View Full Version : The World of The Innkeeper's Song - WIP

05-23-2014, 09:55 PM
Hey folks. This is my first fantasy map but I'm a real-life cartographer so be vicious in your critique ;)

This is an attempt to map Peter S. Beagle's world from his novel The Innkeeper's Song and subsequent short stories (Giant Bones, The Magician of Karakosk, etc.). You might be more familiar with his most popular work, The Last Unicorn, but this is his favourite of his own novels and he can't seem to leave it alone. I got to meet him a few weeks ago at a screening of TLU (the 1982 feature film) and we talked about Innkeeper and he told me he'd like to have it done as a TV series similar to Game of Thrones. That got me thinking I'd like to beat the rush to map this world so that's what I've set out to do. I have three pages of notes from Innkeeper about the relative locations of various towns and cities and I'm still trying to sort out where everything goes. I'm about halfway through the Giant Bones collection of stories (sold as The Magician of Karakosk everywhere else in the world).

So this is my preliminary effort. Any advice would be great but advice from anyone who's pieced together someone else's fantasy world from text would be particularly appreciated.

I created some of the landmasses by ripping up pieces of paper and cardstock and scanning them. That really helped me over the initial hurdle of knowing what the land looks like.

I have to work out where the mountains are supposed to be before I can add terrain, but I've marked in a few places where I think they belong.


05-24-2014, 11:42 AM
I think it has a nice "carved in wood" feeling to me. I would lowered or changed the blue of the sea though. But it's a matter of taste and will depend of your style for the lands, I guess.

05-24-2014, 01:52 PM
Having never read any of Beagle's work I can't comment on the accuracy or give you any advice in that regard. But this:
Any advice would be great but advice from anyone who's pieced together someone else's fantasy world from text would be particularly appreciated. I can speak to. I've done adaptations of Dan Simmon's Hyperion, Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion novels, and a couple of others. Sometimes... you've just got to guess. There have been many times I wanted to map an author's world but the physical descriptions either were sparse or contradictory. Joe Abercrombie's First Law books are a good example. So I try to stick to mapping books where the author has the skill to make his/her world come alive in mapping terms. I love Abercrombie's books to death, don't get me wrong, but his geographic descriptions can be a bit... vague. But when I DO decide to tackle a project that's a bit more vague, this is what I do:

-pay attention when the author discusses travel times. This can be key to nailing down distances.
-don't worry about continent shape at first, unless a particularly good description is given. Instead, concentrate on penciling in locations and their distance from one another.
-use common sense. If you know the setting is supposed to resemble something in real life, like the coast of Maine or the Serengeti plains, you can extrapolate a lot of physical features even if the author doesn't explicitly tell you.

When I drew Simmon's continent of Equus, I focused on the route of the Shrike Pilgrimage (since it was for a challenge here and that was the focus of the challenge - map a journey) and let the other details fall into place. With Moon's Paks map, there's already a canon (but crappy) map out there, as well as some other ones Moon drew and posted on here website, so I had a bit more to work with going into it.