In the 12th Century Ghenghiz Khan unleashed a terrifying new adventure upon the unsuspecting world. It was a new kind of a map. Cartography was in its infancy in those days. Ancients were doing geographic surveys, that showed accurate positions of mountains and rivers, Babylonians were doing accurate urban cartography showing the layout of their cities.
All those years later, 12th Century Teutonic Knights were doing real life Hex Crawls. They tried to navigate impenetrable forests by using written narratives describing the topography often 50 years out of date. Maps of the Teutonic Order were as follows: "Follow East for half a day, until you find a grove with three giant Oak Trees. You will find a stream one hundred paces from the Giant Oak Trees. Follow the brook downstream, until you come across the ruins of a woodcutter's cottage. Follow the overgrown path until you reach the clearing that lays beyond the stand of pine trees."
Of course, the Pine trees could have burned down, the stream dried out, another stream might have sprung in the wake of the Spring Thaw, etc, etc, etc, and the brave knights spent weks and months meandering across the wilderness, looking for pagans they could hunt for sport.
But back to the Great Ghenghiz Khan (real name Temujin). Hitler weanted to be a painter, and all Temujin wanted, was to become a civil servant in China. Both were thwarted, one, by lack of talent and acceptance, the other, by machinations of his extended family on the range, and Temujin was thrown in jail after failing the civil service exam (which he really passed, but the corrupt Cinese officials were bought off by his back stabbing relatives), and so, Temujin eventually escaped from Chinese captivity, succeeded beyond anybody's wildest expectations through amazing innovation (one of the most modern thinkers of history), let it go to his head, and the rest,as they say, is history.
One of his great innovations was that he invented what we used to call Rand Mc Nally road maps in the days before GPS. Not to scale, Mongols used schematics of Town A connects to Town B, Town B connects to Towns C and D, C connects to town F, E, and J (a hub), while D leands to village K, town L etc. They were more interested in how long it took from Point A to Point B, rather than in topography or geography.
And so, during German blitzkrieg in WW2, columns of German tank units, 300-400 men each drove east about 4 to 6 miles apart and decimated any, that would oppose them. 600 years previously, columns of Mongols mounted on ponies, about 200 men each advanced into the country they were invading, about 2 to 4 miles apart...
Mongols of the Golden Horde of the Ghenghiz Khan did not use Lord of the Rings style of the fantasy maps, and neither will we.
TO BE CONTINUED