It appears that making Blikis is all the rage in these parts these days, so maybe I should follow suit. I'm not even going to try and do this daily, since I'm lazy and typing hundreds or thousands of words is off-putting, to say nothing of reading it all. This Bliki won't be taking itself seriously, so if you're looking for a straight-faced diary of Vodean cartography, then this isn't it. Ho hum.
An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department
I've been watching you folks with your Blikis and all, you know who you are. I figured while Vodeo is under construction, I might as well write down my thoughts on stuff. I suppose I might as well start off with a basic explanation of what Vodeo is and what my plans are for it. Pay attention, there will be a short quiz at the end.
What is Vodeo?
Vodeo started in my mind ca. 2005/06 when the idea of a country started to form in my mind. New Swissland (yes, from that Captain Underpants book, don't judge me) began to be constructed on paper, but each map was wildly different from the last; the only constant was Saviso, which began life as a harbour city and remains so to this day (and even loosely retaining its original geography). Through 2006 the permanent shape of New Swissland began to emerge, and cities like Holme, Gerrise, Avington, and Silverton appeared on the map. In 2007 I began drawing maps of the main cities, and in 2010 began drawing entire regions and states. Even as I left my teenage years behind, New Swissland never went away, a sort of getaway that exists only in my head... well, and on paper, I suppose. I started shifting my mapmaking to Photoshop in the 2010s, did a complete overhaul of the country's shape and layout (including its name, which changed to Vodeo in 2015), and when I found OGF (that is, rediscovered it after finding and forgetting about it a couple of years back), the idea hit me of finally computerising years worth of maps.
Culturally, Vodeo is similar to that which I am familiar with in Australasia - an amalgamation of Australia and New Zealand, with a few changes here and there. A little bit of this is drawn from the Commonwealth of Nations, where there are some elements of a shared culture between many of the nations. I figured that this could also play into Vodeo. The culture of the "new" Vodeo is no different - it's very Australasian with localised alterations for Vodeo. From looking around the site and the wiki, it seems that others, including the South Astrasian Federation and Aorangëa, have a bit of Australasian-ness to them too.
Where does Vodeo fit into Tarephia and OGF?
On the equator, thirty degrees east.
If you meant what my vision for Vodeo is (oh, how I hate that term), it's virtually what the original Vodeo's was: a middle power with a pretty strong industrial and service economy driven mainly by industrial Silverton and commercial Saviso, Holme, and Avington; the rural provinces would take care of the rest. While I don't want Vodeo to be like most other countries and just be a bland well-off country like most others, I don't want to disrupt how I've envisioned Vodeo for the last decade or so. Ideally Vodeo would take its place as a major economic and industrial power in Tarephia with people across the continent driving its cars, watching its televisions, and eating its fruit; alas, that's not up to me to decide, my neighbours in the continent and around the world will have to make the calls on that. Still, Cobalt already has a car factory open in Troie, Broceliande, so maybe I'm on to something.
Where to from here?
The main task for now is to sketch out the basic layout of Vodeo; where will the capitals and provinces be in relation to each other? Afterward will come the task of stringing the cities and towns together with highways (and for those of you who sigh at the thought of motorways, only the most important intercity routes will have them), and sculpting the terrain to merge the two Vodeos together. I'm quite constrained by what I can do on OGF, but it does give me the chance to rethink how Vodeo slots together - for example, originally Holme and Saviso were separated by many hundreds of miles of gulf (estimates putting the distance at a thousand kilometres), whereas now there is a distance of only 400-500 kilometres.
Since the admin team probably wouldn't think highly of drawing a plot of land the shape of the "original" Vodeo, the nation has had to adapt. The "new" Vodeo occupies a much smaller plot of land, has an equatorial climate (whereas the original one had a climate similar to a cross between Auckland, Sydney, and Christchurch), and certain coastal cities and provinces now find themselves high and dry. Indeed, in some cases cities in formerly coastal provinces will have either adapt or perish (yes, I'm looking at you, Port Torahan). The main coastal capitals (from north: Mansfield, Avington, Marazan, Holme, Greville, Saviso, and Gerrise) are all there, but a couple of smaller ones, such as Cheltenham, Endorie, Aceis, and Tindalls Bay are all miles from the sea now; in Tindalls Bay's case, I now have to figure out how to adapt the name (which I've used since 2006 and have no intention on changing) to its new position near the northwestern border. Halvorson, which appeared on my maps around 2009, has it worst off - I can't even find somewhere to put the island province. There is a rather nice looking island chain off Vodeo's northern coast, but the country is nowhere near developed enough for me to snag that bit of land (maybe I should
bribe or blackmail the admins ask the the admins nicely). Fun times in Vodeo!
It's not just geographically where Vodeo has been turned on its head. The original Vodeo began life as the British colonies of Cambria in 1794-95 and St Austell in 1823, both of which eventually merged into a single colony on 21 April 1860, which then became a dominion in 1885. The date of merger, known as the Consolidation of Vodeo, has been retained as the date when the Kingdom of Cambria and Maran Republic (now St Austell) merged to form Vodeo, but the others have all been ditched.
Obviously in OGF Vodeo cannot be a British colony, but the idea of a monarchy (and more specifically a queen) was too good to resist, and so one of my first decisions when I was given the keys to my plot of land on 31 December 2016 was to make Vodeo a monarchy. But this in itself poses a new problem - how do I merge the fact that Vodeo is an independent country with a monarchy hundreds of years old, and yet its main language is Ingerish? So far I have a rough idea of having Ingerish traders and missionaries arrive in Vodeo somewhere between 1550 and 1700 and introducing the natives to Ingerish, which by 1750 had taken hold as the chief lingua franca of the region. It's a pretty shaky idea, but it's all I have right now; any ideas the good folk of OGF can offer would be considered with great appreciation.
The main focus for now
Vodeo's going to be a big project, but it should keep me busy through 2017 and maybe into 2018 and beyond. For now, I'm focusing on building up Saviso, the capital city. As the oldest city in New Swissland/Vodeo, and the one I've mapped the most and created the biggest history for, I figured I should focus on that. Holme got my attention to start with given it was originally the only mapped area in what used to be Melcar, but with that city roughly charted, I decided to turn to the city I love the most, even if said city doesn't exist in real life. Then again, don't we all need a bit of escapism from time to time?
Future Bliki entries will (hopefully) address a bit more of Vodeo's real-world and in-world histories, and also put out a few thoughts on Tarephia and possible collaboration with neighbours. I see the good people of Southern Tarephia doing their own thing over at Refriedsushi's page, maybe Vodeo can become part of that. I'm still relatively new to the community, so getting Vodeo set up with its continental compatriots would sure be swell, by golly. (I often talk like it's the '50s.)
Maybe another time. Good work with the note-taking.
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