Foiled. Cursed again!
Par for the Curse (or Parr, someone's name)
Curse is Foiled Again
Here is the whole entry:
Located south of Laselle. The marsh itself is a mix of swamp, streams, slow moving rivulets, rivers. small islands and mud humps that are an equal mix of earth and water. Interspersed with all of that are islands of grass and brush and dense stands of trees. Any movement through that is impossible. A person would sink up to their hips in mud that seemed to be everywhere. Long known as a refuge. When the Suielman invaded the Northern Midlands Centli survivors fled into the marsh. Centuries later when the Lutins invaded surviving Suielman also fled to the marsh. A community of people still live there. It is effectively impassable to armies. The one Suielman road that runs north from Kormley detours around the marsh. Legends speak of a Lutin tribe that took refuge there but it's never been proven or disproved.
The marsh sits at one end of a short branch of the Metamor river. In the past the main branch of the Metamor river ran past this way. But at some point the river changed course and now follows it's current path to the sea. Why the change happened remains unknown. When it happened also remains unknown. Some legends speak of a cataclysm (exactly what changes from tale to tale). Other legends say it was deliberately diverted by (insert some group long dead here - Tened, Sueliman) for reasons unknown. Others think it changed course as part of some natural process. Rivers do change course.
Discussing this in IRC, I suggested that the west branch is a more recent path to the sea, caused by something (nature or artificial, unknown, lost to history) blocking the old path farther south centuries or millennia ago and creating the Tearman Marsh south of Laselle (being added by Misha).
That would be: Die, Fledermaus!
Alternative title - To kill a mocking bat
Die, Fliedermaus! (an assassination attempt on Andwyn?)
You mean the one on the Sea of Stars? That's cool. What is the village's name?
A look at the map shows the river branches. One branch goes to the sea.
If the road south of Laselle follows the river, it will lead to the little village I wrote about in the beginning of "Healing Wounds of Arabarb" which is a small fishing village (the shoals are too rough to permit a large-scale harbor).
All right - working on the idea that the changed maps is right. This puts Midtown to the East of Laselle and that has the Main road that goes straight south eventually going to Kormley.
This leads to a small question:
Where does the road south out of Laselle lead?
I am thinking that when the road that runs north to the valley was built (around -550) it was supposed to run thru Laselle but for some reason it was shifted to the east. No need to explain why now. Perhaps the ground simply wasnt stable enough for a road. Or Perhaps marshy ground or a range of hills. The Pinsk (or Pripet) Marshes were a major obstacle. During WW2 the Germans had to go around them as their panzers couldn't handle the swampy ground.
Correct. The old empire roads were all paved. The major ones with heaving paving stones. Lesser ones with crushed rock. All are a lot more advanced then the more 'modern (CR 708) ones. Metamor is one of the few places in the Midlands that maintains the old Suielman roads so well. Jetta undoubtedly has a road leading to it. But probably not a heavily paved one. Probably it is paved with loose stone that heads south to the main road. I figure that ALL settlements on the map have some sort of road leading to it.
I'm going on the assumption that Old Suielish roads are most or less paved where as more "modern" roads are mostly dirt, gravel or cobble/flag stones. With stone roads more likely closer to settlements. I do realize the roads aren't to scale. Maps wouldn't work if they were.
Jetta would want road access to both roads depending on trade flow. Which way does trade flow here? Jetta looks to be mostly farms so they'll want to ship what they don't use to where it is needed/they can get the best price for their goods. Laselle with river access might make bulk trade easier this far inland. Midtown on the other hand may have greater need for food and offer better prices.
The roads are centuries old, if not millennia. The Suielman would have done the paving of major roads in their day. Jetta would have a road to it but I was being lazy about adding it for these samples, Should it have roads both east and west to meet up with the others or just east? While roads will cut through forests, the duke would likely have a minimum clearance cleaned away from either side to expose/discourage bandits. This however probably wouldn't be shown on the maps due to scale (I was also lazy about not clearing a forest right of way for the road). How many large area maps (county or larger) have you seen where the roads are drawn to scale (width)? The lines on Stealth's map would be closer to scale road width but the hex map has fat enough lines to be easily seen.
It looks fine, not as straight as the imperial roads, for sure. Seems like someone decided to pave a secret back-way as the traffic had carved a trail already. On looking at it, it seems a little strange that neither road has at least a trail going to Jetta.
Though even if the road will sort of look like this, who owns it or more accurately who paid for its construction? As laid out now it looks like it cuts through several forests, that would take much labour to make, let alone to keep it passable.
This is just a Work In Progress. Comments? Ideas? Good? Bad?
Please note: We have not gotten Stealth's permission yet to alter his really cool map.
Here's my thought for updates to Misha's old hex map and Stealth's map to include a road from Midtown into the valley without it having to go through Laselle (both towns being right outside the curse border). This helps these maps to fit with already published stories and the other posted maps. Skirting the mountains (or going through) give more reason for the occurrence in spring of 724 of a mudslide ruining a bend in the road.
On Midtown vs. Laselle, the shortest route between Metamor and Giftum is through Komley and Midtown. To bypass Midtown, you have to detour west to Sorin and Menth then back east to Laselle. Sorin and Menth have their own harbors but Giftum is away from the sea in calmer river waters.
Perhaps Laselle had a more direct route south in the past but it may have become overgrown over the centuries.
Are you looking for just geographical reasons or can political reasons also come up for that? Because if Lassele is competing with Midtown for trade it'd make sense for there being an embargo on at least certain goods if not a complete one.
The Donel family most likely is asserting their influence on trading partners trying to undercut and promise safer routes. They need the trade income to finance their efforts. Possibly sabotaging the trade routes leading to the competition. (Stones in the water-way, "Ducal"-tolls for road maintenance, employing brigands to guide incoming traffic the right way).
Misha, you've stated that the population in the Midlands, and the Valley, used to be higher during the golden age of the Empire. That would suggest the land can support such a population and only now that the land is relatively peaceful a population boom is taking place.
Midtown could've been better prepared for that (more efficient use of farmland, plenty of construction materials available), where Laselle has had a shortage of that.
In turn Laselle having been an imperial strongpoint and trading hub in the past, rested on its laurels too long and is now trying to catch up to the population trend. Plenty of unemployed people living in housing that has seen better days or needing renovation.
Forced to seek trading opportunities in less desired circles has allowed smuggling rings to flourish. And with the smugglers come less savoury types. This in turn has deterred potential partners in trade who wish to have no dealing with the underworld that has rooted itself there.
Thanks. I need to work on why Laselle isnt as prominent as Midtown.
I am sorry about that.
I remember having this discussion a few years ago but I forget all about it.
I reminded Misha that he himself wrote the Midtown wiki page 6 years ago, which places it on the edge of the curse border (where all the relevant maps already show it). After consulting him, I have also corrected some maps (fixing the river and on one adding Laselle & Medalia), which he will at some point have update-uploaded on the site.