Topic: The Sand Elves
The Sand Elves are a key group of people in my writing that have been, as yet, fairly skimmed over because I wasn’t getting many ideas about them and their livelihood or culture. I mean, obviously, they’re a desert sect of Elves that live in the Litsrandir Desert in the south-west end of Verdania. Only recently –today in fact– did I start thinking about how the desert exists in an otherwise grassy, lush continent. I started thinking on how their region of the continent looks, specifically, and was reminded again about work on the maps of the worlds in my writing. I still lack the money to get Campaign Cartographer 3 and City Designer 3, and have danced around with other programs, so till I have the money for CC3, I doubt I’m going to have a map that satisfies me.
I’ve been reading Wheel of Time lately, and thoughts about the Aiel, admittedly, got me thinking about the Sand Elves. The ideas of sweat tents is interesting, but more importantly, it made me think… where do they get the water to pour on the hot rocks in the first place? And of course, that transferred to the Sand Elves. Where do they get their water? What is the scientific explanation for the desert in the middle of an otherwise lush land?
So, here’s a quick pic I made of Tal’litse, and the surrounding villages, in the mid-west portion of the desert. Fractal Mapper is still a crappy program, and the demo version of such is very limiting. Anyway, the off-colored “hills” on the maps are intended to be dunes. So, on the south-west portion of Verdania, the desert borders the ocean. Since the winds coming off the ocean would bring in moisture, there is some growth in the desert in the west, and the Sand Elves constructed a canal to encircle the city of Tal’litse so that they could do something that is inspired by Star Wars. You guessed it, moisture farms. I had a lengthy discussion with myself (because at least I listen to me) over the credibility of such a thing in a world not as technologically advanced as the Star Wars universe. This is where the Aiel ideas came in. Perhaps they built specific “sweat” tents along the canal, in order to heat the water from the ocean (since drinking water with that much salt would kill a person) Heat the water, so that it evaporates. The gas form of the water would collect within glass tubes/pillars, and during the day, when the temperature plummets, it would return to water. The salt is collected in bins, and a during the night, the bins are switched out, so they can then swab, shake, or do whatever it is they need to do, to collect the water that, via condensation, is within those tubes. Of course, that’s just for drinking water, as there is no qualms in bathing or washing clothes in salt water.
There are other villages built along the coast, that would have smaller versions of this, sans the canal, as well. And then, there are some villages built along the eastern border of the desert, along the mountains that cover the other borders of the desert, where they gain water via “mines” where they tunnel into the mountains to get to the springs. Thus, the center of the desert is non-populated. No worries, the Sand Elves are the ONLY sand people here. =P Mainly, also, I was debating the materials used in this. Would they have had the ability to shape glass, to make the condensation tubes? Or would they have to rely on a non-transparent metal to collect the water, not knowing till they began collecting, whether or not there was any water to collect? Sure they had sand, and they use magic, so could magic create “spun” glass in lieu of engineering and other technology that does such?
Thus, the Litsrandir Desert is surrounded on two sides by mountains and the other two sides by ocean. Their water comes from springs or boiled and cleansed ocean water. The springs in the mountains create rivers that go north and east, instead of south and west, creating a portion of the lack of moisture in the south-west regions. The winds from the ocean also travel north and east, covering the north end of the desert mainly, but going beyond the desert, leaving a lack of moisture in this region.
I hope one day to have the money for CC3 so I can make better maps for my worlds, but felt like sharing the random place my mind went to today. Its only my constant though over how the world looks that I don’t forget how I want it to look. Still, I would feel more secure with being able to have a computer file to work with, that I could save and work on through changes in the future, as well as keep, for my own reasons. Anyway, if you have any thoughts on the scientific validity of these ideas, feel free to chime in. Or just random opinions, feel free to comment.