Weekly Design Blog #38: Redefining the Landscape of Rosuto-Shima




Hello All,

Last week, I talked about how we're breaking out of the chains we were imposing on ourselves and making our own path. One part of this is going to be a redefining and even renaming of some components of the world. A first pass at redoing the physical landscape and presenting it has been started, and expanding upon this previous blog where I talked about the "lands" of Rosuto-Shima, and shared a map (included below), I present to you...

Key Geographic Regions of Rosuto-Shima 

 The four true wilderness regions of Rosuto-Shima are Akki-Kouzetsu Mori, the Devil-Tongue Forest; Kokushoko Akuchi, the Black-Color Marshes; Doragon-Iki Yama, the Dragon-Breath Mountains; and Sabaku Fuyou, the Useless Desert. Though some cities have managed to develop and thrive in these areas, no true farms are able to survive, causing cities within these regions to depend heavily on trade from other nations to support their populations, or to find alternatives to ubiquitous rice and noodles of Rosuto-Shima.

Akki-Kouzetu Mori — The Devil-Tongue Forest

The northwestern landscape of Rosuto-Shima is dominated by Akki-Kouzetu Mori, “The Devil-Tongue Forest,” and is known for having massive trees standing over one hundred feet tall. Once the territory of the oni, from which it earned its name, Akki-Kouzetsu Mori is extremely dense and spends the majority of the year covered in snowfall.

Muyou Sabaku — The Useless Desert

The eastern coast of Rosuto-Shima is dominated by a vast, empty, and desolate desert known as Muyou Sabuka, “The Useless Desert.” Save the city of Kara Kara, a bright point of life and civilization, this vast expanse is little more than superheated sand and death. The northern edges are said to contain signs of previous habitation and at least have oases that rare exploration or even rare traders are said to use. While the land is also naturally considered to be without any valuable resource, there have been enterprising keshou especially which have found methods of finding rare resources in the desert sands.

Ryu-Iki Yama — The Dragon-Breath Mountains

Running from the northeastern edge of Rosuto-Shima from their “mother” Jigoku, the massive volcano thought to be home to the oni, Ryu-Iki Yama, “The Dragon-Breath Mountains,” are spoken of always as a cautionary tale. The passes are rare and always treacherous, with both natural dangers like avalanches of snow and rock, to oni-created deathtraps as this was the original “homeland” in ancient times of the oni. Few travel willing into the mountains as there are in fact fates worse than death waiting for the unlucky traveler to find, though others know of course great riches also exist.

Sumi Akuchi — The Ink-Black Marshes

The south-central landscape of Rosuto-Shima encompasses a swath of swampy marshland filled with a water dark as ink known as Sumi Akuchi, “The Ink-Black Marshes.” Legends say the toxic blackwaters come from the fouled blood of a treacherous priesthood which were massacred there en masse in ancient times. All plants that grown there have been fouled and twisted, with fruit becoming poisonous and barbs thicker and deadlier than is natural.

Now if you look at this map, you should be able to make out where these major regions are.

In the coming weeks, I think I am going to do a blog-post each about the major cities of the Lost Island, and their surrounding "provinces" that they tentatively control, which you can see on this map here.

Which also helps to show-off those "true wildernesses" discussed above.

I will likely start next week with Shangti, and may either focus on only one city-state at a time, OR I may do a compare and contrast between two at time -- to show over the range that Rosuto-Shima has.

Lucus Palosaari, Editor & Project Manager at Fat Goblin Games (Like us on Facebook!) 

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