In my first deep dive on THE MAP, I'd like to start first with assisting everyone's friend, Bazgrim, the first in all things Pantheon and Fantheon. His watch party spent a great deal of time fawning over the map, as he should have. My angst over the release of this map shouldn't be everyone's cross to bear. Bazgrim rightly pointed out that there was no POI listed forthe Silent Sanctum, a location that was quite literally front and center in the only conceptual map we had for years. What's a Silent Sanctum?
During the great war between gods and the citizens of Terminus, the Deicide War, three massive structures were built over a 10 year time that would house the Sacred Six races from the onslaught of the fallen Ginto God, Ittero, now going by his new handle, the Ravaging Lord. One would house the Archai and Dwarves, one for he Myr and Ogres, and lastly for Elves and Men. They ended up being crucial in the wars on Reignfall and Whitethaw, but not quite as prominent in Kingsreach. However, to the story of the world, there are no greater famed structures than these. They are, and must be, central to the world of Terminus as we explore it.
Obviously, the revealing of the location of the Silent Sanctum in Alpha has been covered up most likely for effect, a grand revealing. Unfortunately, due to the nature of a topographical map, certain clues would lead us in the direction of finding out perhaps more than we should at such an early date as this. Look below.
The early map showed the Silent Sanctum up through a small mountain pass and front and center inside the fingers of a mountain base. The Roan Mountains towering behind and to the sides. To the casual observer, one could postulate that the Roans zone was a natural leap from the basin where the Silent Sanctum was. Let me give you a few reasons why I don't think that is the case.
First, the lore states that the Silent Sanctum was at the base of Roan Mountains. Now, that can mean at the bottom of one of the mountains, but if it were in the Roans zone, this would put it literally in the middle of the mountain range.
Second, it must be a location that make it easy for Men and Elves to populate. A centralized location would be optimal. If there is a connecting tunnel to the Roans from Halnir Cave, this would mean the Humans would need to traverse Halnir Cave to get to the Silent Sanctum, or travel all the way through Faerthale and up the pass to get to their sanctuary.
Third, the location of the Silent Sanctum also must be in sight of the old city of Havensong. If Havensong was built in the plains, which I believe it was, this would put a Silent Sanctum in the Roans out of eyeshot so they humans could not see their city being carried off stone by stone. Which brings us to...
Fourth, Ossari, one of the pantheon of Humans, after killing the king of men, Amensol, rubbed his nose in the defeat and abandoning of Havensong by having his Revenant forces remove every stone from the city and throwing it into the sea as the citizens watched on from their Sanctum. This is only plausible if the Sanctum is in the Silent Plains.
After combing through the likely places where I had originally thought to look for the Sanctum, I came across a very good possibility. See below.
This location meets many different criteria. It is a quick jaunt for humans depending on where in the Silent Plains Havensong originally was, and it is close to Faerthale. Also, it is in the base of the Roans. Also, it is much easier to cart city remnants to the sea from here, even using barges to make light work of it. Now, the reason this place specifically is due to the terrain around it. The light source for THE MAP is almost due north spot, so anything light is north facing, south gets less as the terrain faces more southerly. West is very dark while the East gets a little more sunlight. A totally dark surface is close to sheer dropoff. Also, terrain must be cut away to make room for structures, especially if they are built into the side of terrain. We need to find contours that are symmetrical and straight edged if assets are squeezed into the holes. See below.
The brown lines are lines on the map that jut up. You can see more to the east of the lake that I didn't mark for example. The brown lines leading north from the lake are the boundaries of a flat surface that seem to lead straight to the base of the mountains. Once at the mountains, very clear straight lines emerge in patterns unlike the blocky shapes around it, especially in light of the fact that all the terrain around it seems to have data. There are many areas of this map that seem to have zero contours other than blocked mountains. The area around this part is all contoured, yet still has the stark lines.
The very flat platform above what seems to be a logical entryway, is enormous and very rectangular. It appears to be flat by the mid-level brightness to the shape. It is not as bright as other areas obviously facing the north. At its back, the rectangular shape extends upward even being carved out of the mountain contour to its sides, alluding to a large tower built into the mountain between the rugged mountain faces to the left and right. Something I notices later is that there may be still even morestructure to the left and right at thevery top of the outline where there appears to be sheer faces in rectangular form matching each other in size.
The scale of this feature when compared to the terrain around it would be monstrous. this is exactly what I would expect from a high fantasy game which features pivotal moments in time current to the overall plot of the game itself. I would expect he Sanctums three to be epic in size and majesty. From peering over the cliffs at the lake, south you could just make out the sea in the distance and turning around, the vastness of the Roan Mountains and the immense structure built into its side. VR talks often about moments that are created by the terrain itself that give you a sense of wonder. Being able to see the Sanctum from almost anywhere in Silent Plains but having that view from the lake would be exactly what I would expect from a world builder.
Nobody knows for sure, except for the devs, but I'm staking a bit of my reputation on these articles as I delve into the map. I feel fairly confident about this call. And it is for this reason that the map release bothers me. I don't want to be able to tell where the roads are, where the POIs are, to not be able to get lost in the vastness of the world. I think THE MAP stole a few sparkles from the game for me. I'm still gonna explore the crap out of it, though...