View Full Version : Old Empire of Lorn - Fantasy world map

- Max -
01-15-2013, 06:58 PM
Hi Everybody,

Here's my last map : the Empire of Lorn. Mix of hand-drawn and digital work.

At the start, my goal was to mix some old engraving style and hand-drawn stuff to map this land to give it a touch of old feeling while supporting the fantasy aspect of the world. I decided to use Johannes Blaeu's gorgeous mountains engraving (from his Atlas - maps of Scotland) as one of the main feature of the map. I made brushes set with them, though I had to mix and re-work some of original drawings, notably to make the bigger mountains. I mixed those brushes with my hand-drawn stuff along some self made engraving style brushes/patterns.

The original file is 7559x7016 px (64x59,4cm) at 300 dpi and the uploaded file you can see here is about twice as small (4000x3713px). WIP thread is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/21700-old-empire-lorn-fantasy-world-map.html) Thanks to those who give support and advices, especially The Hoarse Whisperer and Freehand 5.5.

I hope you'll like it.
Feel free to rep, rate, go away, throw rotten garbage to my head or whatever you feel the urge :)


01-15-2013, 07:54 PM
Outside of couple river issues by my eye, the map is gorgeous. Excellent work.

01-15-2013, 07:59 PM
Lots of talent on display in this one. A veritable smorgasbord of cartographic delight within easy reach of my eyes.

On numerous occasions, I visited the Work In Progress (WIP) thread for this map. I wasn't particularly enamored of it, in its early stages. The large door opening on Pic de Havern was a particular thorn that I just didn't care for.

Yet, the end product is quite invigorating. Having judged this book by its partial cover, I atone for my sins by grasping an appreciation for the hand of the master, as he weaves his spell to completion.

Atonement, however, is not to be confused with acquiescence. The laying of the text labels in rote horizontal manner deprives the map of a degree of grandeur that I believe could have been achieved, had the cartographer been so inclined. Clearly, he wasn't. He had his own ideas about what this map should be, and now here we stand in admiration of his handiwork.

It has a certain sort of majesty about it, this map does. The outline of the land masses is superb, a delight to make their acquaintance. The dark brown highlighting splotches that adorn the coastline are nothing short of magnificent! A strong addicting quality this Splotch Lord has imbued his coastlines with. What a scoundrel he is, to amass such talent and to hoard such skill. Curse him and his wonderful map!

The islands fill the whitespace of the waters well, populating the seas with points of interest to draw the eye toward. The end result is a very balanced visual feel to this map.

Not content with one compass rose, this bastard of the cartographic high seas entices us with two. He is wicked, this one is!

And behold those creatures of the seas taunting our eyes, not going overboard by over-populating the oceans with their presence. Rather, he used them sparingly, and they serve their master well.

The mountains project their power across the map, rising to summon us to behold them in all their towering glory. The Croc du Drak Rouge rising in the North West, grand this towering behemoth is! Far to the South of it lies Monts Gris, just north of Galathar.

In the North Central part of the map, L'Epee des Dieux and le Poignard des Dieux tower side by side, overshadowing Dos du Behemoth which lies a short distance north of them. Further north, still, one discovers the Cirque de Basalte, a depression or canyon of some sort. Oh, the eye is pleased, the eye is pleased by this point of dramatic interest. It contrasts well against all of the mountains, yet there it stands, alone, marking its territory on this cartographic wonder of recent vintage.

There, in the far North West, is Mont Tatoue, with its ornate carvings on the side of the mountain. And in the far South East, the Chaine de Morsul rises, not a place to take lightly, to be certain.

The forests of Foret d'Evanas and Les Pins Noirs make the mouth salivate. Now, here be forests, boys! A pity that those forests in the South and in the East do not rise to their level. This is an instance where one sees both the forests and the trees, and the northern trees wear their kingly crown of visual superiority with quiet dignity.

Behold, the escarpment where the Bois sans fin look out upon the world! Yes, yes, yes, I say!

The Chaine des Drakaens grabs my eye, yet again! It commands me to look, to behold it, to appreciate its place in this world. These are ancient mountains, formed long before men overran this world.

The map border is interesting. In the upper left corner, decorative artwork in the form of a castle and coats of arms serve their function well. The same coats of arms make token appearances on the map, itself. It's all about visual interest, you see. The decorative curls, that extend past the edges of the border, proper, balance one another well. I do not know that I am yet a fan of this particular methodology of visual teasing, but because both corners feature it, it balances out well enough with my all-scrutinizing eye.

Why, 'O why, is all of this text laid out in horizontal fashion?

The Terres de Gorjas seeks to wipe my tears from my eyes, to comfort me, as I ponder this Mystery of the Text. How very odd that this world was not big enough to support the weight of text with curves.

Even still, I count myself amongst the admirers of this work, of this place called Lorn.

The Grand Empire de Lorn - How very grand, indeed!

A fitting map, one to please the emperor with, for certain.

Crafted by the hand of Max, eh? Your splotches in the waters help to maximize the positive visual aura that emanates from this map.

I salute your prowess, Max of Lorn.

01-15-2013, 08:21 PM
May I suggest appointing GrimFinger the official Cartographers' Guild bard? That's quite a speech there, friend.

And may I also suggest that Max be highly praised and rewarded for this fantastic map. I feel old, now, because I saw this map when it was only knee-high, watched it through adolescence (and tried to give some guidance through those difficult years) and now here it is, fully grown and out in the world. Congratulations Max. You must be proud.


