View Full Version : Lands of the Grand Circuit

09-10-2013, 02:24 AM
Here's something I worked on over the last few days. It's another declining or dying world, where technology is breaking down (and maybe magic is too). Imagine a fusion of Byzantine and Japanese cultures combined with the Old West and a bit of RE Howard/Fritz Lieber sword & sorcery. This is a world where trade leagues operate airship lines that travel thousands of miles across barren continents, where gunslinging outlaws face off against paladins in steam-powered armor, where necromantic cults travel the wastelands in landships powered by human souls.

This map/idea kind of crept up on me; I've got this story fragment swirling around in my head about the wife and son of an sky-trader trying to track him down when he goes missing and running into all kinds of trouble and political intrigue. The idea grew firm enough roots where it demanded that I map it. I tried to give it the feel of a 19th century American West map; don't know if I was entirely successful, but I kind of like how it turned out.

I used a couple of the same names from the Lands of Bronze map that I finished recently, mainly because I like the way they sound. :D Map was created in photoshop; fonts used were Codex (for the title), Optimus Princeps (for the nation names), and Vijaya for everything else.

09-10-2013, 05:56 AM
very nice. and i do get a bit of a western vibe from it (though since you didnt use any of the stereotypical wild west fonts its not that blatant). nice fonts (though the title font is a bit too busy - a version without the lowercase letters would be better imho) though i love the colours and the mountains, which turned out quite nice.

i really need to post something soon...

- Max -
09-10-2013, 06:40 AM
Yay, another D.'s map! Great map. I especially like the colors that give a pretty good ambience and the caterpillar mountains.

09-10-2013, 08:47 AM
Nice! Always good to see another Diamond (no pun intended :D ;) )!

Landshape-wise i have nothing to add to the praise. I do hate those caterpillar mountains though...just not doing anything for me. I think, in this case, i'd even prefer the triangle mountains :o ;)

09-10-2013, 11:57 AM
Nice! I really like the 'feel' of the map: the colours, lines, and fonts use all seem to mesh really well and it looks like a coherent map. I do agree with vorropohaiah that a different choice of font for the 'subtitle might be better. One other thing that stands out to me is that the railway lines are really similar to the national borders, while I'd expect them to be visually closer to airship routes.

Great work!

09-10-2013, 12:31 PM
This is wonderful work. It has an organic yet very polished feel. Will there be a southern half?
+1 on changing the subtitle font by the way :-)

09-10-2013, 05:05 PM
Thanks, guys!

Title: Yeah, maybe a little busy. I'll experiment with some other looks.
Rail lines: Good point. I'll change those.
Southern half: Maybe, but don't hold your breath. :D

09-10-2013, 05:37 PM
Uploaded a new version with some changes in the first post.

09-10-2013, 08:31 PM
Right one is more legible. Nice work as usual !

09-19-2013, 07:06 PM
Very fine map!

09-24-2013, 08:29 PM
You never disappoint me. Another great Map for my Diamond Atlas Folder.

Do you ever plan on doing a series of Maps in the same world? You did revisions of your worlds before, but I tend to lost the overview about so many dying worlds. Maybe a Map of your Worlds would be cool, with little infos about them, next to each other. Like amn old School Map with spheres from other dimensions :D

- Max -
09-24-2013, 08:32 PM
Wut? All Diamonds maps on a megaworld map? Would be awesome :D

09-24-2013, 08:34 PM
Its a great map. Was looking for some information like you got here.

Can you answer me the reason to not use the lines to show the roads, like you did for airships and railroads? (i am doing a map using both info, and need technical support 8))

09-24-2013, 08:36 PM
The problem with doing a series of maps in the same world is that I either lose interest or become dissatisfied with a particular map. I really, really, really do want to attempt a conworld atlas at one point before I die though. :D

@aquarits: I was going to add major roads in, but ran out of steam before I could get to it. I may add them in though.

09-25-2013, 12:35 AM
Wouldn't that be all kinds of awesome though? :D I've thought about it myself. But my issue would be keeping the map style consistent throughout the atlas... hmm. I'm afraid mine would come out looking a bit drunk on account of experimentation being way too much fun! mwahahaha

09-25-2013, 01:49 AM
I think I could probably get a consistent style, since I'm pretty much dedicated to digital art over pen-and-ink; it'd just be a matter of documenting the steps I use in enough detail to replicate the effect. The hardest part is always matching up the edges. :D

I would love LOVE LOVE to see an atlas from you in the style you used on those Wyn maps, Chashio...

