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Dividing land

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Asura Levi, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

    I have this land, once part of a single kingdom until the unwise king dived it between his three sons, yeah, utterly cliche but who cares.
    The western lands and coast he gave to the older as well as the riverlands, making one of the big rivers as a division between the firs share and the others (let's call it Chean).
    To the second, he gave it the more mountainous and mineral rich south, together with the old capital (let's call this one Aon).
    The third (Anhain) he gave the north, mostly plains, hills and forests.

    Now, the actual rulers has no more blood relation to the old kingdom, with the royal family being overthrow and dying out.

    The division between Chean and Aon as well as Chean and Anhain is well defined. A big part of the division between Anhain and Aon as well through forested area.
    But a quite considerable part is plains, when the old king defined it, he said that from the top of the biggest mount in Aon (a bit more than 2,000 m) until the eye can see is the land of Aon, and for those in the plain, if they can see the mount, they are in Aon, otherwise, Anhain.

    My question is, how much of land can be contested because the different point of view?
    I'm don't know much, but I think maybe you can see further from the mount top than the place you must be in the plains to see the mount back. (Was that confuse?) Or would it be the other way around and no land contested in anyway?

    As for other source of conflicts, Aon periodically destroy the forest that mark the beginning of Anhain, thus increasing its land (fertile soil, plus minerals running low).
    That is a part of the river land that was given to Anhain by Chean, following instructions from the old king, lands that are visible from the mount, so Aon want it; also, it was given by a dynasty now defunct, so Chean want it back as well. (Given a curiosity of this world, the other divisions are oddly limited, so expansion that way isn't an option.)
  2. DassaultMirage

    DassaultMirage Minstrel

    Well the immensity of such naive idealism is frightening. As far as the eyes can see, I mean what is this like the Lion King? Come on. Generations have passed you say, but none of the rulers ever made an official border? You know, one that does not depend on the ocular abilities of whoever was tasked to define the lands?
  3. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

    That is a sort of wall (like the one between england and scotland), more like an attempt, but I want to know if it will be a conflict because of the different of point of view, with each side pushing the wall further or it would be an actual pacific area, this would affect some past events and location.
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    There have been plenty of occasions around the world where for various reasons the exact alignment of a border has been debated and debatable. Sometimes this has lead to contest other times to a neutral area being established. Maybe a river shifts course... or where a resource becomes valuable where it hadn't been before.
    There is the Saudi-Iraqi Neutral zone, where neither side can agree where the border should be or the numerous uninhabited islands around Asian seas.
    Usually I would guess/suggest that the more desirable a land is, the more defined the borders... but desirability is a relative and changeable measure.
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    People in the Middle Ages argued over borders all the time. I mean, *all* the time. You might think something like a river would be a clear enough demarcation, but even rivers shift their courses over time. And a border without a handy mountain or lake? Fuggedaboudit. Borders between farms and such could be clearer, because they were on a smaller scale and could be marked off by fences, but even then we have endless squabbles between monasteries and neighbors.

    So, what you're suggesting isn't at all unlikely. I'd say you should decide how much land you *want* to be contested, for the sake of the story, and then use the vagueness of the original instructions to explain the disagreement. Shoot, even the top of the mountain could have changed (landslide). You have plenty of room here to flex.
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Oh, and that king was not unwise. Dividing a realm was SOP. Think about it. A realm (barony, kingdom, whatever) belonged to a family. What sort of father would give all his wealth to one son and shine the others on? That would guarantee the disenfranchised brothers would conspire against the favored son.

