #6 didn't actually originate there, but had roots back to the original author, whom Gygax had worked with and personally said that he intended to include his map on Oerth.
That author, Francis Marcela Friodeval, went on to write a series of graphic novels that was set in that world (Black Moon Chronicles). Though in his published version, those same regions were set in an different Alternate Earth other than Oerth.

Nevertheless, there's been a few incarnations now of video games that are based on that same setting (Blackmoon Chronicles, Empire of Lhynn, et al). So ... for those devotees of Western Oerik, today I took some screenshots while playing the newest version of the MMO of the Blackmoon Chronicles. I'm currently centered around the capitol of the Kingdom of Justice, a nation of Templar-paladins and devout priests.

One of the interesting things is that the map has had a great amount of detail added to it since the IP was owned by the previous company that began the MMO. Also, a couple of the cities seem to have been moved ever so slightly further toward the coast. i'm currently trying to find canon material from the original comics to acertain their local geography. the only thing is that they are originally in French, and so, there's a lot of Google Translate being typed.

At any rate: here's the maps that I thought you might find interesting; the first is of the city of Sysigie itself, then follows a clipping (screenshot) of the most recent map, and then previous version of it.
[Edit: This post was updated (more than once over multiple years) to include fixed links to the map images. In that time, complete maps have been obtained, and no longer are a screenshot, but, rather a full map from the game.]




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Western Oerik; Empire of Lyhnn, Tharquish Empire, cont'd Reply with quote

This is a coincidence. I just started a thread about Black Moon Chronicles one day ago (at The Piazza). It is almost as if you read my mind. Wink

I've been talking to people for a few years about raiding content from the World of Warcraft MMO, for use with tabletop Warcraft games. I think that I might need to download Black Moon Chronicles - Winds of War, to see how easy it is to visit different locations in the world and extract maps.

I've not seen a wiki for this MMO yet. Have you?

Icarus wrote:
At any rate: here's the maps that I thought you might find interesting; the first is of the city of Sysigie itself, then follows a clipping (screenshot) of the most recent map, and then previous version of it.




These three pictures are confusing, as they don't seem like they work with each other. You certainly can't have a city far inland and also out on an island in the sea.

I know the third picture. What are the other two pictures from? Did you get them from the earlier MMO and the current MMO?

I've got a feeling that I'll have to play the game to understand this. <sigh> Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I'd assume artistic license and say that Sysigie is a port city on the coast, but not literally in the ocean. It doesn't make much sense for a major city to be as far inland as the bottom map suggests, even if it's "holy."

I mean, granted, Mecca isn't on the coast; it's based around an oasis, and Sysigie could be similar, based around some extremely sacred spring or other site, but with the map above it in mind, I think a coastal location is more likely.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Western Oerik; Empire of Lyhnn, Tharquish Empire, cont'd Reply with quote

bigmac wrote:
This is a coincidence. I just started a thread about Black Moon Chronicles one day ago (at The Piazza). It is almost as if you read my mind. Wink
Great minds think alike, right?
Quote:
I might need ... to see how easy it is to visit different locations in the world and extract maps.
It wouldn't be that difficult, really. I'm planning on Photoshopping a full map together as I travel. The only problem is that one can't see the entire map, only a portion as you move around. But, soon enough, I'll have one. That was my intent when I took this first screenshot. [/quote]
Quote:
I've not seen a wiki for this MMO yet. Have you?
I have not, in fact. I wish there were one! I think that I might mention it in the Development forums ... but, I think that the 6 guys at Bruma (the co. that produces BMC) are probably a bit busy. :)

bigmac wrote:
These three pictures are confusing, as they don't seem like they work with each other. You certainly can't have a city far inland and also out on an island in the sea. ... What are the other two pictures from? Did you get them from the earlier MMO and the current MMO?
Rasgon wrote:
Personally, I'd assume artistic license and say that Sysigie is a port city on the coast, but not literally in the ocean. It doesn't make much sense for a major city to be as far inland as the bottom map suggests, even if it's "holy." ... I mean, granted, Mecca isn't on the coast; it's based around an oasis, and Sysigie could be similar, based around some extremely sacred spring or other site, but with the map above it in mind, I think a coastal location is more likely.
Right you are, Rasgon.
Bigmac ... the first two maps are from screenshots of the current BMC - Winds of War MMO. One is the standard player-map of the region, and the other is an item that the player can "buy" with gold in-game, and it's a map of the city of Sysigie.
Sysigie is certainly a port town. There's actually a harbor district in the city. But, the second (more comicbook-looking) map is grossly not to scale and is more representational and thematic, more than anything. If you look at the 3rd map, there's a river mouth west of Sysigie and norhtwest Altenburg. In the second map, that river mouth looks more like a massive bay than anything. But, it is undoubtedly a river that flows toward those mountains. It's not for showing mileage, or distance, it's more about locating landmarks. Sysigie is definitely not out in the middle of the ocean, it's directly on the coast. I really don't know why the "old" (Viscom) map shows Sysigie so far inland. Because it's definitely not that way in canon.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So ... after a bit of forum discussion with one of the developers, I garnered two complete versions of the maps above. The interesting thing, though, is that these haven't apparently changed since the Vircom MMO to the new Bruma MMO. I'm thinking that the third map above must have been from the earlier non-MMO computer game. ... still awaiting confirmation on that, though.


