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Visual Aids

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Jun 1, 2011.

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  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Maps of the Empire of Athringen and Some Points Beyond:

    #6: maps of the Kingdoms of Vaesthegnar, Lorthegnar and Kereszney
    #7: (current) top-level map of the Empire of Athringen
    #15: numbered maps of Empire and Kingdoms—full size
    #16: numbered maps of Empire, by quadrant
    #17: numbered maps of Vaesthegnar and Kereszney, N/S halves
    • the number key to these maps can be found in "Collegium of Political Arts and Sciences," posts 14-16

    Other Items of Interest:
    #2: Baronial Thread header guide
    #3: old-and-ugly hand-drawn map of Athringen, showing approximate locations of PC baronies (yet to be replaced)
    #5: heavily compressed and barely legible org chart showing the principle command chains of the Empire (with squinting and some imagination, you might be able to work things out)
    #8-13: Heraldic devices from throughout the Empire (past and present), and even beyond
    #14: Zodiac

    Not Actually Relevant Items:
    #4: a map of a city in the Mythic Archipelago shared world, awaiting transfer to a more suitable home
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    This isn't exactly a "visual aid": it's a form you can copy to lay out the introductory post for your own baronial thread—which I hope you will all do soon, now that I have this up here. Think it will help spur the role-playing aspect of the game. (Look for other such items to pop up here and there… such as an ongoing "Dramatis Personae" thread, with names and character sketches of some of the NPCs you might want to know and interact with—or have to.)


    Barony of
    Married to:
    Current Heir:
    Other Relatives: [haven’t done these yet]

    Immediate Overlord:
    Other Overlords:

    exchequer minor:
    other officers: [if you’ve appointed any]

    Residence: [if you’ve named your keep; improvements, if you’ve made any]
    Military: [unit types and number]

    Arms: [your heraldic device]


    Town: [name]; improvements: marketplace, small church [plus any you built here]
    Villages: [just how many, if you haven’t named them]
    Hamlets: [ditto]

    Improvements: [these should be put under the settlements if they are specific to them]

    Major resources: [anything you can make a lot of—say, 4+ units—and anything else you might want people to know you’re selling]
    Crafts: [just which ones; don’t need numbers]

    Major vassals:



    Many people have asked what sort of information they should put in their personal baronial threads. My answer has been some variation of “anything other people could reasonably find out for themselves in the setting.” Well, now you don’t need to worry about the guesswork: here it is. I would like all of you to please start a thread for your barony, using the above form as the first post. What else you add to it is up to you. Some things—such as “other relatives”—you can just leave blank for now, and edit them in once you find out who they are. If you’re in doubt about anything, look at the “Barony of Riedvin” thread for examples.

    Your overlords are the “Viscount of A, Count of B, Duke of C”: go with that until I give you their names.Your immediate overlord is the lowest person on this list—usually a viscount; the rest go under “other overlords.” Listing the emperor is generally redundant. On the other hand, listing a King is not redundant.

    Military is easy enough for people to find out, so go ahead and list what units you have. You do not need to list militia: they aren’t obvious.

    Region is a separate administrative division within the empire that we haven’t dealt with yet, though it will matter eventually. If you've never received this, let me know; I think I got everybody.

    Population: multiply number of peasant units by 100. Feel free to round to the nearest 500. If anybody wants more detail than that, they can go check the imperial census rolls from the last Midwinter Court. You may want to give the sizes of your town and villages, but that’s up to you.

    Improvements in a settlement should be listed under that settlement. Tract improvements (e.g. mine, quarry) should be listed under “Improvements”; don’t worry about what tract they’re in, just mention them. For roads, just list how many and what quality (e.g. "2 good roads”; don't list basic roads, since everybody has them in all tracts).

    Major resources are anything your fief can produce a lot of, whether you are producing it or not. Call it 4 or more units for most things; you don’t need to mention fish, grain, hay, livestock or vegetables unless you want to, since most people produce lots of those. Anything you mine or quarry is also a major resource, no matter how much you produce. Add to this anything you want people to know you have: maybe they’ll be interested in cutting a trade deal with you. Or maybe you just want to show off.

