Saturday, January 9, 2016

Unnamed Mapping Project Continues

As I was working on the map from my last post, I starting thinking about the people that live there. And the first thing that sprung to mind is that this is an isolated area. The more I thought on it, the more I liked that idea. I also love the inland-ish sea. But after looking at the map I made, I noticed that the people aren't that isolated. In fact,t here's this open piece of continent to west that could lead to anything. So what did I do? I started over.

This time, I made sure the entire western coast is shown, and then continued with a similar idea. I did a better job scaling the mountains, this time, too, and am currently in mortal combat with that jagged little compass rose. I've also made a number of map symbols for placement, once I get a better idea of what is going on this map. And even better, I think I've figured out how I will blend the symbols and labels onto the map and keep things legible. Of course, time will tell if that actually pans out.

So enough rambling. Here's a map! Make sure you zoom in to see it at full detail.

What sort of land is this? What mysteries and wonders dot the region?


  1. Any idea of scale?

    That north-western basin that's seven-eighths surrounded by mountains is defensible, well watered and well drained, if a bit steep. If there are raiders, that'll be where a civilisation holds them off. In turn, the mouth of that river will be a major trading port.

    Regular ferry service across the mouth of the inland sea, since going round will take vastly longer.

    The swamp at the northern tip of the inland sea is an interruption to otherwise large plains. City surrounded by horse nomads?

  2. Scale is roughly 1 pixel = 1 mile. The image is 3,000 px x 3,000 px. I may alter that as I toy with just what that implies, though. It's a rough guideline for myself to say, "This is a continent-size thing".

    One over-riding thing I'm going for is a "points of light" feel, to steal a term from D&D 4e. To that end, I'm eyeballing a Bronze Age social setup with either chiefdoms or early city-states dotting the region. I may actually avoid city-states all together and keep local populations generally smaller so there's a stronger feel of division between civilization and expanses of wilderness. People tend to cluster up as much as possible for mutual protection, and the prospect of marching whatever warriors you have across inhospitable and dangerous lands where they'll probably get eaten by grues will likely discourage hegemonies from forming. Interestingly, the likely resulting shared culture and identification with an area might give rise to localized city-states. I'm iffy on that part, still.

    That north-west basin is going to be home to a temple-city, and I figure they use terraced farming and likely grow a lot of rice and other water-loving crops. The western coast will have periodic port towns and maybe another city.

    Any regularity in ferry service would go against a "points of light" feel, but that crossing is likely known at the peril of a ship's crew when such a journey is required. The sea will be a dark and dangerous beast that likes to swallow the unwary and unlucky. This gives sailors a choice: risk the wrath of the ocean or take a long time visiting dangerous and alien ports.

    I had originally figured this continent was largely wooded, but you've made me take another look at that! Judging by likely weather patterns, the central plains are probably grasslands with a relatively narrow stretch of forest in the south, nearer the sea. The swampy lowlands are likely more of a waterlogged forest-type swamp rather than a river-of-grass swamp. And the swamp is definitely getting a New Orleans-type city.

    This response got pretty long. Maybe I should write out my current thoughts on this project and post them up here.