View Full Version : Bina of the Runelords Series

08-05-2009, 03:47 PM
This thread will follow my work in progress, as I map the nation of Bina. This will be my first of such threads.

Goal: To produce two final maps. One will be used on the Runelords Roleplaying board, www.runelordsrp.com. This map will include geography, as well as names and locations of key sites that are being used in the Roleplay.

The other map would be used on the runelords wiki, runelordswiki.com, and would not include any information created by fans for roleplay. Just geography and anything based off information in the books.

Software: Gimp

What I know to start: There is very little information in the books on this nation, and likely little to none to come from the books in the near future. We know it contains rice patties and vineyards. It's relatively small compared to other nations. It is a Penninsula on the south western part of a large continent.

It's only landlocked neighbor, Kartish, has jungles in its north where it connects to Bina. These jungles produce spices, rice, sugar cane, silk, gold, melons, and fruit.

It has been established through Roleplay, that there is some desert to the nation as well. If realistic I'd like to keep the same general geography, and therefore overall map, the same between the two final products.

Bina has been included in one map in the books. The maps in the books are inconsistent with the text and with each other. Neither the author nor I care for them. While I will use them as reference, I do not plan to follow it too closely. They do not contain reference to mountains, vegetation or rivers, only the coastline and political border.

The Plan:

1. Research terrain a little, as well as rice patties and vineyards, so I will know what kind of terrain I need in order to support them.
2. Decide what terrain elements are necessary and where they should be.
3. Following Roba's Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142) slowly build the map.
4. Alter map/make pretty and overlay RP elements.

Steel General
08-05-2009, 04:23 PM
Sounds as though you have a clear goal in mind, looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

08-05-2009, 05:39 PM
I decided to start with two things. First a rough map of the borders based off the work of the previous cartographer.


As you can see, there's allot to fill in.

So then I moved onto the wine, since that seemed slightly more interesting than rice patties. Vitis vinifera seemed to be in similar regions culturally as Bina, with much of the area being modeled after Central Asia.

This variety typically occurs in humid forests and streamsides. I already knew we would need forests, and I figured we'd need rivers. Grape crops can be adversely affected, and not produce, by heavy cold, wind and rain. Cold is not an issue in the region but I certainly want to keep wind in mind when setting up any high terrain.

Rice Paddies need to be flooded in order to grow properly. Both rice and vineyards preferably grow on hills as oppossed to flat terrain.

So I'm looking at making this very wet, as well as hilly. I don't know yet if I want multiple small hills or one large hills. I was originally thinking of the area to be similar to Qatar which is relatively flat, but that's not going to work especially since Qatar is so dry.

Now I'm looking at elevation maps of South Korea and Japan since they have both rice and wine, as well as large areas of coast, and I'm surprised at how mountainous they are. I might be getting a little ahead of myself here. I'm gonna stop planning for a moment and try to start the tutorial to see what happens.


EDIT: Shrunk image. It was way too big.

08-05-2009, 05:45 PM
Sounds like an interesting project. Can you post or link to a worldmap of the runelords saga? So that we have an idea of the world as a whole and where Bina lies in relation to it. That'd be great.


08-05-2009, 06:09 PM
All of the maps printed in the books are held in copy write.


This is a world map I put together that roughly represents the whole continent, based primarily on those maps. You'll notice no mountains are listed and few rivers. This is attributed to poor cartography and a general lack of knowledge conveyed to the cartographer about the world from the author and not an actual absence of mountains and rivers.

The primary mountain range starts in the northwest along the border of Deyazz and Orwynne. It continues along the border of Fleeds, Beldinook and Muttaya, and Mystarria and Old Idhopal. Another mountain range stretches along the border of Mystarria and Inkarra, meeting that one. Yet a third mountain range meets both of these, running along the border of Inkarra and Old Indhopal. Making the border between Mystarria, Inkarra and Old Indhopal the place where all three meet, also home to a series of caverns known as the Mouth of the World.

The nation where the sun shines brightest is reportedly Deyazz, with its people being the darkest. Oddly the nations directly to the north of Deyazz aren't reported as that warm at all.

The nations to the South West are known as Indhopal and have climates and cultures most comparable with Central Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean. The area to the north is known as Rofehaven and has cultures and climates most comparable to Europe. Leaving Inkarra which is largely unmaped (I made much of its coast up) and is presumably quite large and mountainous.

08-06-2009, 09:33 AM
I added a few islands to make things more interesting. This didn't seem like a big change since the main maps were much farther out and probably wouldn't have noted small islands.


Bina in silhouette with blur. I had some trouble with the blur and the islands. This technique really seems to suck up islands close to the mainland and add them in. I suppose it could be edited later in the same way you'd add rivers. I tried to edit the blur more by hand but for some reason when selecting the blur tool and using like a paintbrush, noting seemed to happen. Obviously I'm not doing it right. Any suggestions/links?


Here's an image from the land clipping before working on the ocean. You can see here I tried to force the islands to exist a bit by editing the land area a bit after the blur was applied. I redid this several times, eventually deciding I couldn't move forward if I didn't let it go.


And now with ocean and a little bit of grass. I'm already disappointed with the colors. I feel like the ocean should be darker and the grass. . . different. Maybe this me struggling with my previous misconception of how fertile the land should be. I know I'm going to need some arid areas later on as well as some lush ones. I just I can add them seamlessly.

Again I decided to move forward with what I have rather than keep editing here, not knowing fully what will happen later. I need to get through the tutorial so I've done it once. I can always do it later.

For now I'm going to put it on temporary hold, as I think I might be DMing on Sunday and need a human capitol. Look for that thread later.