Another alternative for making maps! Instead of candy or rice
Very useful for people like me who have a very hard time picturing topography. After you finish sprinkling and molding to your heart’s content, take a bunch of photos from all sides so you can make visual note of it however works for you!
I needed a more 3D option since I have a hard time planning the climate of whatever land I’m making. Knowing where the mountain ranges and valleys are makes it a lot easier to know weather patterns and where to put cities–usually along the best to travel routes and by port access where water is easiest to sail.
He’d bought the single-masted, square-rigged boat from an aging fisherman who needed extra money. He’d only ever taken Thomas out on a ship once, and that was nearly twelve years ago when his colors were still navy blue.
Now, on the Carolina coastline not too far away from land they had dropped anchor. It was a pleasant day; overcast but not threatening rain and with a steady breeze.
James realized he had missed this.
Thomas called to him from the chair he sat on in the middle of the small deck. He held up the book he’d brought along and smiled, index finger stuck in-between his pages.
“Recognize this?” he asked.
James took the book from him, keeping his pages. He looked over the cover and binding and opened it to the marked page.
“Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus,” he said with near impeccable pronunciation. “By Olaus Magnus.”
“You do remember,” said Thomas with a little surprise.
James grinned, running his palm over the opened pages. “I remember the title and author, at least. And this.”
He handed the book back to Thomas and together they looked at the two-page illustrated map therein. It was quite spectacular, James thought. The map was a portion of northern Europe, complete with boarders, place names, and pictures of the various landscapes.
“The most detailed and accurate map of the Nordic lands at the time of its creation in the 1500s,” said Thomas. “This is the second edition. 1572.”
“Beautiful,” remarked James. “And still mostly accurate, yes?”
Thomas nodded. “Yes. Well, there are the monsters.”
James chuckled. In addition to the landscape, the ocean on the map was filled with sea creatures, a rather absurd number of them.
Thomas grinned and ran a finger along his lips.
“I recall you asking me a long time ago if I had ever seen any during my naval trips,” said James.
“Mmhm. I said no.”
“And now? After all that time in the West Indies?”
James shook his head. “I’ve seen plenty of monstrous-sized animals. Sharks, a giant squid once, but none of these. They are all make believe, made to impress and frighten.”
James straightened up. He laid his hands on Thomas’s shoulders, massaging them gently. Thomas raised his fingertips to graze James’s.
“I suppose it depends on one’s perspective,” said Thomas. “All creatures, even sea monsters, are only trying to find food and water and to reproduce. Trying to survive.”
James stilled his hands on Thomas’s shoulders. He dragged his thumbs over the sides of his neck.
“Humans are the only true monsters,” he said quietly.
Thomas rose. He laid the book down in the chair and slid his arms over James’s shoulders, moving in for a kiss.
“None of that,” he replied softly, sapphire eyes boring into James’s sea-green ones.
The shadow that had landed on James’s face disappeared just as quickly.
“Sorry,” he said, a bit sheepishly.
Thomas shook his head. “Nevermind it. Come show me how to take in the sail again. I want to be a sailor by the time we return to land.”
They went over to the boat’s mast and James went about instructing Thomas, his entire demeanor changing into that of an experienced mariner who loved teaching his trade to his lover. And if there were sea monsters somewhere deep below them, James decided it was a waste of time to dwell on them. He no longer needed the cold comfort of monstrous things.
While some folks row way up to heaven I’m gonna sing The Pirate’s Gospel I’m gonna sow these feet for dancin’ I’m gonna keep my eyes wide open
Clarke Griffin learned about the cruelty of life at the tender age of 18. After a childhood that was adventurous and perhaps a little unusual, but during which she had been loved unconditionally by her parents and sheltered to the best of their ability, Clarke found out, suddenly and brutally, that life rarely turned out as expected.
After all, she had not expected her father to decide, after years of sailing the world, mapping and exploring and marvelling at its wonders, to plant their family in Southern soil and expect them to take root there when she was barely eighteen, in a colonial trading port that was small enough to be considered provincial, but just big enough to come with the trappings of civilised life that Clarke quickly came to despise; parties and gossip and talk of dowries.
Nor had she expected that, shortly after the move, both her parents would go missing on a routine trip to a neighbouring island, and that she would be left all alone in the world. As the Governor informed her, his inquiries had yielded no family willing to take her in back home in England, but that he and his son would be willing to take her in as their ward, and to treat her like a daughter and a sister until such a time as a suitable husband could be found. Clarke had no doubt that it had not been her desperate situation, but rather her name, rank and fortune that had softened the heart of the island’s governor.
But given her dire circumstances and the fact that she had no way to access her inheritance without a man to do it for her, Clarke saw no choice but to stay with the Wallaces until she could come up with some kind of plan - or find some gullible man who fit the Wallaces’ criteria for a suitable husband while letting her do as she pleased. The deciding factors for determining such suitability were not specified to her, but Clarke had no doubt they would be more heavily determined by Governor Wallace’s wishes than by her own.
For now, she was altogether run aground.
And just when she had found a friend in her unwanted new home, someone to confide in and lean on, Clarke found that the Wallaces cruelty extended much further than she has previously assumed. For it was not just her the Wallaces seemed to want to make a profit off: She caught young Master Wallace speaking to one of the slave traders in the market while looking surreptitiously at her friend Wells. The son of a reputable merchant, Wells had been born free and received a proper education, and due to his knack for numbers, he was often at the house to help the Wallaces balance their books. Given the greedy look in the young Master’s eyes, however, Clarke had begun to fear that one day, her friend would enter the house a free man and leave it in chains - but that, needless to say, would not happen under her watch.
