Okay, so as the map shows, there are already some quite obvious problems. For a start, the Vale of Surdoch is so far away from Cranee that it doesn't actually make any sense at all to describe its whereabouts in relation to Cranee--it's far closer to Folktown. Admittedly, some of the map is merely conjecture, for example the Vale itself is only mentioned in relation to the Battle of Barnum Stones so I'm not a hundred percent sure that it's the 25 lele south of Cranee that it is on the map. Also, I've put the Cataract Road running through Sejfeld (which I spelled wrong; whoops)... that was a bit of an accident really, and it came from Sejfeld being placed where it was because of Lady Bavarian moving closer and closer to Folktown. So that's just tentative and may be moved around. Marsh Gibbon is, however, ten miles (shall we get Arnia to change that to sugro-nanits?) north-west of Folktown, so that configuration at the very least must be correct.
The main problem then is that the Vale of Surdoch is stated as being very close to the land of Alezan... sigh. Couple that with the fact that we've got a largish town close to Folktown that's only been mentioned once in all of the lexicon so far (Egron), a sea whose whereabouts we're not so a-where of yet, and many, many places that can't even be incorporated into the map yet, and we have quite a bit of work to do. It's a good thing that we started this early on in the game because the inconsistencies in direction can really creep in. --Sean B. Palmer 09:30, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Devil's advocate, but I may describe something as "being next to the big rock" as opposed to "across the street from Friendly's" - they're both the same location, but I'm more familiar with the rock (perhaps I played on it in my youth). Similarly, if I live in Cranee, it's natural for my worldview to center around ME, not other towns that may be actually closer (long justification short, the description doesn't bother me that much...) I think part of this inconsistency could be solved by moving the Vale near where Marsh Gibbon is, and bringing Alezan "down" a bit more. The new location for the vale would also still be close enough for a troupe of soldiers to walk that far from the Battle. --Morbus Iff 11:48, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I dunno... it still doesn't strike me as "suspiciously close" to Alezan then, as Bordingbras his Hatt! says. If the Vale is suspiciously close to Alezan, then most of Ghyll is suspiciously close to Alezan too. It's better'n nowt, of course, so that should be the very minimum solution. It's kinda a shame that leles were defined to be so huge; the other solution would be to have Chesix System Of Measures be declared inconsistent. --Sean B. Palmer 11:56, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Stardate: supplementary. The other obvious point is that Cranee should be due west of the Evesque Valley, and Alezan to the west and south-west of it. That'd make an almost completely new map, but I think it'd be consistent with the lexicon so far. --Sean B. Palmer 11:59, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Wait, Cranee is west of the Evesque Valley? When did that happen? --Morbus Iff 12:23, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
It's not necessarily west, but I'm saying that that's a possible solution. Cranee can't be north of the Evesque Valley, and Alezan is due west of the Evesque Valley, therefore Cranee can't be north of Alezan. Alezan is contiguous with the Evesque Valley, and Cranee is 25 sugro-nanits frmo the Evesque Valley, therefore (depending on the size of Alezan), Cranee is going to be many sugro-nanits away from Alezan or possibly right next to it, but since it can never be north of Alezan and we know that the Vale is south of Cranee, the Vale must be further away from Alezan than Cranee, and at least at a distance of 35 miles or so, and possibly more. Since Cranee is directly between the Evesque Valley and Folktown, Folktown must be in the suspicious zone, no matter where we place it. I've sketched out all the possible bands for places on a mini-map, and I think the closest that the Vale could come to Alezan is if Cranee were due west of Alezan (which would put Folktown even further due west, so it wouldn't really be consistent since the Evesque Valley is meant to be in the north of Ghyll), but it actually doesn't solve the problem, it's just the least bad choice from one particular aspect. --Sean B. Palmer 12:30, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Hey, all I know is, now that some other sucker, er, "volunteer" has started on the map, I consider myself absolved, at least for the time being. When the tectonic shifts quiet down, I'll get 'round to making it "pretty". (Dodged a bullet there, eh?) --Doctor Phineas Crank 12:34, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Well, what happened is that first Morbus asked Joe to make a map, but he got Cartographer's Nerves, so then he asked me to make one in conjunction with him, but I said I needed a Where's Where first. Then there was the thread on Talk:Cartographer's Nerves, but I decided it'd still be rather difficult to do without the Where's Where so I sat down and did it myself. Now that I've done so, I thought I may as well extend it to plotting out some of the basics of the world so far as we already know it, which is the reason for the draft map--which is only a structural map, and certainly not in the least indicative of how I'd like the proper Ghyll map to be.
