I was just playing around – doodling with Inkscape, so to speak – and came up with a system of elements that I think will fit Arnâron quite well:
I had already decided on the number eight having special significance to the people of Arnâron. There aren’t really any good “in-setting” reasons for this (I’ll come up with something), the primary reasons are more related to visuals and imagery:
* I want the people to use a lot of octagonal features in their designs and architecture * 8 is a lucky number for the Chinese * In Hinduism, the number is associated with wealth * In numerology, eight is the number of “building” but also of “destruction” (according to Wikipedia…) * There are eight planets, both in our solar system as well as that of Arnâron
In general, eight seems to be a pleasant or lucky number, you can check out Wikipedia to learn about its various meanings. Anywyay, I had to settle on something, and eight seemed like a good pick.
Now, as for the elements, I know that the system is “flawed”: For instance, combining fire and air does not automatically produce smoke, instead air is required for combustion and the resultingg flame can be entirely smoke-less. Heating up Earth doesn’t produce sand, it’ll produce warm earth (and eventually magma). But naturally, none of these elements are really elements anyway. The system is based on the classical elements.
The system will and can be used in Arnâron’s religion, mythology, buildings, and so on. At worst it’s just a little bit of background fluff that I can work in as needed.
Alright, here’s the first draft of my climate zones for Arnâron. I am not sure if this is entirely realist – consider it a “first guess”. I’ve made this map a little bigger… I hope you can tell what is what – I am having trouble with the colors (I am colorblind – not completely, but enough to give me serious problems when it comes to differentiating colors…)
I may revisit this. Either way I am now getting really close to populating the world with what truly matters: People.
Okay, this one was a tough one, and I am not sure how realistic the result is. Nils presents: The prevailing winds of Arnâron! Red circles are high pressure areas, blue circles are low pressure ares; the thin black arrows are prevailing winds. The thick black line is the intertropical convergence zone.
These maps are based on the general idea that the north is colder during the “beginning of the year”, aka “January”, while the south is warmed in the “middle of the year” aka “July”. I also used the ocean currents as a basis of where to place high / low pressure areas.
The ITCZ should probably extend far to the north in the middle of the year (lower map).
Looks confusing? Yes, to me too. But it’s giving me some ideas for climate zones already; for example I think the eastern half of the south-eastern landmass may be a desert, as its coastal mountain ranges will likely shield it from rain in the “beginning of the year” phase (“January”), and the wind will go the other way in the “July” phase. The southern half of the western continent is probably desert, too.
It is also worthy to note that seasonal changes will in general be more gentle than on Earth, because the year is much longer.
Laying down climate zones is the next logical step, too. Once I am done with that, I’ll be able to determine where people originated, where civilizations rose, and where humans stagnated. This is also where we join the Shakespeare & Dragons podcast again.
As I sit on my balcony and watch the sunrise and feel the breeze, I realize that the saddest part about building worlds is that you will never, ever, be able to do so in those fancy locations you come up with.