An attempt at an accurate Planet South Heaven Map

edited July 2016 in ISSTH Spoilers
I've been decompressing from a stressful trip the last couple of days by playing around with Planet South Heaven's map.

I saw there was another thread about this here: http://forum.wuxiaworld.com/discussion/1713/nanshan-continent-map

and while this map looks very nice, I don't think it's very accurate. For example, the story says there's just one continent, named Nanshan, which has two subcontinents (West Desert + Southern Domain and East Tang + Northern Reaches), but that map has two completely separate continents. I also wanted to figure out how exactly the Southern Domain was laid out, based on clues from the story... it's been an interesting puzzle. I've gathered all the clues I've collected here: http://pastebin.com/VjEyqhUH

Anyways, I ended up with this, which is hopefully accurate from about Book 1 to halfway through Book 4:



It's still pretty rough looking, but I could make it look nicer once I'm sure I have the accuracy right. What do y'all think? Did I overlook anything?
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Comments

  • edited July 2016
    Pretty sure tang is the biggest continent, while northern reaches is above southern domain and the black lands is on the west of southern domain and western desert is to the west of black lands. The milky way sea is in between tang and the other continents completely separating them. While it the middle of milky way sea has the 5 rings (which I don't think is nearly that big). It might be a far stretch but, it should look like the world of warcraft map. I might be completely wrong though, let's see what others have to say
  • I can understand how there can be confusion regarding whether the Milky Way is split by a single continent or sandwiched between two continents. from my understanding, both views are half correct. Try imagining a water planet with a single strip of land oriented at an angle. Then you can see that whether you are talking about the Milky Way being above or below the continent, you are still talking about the exact same sea. Using your single-continent interpretation as a base, I found making this rough sketch of planet South Heaven helpful for my understanding.
     
  • GamingDynamics, that's exactly how I understood what South Heaven looked like too... up until I read this bit in the recent chapter 765! (in fact, trying to figure out this problem is what is actually what inspired me to make this new map in the first place!):

    The Resurrection Lily grew rapidly, growing larger until finally, to the astonishment of all the cultivators, it rose up completely from the water. The tentacles merged, braiding together.

    They formed… a bridge!

    It was a bridge, one side of which was formed from fifty thousand tentacles, more than 1,500 kilometers across. Shockingly, this part of the bridge neared the Southern Domain, but didn’t touch it.The other side of the bridge arced out to connect to the Northern Reaches!


    As far as 1500km goes, I don't think it's a very far distance in ISSTH. Distances of hundreds of kilometers get thrown around all the time. For example, Meng Hao runs hundreds of kilometers just within the State of Zhao when he's chased around by Shangguan Xiu back in the first book, and it is stated that thousands of the State of Zhao can fit within the Southern Domain. So how can the Northern Reaches be that far away, as shown in your Milky-Way Centric Map?

    Maybe it could be a bunch of island chains that penetrate into the Milky Way Sea, kinda like Alaska's southwest leg? What do you think?

  • Prady said:
    Pretty sure tang is the biggest continent, while northern reaches is above southern domain and the black lands is on the west of southern domain and western desert is to the west of black lands. The milky way sea is in between tang and the other continents completely separating them. While it the middle of milky way sea has the 5 rings (which I don't think is nearly that big). It might be a far stretch but, it should look like the world of warcraft map. I might be completely wrong though, let's see what others have to say
    You might be right about the Milky Way sea, from Chapter 632:

    The area taken up by the Milky Way Sea is huge, far greater than either of the two continents. If you compared it in size with the Southern Domain, the Milky Way Sea would be approximately five times as large.

    I had remembered this as being five times the size of Nanshan Continent, rather than five times the size of just the Southern Domain. So, it should be a bit smaller in my map. Interestingly, this is the only time that its stated that they are two continents... every other instance says two sub-continents.

  • As far as 1500km goes, I don't think it's a very far distance in ISSTH. Distances of hundreds of kilometers get thrown around all the time. For example, Meng Hao runs hundreds of kilometers just within the State of Zhao when he's chased around by Shangguan Xiu back in the first book, and it is stated that thousands of the State of Zhao can fit within the Southern Domain. So how can the Northern Reaches be that far away, as shown in your Milky-Way Centric Map?

    Maybe it could be a bunch of island chains that penetrate into the Milky Way Sea, kinda like Alaska's southwest leg? What do you think?

