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Mapping the Estate

by AllanP based on a work by Sean Meaney and Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 21

Author’s introduction

I have often wondered about the area immediately around the city of Specularum – the Estate of Marilenev as it is shown on maps beginning with GAZ1. It has always bugged me a bit that on the GAZ1 map, the placement of Specularum in the centre of a hex made it look like it was 4 miles from the river, and that although the Duke’s Road, Coast Road, Farmer’s Road and Westron Rod were shown as routes leading to/from the city, there was no indication of the North Road that is shown on the Specularum city map in GAZ1.

Looking through the Vaults of Pandius to see if anyone had developed more background description of this area, I came across some work by Sean Meaney discussing the dominion economics of the Estate, and a 3.2-mile per hex map of Karameikos by Sturm that provided some more detail of landmarks in the area.

With the information I could glean from Sean’s description and Sturm’s map, I decided to attempt to produce a 1-mile per hex map of the Estate of Marilenev.

I used the Hexographer Worldographer software from Joe Wetzel’s Inkwell Ideas and found it easy to construct a suitable map and identify the 1-mile hexes as the regions outlined by Sean in his description of the Estate’s income sources. I was also able to include various features that appear in Sturms’ 3.2-mile per hex map. Although that map represents Karameikos as at 1020 AC, I am assuming that the landmarks that I have “borrowed” existed in 1000 AC.

My thanks to Sean for his initial work on the Estate economics, and to Sturm for shating the background of the locations on his AC 1020 map.


The West Country

This region of largely arable land spreads south-westward from Specularum to the village of Marilenev. Of its 165 square miles, about 65 square miles (42,000 acres) on either side of the Farmers’ Road are farmed by about 600 families. About 100 square miles of the region still remain undeveloped.

A typical farm covers an area of 70 acres with 3 fields of 23 acres:

The East country

(which comprise tree regions - Vineyards, Dairy District, Cattle Herders and Logging Camps)

The Vineyards

On the eastern side of the Volaga/Highreach River, the soil and microclimate have provided an environment that supports 400 vineyards operated by 200 families across an area of 28,000 acres. These are primarily a development of the thirty years since Traladara was acquired by Duke Stefan Karameikos. The owners of these vineyards have reaped considerable wealth from the distinct change in estate policy over the past three decades. Over 800,000 firkins of wine are produced annually from a yield of 58,000 tons of grapes.

Additionally, most of the vineyards also house a small number of bee hives which in total produce about 220 firkins of honey per year as well as a large quantity of beeswax.

The Dairy District

Further east from the vineyard region, the estate has about 200 dairy farms covering 14,000 acres. Each of the family run farms has a herd of, on average, 30 dairy cows. The herds produce over 4,000 gallons of milk per year. About 12% of the milk yield is processed into cheese.

The Cattle herders

A further 35,640 acres of reasonably good grazing land east of the vineyard region supports a further 200 families who each run a herd of, on average, 74 cattle. Each year about 4,000 cattle from the herds are sent to the market sales.

The Logging Camps in the East

The easternmost region of the Marilenev Estate comprises 560 square miles of light forest. Operating a managed harvest plan to ensure a permanent supply of firewood and timber for the estate, 200 families are employed across this region, each harvesting 17 acres of wood per year.

The Fishing Communities of the Southern Coast

There are about 100 families living along the estate’s 40 miles of coastline who are employed in fishing and salt production. 8 months a year, six days a week they fish from their small fishing boats. Sea water salt production provides for the manufacture of 4,800 firkin of preserved fish per year.


The Duke’s Road, from the gate by the Stronghold district of the city, runs north east from Specularum to Krakatos. Beyond this point, roads lead to Kelvin and the north of the Grand Duchy. Crossing the bridge at Krakatos, the route links with the Eastron Road which is the major route east to Thyatis. Torenescu, the village on the Duke’s Road north of Krakatos, is the ancient home of the clan of the same name, now one of the major factions in the capital itself.

The bridge at Krakatos is mentioned in the novel “Dark Knight of Karameikos”. It is obviously a significant structure given the width of river that it crosses. One wonders if in fact there are some buildings constructed along its length. Pulteney Bridge across the River Avon in England was completed by 1774, and is exceptional in having shops built across its full span on both sides. Early versions of London Bridge across the River Thames was once lined with shops and houses until they were demolished in 1757. I wonder if there at least one or more guard posts on the bridge or some facility to do with navigation and transport up and down the river. Maybe a tavern on the bridge itself?