[Edit: Well ... I've had conversations with a couple of the current Developers, and a couple of players of the MMO that've been around for a while, and no one seems to know where that map came from. They said it can't really be from the BMC PC game, because it says "Winds of War" on it ... which is the name of the BMC MMO game not the PC one. They said that Vircom did a lot of marketing at the time, but no one has recognized it yet, so, Only time will tell whether we'll find it's source! Shocked Wow. That's kind of surprising. Smile ]





So ... I sort of have to amend what I said before ... while the BMC stuff on the Dragon Annual maps don't really cross out too much canon stuff ... this one certainly does.
I still think that there's *so* much left unwritten, that the two sets of material could still be made to merge ... but, there would be some weirdness, to be certain.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: BMC conversation Reply with quote

Big Mac ... you're killing me ... It's like I'm splitting a conversation on the same topic into two different places, one on your thread at the Piazza, and the other here. Confused
Maybe I should've just resurrected the original conversation here at Canonfire! ... that way it wouldn't be split in twain.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the old thread:

Bluebomber4evr wrote:

Sysigie, Kingdom of Justice

On the borders of the empire is the principality of Sysigie. The latter is named after the astronomical phenomenon that is its origin. Indeed, the “basin” which constitutes this territory comes from the fall from an enormous meteorite caused by a syzygy (or syzygia) or alignment from celestial bodies. Led by Prince Parsifal, Commander of the Order of the Knights of Justice, this land bathed by a sea of ​​clouds is a place of peace and of harmony. In the shelter of strong walls of granite, has developed a secular order of pure-hearted knights. These obedient servants of the Lord are composed mainly of monks, warriors, and ordained priests. This vast kingdom is bordered by high, impassible mountains. Its only access is a gorge a few hundred meters wide. There, a huge fortress wall was raised by his government in order to protect access. The gates of brass, also called gates of Dawn, are controlled by a powerful machine.


Where are the mountains in the above maps?
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Rasgon ... that's a perfectly valid question. Hm.
Well ... I'm not entirely certain. Though on the 3rd map above (the one from an aerial perspective, rather than a more orthographic one) there's certainly mountains, but Sysigie itself is inland. In the "current" version, there's not any.

Frankly, in looking back through my notes, I'm not certain where Blue bomber got that. I'm sure he has a source for it somewhere, and I found in my notes where he has mentioned it ... but, I can't figure out where the mountains are in canon, or where the Gates of Dawn are. I was thinking that they were near Lhynn (the capitol), but, I may not be entirely incorrect.

He does mention the basin in his post, and it is clear that Sysigie does sit in a basin in canon ... though that's not so clear in the MMO version. [Edit: Image link restructured after file-sharing site change]


Maybe we can get ahold of Blue Bomber and ask him? I don't know how to personally contact him, though. ... while we're at it, and I'm thinking about it, I am not entirely certain which issue of the comics mention that the basin is actually made by a meteorite, either. There's plenty of causes for a basin of a terrestrial nature. And the name of the city could refer to other things, not just planetary alignment. It could refer to the philosphical sysygy which means a close union (God and man?). Unless my less than dilligent translation efforts speed up and I find the references, or Blue bomber tells us himself, or the my questions in the BMC forums are answered, we may not find out immediately.
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GreyhawkGrognard
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Icarus wrote:
So ... I sort of have to amend what I said before ... while the BMC stuff on the Dragon Annual maps don't really cross out too much canon stuff ... this one certainly does.


Yeah, that last image would certainly require a lot of creative rework on my own Beyond the Flanaess maps. Still, might be worth looking into.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreyhawkGrognard wrote:
Yeah, that last image would certainly require a lot of creative rework on my own Beyond the Flanaess maps. Still, might be worth looking into.

