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Robin Ryuu
07-31-2013, 10:31 PM
Good evening everyone, I am new to mapping and in need of some help. 56542 This map is for the comic I am working on, it is of the country of Sevul, the homeland of the main characters. Sevul is primarily covered in a dense pine-forest, however in order to draw in the rest of it I need to know what of it would have been cleared and where to put Towns, farmland, roads, etc. (The 2 rules I know are 1. put towns near a water source, and 2. humans will go where they can make a profit.) Any suggestions appreciated. If you need more info just ask.

Midgardsormr
07-31-2013, 10:57 PM
How old are the settlements? They'll spring up near the interface between plains and forests for the farmland on the one hand and the building materials on the other. As a settlement ages, more and more of the woods will be consumed. Depending on the government, some of the woodland may be protected from cutting as crown forest or nature preserves, or whatever. In short, the older the settlement, the further it is likely to be from the edge of the forest.

Settlements will likely appear about half a day's travel from one another if terrain permits—far enough to go to the next town over, do a bit of business, then get back home. How far that is depends on the available common transportation.

Rivers make travel easier and faster, so a civilization will spread out more quickly along waterways, but it will also meet competition sooner, so the oldest towns will probably be on the rivers. And in spite of water travel being easy, there will probably be roads parallel to the rivers for shorter jaunts that don't justify a boat. Towns will also exist near easy fords and/or bridges, and they're quite likely to pop up at a confluence of two rivers.

Remember that rivers in lowlands are prone to changing their course. Sometimes humans prevent that with artificial watercourses, sometimes the towns follow the water, and sometimes the people are just stubborn enough to stay put.

The style of agriculture will shape where the farms go, and the land and climate will determine the style of agriculture. Usually. So in order to determine where the farms are, we'll need to know a bit about the land—are we talking Mediterranean, northern Europe, Great Plains? I'm guessing a somewhat northerly climate because of the pine forest, but cedars grow in the Mediterranean, so that's not a gimme.

If the government isn't deciding where they should go, roads will connect settlements by the most direct route that is practical. "Roads are made by the walking," after all, and people don't like to walk farther than they have to. Roads that appear in this manner are unlikely to be paved or otherwise maintained. And they may not be adequately mapped because they're most often used by locals.

Okay, I should be doing work right now instead of writing worldbuilding essays.

Azelor
07-31-2013, 11:01 PM
Well you already have some towns it seems. It's pretty good.
People will settle on plains where that can make their crops grow. Cities will develop along trade road that depend on the geography. Road passes near water sources for example.

If you want an historic powerful city take Vienna as an example. It is in the middle of Europe but sits at the intersection of 2 trade roads. East-west on the Danube and north-south linking the Adriatic sea to Northern Europe. Plus, it is located in fertile plains. Constantinople is another example that come in mind.

So the population don't just settle near the coast but inland as well. As long as there is water and fertile lands people can live ther but important cities develop alongs trade road.

And like you said people go where they can make a profit, so trading cities tend to attract more people, thus making them more attractive for traders.

Robin Ryuu
08-01-2013, 12:02 AM
Thank you for your time, and here are some facts and history about Sevul and the world.

For lack of a better explanation, imagine a world similar to Eragon's. There are Magicians and their dragon companions, everything is peaceful, but then a certain event happened that caused intense hated for one another. Both sides tried to annihilate each others species until there were just too few to fight anymore. There is a silent agreement for no more mass battle.(There is still the occasional raid.) And that brings us to the current time, humans are recovering and have discovered the power of machines. And thus the story begins.

Fact 1. Until the war the world's ecosystems were nearly identical to ours, other than dragons.
Fact 2. During the war the magicians created chimeras (creatures made from the parts of multiple animals/plants) to fight for them, many of them escaped and now roam loose.
Fact 3. Forests and other wild places are now over run by chimeras and are too dangerous to enter.
Fact 4. Steam boats and trains are a new invention.
Fact 5. Sevul is a country in the far north, the Crimson Graveyard is tundra/frozen wetland.
Fact 6. The Crimson Graveyard was one of the battlefields.
If I think of any more I will add them.

