Old World Maps

Old World Style Maps

Map of CothelIt took a bit of time, but I finished my first old world style map! It shows far more detail of Cothel than my original maps and I actually had a lot of fun making it (aside from all the bloody trees). Everything is hand-drawn, from the trees to the border lines, to the compass rose. My aim was to generate something that looked authentic and old. In the process, I found quite a few maps on-line to use as references. My favorite map site is Old Maps Online. It lets you browse through maps that correspond to an area on a current world map.

In the process of creating this map (which is 20″x16″ in size) I really learned a lot. I wanted to have the underlying parchment appearance come through to overlays or what I intend to be ink washes. I scrapped more than one layer and went back to rework entire effects several times. But I think I have the process down now and hope to be able to do the next map in perhaps half the time this one took.

Another thing I learned is that old maps really did have a lot of bright colors in them. Initially, I felt reluctant to use anything too bright (and I did mute quite my map a bit to give it a faded and used effect). However, many of the reference maps I examined actually had some neonish coloring to them.

I have prints on order and will have them available with boards and bags for Planet Comicon at the end of the month. I also have mailing tubes on order and will make the map available for order on-line as well.

Map of the Sea of TetIn addition to the old world style map of Cothel, I have produced a 20″x16″ version of my large world map. I formatted it down to size and ordered prints that I will sell at Comicon and on-line. This one should be easier to read than my 8.5″x11″ copies.

What’s Next?

Well, now that I am done with crunch time for Planet Comicon, I will get back to writing more. The time I spent on the map did eat into my writing time a little too much. The next map should hopefully take less seat time, but I will stretch out the actual drawing time to about the same length so I am not single focused on the task.

I also need to get back to purging things for my #Minimalism2017 challenge. I put a lot of the “going through things” on hold to draw the map. Now I can get back into my closet and deal with a few boxes of items.

And lastly for this post, find some time to do some hiking. The weather is getting nice and I’m itching to do some camping and put in some miles on the trails. Yesterday my FitBit told me I had traveled a lifetime of 2,400 miles while carrying it. The gave me the Monarch Migration badge, which made me think about how many miles I have actually walked in my lifetime before having the FitBit. A big factor as a kid was that I had a paper route. So roughly 4 miles a day, 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 4 years or so comes out as just under 5k miles. My feet have done a lot of walking and that doesn’t include the several miles a day walking to and from school for a couple of years.

Maps – I love them

I have always loved maps. Simple maps, complex maps, old maps, maps of all types. To me, they are windows into the world. They add dimension and life. They are the picture that is worth the thousand words.

I remember as a kid, I would take prices of paper, crinkle them up, and then soak the paper in tea to give it an aged look. I’d draw paths and trails, all leading to buried treasure. I was certain one day I could find a brilliant map leading to a sunken galleon and recover chests of gold. (Perhaps I watch Goonies one too many times.)

Map of IstaI have been working on the map for my world for years. I loved the idea of exploring the lands in my mind and discovering things (or even planting buried treasure) in different locations. But even more importantly, it helps me to understand the environment where my characters are living.

Sometimes accidental landmasses or coastlines turn into real gems, leaving a country with a defining characteristic. Knowing the land helps to define the people of a country and that gives me a better mental image of what my characters have to deal with.

As a teaser for Book 5 (Father’s Legacy), I’ve included one of the maps that will be included with the book.

Map of the countries around the Sea of Tet

This is a large map (a couple of MB for the full image if you follow the link), but I know some people are very interested in maps and other details about fantasy worlds.  I have had the map printed on poster board and will have the 2’x3′ image with me at Planet Comicon coming up this March 14th-16th. (I hope to see some of you there, it will be a perfect change to get the new Daughter’s Revenge signed!)

Sea of Tet, as of 25 Feb 2014The Heirs of Cothel Series takes place across a number of countries on the western side of Tet and later books in the series will have the characters traveling north.

There are a number of significant features in this part of the world.  Several of these aspects may appear in the Heirs of Cothel Series as well as other stories I intend to write in this setting.

A couple of items to note:

  • The mountain range that is referred to as the Rim Mountains has isolated this section of the world from other parts of it.  Around the Sea of Tet, humans have ruled and lived for hundreds of years, having driven the elves out of what had been their homeland into the Rim Mountains (which serve to further isolate the humans around Tet).
  • Many of the countries around Tet are in a temperate climate zone.  The further north one goes, the more tundra and arctic the landscape.  Along parts of the norther border of the landmass, sea ice does not always melt each year.
  • The Lost Kingdoms are what is left after a series of countries collapsed from internal and external strife.  Mostly the eastern side of the map is ruled by warlords and people declaring themselves “prince”.  Quite a bit of pirate activity comes out of the islands in that area.