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Torq
04-04-2008, 04:09 PM
Hi all. This is just the beginning. I managed to get a start today. Its been amazing how much what has gone on between people on this forum is already influencing the way I'm thinking about the map.

Torq

Clercon
04-04-2008, 06:17 PM
Really nice start on your map. May i ask what program you're using to create it?

Torq
04-04-2008, 06:42 PM
Sure, it done mostly in Gimp so far. The river paths are done in Inkscape and I will use Inkscape for the labelling when the time comes.

Torq

Airith
04-04-2008, 06:50 PM
I'm so jealous of your mapping skills... I wish I could do that :(

maybe one day :!:

The Cartographist
04-05-2008, 09:51 AM
Torq - Really nice start. I agree with Airith.

I like the colors and the general feel of it. But I do have one critique: The rivers really stick out, so much so that they almost punched me in the face. Specifically I'm referring to their shape--big wide curves--which looks really out of place when compared to the coastlines and the rest of the features.

RobA
04-06-2008, 04:36 PM
I was going to mention the rivers as well....could be because I don't know the scale. The lines look a bit too ..... bezier....

I was playing in inkscape with a way to break them up. most meandering river are a bit fractal in flood plains, big curves made of small curves....these do look regular. No good suggestions/solutions from me, however :P

-Rob A>

su_liam
04-07-2008, 01:30 AM
Something I really like is how the kind of depressed gothic coloring fits with the whole Plaguelans motif. Bravo!

Torq
04-07-2008, 09:50 AM
While trying to figure out how to sort out my rivers (which were cut from the three different grounds layers and not placed on a level of their own) I took a section of Redrobes' height map and stuck them into Mojoworld in order to get a view and some context of my region. It looks great, but I have to apply a lot of gaussian blur top the height map to as not to get obvious steps in the terrain in Mojoworld. Then I just messed with few views. This is one looking Eastwards from a position almost in the middle of my region at daybreak. This kind of visualisation is really helping me add some depth to the idea of my region.

This is called Dawn over the Groam Uplands.

Torq

Torq
04-09-2008, 01:25 PM
Here is the latest Groam with new river and some forested areas.

Torq

ravells
04-09-2008, 04:43 PM
That's looking beautiful - You're really perfecting 'The Torq style'!

Torq
04-09-2008, 05:11 PM
Thanks Ravs. I tried to line up the forested regions in the West with those of your map. Redrobe's combined map is really useful for checking to see how you match up with those around you.

Torq

RobA
04-10-2008, 12:16 AM
Nice improvement on the river shapes. Did you just add nodes and jitter them in inkscape?

-Rob A>

Torq
04-10-2008, 03:08 AM
No that would have been far too easy.;) I had actually cut the river shapes out of three different layers and hadn't saved versions of those layers without the cut-out rivers. I basically had to do surgery by filling in the cut-outs with copied section of a jpeg I had that combined all the rivers. It took ages, but man I learned a lesson. After much experimenting with eroded heightfields in Wilbur I went back to Inkscape and redrew the rivers.

I used the blurred river technique you once showed me to make a bump map mimicking the depressions that the rivers run through. I added a bit of noise after the blur to give it a slightly rougher look.

Torq

Torq
04-14-2008, 12:24 PM
Here is the latest WIP for my region. When it is almost complete I will post some back story for Industrygothica nad others to so with what they please.

I am adding this WIP now in case my neighbours wish to use it to add joining features.

Torq

loogie
04-14-2008, 02:03 PM
i really like the texturing of mts forests and such...

great job!

Clercon
04-14-2008, 02:11 PM
Thats a really great map. Thanks also for ginving a name to our common litle lake :-)

industrygothica
04-15-2008, 12:20 AM
It is indeed a great map. Clercon might want to do something to address that road to the west of Lake Awaur going up into his area if he's trying to wall your people out, however.

As that area of Clercon's map will be the only way to get from the Thrubmorton Fens into Groam, it'll be interesting to see how that's handled.

Hopefully I'm seeing that right. Otherwise, ignore me and carry on. ;)

Torq
04-15-2008, 04:35 AM
It is indeed a great map. Clercon might want to do something to address that road to the west of Lake Awaur going up into his area if he's trying to wall your people out, however.

As that area of Clercon's map will be the only way to get from the Thrubmorton Fens into Groam, it'll be interesting to see how that's handled.

Hopefully I'm seeing that right. Otherwise, ignore me and carry on. ;)

Yes, you're right. I have two roads going into Clercon's area. Clercon if you're reading this I can delete or re-route those roads to better suit your concept. Just let me know.

