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One thing that frequently distinguished maps from different eras is the placing of the most spiritually important site as the central point of the world. 

What a good job the world is free of intellectual slavery to the British Empire and no longer bases geography around the Greenwich Observatory in London! 

Oh..... 😁

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24 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

One thing that frequently distinguished maps from different eras is the placing of the most spiritually important site as the central point of the world. 

What a good job the world is free of intellectual slavery to the British Empire and no longer bases geography around the Greenwich Observatory in London! 

Oh..... 😁

True. There are the obvious things like how maps used to have east as the "up" direction, since that's where the sun rises, and then it slowly got shifted to north.

Glorantha could have lots of various conventions like that as well. Over-empasizing certain natural/manmade features for symbolic reasons, using symbolic/allegorical symbols in lieu of literal representation due to some kind of taboo beliefs, and so on. Whatever people here come up with that sounds interesting.

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7 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Glorantha could have lots of various conventions like that as well. Over-empasizing certain natural/manmade features for symbolic reasons, using symbolic/allegorical symbols in lieu of literal representation due to some kind of taboo beliefs, and so on. Whatever people here come up with that sounds interesting.

As long as maps have elvish script (was it called moon letters?), a la The Hobbit. I am sure I fell in love with maps before reading that tome, but i can't recall.

Pre-Hobbit, post- Hobbit, two different world views, literally

Cheers.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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This is my most recent in-game map. Probably a bit too accurate in location placement, but still rough enough for characters who've traveled this landscape to consider "familiar".

Also, my very first in-game map as I began my Imther Campaign oh-so-many years ago - that one was more to give my players a sense of where they were in the world, though.

DragonPassMap.JPG

Imther HW Maps 002-v2.jpg

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

I honestly think that the modern perspective will dominate.  Hawk's-eye view, Fly with some +duration, etc etc etc.

I don't think it would necessarily -- in the real world, my understanding is that perspective wasn't widely used in paintings and art until the end of the 15th century. Before that, any painting had the characteristically "flat" or, at least, "weird fucked up isometric-ish", aspect of medieval art. So it's very possible Gloranthan artists and cartographers similarly "see" naturally in perspective, but don't know (yet) how to translate that into their work. Or maybe they do -- at this point it's just world art direction, and how you want your Glorantha to feel like. Judging on the art direction of the official books, though, it looks like perspective hasn't been "invented" yet in Genertelan cultures.

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1 hour ago, Ali the Helering said:

One thing that frequently distinguished maps from different eras is the placing of the most spiritually important site as the central point of the world

Oh yeah good point! I wonder if, say, Lunar maps might even be turned around (90 or 180 degrees from the usual North up) because they want to align it with whatever facing the Red Moon has at the beginning of its cycle or something.

Edited by lordabdul

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

This is my most recent in-game map. Probably a bit too accurate in location placement, but still rough enough for characters who've traveled this landscape to consider "familiar".

 

My good man, a fine map indeed, however might I point out the oversight of the lack of Torkani lands. It would seem that our friends the uz, neighbours and Jonstown Confedercy allies; the Cinsina and our foe; the Telmori have swallowed all our lands. Though having  taken heavy losses since the accursed horse worshipping Dinacoli turned traitor which we all know led to the temporary occupation of our great nation from the days of my father's youth until the Dragonrise this last year,  I assure you that our clans and tribe mostly survive.

Yours in Sartar
The Torkani

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

My good man, a fine map indeed, however might I point out the oversight of the lack of Torkani lands. It would seem that our friends the uz, neighbours and Jonstown Confedercy allies; the Cinsina and our foe; the Telmori have swallowed all our lands.

To The Torkani

It is with glad tidings that we hear that you have survived enslavement by the Lunars of Stonegate, and hopefully have overthrown them in the Wake of the Dragon. We eagerly march east towards your lost lands and look forward to a long-awaited reunion!

Your Colymar Friends

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Just now, jajagappa said:

It is with glad tidings that we hear that you have survived enslavement by the Lunars of Stonegate, and hopefully have overthrown them in the Wake of the Dragon. We eagerly march east towards your lost lands and look forward to a long-awaited reunion!

 

Yay!

