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 Post subject: Digitizing Tékumel: Exploring Tsolyánu
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
Way back in 2014/15 I was working on a project I called "Digitizing Tékumel". You can find it if you follow the Exploring Tsolyánu tag on my Heroes of the Age blog. Or follow this link: http://heroesoftheage.blogspot.ca/searc ... ly%C3%A1nu

Basically, the idea was to import the Swords & Glory map - or rather bits of it as the full scanned image is over 70 Meg, IIRC - into AutoCAD. Having done that with a rectangle covering the bulk of Tsolyánu, I then scaled it to meters as accurately as possible. Keep in mind that I had to use the hexes on the map as the basis for the scaling, judging the centerline of the hex edges as best I could.

Looking back, I see that I got as far as "part 21" before I paused. I was attempting to determine the nature of the Mssúma river by researching Real World rivers: the Nile, Mississippi, Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra rivers. All great rivers, each different and yet with many similarities. Of course, almost all the major rivers on the planet have been altered by mankind, with dams and similar works of "civilization". In fact, I understand there is only a single Siberian river that is as yet untouched!

So to do my research I had to look to historical sources to find out what the rivers were like in their natural state. I was lucky in that I have the reprint of the Official History of the Sudan Expedition 1884-1885, which in Appendix O describes a reconnaissance of a large part of the river.

So that is where I left off. I haven't actually stopped, I just haven't been blogging about it as much. I've been speculating about cataracts on the Mssúma river - which it seems to me it must obviously have - or even falls. I believe that there is only a single waterfall mentioned in any of the writings about Tékumel, and that is way up in N'lússa! Surely many hundreds (or thousands) of others must exist! I've been wondering how the Mssúma river transitions off the Beranánga Plains: are the plains a plateau or does the land slope more gradually? Are there falls at some point? I've also been thinking about Usenánu and that tributary river which seems to have two names. And about the Mssúma Delta, which is barely indicated on the Swords and Glory map but which we are told exists. And, from my research on the Mississippi, I am wondering about what other courses the Mssúma river may have taken through the ages. And that leads me back to the Flats of Tsechélnu, which this post was supposed to be about, but which I now think needs a thread of its own!

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Howard Fielding

The Tekumel Project:
http://thetekumelproject.blogspot.com/
http://thetekumelclub.blogspot.ca

My Tekumel gaming blog:
http://heroesoftheage.blogspot.ca

My non-Tekumel gaming blog and The Garden of Kama:
http://lohwand.blogspot.ca
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 Post subject: Re: Digitizing Tékumel: Exploring Tsolyánu
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:02 pm
Posts: 5
TheTekumelProject wrote:
Way back in 2014/15 I was working on a project I called "Digitizing Tékumel". You can find it if you follow the Exploring Tsolyánu tag on my Heroes of the Age blog. Or follow this link: http://heroesoftheage.blogspot.ca/searc ... ly%C3%A1nu

Basically, the idea was to import the Swords & Glory map - or rather bits of it as the full scanned image is over 70 Meg, IIRC - into AutoCAD. Having done that with a rectangle covering the bulk of Tsolyánu, I then scaled it to meters as accurately as possible. Keep in mind that I had to use the hexes on the map as the basis for the scaling, judging the centerline of the hex edges as best I could.

Looking back, I see that I got as far as "part 21" before I paused. I was attempting to determine the nature of the Mssúma river by researching Real World rivers: the Nile, Mississippi, Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra rivers. All great rivers, each different and yet with many similarities. Of course, almost all the major rivers on the planet have been altered by mankind, with dams and similar works of "civilization". In fact, I understand there is only a single Siberian river that is as yet untouched!

So to do my research I had to look to historical sources to find out what the rivers were like in their natural state. I was lucky in that I have the reprint of the Official History of the Sudan Expedition 1884-1885, which in Appendix O describes a reconnaissance of a large part of the river.

So that is where I left off. I haven't actually stopped, I just haven't been blogging about it as much. I've been speculating about cataracts on the Mssúma river - which it seems to me it must obviously have - or even falls. I believe that there is only a single waterfall mentioned in any of the writings about Tékumel, and that is way up in N'lússa! Surely many hundreds (or thousands) of others must exist! I've been wondering how the Mssúma river transitions off the Beranánga Plains: are the plains a plateau or does the land slope more gradually? Are there falls at some point? I've also been thinking about Usenánu and that tributary river which seems to have two names. And about the Mssúma Delta, which is barely indicated on the Swords and Glory map but which we are told exists. And, from my research on the Mississippi, I am wondering about what other courses the Mssúma river may have taken through the ages. And that leads me back to the Flats of Tsechélnu, which this post was supposed to be about, but which I now think needs a thread of its own!


You'd think there must be rapids somewhere along the river, surely the underlying bedrock must crop out here and there along all that length. And if that is the case, then there should be a major riverport at each one, since an awful lot of cargo would have to be portaged over them and/or trans-shipped to vessels waiting up or downstream. They would be very strategic settlement locations.

Alternatively, if the Mssuma basin is anything like the Amazon, then maybe the rapids are mostly found on the upper reaches.

As for major diversions in its course, that would require major geological or glacial events in the past. Glacial processes seem unlikely, so the three cataclysmic processes in human history that might have caused a major diversion of the rivercourse would probably be the initial terraforming of the planet, the upheavals of the Time of Darkness, and the fall of Ganga
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 Post subject: Re: Digitizing Tékumel: Exploring Tsolyánu
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:12 am 
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Re. Mssuma river course changes. There are river course changes due to seasonal flooding and erosion, and then major changes due to things like earthquakes.

Check out how the Mississippi used to behave:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=mississi ... 80&bih=800

The Indus river changed its course as a result of an earthquake, changing where it flows into the Indian Ocean. The former delta became a desert IIRC.

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Howard Fielding

The Tekumel Project:
http://thetekumelproject.blogspot.com/
http://thetekumelclub.blogspot.ca

My Tekumel gaming blog:
http://heroesoftheage.blogspot.ca

My non-Tekumel gaming blog and The Garden of Kama:
http://lohwand.blogspot.ca
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 Post subject: Re: Digitizing Tékumel: Exploring Tsolyánu
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:02 pm
Posts: 5
TheTekumelProject wrote:
Re. Mssuma river course changes. There are river course changes due to seasonal flooding and erosion, and then major changes due to things like earthquakes.

Check out how the Mississippi used to behave:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=mississi ... 80&bih=800

The Indus river changed its course as a result of an earthquake, changing where it flows into the Indian Ocean. The former delta became a desert IIRC.



In my own Tekumel, I posit that before the cataclysm of the fall of Ganga, the Equnoyel was once the original lower reaches of the Rananga. After the cataclysm, the lower Rananga was diverted to its present course, and the Equnoyel became a separate, lesser, river.

In addition, the isostatic rebound of southeastern Tsolyanu following the cataclysm increased the gradient of the Equnoyel slightly, rejuvenating it so that it now downcuts more than it did in Engsvanyali times. Fragmentary pre-Engsvanyali terraces still remain, especially along the margins of the valley.

Incidentally, river rejuvenation and increased downcutting will also cause the river to cut down to once-buried more resistant strata (such as bedrock) in places, locally exposing those underlying strata and creating those cataracts you are thinking about
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