This is a satellite image of the Middle-East. One shortcoming is climate change. We should imagine the region to be a bit greener, less deforested, less air pollution from sand storms, etc.
Nations. We're using my names for nations with designators to denote their political organization. It's easy to imagine a sultanate for the arab-like Tashtak or a king sitting on a throne in Badar. I chose "dominion" for the eladrin kingdom of Shamar because it sounded exotic and arcane. Chittim is the original name for Crypress.
Cities. Each of the major city-states of Labash are listed with a red city circle. Labash is a cultural region and is not a nation-state, although city-states are usually closer than a relationship between city-state and nation-state. The major capitals of each nation are marked with blue boxes. Baalgad is marked in blue and is a small town (our starting point).
City names are almost all based on ancient names for that city, even though many have made up nation names.
The first exception is the Shamar city of Corrella, named after Correllon Larethian. I did this because there's no way to include Jerusalem without it invoking real-world feelings. Although Shamar is situated where Israel is now, I figure the eladrin are incredibly alien and their idea of a kingdom will be very different than anything in real life.
The second exception is Ssalimass. The correct city is called Salimas, but I added extra "s's" for Yuan-ti emphasis. Not mentioned before now, the yuan-ti nation is Chittim. Rather than being a central place where all regions meet for trade, like in history, it's a hazardous obstacle that inhibits relations, and perhaps traps the unwary. Imagine an island where no man has ever returned from. Imagine a fleet that attempts to conquer that island and is never heard from again. Don't messsss with Chittim.
Artwork. So many game handouts go right over the players heads. Who has time to read this crap? I certainly don't read other peoples lengthy handouts. I'm hoping to distill this entire blog down into a simple handout that's only a few pages long, as opposed to my 50 page Iron Crown Player's Guide that has gone through half a dozen versions. Anyway, the artwork is simple the primary races that live in that nation-state or region.
Geography. I need to label a few minor things:
- The Great Sea. Now known as the Mediterranean.
- The South Sea. Now known as the Red Sea. There's an interesting entry on how ancients sometimes used colors to denote direction.
- Iteru River. The Nile. This is the only major river on this map.
National Boundaries. For the sake of simplicity, I think we'll stick with current national boundaries. They're lightly marked on the satellite photo.
My intention is not to do a lot of international travel or major international events. My goal is to get back to basics, with traditional fantasy adventures, outside, with nature, blue sky, elves in forests and angry hill ogres. I want the "macro" world designed here to add flavor, rather than be a blueprint for a playground. At least that's what I say now.