01-15-2013, 08:30 PM
Excellent Work indeed and as a Noob very inspiring.

- Max -
01-15-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks very much guys. Indeed, we have a nice kind of a bard here :) Even if I'm always afraid to read Grimfinger's comments (English isn't my main language) :D, the nightmares of web tanslators, I can feel his touch of poetry inside and I'm glad because the bard has seen some kind of the spirit of the lands of Lorn I wanted to put in this map.
@Grimfinger : for the horizontal labels, I must confess that after several hazardous tries, I saw that I wasn't controlling the subject that good so I decided to stick to straight ones. I guess it will be one of my next steps improvement.
@ THW: I could show wrong modesty but yes I'm kind of proud, notably because I had the whole idea in mind, the goal in sight and managed to did it in the deadline I set to myself. So yes i'm kind of proud....and exhausted! :D

01-15-2013, 09:42 PM
Just fantastic Max! This one made into my inspiration folder. Sadly, I still can't rep you (yet).


01-15-2013, 10:45 PM
I agree with Veldehar, the river issues are problematic, but overall the map is great.

Freehand 5.5
01-16-2013, 02:26 AM
Not even the skill in my mother language would be sufficient, to express what I feel about this master piece.
So I sit here silently and watch ... and watch ...

01-16-2013, 06:27 AM
*throws some rotten garbage* ...


WHAT?! ;)

Just kidding...great map! Some river issues as pointed out by Veldehar but otherwise a very pleasing map to look at. If i can, i'll rep. you.

01-16-2013, 06:46 AM
Excellent map.....

- Max -
01-16-2013, 02:01 PM
Thanks much everyone!

Will Brawner
01-19-2013, 05:04 PM
Magnifique! J'adore cette carte de votre monde. C'est l'oeuvre d'un vrai artiste. Continuez a nous montrer vos dessins, s'il vous plait!

01-21-2013, 04:24 PM
Simply blown away by how great this map is!

Will Brawner
01-21-2013, 10:25 PM
C'est magnifique! J'adore les noms que vous avez invinte!

01-22-2013, 04:25 AM
The borders, the big city, the cliffs, the shields... the detail. The map! You've got style.

- Max -
01-24-2013, 11:59 AM
Thanks everyone :)

Merci beaucoup Will, content que ša te plaise ;)

01-27-2013, 03:46 PM
Wow this one is awesome

01-30-2013, 05:20 AM
lovely! id rep you again, but apparently i cant! too many good maps from one person :)

01-30-2013, 07:21 AM
Stunning. Love it. The colors and the lines. Well done.

- Max -
01-30-2013, 10:37 AM
Thanks Kier!

@Vorropahaiah. It seems that I have to slow down with map making so :D Thanks much

01-31-2013, 07:59 AM
It is a mesmerizing universe. The way you organize the space make the shapes melt together and become one another. Thank you

01-31-2013, 06:32 PM
This is a really beautiful map. Both the wood-cut waterline and the faint blue fish/monster are particularly nice details in a map full of very fine details!

02-07-2013, 05:58 PM
Another gorgeous map! I love how you've represented various terrain. The coats of arms look really great and authentic and the city view adds to the map's character. Out of curiosity, have you drawn it yourself? ;) It looks awesome! :)

- Max -
02-08-2013, 08:09 AM
Thanks much! The city view is (unfortunately) not drawn by me. It's an old engraving of a french town that I had. Since it was really matching the ambience of the map I used it ;)

02-08-2013, 10:17 AM
It certainly adds to the overall look of the map... and makes it look even more authentic. ;) I really like maps with city views, I'm glad you've incorporated one into your map, it looks perfect. :)

- Max -
02-08-2013, 07:15 PM
I was pretty satisfied about how it looked yea. Thanks again Lyandra.

02-09-2013, 09:05 AM
Looks great, keep up the good work!

- Max -
02-10-2013, 02:51 PM
Thanks Krelios, glad you liked it :)

02-10-2013, 03:08 PM
Impressive end result! The more you look at this one, the more interesting things you find. I like how to did the wave thing around the shores, and didn't fill the ocean with scribbles. I also enjoyed the tilted direction you put on your map. It doesn't really make much of a idfference to any part of the map when you think about it, but it does sort of look cool.

You had some just simple word labels, instead of cool mini-illustrations you could have done, but you still had a lot of interesting things. The mountains looked particularly cool in some places.

So yeah, awesome work man!

- Max -
02-10-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks Foremost, comment much appreciated!

02-14-2013, 01:59 AM
Tres belle!

- Max -
02-15-2013, 10:02 AM
Merci beaucoup ;)

- Max -
06-06-2013, 04:20 AM
Hey everyone,

I figure I'd put this info here : Old Empire of Lorn won the third place (joint) of the second Storyslingers mapmaking challenge (http://storyslingers.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/2nd-map-making-competition-results.html) way ahead from some guy with an "Arden" map :D

06-06-2013, 05:20 AM
never heard of that site! have to say i prefer yours to the other two, though given the difference in styles maybe they have a particular style they prefer. congrats

- Max -
06-06-2013, 05:23 AM
Thanks! Well as writers, they chose regarding "imaginative quality" rather than artistic one so I figure a third place with a french labeled map in an English challenge isn't that bad :D

06-09-2013, 06:03 AM
Congrats Max! The map is truely a great inspiration for imagination!