View Full Version : January Entry: The Western Empire

01-04-2010, 10:16 PM
This challenge is motivation for me to do something I've been meaning to do. I created a continent map for my friend and current Dungeon Master, Ron. It was a few months ago and the map went through it's WIP phase under the name of Eldimar. That changed when I took it to Ron, and it is now called Esteria. Esteria came out well, and I'm happy with it, but it's dark and colorful, and more of artistic value than functional, like much of what we do here tends to be.

So I wanted to make a parchment map on a larger scale of the area we started in. Our first session was at Robindow Keep in the extreme west of the Empire. My character, Neb the hobbit bard, is a skilled geographer and cartographer. So of course he invested money in inks and parchments so that he could document their journey. The overall map he copied from an existing map he found in the library in Galt. As they go, he add things to it to document their journey. The party is currently fourth level and actually off the map for the moment, having gone off on a jaunt to the plane of fear to steal a sword from a Githyanki. At fourth level. No, we didn't get their by our own means and yes, Ron is a tough DM. Surprisingly, despite his reputation, he has run a balanced and compelling campaign with only one death. We're playing our first Pathfinder campaign, and though it's quite similar in most ways to D&D3.5, it has some startling differences. So far, they've been pretty positive.

So here is the original map, along with what I have done so far with the map of the Western Empire.

Yes, those are Ramah's mountains, scaled down a bit.

### Latest WIP ###

01-04-2010, 10:41 PM
Right now I'm just a lil confused as to what the different colors of land mean. The mountains are on this yellowy color and the roads/rivers are on this grayer tan. Once I get that figured out I'll say pretty interesting :)

01-05-2010, 08:45 PM
Who would keep me honest on colors if not for you Ascension?

Let's try this one. Didn't put much time into this today. We went out and rewarded my wife for wrecking her car by buying her a MB ML350. My poor Explorer looks kinda sick in the driveway now.

### Latest WIP ###

01-05-2010, 09:49 PM
I don't mind the colors, I just don't know what they signify :) Country, plains, I dunno...well now I do - it's the western empire. This orangey one looks kinda cool, like an 18th century map.

01-10-2010, 01:56 AM
I found myself to be dissatisfied with the map as I'd slipped into Photoshop tricks that look good but detract from the internal reality of the piece. This is supposed to be a map hand drawn by someone with considerable skill in old school cartography and a firm grasp of geography, along with another map to use as reference.

I (re)started by puttering around on the tutorial board until I discovered an old tutorial from Hapimeses and watched it http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1669. I enjoyed the tutorial and liked the approach as well as the results. I decided to play with it and see if I could match it as I am fairly new to the tablet. After a big of experimentation, I was able to achieve passable mountains.

It took many hours to draw the mountains. As you can see, there are many of them, each hand-drawn. No brushes other than a 3-pixel hard brush and a five pixel soft for the highlights. I did a number of things differently from the tutorial because they worked better for my map.

I also replaced all of the type with hand-drawn letters. This is simply a matter of tracing the fonts using a calligraphy brush, but it takes a steady hand, patience and lots of redos.

At this stage, only the frame and pictographs are not hand drawn. I still have much to do, including forest, hills, roads, town markers and compass rose, scale etc.

### Latest Wip ###

01-10-2010, 02:07 AM
I totally respect trying to do the calligraphy - I got a D in it so I've never tried it again. Kudos, bro.

01-10-2010, 09:41 PM
I added the path of our adventure over the last nine weeks. It was a bit of a struggle as my notes were not as complete as they normally are. I am playing a bard who doesn't write about the adventure every week as most of my characters do. We started on 11/4 at Robindow Keep in the west of Old Nerith.

### Latest Wip ###

01-10-2010, 10:04 PM
Dude, I love your little symbols...the dragon is really cute.

01-16-2010, 03:07 PM
Added a compass and scale and dirtied it up a bit. The folds came from CoyoteMax. I made a huge number of small adjustments. Removed the symbols from the frame because they detracted from it. I'll put something else in later.

### Latest Wip ###

01-16-2010, 05:00 PM
I love it. Great entry, Imm!

01-16-2010, 08:30 PM
Thank you Ravells!

More updates. The border was replaced, lots more weathering. Free rep to the first to tell me what the text in the background is-not the language but the actual work.

### Latest Wip ###

01-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Well I don't know Latin so I'm out. The only word that I can actually read clearly is ergo.

01-19-2010, 06:29 PM
Great Entry! I really like the colors. It feels like it has some history about it.

I know some Latin words, but I can't clearly make out any in your background.

01-24-2010, 04:29 PM
I think this will be my final entry on this map. I'm happy with how it turned out.

### Latest Wip ###

01-24-2010, 04:48 PM
That is one seriously beautiful and distressed map. Superb work, Imm!

01-24-2010, 06:02 PM
Thank you ravells. You are always kind. I'm glad you don't find it overdone.

01-24-2010, 11:25 PM
I think it's beautiful.

01-25-2010, 06:01 AM
Immolate, this is indeed a stunning piece of work!

01-25-2010, 06:07 AM
Another beautiful map, Immolate. Very nicely done. :D

01-25-2010, 07:56 AM
Very pretty indeed. This is a truly beautiful map.

01-25-2010, 10:35 PM
The way you guys are buttering me up, I'm starting to get nervous :)

01-25-2010, 11:37 PM
Heh heh, muahahahah.

01-26-2010, 12:53 AM
Sweet as mate. very nicely done have some rep.