So Clarke devised a way for him to escape the island.
And as if the Good Lord wanted to tell her he approved of her decision, it was on the very day she made this decision that she first heard the rumours of the Persephone: a mysterious pirate ship that had evaded Governor Wallace’s ships for months as it attacked incoming merchant ships - preferably those that carried human cargo. “She’s chasin’ death“, the townspeople whispered about the mysterious ship, “and she’ll get a kiss for her trouble when she finds him.“
But for now, Captain Blake and his Persephone were still sailing, and still terrorising the crews of any ship in these waters.
And they, Clarke decided, were going to be the means to her salvation.
The first thing she did was procure allies: Such as the blacksmith’s apprentice, a spirited woman named Raven whom Wells had long harboured a tender admiration for – a feeling that seemed to be returned, judging by the woman’s face when she told her of Wallace’s plans. Gripping a half-cooled scabbard in one hand and a hammer in the other, she looked like she was about to storm up to the house on the hill and end Cage Wallace right this second.
Instead, Raven paused momentarily in her rhythmic hammering to look at her determinedly.
“I can get a message to Captain Blake, if you can make sure coming here will be worth his time.”
Raven looked at her doubtfully. “And a few pieces of pretty jewelry will not suffice.”
“I’m not going to give him jewelry,” Clarke declared, a little too loud perhaps for the quiet blacksmith’s shop, deserted save for a few dust motes dancing in the drowsy afternoon light. “I’m going to give him Port Arkadia.”
The sun was
shining on a calm sea when the small band of novices set sail. Harry Styles gazed at
the rippling waves and remembered the difficult path that had brought them
all to this point: the years of prayer and study, the vow of chastity that
confirmed their renunciation of the material world. Now, as the final challenge before becoming full-fledged monks, he and his comrades had only to navigate this narrow
As Niall, Liam, Louis, and Zayn adjusted
sails and consulted maps, it seemed to Harry that their handsome faces were
exalted. Surely the gods themselves had blessed their journey. But then the
ship lurched sharply, and he fell to his knees. What was happening? The ship
lurched again, and tilted sickeningly. Niall screamed. The wind picked up, and
the sky seemed to darken before Harry’s very eyes.
Then he saw it. A
dark, pulsating mass at the side of the ship. As Harry watched in horror, it
extended itself, wormlike, down the bulwark. Louis and Liam joined hands and
started to pray. Another feeler appeared, this one to starboard, and began its
own creeping progression toward the band of terrified young men.
monster!” Harry called as a third tentacle curled itself thickly about a
mast and the ship began rocking from side to side. He staggered to his feet
again. “The gods are testing us! We must be strong!”
And yet a
longer, narrower tentacle was even now quivering barely a foot from Harry. It
seemed oddly purposeful, as if it knew where it was going. Harry looked wildly
from side to side. The number of tentacles had multiplied, and the ship was now
riding impossibly high in the water, as if enclosed in the monster’s vast
studied such creatures,” Niall said, his voice shaky. “The ancient manuscripts,
they say–” A tentacle prodded insinuatingly at Niall’s sandal. Zayn pushed
Niall behind him and picked up a stick.
does it want?” yelled Louis.
wants––I fear it wants––there was an illustration in the manuscript––”
Zayn clapped a
hand on Niall’s shoulder. “Tell us, Niall.”
one of us,” Niall said, his face a mask of revulsion. “I mean, not to
keep. Just to––”
“Gods preserve us,” said Harry, beginning to understand. “It wants to use us for its pleasure.”
of,” said Niall. “But more like…the other way around. The visitation ceases when a man giveth up his
seed to the beast,” he recited.
not,” said Louis.
“Our vows,” Liam agreed.
The ship rocked
violently. Dozens of tentacles were twining about the masts, the tiller, the
capstan. A tentacle pulled at the mainsail, and it ripped clean through. Harry
stumbled, and realized that another feeler had wrapped itself about his ankle
and was stroking at his calf. “Surely the gods would not wish us to
die,” he whispered.
Zayn grabbed him
by the shoulders. “Harry, no! There must be another way!”
It’s actually set a bit in the future, and the continent the vampires are coming from is Innistrad:
Innistrad is known for both vampires and religion, and is known to be a single continent on the plane
The religion of innistrad already had ‘keep vampires from overfeeding’ as it’s purpose, and with avacyn gone and the continent recovering from emrakul the vampires themselves turning to the religion makes sense.
Commander 2017′s vampire deck does have partly white Innistrad vampires
The vampires are also similar enough in looks (with pale white skin and a flair for ostentation), unlike vampires from a great many other planes.
The deathless ancient is stuck in a wall, as is the local fashion.
The biggest strike against this theory IMO is Ixalan’s unique planar geography that makes it invisible and traps ‘walkers while Innistrad doesn’t, but there’s any number of solutions from ‘it’s somehow just an area effect’ to ‘Ixalan is technically a subplane like agyrem used to be’.
Honestly I threw out the second possibility as a less likely one but that would explain a lot about why Ixalan is so screwy. I suppose travel between them just requires some expert sailing, a somewhat enchanted map and turning the entire ship upside down at sunset. Or moonset, given that it’s innistrad. Or sunset, given that it’s Ixalan. The direct contrast between is another point for this theory in my mind.