The Diamond Map Thread

Something by Sregan:

Well, this project took WAY too long and I'm still not entirely happy with it - the key still looks a little unfinished and I've never been totally satisfied with the borders in Europe (which are supposed to look like this), but I think it's time to sign off on it. I think I'm getting better at this whole Photoshop thing - the margin background is based on this tutorial for creating a wet stone texture, though it didn't turn out quite as craggy as I hoped. The borders are anti-aliased, though I couldn't bring myself to do it with the internal subdivisions. All the borders and text are actually very dark turquoise - something I discovered worked well with my last project (which used dark green).

This is La Muerte De Mí, a TL/Scenario based around three different ideas I wanted to develop. Firstly, I wanted to explore the Union of the British and French crowns that nearly happened in OTL - but didn't want to turn it into a generic 'Hurr hurr, Britain and France unite into The Mighty Fritbrance and conquers the world'). Secondly, I had some rough ideas for a Scotwank focusing around Scottish migrants building a powerful dog-wagging colony in the Americas, but had no idea how to get them the necessary cash and manpower. Finally, I had an old idea kicking around called Inter Caetera, about Spain and Portugal dividing the Holy Roman Empire between them. I roughly combined the ideas here and here, and was so pleased with the result I decided to give it a go in PS.

La Muerte De Mí takes as its P.O.D. the survival of Henry V of England until 1441, by which time he has secured the French throne, defeated Charles VII, and married Joan of Arc. Unfortunately, whilst the House of Lancaster (now simply referred to as Anjou) becomes ever more firmly ensconced in France, their grip on England progressively weakens, and in 1458, outraged by Henry VI's decision to govern from the continent, the Yorkists rise up under Richard III (our Richard Plantagenet) and are able - at great cost - to defeat the Lancastrian loyalists and seize the island throne. However, England does not remain independent for long. Lacking a warfleet, ravaged by the Red and White War and virtually bankrupt, England is invaded not once but three times over the course of the next century, falling under Scottish, Portuguese, and finally Spanish control. 'Londres' becomes a gigantic sweatshop, supplying Spain with an unfathomable quantity of cheap manufactured goods and textiles for export. The year is now 1920, and Spain has dominated Europe - and the globe - for five hundred years. But with the French, Germans, and Scottish carving out their own empires, how much longer can Spain remain the master of the world?

The map should be more or less self-explanatory, and includes some explanations of different aspects of the LMDM world. Some other points:

- Cúrsa Pathadh ('The Road of Thirst') (OTL Namibia) and Grande Java were founded as penal colonies - transportation to Rémission on the east coast of *Australia was a particularly feared punishment. When France began to settle the west coast, it was made a free colony, and penal colonists who had earned their freedom through hard work could travel west to Côte Libre.

- Venice was forced to surrender its non-contiguous possessions in exchange for Milan, the Papal States, and the Neapolitan Abruzzes. Bosnia, Serbia, and 'Wallachia' are Spanish puppets, pried out of Hungary's zone of influence as a result of the *War of Austrian Succession.

- After a catastrophic defeat in a continental war with Spain, Portugal was forced into political union and the Portuguese language, like English, has been all but erased, leaving Brazil as the only Portuguese-speaking nation. When Brazil broke away from Iberian control, the Siete Ciudades ('Seven Cities') - the first historic colonies in *South America - counter-seceded and submitted to Spanish authority. Since then Brazil has rebuilt its industrial strength, on the south-east and north-east coasts, as well as at its huge new capital, Sul-Cruz/South Cross, and is more or less as powerful as OTL Brazil, despite its loss of territory.

- France played a Great Game with Russia in the 18th century and won quite convincingly, taking most of *Turkestan, including *Almaty. Russia had to settle for dividing Mongolia and *Japan with a much more modernised, outward-looking China.

Questions answered:

lonestarr said:
Epic map, SRegan.

Just epic.

Particularly interested in Germany. Is it a Germany we can relate to, or have the changes been so great that it is virtually unidentifiable?

charl said:
Its capital is Prague. That makes it virtually unidentifiable to me.

Indeed :) The LMDM German Republic has very little in common with the OTL German Empire>Republic, being more an analogue of the OTL French Republic. As its subdivisions suggest (or would suggest if I didn't have a compulsion to cover them up with annotations) it's a direct descendent of the HRE, and has historically been dominated by Bohemia. In terms of national culture they're similar to the colonial Dutch, with a soupçon of Revolutionary French Rationalism. Prussian militarism doesn't get a look in, which significantly alters their outlook.
B_Munro said:
Another first-rate map, to be sure. But I note you still haven't explained Scottish colonial success: perhaps English refugees provide some more manpower, but the Scots hardly have the resources to protect settlers from the Spanish colossus or from the French, if they decide to move into N. America beyond the arctic bits they seem to have obtained. And although the Gaelic names are nice, hadn't lowland Scots (a Germanic language) become dominant by the mid-15th century time of the POD? That extra English manpower wouldn't be speaking Gaelic, either.

Sorry if I offend... :(


PS-when and how did Mexico/Mecica become independent?

Thanks - The Empire of Meçica was detached from the rest of the Spanish Empire as part of the peace that allowed Spain to absorb Portugal. It's currently under an Oldemburgo cadet branch and has historically been in close alliance with Spain, though it is fiercely defensive of its integrity (which makes it a convenient buffer against Spanish northward expansion).

Scotland's colonial ventures begin during the Union of the Scottish and English Crowns, but mostly succeed due to the fact that it is the only country in the game at the time. Spanish attention is focused southwards on the still-extant Inca Empire, whilst the French have their hands full in Europe. Terra-Neuve was a possession of the English crown, taken by the Lancastrians when they surrendered their claim to the island throne, and the Company lands exist only by New Scottish sufferance.

