- keep the cultural historical boundaries ... screw the unitary!!! (i don't even know what that means! hehe)
- keep the poetic instruction ... it's not that riddled and actually pretty straightforward.
- i see no need for the burn mark either, there's enough beauty spots on the canvas already.
- on gameplay; i reakon either autodeploy on won of the two shire territories (this would need to be explained), or, if the xml allows, make it, before you deploy your free armies, that you are restricted, shire after shire, to autodeploy on either of the two clans within the corresponding shire.
- or, another option ... have one half of each shire start neutral, and at possibly +4 or ideally +5 ... this would mean it is very hard for a first turn grab (you wouldn't need it auto deploy on this principle i think.
... only problem here though, is that you would then be down to 18 starting territories ... but then, with a start of +3, and no need to attack your opponent straight up on account of territory bonus ... each could go off and get them selves a bonus. (which would give them only +4 from the first one ... not a game defining headstart.
(8 player games could only have 2 starting territories ... i.e. easy eliminations etc. hmmmm)
- third alternative for both the autodeploy and the neutral options ... give each shire another territory, i.e. the two clans and a third "unitary" territory (hahaha, but not that word - poss call it by shire name.), which starts neutral +5 and which you must hold in addition to the two clans ... the bonus could then be auto'd on here.
(i do like that the second option provided smaller starting territories and thus less terr. bonus ... meaning the features of the map would be more important)
anyway ... hope there's at least a little chunk of sustenance in here ... good luck.