BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

The Great Map of Vertinall

All worlds have lands, and someday those lands are explored, and documented. The Great Map of Vertinall is a document forged by the most heroic tale shared between an unlikely group of adventurers, charged with providing the world with their first true, and valid map of the land they occupy.   Most citizens have seen, heard and likely own a copy of this map, and it is favoured by most for its incredible detail, accuracy and beauty.  
"This is the ugliest fucking map I have ever laid my eyes upon."
— Branden Turtia, Cartographer
 

THE MISTAKE IN QUESTION

 
The Great Map of Vertinall
Just a normal map, nothing to see here.
  Boy, this map sucks. I mean sure if you’re a qualified knowitall like Branden up there then that much is obvious, but most people are simple. They have no idea that this map is full of inconsistencies, errors and flat out lies. There’s a place on there called ‘SOMETHING??’ for pete’s sake.   I’ll give credit where it’s due, this map is MOSTLY correct, and is better than nothing if you’re trying to get from A to B...   That’s about it though. Everything else about this is terrible. So how the hell did it come to exist? And maybe an even better question; WHY is this the most widely used map in all of Vertinall?  

A GRAND(ISH) QUEST

  One day, after many discussions and a little too much finger wiggling, The Church of the Beast came up with a brilliant idea. They should create a map! People have made maps of cities, and in rare cases a whole region, sure, but nobody at that point would have dreamed of mapping the whole world. You’d have to be crazy, stupid or just completely full of yourself to assume you could do it.   Thankfully the Church had all of these qualities, and a few to spare.   They hit the bulletin boards in every town with an advertisement that read:  
HELP WANTED!   DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?   PLACE YOUR NAME DOWN IN HISTORY?   CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CHURCH FOR MORE INFORMATION!

  This post was left unchanged for several months, but had no responses. An amendment was made to the post:  
HELP WANTED!   DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?   PLACE YOUR NAME DOWN IN HISTORY?   CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CHURCH FOR MORE INFORMATION!   (gold reward)

  In mere moments of the posts being sent out, churches all around Vertinall began to receive queries regarding the job. Some even before the notice had arrived. We're not quite sure about those ones.  

The Crew (and extras)

After rejecting quite a lot of the queries that just said "MONEY?" or some equally vague grunt, the Church had finally put together a worthy crew:  
Maximal Derrenger   Unnatural Leader. Top Bloke.
Bobby Blasbon   Bit of a weirdo. Good at bookkeeping.
Troko   The Muscle. Mute.
Reginul Totts   Cartographer.
    A 5th crew member was selected to be a scribe, who could then document each point of the map's creation for future re-telling, but they and all of their manuscripts were mysteriously absent. When asked about this, Maximal claimed he was a "Nosey git" and was removed at some point during their quest. They forgot to jot his name down beforehand so his identity is unknown.   Aside from that, the crew were sent off to go make the map. Their starting point was from the Religion Place, and they were instructed not to return until the map was completed.  

The Return

  An entire year had passed, and while murmurs of Maximal and his crew had popped up every now and again when they stopped into a pub or got into a fistfight, they finally returned to the Religion Place.   Reginul was nowhere to be found.   Maximal's official statement was that Reginul was "UNFORTUNATELY KILLED" in a "FREAK ACCIDENT" on their way up Mt Mowntayn. Fortunately, they were able to recover the map before his untimely demise.   The map was handed over to the church, who planned to reveal the map to the public for the first time from the Grand Palace, located in the centre of the Religion place. No person was allowed to view the map until it's reveal to the public.   The group were paid generously, and the church were forever grateful for their service to the land.  
...
— Troko, Bodyguard
 

The Ceremony

  The announcement that one of the greatest artefacts of our lifetime was being revealed was met with a bit of intrigue, excitement, and some incoherent yelling from neighbors all across the land. And holy crap there were a lot of people there. This wasn't your pop's street party in the slightest, it was absolutely rammed. The kind where you're awkwardly bunched up to strangers and accidentally bump shoulders and have to mumble out an apology whilst bumping into a dozen other people.   The map's reveal was met with overwhelming applause and cheer from the audience, most of which weren't actually sure what they were looking at, but there was a big crowd so it must've been important.   Thanks to it's positive reception, the Church had hired a team of artists and cartographers, who worked together to recreate the map to it's exact specifications, so that others may be blessed by it's majesty. Any disputes or jabs at the map was met with a polite request to leave the premises, and a light stoning.  
(Excerpt from the Map ceremony)
"I am glad you could join us for this most glorious occasion. The artefact we have here has gone through many labors and perils to be brought before you today. It is symbol of our existence here on this land; a most gracious gift from the Great Beast who watches over us all."
— Herindual, Prophet
 

Why on earth are people using this thing

Okay okay, so all that's well and good but it doesn't explain WHY people ended up using it. I hear ya.   Shortly after the ceremony they started making copies of the map to be sent to other churches, since it was a fairly big deal having a world map around and they hoped that it'd draw in folks into attending the church. Anything to boost the numbers up, ya know?   They'd leave these maps up on the notice boards for people to look at, in the hopes that they'd come in to ask about it.   Instead people just ended up copying down the map and taking a copy home with them, made easier by the map's very simplistic and vague design. Good job church people.   Revisions do exist here and there, but most folks who see more than a single line inside of a region are immediately terrified and attempt to destroy it in any way they can. Because of this map's very basic design, it actually made it accessible for just about anybody to make their way from one place to another, using the Snake as a reference for wherever they were in the world.   Traders were the first to really adopt the map, and they just love selling random crap to anybody with a wallet, so eventually the map ended up in just about every home you could imagine.   Go figure.    

