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Topic: Fantasy World Map : Pic HEAVY!  (Read 3701 times)
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« on: December 05, 2012 04:56:38 PM »

So I've been slowly building up a world to write a novel around. Loosely based off of tarot cards (the cultures of the people are based off of the cups, disks, swords and rods of the minor arcana, with specific people representing the major arcana), I've formed each realm (and element) in to a fraction of a continent. The world of Arcana is vast, and incredibly diverse. It's the perfect jumping off point for me to write the novel.

I've been mulling over the map for quite a few months, and finally managed to put the work in to complete it this past week. To make it, I studied maps from my favourite fantasy books (bonus points if any of you can pick out some of my influences. There's a few common ones, and a few obscure ones too!) and extrapolated the best parts from each.

I wanted the map to have an 'old world' kind of look, by using art pastels and a pen and ink (holy crow, does THAT ever take some getting used to!). There's still a few details I plan to add (maybe) but I want to take some time to get to know it as it is, in case I go overboard and make it far too crowded and confusing. I think there's a nice balance right now, so I'd best let it simmer for a while. (don't mind the watermarks. I get antsy when posting my art online without them. Hopefully they're not too invasive. )

Here it is, folks! All nice and rolled up like a true map (I keep it safely tucked away when not in use. So far it's avoided the cataclysmic forces of destruction I tend to wreak on my own art projects. Hopefully it stays that way.)

A full-on view of the whole world. Man, was this picture ever hard to take. The map itself measures about 3 feet across, used from an old roll of industrial craft paper my grandpa gave me, so I had to work to get the shot right, and not end up with a blurry mess. You can see the pastel colour - I took the chalk and rubbed it with q-tips until it blended properly in to the paper. A word of warning, if you use craft paper for anything, beware, as this stuff makes your erasers really, really weird...

There's also the north of the map, which I don't have a picture of (the purple) Sad. Not much to see, just two cities and some mountains. It's pretty sparse (with good reason - it's chilly up there).

I experimented a bit with the title - to the point where I'm quite happy with it. My boyfriend joked that by the time I'm done with this, I'll be like an old withered bard, speaking stories and songs and history of old to these mysterious people of the land I created. I thought that was quite magical, so I added some of that on the bottom.

You can also see the two large islands - where a lush jungle climate and odd, raw-meat eating natives live. They have managed to build a great bridge to connect their two islands - an engineering marvel unmatched by even the great cities of the Empire.

(beginning to feel like a tour guide) Here you can see the details of the upper coast of the land. Not many people settle on this part of the country, as the weather can get harsh, and the people who live here are even harsher.

A detail of the Great Forests. There's three of them in the world, all smack dab in the centre of the continent. People live happily inside of them, but very few people outside of the forest venture in to it and come back out (dun dun duuuuun). City folk fear the forests, threatening their misbehaving children with a fate they themselves would be terrified of.

The centre of the continent - this is where the three capitol cities lie, all a part of the Royal United Empire. Golith, where the monarchy sits, is the relocated ancient city of Seelith, which now lies in ruins to the east of it. Toralle is a trading port, and a city full of theives and scoundrels. Lochmorea (you can't quite see the full name) lies on the coast, and trades frequently with the two islands to the south of it.

Whoo. This is a bit of a funky shot, but it's the best one I could get of the northeast of the continent. The wildlands are...well, wild, and full of a barbaric people that the rest of Arcana knows very, very little about. Nobody goes here. And Deepdown lake...just stay away from there. It's huge, it's deep, and it's terrifying.

And finally a shot of the eastern half of the continent. You can see the large chain of mountains that seperates the continent from the Wildlands - a place few know anything about, as well as the Burninglands, a place of fire and deadly smoke. There's also the large desert that encompasses a large portion of the eastern continent, and look! A lovely compass rose! Smiley

So there you have it. The world of Arcana. Let me know what you think, I'm pretty happy to share it, and pretty darn proud of it, too! Smiley

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012 06:53:54 PM »

How awesome is this?! I like how you already have most of the backstories of all the places. Did you think of the backstories/people for the locations as you drew them or did you already have an idea in mind? This thing is gorgeous! I think you should display it, not keep it hidden away! (But understandably, I wouldn't want anything to happen to it if I put that much time into something.) Let us know when you get that novel written!

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012 07:20:55 PM »

Fwee! Thanks so muchh, Whistlefish!

I should certainly plan on displaying it! But it also feels sort of neat and cartographer-y to pull it out and unveil it on my kitchen floor. Tongue I have to find a nice poster display to put it under.

It was sort of half and half. I went in to it knowing very little (save for the cultures of each group of people, and a basic understanding of the plot). It was pretty darn intimidating at first - kind of just picking spots and deciding where and what each spot was (it was kind of fun to use my basic knowledge of geography, too. Pretend that one University course did more for me than it did. ;P)

Usually when I work through things like the map, more details come as I draw - it's pure magic, really. Work spurs on inspiration, which spurs on more work. Tongue The endless life of an artist, no?


« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012 09:12:23 PM »

Beautifully said!

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012 10:36:11 PM »

Beautiful! A mirrored, slightly altered view of North America, right? That's subtle enough, but it's nice that you can borrow some of the geological facts already. Some fantasy maps are just plain unrealistic. I really, really love what you have done with this thing, this is the sort of thing I would hang up on my wall!

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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012 04:20:10 AM »

This is really beautiful, thanks so much for sharing it.  Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012 05:01:19 AM »

it's awesome Mlissa. Really awesome.

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