One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Each hex has 779 square miles. This means that there is 62,353 square miles in Gran March, with a population of 254,600 this means that gran march has a population of 4.05 per square mile. This is extremely low.
The earlier was an unfinished post, and I do not know why. I will attempt to finish it now.
If gran march had the same population density as medieval england, it would have 1,472,310 million residents. Roughly the nation is the size of Georgia or Wisconson, and can there for have a fairly varied geography.
THis makes little sense unless we assume that the majority of the land is unfarmed, horse farm, or poorly arable. Yabusama, this is a topic that begs for your interpretation. We have a nation in one of the major river valleys of the Flaness, similar in many ways to the mississippi.
Therefore, it would seem, in discussions of the geography, the southern areas, say south of hookhill, and east of shiboleth is probably farm land as it is described as warm and wet. Lots of streams and creeks, maybe a few small rivers. I would say, from the description in the LGG that this is where the cloth comes from, though would it be cotton or silk? both cotton and the mulberry tree grow in similar climates, but the silkworm requires a specific habitat.
I would also say, that as a horsed power, cavalry, that the area north of around hookhill all the way to the northern border would be large cattle and horse farms. Once i figure out a place to post maps, I will post a rough one.
Abyssilyn, may we use your Darlene compatible map for the basis of our maps?
I have been doing some reading on medievel textiles. The common ones were wool and linen. Later velvet and cotton though cotton had around the medieval Middle east for a long time.There have beens books rewrite just on the small parts of the medieveal textile industry and numerous sites, we need to be careful not bog down in over detail. The other side of the industry is the craft of dying clothes and the tapestry industry which from Dungeon 112 we might deduce was possibly a favoured skill of the Suel which would also suit the southern Gran March region.
Looking at the 1983 Box set Gran March is place just below the 35 latitude with the 30 th latidude going pretty much through Niole Dra.
If we were to compare that to our world that would put Hookhill about the same place latitudes as Hot Spring Ark. or Willington N.C. For a European presective the 35th goes through the northern edge of Africa and through the middle of Cyprus. Fairly warm territory. It would depend on the prevailing winds as to how dry or wet the Sheldomar Valley is. I suppect it would be a mirror image of the Mississippi and the wind would be come from the south southeast from the Azure Sea.
This would provide for the moisure that appears prevalent at least in Keoland though Bissel is a dry climate( according to LGG), which makes some sense as the moisture would be mostly gone as the is no major body of waters to maintiain it. Moutains tend to remove moisture from the winds on the side they are buffetted and the lee side tends to be drier. Since we have the Dry Steppes and the Sea of Dust (thought this may be magical) to the west of the Crystalmist Mountains the odds are that the winds tend to move from the east to the west. Prime example of this is Washingston state where it is wet on the coast to the mountains and once over the mountains and into the interior it is fairly dry.
Other issue consider when we consider farming is the monster/predator factor. With such wide-open space and low population there is a great likely hood of large loses due to predation. Out of necessity of protections and the martial nature of Gran March farms would be smaller to make them easier to protect and much more of a community affair than say single plantations with large ranges. LGG suggests that Bissel has a varied wildlife and that monster come down out of the mountains, I would think Northern Gran March would be similar. LGG also calls Pellak “central farming and trading town its capital” So I can see many of the farms near the cities of Hookhill and Shiboleth and towards the middle of Gran March. After all we all know happen to Orlane.
Just some thoughts. _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
I have been trying to determine what the climate is in Gran March, and what crops would grow there.
Wolfing and I discussed this early on, and thought that the northern are would look a fair amount like the south of France, fairly dry and arid.
However, for the agricultural south, I am thinking it would look like the coastal plain of Georgia. This seems about right (of course because I live here!) because of the similarity in latitude, climate description and the presence of a really large swamp.
That said, traditionally (ie before modern practices of rotation, fertilization and market driven crop choices) the primary crops were cotton, indigo, rice and various other row crops such as corn, wheat, beans, vegatables, gourds, etc. Potatos and other tubers rairly flourished due to the moist soil.
In north georgia, a microclimate away, the are is cooler, less humid and with a more consistent rainfall, but less overall water in the ground. They farmed a similar set of crops, without the rice and indigo, but with grapes for wine (which they still do, who knew georgia was the 3rd largest wine producing state!). I have to say here that my family was much more proficient at other more potent but less legal concoctions, generally from corn, but often peaches too.
Peaches and other orchard trees grow well if not widely in the more mountinous regions. Between the N and S of Gran March, this seems like a good distribution of crops.
Alright, Cloth... LGG says that GM is a cloth supplier.
What are we assuming?
Cotton is an easy one, as is wool in the northern reaches. I would think with Keoland to the south, that this would be an enormous export. Extremely profitable and the merchants who peddle it extremely influential.
