View Full Version : Tala - Work in progress

12-13-2012, 05:08 PM
Hi. This is my work in progress, that has been going on for some time. As I do not have much time to work on it, I decided that I will at least post it here for some critique.
Done using some excellent tutorials found here.


I am currently working on rivers (Wilbur does some weird things with rivers) and thinking how to divide the map politically. Any suggestions are welcome.

12-13-2012, 09:59 PM
Welcome, sveco. Map right in the first post - worth a bit of rep just for being willing to jump in. Then too, the map is shaping up nicely - good work thus far.

To make suggestions on political divisions, it would help if you had even vague ideas about the era, setting, peoples, and such. Care to give us a brief rundown? Or are you like me, with the terrain generating the societies and peoples? I have a sort of map- first approach to world building - have you done enough to know your own preference?

12-16-2012, 07:08 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I think I too have a map-first approach, letting the world build it's own stories, but I have a general idea in my head. The settings should be low-magic early-medieval world. I tried to create landmass that spans different climates and be horizontally and vertically shaped such that it creates a span of different possibilities. How will it start is probably by placing one large kingdom on the northern continent, somewhere in the southern central part, and another on large island southern of this large continents, in the state of war with the former. When I have at least this and surrounding area political and cultural situation in place, I can start naming the places, because I want that names of places mirror cultural and linguistic differences.

12-16-2012, 07:43 AM
Nice layout, I like the folded parchment. I'll be following along on this to learn about the political divisions, I don't have much of a hold on that atm, well that or the parchment technique either LOL Nice having ya aboard

12-29-2012, 05:03 PM
This is a great map, I love the colors and how you have created the mountains - the subtle fading. I'll keep an eye on this to see what you do with it.

12-30-2012, 08:17 AM
Thank you. There's a lot more in this map, but not visible scaled down. When I finish adding rivers, I will upload original size map.

01-23-2013, 07:47 AM
I finally managed to get back to mapping again. Here is the current status:
There is still a lot of work to do with rivers, as some areas should be deserts without the flowing water.
Also spent some time pondering about the history and the inhabitants. I am putting together short history of the Tala, which should (hopefully) be finished this week, and help me with places and naming.

01-23-2013, 09:50 AM
Looking really good even unfinished. To partly answer your original question, early medieval equivalent folk with mediocre travel would probably have had many borders as natural barriers. Would have warred and consolidated but for the impassable river, or no travel over the impassable ridges anyway, so different societies developed and stayed apart. If you have decent sea travel, that could generate some colonies and discontinuous ownership. Assuming some armed conflict and some medieval intrigues, as well as some characteristics from earth's late feudal/ Renaissance periods, might well be some senselessly random borders drawn as the *current* bound of ambitions and empires in flux. THAT parcel went with the princess Ysmareldia when she was married off - dowry, y'know. THOSE lands stayed with the Baron when he went all nutzo and took up firebreathing, while the (now) free cities over there felt endangered by the more rational but repressive king across the valley, so they broke from the Baron and formed their own league. Including RiverCity over there still surrounded by Barony, AND PortCity over There, even though Wideflung Empire claims the land around it. That kind of patchwork would easily be plausible.

You can hint at past conflict and shifting by the names themselves - olden names obviously not a linguistic match with the current array of neighboring names can stay for centuries. Or could be adapted into NewLocalLingo. Yadda-opolis could shift to Yazda o'Politz HERE, where across the way Foo-opolis and Bar-opolis remain so-named, while more 'modern' cities like Fleuveville and Jaquesville show the French-equivalent conquerors' stamp.

'Course a militantly-OUR-society mapper could just as easily translate Tsei-p'teng, Gortiz, O'louipo'leia, and Butterton into the local language. <shrug> And you could produce maps based on ANY of their viewpoints. Likewise your in-character cartographer could assume borders where none exist, or optimistically (or politically-correctly) assume his King's latest campaign would be completely successful.

Your period could encompass anything from the splintered statelets of early Germany and Italy, to massive unified empires; Autarchies to city-states to hereditary monarchies to republics to nationless expanses of tribes and clans. It's a rich palette; can't wait to see what you paint in!

01-24-2013, 10:00 AM
Thank you for your hints. It is really great community here, and you really give inspiration to go forward.

I have given extensive thought about the language element. First, I started with races and people of the land. Then I used Swadesh list (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Swadesh_list) with words that should be common in most of the languages, and tried to fill this list linguistically sound for each main linguistic group. Of course, over the time the languages would change even inside the group, but those word would be the "root" words for place names.

The history in brief would be something like this (note that I will not use the names of people or place names, that is still WIP):

When first men came to the great northern continent over the narrow sea, many thousand years ago, they found it already inhabited. Strong, fierce and hard-working as they were, they quickly grew in numbers and started pushing to the west, over the great rivers, endless forests and great mountain ranges that were in their way. They respected the forest dwellers and traded with the kings of the mountain people, which in time helped them to build a great kingdom east of the impassable mountain ranges. But in time people of this kingdom forgotten tho old allegiances, partly maybe because they had long forgotten the old folk, now hidden in the western wilderness, and the mountain people deep in their underground cities. Many centuries the lords ruled over the fertile lands, but their old nemesis, who they fled when they crossed the sea was back. A great war was fought, and the enemy was driven back, but the great old kingdom, already weakened by infighting, fell apart. That drove many people to move further west, over the mountains.
Those people founded another kingdom, west of the great mountains, from the sea on the south, bordered by mountains and desert on the east, and great marshes on the north, cradled by the great river. This kingdom flourished again, and brought back the glory of the elder days, until the war drums sounded again...