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Two Sisters Area

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So I’m drawing up a map covering a 10x10 km area around Two Sisters. Exactly how close to the Upland Marsh is Two Sisters?  Spitting distance?  Kind of swampy?  Or clearly outside of it?  Also looking for suggestions as to what else should be nearby.  How close is Old Top?

Thanks! 

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5 hours ago, Septimus Kendaro said:

So I’m drawing up a map covering a 10x10 km area around Two Sisters. Exactly how close to the Upland Marsh is Two Sisters?  Spitting distance?  Kind of swampy?  Or clearly outside of it?  Also looking for suggestions as to what else should be nearby.  How close is Old Top?

Thanks! 

Two Sisters is on solid ground maybe a kilometre from the Upland Marsh itself. It is located on ford across the Creek. It is about 6 to 8 kilometres to Runegate, and some 15 kilometres or so to Tink.

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

Two Sisters is on solid ground maybe a kilometre from the Upland Marsh itself. It is located on ford across the Creek. It is about 6 to 8 kilometres to Runegate, and some 15 kilometres or so to Tink.

As an aside, Two Sisters is a small place - I imagine something like this:

a07f74a5e3dfdc216070a9f85b173b79.jpg

Much smaller than Runegate, let alone Clearwine.

 

5d82ee1a1632057ff1159a96895e5010.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

Two Sisters is on solid ground maybe a kilometre from the Upland Marsh itself. It is located on ford across the Creek. It is about 6 to 8 kilometres to Runegate, and some 15 kilometres or so to Tink.

Thanks @Jeff.  I'm guessing the tiny community (~100 at most) is on both sides of the creek?  And if you don't mind my asking, how close is Old Top?  In any event I'll post my map(s) back here when completed in case anyone has a use for them.

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1 hour ago, Dan Z said:

Thanks @Jeff.  I'm guessing the tiny community (~100 at most) is on both sides of the creek?  And if you don't mind my asking, how close is Old Top?  In any event I'll post my map(s) back here when completed in case anyone has a use for them.

Yep! It straddles the ford. Old Top is at most 4 km away.

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Well here's the initial pass.  Other maps look to show some other item I think I should add... a couple of shrines maybe... some more trees, etc. and details.

I also am going to draw a zoomed in are right around Two Sisters.

EDIT: letters because I could’t see what I was typing apparently.

Two Sisters Area.png

Edited by Dan Z
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51 minutes ago, Dan Z said:

Well here's the initial pass.  Other maps look to show some other item I think I should add... a couple of shrines maybe... some more trees, etc. and details.

 

Vey nice, I assume this is in Lismelder Tribal lands?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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46 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I assume this is in Lismelder Tribal lands?

Colymar since it's north of Runegate. The Colymar clans map that came in the GM pack indicates the south bank should belong to the Narri. The north bank sits within the Dragonewt wildland. Probably the villages on both sides are Narri, but maybe they can't claim the north village without incurring dragonewt activity.

1 hour ago, Dan Z said:

Other maps look to show some other item I think I should add... a couple of shrines maybe... some more trees, etc. and details.

Very nice! The trees will create a definite funnel to/from Two Sisters.  As the site for the Battle of the Queens in Fireseason, 1626, can definitely see this used to help map that out.

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18 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Colymar since it's north of Runegate. The Colymar clans map that came in the GM pack indicates the south bank should belong to the Narri. The north bank sits within the Dragonewt wildland. Probably the villages on both sides are Narri, but maybe they can't claim the north village without incurring dragonewt activity.

Rivers don't really make good borders, as they are wont to change course over time, and if you have fisherfolk in your clan, you'd be using all of the (immediate) river valley for your activities.

Rivers do form a barrier for overland movement, sure, but a ferry- or ford-site with settled area on both sides of the river connects the land on both sides. I don't think that it is possible to have settled area outside of your tula (although settlements shared with another clan would be another issue), so the river cannot really be the absolute boundary of the clan. The dragonewts certainly don't claim any human settlements for their own unless they rest on draconic power spots, and in that case they would be quite unlikely to allow the establishment of the settlement in the first place.

 

 

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Very nice! The trees will create a definite funnel to/from Two Sisters.  As the site for the Battle of the Queens in Fireseason, 1626, can definitely see this used to help map that out.

Thanks!  I made a bit more progress on it (updated map posted)  and will probably have the zoomed in area done tomorrow morning.  Maybe tonight depending on time and beer.

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Rivers don't really make good borders, as they are wont to change course over time, and if you have fisherfolk in your clan, you'd be using all of the (immediate) river valley for your activities.

I'd say in many cases that's true but it depends on the river.  Of course borders are really arbitrary anyway and as you say fisherfolk probably have more important things on their minds than whether the river is a border.

Two Sisters Area.png

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7 hours ago, Dan Z said:

Well here's the initial pass.  Other maps look to show some other item I think I should add... a couple of shrines maybe... some more trees, etc. and details

I was going to say that there might be some gallery forest along the Creek, and probably some copses on the side of Old Top that's opposite of the prevailing winds at least - but you've filled in the map pretty nicely now.

How about some minor stuff:

- A wayshrine or milestone/boundary stone along the road. Can be active or a relic of a bygone era.

- Mention of a sacred clearing somewhere.

- Maybe a disused quarry in the side of old top. Potential for some beasties to make their home there or something.

- You could always draw in some outlying farmsteads or cottages as well. Potentially not even ones that are permanently inhabited, but used by shepherd/cowherd boys.

Tried to keep it minimal here. The quarry is a bit on the bigger side, but implying that it's a relic from the EWF era or something might be a decent reason for why it's there.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

- A wayshrine or milestone/boundary stone along the road. Can be active or a relic of a bygone era.

- Mention of a sacred clearing somewhere.

- Maybe a disused quarry in the side of old top. Potential for some beasties to make their home there or something.

- You could always draw in some outlying farmsteads or cottages as well. Potentially not even ones that are permanently inhabited, but used by shepherd/cowherd boys.

Those are great ideas!  I'll see what I can fit in by tomorrow.  I'm using the maps for tomorrow's session but even if I can't get any changes before then I'll update them after.

Here's the initial close up of Two Sisters also.

Two Sisters - 1km.png

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20 hours ago, Jeff said:

Two Sisters is on solid ground maybe a kilometre from the Upland Marsh itself. It is located on ford across the Creek. It is about 6 to 8 kilometres to Runegate, and some 15 kilometres or so to Tink.

Wyrm's Footnotes 15 p.19 tells about the Marsh encroaching on the southern half of the settlement, but the RQG Adventure Book only repeats the  traffic information and doesn't mention any of the detail provided in Wyrm's Footnotes. Should we disregard that information?

Otherwise it seems as if the ducks have claimed some of the housing and land abandoned by the humans, if not as permanent settlement then as a place for industry. The concept of an unkempt garden in between abandoned housing makes it sound like a place for seasonal gathering for the ducks. Possibly some form of transhumance, really. 70-80 people remain in the (southern?) village - that is the equivalent of four or five steads. Enough for a single thane maintaining the clan's hospitality to the mercantile traffic on this side of the Creek.

The northern village still sits at a healthy distance from the Marsh. It would have housed about 150 - 200 inhabitants in its prouder days, and possibly still does.

Where did the people fleeing from the expanding Marsh disappear to? Did they move into Runegate (which could do with such an influx of population after the massive losses inflicted by the Bat)? The expansion of the Marsh would have occurred a few years before the Starbrow rebellion, when Kallai still was king of the Colymar.

 

The expansion of the Upland Marsh appears to sink the affected lands. I suppose that this doesn't work all that well on bedrock, but will affect all of the silty valley bottom.

 

Some niggling about the detail map:

The ford should be on a wider stretch of the Creek, unless you have a deity or spirit here that can slow down the flow of the water upon worship. Or rather, imagine two water lines for the Creek, one for normal situations with lots of pebbly river bottom showing, and one for high water situations. Possibly have two or three channels where the river normally flows, and sand banks in between.

Take another look at the height lines. I can see that you want to define a rather narrow band that contains the Creek, but your settlements on either side cross two of these lines, putting both on rather steep rises. I would suggest that you use a different line type for intermediate profile lines than for the major lines to give local detail.

When I design a ruin field, I usually start with the functional settlement that was there at its heyday - in this case, a twin village crewing the ferry barge, maintaining some tilled fields on the southern bank and using the northern bank for pasture. Probably a thane's household on either side, with tenants (river folk) required to crew the ferry in Storm and Sea Seasons when not pursuing their "fishing" (which includes permanent fish traps, crayfish, hunting river fowl or collecting eggs from their nests, harvesting cress and similar edible water weeds) and some subsistence farming/gardening.

You arranged the houses as for a level ground, with two jutting into the river. Given the prospensity for massive thaws in Storm and Sea Season, you should define a typical high water mark and another extreme high water mark. Any building directly adjacent to the water would be on a ledge in the terrain, on a very sturdy foundation of massive masonry, or it would have to be temporary, possibly on stilts to outlast at least a normal high water situation. If that was your intention, running a water mill directly on a major river that may change its water levels by several yards over the course of the seasons usually makes use of boat mills. A dwarf-built mill might be able to change the water wheel position with the water levels, but ordinary human artisanry most likely cannot.

Boat sheds have the same problem. You will probably use something like a slip path to drag the boats as high onto the banks as seems prudent rather than provide permanent moorings, unless you have a non-silting side arm of the river without much of a current.

Because of the varying water levels, leaving the palisade or earthen rampart open to the river won't provide much protection unless it extends into the current, and in that case it needs to be super sturdy as it will create a choke point when high water comes. Depending on the geology, the Creek is

going to eat into the river banks at high water, which makes a rampart directly on the shore line a high maintenance building - possibly a dike. Given the rather generous slope that the height lines suggest, I'd retreat the settled area on both sides a little away and up from the normal banks, with only  palisade (an open one with significant spacing between the boles) extending to the shore to provide a partiall sheltered shore area where you stow your boats and other equipment regularly used on the water.

I would add a minor stream or similar at least to the southern half of the settlement for water supply. The terrain north of the Creek is not very hilly or broken, and while it may have some places where the bedrock juts out of the surface, I expect most of it to be covered in soil. It would all be forested if not for the dinosaur herds that keep the vegetation down. The inhabitants of Two Sisters likely use the area as pasture, too - plowing and tilling that side of the Creek is only an intricate way to feed the dinosaurs. Which might be something the people do here, providing a sacrificial feeding ground for the hulking beasts as propitiation. Harvesting hay will be the main agricultural use of the land.

There ought to be some other resource on the north bank warranting the permanent settlement there - some activity that made the founders extend their permanent settlement into the land adjacent to the dragonewt plains. Or perhaps a former arm of the Creek to the north of that half of the settlement, marking it as separate from the adjacent plains despite having fallen completely dry except at the highest flooding. A source of special clay, possibly some source of metal... or possibly a holy site that warrants a permanent shrine and tenants on that side of the Creek.

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2 hours ago, Dan Z said:

Those are great ideas!  I'll see what I can fit in by tomorrow.  I'm using the maps for tomorrow's session but even if I can't get any changes before then I'll update them after.

Here's the initial close up of Two Sisters also.

Two Sisters - 1km.png

Lovely!

A few comments:

There is typically a thin riparian line of trees between the grasslands and the Upland Marsh. It may be only 10 to 50 meters wide. There is likely something similar along much of the creek. I doubt there is much woodland in the lowlands between Old Top and Two Sisters, although there certainly might woods on Stael's Ridge (think the Berkeley Hills in California). Old Top itself is probably bald.