Korash
08-01-2013, 01:15 AM
Robin, I moved this thread to the Regional/World Map Forum of the WIPs (Work In Progress). The WIPs are used to help develop a map that you are working on and the General Discussion forum is more geared to more of an off topic discussions or those that are of a more overall mapping interest. I know there are a LOT of different forums with all kinds of info in them so it is quite confusing to new members but I am sure that you will get the hang of it :)

Scale is another thing that would effect how many settlements are shown on a map. If it is a large area covered I would doubt that all the whistle stop villages would be on the map, unless there was something that was special about them (junctions, fords, bridges ect.) Just like not every stream or road will be on the map, not all villages will. The cities and larger towns most definitely would. Also consider that the larger the city, the more satellite towns and villages it would have in order to supply enough food for its inhabitants.

On the map itself, I think the trees, while I like them quite a bit, might be a bit big when compared with the mountains. Otherwise I like the style that I can see starting to develop as the features do have do work together and don't dominate any of the others.

Robin Ryuu
08-01-2013, 02:05 AM
Yes, I was quite confused about were to place it, thank you.

The scale is something I have been trying to decide since I started the map, I know that the buildings are most likely much smaller than they are on the map. As for the trees, on the paper they are slightly smaller than 1/8 of an inch, I think it would be slightly unreasonable to draw them smaller on a first attempt. Also if I need to argue their scale, Perhaps they are some form of ancient northern redwoods that have never been forested. (If I need to. :P) I have been drawing my pine trees like that since I doodled my first map, I don't remember if I learned it from my brother or if I designed it myself, but I know one thing they're designed for speed. Made of at least 5 quick strokes, I can draw hundreds of trees in a few minutes.

Midgardsormr
08-01-2013, 03:48 PM
So you've got a bit of a Grimm Brothers set up—beginnings of an industrial revolution, but the forests are dark and dangerous. Since you have trains and riding dragons, and since travel by foot is likely to be dangerous, then major towns are probably further apart than during the Middle Ages, but closer than modern day patterns. Look at population distribution in the Midwest—Colorado's eastern slope is probably a good reference. Could be more or less based on a variety of factors. Dangerous wilderness means that smaller villages are not likely to be numerous, and they'll be closely associated with nearby stronger towns, where the villagers can flee if something comes ravening out of the night. I'm also put into mind of Peter and the Wolf.

Industry requires a lot of resources. Trains and steamboats are likely to be running on wood and charcoal, so there will be settlements closer to the trees than might otherwise be expected. Also, if this world follows our own, greed might result in clearcutting at the expense of sustainability. The Industrial Revolution destroyed most of the forests in Europe, and by the time everyone realized that the wood was almost gone, it was too late to save it.

There are probably strongly fortified small towns near borders due to the recent wars and current raiding. Depending on the prevalence of dragon power, other magic, and cannons, and the aggressiveness of the chimeras, these towns may or may not have walls, and fortresses might look like traditional castles, or they might look like star forts. Of course, much of that also depends on the manpower available to build fortifications and how much additional work can be gotten from machines and magic.

Robin Ryuu
08-01-2013, 03:48 PM
Does anyone know of some cold-climate crops?

Robin Ryuu
08-01-2013, 04:16 PM
Your reply has given me some ideas.
This makes me wonder if the country should be divided into territories, each city has a small force that is sent out to it's surrounding towns/villages/farms.
There would have to be a way to spot dragons and warn the cities. (Thinking of the those fire towers placed within line of sight to each other along the the great wall of China. ...They were also used in the lord of the rings right?)

Telegraphs could have been invented, but the dragons are intelligent creatures, they would probably just cut the wire and the towns would be left without a form of communication.

Midgardsormr
08-01-2013, 05:12 PM
Visual telegraphs were in use during the Napoleonic wars. Essentially they were mechanical semaphore stations with telescopes. There is also the heliograph: a mirror that could be used to pass messages on line-of-sight on sunny days. The heliograph has the advantage that you can hide the signal from a soaring dragon.

City-state confederations seem like a likely form of political organization after a major depopulation event combined with dangerous territory. Infrastructure would be an issue with that kind of arrangement, as every city would be reluctant to contribute to national-level projects (laying rails for trains or building and manning telegraph stations). Those things could be created by private enterprise (like the powerful railroad companies in the US after the Civil War), or there might be tension between the local cities' interests and a strong national government that appropriates resources for inter-territory development.

Cold climate crops: wheat, potato, onion, most kinds of leaf greens, celery, barley. Probably others, but that's all that comes to mind immediately. Look up Scandinavian cuisine and see what they use; that's likely the same sorts of things that will grow in your territory.