09-25-2013, 04:51 AM
If you're going to do compendiums & atlas of your maps, I'll say : open a new section "awesome atlases" :D

09-25-2013, 01:22 PM
I think I could probably get a consistent style, since I'm pretty much dedicated to digital art over pen-and-ink; it'd just be a matter of documenting the steps I use in enough detail to replicate the effect. The hardest part is always matching up the edges. :D

Start with a big picture and section it into pieces, like a writer making an outline prior to starting the actual writing. And keep a latitude/longitude grid layer for each map that you can switch on and off when needed. Edges will have a better chance of lining up with a well-defined plan. Documenting the steps is a good idea. Also maybe bringing along a group of maps in stages... though that may be more tedious than one at a time. (that was a lot of tiny trees to draw on just the map of Callis)

I would love LOVE LOVE to see an atlas from you in the style you used on those Wyn maps, Chashio...

:D I would really like to do a project of that sort. In any style really. That would TRULY be a gifted opportunity... a dream to work on! Trying to figure out a way to go about it so that there's a product(s) at the end of it all that enough people would want to buy and make the time spent on it worth something more than enjoyment of the process... something useful for gaming maybe (I have NO experience with gaming which doesn't help), but on a quality and scale for wall art as well. Been thinking of maybe asking around about collaboration possibilities. I'd also like to make some prints available of pieces like my WIP acrylic map, (I started another one too, 16x12 in a somewhat different style :)) though I'm pretty sure there'd not be much interest in such random maps, no matter how much I love creating them. :( And now I've gone and completely hijacked your beautiful thread. Sorry.

09-25-2013, 01:59 PM
Hey Chashio, thats exactly Why i wanted to do the Midland Maps!

09-27-2013, 07:57 AM
@aquarits: I was going to add major roads in, but ran out of steam before I could get to it. I may add them in though.

Oh ok. Just wanted to see with roads, railroads, flight tracks and other type of annotations :D my map got a lil messed, but guess i fixed it.
But i am always tunned in your maps :D probly i see one with tons of transportation information 8)

09-27-2013, 11:46 AM
Amazing work Diamond! I really enjoy this one. It is odd to have rail lines, blimp lines and no roads as but I still think it is an excellent map anyways :) The idea of an atlas would be neat too.

09-27-2013, 08:32 PM
Basically, I did it that way because road travel just isn't very safe in most places. For merchants, sea and air travel is THE mode of travel. The rail lines are used for military transport for the most part, especially in the Sarantine Empire, where heavily armed trains travel from the silver mines to the capital. Only in Orubeth, the southern parts of the empire, and some small areas of the eastern republics are there well-maintained roads.

The atmosphere and setting is in some ways reminiscent of King's Dark Tower; most people are starting to become very insular and almost xenophobic, not traveling far from their homes as society, law, and order start to break down.

09-27-2013, 08:44 PM
Sounds like an interesting setting. What are you doing with all this worlds beside mapping?

09-28-2013, 12:08 AM
I'm a writer; most maps I make are in service of that in some way. I've started doing some character sketches, small scenes/dialogues, and a primitive glossary for this world.

Nose Goblin
09-29-2013, 09:05 AM
This is really interesting. With the Cross pattée for your city symbols and one of your states named Kant, it almost has a German feel to it, though I doubt that was your intention, and that particular cross is, at any rate, not only a German thing. Well done.

Relic Kimah
10-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Have you considered making a map of this area expressly for resource centers and vehicle manufacture sites? I'd like to see it.

10-04-2013, 01:21 PM
A resource map's not a bad idea... I'll think on it.

10-04-2013, 02:58 PM

10-11-2013, 01:19 PM
Wow, what a wonderful map! You have put a lot of thought into the storyline behind this I think! I love the trade theme, I also think the scale is very realistic! I know that technique for making mountains can be difficult, but I think you did it very well. A very gentle color pallet too, it was very expressive, more so than any of the words on the map.

10-13-2013, 05:47 PM
Thanks for the kind words!

10-13-2013, 10:13 PM
Airship routes? Woah, that's cool.

Nice map as always, Diamond.