PDA

View Full Version : January Entry: Ythrak Lakdanaan (Domain of the Exalted)



Steel General
01-12-2009, 08:20 PM
OK, I finally have something to post. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do this month.

My original plan was to do a map of Rathillien from the Kencyrath series by PC Hodgell, but I couldn't find a decent version to work from - scrap idea #1. I tried to find somewhat decent maps from several of my more favorite book series but struck out each time - scrap ideas #2-5. :x

Then I decided to take a chance and maybe do something with Asgard - I found a map of the Marvel universe's version, but couldn't find enough information on the various areas - scrap idea #6.

At this point I'm ready to pull my hair out and came really close to not entering.

So finally I fell back on the old standby...my home-brew campaign setting. I decided to rework the cosmology a bit and instead of having the deities all dwell on different planes I'd move them all to one Asgard-like plane.

Ultimately that's how I arrived at this, I took the basic outline of the Marvel Asgard map I found (with some modifications) and began mapping out the Ythrak Lakdanaan or Domain of the Exalted.

### Latest WIP ###

MarkusTay
01-12-2009, 08:40 PM
Cool concept, but it took FOREVER to load. I gave up on the spinning-thingy, and went right to a webpage (which still took a damn long time).

Anyhow, it looks really good - I like the starry background; nice touch.

Is the volcano supposed to look like an eye? If so, very cool.

Ascension
01-12-2009, 10:15 PM
Not sure what's goin on with the fields on the plateau but that volcano looks really sweet...I mean really...gotta show me what ya did there :) pretty please with sugar on top?

Hoel
01-13-2009, 06:39 AM
Nice job. Good textures.
What it needs is a rimfall!

Steel General
01-13-2009, 07:43 AM
Thanks guys...still lots to do on this.

@MarkusTay - Not sure why it took so long to load, I know Arcana did some software updates last night maybe that was the cause. It was pretty quick this morning.

No intent on making the volcano look like an eye - in fact I never noticed it and was considering redoing it. Guess I won't worry about that now.

@Ascension - The fields on the plateau are the demesne of the Goddess Zamora known as the 'Great Plantation'. I wanted to elevate it to seperate it from the areas around it. the fields are fed by underground springs which in turn are fed from the nearby 'sea' (I may add a river flowing from there - not sure yet).

No big trick to the volcano, its my normal style of stacking textured layers for the mountain(s) itself. The opening is just another layer with one of the Genetica volcanic textures (Mt Kilulea I beleive) applied and then slightly gaussian blurred. As I noted above I didn't think it looked all that great last night and was going to redo it, but after looking at it again I think I'll leave it as is.

@Hoel - I did contemplate adding a water fall (or something) going off the edge into oblivion, but since I probably won't have any rivers not sure it would fit. Still something to keep in mind though should I feel the urge to add that 'one last thing' :)




I think at this point the terrain is largely done, I've got just about all the types I need, though I may add some hills somewhere. I want to do something special for the god of Time to seperate his demesne off from the others - kind of like its 'out of phase' of something. Not sure about that yet though.

Hoel
01-13-2009, 07:48 AM
It's fantasy after all, go for the fall, it'll look awsome

bryguy
01-13-2009, 10:34 AM
whoah.. that looks awesome!!


Only word I can think of that fits, no other words are good enough to describe it in my opinion.

Only thing is that the water seems to be floating above the rest of it

Steel General
01-13-2009, 10:41 AM
Thanks bryguy... It may look that way because of the bevel on the land layer, the water is actually on a layer beneath it.

May have to add a shadow or something, i'll take a closer look at it tonight.

MarkusTay
01-13-2009, 02:40 PM
Leave the volcano as-is - I thought you were going for an 'Eye-of-Suaron' thing there, and if it was an accident, it was a damn good one. :)

I like the idea of rimfall as well, and a waterfall dissapearing 'into the mists' would be pretty sweet.

When it's done, are you going to give us the low-down on who lives there?

bryguy
01-13-2009, 02:46 PM
When it's done, are you going to give us the low-down on who lives there?

The exalted? :lol:


Steel, I think the reason it looks like the water is like floating above the land to me is because there is a slight shadow under it

Steel General
01-13-2009, 02:54 PM
When it's done, are you going to give us the low-down on who lives there?

The deities of my home-brew (there's a link in my sig to the Wiki) make their homes here. I had originally had them on their own planes, similar to the Forgotten Realms, but starting on this map has caused me to change my whole idea on that. I'll have to update the cosmology section of the Wiki one of these days.

There is a sort of 'union hall for the gods (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3873)' map I did in the Finished Maps forum that could go along with this.

Gandwarf
01-13-2009, 05:00 PM
Awesome map so far, Steel General. Not that I am used differently. No temple this time I see, although it still has to do with deities :D

Ascension
01-13-2009, 05:06 PM
I'd put in an MC Escher style river that flows out of a mountain waterfall then into a lake then out and back around into itself...these are gods after all and they love to frolic in rivers and lakes. :)

mmmmmpig
01-14-2009, 01:04 PM
you are doing this just to thwart The River Police, aren't you?

You have some great textures going on there

Hoel
01-14-2009, 01:44 PM
Yeah! I agree with ascension! Go nuts, play god and make up the coolest map ever!

Steel General
01-14-2009, 02:40 PM
The Gods (and Goddesses) move in mysterious ways... :D

Steel General
01-14-2009, 08:21 PM
OK, bit of an update.

1) Added some waterfalls (2), 'swampfalls' (southern edge) and a small river
2) Added irrigation for the "Great Plantation"
3) Placed all of the deities demesne's and their symbols (new one for Darkjoye)

I think that's about it.

Enjoy ;)

###Latest WIP###

Hoel
01-14-2009, 08:48 PM
That looks good. I really like the waterfalls.
I'm so doing a floating magical island. Dunno how the hell I'm gonna work it in to my campaign but all the things you can do with the map is soo cool.
So project list so far:
1. A fortress
2 A magical floating island
3 The opposing fortresses (if someone picks that up)
4 Glacier/fjord region
5 The rest of my fortification essay
I don't know why I posted that here.
Good map anyway. Cheers!

Ascension
01-14-2009, 10:28 PM
The longer yer here, the longer that list gets...mine is so long I forgot what's on it. I can't even imagine the lists of the trailblazers of the site.

Steel General
01-15-2009, 07:48 AM
That looks good. I really like the waterfalls.
I'm so doing a floating magical island. Dunno how the hell I'm gonna work it in to my campaign but all the things you can do with the map is soo cool.
So project list so far:
1. A fortress
2 A magical floating island
3 The opposing fortresses (if someone picks that up)
4 Glacier/fjord region
5 The rest of my fortification essay
I don't know why I posted that here.
Good map anyway. Cheers!

Thanks Hoel, I had a few doubts about the perspectives of the falls' at first but I am happy with them now.

I seriously would look over Ascension's asteroid tutorial (if you haven't already) if you're thinking about the whole floating island thing. I really think its well suited for it - as a starting point or reference if nothing else.


As far as this beastie goes - got a bunch of labeling to do and maybe some additional terrain features if I can think of anything that makes sense and that should wrap it up.

Hoel
01-15-2009, 08:30 AM
If you want do do something easy that'll make it just that bit more awsome, why not put some sand and mud scattered about, maybe a sandy beach or a muddy area used as the god's muster field.

Steel General
01-15-2009, 08:38 AM
I did add some small beaches to the islands in the southern 'sea', but the chewed up/muddy terrain is a good idea - especially in that large open area in the southwest with the bull icon (Falkyr - God of Battle).

I also thought of adding a few roads leading to the Infinite Tower (Big Momma's house ;D) - not sure about that though.

Hoel
01-15-2009, 08:59 AM
I'm just thinking Asgård when I see this. A musterfield like Idavallen is a must for any self respecting war-god
Test the roads out, see if they look good.
I still want a rimfall thou.. or maybe something like Bifrost.

Steel General
01-15-2009, 09:40 AM
Well if you look at a map Marvel Comic's Asgard (http://www.comic-images.com/data/media/15/Asgard_002..jpg) - you'll see that i used that as "inspiration".

I'd need to come up with something completely different - don't want to copy Bifrost (Asgard) or the Infinite Stairway (Forgotten Realms) - to want to include that. I'll give it some thought.

Hoel
01-15-2009, 10:06 AM
No bridge but... wait for it.... a CANNON!

Steel General
01-15-2009, 07:05 PM
OK, here's today's update...

- Added the labels and moved some of the demesne's around a bit.
- Added a new 'desert' island for Tempus Fugit - Demesne of Thempys; God of Time
- Added the Colossus of Eternity he stands guard at...The bridge to Tempus Fugit
- Added 'dirt'/broken terrain at the base of the mountains & the Fields of the Fallen

This may very well be the final version unless a really, really cool idea pops up or I see typos, etc.

Hoel
01-15-2009, 07:22 PM
Saw no glaring mistakes, but I don't know your spelling. The desert island was a nice touch, but I think it needs a really scary rope bridge. A dessert island would be cool too.

Btw, isn't Illuvatar ripped right out of Tolkien mythology?

Nomadic
01-15-2009, 08:56 PM
Saw no glaring mistakes, but I don't know your spelling. The desert island was a nice touch, but I think it needs a really scary rope bridge. A dessert island would be cool too.

Btw, isn't Illuvatar ripped right out of Tolkien mythology?

Heh yeah, I think Eru Illuvatar is the master creator mentioned in the silmarillion.

Steel General
01-15-2009, 09:31 PM
Btw, isn't Illuvatar ripped right out of Tolkien mythology?

If it is, it wasn't intentional - I can always change it like I did for the CWBP, it's essentially the same pantheon with some name changes.

Edit: After digging out my copy of Unfinished Tales it seems that Illuvatar is a Tolkien name, I try to stay away from those as much as possible so I think I'll change it and repost the update later tonight.

bryguy
01-16-2009, 12:45 PM
Aye I like tis map.

tis a little flat in some areas, and me thinks that the water still looks like it be floating, but tis be a good map.


Arg I knew I shouldn't have gone over to Anchors Away agin, as it gets me talkin' like a pirate for a bit!

Korash
01-16-2009, 03:39 PM
No bridge but... wait for it.... a CANNON!

yeah yeah, thats the ticket. 8)

I was wondering if there was anything missing, but you hit that nail right on the head Hoel. ;)

Nice work SG. Would this be in addition to the Temple of the Exalted or replacing it? Just curious.

Steel General
01-16-2009, 05:25 PM
Thanks Korash...

Actually this is in addition - The "Hall' is the deities planet-side meeting area; they are all to fickle, paranoid, un-trusting, whatever to either go to a large gathering or host one here. They really are a strange bunch! :D

Hoel
01-16-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm ogg mu tit drunk. But I still think you need a Cannon

Steel General
01-16-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm ogg mu tit drunk. But I still think you need a Cannon

We'll see... no promises though :)

Steel General
01-17-2009, 01:55 PM
Nothing major update-wise with this one;

1) Changed the name of the deity living in Cynoethspyre - got rid of the Tolkien name Illuvatar

2) Added some additional grass/foliage covered hills

3) Sorry Hoel...no cannon - maybe next map.

###Latest WIP###

ravells
01-17-2009, 02:25 PM
Very nice style, SG! The trick must be in feathering the real elements into the drawn ones which you've achieved very convincingly. Great stuff!

Ascension
01-17-2009, 02:37 PM
Found 2 lil boo boos in the tree pattern...just north of unicorn's retreat and just southeast of gardens of passion and pleasure...there's a horizontal line where the pattern isn't tiling. So you might have to do the trees on multiple layers to avoid the line. Looks nice otherwise.

Steel General
01-17-2009, 02:39 PM
@Ravs - Thanks... Nearly everything is layered textures - its usually quite a bit of trial and error; color changes, texture adjustments, trying different levels of blurring until I find something I am happy with. Never quite the same twice in a row. Then going back and erasing bits and pieces to give it a bit of a more natural look.


Found 2 lil boo boos in the tree pattern...just north of unicorn's retreat and just southeast of gardens of passion and pleasure...there's a horizontal line where the pattern isn't tiling. So you might have to do the trees on multiple layers to avoid the line. Looks nice otherwise.

Crap! I made a mental note (that'll teach me :D) to fix those and I forgot. Oh well looks like one more update later today or tomorrow.

bryguy
01-17-2009, 11:49 PM
Mental note to self: remind steel that it is easy to forget mental notes.


This looks great SG :)


LOVE the volcano :)

Steel General
01-18-2009, 11:15 AM
Minor update to correct the 'tiling' issue in some of the forests.

###Latest WIP###

jfrazierjr
01-18-2009, 12:09 PM
I wonder if there would be a way to represent a winding staircase to the island instead of a straight path.... To me, the winding stairway represents infinity a bit more, but may be much harder to achieve on this scale...

Steel General
01-18-2009, 12:28 PM
I think the problem would lie more with perspective than scale

Hoel
01-18-2009, 02:06 PM
I just noticed the big label on top. It doesn't look good imo.
The glow looks like PS standard and the font looks like copperplate gothic. Such a nice map needs a better font...

Bohunk
01-18-2009, 02:38 PM
Very impressive SG!

Steel General
01-18-2009, 02:54 PM
I just noticed the big label on top. It doesn't look good imo.
The glow looks like PS standard and the font looks like copperplate gothic. Such a nice map needs a better font...

It is Copperplate Gothic Bold - I couldn't find another font I really liked, so I went with that, I'm open to suggestions for other fonts.


@Bohunk - Thanks, I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

aiRo25
01-18-2009, 11:16 PM
Amazing map!

Question (read this as I'm on my knees with hopeful clasped hands and big brown eyes): do you have a tutorial on here for mountains?

Steel General
01-19-2009, 06:56 AM
Question (read this as I'm on my knees with hopeful clasped hands and big brown eyes): do you have a tutorial on here for mountains?

Thanks for your comments...Unfortunately I do not have a tutorial, I'll see if I can come up with something but I'm really bad about keeping track of what I do. - so no promises. :)

EDIT: Since I had to take the day off work, I threw together a tutorial on how I do my mountains. Posted in the tutorials section of the forums.

Hoel
01-19-2009, 12:02 PM
I guess it depends on what you're trying to convey about the map.
Copperplate was extremely popular with amateur and semi-pro designers in the 90's but has since fallen from grace and is now shunned by most graphic designers.
If you look over some free font sites I think you can find a much better font
Take a look at Augustal, Caslon or Warnock if you have some money to spend.

Steel General
01-19-2009, 01:28 PM
Definitely not spending any $$$ on fonts - just found out I need to replace a bathroom tub in my house - YUCK :P

I'll look around the free font sites if/when I have time and see if anything catches my eye.

Ascension
01-19-2009, 05:30 PM
Another of my fav fonts is called Skyclad Gothic and I got it free over at letterheadfonts.com when they were having it as a give-away so take a look at it and see if you like it. For me it seems to fit but you might not dig it but LHF has some awesome fonts.

Steel General
01-19-2009, 05:51 PM
I'll check that site as well, thanks.

Hoel
01-19-2009, 05:55 PM
Checked the site but couldn't find the skyclad font. There's tons of free font sites around.
No one should ever use any windows standard fonts ever!

Soixante
01-19-2009, 06:46 PM
This is a very pretty and original map. Well done!

As for fonts, let me recommend dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/)

Midgardsormr
01-19-2009, 07:06 PM
Checked the site but couldn't find the skyclad font. There's tons of free font sites around.
No one should ever use any windows standard fonts ever!

Well, that's a bit of a blanket statement, and as such, I must refute it. (Sorry, it's my nature.) If you're distributing a document (a web page, for instance), then you should use standard fonts likely to be installed on any computer it's loaded on. Arial, Times New Roman, and the like. Also, many of the fonts standard on Windows were chosen for their high degree of legibility, making them the most appropriate choice for large blocks of text. I doubt anyone wants to read six paragraphs set in Black Adder. And if they do, I doubt they'll still think it was a good idea when they're done!

And even for decorative mapping purposes, at least some of the Windows standard fonts have their uses. I am thinking specifically of the oft-overlooked Wingding typefaces.

Honestly, I think there are many more people who are guilty of using too many and inappropriate fonts from dafont than there are people who are too dependent on their system fonts.

Hoel
01-19-2009, 07:13 PM
Ok, sorry. I was a tad unspecific. It should say "...any windows standard fonts for design purposes ever!" And i should loose one of the "evers"
You're totally right about blocks of text and distribution and all that stuff...
Wingdings.. i don't agree, but if you can show me a good example I'm happy to change my opinion! :)

Midgardsormr
01-20-2009, 01:05 AM
Very well. I present to you a sampling of characters from Windows Wingdings which are suited to fantasy cartography. This is not exhaustive, but it does contain the most likely candidates. Also, a link to a map using some of these symbols:

http://www.bryanray.name/maps/TawarenBasin.jpg

Steel General
01-20-2009, 06:42 AM
Yup, used several of those myself on some of my early maps.

Hoel
01-20-2009, 07:02 AM
Ok. I guess some of them could be useful. I stand corrected.

Steel General
01-21-2009, 02:48 PM
Only change is the font used for the label at the top.

###Latest WIP###

ravells
01-21-2009, 07:05 PM
Wow, this looks like it's had tonnes of work poured into it. I really like the floating in space theme...very imaginative!

jfrazierjr
01-21-2009, 07:19 PM
Very well. I present to you a sampling of characters from Windows Wingdings which are suited to fantasy cartography. This is not exhaustive, but it does contain the most likely candidates. Also, a link to a map using some of these symbols:

http://www.bryanray.name/maps/TawarenBasin.jpg


Yep, that Ships Wheel font is a GREAT thing to signify a port/naval town.

Gamerprinter
01-25-2009, 11:06 PM
Great job, SG! Nice thinking outside the box on this one. Could it be two in row? Good luck, I hope I get to print your map!

GP