This is my new, imaginary sub-continent of Dahlia and Chindrastan. I have created it for forthcoming wargaming campaigns, but it also forms a critical part of my next book for Pen & Sword, because I have been describing in words and pictures precisely how I have created it.
But now the time has come for you, my friends, to play a part.
You will see on the map that there are little black squares. These are cities. And for every one of those, more detailed, ‘zoomed-in’ versions of the map will show that there are dozens of smaller towns and villages. Each of the squares is 100 miles across!
In due course, every single one of these places will require a name. Initially, they will be needed as opposing forces explore the map, probably making landings on the coast and exploring up the major rivers, trading and fighting with the indigenous population living along the banks, but gradually heading further into the interior.
So, based on a conversation I had with a friend a while ago, I am ‘crowdsourcing’ ideas for place names. You can submit as many as you like, but they need to sound as though they originated in the sub-continent, which of course is vaguely reminiscent of India/Pakistan/Afghanistan/Bangladesh, but also perhaps a little Indonesian in that island range up in the north-east.
The names need to be fictitious, though they could of course be based on Hindi, Urdu or other ‘real world’ languages. They could be funny or serious, or even a bit naughty, but not downright filthy as that might offend any readers who actually speak those languages!
For your guidance, the equator is at the bottom of the map and you’ll see another line near the vertical centre indicating “The Tropic of the Goat”. Climate-wise, therefore, the southern parts will likely be very hot and wet, becoming hot and dry as you head north, and the very northern edge is akin to the Himalayas.
So, get your thinking hats on and comment below with your suggestions. Any that are used will earn you a mention in the book! (I hope to have quite a long list of names in the acknowledgements.) You can be specific about which part of the map you think your suggestions suit, or just crank out some random silly place names – I really don’t mind!
Join in the fun!
P.S. Before anyone else sends me stuff written in non-Arabic scripts, please ensure that the names are written Anglicised, as they sound – I don’t want to have to deal with all sorts of unusual fonts on my maps and names that nobody can read!
P.P.S. The names can be based on foods, drinks, brand names, Bollywood, anything you like… This is entirely fictitious!
P.P.P.S. Please don’t give me advice about how to create place names. I’ve been doing that for decades! I’m asking you to participate by contributing a few names of your own as a fun way for you to be part of the project. If you can’t be bothered, that’s fine, move along!
Update 6th September 2017: the suggestions box for place names is now closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed and, as promised, if your place names are featured on the final map, your name will be recorded in the book.