Robin Ryuu
08-01-2013, 06:11 PM
The Semaphore line and the Heliograph are both interesting ideas. Since my story has a bit of a steam-punk theme I may make them look a bit more mechanical.

Robin Ryuu
08-02-2013, 12:14 AM
Here's an update. 56588 Good night everyone.

.... Ignore the sideways map.

Robin Ryuu
08-03-2013, 12:54 AM
Here's another update. 56611 If anything wrong stands out please tell me, I've been staring at it so long I can't tell anymore. And here's a rough sketch of a larger map. 56612 As you can see it needs a lot of work.

raymondroot
08-05-2013, 07:35 PM
real nice hand work there

Gumboot
08-06-2013, 06:35 AM
I guess the first place to start is to look at why people would have come to this land, and what they were seeking, as this will very much dictate the pattern of settlement. Being a location at high latitude, and apparently in the foothills of some mountains at that, it's unlikely it was agriculture, as the grounds not likely to be fertile for cereal crops. Grazing could be an option, but in cold climates grass grows slowly, so this isn't likely to have been the major draw.

The most common draw to higher latitudes, historically, was timber, minerals, and furs. What you'd likely see first is small towns established on the coast as trader settlements, from which trappers, miners, and lumberjacks set out to isolated distant settlements that might be as small as individual houses. Much of their food will have to be shipped up river to them.

With the wars and the coming of notable monsters, had the resources on offer been as mundane as wolf pelts and timber, they'd probably have simply abandoned the region, but they haven't, so we have to assume there's some pretty valuable resources hidden away; gold, iron, tin, perhaps some rare forest-dwelling animal whose fur is particularly prized by the wealthy. The people that stay behind are going to be the tough sort, staying secure in heavily fortified coastal towns and venturing out well-armed to equally well-protected distant outposts to do their work. The most dangerous part of their job is likely the trips out from their outposts back to the towns, on wagons heavily laden with minerals or pelts.

An obvious place for expansion with the arrival of the industrial revolution is coal. That's going to see things go into overdrive, with the outposts expanding into significant mining towns of their own, perhaps with roads cut through the woods to make it easier to bring the coal out, or else if a river is handy, shipped down the water to the ever growing trading centres, now perhaps small cities in their own right. Their food, mostly, is still going to be brought up the coast or overland from warmer climes, but perhaps some eager souls have established orchards and pasture lands in the south, around the lake. The river that links the lake the coast could act as a natural barrier between the farming settlements and the nasties in the woods and mountains to the north.

Robin Ryuu
08-13-2013, 09:04 PM
I've worked on the map a bit more. 56852
I have two questions I could use someone's opinion on.
1. Which of the two circled cities would be the capital? The red one, the oldest fortress, or the orange one, a large trade city?
2. What would the red body of water be called?

Gumboot
08-13-2013, 09:56 PM
I've worked on the map a bit more. 56852
I have two questions I could use someone's opinion on.
1. Which of the two circled cities would be the capital? The red one, the oldest fortress, or the orange one, a large trade city?
2. What would the red body of water be called?

1. I would say orange, personally
2. The red body of water, if navigable, might be called a strait, although I'd be inclined not to name it at all.

Azelor
08-13-2013, 10:14 PM
1- I would say orange too because it's located along important rivers ... Oh I mean it's the most important city but capitals are usually important cities but not always.

2- You don't have a lot of space so I would not bother to name it.

Robin Ryuu
08-13-2013, 10:17 PM
I understand that "that" body of water wouldn't have an official name on a map or anything, however it is a known area to avoid because of the pirate base/town.

Azelor
08-13-2013, 11:49 PM
then indicate the pirate base or call it the pirate's strait

Midgardsormr
08-14-2013, 03:10 PM
Or leave it unnamed and slap on a label that says, "Here thar be pirates! Arr!"

Robin Ryuu
08-14-2013, 04:25 PM
lol Interesting, but I can't do that. That area is a plot-critical location, the pirate base is The main-character's hometown, it's where the story starts. So I at least I need a nickname for it. Its going to be the Black Dragon ........something. :? ...........All of the place names are rather bland aren't they?

Gumboot
08-14-2013, 07:28 PM
lol Interesting, but I can't do that. That area is a plot-critical location, the pirate base is The main-character's hometown, it's where the story starts. So I at least I need a nickname for it. Its going to be the Black Dragon ........something. :? ...........All of the place names are rather bland aren't they?


