Mount & Blade 2

Let’s talk about MnB’s planet’s geography (hold on to your butts, it’s a long read!)

A while ago someone posted the map below.

Alleged map of MnB's planet, found in Bannerlord's files

I was feeling playful and attached it to a globe using the site MapToGlobe (because I can't figure out if it's possible to attach a map to the likes of Google Earth). What resulted was a somewhat peculiar planet where:

  • "Eurasia" (that is, Calradia and "Asia") is at the equator (represented by the red line on the map);
  • The southernmost tip of "South America" reaches almost all the way to the South Pole;
  • "North America" starts roughly at the equator and goes south (methinks Balion is the landmass between Calradia+"Africa" and the "Americas");
  • The landmass above "Eurasia" – Jumne? – almost reaches the North Pole, especially the northernmost point of the top island.

Now, using the same site, and adding the below full map of Terra (or the Earth, if you will) proves that the equator is indeed located correctly on the site's globe model:

The red markings are for convenience, they circle the word Equator which is right above the equator line on the map

This made me wonder how it's at all possible for Calradia to have a temperate-continental climate when it's in the equatorial sub-equatorial climate zone(s). On Terra, not even the Sahara desert, which is one of the hottest and driest areas on the planet, is at the equator (as we can see on the map above). In fact, the lands in the equatorial zone are pretty green in general, but have tropical plantlife rather than what we have in Europe, North America, and Asia in the same climate zone (correct me if I'm wrong of course).

Since Calradia is pretty much Europe, and the Aserai deserts are pretty much North Africa, we can assume that the MnB planet follows the same geographical climate scheme as Terra. However, this raises a number of questions.

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One is whether or not the global map of MnB's world is, in fact, accurate.

  1. In my search of a global map of Terra to use with MapToGlobe, I've found that many such maps exclude Antarctica. It could be that the MnB planet also has an Antarctica of its own that's simply not shown on the map. This could explain the discrepancy in climate zones between Terra and MnB's planet. Note that I'm not trying to just shoehorn the Planet onto Terra, I am trying to find some logical explanation. In fact, this explanation makes a lot of sense given how the setting of MnB games is in the 11-13th centuries. In this time, in the real world, people didn't know much of the world's geography, and most attempted world maps were full of speculation and inaccuracies. For example:

A real-world 11th century map of Europe, Northern Africa and Asia, fairly accurate if you think about it, but still not exact.

  1. (this is point #2, the above image ruined the order) Another potential explanation is the difference in tectonics and ocean currents. Tectonics dictate the formation of continental masses, and by extension, of ocean currents. We can see that "Eurasia" and "Africa" of MnB's planet are somewhat similar to Terra's, but they are quite different nonetheless. The "Americas" are very different however. There is no Australia per say, but there's a big landmass between the "Americas" and Calradia. The problem here is that – barring speculation by Calradian (and potentially other lands' cartographers) – the continents on MnB's planet make no sense tectonically. On Terra each continent's outline shows that they all used to be part of a single, enormous one. The continents on MnB's planet feel like completely standalone formations, which might hint at some very powerful volcanic activity, making all those continents just very, very big islands. The ocean currents that form from this are also quite different as result, affecting the climate of Calradia and other parts of the planet (as if the theoretical volcanic activity wouldn't affect the climate already – volcanic winter much? But then, how can there be such abundant crops?).
  2. (#3) A somewhat wackier explanation is that the MnB planet has a different orbit around its sun, or a different tilt on its axis, which affects its climate, making it different. It's still most likely in the so-called Goldilocks Zone, as it has the very same lifeforms as Terra (humans, horses, cows, dogs, chickens, snakes, etc.), as well as liquid water. We also know that it's not tidally locked, as it has a day-night cycle. There is, however, the question of the Planet's magnetic poles if its orbit, or even tilt is different.
  3. (#4) And of course, the most likely explanation: whoever drew the map didn't think too much about it making sense, and just drew something that looked vaguely realistic.
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Another question is the MnB planet's size. When we apply the 'as is' MnB planetary map to a globe, we can see that the landmasses take up a lot more space than their real-world counterparts. If there really is no Antarctica on this planet, this implies that either the landmasses are a lot bigger – which is something that anyone who's played any of the MnB games will laugh at – or that the Planet itself is a lot smaller. If it's indeed smaller, than its location in its solar system would also be different (most likely outside of the Goldilocks Zone, meaning no complex lifeforms, if any at all), its rotation around its axis, and around its sun would be faster (meaning quicker day-night and seasonal cycles – which actually makes sense in terms of how the games handle time of day and passage of years :D), and so on.

And there are likely other things that I've missed, but the post is long enough as it is. Likewise, I'm not saying that all of my musings are scientifically accurate (geography, geology, and astronomy aren't my fields after all), but I've tried to make some use of my basic knowledge. Those of you who are more knowledgeable will, of course correct me where I'm wrong.

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Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this little foray.

Stay buttered, me lads!

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