View Full Version : Himinreica - Regional Map (Previously Untitled)

Greason Wolfe
03-12-2010, 04:47 PM
So I took a little break from this project ( original thread : http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9347-Idle-Hands-Devil-s-Playground ) to participate in the Feb/March Lite Challenge and, as it turns out, found a bit of inspiration for this map. Well, inspiration as it applies to naming the map and the slowly developing back story/current story related to it.

That's right! I've finally got a name for this project, and that name is . . .


I developed the name from elements of the Old Norse language; Himinn, meaning "heaven" and Rétta, meaning "reach." After a bit of thought and play with the phonetics of the combined terms, I ended up altering things slightly to come up with the final spelling of Himinreica [pronounced : him-in-RAY-cha], which maintains its original meaning of "Heaven's Reach."

Technically speaking, Himinreica is the mountain cluster in the northwestern portion of the map, consisting of the three highest peaks in the immediate area. Despite the fact that when I started this map, I was more focused on the valleys, I always knew, deep down, that the mountain cluster would end up being the ultimate source of antagonism for any stories/encounters in the region, thus it seemed logical to let that be the case, as well, for the naming of the map. Oh, but I didn't stop there.

You see, in a fit of godliness, I just couldn't help myself. I cursed that mountain cluster. Oh, yes, indeed, I did. I wagged my finger at it and said "A curse on thee, yon mountain cluster, doth I place." Okay, maybe I wasn't all that theatrical about it, but you get the idea, and, as it happens, that led me to develop a second, older and nearly forgotten name for the mountain cluster.

Again I dew upon elements of the Old Norse language (are we beginning to detect a theme here?); Munr, meaning "mind" and Bresta, meaning "break." To maintain a hint of uniqueness (and mostly so I wouldn't completely abuse the Old Norse language), I fiddled with the phonetics once more and ended up with Munbreistr [pronounced : moon-BRAY-ster], which translates roughly to "Mind Breaker." Hopefully the connotations of that name are fairly clear.

In terms of the story, nothing is set in stone yet, but my initial thoughts are that somewhere deep beneath the mountain, there exists a tribe of, well, morloch/reaver/mongrel men type of folk who still worship an Elder Elemental God much like the one described in that old 2nd Edition "Monster Mythology" Handbook for AD&D. These folk are, in essence, a combination of anything and everything they could get their hands on. As a "granted power," the high priests were capable of magically breeding with any species, and, as a result, combine traits of human, elfen, and dwarfen origins along with a host of other sundry creatures. Over time, this ability has filtered down to the more common caste of their society. In a nutshell, they are downright nasty looking and somewhat cannibalistic in nature. And, of course, after a millenia of extremely rare sightings (mostly to capture more breeding stock and/or food), they, along with their god, have decided that it's time for another run at regional and/or world domination.

So anyways, that's where this project is at now. No major updates as far as the map goes, but progress none the less. I'm hoping to get some work done on the map over the next few days and expect to be able to post an update on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how things go over the weekend. For anyone interested in the current map status, just follow the aforementioned link.


Greason Wolfe
03-15-2010, 09:14 AM
Although steady, the progress on this map, at least for now, is rather slow and time consuming as it takes me roughly an hour and a half to two hours to trace out and fill each contour line for each individual area of the map, and becomes particularly tedious in those areas where the slopes are rather steep. At this point, I'm trying to concentrate on the southern portion of the map and finish it down to sea level which, I'm guessing, is going to take me the better part of today and tomorrow.

I thought, in the meantime, that I'd offer up this little map of the original area in question. It isn't a perfect match in terms of the area I'm working with, but it is fairly close and should give an idea of what it is like trying to manually create the grey-scale contour map I've been working on. The area shaded in red is the area I've cut from the contour version of the map. Given the "islands" depicted (which are actually marshes and/or mud flats) and the way I'm making the area "larger than life," cutting that area out seemed the only reasonable solution to maintaining some level of geological realism in terms of water flow (i.e. rivers, in general terms, don't split into multiple forks). Besides that, I wanted to make those "islands" a bit more prominent to the map, itself, rather than just being "filler material."