    Indeed. I'm having quite the dilemma trying to reconcile a good elliptical-like geometry for the Milky Way (one that fits the description of having layers of vast concentric rings) with that single statement that implies that the Northern Reach is closer to the Southern Domain than such a map would suggest. What you have is the only way that I can see it working, where both the continent and the sea snake around the planet South Heaven such that the Southern Domain and Northern Reaches form a relatively narrow channel in the Milky Way. Of course, this also implies that the Sea is incredibly narrow, and that one could reach the inner ring of the sea much sooner depending on the starting location from the outer ring, which leaves a bad taste in my mind given Meng Hao's lengthy travel log there.

    The chain islands are a good idea, but I can't see them as being part of the Northern Reaches so much as part of the many islands scattered throughout the Milky Way. Plus we don't have enough info thus far to verify that such islands are canon.

    Yeah, it's really contradictory. On one hand, I want to avoid making the Nashan continent the equivalent of the Red Line from the One Piece universe since that ends up splitting the Milky Way Sea, but on the other hand there's no other way to physically bring the NR and SD in that close a proximity.

    Unless maybe the map is such that continuing past the north edge of the border brings you to the south edge :tongue: 
  • edited July 2016
    Unfortunately, if the map wraps North to South as well as East to West, then the planet becomes a torus (meaning, like a donut, believe it or not) rather than a sphere. :o

    The rings getting compressed into narrow strips was something I really struggled with too. However! I think the theory that the north overhangs the south can still work out. Since we don't need the MWS to be 5X bigger than the whole of Nanshan continent, just the southern domain, then that means we can pretty much "get rid of" most of the water in the northern part of the map. Therefore, most of the remaining water can be merged into a single giant ocean, kinda like the Indian/Pacific ocean, which can have our rings. Something like this:



    The rest of the water in the map (i.e. in the North) is just Outer Sea, perhaps a bit of 4th Ring. What do you think?

    So the Northern Reaches still has "Reaches", including ones that reach towards the Dawn Immortal and the Southern Domain. Another thing I realized is that the DI's tentacles can stretch for more than 1500km - it's not the tentacles that are described as 1500km long, but the distance between the continents. I'm also pretty sure that it doesn't describe the Northerners running through the stormwind divide, meaning that stretch should be outside of the 3rd ring at the very least.

    Also, how did I do as far as the Southern Domain interior? That was pretty tricky to figure out from such sparse clues (especially the Rebirth Cave), and I'm afraid I missed something...
  • edited July 2016
  • The map is nice, though I believe the Eastern Lands should be larger. Personally, I have envisioned Planet South Heaven as almost the same as Earth, Western Desert and Southern Domain resembles the Americas and Northern Reaches and Eastern Lands as Europe and Asia
  • When is the size of the Eastern Lands mentioned?
  • I believe it was mentioned at the early chapters, though I could be wrong.
  • I don't think you're right. I have a text dump of the first 700 hundred chapters or so, that a friend put together for me, and there's no description of the size of the Eastern Lands there. Searching for "Eastern Lands", "Eastern Tang", "Great Tang", and "Chang`an", the only descriptions of the Eastern Lands are:

    (Chapter 36)
    “So it turns out that traveling to the Great Tang in the Eastern lands isn’t that simple. You have to cross the Milky Way Sea…” After a while, Meng Hao looked back down at the map, looking at all the four major regions of the Nanshan continent. The Eastern Lands and the Northern Desert formed a subcontinent, separated from which by a large ocean were the Western Barbarian Lands and the Southern Domain, which formed another subcontinent.
        
    (Chapter 59)
    “I remember mother describing the Great Tang to me. I was so small then, that I didn’t really understand what she was talking about. But now that I think about it, the way she described the Eastern Lands, the Great Tang and Chang’an… it was as if she had seen them with her own eyes. If she hadn’t, how could she have described everything in such detail? It was just like these carvings.” He examined them as he ascended the stairs. Eventually he reached the top of the tower, and the end of the carvings. They had depicted life and culture, beautiful scenery, and countless amazing, legendary stories. It was all very moving and inspiring.
        
    (Chapter 632)
    The Milky Way Sea was located in the middle of the lands of South Heaven, splitting everything into two continents, one comprised of the Eastern Lands and the Northern Reaches, the other of the Southern Domain and the Western Desert.