    Crafts: anything your craftsmen make should be listed here. Whether or not you say how many craftsmen are doing what is up to you. Craftsmen that are providing bonuses to production, rather than making things themselves, do not need to be mentioned.

    Major vassals: unless you’ve named them, just list their titles. List all the nobles here (baronet, lord, armiger, knight banneret). Whether you list any of the others is up to you. Anyone could find out who lives in your fief easily enough, of course, but most people won’t care that much how many gentry there are. Appanage holders, if any, count as major—they’re all nobles. Urban gentry do not count.

    You can add the “Brief Description” I gave you at the end of this if you want, or make up your own. I’d recommend whatever you put here be truthful: you don’t want to gain a reputation for duplicity just yet. Certainly not over something as trivial (and obvious) as how rugged your land is or whether it’s on a major river.

    Okay, now, things not to list. (1) Your treasury. (2) What you have in your storage (unless you’re looking for a buyer.) (3) Number and type of tracts. (4) Size of individual estates; if someone wants to know these, let them do the legwork. (5) Exact numbers on monthly production, again unless you have some reason to want to. (6) Labor assignments. (7) Fief stats. (8) Specialists: if they fall into another category—say, retainers—they should be named, but you don’t need to mention that they’re specialists.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  3. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    First attempt at punching up the map a bit: it's the one you already have, except that it includes flags to tell you where you are. (I'm still not happy about the quality, but I'm not sure what to do about it short of redrawing it on 17x22'' paper and getting it professionally scanned… which would probably result in a file too large for the forum to handle. But I'll keep working on it.)

    Machiavel Baronies.jpg

    A: Barony of Ilidachli
    B: Barony of Kingsfall
    C: Barony of Burwin
    D: Barony of Rivishvech
    E: Barony of Ravnitz
    F: Barony of Rechtenherz
    G: Barony of Merscinga
    H: Barony of Swartzlea
    I: Barony of Hendelsbach
    J: Barony of Erecsantu

    Interesting that random placement put most of you in two clusters, and put nobody in about two-thirds of the empire. (If we get more players, I'll probably be a bit less "random," and seed them into those areas.) In particular, Rechtenherz and Merscinga can literally see one another's territories… the southern end of Rechtenherz and the northern end of Merscinga are essentially right across the river from one another. Admittedly, it's a big river–but not that big.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    [This isn't a visual aid for Machiavel: it's for the Mythic Archipelago. I needed someplace to stick it until it had a better home.]

    The City of Kilvikasa

    Kilvikasa map 4a.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Imperial Hierarchy–Top Level

    …or at least most of it. The parts I could get to fit onto something small enough I could upload it here (finally!). The good news is that it should be legible if you download it and zoom it a bit–at worst: I can actually read it as is by squinting. (Of course, I also know what it says, which helps considerably.)

    Imperial OrgChart 2b.jpg

    So, at long last, you have graphic evidence of just how unimportant you are in the grand scheme of things. Which, of course, is what's responsible for all your grand scheming.… ;)

    Unfortunately, in the process of making things small enough to fit, the following had to be left out–mostly because they don't have immediate authority over anybody else, or else who have authority over almost everybody else, but only within a narrow functional area.

    Great Officers:
    Minister of State (all ministers got left off, since they fall into the "narrow functional area" category; they're represented by the pale blue box).

    Privy Council:
    Minister of State, Secretary of the Privy Council, and Lord Privy Seal (all of whom are subordinate to the Lord Chancellor);
    Lord Steward of the Imperial Household (who is subordinate only to the emperor);
    Pursuivant General (who, technically at least, isn't anybody's subordinate).
    Apart from the Minster of State, none of these people are the direct superiors of anybody on the chart. On the other hand, it's probably a good idea to treat them as if they were, until your own rank draws even with theirs.

