[LMB] Mapping the World of the 5 Gods

B Van Look vanlook19 at gmail.com
Sat May 22 15:58:47 BST 2021

Because this is my kryptonite, I took a map of Middle Ages/Renaissance
Europe, flipped it 180 degrees, and tried to figure out the analogues.

I know this does not trip everyone's trigger. Some readers, I've been
told, find it imposes "real world" history down on the story in ways
they don't like.
I love to discover the analogues as it helps me visualize the story in
my brain and improve my "silent partnership" with the words.

So if it bothers you, please feel free to pass over it and go about your day.
We know via Word of God/Lois that the Weald equates greatly to
medieval Germany; the Cantons seem to explicitly mirror Switzerland (I
pictured Penric's brother in a Swiss Guard uniform, heading off to his
merc unit). And the fortified mountain chalets give me a sense of the
Jurald homestead. Chalion and Ibra resonate with the architecture and
clothing of Castile and Leon.

When I flipped and compared the maps, I discovered that the world of
the 5 gods does NOT have an Italian peninsula. That is, instead, a
chain of islands (the highest mountains, likely). Sicily, Corsica and
Sardinia are also absent, which changes a lot of the historical
options, since they were so valuable as waystations for sailing
vessels. This changes a LOT for trade, as well as war.

The Peloponnesian peninsula is also different from our world, being
still fully attached to mainland Europe. This mostly equates to
Which helps me visualize Thasalon's streets and architecture, as a
combination of Athens and Constantinople/Byzantium.

It seems the Italian city-states of the Renaissance have their own
expression in W5G, in the various Duchies Penric ambles through.
Orbas, it seems to me, is Florence--which rather makes Jurgo a Medici
(explaining the man's *brains*)--transplanted to what we'd call the
Balkans. And now I can really see Penric's stucco'd house and bright

Saone seems to be Savoy, deeply influenced by the Darthacans (aka the
French), prompting So Many Language Jokes about filthy phrases Caz
teaches Iselle.
Carpagamo conglomerates Milan, Genoa, Modena and Mantua--they're noted
for their sailors; Adria seems to be Ferrara and Venice--so those
lively trade ports make a lot more sense.... echoing back (for me) to
The Spirit Ring. It also helps me envision the machinations going on
between the various Duchies that Penric avoids or gets caught up in.

Medieval and Renaissance maps make W5G so much clearer, to me.


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