    So, pretty sparse, and nothing mentioning the size. It's mentioned that the Eastern Lands are way more prestigious than the rest of South Heaven, but that wouldn't necessarily mean anything about it's size... it could just have a denser population and higher quality natural resources. Chang`an is probably a ridiculously huge super city, for example. It's possible that later chapters will have an actual description of the Eastern Lands, but right now I don't have so much to go on.
  • I love your map! 
  • edited July 2016
    Thanks! For some reason, the image host lost the picture, so I re-uploaded it with with imgur. I also updated it a bit.


  • That map, nice that it's labeled tho, has the milky way sea in the wrong area since it doubles a divider between the northern reaches and southern reaches.
  • You can clearly see that it is between the Northern Reaches and Southern Domain on this map...
  • You can clearly see that it is between the Northern Reaches and Southern Domain on this map...
    No I clearly see it labeled in the bottom right corner putting it South of the eastern lands and western desert also bordering either side of the southern domain. The white line is clearly a boundary
  • The white line is the Stormwind Divide that exists between the 4th and 3rd rings. The body of water between the Northern Reaches and the Southern Domain is still the Milky Way Sea.
  • I would love to seen one with all nine mountains and seas.
  • edited August 2016
    The white line is the Stormwind Divide that exists between the 4th and 3rd rings. The body of water between the Northern Reaches and the Southern Domain is still the Milky Way Sea.
     yes, the sea is divided into rings like a rings on a tree. So that bit can't be part of the sea.
  • It's mentioned that there's an "Outer Sea" that is outside of the 4 main rings.

    So it goes: Outer Sea -> 4th Ring -> Stormwind Divide -> 3rd Ring (with the 3 island sects) -> 2nd Ring (Dawn Immortal) -> Inner Sea.

    These six different sections are all part of the Milky Way Sea. There's no other major body of water mentioned in the story besides a few lakes and the purple sea that covers the Western Desert. That means that all water outside of a continent is the Milky Way Sea. In addition, when the Northern Reaches cultivators traveled from North to South across the Dawn Immortal's vines, it does not mention that they ran straight through the Stormwind Divide, only that the DI's vines pierced it, meaning that the area they ran through is outside of the 4 rings unless the Stormwind divide actually circles all 4 subcontinents. However, it doesn't, it actually circles the 3rd, 2nd, and Inner Rings.

    Logically, that means the map can only look like I've drawn it.
  • ITO said:
    I would love to seen one with all nine mountains and seas.
    Me too! We'll see how many details we get once Meng Hao gets out there a bit more...
  • It's mentioned that there's an "Outer Sea" that is outside of the 4 main rings.

    So it goes: Outer Sea -> 4th Ring -> Stormwind Divide -> 3rd Ring (with the 3 island sects) -> 2nd Ring (Dawn Immortal) -> Inner Sea.

    These six different sections are all part of the Milky Way Sea. There's no other major body of water mentioned in the story besides a few lakes and the purple sea that covers the Western Desert. That means that all water outside of a continent is the Milky Way Sea. In addition, when the Northern Reaches cultivators traveled from North to South across the Dawn Immortal's vines, it does not mention that they ran straight through the Stormwind Divide, only that the DI's vines pierced it, meaning that the area they ran through is outside of the 4 rings unless the Stormwind divide actually circles all 4 subcontinents. However, it doesn't, it actually circles the 3rd, 2nd, and Inner Rings.

    Logically, that means the map can only look like I've drawn it.

    " In the very middle of the two sides was a huge Resurrection Lily that was so large you could scarcely see from one side to the other, dripping vast quantities of water as it rose up."

    The lily sits right on the middle of the bridge and the lily itself does not move. There was also mention that the residents(3 sects) of the 3rd ring were slaughtered, meaning the Northern reaches army had to pass through there to get to them. Since bridges are straight the milky way sea more than likely centered in between the north and south. Also another point I was hesitant to make it is a sea not an ocean you are depicting it as an ocean.

  • Where does it mention that the residents of the 3rd ring were slaughtered? The only reference I can find to the 3rd ring near the end of chapter 5 is this, in Chapter 765:

    The Milky Way Sea’s Fourth Ring, Third Ring, Second Ring, all of the areas in the entire sea outside of the Inner Ring, were covered with huge waves. The disciples of the three great sects in the Third Ring were completely astonished.