    Boxes on the same horizontal level are approximately equivalent to one another in terms of rank… but only approximately. Very approximately, in some instances. More important are the actual lines of command. These can enter from the top and/or side of a box, but only ever exit downward. The "staples" are where one line crosses over another but does not intersect it; lines that do meet up on their way downward indicate that both (or all) people feeding into it are the superiors of the person they lead do. So, for example, while I might have drawn a line from the Lord Treasurer straight down to the Exchequer Primes of duchies/marches, this would also imply that he has authority over bailiffs and seneschals… which he does not. Instead, his line passes under the crossing line from the dukes/marquises, and enters the exchequer boxes from the sides. Note, however, that the line exiting the Exchequer Prime box does lead to the box for counts–so the Lord Treasurer has indirect authority over the counts (and all their subordinates) this way.

    Confused? So is pretty much everyone in the empire. Some have even had the temerity to suggest that multiple overlapping areas of authority was a feature deliberately built into the hierarchy. But who listens to such foolishness? After all, the Emperor knows best… right?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  6. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Since this post seemed to work so well, I decided to add all three Kingdom maps: Vaesthegnar to the west of the Empire, Lorthegnar to the north, and Kereszney to the east.

    The names of most of the states of the Empire, where they appear on the edges, are given in italics—so that you can orient it to the main map—as are the various minor "kingdoms" nearby.

    You'll note the "empire = green, kingdoms = blue" color scheme has been abandoned in favor of a five-color map scheme. (Which is why you need to know where it is supposed to be.) Organized states that never were part of the empire (or only parts of which were) are given in shades of brown; unorganized areas are, at least for the present, in white.

    Subdivisions now appear, though they are not labeled. Borders are color-coded as follows:
    violet = national borders
    red = top-level states (mostly duchies and marches, along with a few palatine states, and, in the empire, principalities)
    orange = county-level divisions (if any)
    green = viscounty-level divisions (if any)

    Finally, we get a test-run of the city icons I've been fiddling with. The size of the icon is a rough representation of how large or important the city is; icons within the relevant Kingdom have been shaded, while those outside it have not been (except for the free cities in the white areas: they looked wrong with no color). The capitals have a couple of flags sticking up, and also have a star next to them (off the coast, where that was possible).

    I've also added the scale bar to all of them—which is just as well, as the Lorthegnar map posted as zoomed slightly more than the other two.

    I think those are all the new features.…

    MS Lorthegnar1b.jpg

    MS Vaesthegnar1b.jpg

    MS Kereszney1b.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  7. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    The EMPIRE of ATHRINGEN (again)

    MS Athringen1b.jpg

    It's still not as readable as I'd like, but that's as good as it's going to get for a full-empire map. I'll be posting narrower sections of the map in a couple days, hopefully; those will be at least as good as the ones of the Kingdoms. The divisions shown only represent top-level political entities: that is, none of them report to anyone other than the Empire. Most of them have subdivisions, which will be depicted on narrower-focus maps.

    The brown areas are mountainous regions; rivers, lakes and sea are, I hope, obvious. If a color continues on the other side of a natural barrier without another name appearing, it means the state does as well: this is only likely to present confusion in the cases of the Duchy of Elgau (about a third of which is north of a mountain range crossing it) and a very small slice of the Duchy of Alstein (there's a tiny bit east of the mountains), plus the March of Tyrsreach (the first island to the northwest of the mainland is part of it). Everything else that gets split involves only rivers, and those are easy to sort out. All rivers on the map are navigable along their shown length by most classes of water craft; there are a great many more waterways, of course, and some of the ones shown continue beyond where they end on the map, but these are usable only by smaller craft or are non-navigable for other reasons (rapids, falls, etc.).