Greason Wolfe
03-16-2010, 01:20 PM
Although I haven't gotten as far as I'd like, I've made, what I consider satisfactory, progress in regards to the elevation build at this point, again, most of it being in the southern portion of the map. Like the last render, this one is approximately 1/3rd full size. The surface texturing is pretty basic and applied only to those elevations that have been completely contoured so far. The surface, itself, hasn't been through any tweaking and, in some areas, appears terraced. I'll work on that once I've finished building the elevations, and probably cycle through some erosion sequences to add a little more variation.

As things go along, I've been thinking about how I want the final version of this map to look and find myself torn between the satellite-like appearance that most of my maps have and the pseudo-isometric/hand-drawn approach I was taking with my Well of the Golden Maiden Challenge map. There are, I think, benefits to both styles.

With the satellite-like appearance, there is lots of color, and it gives a sense of a bird's-eye view of the terrain. It also allows for a fairly clear definition of water, vegetation, soil and/or bare rock, and snowy areas. The drawback is that things become exceptionally cluttered and complicated in terms of creating the surface textures such that they don't look overly tiled. And labeling becomes a bear in terms of trying to set the text apart from the rest of the map.

Conversely, with the pseudo-isometric/hand-drawn approach, things tend to look a bit cleaner and the surface texturing is far less complicated. In addition to this, the defining of cities, towns and villages is much easier along with the fact that the labeling isn't so color dependent. The drawback is that some areas, particularly snowy areas, are much more difficult to define in terms of being visibly obvious. That, however, I might be able to solve with a bit of post-render editing.

Maybe what I can do is render the map in both styles, using the satellite-like style for the sake of artistic value while the pseudo-isometric/hand-drawn style can be used as a hand-out/player's kind of map. Of course, that'll mean significantly more work when it comes to setting up the final renders, but given the idea that I'll be using this map as a setting for both a series of stories and, possibly, the development of an RPG, it's work I'm willing to take on.

The other issue I'm still struggling with is just how much "larger than life" I want to scale this map. My inclination is to measure the feet as meters which will result in an area of approximately 2262 square miles in all (47.6 x 47.6 miles), and elevations ranging upwards of 6850 feet. I'm not sure, however, if this will give me enough spread to space things out decently. At maximum, while still maintaining a fair amount of detail, I figure I can go up to 5822 square miles (76.3 x 76.3 miles) with an elevation ranging to somewhere near 11000 feet at the highest point. This will give me more spread for spacing things out at the expense of detail. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what I'll do in regards to that, but I'll have to make a decision eventually.

So anyways, here's the latest render. Thoughts and suggestions, as always, are more than welcome.


Himinreica - Latest WIP Render

Greason Wolfe
10-21-2010, 06:49 PM
Golly, it's been a while, hasn't it? Obviously, I haven't been doing much in the way of mapping for the last couple of months. That has more to do with a lack of motivation more so than a lack of inspiration. I've had plenty of ideas, but, in all honesty, just no desire to work on them other than to experiment every so often, which, as it happens, has helped some, at least in terms of future work. But anyways, I've finally gotten back to work on this project and have some progress worth showing. Most of the elevation work is done down to at least 200 meters all the way around. In the southern portion of the map, the elevation work is complete down to sea level. If things go well, I should have the base elevation work finished in the next week or so, assuming I can maintain my current rush of motivation.

This is a scaled down version of what I've accomplished so far that also includes some of the "known" bodies of water.



Not so much an update as a progress check from a different perspective. Still haven't decided exactly what style I'll try to use for this map, but wanted to get the Terragen perspective up for comments or suggestions. Still nothing special, but, again, the "known" bodies of water are included.



Steel General
10-22-2010, 09:42 AM
Looks good so far... and I understand about the motivation thing, been going through that for quite a while myself.

Greason Wolfe
10-26-2010, 02:13 PM
Not as much progress as I had hoped for, but progress none the less.

Technically speaking, I've only got two more levels to go in terms of drawing in the contours, however, both those levels will need a little back-filling of sorts to finalize the lower hills and mountains, particularly along the coastal regions. I expect this to be a bit time consuming as the underlying map that I am using to draw the contours tries to go into a little bit too much detail and some of the lines I am trying to follow "disappear" from time to time. Ah, but such is life, and I'll simply have to fight my way through it.

In the meantime, a couple of updated renders. The first comes from Wilbur while the second is an alternate perspective as rendered by Terragen. As a side note, I didn't cycle through the "smoothing" process for these renders, so they may look a bit terraced. Again, I've slapped the known bodies of water in place, though these might change some once I've worked my way through the erosion process.