    There's also nothing saying that the bridge needs to be straight. It's made of vines from a flower; it will certainly have twists and turns. Furthermore, it never says they walk on the flower itself, only on the vines. Therefore, the flower can be in the middle of the bridge without actually being in the middle of the path the Northern Cultivators run across. This seems even more likely when you consider that huge cauldron with the incense stick they were carrying... I can't imagine the Dawn Immortal would want that anywhere near her core body. 

    As far as ocean vs sea goes... it is only a nomenclature difference. It is stated that the Milky Way Sea is 4 times as large (I assume) as the Southern Domain. If that is not an ocean, then I don't know what is.

    I understand that a lot of the details here are somewhat sketchy, but there are only so many explicit descriptions in the story to how different geography relates to each other and some actually seem outright contradictory. The Dawn Immortal's bridge is one of the biggest ones, as we were talking about earlier in the thread. The distances in the story are extremely huge and yet the bridge between the Northern Reaches and the Southern Domain ended up being only 1500km, which implies that they're pretty close, which forces the sea to be a certain way in order to make that fact work with all the other the other facts we learned about it earlier in Book 5. Thus, it's not right to just point out one sentence in isolation and interpret a certain way without considering other facts that contradict that interpretation. I am pretty confident that Er Gen didn't draw an actual map of Planet South Heaven and have it in front of him while he was writing, he was just sorta making it up as he went along. Which is fine, but, it does make it hard when you're trying to put together an actual map...
  • edited August 2016
    Where does it mention that the residents of the 3rd ring were slaughtered? The only reference I can find to the 3rd ring near the end of chapter 5 is this, in Chapter 765:

    The Milky Way Sea’s Fourth Ring, Third Ring, Second Ring, all of the areas in the entire sea outside of the Inner Ring, were covered with huge waves. The disciples of the three great sects in the Third Ring were completely astonished.

    There's also nothing saying that the bridge needs to be straight. It's made of vines from a flower; it will certainly have twists and turns. Furthermore, it never says they walk on the flower itself, only on the vines. Therefore, the flower can be in the middle of the bridge without actually being in the middle of the path the Northern Cultivators run across. This seems even more likely when you consider that huge cauldron with the incense stick they were carrying... I can't imagine the Dawn Immortal would want that anywhere near her core body. 

    As far as ocean vs sea goes... it is only a nomenclature difference. It is stated that the Milky Way Sea is 4 times as large (I assume) as the Southern Domain. If that is not an ocean, then I don't know what is.

    I understand that a lot of the details here are somewhat sketchy, but there are only so many explicit descriptions in the story to how different geography relates to each other and some actually seem outright contradictory. The Dawn Immortal's bridge is one of the biggest ones, as we were talking about earlier in the thread. The distances in the story are extremely huge and yet the bridge between the Northern Reaches and the Southern Domain ended up being only 1500km, which implies that they're pretty close, which forces the sea to be a certain way in order to make that fact work with all the other the other facts we learned about it earlier in Book 5. Thus, it's not right to just point out one sentence in isolation and interpret a certain way without considering other facts that contradict that interpretation. I am pretty confident that Er Gen didn't draw an actual map of Planet South Heaven and have it in front of him while he was writing, he was just sorta making it up as he went along. Which is fine, but, it does make it hard when you're trying to put together an actual map...


    Bridges can curve but not to any extremes, and they certainly cannot form angles otherwise it would just two bridges that meet up at a common point. Why would anyone build a bridge that twists and turns for no reason whatsoever when they can go in a straight line? They're on a warpath not a scenic cruise after all. It clearly states that the flower. The curse needs to touch soil to activate, otherwise it's iirc. Anyway I imagined the bridge running over the lily like an overpass.

    Ch 765

    In the very middle of the two sides was a huge Resurrection Lily that was so large you could scarcely see from one side to the other, dripping vast quantities of water as it rose up.

    The scene was indescribably shocking and astonishing. A gigantic flower had risen up to form a bridge with its branches and leaves, a bridge that connected two great continents!

    Doesn't leave much room for interperetation.

    Sea are Ocean are very distinct terms, as sea has a very specific definition; a large body of water that partially enclosed on at least two sides and  connected to an ocean.

    The width of the bridge is 1500km not the length.

    Ch 767:
    It no longer looked sunny and calm. Instead, massive waves surged across its surface, as well as numerous corpses. Those corpses were none other than Milky Way Sea cultivators.

