The World Of Khoras - Civilization

Introduction

Travel is almost always need for adventure. Merchant caravans, fellow travelers, roadside inns, bandit groups, wild animals and bad weather can make the journey an adventure in itself. When traveling from one place to another in the world, two important questions come up: How far away is the destination and how long will it take to get there. A lot of this depends on the method of travel you choose (walking, riding a horse, etc) and the specific route you choose to take. This information is available on the nation and major city pages. At the bottom of each nation and city page, there is a table which gives the distances (in kilometers)and average travel times (in days) for typical journeys between cities, towns and important or interesting sites in the region.

The Khoras maps are essentially Mercator projections and that type of map suffers from distortion, an exagerration of east-west distances, particularly in the extreme northern and southern latitudes. The distances shown in the tables have been calculated on a 3D spherical globe of Khoras, rather than the Mercator projection maps. Therefore, the distortion inherent in a Mercator projection, has been eliminated. The distances found on these tables are accurate and should be used instead of trying to measure distances on the maps themselves.

These tables also describe the type of road and/or type of terrain. Finally, they factor in all conditions of the particular route in question and give the average travel time for each route based on method of travel - walking, riding, wagon, riverboat, etc.

Roads

Roads vary a great deal in size and type, from huge stone paved highways that stretch for hundreds of kilometers to forgotten and overgrown dirt paths winding through ancient forests. The Khoras maps show two categories of roads: major roads (paved) and minor roads (unpaved). Both of these types of roads are actively maintained and support frequent traffic between their end destinations, typically cities and towns.

Major roads are wide roads paved with large flat interlocking stones, cambered for drainage and flanked on either side by broad grassy footpath and drainage ditches. They are typically 10 to 12 meters wide... wide enough for two caravans of large wagons to pass each other easily. Major roads tend to be level and flat and sometimes even cut straight through hills. These are the highest quality roads. They are typically found connecting major cities with major towns at the heart of kingdoms and are often the pride of the kingdom. Major roads also tend to be regularly patrolled by militias and are fairly safe from bandit attacks. Well maintained and patrolled major roads help the merchant class conduct business and contribute to the economic health of the kingdom.

Minor roads are roads of hard packed dirt and sometimes gravel. They are typically 6 to 7 meters wide and flanked by a grassy path on either side. Minor roads are just wide enough in most areas for two wagons to pass each other without too much difficulty. They can turn muddy in heavy rain and tend to be more winding and inclined than major roads, as they will often go around or over hills. Minor roads connect border towns to the more central regions of a kingdom and also connect kingdoms to each other. Minor roads are patrolled much less often, especially between kingdoms, and are more dangerous.

In addition to these two basic categories of roads, there are thousands of miles of foot paths, hiking trails, hunting trails, forest trails and so forth. These are not shown on the map.

 

Methods of Travel

  Average Speed Notes
Walking 25 km per day Walking is, by far, the most common method of travel. Not everyone can afford a horse or wagon, but almost everyone has a pair of feet. The average walking speed of a human with light gear on a standard dirt road over several consecutive days is about 25 kilometers per day. This assumes walking about 8 hours a day and taking multiple breaks for rest and meals. Of course, many variables can affect this rate. The weight of gear carried, the terrain, the weather, the person's stride, age, health and current physical condition all affect walking speed. A wounded and elderly grum with a heavy pack travelling on a muddy road in a rain storm will be far slower than a young and healthy phellysian carrying nothing on a sunny day. Villages tend to be strung along country roads and are separated by about a day's walk for a slow walker, so typically about 10 to 15 km apart, on average.
Riding 55 km per day A steed can greatly increase one's ability to travel. Not only is it faster, but a steed can carry more. Many factors affect the average travel rate. The type and health of the steed, the experience of the rider, the type of terrain, weather and so forth. Under normal conditions (an experienced rider, a healthy mount, a normal amount of gear, good weather and a road), a rider can expect to average about 55 kilometers per day over a multi-day journey. The korrynian charger breed of horse is capable of 75 kilometers per day and a korrynian scout can manage 100 km per day.
Wagons and Carts 35 km per day

Wagons and carts allow you to carry a vastly heavier load, but they are slower than a horsed rider. A horse drawn wagon moves a little bit faster than typical walking speed and can maintain it for longer periods of time due to the endurance of the animal pulling the wagon. However, carts and wagons occasionally get stuck in the mud, break wheels, get snagged on roots and stones and so forth which brings down their average speed a bit. It should be noted that groups of wagons tend to travel a bit slower. Large caravans (which might include a mix of different types of wagons and carts and people on foot) tend to travel very slowly... about 15 kilometers per day.

It is very difficult to get a wagon or cart through wild, untamed forest without the benefit of a dirt road or trail. Wagons will frequently get stuck and have to backtrack. Branches and roots will snag wheels. And at times, it is necessary to cut down a tree that's blocking the only way through. Attempting to get a wagon through a forest will result in very slow journeys and long travel times.

Riverboats

50-100 km per day,
average 75km per day

All manner of small water craft are used on the rivers of Khoras - crude rafts, row boats, flat barges and large river boats. Most use poles or oars to steer. The average speed of river craft is 75 kilometers per day. This is for DOWN river movement only and the speed depends greatly on the speed of the river. When moving down river, the river does most of the work. People on the boat need only steer, but can add to the propulsion by paddling with oars or pushing with poles. Also, in winter, some rivers in the far north partially freeze, preventing river travel.

Going up river is a much different situation. Watercraft going up river travel much slower. Very small watercraft can be put on a wagon and transported upriver by road. Larger water craft must be hauled upriver by teams of oxen or horses pulling from the river bank. Hauling large river craft up river has an average speed of 5 - 15 km per day depending on the speed of the river and the size of the craft.

Ships

0-200 km per day,
average 100 km per day

Often times, traveling from one port city to another is fastest and easiest by ship. Seagoing ships travel along coast between major port cities and smaller fishing towns. Ships, obviously, can carry huge amounts of cargo and can travel 24 hours a day with sufficient crew. The actual amount of distance covered by a ship can vary wildly from day to day depending on wind and weather conditions. However, on average, a ship can make about 100 kilometers per day.
Aerial Varies Widely Winged creatures can cover distance more quickly than any other form of transportation. However, even the strongest flyers can do so for only limited amounts of time and must rest frequently. Speed, endurance and rest intervals vary from creature to creature. An avarian, carrying a light load, will average about 100 kilometers per day when traveling a long distance over several days. This assumes flying for 8 hours a day with multiple extended breaks for rest. The wilds are filled with many winged beasts that are strong flyers, a few of which have been successfully trained as steeds. Firedrakes, for instance, can carry a fully armored knight with gear and still average more than 300 km per day. Winged steeds, however, are exceptionally rare.

Custom Journeys

At the bottom of each nation and city page is a section on Travel and Distance giving distance and typical travel times for common journeys in that area. A lot of work went in to those calculations to make sure they are accurate.

I am going to keep all of the notes and tools used to make the calculations. If anyone out there needs to know the exact distance and/or travel time for a journey across Khoras which is not listed on any nation or city page, contact me. I would be happy to make the calculations for you and give you a precise measurement for any custom journey.

This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.

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