So the situation is that we'd still like you to do the prettying, as you correctly deduce, if you're still up to it, but it'd also be nice if you had any input on the minutia that we're currently discussing too. I've been wanting the map to be hand-drawn, but Morbus very much wants to make sure that the map is easily maintainable and so he won't let me do any finished product for a Ghyll map that isn't done in a cartographic program of some sort. I can't say I fully agree with it, but I see his point, and it's absolutely fine since you've volunteered to help! --Sean B. Palmer 12:42, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I think you're placing too much emphasis on the word "suspicious". Surely, any contemporary map maker wouldn't make location decisions relative to the term "suspicious". My take on "suspicious" is simply plot based: "hmmMm, THING_A is evil, THING_B is close to THING_A, sounds mighty SUSPICIOUS, dontcha think?!", equivalent to "hMMm, I'm FAT, HMMmM, I live near a McDonALDS, AHHh HAH!", even though I live near a Burger King and a Wendy's, but I'm also even nearer to weight loss centers. Do weight loss centers cause me to be fat too? They're in the "suspicious" proximity too, etc., etc. So, I think "suspicious" should really only be taken plotwise, not as some sort of geographic zone that constrains a map. --Morbus Iff 15:19, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Well, I thought the main rule of Ghyll was to try not to twist people's words away from the clear intent--didn't you lecture someone on that quite recently? I think it's pretty clear that there's an inconsistency here, but it developed so subtly that I don't think we need blame ourselves for it--and it is our two entries (ironically!) that are the cause of the problem. Here are the facts that are conflictory:
- Battle of Barnum Stones: "[the battle took place in] a field some 25 lele south of the present site of Cranee"
- Battle of Barnum Stones: "[the night of the battle], the group camped in the Vale of Serdoch."
- Bordingbras his hatt!: "the Vale of Serdoch is suspiciously close to the ruins of Alezan"
- Cranee Historical Society: "[Cranee] is situated directly between the Evesque Valley and Folktown: 25 sugro-nanits from the former [...], and 18 sugro-nanits from the latter"
- Cataract Road: "Cataract Road stretches across most of known Ghyll, from the northernmost Evesque Valley"
I would prefer to modify the more recent entries (our two), since we should've taken more care over their creation. In any case, we do have a number of possible solutions:
- Clarify "northernmost Evesque Valley" to mean the northernmost part of the Valley, not that the Valley is in the northernmost part of Ghyll.
- Explain that there are two villages called Cranee, and rename the one alluded to in the C entries to be the "other" Cranee.
- Have 25 lele be declared a very small distance. This'll require changing the Chesix System of Measures, and I don't think it's optimal because it then places Folktown due west of the Evesque Valley.
- Hold Barnum's note that the battle may have taken place in Stindersgrough instead to be true.
- Redefine the cardinal directions in Ghyll. Ghyll and its crazy moon directions...
I'm leaning towards the first one at the moment since it seems to be the Evesque Valley's placement that is always the ?x factor in "oh we can't do that because ?x". Input from the authors of Barnum and Bordingbras should probably be solicited. --Sean B. Palmer 14:08, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Heh, well, depending on how you feel at the moment, I'm either deliciously chaotic, or too much of a case scenarioist. In my head, "suspiciously close" is exactly perfect for plot - I feel that's what he intended. But, "suspiciously close", as a mapmaker, is not descriptive enough to be used to determine an exact location. Per your earlier suggestion, yeah, if Ghyll is a thousand times bigger than what we know (it is), then EVERYTHING we know is in the "suspiciously close" zone, and "suspiciously close" means very little. Plotwise, "suspiciously close" is perfect; map location wise, it's too imperfect and not descriptive enough. It should be bent, or even ignored, during map creation, but proved and respected during plot advancement. With that mindset, no modification of entries is required.
