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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: A short atlas of the world of Banner Saga (spoilers)

  1. #1
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    A short atlas of the world of Banner Saga (spoilers)

    *** warning: this post contains mild spoilers ***

    I haven't played the Banner Saga myself, all information here comes from screenshots and videos Stoic has posted on their site. I noticed a variety of location names being referenced in the Let's Play PAX demo videos. Since Stoic was kind enough to post a partial world map on their facebook page, I was interested in charting the various cities of the Banner Saga. Maybe some day after the games are finished Stoic will release a proper Atlas of the lands of the Banner Saga.

    In the meantime I've annotated the map that Stoic posted on their facebook page:



    We've heard about 2 groups traveling in the Banner Saga single player game.

    The first is a group containing by Rook and Alette, who seems to be a group of humans and Varl escaping from the Dredge. This is the group we saw in the Let's Play videos. I've marked the locations mentioned in the video in red on the map.

    1. The village of Skogr, where their story starts

    2. Greyhorn is the fort that Rook mentioned must have been overrun by the Dredge in the first video. Note the northern edge of the map has a series of locations with similar names: Skyhorn, Stonehorn, and Ridgehorn. Maybe they were fortresses built to protect against the dredge?

    3. Sigrholm is the Southern city that Rook suggests they flee to in the fourth video. I couldn't find Boergard (the other city he mentioned) on the map; it's probably farther south.

    4. Frosvellr is the walled city that the chieftain decides to flee to.


    The second group is a group of Varl, collection tax revenue. We're introduced to them in the Factions intro video. They also feature prominently in the new screenshots included on the main stoic webpage. I've marked the locations mentioned in the screenshots in green on the map. (the images displayed below don't include the captions, but if you view the images from the main Stoic page you'll see the captions - many of which contains the location names)

    1. The city of Strand, referred to in the Factions intro video as the biggest of the human trade cities. We're all familiar with this picture of Strand, it's identical to the one in Factions.



    Here's another picture with Strand and Denglr Bay in the background. (On the map Denglr Bay is directly to the north of the city of Strand)



    2. The Varl travel quite a ways, because this shot depicts them travelling through the lands of Grofheim.



    3. Schlid is probably a town/city. The Varl talk about it having fallen to the Dredge in this shot.



    4. Verdfell is probably also a town/city as well. The Varl travel there because we can see them fighting Dredge in this shot.



    5. Finally the Varl visit the Tower of Ridgehorn, which seems like an ominous place, depicted in the background of this shot.



    From the scenes depicted it seems like the Varl are travelling north/south along the western edge of the map.

    As for Rook and Alette, I think they will be travelling west across the map. This is supported by the following quote from the Banner Saga kickstarter update #34:

    "In a game about travel, we wanted the world to feel large. We started by looking at real-world Scandinavia and calculating how long it would take a person to walk from the far side of Norway to the other side of Sweden. We then took that land mass and roughly doubled it in terms of how much time it takes the player to walk from one place to another. Unlike a lot of games which are about big, world-changing events but play out in a matter of days, we wanted a real amount of time to pass. Walking from one side of the continent to the other will take several months (in chapter 1 you do not span the entire length of the world, but by the end of the trilogy you'll have traveled quite far)."

    You can view the full update here:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...a/posts/494433

    To give you a sense of scale, walking west across the length of map seems to be about the same distance as walking west across Norway and Sweden.

    That's all for now, but if anyone else can find information about various locations in the Banner Saga, I'd be curious to hear about it. (Unfortunately I didn't save a copy of the "What is Told" short story from the old Stoic website, so I don't remember if it references any locations.) Just trying to pass the time until the game is released with a little geographical speculation.

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Guğmundr's Avatar
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    Nice post, quartex! I second the idea of a Banner Saga atlas. It's a very interesting, deep world - it would definitely be cool to explore the geography in more detail.

    BTW, you can still find What Is Told here.
    Án brynju, mağur er varnarlaus. Án styrks, er hann ekkert.

  3. #3
    Backer gaelvin's Avatar
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    Something I noticed... the picture of "Strand and Denglr Bay" and the picture of "Ridgehorn" (your image #5) are connected... there's a smoking site on the background hills (upper right in the first image, and upper left in the second), and those hills line up in both pictures. The "travel" hills (the line along which the caravan is moving) and the foreground landscape are out of alignment due to the multi-plane parallax.
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  4. #4
    Factions veteran stoicmom's Avatar
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    Thanks quartex!

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Very interesting summary of "What is Known", quartex. Thanks!

    (1) I wonder if this map is the whole of it, or is it scrollable to reveal even more to the up/down/left/right.
    (2) You could add this awesome travel-image of the Skogr village to your post, for completeness sake. Its from the Rook&Alette mini-caravan. The HUD on the top-middle is missing, so perhaps you can take a snapshot from the LetsPlay vids @ HighDef.
    (3) For anyone who cares, I've also saved a PDF copy of "What is Told", to avoid skipping through the posts in the Thread. The *** separate the sections.

    PS -- This "Dredge are Coming" scenario, kinda reminds of the White-Walkers & the Others in GRRM's ASOIAF... But, I still believe that the Dredge are not entirely "bad"; perhaps its some response of the Earth to man/varl-kind, a task-force to deal with something (?)... I guess this remains to be seen in the future volumes of the Saga, as the first volume they are surely portrayed as baddies.

