Questions re: Historical Atlas and others

Posted by Glenn Kempf on 10:19 4/20/02

In reply to: (none)

Dear Mark,

I love your Virtual Verduria, and have poured through it a number of times already. I do have a number of questions, however, regarding the info in the Historical Atlas and elsewhere:

1. You write that the Wedei (and then the Easterners and Monkhayu ) began working copper around -1000, and moved on to bronze by -650. This seems like a rapid jump, however; in our world, I thought that Egypt and the Middle East took at least a thousand years (c.4000 to c.3000 BC) to make that transition (although bronze objects dated to 4500 BC have been found in Thailand). Perhaps -1000 marks the beginning of truly large-scale copper working (large items such as vessels, helmets, axe heads, etc.), which were then replaced by bronze?

2. I had a question on the early Monkhayu similar to that of epdiv regarding the Nanese; their level of political advancement prior to the Eastern invasions (large-scale kingdoms, shipping) seems awfully high for a pre-literate, pre-Bronze Age society (and they submitted and assimilated into the Easterners pretty rapidly), but perhaps I'm just not familiar enough with examples from Earth history--after all, the Incas built a huge, tightly-run empire on a fairly "limited" technological base, only to crumble when a tiny band of Spaniards took out the emperor. Or take those Egyptians and Sumerians again...

3. You write in your description of Verdurian that soa Sfahe is the language of "about 55 million people in the Cadhinorian Plain," while the description of the Kigdom of Verduria gives an electorate of "3.8 out of 6 million." This would appear to yield a very large population for the Plain's states as a whole (Verduria seems quite outnumbered!), and if we extend these figures to the Xurnese plain, Skouras, and elsewhere, to an extremely large population for eastern Eretald as a whole, at least for this historical period--one approaching the density of the late 20th-century US (150-200 million, at least). Is this right?

4. What was the religion of the Skourenes prior to the Tzhuro Jippurasti conquest? Was it related to the Tzhuro's own pre-Jippurasti paganism? (After all, they are both part of the overall family of Lenani-Littoral peoples.) Does this faith persist among the remaning Littoral states and Gurdago?

More generally, I will be looking forward to the eventual appearance of the remaning chapters of "Almean Belief Systems," including Jippurasti, Endajue, Meshaism, Asherei and Eledhat, Irreanism (what the heck is that like, anyway?)... (In addition, you've told us that the Qauraus adopted monotheism from the ilii, and the Kebreni follow a Shinto-like spirit faith; the peoples of the Rau, the steppe nomads, and the Mgunikpe might be more animistic (?); and so on.)

I'm also looking forward to such gems as the "Biology of Almea," the Historical Atlas of Uytai, and more information on the non-human races--admittedly, they might be among the hardest to do justice to, and I know that you have a "real" life to live... :-) Good luck!

I have some bits and pieces of world-building scattered around, in the form of thoughts and notes on several settings for fiction, any one of which would require a fair degree of conculturing and conlanging to get right, including drawing on Earth parallels, cultures and languages I've studied (Russian, Kazakh--I'm a US Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan), or just happen to like (Finnish, Korean--I'm currently a fan of the Korean writing system). (Ironically, while the goal was to create places to set stories in, like you, it's often easier for me to create the settings than the plots--i.e., putting together what the heck these folks can do. Sigh...)

I have begun sketching the basic geography (plate tectonics, terrain, nations and populations) for the most extensive of my worlds; ironically, one of the most fundamental choices--northern hemisphere vs. southern?--is one of the tougher ones. I appreciate Eretald's placement in Almea's southern hemisphere (a nice contrast with our world), but a northern hemispherical location still seems to be easier for my "northern" mind (and other folks') to keep straight!

Ad onlelan,
Glenn Kempf

Mark responds:

1. You're right, that's a fairly short transition, and I don't have a good excuse for it. :) Really copper working should come pretty early (though in the earliest times tools were still mostly made of stone). I'll have to brush up on my metallurgy.

2. The extensive Monkhayu kingdoms were mostly show-- effective rule was local. The king was elected by the lords, mostly for war (and even this wasn't very serious -- more a matter of cooperative raiding).

3. Good point-- I think I'll halve the larger figure, giving us 27 million for the Plain. Eastern Ereláe as a whole would have 150 million or so people (compare 200 million for Europe in 1815).

4. There's some tidbits about Skourene belief systems in this board posting. The ancient Tzhuro were also polytheists, but there doesn't seem to be much commonality beyond that (e.g. the god names and roles don't correspond).

Almean work is proceeding rather slowly, but I hope to get to all the things you're curious about...

OK, my wife need to use the phone line, so I have to break off here. Good luck with your world, though. And what is Kazakhstan like these days?

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