View Full Version : Aronbor

10-31-2009, 11:12 AM

This map shows the kingdom of Aronbor, an important location in the story I am currently writing/procrastinating over. It is located in the west of southern Vaniya, the world I have been creating/mulling over for many years.
Here is a little backstory...

The kingdom of Aronbor is in decline. The king, Beltime, is plagued with ill health. With the ending of his rule, court politics and machinations are rife.
The Arons are at the forefront of the Vaniyan war against the Mandrai, a race of feline-like humanoids who inhabit the land to the north of Aronbor, beyond the Colden Wall. The Mandrai are not native to the continent of Vaniya, having arrived at the time of The Sundering, when The Heart of the World was split into seven pieces. At first an uneasy peace was held between the humans and this alien race from across the seas but eventually relations collapsed and war ensued - though the initial reason is not now remembered. The Mandrai are a feared and aggressive race. The Mandrai females are the Warriors, lithe and agile, they have incredible speed and use their claws as a deadly weapon. The Mandrai males are known as Dreamers, with an ability to enter a trance-like state that can alter the reality of their surroundings. The females have the ability to Dream but it is against their religion to do so, punishable by exile or even death. The Dreamers, although naturally larger and more muscular than their female counterparts, would be equally deadly fighters if their class system allowed them to engage in such abhored practices.
Guarding Aronbor, and thus the rest of southern Vaniya from the Mandrai threat are The Grey Guard - the arse-end of the Aronbor military sent to patrol the Colden Wall from the ever-present threat of invasion. Made up mostly of convicted criminals and drafted peasants and run by spoiled-brat officers whose fathers paid for their commissions, they are ill-equipped to deal with the situation. Helped by a group of commissioned Arcanists from Maloglash, they have a series of warning signals that can supply a force of soldiers to any point on the wall within minutes of the alarm being raised.
Mandrai are getting through the wall however(sometimes literally) and many sightings have been made throughout Aronbor of individual or groups of Mandrai. It isn't known what their plan is, where they are headed or what they intend to do when they get there. But most of Vaniya remains ignorant, or even apathetic of the situation.
And the Blight rages on.

The map was created entirely in Photoshop CS.

The fonts used were:

JaneAusten - For the marginalia text.
Handserif - For all the towns, forests, rivers etc.
FFF Tusj - For the country and the sea labels.
Dali - For the red X's scattered around the map.
Ancestory SF - For the text on the cartouche.

All the fonts were downloaded from Dafont.com except the Ancestory one which I got from fonts101.com

Thanks to all those who offered C&C in the WIP thread which can be found here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7011)

I know crap-all about copyrights so I'll just say this is under the Creative Commons thingymajig. If anyone can use it for personal reasons, that's fine. Making money from it, however, is a no-no.

10-31-2009, 11:24 AM
Well, have some rep :D
I know this was a pretty huge undertaking.

So, the red crosses are Mandrai camps or something? What are Mandrai? :P

10-31-2009, 11:58 AM
Pure art man! color, details, labelling, ... all awesome!

10-31-2009, 01:09 PM
Ramah - after six months and ten complete maps submitted on this forum, you remain in my opinion the finest mapmaker on the board. Your attention to detail and absolute mastery of color and texture make your maps a simple pleasure to look at. With Aronbor, you continue to refine your style, adding new and subtle features that, through finesse or fortune, work beautifully with the overall theme of the map.

My hope is that someday you will create a tutorial to help the rest of us do something that captures the essential effect, if not the mastery of your work.

I would love to put your maps on my wall in a fine frame.

10-31-2009, 01:12 PM
I just might have to agree with Imm there although there have been so many great mappers coming into the guild over the past few months that it's hard for me to rate 'em. Well done man and good luck with the writing.

Scott Livingston
10-31-2009, 01:43 PM
I love the beaten-up look. The "grunge" is almost as impressive as the map itself! Kudos!

Steel General
10-31-2009, 04:44 PM
It's a spectacular piece of map/art-work... one to be proud of!


10-31-2009, 08:32 PM
Thanks a lot guys. Those remarks, coming from people whose work constantly amazes me, means a lot.
And Immolate... heh, stop making me blush with such praise. :S

I do feel kind of torn about this map. I do feel that in the end the extra details justified the work but for the longest time I felt that all I was doing was rehashing a map that had already been received better than I could have hoped. It's essentially the same style (although refined somewhat) so I still feel I have something to prove and that I need to do a map or two in another style before I can stand properly amongst you guys.

