View Full Version : The Union of Holy Kingdoms

01-05-2011, 06:29 PM
This is a fantasy version of the Holy Roman Empire - the UHK is more centralized, but still essentially a collection of independent kingdoms and assorted other states. To the north you've got the Ferrenland Republic, which is a Dutch analog, and north of that is Knurland, a barbarous forest wilderness inhabited by pseudo-Norse lycanthrope tribes. South of the UHK are the Nine Kingdoms, a coalition of 'Swiss' Dwarven nations, and south of them is the Etrenian Peninsula, filled with Italian-esque nations.

My New Year's Resolution was to actually finish a story idea I start, and this is the setting for the one I've settled on, so as I get to writing on it, I'll most likely do further maps for the setting, regional maps, city maps, etc.

I developed my own simple technique for creating coats-of-arms; I did a tutorial for it, which can be found here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?13021-Creating-Coats-of-Arms-in-Photoshop&p=138619#post138619). The WIP thread for the map itself is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12948-The-Union-of-Holy-Kingdoms). Fonts used on the map are ariapenci for the nation names, and good old Times New Roman for the city and river names.

I also included a picture I did of Anka Halfblood, one of the main characters featuring in my story/book-in-progress, created using Jeff Hebert's awesome HeroMachine (http://www.heromachine.com/heromachine-3-lab/).

01-05-2011, 08:25 PM
Thanks a lot...looks like we had similar thoughts on finishing projects haha...

Your help with those shields is much appreciated!

01-05-2011, 08:30 PM
No problem; glad to help.

01-05-2011, 09:47 PM
Looks great! Really like the shields. I love geo political maps.

01-05-2011, 11:57 PM
Very nice layout Diamond. I like your custom heraldic shields allot as well. If and when I ever get around to doing another map I'll definitely check into your tutorial. Also, nice job on that Anka piece! Looking forward to reading the book for your world. I'd rep you for another job well done but it looks like I've got to spread around the love a bit first.


01-06-2011, 01:08 AM
Wonderful map, Diamond! A pity I can't rep you yet.

01-06-2011, 03:34 AM
very nice work indeed
and thank for the Swiss dwarves !!!
we aren't so stubborn and small sized, lol

01-06-2011, 06:37 AM
and thank for the Swiss dwarves !!!

Yeah, I felt offended.... :P ;)

Nice map, as always (I hope you do the physical map with the "real" mountains some day). It seems i can't rep you, have to spread it around a bit...

01-06-2011, 09:48 AM
Beautiful work, Diamond! My only (very small) crit is that the mountains don't seem to fit well with the style, but that's just me. Have some rep! (if it will let me).

01-06-2011, 12:12 PM
I can't believe nobody likes my fuzzy caterpillar mountains... :(

Well, I'm working on an southern extension to this map now, so I'll try out some different mountain styles.

01-06-2011, 12:21 PM
Maybe if you had the hatchures thinner and much closer together? Worth a try?

01-06-2011, 03:02 PM
I think the caterpillar mountains work OK -- it's that little bit of topographic data on what's a mostly political map. No doubt helps explain, in-story, why certain borders aren't contended, or are.

Really, in addition to the overall nice effect, what tickles me most is the whole-border scale bar. I'm gonna use that trick!

01-06-2011, 03:50 PM
Fantastic map, Diamond! That is excatly the map I want to make for a long time, but didn't have the time for (or is not on top of my priority list). The font fits very well and I am glad you don't misused real coat of arms for this map (like the one of Northrine-Westphalia in your last ;)).
I am also with Ravells on the mountains: Perhaps it will make a difference to turn each triangle 180?

01-06-2011, 04:04 PM
I feel guilty about the fuzzy caterpillars - someone had asked once how to replicate an old map so I made the antique tutorial...this included the mountain style. I've always hated it but since it was there I did it that way to keep it authentic. So I say, "go on wid ya bad self" and keep 'em how ya want 'em. I've never seen another style that really fits those antique maps better without drawing too much attention to themselves. BTW, nice job, man. :)

01-06-2011, 08:17 PM
@Katto: I will sin no more, and create my own coats-of-arms from now on. :D

@Ascension: I'm experimenting with another style for the 'continuation' of this map; I'll post it in my UHK thread when I've got enough done to make it worthwhile to critique.

01-08-2011, 05:25 AM
I put together a simple map showing the 'western' part of this world. Stuff on here is subject to change, but this is a basic layout.

01-08-2011, 06:44 AM
Cool, i like it a lot. We seem to have the same taste in landmass-shapes ^^ Look forward to the development of this.

01-08-2011, 12:14 PM
Looks like western Europe and northern Africa with a larger Mediterranean. If that's intended then, nice, otherwise you might want to fiddle with it a bit more.

01-08-2011, 03:56 PM
Yep, it's intended. I subscribe to the Guy Gavriel Kay and Glen Cook method of fantasy world-building: it's much easier to start with Earth and re-envision it as another planet. If the map is similar and the cultures are similar, then the readers/viewers already have some preconceived notion of what the different areas might be like.

01-08-2011, 04:02 PM
I hear you Diamond! That's also my preferred method. Maybe its because I'm lazy ;) but I think it also makes for much more realistic and familiar worlds.

01-11-2011, 11:28 AM
It's nice (though the mountains... :D). The only fantasy setting that I can recall off-hand with specifically a setting centered on a fantastic Holy Roman Empire was... by an author called Kate Elliott, so, fairly original (compared to all those Britains out there, oy vey, those Britains!). Needs more Finnic and Uralic tribes, though. Or are those the Witch Tribes?


The Lyrish Kingdom? *groan* xD

01-11-2011, 04:10 PM
Yeah, the anti-fuzzy-caterpillar crowd has made me scrap that mountain style for the next segment of this world. :D Those tribes in Knurland are pseudo-Norse/Finnish; the Witch Tribes are an offshoot who are into necromancy and killing puppies and all kinds of bad stuff. And Lyrish Kingdoms... like I said, that semi-world map has a lot of placeholder stuff on it, so much of it will change later on.

01-12-2011, 06:25 PM
Hey, Diamond, how about this mountain style? (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/undergraduate/modules/hi267/topics/princesrepublics/italy_1494.jpg) It's got caterpillars, but the actual Alps look more like real shaded relief. A pretty effect, but to be fair it's getting into the "interferes with political data" level.

01-12-2011, 06:31 PM
Good example, that style would probably look awesome .... but it looks really hard to actually pull off!

01-13-2011, 01:35 PM
Yeah, that's a style I'd like to try at some point. Like when I have six hundred free hours. :D Seriously, it does look cool though.