    Only two "new" things here: first, the cities in bright, ugly orange are the Imperial Free Cities (I had to have some way to distinguish them); they're also the only ones on this map other than the capitals that received the "full-size" walled city icon. (You may note that city icons are different from map to map: the cities that are part of the realm in question receive greater emphasis on its own maps, to aid with clarity.) Second, even with all the other things I am doing to aid clarity, I didn't like how difficult it was to tell the Empire apart from its bordering kingdoms, so on this map the kingdoms are shaded slightly (in addition to having the names of their states in italics, the titles abbreviated, and the cities smaller and uncolored); the shading is pretty subtle, but any darker and you wouldn't be able to read anything in those sections at all.

    At any rate, now you should be able to put together all the various parts of what is and/or used to be the Empire, and tell where things are. The number key has been updated: fortunately, only one name got lost due to increasing font size. Also, the principalities aren't labeled as such… they're all yellow, anyway, so the title would be redundant. Orange still represents crown lands (which is why the Imperial Cities got to be orange).

    There are also two subdivisions that are separated from the main bodies of the states they belong to and are marked separately: #209 (the Viscounty of Lumerdor) is part of the Duchy of Kalaszlar, and #240 (the County of Trebovilje) is part of the March of Cantrescu. Conversely, the March of Niksmund and #177 (the County of Grichfeng) are separate political divisions, but they're colored the same as the Archduchy of Eszerthagn because the archduke happens to hold all three titles.

    Everything has been renumbered (from the original map, not the most recent version of this one), so that it is now numbered continuously instead of jumping around all over the map. Unfortunately, this isn't entirely evident at this level, since the numbers go down through the next two sublevels as well. Everything with a one or two-digit number is a top-level division of Athringen: #1-45 are the crown lands, duchies, and independent counties and viscounties; #50+ are all principalities (in addition to all being yellow). Three-digit numbers below 500 represent subdivisions of higher levels; numbers 500+ are used for the kingdoms or more distant lands (none appear on this map). Wherever possible, the name is given instead of the number, because having to look up endless numbers is a pain. (As you'll find out, probably, if the "zoomed" quadrants don't get zoomed enough for the names to fit.) The numbers that appear here are keyed below.


    3: County Palatine of Dundriksvegn
    8: County Palatine of Geblevegn
    14: County of Kasselberg
    17: Viscounty of Ludostein
    29: Viscounty of Sakvikvegn
    41: County Palatine of Fyrstevegn
    44: County of Gramanstadt
    45: Duchy of Kerecsantu
    [50-76 are all Principalities, so I've left the titles off]
    50: Pfessen
    51: Hudersthal
    53: Frungesheim
    54: Dasselburg
    55: Maglised
    56: Ziludrev
    58: Hrednichvar
    59: Rstimalvo
    60: Apatfanu
    61: Bagatrik
    62: Sachsendascu
    63: Majenach
    64: Torgenrik
    65: Ilverstal
    67: Darvingdel
    68: Butzheim
    69: Leichsheim
    71: Sudenlich
    72: Namsturming
    73: Uhrsigen
    75: Luchenheim
    177: County of Grichfeng
    209: Viscounty of Lumerdor
    250: County of Merchureadu
    251: County of Trebovilje
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Some HERALDRY from the EMPIRE and KINGDOMS

    Since there's a limit of five attachments/post, this will be a multi-parter. I'm going to try breaking them down into some kind of rational order: installment #1 is the arms of the Empire and the Kingdoms, the three Royal Lines of the Empire, and the Duchies of the Empire who are also Electors. (These all appeared in this post previously; they've just been rearranged, and some of the art changed slightly.)

    CoA Empire and Kingdoms.jpg
    CoA Princely Lines.jpg
    CoA Electoral Duchies.jpg

    EDIT: There's a new player in town.…

    CoA Althegnar.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    HERALDRY, part 2: Other DUCHIES of the EMPIRE

    …in almost alphabetical order:

    CoA Duchies of Empire 1.jpg
    CoA Duchies of Empire 2.jpg
    CoA Duchies of Empire 3.jpg
    CoA Duchies of Empire 4.jpg

    [Note: there actually is one more "duchy" in the Empire, but since it's smaller than most baronies, it often gets forgotten. It'll show up eventually.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  10. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    plus the previously-mentioned Duchy of Kerecsantu

    This is the rest of the top-level states of the Empire, apart from its various principalities (which I haven't done yet). The Duchy of Kerecsantu got squeezed in with the Counties Peculiar; the County of Grichfeng (also Peculiar, though it is presently held by a duke) is in with the Viscounties.

