View Full Version : Greater World of Vandia - Early WIP Map

07-21-2014, 05:38 AM
Hello Cartographers.

I am a writer, unpublished though I may be. I currently have in the works three books, two single volume books, and the first book in the Radiant Sky Quintet (Which at this stage is planned to have books that are between 200'000 and 400'000 words long.) It is Radiant Sky that I talk about here.

Radiant Sky is an ambitious project, it rounds off to between one and two million words long for all five books. The setting for these books is called Vandia, a planet in my universe, and I used my meager map making skills to make this very loose rendition of what the world looks like including vague lables when I first conceptualised the world. Hooray!

I only had MSPaint at the time I drew this because I was at a relatives house

Now there are quite a few issues with this map, as you would expect from an early draft. I found that dividing the lands into their own island continents was a bit silly, it left a lot more open space than I would like to have, and since Nebanris (purple) and Braydeos (green) were once a single nation it made more sense to join those lands together. Denylsum (orange) and Holoron (blue) are also relatively the same landscape so joining them made sense too. Avesa and Oisa are seperate nations so I left them be. I moved everything around and now I have something that looks like this.


Still WIP but a better representation of the land masses. Try to think of the Six Nations similar to commonwealths, where the coloured areas are representations of dominant race, culture, and ruler. Braydeos for example is comprised of eight states that make up the Nation. There are still lots of areas I need to improve on, for example climate and significant landmarks, major cities, etc.

Feel free to help me come up with a better version of this map, once I have a majority of things sorted out I might actually commission a polished map of the world that would (with permission, legal contract and due credit) be featured in the novels. I'm not great at explaining maps but I will give it the best shot with the notes I have on the draft map (Gods help you all)

Climate Map

Draft Map, Very Early

Thanks for all your help, and ask me questions. It's the only way I am actually going to understand this stuff. Ask me things and I will answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks guys and gals.

07-22-2014, 11:37 AM
First of all, welcome to the forums. I also wish you good luck on your ambition project. Having that said, I don't know if you have settled on using a particular program to produce maps with but the most used ones around here are GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/) (free), Photoshop (big price tag) and Campaign Cartographer 3 (https://secure.profantasy.com/) (small price tag). Of course there are more but these are the more popular ones to my knowing. I don't have any experience with the GIMP as I've been a PS addict mostly, next to a little bit of CC3 experience. The tutorial section (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/) contains quite some instructions on how to work with either the GIMP or Photoshop for map making and of course there's this simple yet helpful guide (http://christopherdeldridge.com/blog/?p=405) on how to produce a world map from scratch (even though it barely touches the surface on the subject, just take a look at some of the threads around here on climate (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/27118-wip-sort-tutorial-climates-applying-geoffs-cookbook-detail-some.html) or this guide (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html)).

As for your world map (assuming it shows all land) it looks land is far more present than I would have it but you're the boss. I don't know how to read your climate map as there is no legend included.

07-27-2014, 10:30 AM
Thankyou for your comments Iggy. I stepped back and took a look at various different maps and novels and really focus on geography which is one of my weaker skills and I scrapped everything I had and began to redraw the map from scratch.

Vandia use to be a supercontinent, a massive landmass the the width of east Russia to the British Isles and perhaps the height of the top of Canada to the bottom of South America. Huge, you see. I decided my world isn't that big, it does contain other continents and such but Vandia itself is the size of Australia. So I got out the digital equivalent of a fresh sheet of paper, and I started from scratch and now the world looks like this.


The land is much better in my opinion. Avesa to the west is two hours behind Holoron in time, though time keeping is a relatively new concept in Vandia. Instead of being called the Greater World of Vandia, it is now simply the Six Nations of Vandia. Vandia itself is a temperate climate, Nebanris has a cooler climate due to volcanic activity, and Holoron is mostly barren on the surface. I'm slowly learning things as I go along, I am doing a lot of research on cartography and geography, as well as other research on basic narrative writing and linguistics, because Vandia has a form of alphabet that is simlar to English but looks different and etc.

This map is the zoomed out version that will only show major locations such as capital cities and importan features like the volcanoes of Nebanris. There will be other maps that will zoom in on the nations and show various state borders and major cities and important locations in the actual nations as opposed to the overall map. The map for Holoron is going to be very interesting indeed and will probably be difficult to map. I also might map very important buildings like the academy and the capital city assembly hall or Braydeos. Long story short (hehe) Radiant Sky is a grand epic and it will probably require a lot of maps.

Some things I am discussing for this map or will include later are:

Forests: I don't know if I should show forests on this large map or not. This map won't have colour in the final version because its for a book, and all attempts at me to draw forests have come up rather crap. I could draw them in the zoomed in version of the maps and exclude them from this one. Any thoughts?
Islands: What you see isn't really all of the landmass but it is a general estimate, smaller islands will be added some places and some might even have names.
Symbols: Symbols for the nations MAY be included or they may not. Braydeon states each have a representative animal that is part of their symbol
and the royal emblem is a tree, these may be on the zoomed in map.

Any questions you can ask me that may help me to think more about the map making process will be very helpful and much appreciated. Thanks.

07-27-2014, 11:41 PM
In my opinion your new version of your landmass feels way more natural and is more intriguing !

07-28-2014, 01:09 PM
I would leave forests out of it, just as rivers. I would save those details for regional maps depicting smaller land sizes. Your current map is certainly an improvement.

07-31-2014, 09:18 PM
Thankyou Lezales, I think it is better too. My goal isn't to fully do my map just now though, the goal is to get something I can use as a base to write from and then maybe get someone else to draw it for me. I am sure I can work out a deal with someone on that.

Iggy, I agree with you. forests would be too difficult to show on a large scale map like this, rivers also. Mountain ranges, peaks/volcanoes, bodies of water, major cities and country borders is all I will have. A good example of this is Brandon Sanderson's map of Roshar for the Stormlight Archive, drawn by Issac Stewart.

Nothing to update on the map itself but I have been taking a gander at some other maps. I've been gleaning information and such from these sources and thinking about how my map will look. I definately want a black and white map by the end of things because it's for a novel, but having an optional colour print out would be nice too. Like you can buy the book and if you pay a little extra you get a map print out to go with it, makes it much easier for referencing locations.

Anywho here are a few maps I like the look of.
This is from here, as I found out just now... I like this sort of style, its a zoomed in style of map showing more localised towns and cities, perhaps for smaller regions.
This is from the first book of The Malazan Book of the Fallen series, the first book I just ordered not too long ago should be here soon. I like this map because it's simple but also complex. Everything important is laid out and you know where everything is. It also has a scale, compass and legend.
This map is also quite okay, it has few forests outlined and it gives a good indication of a forestless map. The forests that are there are sparse.

And finally this map.
This exotic map of a fantasy island of many cultures is quite familiar. Hehe. In all seriousness, this map is what I have been using to base the scale of Vandia off of, that handy miles/kilometers scale is great because most likely I will be using kilometers to describe distance on my map. Not in the story though that would be odd, I'll be using days for that. It takes 100 hours to travel 493 kilometers (thanks google maps) if you walk non stop. 100 hours equals 4 days with 20 hours left over, but that's non stop and I doubt people in Braydeos would walk non stop. If I break it down to the classing one day of travel, one night of rest, I essentially double the time it takes. It's difficult for me to do mathematics so I would have to use a rough estimate of the time it would usually take, I'll do that later.

No update on my map this time.

08-01-2014, 02:52 AM
If you like a bit of general guidelines regarding travel speed here's a page I can recommend;
SRD:Movement - D&D Wiki (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Movement)