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43 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Oh yeah good point! I wonder if, say, Lunar maps might even be turned around (90 or 180 degrees from the usual North up) because they want to align it with whatever facing the Red Moon has at the beginning of its cycle or something.

Traditional, especially the older nation-wide, Chinese maps often had the south at the top - as that was the orientation the emperor would look from his (generally) northern capital as he faced that direction from his throne.

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Praxians use ceremonial knots to impart information and I seem to remember reference to or discussion of knotted ropes as maps.

I've adopted this in my Glorantha, so for instance a Praxian rope map of Caravan Alley would include a knot each for Day's Rest, Tourney Altar and Biggle Stone (and perhaps Hender's Ruins). The distance between knots indicates relative distance between locations. Each knot is then dyed a particular colour depending on the type, spiritual meaning or other important aspect relative to the tribe or person who made the map. Dye applied to the rope between knots can indicate the type of territory being travelled through. For instance a rope map of the Zola Fel may be dyed blue with the knots coloured differently. More information could be imbued magically.

Although most rope maps are actually linear route maps, the tying of many ropes together from a central point might indicate the relative distances of places from a central location like Pavis or the Block.

You can make these for player handouts out of string.

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Knot maps probably would have major, complicated knots describing locations and sub-knots giving additional info, while routes would have lesser knots e.g. describing the direction of the route, possibly using the Block as a visual reference for adjusting the direction.

(I wonder whether those major routes would be more desolate than the chaparral around them.)

Working with dye after producing the knots doesn't seem practical - much easier to entwine some colored yarn or strips of leather in the knots.

 

It would be possible to create a mesh with the oases as junctions, but I think the concept of linear maps describing routes rather than areas is more intuitive.

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I really like the notion of "rope maps" or "string maps" of linear journeys.  I'm curious:  is this attested in any anthropological source?

As Jeorg says, information can be encoded in different kinds of knots, different inclusions, etc.  Multi-day trips could appear as longer lengths, or simple crossed loops could show a count of the number of nights on the trail.

One could also delineate features of some stretches of map with different materials -- a thin strip of leather or other hide, knotted at an oasis to a length of jute twine, which in turn is knotted at the next waypoint to a length of High-Llama-fur yarn, etc.  This will allow the features to be "read" by touch (e.g. in the dark, without taking ones eyes away from something being observed, etc (it would also let a "guide" consult a map without revealing that they are ignorant of the territory!)).

 

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I am not aware of knots used in this particular manner, but Andean cultures (most famously the Inca empire) used knotted strings (called khipu or quipu) as ledgers for taxation and inventory purposes. It's possible that they also used it to transfer other kinds of information, but I'm not completely read up on it.

EDIT: Not quite the same, but didn't some North American cultures use colored beads on strings as a form of "writing" too? That's another perfectly valid medium for map-making too.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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@Joerg A mesh of knots was something I considered but also thought in general linear route maps are what these describe.

Although at The Paps there is a fantastic map of the Wastelands woven on Ernalda's Loom whose patchwork of bumps, shapes and shades can be read visually or by hand by those who know what it says. The  map is remade during the Sacred Time rituals every year.

Edited by m0n0cular

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9 hours ago, m0n0cular said:

Although at The Paps there is a fantastic map of the Wastelands woven on Ernalda's Loom whose patchwork of bumps, shapes and shades can be read visually or by hand by those who know what it says. The  map is remade during the Sacred Time rituals every year.

Maps woven on a loom lead to Cartesian coordinates - it is like mapping on square-patterned paper.

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16 hours ago, m0n0cular said:

Praxians use ceremonial knots to impart information

HeroQuest Glorantha (p168) says:

Quote

In all Waha rituals, string, rope, twine and sinew are used to map out the world. Spirits are offered a house that is a cats cradle or knotted shape. The twine from the ritual is incorporated into the charm, and holds the spirit. Any other parts the spirit requires form the scaffold of the charm. Waha followers always carry loops of string ready for use.

Waha cultists use tied string (can be other materials) as spirit houses. Due it its sacred nature these are used as maps for the spirit world not the middle world. Other cults put Spirit world maps onto skins. I don't believe that Praxians use maps. They move about their landscape in their long established migratory patterns. Most clans have seasonal paths and have enough members who have done these routes that everybody understands the geography. Most directions will be relative to other objects in their field of view, the most common being the Great Storm. Tall mountains and other features are easily visible in clear weather. Distances will be measured in time to return to the main camp from the moving herd and days camped depending on terrain.

