View Full Version : The Shadowlands

02-26-2012, 06:51 PM

I've finally finished up the last polishes on this epic world map for the world of Sæmyyr for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game, created by Blackstar Studios. I'm dead chuffed with how it came out in the end. This was a development beyond what I'd been comfortable with for my satellite hand drawn style and really pushed that forward. I'm particularly pleased with how the mountains came out.

You should check out the Shadowlands on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackStarGames There's even an easter egg hidden in the ocean for those who look really closely!

This is a commission piece so it's rights reserved.

02-26-2012, 09:32 PM
Congratulations T, this is a fantastic piece of work. One of my favorites. Repped and rated.


02-26-2012, 10:29 PM
Very nice Torstan - I can never find those easter eggs either!! Perhaps because I see way to many things in everything. It's like asking me to look at a cloud and tell you what I see...the list just goes on and on and on. I did see some kind of a formula though.

02-27-2012, 05:58 AM
Awesome work, Torstan. I already liked the unfinished version a lot. Too bad (for me) that the Kickstarter was not at all interesting to me. The offered little part of the setting combined with the game system of their choice just didn't do anything for me. If they ever publish a world-book (plus points if it will be system-less), i'll be all over it.
Have some rep (if i can)!

02-27-2012, 08:39 AM
I'm not a fan of the font used for the country names but other than that, fantastic map as usual, Jon. :)

02-27-2012, 12:13 PM
Looks great, T!

02-27-2012, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys!

@Jaxilon - the equation is the easter egg - so you found this one. It refers to a secret about the design of the game world and ties into some of the map decorations.

@Eilathen - no worries about the Kickstarter - it was well and truly funded, and they'll certainly be producing a setting book. A certain amount of that will have system specific crunch as this is a Pathfinder setting, but there's a hell of a lot of mythology and non system specific content in there too.

@Ramah - it was the best Arabic-esque font I could find that the publishers also liked. There seems to be a dearth of decent Arabic script hands with a roman alphabet, and my handwriting is not up to the standard where I'd want to try it from scratch :)

@arsheesh, GP - thanks!

02-27-2012, 06:18 PM
Samarkand from Acidfonts.com is my favorite Arabic font...


02-27-2012, 06:48 PM
Samarkand from Acidfonts.com is my favorite Arabic font...


That looks like it's supposed to be Devanagari, not Arabic. They don't actually look anything alike and the people who use them are not at all likely to take kindly to being confused.* (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistani_wars_and_conflicts) It should really have been named after a city in say India or Nepal, not Uzbekistan. Admitedly the "stan" in Uzbekistan indicates some link to ancient Sanskrit, but it's not a city I'd associate with a modern Indic writing system.

02-28-2012, 12:48 AM
Great map Torstan, Love the overall look & feel!

02-28-2012, 03:41 AM
This one turned out great. I really like it. However I think that the city names dominates the picture a bit too much, but thats not a big thing. Would be fun to see the map without them however so you could study all the terrain.

02-28-2012, 09:50 AM
You're seeing this at around 150% of the print size, so the text is going to seem a little large. It's actually around 10pt, and I really prefer to not go below that for important information on a world map.

But there is a version without the labels! This will also be published by Blackstar, and here it is:

@Hai-Etik - thanks a lot for that info, I hadn't appreciated those differences.

02-28-2012, 10:57 AM
Fantastic sir! You should be very proud.

02-28-2012, 12:11 PM
Excellent work as usual! Looking forward to your future maps.

03-02-2012, 09:24 PM
What is the significance of the dotted lines?
At first I thought they were roads, but they cross land and water with equal ease.

03-03-2012, 11:27 AM
Nice work. RREEPPP!!!

03-06-2012, 10:02 AM
@atpollard - well spotted. It's a teaser for the world and I'm not allowed to say specifically what they represent. What are your theories?

Thanks for all the rep guys - this one's going right to the top of my personal portfolio.

03-06-2012, 12:47 PM
Ok, I'll venture a thought on the dotted lines: Flight paths of some kind.

03-07-2012, 11:49 AM
Ok, I'll venture a thought on the dotted lines: Flight paths of some kind.

Hey Jaxilon - I'm the major world-builder for the Shadowlands and I can say that your theory is closer than you might imagine. On the other hand, sometimes even map makers (or copyists?) don't understand all the information that's on their maps! [Although in this case, our amazing cartographer Torstan knows *exactly* why they're there!] I can tell you that there are some strong hints on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/BlackStarGames.

Beyond that though, I don't want to ruin it. The game is supposed to be an "in-game" map, and revealing too much spoils part of the atmosphere we are seeking to create. Hope you enjoy it!

BlackStar Studios

03-07-2012, 12:25 PM
Hmm... based upon the facebook notes and the fact that in the map most of the lines either intersect or pass quite close to a city, I am going to guess that it has to do with something similar to "ley lines" and that magical transportation has to travel somewhat along said lines. This is my guess based upon the information in the FB not "Shadowlands Themes".

03-10-2012, 11:27 AM
Low orbit satellites (ISS) have same path here on Earth.

03-11-2012, 08:03 AM
I am intrigued by the way you have set down the landscape. Overall, I think it very good. My only objection is the labeling...but that is minor.