    No, the wise king divides his lands. He divides titles as well (a king normally had multiple titles). What cannot be divided is the title "king" itself. One king cannot create three kings. So one son, usually but not always the eldest, gets the title and lands that were traditionally associated with the crown. The other boys got other territories--the duke of this, the count of that. This was one of many factors that drove great lords to conquest. You gotta add land before you can divide it!
    Jabrosky likes this.
  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    How about specific settlements and landmarks (rivers, lakes, mountains, so forth) are official controlled by some government (as in, the king official gave it to one of his heirs) while "wilderness" is basically part of the greater dominion/country but not official controlled by one government. Like each government rules over the land they can actually assert their authority onto - as in, patrol with their police or inhabited by their citizens.
    This could possibly work as a symbolic act by the old king: each of his heirs may control cities or rivers but the greater kingdom belongs to all three of them.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  8. DassaultMirage

    DassaultMirage Minstrel

    I am a Filipino and I have to say this. Look at China. Pretty much everything with China in it or sunken Chinese ships are HISTORICAL INTEGRAL territory. I guess in your context, the greedy nations could use arguments as feeble as China's to further their own ends, and the factual rebuttals of the smaller nations would be negated by their inferior military might.
  9. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

    I just want to back up Skip.Knox and say there is nothing inherently unwise about splitting up territory, especially in pre-modern societies.

    There are two examples that I think really drive this point home: Genghis Khan and Charles V of Austria.

    So, Genghis Khan's territory spread rapidly from Mongolia to cover most of the known world. After his death it quickly fractured into a number of different factions - the Golden Horde, the Il-Khanate, the Yuan Dynasty, etc. The reason for this is that the first few successors of Genghis Khan tended to fight, murder each other, etc. so breakdown was inevitable. But the break down allowed the individual factions to better acclimate themselves to the condition of their local subjects and institutionalize their influence. This means that, instead of worrying about Mongolia and Russia, the Golden Khan gets to focus all of its attention on Russia. Instead of worrying about Mongolia and China, the Yuan Dynasty gets to focus on China. So, in this way, the territory of all the Mongolian tribes becomes much greater and better governed than the territory of just Genghis Khan.

    Charles V proves a perfect example of why this works and why not doing it can cause problems. Charles' mother was Joanna the Mad, who was the only child of Isabelle and Ferdinand. So, naturally, he was King of Castille and Aragon (and the first to come to both titles at once, through birth). His father, Philip the Handsome (Awkward, considering that both he and Charles were fairly deformed due to inbreeding) was Duke of Burgandy, which was a partial French/German state that stretch from modern-day Netherlands/Belgium down into Alsace-Lorraine and the area just north of Switzerland. Also, Philip happened to be the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximiliam I, who had all of his power centered in Austria. So, from birth, Charles united the houses of Trastamara, Valois-Burgandy and Hapsburg into one monolithic entity that controlled way more of Europe than any power since the Roman Empire.

    Charles proved no slouch in expanding that territory, either. He invaded Italy and captured Rome, keeping the Pope as a prisoner. He waged a successful war with the French and, as part of a trend, made Francois I his prisoner. He married his niece off to Henry VIII. More importantly, his reign saw the conquest of Mexico and most of South America. Despite all of this success, Charles actually tended to be a reserved kind of person and ended up abdicating as monarch once the situation in Europe/the Americas was settled to his liking. Understanding the potential for conflict, he gave Spain/the Americas/Burgandy/Naples/Milan to his son and the Germanic/Hungarian/Croatian/Bohemian faction of his empire to his brother.

    Ultimately, this saved Hapsburg authority in Germany. The reign of his immediate successors saw the Protestant Reformation gain steam and the Ottoman invasions of central Europe, leading to the Thirty Years War and the Great Turkish War. Spain ended up facing its own problems, as the size of the South American and northern European empire quickly outgrew their ability to provide effective governance. This eventually led to revolutions, internal strife and all sorts of other things purely because of its size. Had Charles V not split the empire, the combination of the Thirty Years War, the Great Turkish War, imperial mismanagement and religious strife in the Netherlands probably would have exterminated the Hapsburgs.

    So, yeah, a very wise move to split your empire.

    As to this issue, I think the matter would be resolved fairly quickly, either through negotiation or warfare. No way two countries would let that kind of issue sit unattended.

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