    CoA Marches of Empire 1.jpg
    CoA Marches of the Empire 2.jpg
    CoA CountPal of Empire.jpg
    CoA CountPec and Kerecsantu.jpg
    CoA VctyPec and Grichfeng.jpg
  11. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    All of these are duchies, except for the last one from each kingdom: Buerding is a County Peculiar; Elingfast is a County Palatine.

    Note that you can keep track of who's where by looking at the ends of the scrolls, which are based on the dominant color of the kingdom's shield. (Those from the Empire are silver; the royal lines are orange; and states independent of the empire and kingdoms–coming up shortly–are purple.)

    CoA Vaesthegnar 1.jpg
    CoA Vaesthegnar 2.jpg
    CoA Lorthegnar 1.jpg
    CoA Lorthegnar 2.jpg
  12. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Kereszney is a little different (just ask anybody). Due to their habit of favoring assimilation to conquest–or, for that matter, of assimilating even after conquest–the kingdom has a bewildering array of titles even at the top level (just what the hell is a "hezubeg," anyway?). As a result, no attempt has been made to sort these by rank; you'll just have to look them up. Which also means they're fully alphabetized… well, almost: the final shield actually belongs to an independent [sic] "client state" Kereszney maintains along one of its borders.

    CoA Kereszney 1.jpg
    CoA Kereszney 2.jpg
    CoA Kereszney 3.jpg
    CoA Kereszney 4.jpg
    CoA Kereszney 5.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  13. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    HERALDRY, part 6: BEYOND the EMPIRE… and BEHIND it…

    Finally (for now), two sets of heraldry from other independent states: the first four are ones that share borders with Vaesthegnar or Lorthegnar; Azheg and Uzuheg border Kereszney; the remaining two are across the sea to the south. (There are more nations down that way, those are just the only ones for which heraldry presently exists.)

    Following those are two sets of duchies that are no more. Two of the first four (Fulgau and Saxar) should need no explanation; the other two formed the initial power base of the Maritsa line–before pressure from less fortunate beings forced them to divest themselves of much of it. The last triplet includes one ex-duchy in Vaesthegnar (Brugivor), one duchy that technically still exists (Malodbord… though few are willing to dignify Bergeheim's conquest of it by using the title), and the most recent casualty, Alstein: whether that one remains in this category or is returned to the empire's active rolls will be a major issue at the upcoming Midwinter Court.

    CoA border kingdoms 1.jpg
    CoA border and other kingdoms 2.jpg
    CoA defunct duchies 1.jpg
    CoA defunct duchies 2.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  14. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    The Zodiac

    Let's see if we can get this one to work…

    MS Machiavel zodiac labeled.jpg

    Okay, I'm astonished: that actually didn't come out half bad.

    The names of the constellations can be found in the "Astronomy and Astrology" post under the "Setting" thread. This image only shows the major stars in the zodiacal constellations (white dots and lines), plus a handful of stars in other constellations that join with the zodiac to make additional signs (orange dots and lines). Everything else you see is a background overlay that made the image look much cooler (and also made the file size much larger…); they don't represent actual stars. There are plenty of other stars that would be visible, and form other constellations, but I haven't created them yet, so they aren't there. So there. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  15. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Good gods… they're actually almost readable! :D (Lorthegnar, at least, is wonderfully legible. But it's smallest, so it didn't get compressed as much.)

    For a key to the numbers—and everything else you need to know to read the maps—see posts #14-16 in the "Collegium of Political Arts and Sciences" thread. (Part of which I re-post below: I honestly didn't expect to be able to do this all in one post, so wasn't worried about getting the key next to the maps.)

