Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for the Desert of Sighs

Excerpt from the Swords and Glory map, by MAR Barker
Each hex = 100 tsán (133 km)

The Desert of Sighs is on Tsolyánu's northern border. Here lies Milumanayá, a failed nation split between rival warlords in Pelesár in the west and Sunráya in the east. Nomadic tribes roam the wastes in between. Fiercely democratic, the tribes vote before undertaking any major action or decision - even the children are allowed a vote! The hapless traveler lost in the wastes might find their fate being put to a vote: whether given food and water or slain outright, the majority vote decides.

Beyond the desert lies Yán Kór, with the little nation of Pijéna to the west and Saá Allaqí to the east. Ages past this whole area was submerged as a shallow sea but a great cataclysm raised up the land. The Desert of Sighs is littered with old ruins that hint at the location of the old coastline. The red dot marks the "Harbor of Dusty Stones" - the site of an ancient coastal city. The red squares mark other ruined cities, that to the east also formerly on the coast. The red line marks the approximate line of an old Sákbe* road that followed the coast. This information comes from the Northwest Frontier Map Set, by Thomas Thompson and MAR Barker. Unfortunately, the gazetteer only covers the western end of the desert and so the full extent of the coast is unknown.

*a Sákbe road is a multi-tiered combination of road and great wall. Think "Great Wall of China" but with three levels. The lowest is wide and built for the common traffic; the middle level is for nobles and high ranking officials and the upper level is for Imperial Messengers and the like. The highest level is always built facing the frontier of the Empire. There are towers at regular intervals and fortresses at major cities. A model of a Sákbe road can be seen here. It is scaled for 28mm figures - the whole model is over 15' long.

The model was built as a special commission by Chris the Model-maker.

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