Btw... I've edited the first post to include a little backstory with the map. Mostly about the war with the Mandrai.

10-31-2009, 08:42 PM
Repped from me too. You got a great map with Vanya and featured but I think this one is even better. Do you have a world atlas that these two fit into ? Are you planning more like these ?

10-31-2009, 08:45 PM
Cool backstory...
The part about the wall does remind me of the wall in George R. R. Martin's books. It that coincidence? Just wondering... sometimes I get great ideas, but then I Google them and realise it has all been done before :)

10-31-2009, 09:39 PM
Repped. This is a wonderful map. I've got to try some stuff in this style...though I can't imagine my execution would come to a quarter of the level of this one. Nice work.

11-01-2009, 04:14 AM
Cool backstory...
The part about the wall does remind me of the wall in George R. R. Martin's books. It that coincidence? Just wondering... sometimes I get great ideas, but then I Google them and realise it has all been done before :)

It reminds me of it too, which is annoying as this idea does precede ASoIaF by about half a dozen years. :S So yeah, it's pure coincidence. When I did the Vaniya map I was toying with the idea of somehow changing it or missing it off, purely because I didn't like the similarities (although there's no ice involved in mine and it isn't MASSIVELY HIGH) but I decided to leave it in because screw it, I myself know I didn't copy it. Hehe.

Redrobes: I have a small part of another continent sketched in a book from long ago where the story I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo takes place. Other than that the world is bare. My original sketch of Vaniya (which I rediscovered after I had done the Vaniya map and so varies quite a lot) goes further north with several countries up there making up Northern Vaniya.
As for doing more in this style, well I'd still like to Perdon which was the map I was toying with doing at the start of this mapping cycle. I have the base map sorted so I'm set to go. There are also a few cities I would like to do and I would also try and keep the same or at least a similar (hand drawn with roughly the same palette) look for those. But as I said after Vaniya... the prospect scares me. I think any shortcomings in the knowledge of the mapper will be more obvious with a city map. (Why would this be positioned there? Where is the so-and-so? Etc.)

And thank you Mearrin. :)

11-01-2009, 04:21 AM
Amazing map, Ramah. [Dammit, no rep possible. Will do it ASAP]

11-01-2009, 05:27 AM
I would love to see you do a city map Ramah!
Maybe you should start small... with a village to try out the style.

Steel General
11-01-2009, 06:41 AM
... sometimes I get great ideas, but then I Google them and realise it has all been done before :)

I feel the same way, someone once told me that all the basic story lines/ideas/plots have been used ad nauseum. All one can really do is try to put a new spin/twist to them.

11-01-2009, 08:50 AM
I think any shortcomings in the knowledge of the mapper will be more obvious with a city map. (Why would this be positioned there? Where is the so-and-so? Etc.)

Give it a start and see if it inspires you. I'm finding through mapping my continent (which I'm decidedly vague on) that the map is inspiring the story, rather than the other way around.

11-01-2009, 09:22 PM
Don't worry about George R. R. Martin. I believe some Chinese guy beat him to the idea of a big wall by a few years.

11-02-2009, 11:05 AM
Oops. I realised I had forgotten to include the font information in my original post. I've edited it in there now.

Thanks to all you lovely, unsung heroes of font creation. :)

11-02-2009, 11:41 AM
Don't worry about George R. R. Martin. I believe some Chinese guy beat him to the idea of a big wall by a few years.

I think the chinese guy thought on a much bigger scale, but there was also this roman guy, too.

And great map, Ramah! No rep due to my not having repped enough other fine folks at the moment.

11-10-2009, 04:34 PM
This is a very nice map. It was done very well.

11-11-2009, 05:42 AM
This map is awesome! Very well done and totally my style :)

Have some rep!

11-11-2009, 10:15 PM
Holy mother of God. That is freaking amazing. Have some rep from me also.

I absolutely love all the little intricate details on this thing; I just spent the last 15 minutes looking at it, seeing cool little things no matter where I glanced. Top notch job.

12-13-2009, 09:25 AM
Absolutely beautiful!
I wish I could do something like that :((


maybe you already answered this question, but... what are those "x" red symbols here and there?

12-13-2009, 09:49 AM
Thank you.

The red X's north of the wall show approximate positions of Mandrai settlements. The X's south of the wall denote where sightings of Mandrai have been reported.