I would see them organized out of Shiboleth or Lortenford. Probably Lortenford, for though Shiboleth is a larger population center, Lortenford is the best place to which one would send crops for trade down river.
Also, what do you think about silk? Is there silk in the Flaness? Where would it come from? I am going to post this to the general posts.
Well the Rushmoors.. I have finally begun tackling the Rushmoors and it has proven quite a task. First of all it is 10 times the size of the largest swamp in North America (the Okeefenokee) and twice the size of the OKAVANGO SWAMP, which is the largest in Africa.
This creates a very varied environment, and I thought I woudl gather thoughts. I have begun collecting pictures and the text of all of it so that a coherent article may be put togheather, but I thought I would ask about a few salient points and peoples thoughts upon them.
1. I think the Rushmoors should be a seasonal basin... every year for half a year it shrinks in size. This means there is more dry land (or less wet land) for the various denziens of the swamp to live upon. This does not mean the moors shrink, so much as the water level drops and hundreds of small islands appear. They would be more mud than anything if it were not for the Rushes that grow on them.
2. There are natural waterways that wind thorughout the Moors which allow passage through the swamp, but not necessarily into the swamp. The cypress trees that line these waterways grow out of the water, and on the bank behind them, the soil is so soft that a man cannot walk upon it. However, this creates a large timber industry in the southeast corner of the Moors.
3. The Moors are inhabited by several tribes of Flan Tribesmen. Thoughts on them.. to this point I dont really have any and any thoughts to jumpstart this process would be good.
Obviously the Flan would not be arabic, but they could have a similiar life style?
The idea of reed buildings and villages sounds good, and the idea of adventuring on a floating building sounds like too much fun to pass up on. _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
The Rushmoors have always been the northern boundry of Keoland, and the since its inception, an obstacle to the Gran March. Despite its name, the Rushmoors are far more than rushes. A swamp the size of the Rushmoor has to be. It has tree lined waterways, bottomless pools, vast mud boggs, salt domes surmounted by ancient ruins and, of course, endless fields of rushes. It is inhabited by many vile and dangerous creatures, including sentient trees, lizardmen, trolls, goblins, orcs, Flan Tribesmen, and primordal lizards of enourmous size. One of the most perplexing creatures of the Rushmoors are the undead. Where the undead come from have perplexed sages for centuries, but since the first chroniclers arrived, they come. Every flood season, skeletons and zombies, among others, straggle out of the mire to attack the hapless.
The original parties of Knight's thought that the moors were a great inland lake. They arrived in the middle of the rainy season, and were unable to move beyond the natural waterways due to the soft soil on the "banks," and the weight of their armor. They saw vast areas with unusual rushes and reeds growing in the water. Only later, by cooperation with certain Flan tribes did they begin to understand the seasonal shifts and the variety associated with the Rushmoors.
The Rushmoors also include floating islands, or hammocks, covered with shrubs or trees, open grassland-looking prairies which slowly flood for half the year, then slowly drain the rest of the year. One of the most unusual features are both large and small mats of floating peat, the decayed remains of long-dead vegetation, some that will support the weight of a person or people and some that will not. It was these very islands that took many members of the first Keoish forays to their deaths.
The water in the Rushmoors are generally shallow, averaging two feet but sometimes going to nine feet. Under the water is generally two to four feet of soft mud which prevents walking across these shallow areas. Water in the Rushmoors is clear but stained the color of iced tea by tannins and other products of decaying vegetation. There is at least two blue holes known in the Rushmoors that are seemingly bottomless holes of water that continually boil forth, pure and clean, but so cold that ice floats to the surface on occaion.
The Flood Season
Each year, beginning in XXXXXXX, the rains come and the Javan begins to rise, and the Rushmoors begin to fill up. For half the year, the one of the largest swamp in the world begins to rise, nearly becoming an inland lake. Then, for the remainder of the year, the Rushmoors drain.
This has two results. First, and most important for the residents of the Rushmoors and the surrounding lands, the rising waters drive many of the more fearsome residents of the Rushmoors out into human habit. This has been a cycle since the founding of the March, and no one is surprised to see the denziens come. What is suprising, at least to people from other lands is the number of undead that
Nice work Anced, I particularly like the idea of undead being "washed up" form deep within the marsh. I take these are the original Keoish invaders or are they dating back to Vecna's time and the atrocities he commited? _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
THat is an excellent questions, Yabs, and one I was just asking myself. I dont know at this point. Which do you prefer? I was thinking it was simply an amalgam of all the dead the marsh has claimed over the years. That combined with the various evils that have been present.
I have a preference for the old flan corpses from Vecna's time. This is a good way to inform players of the history of the region.
As an aside I would also have a legend of a Keoish regiment that marched into the swamp and never returned, they were swallowed up by the swamp ( this is a parallel to the legend of the roman Ninth Legion, that disappeared in Scotland, see http://www.albawest.com/IX-legion.html) _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
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