View Full Version : Neldarym, Cauldron of the Ancients

Radu Vlad
07-25-2010, 02:28 PM
Hey everyone

Started this new thread with a clean bigsize map of the continent Neldarym, the 'old world' of a would-be fantasy planet... This map should be my focus for the next couple of weeks (if time/work permits), as i have some rather thorough plans on fleshing out this bit of the world.
Will upgrade the thread with a detailed topographical map, a natural view/satellite-like texturized map, and perhaps a political - settlements distribution map too.

For the people how've seen this old continent shaping out in the last 2 days, an explanation: I'm starting a new thread (this one), as the original one got botched through my clumsiness - mainly the interogative name of the thread. I think that might have mislead the peeps here on the forum. Hope i didn't break any rules by doing that.

Regards all and would love to get your feedback/crits/sugesstions.

07-25-2010, 04:07 PM
Something about the text looks odd to me, the letters are overly rough and there looks like a bright stroke. You can't use the same color stroke all over the map since you need to accommodate greens so maybe change the blend mode or lower opacity. That's my only nitpick, I like the rest as is.

07-26-2010, 02:12 AM
The "Glowy-ness" around the text looks out of place. Particularly the blend mode (or possibly opacity) on the sea-markers really is off at high-res (zoomed out it is okay). I suspect a change in font will help. Something less US Military Stencil and maybe something more "old school text". I'd recommend the fonts Dominican, Caslon Antique or any of the fonts similar to Copperplate Gothic Black. Depending on which look you are going for; Dominican/Caslon will give it an old typeface feel ("Age of Seafaring" sort of look) and the Copperplate Gothic Black sorts of fonts will lend themselves to "Official Documents of the 1800s".

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 04:39 AM
Ascension, thank you for the tip on text names. Removed the stroke, guess the outer glow is just enough for the purpose. Tried a few different fonts, but so far this on fits the best imo. If you can help me with some ideas here, i'd be grateful.

Did a few updates. Enlarged the canvas, so the continent doesn't feel that cramped on the edges. Converted some high mountains into volcanos (red top), shoud add some smoke rising from there i guess. Added capitol cities icons (2 types), and some major cities (should be city-states in fact), along with the main communication lines/roads. Will soon add some ruin icons, a huge ancient crater just off the middle a bit, and maritime lines too. Hope this will help the map come alive a bit...

Jugg, will try out the fonts you suggested, thanks a lot. The outline issue is solved, Ascension pointed out the same problem. I'm not hitting for replicating a certain map style (in fact i haven't got the basics yet on cartography history and such), i just want it to feel ancient-ish, while not prehistoric :) Just what would fit a high fantasy world, with a different timeline then ours. Will do some trials for sure.

07-26-2010, 09:10 AM
Looking quite nice. I like the various icons and the volcanoes look good. I would move the compass above the grid layer and the Steam Cauldron Sea still has a yellow outline.

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 10:27 AM
Hohum, thanks for your keen observations and constructive criticism :)
Looking at the map right now, i see there is still a lot of space to be used, so im thinking of adding more stuff (icons, peculiar natural formations drawings etc.) to make it more look polished and complete. Rgiht now, it looks to me like the main (printed/folded) map of an computer RPG (thinking Morrowind somehow, also Warcraft 3).

Beside correcting the stuff u guys noticed/suggested, ive added some new icons (the ruin icon, particulary, and some pyramids too), and also a big feature in the story, 'The Scar'. What looks like an impact crater right now, should be in fact the 'scar' from a previous cataclysmic event, involving the Old Races. I'd other multiply that crater across the map (suggesting multiple occurences of that event) or draw up different other stuff (like huge canyons, blacked out areas etc). The good part is that 3 of the nine races i was thinking to come up with are heavy magic users: an elf-like race, allied with the 'regular medieval' humans in the west side (humans of Anduin) - which of course are quite the magic users - nature oriented; a persian-like race centered on Quad'Bara (1001 nights flavour area), which combine a
high level of technology with magic (also psionics) and medicine; and a race of wild magic users, ancient and aloof, that focus on elemental magic (Valnyr area).

The Scar can then be the mark of an ancient conflict between the ancestors of those 3 races, or the result of reckless magic use of the primordial magic users on the planet, from which the modern races draw more or less knowledge. Either way, that schould explain the hatred those 3 races harbour for each other. Magic-heacy ruins should also involve a lot of 'search-for-the-forgotten-knowledge gameplay for those races, as they vie for supremacy in their respective fields.

Also tried to fit the central sea more into the surroundings; trid to give the shores some light/shadow to suggest some basin area.

Where i find myself in dire straits is the cold areas to the north and south. Areas around the northern capes (Icescrapper Mountains) and the islands down below (World's End) should be frigid area, with almost permanent snow/frozen surface, barely and forest etc. Im in need of suggestions - tuts for how to make that areas look appropriate; cold and icy. Tried some quick strokes, didnt work out :(

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 03:30 PM
Starting a bit smaller this time, but.. i think this will be the largest capitol city on the map
A very rough outline of the City of Serdarine. This is the main city of the faction Seranar.

