Skip to main content.

Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator

posted by Inaya

Inaya
Posts: 38
Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 1 of 8
March 15, 2024, 7:23 a.m.

Assuming Avaria is a spherical body like Earth, where does its equator lie? Do any of the landmasses that we know of fall below it, and thus have their seasons reversed, as with the southern hemisphere we know?

Are there tropics, or an equivalent? Are they called something different if so? (I mean obviously they wouldn't be the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, but would they even be called "tropics" in the first place?)

Are meridians and parallels a known mathematical and geographic concept, and are they used in navigation?

(Am I way off course and Avaria is in fact flat? :>)

March 15, 2024, 7:23 a.m.
Quote
Mistsparrow
Posts: 87
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 2 of 8
March 15, 2024, 7:03 p.m.

Avaria is in fact a spherical body, and the lands we know in-game are in one hemisphere of it!

So there is an equator, and "tropics" that cartographers and sailors know of. The Avarian equator passes along the southern edge of Idiri -- there is actually another sort of demi-continent south of that is often simply called "south Idiri" by those who haven't spent much time there (which is most people). The equator also cuts through the northern part of Jalanjhur. So most of the lands that our Sirdabi Caliphate people are familiar with have the same seasons or else an equatorial climate.

A tropic is called a "madaar" in Sirdabi, but this can just as well be translated as "tropic," "orbit," or "band". The northern one is Madaar al-Jiniyyah, which passes through the south of the Great Hazari Desert. The southern one is the Madaar al-Darshali, and is... a long ways away! For roleplay purposes, it would be fine either to call them by those names, or use Band/Tropic/Orbit of Jiniyyah/Darshali. (Those are just the Avarian zodiac signs that the sun would be located in while directly overhead at noon on the solstices.)

The concept of meridians and parallels exists in our part of Avaria, but in practice they're not well developed aids for navigation. Instead sailors in the Adelantean and Sea of Salaah tend to rely on a combination of portolan charts with rhumb lines, astronomical observations, and periplus-type navigational guidebooks to make their way.

Generally speaking navigation is at a much lower level of sophistication than Earth-navigation was at the same Renaissance-ish time period, because Avarian sailors aren't engaged in long-distance oceanic travel at this point. Adelantean sailors stay close to the coastline because trying to sail across is courting almost certain disaster, and the seasonal trade routes around the Adelantean basin are fairly predictable (even if the weather and currents aren't necessarily). In the Sea of Salaah there is more open-ocean sailing, but islands and landmarks are fairly plentiful, so that it's relatively easy to stay on course without more advanced "scientific" aids. Sailors in the Salaah have extremely honed their skill of sailing by the stars, though, and use the rising and setting of the stars and the position of the moon (especially Celeiri) within the different "houses of the moon" to chart their way very effectively.

This topic makes me really want to go and revisit the Idiri map (my oldest map) and fix it up, maybe even with equatorial and madaar lines!

March 15, 2024, 7:03 p.m.
Quote
Inaya
Posts: 38
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 3 of 8
March 17, 2024, 12:54 a.m.

Thank you thank you, this is amazing and exactly what I needed! :D

March 17, 2024, 12:54 a.m.
Quote
Inaya
Posts: 38
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 4 of 8
March 20, 2024, 6:50 a.m.

... gonna piggyback instead of making a new topic. Vaguely similar theme.

Units of measurement? Particularly for distances, and you know me, particularly nautical. ;) I feel as though vague references are made to some units in the wiki somewhere, but cannot for the life of me find them, or any kind of centralised reference for the topic, so I'm asking here. Apologies if I'm just missing it.

Is a journey a hundred miles? Leagues? Parasangs? Stadions? Yojanas? Are there Avarian-specific measures, and are they more specifically tied to any given culture(s)?

(Why no, a certain someone in game isn't being asked how far away are we, that absolutely couldn't be the reason I'm asking...)

(Btw this ship feels like a car full of kids going "ARE WE THERE YET?" and I'm living for it y'all are hysterical and I love you)

March 20, 2024, 6:50 a.m.
Quote
Mistsparrow
Posts: 87
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 5 of 8
March 21, 2024, 4:06 p.m.

Personally, I'm okay with using the Arabic mile for distances and saying the Avarian version is more or less equivalent to the modern U.S. customary mile. I think that makes it a little easier for people to wrap their heads around rather than wrestling with more unfamiliar units (or tracking down a kilometers-to-parasangs converter). It's possible I'm just being incredibly lazy, or speaking for my own lazy-minded self, but I think having at least a few roughly familiar units of measure makes it easier to mentally immerse yourself in the world.

That said, I couldn't tell you just how many miles, kilometers, parasangs, or any other units it is from where the Greenest Dolphin is now to St. Loomis! I confess that I have not worked out a precise scale for all the maps, especially since there is a little bit of hand-wavy-ness when it comes to journeys -- they're supposed to take long enough to feel like a real journey in a big world, but the journey system is still compressing the amount of time it would actually take to travel a given distance in a perfectly realistic world. Given the unfamiliarity of the western Adelantean south of Ensor (nobody sails there, for NOW OBVIOUS REASONS), I think it's fine for Inaya to not have the best idea how far it is to St. Loomis either. But with the timing of the Landfall RPT, you are welcome to just have her tell everyone that she's pretty sure it's only a few days away. ;D

March 21, 2024, 4:06 p.m.
Quote
Inaya
Posts: 38
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 6 of 8
March 21, 2024, 4:33 p.m.

Oh I definitely wasn't like. Trying to ask for precise distances! It's wibbly-wobbly-shippy-wippy distance, that's all well and good :D The requests just got me thinking about how one might even refer to the distance, is all, and I didn't want to just say something like, "oh we're more than a few miles off the coast of An-Sor, that's why you can't see land," if miles weren't actually a thing. :) Thank you thank you Mistsparrow! <3

March 21, 2024, 4:33 p.m.
Quote
pilgrim
Posts: 238
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 7 of 8
March 21, 2024, 5:35 p.m.

If we've got miles, can we also talk about KNOTS!?!?! 

(Not spooky ghost knots, I mean a unit of speed for a ship to travel.)

March 21, 2024, 5:35 p.m.
Quote
Rostam
Posts: 77
Re: Meridians, tropics, and the Avarian equator 8 of 8
March 21, 2024, 6:32 p.m.

Knots are a pretty neat nautical tool. If I remember right, sailors would wind a knotted rope around a stick and measure how many knots were run off in a minute. So, this is something we could probably use, as it's a pretty low-tech measurement of speed!

March 21, 2024, 6:32 p.m.
Quote