You know, honestly, GG ... I wish that I had been on this kick when you were doing those a few months ago. Sad I really think that the two can still be merged, because the settings aren't mutually exclusive ... but, I still don't know how I'd handle the Thalos/Sysigie area.

On a note about those mountains, I got two of the developers to talk about it, and they say that they are actually there in-game in the area of Lynn as shown in the comic maps, it's just that the thematic map didn't apparently have room for them, and aren't shown because they're smaller than the others. But when one goes to the area, the local maps show them and reflect the actual geography. ... that still doesn't clear up the Sysigie area for me, because they're certainly not there that far North, but, I still don't know where Blue bomber got that, either. Sad
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there!

Well I'm hardly any sort of expert, but those maps from the video games seem to contradict the actual maps and drawn background terrain in the comics. Personally, if I were to make a GH map, I'd stick with the comics and just ignore the video game ones.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there, Blue Bomber!! Great to see you on the thread!
Well, I will say this, you may not consider yourself an "expert", but, you are certainly well-informed on the topic.

Remember, in discussing the maps from the MMO, it's been discovered that the "world map" (despite being only a tiny portion of the world) are thematic in nature, and they're not intended to be geographically accurate. They're essentially pictorial in nature, and while informative, they're mostly just for having an idea of things relative to each other, and the "feel" of the regions. Though I have not yet seen them first hand, I am told that the local maps are geographically accurate. That being said, I think that it it is considered by some to be a disservice, since very few gaming maps are of such a decorative nature as a thematic map. Certainly, the mountains could not be anything even remorely resembling their depictions on the MMO map. They'd be taller than Texas is wide. Happy

Curious, though ... we were wondering if you knew from where the information comes for some of the stuff that was in the fan-created stuff that you quoted and/or translated. For example, I'm having a bit of difficulty finding images or direct statement in the comicbooks that there are "high, impassible mountains" surrounding Sysigie, or that it's named for, or caused by, an atsrological syzygy. It has taken me *far* too long to do translations, and I haven't found anything in canon yet. I'm certain that the French fan who wrote the stuff that you posted was fairly knowledgable, but, it's difficult when one doesn't know the source.

Glad to have you here on this thread! Looking forward to drumming up the topic with you again!

-Icarus
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worthwhile resurrection on this topic Icarus.

I wish I had more to add at this time, as I have too much on my plate at the moment. Though I will pop in from time to time to see how this thread progresses.

Later

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given just the first post and the three maps, and barely reading the rest of this thread, I'd say that the ocean has rdropped (or the land risen) between the 2nd and 3rd post. Personally I like the second map; the idea of Sysig (or whatever) as a diked city very nearly underwater is pretty cool, and it would give Western Oerik it's own kind of cataclysm to deal with. Then again, have the ocean drop would expose lots of new land and leave formerly port cities high and dry, which is an awesome recipe for ruins. Actually, I like that idea better.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:45 am    Post subject: nonrepresentational BMC maps Reply with quote

Well ... it's been said already, but, I want to reiterate:
Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War is a an Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They can't exactly make a realistic-scale map. Players have to be able to walk across a particular zone within a few minutes. So, what is depicted as a "lightly wooded peninsula" is actually about 40' wide and has two trees on it. It's a matter of having a map be a "theme" of the actual world, it must -by nature- be non-representational. Every video game is the same way. One can't travel over an entire ocean in a 15 second load screen, nor can they ride across a continent in 15 minutes. In a tabletop RPG, we do the same thing of glossing over travel, but, we can "say" that we traveled 100 miles. Video games don't have that luxury. And therefore, the maps of that realm aren't gong to be quite the same.

The developers of Winds of War worked with Froideval to put the most important locations in, and emphasize them. They are really very beautiful maps, even if not entirely accurate to the "real" version of the setting as written by Froideval. We can still use them for inspiration for the locations that they do accurately depict.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Map of Syzygie Reply with quote

Well, here it is, years and years later, and I'm still on this topic.
It's still a favorite of mine, and still interesting to me, after all these years.

But, more interesting, is that I've since found answers to some of the questions posed, and seems I never realized I needed to update this thread! A while back, I imported some of the side-stories of the Black Moon Chronicles, the "Secrets" (Arcana) series. One of them has a great deal to do with the founding of Syzygie.

So … here's an update:

So, first thing: technically Syzygie isn't a city. It's a nation. The capitol city of that nation to which we have been referring is actually called "Aurora". A minor point, to be sure, but, a point nevertheless. I'll continue calling it Syzygie, though, for sake of continuity (unless we have to specifically refer to the capitol separately later).