The Coastal Road goes from the city’s South End district gate through the Traladaran fishing villages of Recust (meaning ‘river mouth’), and Lazkow, which was the home of the Gogunov1 clan, half of whom were killed in the initial Thyatian invasion, half in the Marilenev Rebellion. A trail running parallel to the southern coast leads from Lazkow to the ancient Marilenev clan home. Along the southern coast of the Estate, Recust, Lazkow, and Prevomor (meaning first sea), west of the Volaga’s mouth, together with Cellun (meaning ‘azure moon’ and formerly named Plavemes), the fief of the Hyraksos family, Sirecan (meaning ‘mermaid song’, formerly Sirepes), all east of the river mouth, are the centres of the fishing communities. On the coast, just west of the Estate, lies Izvstan (meaning ‘whale’), a village of Traladaran whale hunters and fishermen

The Farmer’s Road runs from the south western gate of Specularum through the farmlands of the Estate’s West Country to Marilenev Village.

The Westron Road leads from the north western city gate. It is the major route west through the Karameikan wildlands to Radlebb Keep. From there, travellers can find their way to Luln and Fort Doom. The village of Walerian on the Westron Road is home to a cadet branch2 of Prince Eusebius Torion’s wife, with lands to the north-west of Specularum.

I have added the North Road (shown on the Specularum city map in GAZ1) as heading north from the city, but fading into a trail winding further north into the grasslands. I have also shown a trail branching off the Duke’s Road that links with the North Road. This provides a route for visitors to the city coming down the Duke’s Road to make for the North Gate and directly into the Foreign Quarter in order to avoid entering by the Stronghold District gate and passing through other parts of the city to reach the Foreign Quarter. (See the article “All Roads Lead to Specularum” elsewhere in this issue)

Shadow, the seat of the secret Order of the Shadow3 is a village north of the Estate. I have assigned the area running eastwards towards Krakatos as largely open moorland – perhaps a result os the fate of Krakatos that resulted in its ruin.

On the east side of the Volaga/Highreach River are the villages of Andreanus (another Thyatian family from Simone Neri), Istopes (seat of the family home of lord Yarol), Thorkos (an old Traldar site with Taymoran ruins and may have a cadre of Nyx's followers) and Volktrov (meaning ‘wolf trail’), a Traladaran settlement. I see trails leading south from Volktrov towards the logging camps in the forests that comprise the eastern part of the Estate.

I assume that the land rises gradually towards the north east providing impetus for the tributary river, shown on Sturm’s AC 1020 map, to flow down to join the main waterway. I am unsure if it is intended that Istopes village is meant to be located where the river joins the Volaga or if it a settlement nearer the eastern end of the bridge over the Volaga.

Svobod (meaning ‘freedom’) and shown on Sturm’s map is a camp of rebels and werecreatures. It is located near a river source at the northern boundary of the Barony of Vorloi. I imagine that the land rises gradually from the Volaga river and from the southern coast providing elevation that sees this river and another that runs westward (both from Sturm’s AC 1020 map) to flow to the sea and to the Volaga.

The village of Karian (Thyatian, formerly Tsentrnov, meaning ‘night centre’), is also home to a possible cadre of Nyx’s followers. I see it as a potential focal point for dairy and cattle farms of the eastern Estate, as well as being a another site where trails lead towards the logging camps.

Seldanian (Thyatian, formerly named as Litunev), was settled by a Kerendan family and Nikelnevich (the clan home of Aleksyev, the Patriarch of the Church of Traladara in AC 1000; his parents perished in the Marilenev rebellion) are the main settlements in the vineyard region on the eastern side of the Volaga. Perhaps Seldanian Red and Nikelnevich White are two prominent wines produced here. It is likely that product from the vineyards may be shipped across the river to Specularum by ferry barges. The unnamed river from Sturm’s map that enters the Volaga north of Nikelnevich may also provide a means for transporting cattle from the herds to the east and timber from further east to Specularum. South of Nikelnevich is Fluvius, a small village settled by Thyatians on the coast where the river enters the sea.


Sean Meaney – "Economics of the Estate of Marilenev"

Francesco Defferrari (Sturm) - "Kingdom of Karameikos - Traladara 1020 AC, 3.2 miles per hex"

Jennifer Guevera – "Traladaran Clans"

Simon Neri - "Karameikos Noble Families"

Joaquin Menchaca - "Order of the Shadow"

1 From "Traladaran Clans" by Jennifer Guerra

2 From "Karameikos Noble Families" by Simone Neri

3 From "Order of the Shadow" by Joaquin Menchaca