Have a look at this one from the Guide (sadly I've just realised that the G+ images were not embedded on the glorantha.com site and so have disappeared):

kodl8uavyo6x.jpg

This was directly based on a map segment from the guide.

Just to be clear Praxians don't make maps of Prax and the Wastes. Others will likely have to!

Waha spirit maps: 

and non-waha spirit maps:

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/7955-im-still-confused-about-spirit-travel/?tab=comments#comment-114510

 

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@David Scott Thanks for the clarification and source. The example spirit maps and fetishes you show in the post you linked to are really evocative too. The way they display the spirit world around physical places in Prax ties in (sorry!) so well with the thoughts of @Bill the barbarian and @g33k earlier in this thread, and other discourse about maps being weighted to what's important to a culture.

Praxian tribes don't need maps... reinforces nicely the importance of ancestral, handed down and oral traditions amongst the Praxians. It also becomes another big reason why being part of the tribe and following tradition is important. I wonder what the impact of imported Lunar spirits has upon the spirit landscapes of the Praxians?

Got to admit that in the spirit (ahem) of YGMV I'm going to stick with rope/string maps of the physical world too. But not amongst the tribes. Instead people like Issaries worshippers and other figures often at a remove from tribal life will use them. They also add variety to the maps sold by characters like Treasure Trove Hurbi: "Get yer real Praxian rope maps here!"  

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13 minutes ago, m0n0cular said:

@David Scott Thanks for the clarification and source. The example spirit maps and fetishes you show in the post you linked to are really evocative too. The way they display the spirit world around physical places in Prax ties in (sorry!) so well with the thoughts of @Bill the barbarian and @g33k earlier in this thread, and other discourse about maps being weighted to what's important to a culture.

 

You definitely deserve to be punished, for that post! I know, I know... pot, kettle, black... gottit! Still,  punishment will be forthcoming...

Seriously though, it is very easy to look good when bouncing thoughts off @ g33k. Thank you for the bad puns and good comments!

Cheers

Can't judge an player by his avatar, it seems. You are not half as myopic as your name suggests. Ooh... woise to come....

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While I don't want to use the idea too closely at all, knot maps probably work a bit like Australian Indigenous song lines. You talk about places, and how to get from a place to a place, but not much about coordinates or anything like that. But then add the idea of linking places that occur in more line, turn it into a web, and you get something like a map.

Each line (or individual string) will be a chain of landmarks and directions, which gaps between knots giving some idea of time or distance, though it can probably have chains of knots to indicate probably days of travel?  - So a knot line might read something like Oasis- Sable Horn- Towards Morning Sun - 1 day - White Rock- Towards Tall Peak-River Bed Left--Palm Tree Oasis- Altar Evening Star. And if you have a bunch of different lines, you connect another different line that tells you how to get to the Evening Star Altar. Eventually it gives you, not what we would think of as a map, but a good idea of how to get to a bunch of places from a bunch of other places. 

 

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For a real mind-bender, check out this Empire-spanning map  (interactive viewer)  of the Roman road & fort network (just the image). Not only is it not proportional, it's only vaguely oriented. It hurt my head until I realized it should be read like a subway map, showing stations and interchanges with little consideration for scale.

The forts and crossings are all at day's march intervals, so in-use you don't really care how far apart things on different branches actually are, or even their relative orientation beyond which way you turn at the intersections to reach them. You just need to know how many days march between the beginning and end of your route and which turns you need to take along the way.  Areas with lots of roads are bigger on the map in order to draw them all, while areas with fewer roads are compressed. Similarly, rough country expands (more march-days to cross) while easily-traversed country contracts (more distance covered in a day's march). The seas and impassible mountain ranges are slim strips, since as roads don't cross them their actual width is only indirectly relevant to travel via the roads. 

By focusing on only such practical considerations, a panorama that covers detailed-enough routes spanning from the Atlantic to Sri Lanka fits on a "mere" seven meter scroll.

Here's an Atlas Obscura article with more background and links.

Edited by JonL
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