Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The World South of Engelke

Let's again have an overview of the regions south of the Party's position in Engleke and Leer; following the battle against the pirates, Vorhein the bartender is so pleased he will give the party food and lodging for free all Tuesday day and the night before Wednesday (everyone can have 1 hit point healing and Andrej can cast a day's worth of spells if he likes).  During that time, the party might get a chance to chat with a few people about politics and travel - it is on people's minds, what with recent events, and strangers are anxious to talk.

Let's begin with the elevation map (you can find Engleke top centre):

Much of the country is still flat - with parts of Holland to the west below sea level.  Note the Zuider Zee (the inlet in the centre of Holland) is larger on this map than you'll find on a modern map ... I tool a lot of trouble to use a map from the 17th century to depict Holland as it might have appeared centuries ago.  Take note of the Weihen Hills in the vicinity of Osnabruck, and those south of Paderborn and Hamme, in the southeast.  The latter are the Sauerland 'mountains.'

The huge river to the southwest is, of course, the Rhine, splitting in two below Emmerich.  The other river paralleling the Rhine is the Moselle, descending from France.  The party is already familiar with the Weser west of Engleke.  That one slightly smaller river draining through Leer is, you'll remember, the Ems.

There is an abundance of trade centres, particularly in the Ruhr valley - that's the concentrated area at the bottom centre of the map, with Crefeld, Dusseldorf, Essen, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Venlo, Wesel, Bochum, Recklinghausen, Dortmund and Hamme ... plus a constellation of others surrounding those.  This is the most intense industrial region of both the real world and my D&D campaign - with access to the sea and inland Europe.  It is fair to consider that there are roads through virtually every part of the map ... the population made more clear by this second map, below:

Depending on your zoom, the patterning on this map can be a bit hard to read, but adjust it until its comfortable.  The region represents a very intense population density (there's more to the south and west - on a large map it's very impressive).  Naturally, this is no less that what might be expected from Holland.  Still, there is a large deciduous forest in Lower Saxony, stretching from Oldenburg to Hochsauerland - its a well-watered country, with plenty of small lakes not showing.  The edge of the moors along the North Sea are just visible along the top of the map.

There are some quite large monsters in this forest country, some as large as five tons, which Andrej can testify to as he's seen on in the flesh.  Most of the goblins that once dwelt here are believed to have been wiped out, but there are known caves with deep tunnels, said to be occupied by morlocks, in the Teutoburger Wald, the forest encircling the cropland of Bielefeld and Herford.  Gutersloh would be in the South Teutoburger Wald.  And there is an abundance of bandits.

And, of course, here's the political map:

I had to simplify and change the colorscheme from the last map - I was running out of colors.  For simplicity, all of the free Netherlands is one color; a small corner of the Spanish Netherlands shows in the bottom left, and a bit of Swedish Germany; and the remaining areas of the Holy Roman Empire are divided according to their houses.

Holland has been free of war since 1640, when it won at last its freedom from Spain, after 80 years.  The people there are very much against war of any kind; they anxiously defend their personal rights; and they already have an earned reputation for having the most civilized society anywhere.

The Holy Roman Empire, as you know, is anything but peaceful.  The various houses - particularly Brandenburg and Nassau - vie for control of the independent territories through marriage, plotting and plain crookedness.  Munster is fairly peaceful, and represents (along with Engleke) the strongest Catholic presence.  The remainder of the map, except for the tiny part of Spain, is Protestant - Lutheran in the Holy Roman Empire, and Calvinist/Huguenot in the Netherlands ("Orangemen").  But of course the principle worship everywhere is money.  This area represents a lot of it, along with many millions of people.

I'm not sure if I've explained this, but there are several Free Cities - these are cities shown with a thick gray circle around them: Turnhout, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg and Herford are those showing on the map.  These are usually fully independent, nominally under the Emperor, with complete rights to trade (no duties paid to the Emperor).  Herford, it bears mentioning, is part of the Brandenburg estates.

You can read about The Vest here.  What's more, you should be able to find links for all of the regions shown on this map.



Ahmet said...

This is very helpful, thanks!

As to what we want to do next... I think we're going to need five or six days of downtime to get back to full hit points, and a visit to Leer to replenish our supplies at the market, before hitting the road again.

Nine-toes said...

Should we rest first, supply afterwards?

Alexis said...

Rest first. You can get food and shelter and household items without delaying your gaining hit points, but anything that you'd have to practice with or manage, like animals, weapons, armor and so on, takes energy away from healing.

Alexis said...

Between the use of Aid and Cure Light Wounds, I think you'll find that Andrej can replenish the party's hit point supply pretty quickly, and do so even as you travel. He does not need to 'rest' for a full day to gain spells; he just needs six hours of sleep, and 15 minutes of prayer per spell level regained.

Ahmet said...

Perhaps it's my raging paranoia again, but after the Devereaux-Guards-Pirates tripleheader, I think we should wait until we're at 100% before venturing outside.

If anyone needs me, I'll be the one cowering under my blanket. ;)

Nine-toes said...

For the record, I'm at 14 of 20 hp with the aid spell, and Klaas, man-at-arms-extraordinare, is at 5 of 11, thanks to the ministrations of Elder Brother.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet is at 9 (of 27 HP). With the one day of rest, he's at 11 (he regains 2 HP per day).

Alexis said...

Andrej can heal an average of 13.5 hit points per day; the cure light wounds can be split around to different people, but the Aid spell is granted only to whomever it is cast upon.

Andrej said...

Nine Toes's "for the record" above considers what was done prior to noon while still in Engelke. As we've advanced to Leer by now and spent a day and night at Vorhein's beforehand, another round of spells upon gaining Leer would be spent as follows:

to Ahmet the Aid spell: recovers 11 hit points (should be @ 20 or 21, yes?)

to Andrej the CLW: recovers 7 hit points to be @ 16)

Silvius, I can't tell from your character sheet where you're at. Ninetoes I can see.

Andrej said...

whoops, Ahmet is actually @ 22 as per his post above.

Andrej said...

Alexis, making inquires in town, how much of the river between Leer and Munster is navigable by boat and if any, how much would passage cost us and our horses and cart?

Party, boat travel has actually allowed the party to rest in the past, though in this case it looks like we'll be moving through forested country. At a minimum, upon the river we should be able to avoid the worst of Alexis's damage by travel.

Alexis said...

As this is August, the river is relatively low. Most of the barges are employed in the process of bringing grain crops down to the sea, and carrying raw goods like cotton, wool and hemp into the interior. You can get passage on a barge for a six silver pieces a hex, per leg, and 5 g.p. for the cart and all the hard goods it carries. It travels upstream at a rate of 10 miles per day; the head of navigation is Meppen, which is 40 miles upstream.

Alexis said...

I haven't heard from Silvius since before Christmas ... we may have to accept that he's still out on vacation until next week. I'm sure he will go along with whatever the party decides.

I'm going to put up another post in about half an hour, placing the party in Leer mid-day Wednesday; I don't know what your plans are, I think it's best not to have any more time go by until the party makes a decision.