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

Some niggling about the detail map:

Thanks for all the detailed suggestions.  Some of them occurred to me after I set pen to paper which made me remember why I had switched to digital drawing.  I was drawing The Creek with idea that it was the high water mark as I have a two purpose use for the map, the players are there in Dark Season 1625 and will be there again probably in Fire Season 1626 for the tragedy that is going to happen.  I'm off to run our next session so will post some maps updates later.

10 hours ago, Jeff said:

Lovely!

A few comments:

There is typically a thin riparian line of trees between the grasslands and the Upland Marsh. It may be only 10 to 50 meters wide. There is likely something similar along much of the creek. I doubt there is much woodland in the lowlands between Old Top and Two Sisters, although there certainly might woods on Stael's Ridge (think the Berkeley Hills in California). Old Top itself is probably bald.

Thanks Jeff!  I've added some trees but will have to post the maps later.  I may switch to different media too because revising pen drawn maps is proving challenging since I no longer own the same huge selection of art tools I used to.

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Ok, so I redrew the area map and made some modifications using some digital tools.  I think it turned out ok.  I'll need to create a style to use so it's still a bit rough but here it is.  Next up is redrawing the close in view of Two Sisters which I've started on with suggestions.

 

two_sisters_area_300.png

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1 hour ago, Dan Z said:

Ok, so I redrew the area map and made some modifications using some digital tools.  I think it turned out ok.  I'll need to create a style to use so it's still a bit rough but here it is.  Next up is redrawing the close in view of Two Sisters which I've started on with suggestions.

 

two_sisters_area_300.png

This came out very nice indeed. Agriculturally the flat lands are going to have a lot of pastureland (for horses), lots of hides of emmer, and orchards for fruit trees, etc. There are no doubt vineyards on the west and southern sides of those hills. It might not be as good as what is grown around Clearwine, but still!

cain-internal.jpg

For one of the sources of inspiration behind the Marsh, a good place is the Suisun Marsh in the Sacramento Delta. You can see the line of trees at the edge of the marsh (which here is strangely absent its customary vegetation of Blackthorn Oaks, willows, and cedars). 

Suisun_Marsh_Overlook.jpg

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

For one of the sources of inspiration behind the Marsh, a good place is the Suisun Marsh in the Sacramento Delta. You can see the line of trees at the edge of the marsh (which here is strangely absent its customary vegetation of Blackthorn Oaks, willows, and cedars). 

Suisun_Marsh_Overlook.jpg

I am curious about the reeds and sedges populating the "drier" parts of the marsh. There doesn't seem to be much of Phragmites reed (the stuff traditionally used for thatching in Europe), and rather lower stands of grasses. Not very much in the ways of Sphagnum peat moss, it seems, and neither carpets of lentil-shaped duckweed.

Are those grasses rooted in the bottom, or do they form floating carpets that don't support anything heavier than a songbird?

I am familiar with blackthorn (a low tree or high bush common in the wall hedges of my home, not commonly associated with wetlands), which is a variety of prunus, and of course with oaks. What I would expect in an environment like this is black alder.

Are you suggesting that the Blackthorn of Delecti's Marsh is some fictitional form of riparian oaks rather than the fruit-bearing tree known by this name?

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Argh! Working a bit too late last night I accidentally masked part of the elevation lines. Will have at least one more update for the area map.

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Here are the mostly final versions of the maps.  At least for now.  I made a a number of changes to both the style and based on suggestions.

 

two_sisters_area_300.png

two_sisters_area_300_1km.png

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2 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Key still has the old elevation line.

Doh!  Good thing I didn't print a copy yet.  Here's they fixed key. I think there are a few minor glitches but I'm going to wait until I update my tablet to correct.

 

two_sisters_area_300.png

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17 hours ago, Dan Z said:

I think there are a few minor glitches but I'm going to wait until I update my tablet to correct.

That's a very nice map. Thanks for sharing.

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