07-02-2010, 07:21 AM
Has the image from the initial post in this thread disappeared for everybody else? It's just not there for me. I've tried editing it and the thumbnail appears blank in the attachment manager, but going through my profile and checking my attachments the image is still there. Anyone else had a similar problem?

07-02-2010, 07:41 AM
yep.. I don't see any image at all.
I haven't have problems with an image not registering - but I - and several others - have had the thumbgenerator fail (only have a question mark) so there only is a link instead of a thumb. Try buzzin RobA, cause this sounds like a new problem.

Steel General
07-02-2010, 12:35 PM
It's an issue that's been cropping up more and more. I know RobA has been looking into it.

07-07-2010, 10:58 AM
woot! I fixed your thumbnail on the first page!

I had to do i manually including some mucky sql stuff.

-Rob A>

07-07-2010, 02:08 PM
I had to do i manually including some mucky sql stuff

oh no... don't be swayed by the power of the dark side... ;)

07-07-2010, 03:22 PM
woot! I fixed your thumbnail on the first page!

I had to do i manually including some mucky sql stuff.

-Rob A>

Ah, thanks a lot for that Rob. :)

I hope it didn't take you too long. If you had to do it manually, does this mean you aren't sure why it happened? Can you fix it so it doesn't happen to others?

07-11-2010, 10:32 AM
This map is very inspirational. I love the style and the detail of all the details. Excellent work!

07-11-2010, 10:41 AM
This map is my absolute favourite map here!

No superlative could describe this any better.


07-11-2010, 11:18 AM
Thanks guys.
I have to admit that this is my favourite of my own work so far. Vaniya seems to get most of the good press but this is the one I would choose personally, even though I'd like to delve back into it when I have the time to make a few adjustments here and there.

07-21-2010, 08:53 AM

We are desperately trying to get in contact with you about the commission. Please respond as soon as you can. We are posting here because you haven't responded to any emails and this is the last place you've posted.

Thanks, Empyrean Games

silent nights
07-24-2010, 05:27 AM
very nice map im in the processing of writing up a story myself. and keep getting stuck on a map. my 1st attempet was very crude. but u have gave me a lot of ideals but im still not sure how u made all those graphics ive used photoshop for quite a while but its always been more photo editing goten quite good at it. like pulling elments out of 1 iinto the next. but your work is really stunning any pointers u could give me would be apprectated

07-25-2010, 07:24 PM
When I saw this map my jaw hit the floor! I was just glancing through to see how my maps stack up against others, and oh my. This map is incredible.

I've got two questions though.

1. To create the hand drawn feel to the map is that a graphic that is already in Photoshop or did you download it?

And two: To get the symbols from CC was it just as simple as opening the folder where the symbols are and importing them onto Photoshop?

07-25-2010, 09:45 PM
There was no CC used, Ramah is a master and he drew everything by hand using a tablet in Photoshop. Someone extracted his little symbols for things and turned them into brushes and you can find those in the Resource section.

12-21-2011, 07:23 AM
hey, I'm planning to use the brushes to make a map for my book. Am I allowed to do that? You said no making money off it, so I'd really like to know whether this counts as making money off them (if it every goes to market). Thank you.

04-10-2012, 09:21 AM
A really nice map. Looks so real with all that fonts and scribings everywhere.

05-01-2012, 09:33 AM
I especially like all the tiny script running down the sides

06-10-2012, 12:43 AM
Very nice.

06-10-2012, 06:29 AM
This map is so beautiful! I love your use of textures and I especially like the incorporation of the text into your map. The colors give it a great, mysterious atmosphere. I look at it and instantly I want to know more about your world. Awesome work! :D

08-21-2012, 07:35 PM
I would love to make a map of this quality. I have been trying to make a regional map of a Vale that is completely surrounded by mountains but everything I do just looks bad. I'd love some pointers on mountain placement. This is the problem with not being artistic.

08-23-2012, 02:51 PM

08-27-2012, 04:02 AM
definitevely gourgeous work

08-27-2012, 04:14 AM
definitevely gourgeous work

03-07-2015, 08:27 AM
I just came across this thread (I'm, uh, fashionably late) but OMG this map is fantastic. I'm absolutely in love with it. I have belatedly repped (only six years late!)

03-07-2015, 08:38 AM
This map is awesome I want so bad get good at this hahaha.

03-07-2015, 11:22 AM
This map is awesome I want so bad get good at this hahaha.

Haha, me too! :D

03-18-2015, 10:38 AM
This is the slyle of map that i like. Congrats.