As for "northernmost", my intention with it was used in comparison to the other locations that the Road passed through, NOT as a specific location on a map. It's more north than everything else, that is all. So, if changing that one thing will somehow solve our problems (I'm not sure it does, does it?), I'm fine with it. --Morbus Iff 19:28, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I have a question to add to the confusion: I have been working on the assumption that Ghyll is the "planet". Is my assumption correct, or is Ghyll a continent, or a political boundary or a geographic region within a continent? --Dok 20:19, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I've been assuming that it is a country or continent. With all the wars all the bloody time, one would hope that there are other countries, otherwise these Ghyllians have a darned hard time getting along with themselves. --DrBacchus 20:42, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Ghyll is, at its most macro, a fictional reality. When Sbp and I originally began developing Ghyll, it was "small", because we really wanted to focus more on culture, traditions, and the little "micro" things that make life what it is (witness Agony uncle, the "penultimate" Ghyll entry). With Ghyll opened to the public, as it were, I think it's safe to assume it is a world. This game, however, should be focused on a small part of Ghyll - to talk about continents, countries, etc. is too "macro" for our (current) tastes. Consider this game, and our fiction, our own little "corner" of the Ghyll world. Future rounds or explorations of Ghyll may expand our scope, but for now, keeping the game centered around Folktown and the surrounding area (as defined by our current efforts in the Where's Where) is a good thing. --Morbus Iff 21:02, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Happy to fit in. I like the focus on culture and traditions - it all makes for more colour. --Dok 21:25, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I'd always assumed we were talking about a region. Possibly a continent, but nothing larger than, say, Europe. --Doctor Phineas Crank 23:19, 26 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I honestly don't see how world/continent/etc. makes any difference. --Morbus Iff 07:11, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Simple. Distance and relative levels of detail. If I'm talking about an entire world, I use a broader, less detailed scope. On the other hand, if I'm talking about a city, I use a lot more specific detail and a very, tightly focused scope. For instance, I might describe neighborhoods instead of cities. Or, if my focus is an entire world, I'm more likely to describe entire countries in rather broad strokes, never getting any real depth. Of course, that's just me. --Doctor Phineas Crank 07:25, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
The in-game Encyclopedants, along with Sbp and myself, have all stated we want a micro focus, not macro; honestly, I feel that Ghyll is already bigger than I want it to be. It is VERY hard to get details, plot driven development, and most importantly, sensical integration, when people describe "countries in rather broad strokes" or detail history from long past the caring of the current inhabitants (do the Greek or Aztec culture, not science, influence your life, right now, everyday, in a tangible way?) - this is a role-playing game, not something like Birthright - it's very hard torole play a country in anything but broad, boring, cookiecutter strokes. It's getting to the point where the Encyclopedants will probably make a hard and fast rule of not accepting ANY new locations outside those currently defined, or allowing ANY entry whose core is based further back then 200 EC. --Morbus Iff 08:45, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Well, I certainly understand that sentiment. I think it would be a shame to completely close off new places until we know just how far it is from Folktown to the coast, though. In fact, I was hoping to add one more city, (fill-in-the-blank)-by-the-sea, with a distance relative to Folktown or Iganefta, or something. Still, a tighter focus would be better for detailed role-playing. I have to admit, I'm having a bit of a challenge conjoining "role-playing" with "encyclopedia". I have more entries to work on that, though, so I'm hoping I get it figured before my brain melts. Oh, and I hope to build entries that have a level of detail which allow for things like recipes. The scones I made this weekend were yummy! (Sorry, that had nothing to do with Geography.) --Doctor Phineas Crank 10:00, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Possible solution to geographic difficulties
J.R.R. Tolkien once said that it was impossible to devise a consistent map from a narrative; you have to begin with the map and write the narrative around it. I think the above kerfuffle shows that the same is even more true of a collectively written encyclopedia. I suggest that whoever does this game next, post-Ghyll, use some software to concoct a random map (there's software somewhere for doing that, I'm sure) and then scatter numbers on rivers, lakes, bays, capes, shorelines, forests, plains, mountains, likely town and city locations, and so on. People can then dib for these numbers as they need them, so that someone can define map location 76 as the city of Twelve Trees, for example, and then everyone else would be committed to that. In this way, geographical inconsistencies would be obvious and straightforwardly correctable. (Anyone who feels like doing this now for Ghyll would, I'm sure, gain the gratitude of all Encyclopedists.) --John Cowan 09:04, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Great suggestion! I was waiting for Morbus to deal with his issues this week before talking about this, but I was wondering what ideas folks had in regards to these issues. FWIW, I will be working on a map for Ghyll, possibly this weekend, based on the Ghyll Geography as it's being laid out here. I'm doing my best to make it seem like a hand-drawn map, but I'm sure I'll have to do more than one pass at it before it works to my satisfaction. FYI, I use Campaign Cartographer by [ProFantasy]. You can see my work [here]. --Doctor Phineas Crank 09:50, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)
This is a super-great idea. The attempt to derive map from story (there was always too little or too much info) was the key factor in my wussing out of the whole thing. :) --Joe Bowers 12:50, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I think this is a great solution and one that I would be happy to work with. --Dok 01:56, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)
6/17/05: as to my changes to the Principality from "town; maybe more" to "a territory..." and the addition of the "Town of Jurra"; I base this on the Harrabloon Bank entry which speaks of the Principality and later states: "From time to time, political officials representing the Prince or the Town Council have made..." I like the idea of a Principality (traditional meaning) but had to reconcile this statement about a Town Council... what town? my answer is the Town of Jurra. I also added the township of Ingotburrough in EUPHORIA as my way of increasing the size of the Principality from just one town. I realize that this is open to consideration and that the powers-that-be may disagree and wipe away my change. AIGH! --Nikos of Ant 15:14, 17 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Question about Pelon Peak: Since it is a mountain, would it be wrong to think that perhaps Pelon Peak forms a part of one of the walls of the Valley in which Ellensworth is located? --Trousle Undrhil 04:02, 3 Jul 2005 (EDT)