No seriously what happened to reginul

  Now; Don't tell anybody I told you this, but if you get Maximal plastered, the story goes that Bobby had let slip that a majority of the cut for this quest was to go to Reginul for the creation of the map, during their trek up the mountain. Maximal reacted within reason.   This would have probably gone without any questions, had they chose to take the map before throwing him off the face of a mountain but hey, who turns to logic when it comes to money?   Actually probably Bobby. He was pretty good at that.   This event had deeply shocked the scribe, which was surprising to maximal since he had forgotten that the scribe was even there with them to begin with. Maximal, again, reacted within reason.   The remaining group were left with a problem. They had no map.   Thankfully, Maximal decided to take charge of the situation in a way that didn't involve throwing people off a mountain.   He'd seen the map a fair few times on their quest, and was pretty sure he could make another one. The only materials that they had available at the time were Bobby's stuff for managing the group's funds; A good old sheet of A4 and a pen.   Couple of lines here, some names there, job done! Sure there were a couple of little changes, like that one place he can never remember the name of, but who cares? It's not like anybody is going to see this thing anyway. It'll just be another one of those items that the Church boxes up and says it's "Too sacred" for anybody to look at.   Or you know, it wont be. I like those odds.  
Don't tell those religion people, okay? I'll be right in the shit if they find out.
— Maximal Derrenger, Map maker

Mechanics & Inner Workings

It uses an extremely delicate balance of pigment inks to produce an image of a map onto standard sheet of A4 paper.

How the heck do you use it

Come in close lad, I'll show ya the jist of it; You see you just take a look at 'ere map un' then you know where ya are! If yer not sure where yer facin' just look for that big ol' beast! He don't go nowhere you see, so ya know he's always on that spot on the map that says "SNAKE GOES 'ERE"! if ya don't know where ya are on the map, just ask somewun! if there's no folks nearby then you're in bloody trouble, lad!
— Trader, probably robbing some kid of his pocket money

Significance

Culturally significant to the Church of The Beast. A sort-of useful map to the rest of the world.
Item type
Book / Document
Rarity
One of a kind. Copied a hell of a lot, though.
Weight
4.5g
Dimensions
210×297mm
Base Price
N/A
Raw materials & Components
You know I heard sometime ago that paper was made from bits of crushed up tree. I'm not sure how they got a whole tree in there, but I haven't heard a better explanation.
Tools
A being with the same mental capabilites as Maximal, or Lower.

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
1 Jul, 2019 23:28

I good a couple good laughs from this. Nice work!

Grandmaster EtaliaC
Etalia Cutlow
2 Jul, 2019 10:59

This is hilarious and reminds me of so many amazing adventures I've had with friends playing TTRPGs. Great work! I would love to get more details on how people use the map, if they actually do that and what happened between the church's revealing of it til it became readily available!

Journeyman TheDumbOwl
Alex (TheDumbOwl)
2 Jul, 2019 11:06

Thank you for the feedback! I had some ideas for what happened between its reveal and release, so I will definitely have to include this now. I hadn't actually thought of how people would end up using the map but I'm already thinking of some terrible/great ones. I'll be sure to make some additions later today!

2 Jul, 2019 12:11

That was *really* funny. It is a really interesting story, and while it's long, it doesn't feel like it while reading it, thanks to the humoristic style of the prose. One thing that is not fully explained is why did everyone start using the map: is it because the Church gave it such big importance? or is it because it's the only one?   I was also wondering: has anyone tried to "improve" it or put the correct names to the regions?   As an aside, I thought the formatting around the "crew" section could use some improvement. Perhaps you could line them up? Or maybe add the pictures in the sidebar?   I'm looking forward to reading more of your work!

Journeyman TheDumbOwl
Alex (TheDumbOwl)
2 Jul, 2019 13:57

Thanks for the feedback! One of my worries was that I was making it a little too long, so I'm glad that this isn't the case. I will need to add a new section in the article between the Ceremony and what actually happened with Reginul detailing more about how the map was adopted. I have a couple of good ideas that should blend well with what I already have.

Journeyman RwbyMoon
Benjamin Andula
2 Jul, 2019 15:06

Oh freak ! This article is so freaking hilarious, same goes with how the thing is represented ! I also love how you just DESTROY any kind of logic or respect into the classical religions with ultra badass origins and legends as foundations. Now, it's just 5 bois that impose their crappy map as a good thing. And god I love how satirical this thing is ! xD

"Nothing great has been accomplished in the world without passion" -- G.W.F. Hegel
21 Jul, 2019 11:29

It is always difficult to provide feedback to satire, but I'll give it a shot. I love the article and the formatting is generally good. If you are new to writing then, damn, you're goin' places. :D   The only real thing I can think of is that the header-to-text ratio down by the last few headers (significance and inner working) are a bit clustered. Another break between Maximal's quote and the Inner Workings header, for example, would probably clear that right up. :)   It's comedy gold and I can't wait to read more.


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.