    I'm still working on getting a "complete" map down to a size the forum will accept it; no doubt it will be little more than colored blobs, but it should help put everything in context relative to everything else. There is a heavy amount of overlap between the maps (partly deliberate, partly because borders never run straight…), which should help as well.

    I still intend to put up more tightly-focused maps, but I wanted to get these available now, for a variety of reasons. Stay tuned.

    Empire of Athringen—western half
    (to west: Vaesthegnar; to north: Lorthegnar)
    MS AthringenW numbered1.jpg

    Empire of Athringen—eastern half
    (to north: Lorthegnar; to east: Kereszney)
    MS AthringenE numbered1.jpg

    Kingdom of Vaesthegnar
    (to east: Athringen)
    MS Vaesthegnar numbered1.jpg

    Kingdom of Lorthegnar
    (to south: Athringen)
    MS Lorthegnar numbered1.jpg

    Kingdom of Kereszney
    (to west: Athringen)
    MS Kereszney numbered1.jpg

    On the maps:
    • one- and two-digit numbers in black are top-level entities with no subdivisions (or none larger than baronies);
    • three-digit numbers in black are viscounties or their equivalents;
    • three-digit numbers in dark orange are imperial free cities [which themselves appear as orange squares];
    • three-digit numbers in red normal type are counties that have no viscounty subdivisions;
    • three-digit numbers in red italics are counties that do have viscounty subdivisions.
    Anything other than a viscounty is also in a larger font size.

    Other cities appear on the map, but are not numbered: blue squares are cities within the empire, green ones within the kingdoms, purple ones in states outside the kingdoms, and red ones are independent cities not part of any state. Also, I added mountain passes: the icons for these look like an "X" or a diagonal "H" depending on its direction; I'll probably have to redo them, since they're fairly small and may not be visible, though.

    Borders (assuming you can make any out):
    • purple: national
    • red: top-level (usually duchies)
    • orange: counties within duchies
    • green: viscounties within larger realms

    Now for the only thing that seems likely to cause possible confusion: sometimes, a number for a county with subdivisions will also be the only number appearing in its own subdivision—that is, that part of the county does not have viscounties further subdividing it, but other parts do. This is rare, and once you see one, it's unlikely to cause confusion again: as an example, look at county #175 in the upper right of the empire: its northeast corner is a viscounty, #176, but the rest of that county's baronies answer directly to its count, with no viscounts in between.

    Whenever possible, I've tried to have county numbers fall across the borders of at least two of the viscounties that comprise it, to make it clear it administers both; this has not always been feasible, and in any event it isn't always possible for a number to cross all the subdivisions if there are more than two. I similarly tried to position numbers to cross rivers where a realm includes lands on both sides. I also tried very hard to make the numbers not obscure any significant part of those lines: no number is placed across a horizontal boundary, so if you can't see where the line runs, you can at least make a solid guess that it runs more or less vertically between two digits.

    I've made one further experiment in trying to show which viscounties comprise a given county—so far, in the empire only, but matters beyond it tend to be much simpler. I've added texture layers on top of the colors for each duchy, to show where the counties are; hopefully, this will do more good than harm. (It worked out better than trying to shade them, at any rate.)
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    MAPS of ATHRINGEN by Quadrant—Numbered

    Same as above, but split in half—much easier to read.

    MS AthringenNW numbered1.jpg

    MS AthringenNE numbered1.jpg

    MS AthringenSE numbered1.jpg

    MS AthringenSW numbered1.jpg
  17. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    MAPS of VAESTHEGNAR and KERESZNEY, North and South Halves–Numbered

    Vaesthegnar, north half:
    MS VaesthegnarN numbered1.jpg

    Vaesthegnar, south half:
    MS VaesthegnarS numbered1.jpg

    Kereszney, north half:
    MS KereszneyN numbered1.jpg

    Kereszney, south half:
    MS KereszneyS numbered1.jpg
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