The Nation of Orandell
Within the world of Ember lies a nation called the Federation of Orandell.
Orandell is blessed with nine great cities, each famed for some unique feature of its architecture. Arbordan is known as the City of Spires, graced with countless towers of great height and beauty. Bandurin's massive gates lead into its vaulted halls sculpted from the bones of the mountain. Ithanor's streets are lofty paths high above the earth of an ancient forest.
The cities of Orandell draw limitless power from the fallen star that lies at the center of the Great Sea of Souls. This massive crystalline edifice emanates through prisms that direct its energies to a vast network of satellite crystals. But the folk of Ember have come so far from the hardships of their simple origins that they have forgotten the very Gods who created them.
The Gods slumber, bereft of almost all worshippers, and as they sleep a darkness seeps into the land. When the dark is strong, it will wash over the light in a fearful wave. Only the strongest will be able to stand against it. Only those who remember the old ways will know how.
Well, this is absolutely beautiful, not absolutely legible in all places, but definitely beautiful. I like the used parchment effect very much. Enjoy some rep :)
Lukc... thanks for the praise. As a game aid, the intent of the map was that it be so "busy" that it would be impossible to take it all in... basically leaving room for some relatively obvious features to be overlooked, and for those who decided to put in some effort to learn something interesting.
In the past, my typical map has been much more open with plenty of "white space" for lack of a better term. I did a similar map for a friend's Pathfinder Campaign (Esteria, Western Empire), but you'll notice the more open spaces and far fewer mountains.
I love the bleeding ink effect and the whole parchment look. Very cool.
Yeah, you have definitely captured the look of a well worn map. Nicely done!
Probably one of my favorite parchment maps I've seen on here. Outstanding job! I love the lore BTW. Nice to hear the substance behind a map. I love the font too, but my only wish is that the font was not so faded. This would make the map easier to read. You're one of the better namers on the site and a little more black ink would really make your places jump out. That's just my two cents.
Thanks all for the encouragement. As they say, the faded type is something of a feature, not a bug, in making it easier to overlook things in plain site. To make it more clear and easy to read, I'd rearrange the labels to prevent overlap and crank up the opacity. So it's a choice that, while it may enhance the utility of the map as a prop, admittedly decreases its usefulness as a guide to the world, and perhaps even its aesthetic qualities.
This suggests a map made by a talented amateur rather than a professional cartographer, which makes sense for a map that the characters take possession of in Dunmar, the town in the north of the map where the characters receive their training in arts that are long-forgotten and come to know the Gods that their people have long-rejected. It is the characters' unique training that makes them heroes in a world suddenly bereft of technology that they depend on. Dunmar is a backwater of Luddites who reject modern society, and a place where true specialists are rare outside the fields of agriculture and hunting. Everyone has to know a little about everything, arguably a more natural state of a humanity where thoughts are focused on survival. That's a long way of saying that map-making is not a profession there, but rather a hobby.
 one thing I didn't mention... it is important that you view the map at 100% resolution. Page-size it is simply too small to make out the details.