Torq

Torq
04-15-2008, 11:39 AM
And another one. I think I'm nearly there. I'm finding that I want to speed this up as much as possible, becasue I have been eyeing out many of the sites on other people's regions that I would love to map.

Torq

Redrobes
04-15-2008, 02:22 PM
Hi Torq, I haven't said it yet but since its nearly complete n'all... Fab map there ! Oh and nice one with the community leader thing. Hope we get the Wiki soon as I would like to get to a lower level myself too. I was thinking of boshing out some zoomed in terrain and maybe the outer stockade to a few places and leaving the middle blank. Got a lot of them to do so lots of blank spaces to fill for everyone I think.

Torq
04-16-2008, 11:36 AM
I think I'm pretty much there barring any amendments that may assist ny neighbours. I have finished the labelling and have extended my Southern mountains as a result of discussions with Venardhi.

A bit of backstory will follow shortly.

Torq

industrygothica
04-16-2008, 11:50 AM
I certainly wish I had you guys' skill. Beautiful map.

RobA
04-16-2008, 12:42 PM
Very nice, Torq!

I really like the farmland you slipped into the NW of the map.

And for IG: here is a link to Torq's first overland map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=5158&postcount=1) to show how his skill has improved :) (Not that it was a bad map :P )

-Rob A>

Torq
04-16-2008, 01:53 PM
Man that's embarrassing! Thanks Rob :). Weirdly enough this very afternoon I deleted that from my harddrive together with a whole bunch of other early efforts, thinking "Well at least I'll never see those again". Just goes to show you can never escape your past.

On the other hand its nice to know that I really have learned all my mapping here. I know that there are and will be in future many who can claim that. Great credit to the good folks on this board. Gives me a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling. Right, back to work then.

Torq

industrygothica
04-16-2008, 02:04 PM
It's inspiring, to say the least.

Torq
04-16-2008, 03:10 PM
A Brief History of Groam - Part 1

“Groam’s lifestory is an ancient tragedy, written in halting metre, devoid of heroes, seasoned with villains, and with its ending, as yet, unwritten.”

The Bard Edgor


Groam was not a prosperous land in ancient times. Initially the home of an ancient people who dwelt in caves and whose strange and macabre rock art is still found in the many caves that pock mark the high places. They named the area “Grohamz” which means “weeping land” in their tongue. They exist to this day, in small pockets, isolated from the peoples who have swarmed over the lands leaving great trenches in their wake. These people lived relatively peacefully until the discovery of rich veins of tin and silver in the uplands.

Thus began the great silver rush and prospectors (human immigrants) swarmed into Groam from the North and established camps that swelled to cities in what seemed the blink of an eye. In no time at all a community became a kingdom. But it was a lawless kingdom where banditry and corruption ruled the day, and all morality seemed to fade in the heady sheen of silver and the life it promised.

Silvervein became Groam’s capital and the seat of a loosely formed but steadily more powerful government of mining magnates and crimelords. Even these recognised the need for peace and lawfulness and thus was formed the military Order of the Silver watch, keepers of the peace. They were an elite military unit of horse and infantry loyal to the “Council” as the rulers now styles themselves. The silver watch patrolled the uplands pushing far Westwards as far as the Tuthberg and established a fortress and waystation in its Northern foothills at Eraz Madui.

As the mining towns boomed so a new infrastructure centered on logging and food supply burgeoned in the West with cities such as Arkender and Zantarma grew to relative prosperity.

Sixty years after silver was discovered Groam had grown into one of the wealthiest kingdoms in the region, if not the wealthiest. Silvervein was known as the Jewel of the North and it avenues and parks saw opulence and wealth grow to unprecedented levels.

Then the plague came. Not quickly like the fall of an axe, but slowly, insidiously, like the coming of a winter from which Groam would never recover. Firstly there were only a few reports from the East of a illness that was claiming the lives of miners, brought by refugees from across the mountains. When the reports carried into the cities of the Uplands became more frequent the Council formed a new military order from the ranks of the Silver Watch. They were charged with preventing the influx of the dreaded scourge. For this they were given the city of Kamzal (re-named Grey Fortress) as their base. They sent units Eastwards in great numbers and were merciless in driving any refugees back the way they had come. Their unenviable task earned them the nickname “The Grey Watch” after the ugly grey blotches that were the grisly signature of the plague on the skin of its victims.

From their journeys in the East many of the order’s commanders reported to Silvervein that the epidemic was far worse than had been dreamed. The only solution, they suggested, a great wall to control the influx of the infected and the destitute.

