There is a logistics question about travel in a multidimensional continuum where there are fixed points but huge distances and variances. My limited dimensional abilities are challenged with just 3 dimensions and I tend to use that model – just as a 2D map has limitations in a 3 D world and renders air and space movement difficult.
Continuums are technically near infinite collections of universes that transpire more than 3 dimensions, the range is legion.
That said, both Tim (in Aurelius) and I use a 3D globe as the best model for us to understand and explain travel. The guideposts and points of interest have been travelled along certain paths (ie the now destroyed Black Road that went down the Y axis from Chaos to Amber), the Earth Zone X Axis that runs from Brandenberg to Parys.
The amount of known, settled shadow and rocks in Open Shadow is less than .00000000000001% of what is out there. Most prudent long term thinking Amber/Chaos blooded choose to settle on Rocks because an Advanced Pattern User can wipe out their shadow when push comes to shove.
In the earth zone on the wiki, there is a large amount of information on the ‘distances’ and nature of those regions. In time, I would like to work on the relative Y and Z axes.
The Chakra Worlds (including Antilla)
Due to the line between Amber and Chaos shifting with the Earth Zone being under each others or both sphere of influence in the last 100,000 years, Ygg was the pre-Patternfall treaty boundary.
After Patternfall, with Brandenberg and Parys forming another axis and a later one happening with Asgard and Triskelion, Amber and Chaos removed their lines of control, setting the precedent that their active control is only in the Golden Circle and Black Zone respectively. This means their sovereignty is defined by a line in the shadows but rather by the pre-eminent control of shadow by their Great Power: the Golden Circle is where the Pattern beats other powers in Shadow for example.
While some Great Powers, notably Brandenberg, have sovereign colonies outside of the Circle of Life (their Golden Circle) and Corwin, before giving it up, had claim to much S hadow territory beyond the Silver Rose Circle most powers tend to stay in their own backyard.
There was an attempt by Prince Nestor Channicut to restrict the zone around Asgard though the creation of Outgard, a serpent like ring that constricted Asgard’s circle but Creator Magnus took steps to have it forcibly removed to the regions around Nod with a quiet assent from Nestor’s father Grand Duke Jericho Channicut.
With some of the turmoil in Parys following the expulsion of Outer Parys, there seems to have been less damage to the Pattern made by Corwin than expected. It is not fully known about the regrowth rate of shadows of the fate of the parts of the huge Outer Parys as it was cast into the Abyss, but Jurt and his Firenado are vacuuming up loose pebbles. There are rumours the Lucius with help from Corwin and Glen, may have stabilized the bulk of Outer Parys which was cast into the Abyss. Some say much of Lucius’ situation is dedicated to preserving this reality.
Distances between Realities, Shadows, Rocks and Great Powers
This is arbitrary as one cannot attribute miles or light years in a linear clear manner. Shadow routes vary and even the Black Road, to Benedict’s disapproval, did not go in a pure straight axial line.
Matthew’s Railway, which runs along the Parys-Brandenberg Axis in the Earth Zone, bypasses several Chakra Worlds where his trains are not welcome.
There are many reasons, not withstanding practicality, terrain, physical conditions, damage on a local, planetary or even shadow-wide scale. No one consciously nor subconsciously will Hellride or shadow walk or Gate into a wall of basalt or the interior of Mount Doom without knowing that they are doing it.
Corwin’s Invasion in Nine Princes of Amber
Naturally Corwin and Bleys did not share the particulars and logistics of their invasions of Amber. Corwin’s small contingent of tactical gunmen used different techniques but even then details were scarce. Part of these reason was that they are boring to a saga, along with the fact that they aren’t giving out state secrets.
I rejected early on that pink gunpowder was jeweler’s rouge for the simple reason that this secret was too critical and I cannot see even a cavalier Corwin from putting it down in his memoirs but giving something similar to it as a simple solution. I would imagine that anyone who had known the secrets in Ancient Earth are dead from the manufacturing process or the ingredients were hand delivered by Corwin, Oberon or Marcus. In Solstice mythos, it is even unclear if Corwin IC knows that secret.
Corwin did not identify the location of his recruitment world(s), and nor did Bleys outside of the now lost Fortress of Avernus.
The time and food required for the march of a non-modern army, could have been aided by modern or post modern conveyances in those areas where the tech permitted it. However it is easy to presume that each lower tech army slugged through the worlds as best they could with a reasonable attrition rate for the conditions. A good example of a host travelling long distances is the march of Xerxes army during the Persian attack on the Greek City States. While it is uncertain the full accurate number of the Persian host as Herodotus may have exaggerated the numbers. The logistics involved is huge for crossing from marshalling in Asia Minor, over a ship bridge to the Thrace and down into Greece.
Now let’s extend this to a direct (not necessarily linear) march through known travelways through many shadows (and worse if unknown lands need Pattern scouting) . Now add to this the need of a large host of troops marching.
Normally a Roman Legion would march 5 hours for 20-22 miles as normal carrying a kit and light armour. It could cover 25-30 miles by road a day, usually. Forced marches were rougher and not for normal situations. Troops need to eat, sleep, perform activities of daily living, maintain discipline and military readiness and make camps or have camps prepared for them. Food and supplies and replacement equipment need to also move to remain in supply in different convoys and if not guarded well, could be cut off.
Forward operating bases, if able to remain in supply, are always handy
Bleys needed to have a supply line in Solstice until his army disintegrated. I could see it tracing through Gaius’ actions in the north and allied actions in the south from two directions as Arden could not be a supply line even if Bleys was able to march through it. I see Bleys’ march through hostile territory similar the Xenophon and the retreat of the Ten Thousand out of Persia. I could also see Bleys having a large baggage train, but it was finite and the drain probably contributed to the military disaster of reaching Kolvir with a handful of people. The naval route and possible supply from Rebma (if they had looked like they could win) was also cut off by the destruction of Corwin’s fleet.
Marching through Shadow will take days to months depending on the ‘distance’. Distance is finite and dependent upon route. Amber, for this reason, overwhelmingly preferred naval power and trade routes in a Mahan style power model. It is faster and more reliable to sail into Shadow than it is to have a long march through unoccupied Shadow. Gérard is the leading strong advocate for this model, although it is contested by Benedict who favours land-based tactics and had demanded a road through Arden.
Benedict, and later Grand Duke Tmer Jesby, both supported land roads such as the Great Black Road from Firegate to Kolvir itself. This required in both models, Roman style supply camps and relay stations and maintenance and roughly a mile wide occupation of all the land around the road at minimum with tree clearing for at least a bow’s shot on each side. After the Black Road War, Julian spent more resources on obliterating the Black Road in Arden than rebuilding Arden and Amber from the civil war and invasion, which Benedict condemned.
Some common locations
Old Texorami (now renamed Brand’s Texorami)
The Concordia Route – Concordia and Port Royale
Lambeth and Tiereth
These are located around the “Tropic of Cancer” (plane) up towards Amber. Kashfa just outside the Golden Circle would be located at the “Arctic Circle”).
For comparison, the Helgram Zócalo, in the Chaos Black Zone, would be located in the “Antarctic Circle” but not the surface, as that would be the boundary of the Abyss on the spherical surface (where the Earth’s crust is by comparison)