There is no geographical term for the body of water you've highlighted. Your only real option is to call it something like "XX Coast".

Falconius
08-14-2013, 07:40 PM
Wouldn't it just be referred to as a strait? Or a channel alternately.

Viking
08-14-2013, 08:44 PM
Lol yea channel, straight, passage, or even sound could work. You could also use the word "waters" though that isn't really geological.

Gumboot
08-14-2013, 10:33 PM
Lol yea channel, straight, passage, or even sound could work. You could also use the word "waters" though that isn't really geological.


Yeah, I mean you could use them, but your main issue is the area highlighted would really consist of multiple features, so there's no easy term for the whole area. The coastal inlet to the right would just be a bay/inlet/etc, while the north-south strip could maybe be called a straight or channel, and there's really nothing geographically speaking for the bit to the west between the two islands, though you could probably get away with "channel" or "passage" as you say.

It's very difficult to really judge without a scale as well, because all of these terms we're describing are limited to navigable waterways. The northern strait looks as narrow as the river, so I don't know that it would really be navigable for a sea-going vessel.

I'd be inclined to name the area through the middle (to the bay) as "XX Harbour", name the two narrow sections channels, straits, or passages (two separate ones, maybe even just north and south channel or something), and give the mouth of the harbour between the two islands a more colloquial name like "The Neck" or "The Maw" or something.

Robin Ryuu
08-15-2013, 12:43 AM
hrm.... I'm not quite satisfied with it, (It doesn't look natural to me) so I'll change that area a "little" bit.

Naeddyr
08-16-2013, 04:03 AM
The Black Dragon's Throat.

The Black Dragon's Maw.

Though I'd personally go with the shorter

Dragon's Jaw
Dragon's Teeth
Dragon's Maw
Dragon's Throat

rdanhenry
08-18-2013, 03:38 AM
Since it gets a lot of traffic from scary pirates, you could call it the "Scared Strait".

Robin Ryuu
08-25-2013, 11:31 PM
The more I think about the plot the more sci-fi it gets, rather than the original fantasy. :? ............... Ah well, if it turns out better that way then who cares?

waldronate
08-26-2013, 01:05 AM
Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.

Robin Ryuu
08-26-2013, 02:30 AM
57222 Would something like this work and how does Serpent's Nest sound?

Robin Ryuu
08-26-2013, 03:06 PM
I could use some advice from an author who has experience making maps for their worlds, but anyone is free to add their opinion.

With my resent idea (Actually an idea I've had for awhile now, but finally got an idea about how it happened) about the plot of my story it has become conflicting with my map. Well if anyone can understand this..... The worlds history is (similar to/the same as) ours-> distant future, hi-tech-> an event/apocalypse-> civilization destroyed, some humans survived-> the world is recovering, magic discovered-> the story's present day.
So, basically what would be very hi-tech/distant future to us has passed and faded to a forgotten myth.

Now for my dilemma, if I use this in my story there would probably be ruins and left over changes to the landscape roads, dams, canals, etc.
Should I make major changes to my map, make a new one, use a real map, or just scrap the whole idea?

Midgardsormr
08-26-2013, 03:36 PM
In my opinion, the map is subordinate to the story. It is a tool to help you to tell the story, either by helping you to communicate with your audience or by helping your to better understand your own world. If it doesn't serve that purpose, it needs to be modified, abandoned or redone to suit.

When getting down to the specifics, though, consider how much time has passed since the collapse. If this world has crawled back out of the stone age all the way to a new Industrial Revolution, we could be talking in terms of millenia. Not much of our modern world (and I would assume the greener, more organic future world) is likely to survive more than a few centuries. We don't build to last these days. In addition, the massive quantities of resources available in a city or along a highway would ensure that those structures would be used as quarries and mines, further reducing their mark on the land.

On the other hand, if civilization rose faster this time around because people could reverse-engineer tech from what was left behind, then you'll definitely see more signs of the older world.

Another thing to consider is that the settlements of the old world are probably located in places where it is natural for a settlement to exist. Las Vegas notwithstanding. So the new civilizations are fairly likely to go ahead and build on top of the old cities. They will probably appropriate the old roads, since they're already there and already lead to useful places. So your existing map may well show the same features and need only minor adjustments.

