Monday, October 3, 2011
Inspiration: Necropolis of Pahlavan-Mahmud, Uzbekistan
I recently stumbled across this real life location in my rambles through the internet: a necropolis built around the tomb of a Muslim saint in what was the Khanate of Khiva, in present-day Uzbekistan. Check out the map above. I wish I could find a clear, detailed map of the old, inner city: Itchan Kala (also see here). It looks like it would be a wonderful source to base a game map on. The old town is a walled fortification, but it seems to be dominated by mausoleums and mosques. Getting lots of information about it off the internet in English is posing a bit of challenge, but it seems that my initial impression that I was looking at a single vast necropolis was mistaken. Pahlavan-Mahmud's is one of many mausoleums in Itchan Kala. However, I like my initial misapprehension: a fortified town, dominated by a sprawling necropolis and enough temples to keep the whole thing semi-contained. It sounds like the makings of a great location in Aryanastan: The Empire of the Immortal Sun in my Ygg setting. A Google image search or a search in Flickr for some of the key words in this post, and you will see more reasons why I find the place inspiring.
Here are a few more views of Itchan Kala (other spellings out there include Ichan Qala).
Arun Narayan Sabnis' photograph of another city map. It's not downloadable, but it is hi-res and zoomable.