  6.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #6
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
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    What a cool write-up, Quartex! You missed another great fort in the north, Stonehorn! They're evenly spaced across the north, all with the same map-icon...hrm...must be connected.
    The map viewed here is about 1/3-1/4 of the world map and it's interactive/clickable.
    A stretch goal for us would be to put out an atlas of the saga as an app so when you can't play and are in a work meeting, at least you won't be bored. It could have the map and extra lore that Alex has. There's too much to pack into crit path of the games. If we find time...

  7. #7
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    Arnie, I suspect that Stonehorn, Skyhorn, and Greyhorn were all built at the end of the last war to protect against the dredge. (much like the Tower of Cirith Ungol was built by Gondor to protect against Mordor) But I don't want to make too many assumptions.

    If this is only a third of the overall world map, I can only image how detailed your world map must be. It's obvious you've come up with a lot more lore than can be included in any one story. An atlas of the world (whether it is an app, a book, or a webpage) would be awesome. I know you're rushing to get the game released, but I hope that once Chapter 1 is released you'll have extra time (and money) to make additions to the game and tell us more about the Banner Saga world.

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I think this discussion is the proper place to re-raise an issue that's troubling me for a long time...

    Vikings, the inspiration-theme for TBS, were a people very closely bonded to the sea and sea-travel and ships. But, when it comes to Saga #1, apart from some graphic/concept art, I haven't seen any sea-related things whatsoever. I am talking about traveling by seas, managing your ship, raiding coasts, appeasing sea/storm gods etc. It all seams to be land-based, with sea being there just as an aesthetic frame. In this perspective, the lore of the game seems to draw more from Celtic and Germanic history (middle-European), rather than Scandinavian.

    Can we hope for "more of sea" in this Chapter of the Saga, of in the future ones?

  9. #9
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    I understand where you are coming from Aleonymous, but from a mechanical standpoint, a game about hand-to-hand battles and a traveling caravan (and the visuals of a caravan of people and a giant banner) works a lot better on land than at sea. And sea encounters would be limited to decks of ships and might have to include ship to ship attacks (although I know we're too early for cannon). Since this is a fictional world I'm okay with Stoic's people looking like Vikings, but using boats less often than historical Vikings did. At least from what we've seen the map is missing giant rivers which would make travel by boat easier, and going the long way around via sea is probably too difficult. I don't know if the Dredge are smart enough to build boats (or can walk underwater), but being able to escape them by hiding out on an island seems too easy.

  10. #10
    Backer Slimsy Platypus's Avatar
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    ummm... this thread is awesome. Thanks quartex!

    Anyone notice those familiar shapes in the foreground of the final image? That is either a bush or some Dredge sizing up the caravan in the distance! The travel images are breathtaking!

  11. #11
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quartex View Post
    [...] from a mechanical standpoint, a game about hand-to-hand battles and a traveling caravan (and the visuals of a caravan of people and a giant banner) works a lot better on land than at sea. [...]
    Indeed. And, as a matter of fact, a viking long-ship could barely fit a 2x2 varl in it, much less when you consider those giants' weight...

    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    Anyone notice those familiar shapes in the foreground of the final image? That is either a bush or some Dredge sizing up the caravan in the distance!
    Darn. It seems those Dredge are everywhere! I like how they are stealthily put, out of focus, in all these traveling shots. It helps build a certain sense of unease and threat, that you're always followed, circled. No respite! Perhaps if you fall behind on your journey, the foregrounds will be teeming with Dredge, instead of just 2-3 of them.

  12. #12
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Jesus, quartex you put all that together just from what's out in the media?! We should get this stuff put out in the wiki
    Yea Aleo the world isn't real world Viking, but takes from the Viking myths and is its own world . Works much better than trying to be high fantasy or realistic (the 2 extremes)

  13. #13
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    Glad you liked it raven! I agree that a wiki would be an easy way to have the community maintain a Banner Saga atlas. But I don't have the time to spearhead such an effort.

  14. #14
    Backer Slimsy Platypus's Avatar
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    The map image is so amazing to look at. Being the nerd that I am, I had a huge framed map of Middle Earth in my quarters growing up. After Chapter 1 gets released and Stoic has some more time, they should sell posters of the map in their store. I'd happily pay a moderate price and shipping to deck my house out from Skogr to Denglrs Bay!

  15. #15
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quartex View Post
    Glad you liked it raven! I agree that a wiki would be an easy way to have the community maintain a Banner Saga atlas. But I don't have the time to spearhead such an effort.
    There are two "active" wikis, the official (gamepedia) and the unofficial (wikidot) one. Both are relatively dormant, ever since changes to Factions stopped coming. Please jump in and start something there, if you feel up to it. There's a also a dedicated thread stickied somewhere about community-maintained info.

    Back to the initial subject, I don't see a point in jumping in TBS cartography just now, as there's too little coherent material. But, as soon as the game is launched...

    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    Being the nerd that I am, I had a huge framed map of Middle Earth in my quarters growing up.
    Who hadn't? Or, better still, who hasn't?

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