World Map: Early Thoughts Revisited

In the same vein as the last blog of “Illyriad dev history” regarding factions

Here’re the first drafts of various elements of the World Map, along with a tiny sample of some of the incredibly pedantic arguments (my fault entirely) that went on about region naming; the amount of detail that went into all of this, I hope, shows through…


The Biomes, Fractally generated, and using the WWF biome classification ( as source


The Illyriad Topography (height, fractally generated) that overlaid the biomes

We loved the mountain range that looked like a skull’s head, or a netherworld demon wielding a whip… and, given it was entirely fractally generated, we saw this as some kind of sign – and this is the candidate that was chosen.


Seas, fractally generated and overlaid on the previous two layers

Rivers & Fresh Water

The first pass freshwater layer

These were all then edited (quite substantially in many ways), especially the water.

We then applied over the political regions (manually drawn, largely around topographic boundaries, as a natural barrier to regional development).

Here’s the first draft, with some region names that never made it to the final cut.

The first pass at regions

Up until now, the entire world was randomly generated, just like all the other browser-based games – and we were deeply unhappy with that idea, hence this project.

iirc, due to a small corp forum accident, about 2 players saw this first map before it was released. They were sworn to secrecy – and they kept it. We remember you guys, tyvm!

Should anyone doubt the level of anal-retentiveness that went into all of this, please allow me to reproduce a small sample of a conversation from the inhouse corp forums regarding the naming of a region:

Originally posted by GM ThunderCat
“Qef” as a region – Not sure about this one as it reminds me of [redacted], not sure if that’s my dyslexia or disturbed mind…

Originally posted by GM Stormcrow
Definitely your disturbed mind, TC.

“Qaf” is the 50th Sura of the Qur’an – and it’s very much an Arabic “mystic word” – but by using an “e” (which doesn’t exist in Arabic) instead of the “a” we might escape the inevitable fatwa via transliteration Wink.

Originally posted by GM ThunderCat
How about “Kul Tor” for Qef?

Originally posted by GM Stormcrow
Because mixing base languages (Kul – Sanskrit meaning “family” or “gathering”; Tor – OE, Gaelic twr meaning “Heap” or “Pile” and from where we get the word “Tower”) is bad m’kay?

We could mix Sanskrit and Arabic though, as that’s a fair enough mix.

Kul Qassim – where Qassim means the sand dunes from which the white Saxaul trees grow…?

PPS Edit. There’s actually no reason why we can’t have Kul Tor… Going back to my endlessly tedious “Why do all the names of the rivers on the East Coast of the UK begin with the letter ‘T’ (Thames, Tees, Tyne, Tweed, Tay etc etc)” party-stopper…  It’s because they’re all Sanskrit, from “Tayus”.

So, actually TC, there’s no reason not to have “Kul Tor”. If we can have the river Ketterick (from the sanskrit iekti, where we also get the word “projectile”) and we can have the the river Ale and places Alncromb and Alnwick (from Alaunna – sanskrit plus “combe” & “wick” – OE), then why not Kul Tor?

I sometimes worry for our sanity.

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