Early in this thread, there was some conversation about whether Syzygie was an island on the coast, inland, or in a basin.
Well, as it turns out, it's all four (coastal, inland, island, basin).
So, Syzygie is in a basin which was caused by a meteor-strike presumably, which has a lake at it's center, and is near the coast.

I made a scan of the page that relates to this topic. It's definitely a high-rez scan, of which there's a thumbnail below. But, the details are important, as there's geographical details that could be missed. It's particularly applicable to what we're talking about, because it shows large-area, local, and city-sized maps. Some of the more interesting places are the Darkwood, Dark Swamp (or Marsh), Haunted Ruins, Forest of the Fallen (Decaying?) Troll, Barbarians, Giants, Trolls, and Orcs.

I'm not entirely sure I ever recall seeing a "navy", per se, but, there is certainly a harbor.
And the map at the top of this thread which shows the capitol city of Syzygie from the BMC MMO game isn't inaccurate, at all, when compared to other images of Syzygie/Aurora in the books! It's just that it only highlights the areas that are playable in-game. (Which, frankly, is a relief.) I'll add a small version of another in-game map, to depict that, at the bottom.
It's actually shown in the books as everything from a tiny island village in the beginnings, to a town, then city, then a fortified walled city resplendent with a cathedral and castle.
Eventually, the island is expanded a little, even. The periphery is filled in to make room for expanding the city. And there are giants who are made allies, who help with the quarrying of stone and building of the city.

Anyhow … hope y'all find it interesting. Neat stuff. Smile




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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I've heard of The Black Moon Chronicles and it's placement on Oerth, admittedly all I know about Western Oerik is the "Sundered Empire" lore from the 3e-era of Chainmail…

…which reminds me I had wanted to gather the lore from the sourcebook and the DRAGON Magazine articles to smash together into a single document akin to the LIVING GREYHAWK™ Gazetteer.

Has there ever been an English release for TBMC?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amesang wrote:
While I've heard of The Black Moon Chronicles and it's placement on Oerth, admittedly all I know about Western Oerik is the "Sundered Empire" lore from the 3e-era of Chainmail…
Well, there's nothing wrong with that!
We're definitely talking about some pretty obscure apocrypha, here.
They're French graphic novels published by the fella that used to live and wrok with Gary Gygax upon whose games the names in ancient Western Oerik were named.
The nations were depicted as being contemporary with the Suel and Baklunish nations, but, the author (Francois Marcella Froideval) continued writing when he returned to France to become one of the progenitors of the French RPG scene.

At any rate, I like using his stuff to fill in the gaps in what we don't know about Western Oerik. But, it's still apocrypha, at best.

Quote:
…which reminds me I had wanted to gather the lore from the sourcebook and the DRAGON Magazine articles to smash together into a single document akin to the LIVING GREYHAWK™ Gazetteer.
Nothing wrong with that, either! (Just be careful not distributing a document like that, you know, IP and all.) Smile

Quote:
Has there ever been an English release for TBMC?
There has been, in fact!
Just in the past year!
After years of my translating them by hand. rolleyes ha ha ha
They're now affiliated with a publisher called "EuropeComics" licensed by Dargaud and they're available in Kindle and on Comixology.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: France Analogue Reply with quote

I searched for "port city north-western France" and found a page with ports in France. Brest, France seems like a good way to place Aurora, Syzygie.

I still think that the French comic uses a scaled up map of France. The Pyrenees mountains seem hacked off at the border and become those Draakh Peaks at the coast.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: France Analogue Reply with quote

Raymond wrote:
I searched for "port city north-western France" and found a page with ports in France. Brest, France seems like a good way to place Aurora, Syzygie.
Well, I personally don't think I will go so far as to plunk down my two coppers about where, specifically, it should be … but, I will say: Brest seems a similar location, if one were to use IRL maps. Although, the map above from the comics has a westward-facing coast in the top panel of the page. For whatever that's worth. It could theoretically be the side of a southward -facing bay, for all I know. Razz

Quote:
I still think that the French comic uses a scaled up map of France. The Pyrenees mountains seem hacked off at the border and become those Draakh Peaks at the coast.
Um, yeah. I think if anyone disagreed with that, they'd pretty much be just trolling, or something. There's no question of it.
In fact, in one of the early issues of the Arcana spinoffs, there's a global-level panel that shows the planet of the BMC is literally an alternate Oerth. … er, um, no, alternate Earth, sorry. Wink

I will point out, though … that in other maps, the Drakh Peaks don't look quite so truncated as on the map above with the four face-icons, and they appear to go further. They definitely don't just stop like that. … and that's a fan-map anyway, apparently, so, it's possibly a bit off.
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