A very short introduction. The Continent of Neldarym will feature 9 'playable' races (all humanoid), grouped in 3 more or loose alliances. This alliances are more of opportunities, and their cohesion is based more on common enemies then strong affinities between those races. In short, they are (only the bare hints):

The Blues:
Human 'empire' of Arnor - confederation of city states. Moslty classic medieval fantasy flavour, with a shiny paladin twist
Selens - elf-like race/civ, magic wielders with a strong affinity to nature and astral world
Trammers - Rough (think centaurs) race roaming the plains, tribal organisation

The Reds:
The Rudhars - Evolved barbarians, shamanistic/warlike race with a strong connection to their ancestors
The Valnyr - Ancient race of magic users, masters of the elements and other worldy planes
The Kun-Tai - Chinese/oriental civ/race, advanced agricultural and philosophical race

The Greens:
The Seranars - Pre-Renaissance level/style human race, strong maritime/navigation theme, tech-gadgets flavour. A bit decadent too.
The Assirs - Magic wielder race with psionic abilities and very advanced science - technology - medicine. Strong persian flavour (think 1001 nights)
The Akumai - Advanced race of the tribal inhabitants of the Great Jungle. Dark magic, hunter oriented civ. Very strong in the wild.

Of these, the City of Serdarine wil be the greatest city in the southern parts of the continent.
Lots of renaissance hints. Special points of interest so far:
- The Magic Bridge. This is a magically suspended bridge (of quite some hight) linking the mainland with the Island of the Magi (some 1-2 miles away from shore). This island is home to the Assirs ambasadors to Serdarin.
- The Palace. Set on an artificial isle in the middle of the river's course.
- The Hippodrome.
- The Promenade, featuring all kinds of magic and technological wonders.
- The Park.

The area contained in the map is mostly 'high-class' inhabited. The comons are outside the inner city wall, which is not represented here. Outside the commons there will be the Main Wall, the main defence system.
P.S. city planning is giving me a headache; not an easy job for sure...

Enough for now... Im not sure if anyone here is interested in such detail and related stories/developement. If its only about maps, pls let me know, so i wont dabble around by myself :)

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 04:00 PM
And the City of Arnuin, the Capital of the Arnor Humans. WIP, just outlining the walls and testing some quarters (above the stream). Below there will be the palace, the cathedral , the great Hippodrome etc)

07-26-2010, 04:03 PM
Excellent job on the main map so far; I love the colors. I'm liking your city maps too. Good layouts.

Im not sure if anyone here is interested in such detail and related stories/developement. If its only about maps, pls let me know, so i wont dabble around by myself :)
I am; by all means share your lore. :D

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 04:24 PM
Thanks a ton Diamond, really nice to know someone's intersted in this :)
I wanted to make this 'world\ (or part of it thereof) to try and keep my focus on something. I usualy start drawing things and then after a short while i quit; its either that the idea was a bit vague, and trying to draw it down didnt help making it more clear, or i lost interest in a short while. Because of that, i thought starting a world/land of some fantasy and, whenever i felt like fooling around, i could go back to that one, would be a good idea. So there it is. A general layout of the continent, then decided on the style (old paper background with some painted relief markers (mountains/hills) and some watercolour-like tints on the map. So far im pleased with it, but after making it 5000x5000 px size, i realised there's a lot of space in there, on 100% zoom, so i proceed to add cities, forts, ruins etc... Will continue to add content on it but...

At this point, i gotta sit down and think about it. The 9 race i wrote about have some scenery associated with them on my mind. I mean i can see some of the areas, some of the town, and now it gets rough. For the Navigator's city map (Serdarine) ive got some 'loading screens' in my mind :0, and i have to make the layou fit with those images; not very easy.

As far as lore is concerned, its in the process of beign made; nothing spectacular so far. Im not a writer (wrote nothing so far, xcept the paper at the Univeristy :D), and i not a RP player (be it D&D or anything else). Ive only played some mmorpgs. and read some books (mainly AD&D, loved the 2nd edition). If anyone has any idea on how to improve or expand the maps / locations / lore, i'd be more then happy. Its a WIP, and by the looks of it (the continent is roughly 9 mil square km (3000x300 km), there A LOT of container space :) Will take ages to complete it lol :D

Radu Vlad
07-26-2010, 05:41 PM
Just for fun: The Great City in 3ds max :D

03-09-2011, 02:04 AM
Could you please link to where you got those map icons for cities, ruins, etc. on the Neldarym world map? I recognize them from the Warcraft 3 loading pages, but I can't find them online anywhere. Can anyone help?

Radu Vlad
07-25-2011, 04:23 AM
The icons are hade made, in photoshop. No big deal, i'll upload the PSDs when i get back home (in the evening probably). The stuff that i copied was from WoW (not WC), and it was some mountains shapes, that i painted over a bit and mix-matched them; wasn't happy with results though, wanna improve on that, but... aint got time, yet.