  • edited August 2016
    While it doesn't have the word "ocean" in its name, The Milky Way Sea is referred to as an ocean several times in the story, actually.  "The ocean breeze" "watch the sun set over the ocean", "the ocean water", etc. I won't quote them here, but the first time is in chapter 36 when describing the subcontinents, then in chapter 308, where Ji Nineteen comes to punish Meng Hao for killing his clan member but is stopped by Pill Demon, and then in chapter 632, the first chapter Meng Hao enters the Milky Way Sea, and then several times in that arc after that.  Yet, it is still named as "The Milky Way Sea." Likewise, the 9th Sea is presumably a body of water the size of a solar system, and yet it is also called a Sea.

    As far as the vine bridge being 1500km *wide*, well that is just completely ridiculous. The scale doesn't make sense at all, especially since it says the Dawn Immortal spread out hundreds of thousands of vines all across the Milky Way Sea. If they were truly that wide, and presumably are much longer than they are wide, then the total volume of these vines (just the vines, not including the gigantic flower in the middle) would be 100000*750*750*(1000*1500)*3.14159 = 2.651e17 kilometers. For reference, our earth has a volume of 1e12 kilometers (meaning the Dawn Immortal's tentacles are 260000 times bigger) while our sun has a volume of 1.4e18 kilometers. (meaning the Dawn Immortal's tentacles would be 1/5 the volume of the sun). But that's assuming you coiled them perfectly, which of course would be impossible. Here, the Dawn Immortal presumably isn't even coiling them at all, instead stretching them out across the surface of sea. That would result in Planet South Heaven being far, far larger than our Sun. Now, obviously it is much bigger than earth, but bigger than the Sun? Would some flower with a False Immortal Cultivation base really be that enormous and mighty? No way, that's just stupid. The bridge is 1500 km long.

    As far as the reference to the "Milky Way Sea" cultivators goes, that doesn't necessarily mean the ones within the 3rd ring specifically. There were numerous sects in the 4th ring and outer sea as well. Furthermore, they presumably died because of massive waves roaring across the water, which means they could be anywhere.

    I really don't know what to tell you dude. You clearly have some picture of a map in your mind and think the map I made is wrong because it doesn't match that. But what you have in your head might not actually match what is  I too had a different picture of what South Heaven looked like before I tried to draw it based on what was described in the story, as I mention in the first few posts. I suggest you try drawing what you think is right, see if it still works without contradicting the text, and then post it here if it does.
  • edited August 2016
    Jesus Christ...where did I say each vine is 1500km across? reading comprehension, it's not hard.



    ...The tentacles merged, braiding together...

    The Resurrection Lily grew rapidly, growing larger until finally, to the astonishment of all the cultivators, it rose up completely from the water. The tentacles merged, braiding together.

    They formed… a bridge!

    It was a bridge, one side of which was formed from fifty thousand tentacles, more than 1,500 kilometers across.



    Just incase you still don't understand that the 100,000 vines merged together on either side of the lily that form 2 halves each consisting 50000 vines form a bridge that makes the 1500km.

    And regarding the size of our sun, our sun is not massive at all there are planets that dwarf our sun, there are moons that have been found to dwarf our sun in size, pretty much. iirc biggest star recorded 10^5 more massive than ours. As far as our size goes, our solar system is pretty pedestrian.

    http://i.imgur.com/Vbt5br2.jpg

  • You guys forget that there's mini teleportation at that bridge, maybe to pass stromwind divide.


    So milky way (outside, 1-2-3-4 ring) is in the middle between 2 continent
  • You guys forget that there's mini teleportation at that bridge, maybe to pass stromwind divide.


    So milky way (outside, 1-2-3-4 ring) is in the middle between 2 continent
    That really isn't a big deal problem here the main issue here is that the author never specified where the Nashan continent is contained within the Milky Way Sea or the vice-versa the Sea contained within the continent. I view it as the latter because that inherently is what a sea is and when the continent was initially introduced the MWS was not even discuss therefore it's safe to assume that it is on the same scale as the continent areawise. The problem I have with his map is he placed things to fit his narrative not the story and other things.
  • edited August 2016
    It's stated that the Milky Way Sea is five times as large as the Southern Domain, so its reasonable to think that it's between 1x and 2x the size of the entirety of Nanshan Continent. If that's the case, it simply does not make sense to think of the sea as being inside the continent because we're talking about a globe. 

    Also, how do you view what the Ninth Sea looks like? Do you think it is inside the Ninth Mountain ??!?


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