The Gaelic naming was a little fanciful on my part: the premise of the TL requires English to be eradicated, so I've had to assume a 'Ghaedlig' revival, which might make more sense if it were confined to place names in New Scotland (similar to the Latin and Greek pretensions of the OTL American colonists). I didn't necessarily envisage the English refugees as the American colonists, merely as generating wealth and potentially starting a demographic boom.
More SRegan:

Well, this took about six times longer than I wanted, but I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this Photoshop malarkey. John J. Reilly's essays were, along with Tony Jones' stuff, my first introduction to the online AH community, and accordingly for my first all-PS map I set myself the task of doing a rendering of his "The Irish Empire" world, set in OTL 1901.

This proved more difficult than I had first imagined, mostly because Reilly is infuriatingly vague about what's going on in massive areas of the world. The Kingdom of Poland is clearly a Russia-analogue, in the 19th century extending "almost to the Urals". This leaves the question of what exactly is going on in Siberia. I played with several ideas, including surviving Samoyed states, Japan up to the Urals on the other side, a gigantic arc of Irish territory bisecting Eurasia, and mega-Persia, before settling on the first option, simply to avoid accusations of space-filling.

The extent of the Irish Empire itself was also a pain in the rear end: Reilly has the Irish Empire expand to cover a quarter of the world's surface (i.e. the same as the OTL British Empire). Only problem is, where is all this territory supposed to come from? Ireland has already built up a substantial South American empire, lost everything outside Brazil to the Spanish and Peru, and then Brazil achieves independence. It can't have more than a thin slice of the NA east coast (so no Canada), and we're also told that it's been pushed out of the Pacific by the Spanish and Japanese (which I interpreted to mean no Australia and only the Indian Ocean parts of Indonesia). The only solution was expanding its holdings in Africa and India, which didn't look like nearly enough. I did some rough calculations, and to my amazement my revised holdings came out at 33.646 mil km, compared to the OTL Br. Empire's 33.7 mil km at its height.

The annotations were wildly over-ambitious*, and I now wish now I'd just done independent states and left some space to add in capital names. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun making them up: I've diverged a little from Reilly's vision, which is soaked in industrial-strength butterfly repellent**. The dominant language of both commerce and art in his world is Ibernacha, a Latinised Goedelic, and the name of the language coupled with the Irish capitol*** suggests something that sounds very much like OTL Spanish. Of course, TTL Spanish is going to develop differently as well. I've provided original-language versions of all the major players' names which removes some of the butterflies - Brazil/Breasil is forgiveable, given the Irish legend, but there wasn't much I could do about named minors such as the Cherokee Kingdom of the Appalachians (I'm fairly sure that a 9th century discovery of America should butterfly away both the Cherokee and the Iroquois), but I've tried to compensate elsewhere. I've also tried to imitate localisation of names by conquering or hegemonic powers (most noteably in East Asia and Africa) with varying degrees of success. Pretty much all the names are (god help me) based on real languages or cultures existing before the P.O.D.. Cûscada means 'Footfall' in Gaelic/Latin mashup, Christoscãra means 'Christ-friendly', Caudesan and Bilkenstal mean 'Timber Station' in mangled Franco-Latin and Germanic respectively, etc.

On the technical side, I've shamelessly pilfered Nugax's technique for creating believable borders (namely by layering them on top of a satellite photo), though I didn't have the guts to go all-out with anti-aliasing. The basemap I made from the equirectangular satellite image can be found here. I had originally planned to do a highly ornate Aztec-y border based on this and this but eventually decided it looked rubbish, and was too much like the Paint-drawing I'm trying to get away from. In the end I went with a very simple mock-iron textured border with very slightly varying border widths to try and give a 3D look, which I think looks decent.


- Antartica is claimed to different distances from the South Pole under different treaties - some powers, like Spain and Ireland, have staked their claim in multilateral talks but continue to hold independent claims. Spain's unilateral claims include the Islas Uã Dierenacha and a slice of the southern state of the UERB. The Quetzal League simply claims all of Antarctica proper as its own territory. I got the effect by centring flattened circles on different layers on an arbitrary point below the bottom of the map and erasing the areas outside the desired arc.

- I added in the subdivisions to avoid a space-filling look in Africa, India, and the Americas, but I'm quite pleased with the way it came out, especially Breasil. I tried with the African subdivisions in particular to show that whilst different powers have created the subdivisions, they're describing roughly the same areas (cf. the Libyan desert, Algeria and the Congo).

- Every major power's key is layered against a piece of art relevant to its dominant culture in ATL. I originally just put a single Aztec image behind all of them, but it looked a bit rubbish.

- Legedun and Vindebone are alternate small nation-states that could have arisen if things had gone differently. Lugdunum was THE major north-west European city until it got trashed by war, and Vindobona (the origin of the name Vienna) was a major trade center until floods and administrative incompetence in the 4th century killed it off.

- Mega-Italy was an invention of mine, intended to grant some plausibility to the notion that Ireland could fight three wars in 70 years against resource-rich Germany and kick their rear end every time without a Gallic Entente. I've tried to justify it by implying that the Bohemian Marcomanni eventually gained control of the Italian peninsula.

* I was originally planning to name every subdivision, similar to the MoF 06 map annotations I did with Nicksplace27, but suspected it would probably kill me.

** Re-reading it I practically went into meltdown when I read that the Irish Empire, the product of a 1st century P.O.D., funds the defeat of Napoleon. I reproduce my notes here:
"NAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEON: Ireland allies with the Kingdom of Poland (extending 'almost to the Urals') and finances the defeat of NAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEONNAPOLEON."

*** 'Rodillanegra', which as far as I can tell means Black Knee, but I'm guessing is intended to be a play on Dublin meaning Black Pool.

Last edited: