View Full Version : Gaijinoshima

03-20-2009, 10:56 PM
OK, started working on my "Foreigner's Port" of Gaijinoshima, the starting location for my Kaidan campaign arc. This town is largely inhabited by Eta caste (Hungry Ghost realm), the lowest tier in the Kaidanese social structure. Merchants, prostitutes, yakuza, butchers, tanners and longshoreman are all members of that caste and residents of Gaijinoshima.

Of course "Gaijin" means foreigners or outsiders, and "shima" means island.

Although there is currently a Kaidanese merchant ship in port, I plan to place a western styled caravel or comparable next to it to the south - as the ship that brings the PCs into this world.

I'm about a third complete, need more buildings to place and more to create. I plan to place some walled off sections of town, to divide between various castes.

Gaijinoshima is an anomalous place in that though part of the empire, it falls outside the planar construct of the Wheel of Life and a place that Kaidanese do not want to die, as they are exempt from reincarnation here. That is why the Eta have been forced to be the primary inhabitants. There are a few craftsmen, fisherman, a garrison of samurai under the lead of a hatamoto appointed "ruler", though these latter members do not live in Gaijinoshima, rather dwell across the bay in the city of Uesaki on the mainland. They come here in shifts of 12 hours to work their occupations, but return each day to shore as their opposition shift arrives.

Work in progress map of Gaijinoshima...


03-21-2009, 02:33 AM
Good job on the water! What software are you using for this?

03-21-2009, 02:57 AM
Thanks for the comments! I'd love to take credit for the water, but I cheated, that's a photograph of turbulent water placed seamlessly. Not that I could not attempt this in Photoshop/GIMP and have a reasonably same result - the photo was much easier and faster to work with. (I've got lots of maps to create and for publication soon, so I have to be expedient.)

If you look in my "software use" under my name, you'll notice Xara Xtreme Pro at the top. This is the software I use to create, composite or wrap up all my map work. Sometimes I use 3D (as in the case of the trees, the boat, and the buildings). Sometimes I "paint" with PS or GIMP, but not so in this map. Sometims I draw by hand (my regional map of Kaidan in the finished maps forum) however, I use Xara in all my work.

This map is almost exclusively using Xara, except for the 3D elements of course. There are a ton of photos composited into this map. The process is basically vector drawn shapes, with photo textures for "color", then use of transparency filters, edge feathering, some beveling and use of drop shadows - all built in features of Xara Xtreme...

I know, not what you wanted to hear, but that's the truth of the matter.


03-21-2009, 06:40 AM
Fantastic map, GP! I love the level of clarity.

03-21-2009, 11:19 AM
Great stuff!!

one question/assumption: Is there a road to the south-west that leads further inland? I see no other way that goods may travel inland from here otherwise.

Unless this is a port town of the "any port in a storm" variety where it is intended as a safe place to hold up and continue after danger has past, with no intent to transfer goods. It could also be a port of entry, I guess, for immigrants and goods that are either blocked or transferred to native ships for further travel.

Steel General
03-21-2009, 11:25 AM
Lookin' good so far GP!

03-21-2009, 01:19 PM
Great stuff!!

one question/assumption: Is there a road to the south-west that leads further inland? I see no other way that goods may travel inland from here otherwise.

Unless this is a port town of the "any port in a storm" variety where it is intended as a safe place to hold up and continue after danger has past, with no intent to transfer goods. It could also be a port of entry, I guess, for immigrants and goods that are either blocked or transferred to native ships for further travel.

Gaijinoshima is a relatively small island, the port town is the only inhabited part of this otherwise rocky island. The road going southwest and stops will be the Tannery section of town operated by the Eta inhabitants of the town. Tannery process is "stinky" so it is parked slightly away from everything else. You can also notice the wharfage continues to the southwest off map - small boat fisherman are docked here.

Now if you go to my regional map of Kaidan - http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4786

Notice the three larger isles that make up the empire. The smallest of the three is the west central island. On its western side, notice the two peninsulas surrounding a bay. At the center of this bay you notice a smaller island - this is Gaijinoshima. You should see the name labeled there.

Foreigners are not allowed to land on any other ports of the empire, except Gaijinoshima, thus it is the "foreigner's port". Goods are transfered off the ships that land here and barged over to Uesaki on the mainland, east of Gaijinoshima. That way, they can control who and what leaves Gaijinoshima to the mainland. Those foreigner merchants that have "travel papers" are allowed to take a barge to the mainland for further business/adventuring.

The merchant that hires the Ansium/foreigner (PC party) as escort will accompany him in delivering a "gift" to one of the lords of that larger island surrounding Gaijinoshima. There is a castle town located on the eastern side of that main island - and is the destination for the first part of the adventure arc - the Gaijin Gift.

Thanks for the comments guys. I've already started creating interior walls to separate the Samurai Quarter, the Commoner's Quarter and the Eta Quarter which comprises the largest section of town. I've even labeled each quarter thusly so you'll know it, when I load the updated version (probably tomorrow).


05-23-2009, 03:23 AM
Finally finished Gaijinoshima. I'm slowly trying to fit Kaidan maps between commissions. I'm calling it a sneak preview, as I probably won't post many more maps from the adventure until publication of the adventure arc for Kaidan. Since I was working on it here, I thought I'd show you the finished product.

I plan to map the interiors of several of the numbered structures below.

The legend is as follows:

1. Port Authority: a Hatamoto appointed jurisdiction to control Gaijin activity on the island. Note this sits on a bluff overlooking the town. A wall cuts the town in half, the upper reaches are the homes and facilities for the few samurai and commoner homes and shops on the island. Everything south of the wall is the domain of the Eta (Hinin "Hungry Ghost") caste, yakuza controlled district.

2. Gaijin Port: the only allowed port for foreigner's into the empire. Barges carry supplies and people between the port and the Uesaki across the bay.

3. Kabuki Theater: popular entertainment on the island.

4. Gaijin Inn: hostel for foreign travelers (barbarians unwelcome elsewhere).

5. The Sleeping Crane tavern: the last "western style" tavern in all Kaidan, its the last tavern with standard imported whiskey, ale, and other known intoxicants for the travelers to Kaidan.

6. The Dragon Club: a yakuza operated niteclub also serving as a brothel and gambling house. A fighting arena lies within for weekend fights.

7. Eta Cemetery: "freedom in death" is the phrase given by the locals, some idea of escaping the afterlife, by dying on the island has some unknown significance...

8. Zao Hungry Ghost Temple: serves as holy site for local populace.

9. Gaijinoshima Tannery: the wealthiest trade most of the year, but giving the town a very unpleasant smell.

10. Home of the Oyabun, Master of the Yakuza on Gaijinoshima.

11. Isle's water source, a spring fed pool of fresh water keeps the island alive, the samurai district surrounds and defends the water source.

12. Zao Temple: worship here by the upper classes of Gaijinoshima, operated by a fanatically militant order of Sohei, assigned here following transgressions at their home temples, on a "death sentence" protecting the empire from the barbarians.

Anamolous to Kaidan the island and port of Gaijinoshima sits outside the cosmological control of the setting, thus free from eternal reincarnation. Except for the Eta and the foreigners, all upper castes dwell in Uesaki across the bay, as to them, Gaijinoshima is cursed. To the yakuza, the port is their chance for final escape...



05-23-2009, 04:23 AM
Looking great GP, have some rep. I love towns and this one has an interesting layout.

Two personal nitpicks:
- The roads looked like water to me somehow. It was more noticable in the first version and less in the last version, because of all the buildings. I think they look like a river to me because they look to be dug out into the land.
- Some of the trees seem to be huge... not sure about the scale.

Steel General
05-23-2009, 11:27 AM
I can see where Gandwarf is coming from regarding the road. Though to me I think the issue might be the orientation of the pattern you chose. I wonder if you rotated it 45 degrees and resized it a bit if it would help.

*shrugs* Just a friendly suggestion. :)

05-23-2009, 02:17 PM
I like it, I'm cool with the road except that I think the pattern is a bit large. At any rate, looks pretty nice overall, good stuff G.

05-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Beautiful map, and I love the backstory. Its clear you are well-read on Japanese culture. Naturally, the second map fixed up most of the concerns I had with the first one. My only comment is that the buildings are a little bit uniform for my taste. But that may be a matter of time.

05-23-2009, 04:54 PM
When I was working on this earlier in the month, Xara crashed and I lost the file, but I did export it to JPG to post here, so I used that JPG and added the residential homes and finish the map. Some of things like the road is rather unfixable, without starting from scratch - and I wasn't in the mood to do that.

I did fix the trees though, painting a cover over with my foilage texture.

This is the starting point in the adventure arc. I will be mapping the inn, tavern, and Dragon Club for the adventure, probably adding Kabuki Theater, Port Authority, and perhaps one of the temples as add-on maps in the accompanying map folio product for use in VT apps.

I'll need to create the town of Tsue, and Tsue-jo castle, which is more populated, on the other side of the province from Gaijinoshima. I will be creating road through woods map, the Hengeyokai village, a haunted village, the woodland edge village, as other needed maps for the adventure.

I'm trying to get these maps done for the adventure, between commissions, its sometimes tough to meet the schedule.

Thanks for the comments guys!