If you intend to set the story in a specific modern geographical area, though, then you'll probably need to start from scratch in order to get the landforms and general settlement locations to line up.

Gumboot
08-26-2013, 08:28 PM
I could use some advice from an author who has experience making maps for their worlds, but anyone is free to add their opinion.

With my resent idea (Actually an idea I've had for awhile now, but finally got an idea about how it happened) about the plot of my story it has become conflicting with my map. Well if anyone can understand this..... The worlds history is (similar to/the same as) ours-> distant future, hi-tech-> an event/apocalypse-> civilization destroyed, some humans survived-> the world is recovering, magic discovered-> the story's present day.
So, basically what would be very hi-tech/distant future to us has passed and faded to a forgotten myth.

Now for my dilemma, if I use this in my story there would probably be ruins and left over changes to the landscape roads, dams, canals, etc.
Should I make major changes to my map, make a new one, use a real map, or just scrap the whole idea?

The first thing you have to decide is whether you're a cartographer who likes to write some stories about their maps, or whether you're a writer who wants a map for their story. If you're a write, Midgardsormr is absolutely right; the story has to take precedence.

I wouldn't necessarily panic about changes or things being absent however. On top of Midgardsormr's great points, bear in mind that a map is not a satellite photograph. Even when it's a "satellite map" it's still not a photograph of the world, because, to begin with, if you look at actual satellite maps you can't see roads, rivers (except very large ones), or even towns (you can generally see big cities!). You're adding data, and it's selective (you don't show every single tributary stream on a regional map!). A map only shows what's important to the people who are going to use it. If ruins of 20th Century cities aren't important to the society of your book, they're not going to put them on their map.

Robin Ryuu
08-27-2013, 12:00 AM
My story definitely comes first, the map is for me to see where certain things are. (Its hard to make maps of mostly unexplored territory and deadly to explore it, so any maps shown in my comic will be incomplete.)

Korash
08-27-2013, 10:02 AM
You can also go the route of the early map makers who have made maps based on peoples assumptions of what is there. There are quite a few early maps of North America where the lay of the land makes NO sense at all now that we what is where. Of course this does not help the author at all except to know what sort of legends there may be about a certain area. A sort of "Here Be Dragons!!" kinda thing...

Robin Ryuu
08-28-2013, 08:46 AM
I've seen one of those for North America on TV, the one where California was an island.

006
08-31-2013, 11:24 PM
wow this is awesome!@

Robin Ryuu
09-08-2013, 11:22 PM
57593 A sketch I made of the title. Its not a map, but I wanted to share it.

Robin Ryuu
09-09-2013, 09:57 PM
What could a cluster of 3 volcanoes be called? Right now I think of them as the Moirai Peaks but is there something better than peak?

Maezar
09-09-2013, 10:55 PM
Volcanoes are sometimes called Vents
"Moiral Vents" isn't terrible.

TheHoarseWhisperer
09-10-2013, 12:09 AM
Or something more poetic: Moirai's Crown? Moirai's Claws?

Robin Ryuu
09-10-2013, 07:45 AM
The Moirai are from Greek mythology, you have probably heard their English name the Fates.

Robin Ryuu
09-11-2013, 10:49 PM
57682 A design idea I had earlier. Wood frame with gears. I love the watches that the internal workings are visible, so I was attempting to do something similar. When I get around to making a final copy I think the gears will be a brassy color, anyone have a suggestion as to what kind of wood would look best?

Midgardsormr
09-12-2013, 04:20 PM
I recently visited a museum with examples of Andre-Charles Boulle's incredible veneer work. A lot of it was terribly overdone, as French decorative arts of that period often were, but there were a couple of cabinets with marquetry that was breathtaking. This one is oak veneered with bloodwood (photograph courtesy of the Getty Museum):

57690

Robin Ryuu
09-18-2013, 10:04 PM
57793 I was working on the northern part of the map trying to make it look natural and when I finished the mountains I "zoomed out" to look at the whole map. A few seconds later I started laughing and thought to myself, "Hey, doesn't this look like something". So I started drawing it. 57796

Robin Ryuu
10-17-2013, 10:07 PM
Good evening everyone. I've been busy with school work these past few weeks so I haven't had much time to spare, but I have finally worked on my story and map some more.58497 He looks much better now that he's finished right? Making the mountains look like a dragon was unintentional, but it looked cool so I just went with it.

:? It didn't attach my map.... I increased the size a little so is it too big?