The council had no choice but to empty the coffers to pay for the wall and empty them they did. The Grey Watch began the task of building the first wall, which took 7 years to build. They became a law unto themselves in the Eastern parts, but the influx of the infected slowed, for the time being at least.

Torq

ravells
04-18-2008, 02:22 PM
That's a great description. Perhaps the Barrow-men on my map are somehow related to the original Groam people? What's quite nice is that my region acts as a wilderness barrier to the West of your region (which explains the influx from the north).

I really like the font you used on your map as well, it's got lots of character - spikey and nasty - like the Groamish people!

Midgardsormr
04-19-2008, 12:15 AM
Torq, do you have a legend for this map? I'm starting to work out some narrative for mine, and it would help me to know what the different symbols you've used mean.

Torq
04-19-2008, 05:57 AM
I donthave a legend. There is only one big city, Arkender. The rest are towns. The ones with black dotted lines surrounding the red dots are fortifications. Skulls are places that used to be settlements whose status is now largely unknown to the people of west Groam.

Torq

Torq
04-20-2008, 04:10 AM
Groam, a brief history Part 2

Thought I better add this, as Groam seems to be getting some focus from the creative writing types, to be used or dicarded..

"....But communications broke down. With the grey watch controlling most other roads Eastwards, they seemed less and less inclined to take orders from Silvervein. Rumours reached even Arkender of atrocities committed by the Watch and strange religious practices practised by it.

Many took the plague to be the vengeance of the gods against the moral decay of the people of Groam. Doomsday cults began to prosper throughout the region, including some strange cults that focused on illness as a form of divinity. These were found in all the major centres.

Quaran was established as a healing centre on the North-East corner of the Redmarch. It had a small but well managed agricultural economy destined to produce not only food crops but curative plants of every kind. But the plague kept coming and the Grey Watch were heard of less and less, although refugees and travellers from those areas occasionally gave testimony to seeing writers in drab grey armour bearing plain grey standards still patrolling the upland roads and manning the isolated granite watchtowers that dotted the land.

More walls followed as the plague moved inexorably West, each previous wall falling gradually into ruin. Other than the plague itself the single factor that has shaped Western Groam the most is the huge flight of the healthy Westwards. Entire towns became ghost towns over night as the migration from East to West continue towards the shores of Lake Festus. Silvervein itself was eventually abandoned and Arkender became the de facto capital.

Arkender itself quadrupled in size over the course of one year. The city could not cope with influx of people, most of them now destitute, that descended upon it. Huge slum towns have sprung up, poverty is rife, as are the health issues that flow from it. Crime is rampant and the city is now almost completely lawless, run by criminal gangs who are contracted by the Council which now sits at Arkender. In an attempt to deal with the over population and the replenish the much depleted army, Groams’ leaders have introduced compulsory military service for all males over the age of 16.

In recent years the Grey Watch are long-forgotten, the subject of late-night tavern talk and gossip. The plague’s ravages seem to have slowed, and with it the volumes of the migrations. There are rumours from the East that the cities, deserted by the healthy have become occupied by the “unclean”. Vast armies of the sick are said to occupy Silvervein united by their barbarous religious beliefs and fervent desire to make a new life for themselves.

Rumours speak of the furnaces of the tin mines burning again and the sounds of diabolical machinery echoing from those pits.

Visitors to the last wall claim it is being re-fortified, but from the East this time. Over the new cities, they say, a strange grey banner flies, not plain but the black imprint of a mailed fist."


Torq

Midgardsormr
04-21-2008, 12:25 AM
I donthave a legend. There is only one big city, Arkender. The rest are towns. The ones with black dotted lines surrounding the red dots are fortifications. Skulls are places that used to be settlements whose status is now largely unknown to the people of west Groam.

Torq

What about the yellow towns?

Torq
04-21-2008, 03:27 AM
What about the yellow towns?

Yes, sorry, that was to denote size. Yellow towns were supposed to be small towns/big villages as opposed to the more established larger towns in red.

Torq

Avulsion
04-30-2008, 09:35 PM
There are so many possibilities with the storyline you've created. Excellent work.

As for the map, it is delicious to look at. The only changes I would suggest are to include a scale, and the yellow/green font is difficult to read in the mountainous/forested areas. Perhaps use a white font border instead of grey for those words? Also, make sure all the words are closer to right side up than upside down. For example, "The New Wall" is more upside down. Several of your names might be turned slightly more horizontal, IMO.

Sorry if I sound picky...