This map is a Slave Charter given to various slave merchant houses in the procurement of Celtic slaves from the recently discovered region in the east called Dernallion.
Link to WIP in WIP Forums: http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/7404-not-challenge-map.html
Since I retired from the Monthly Map Challenges, I did hint if I saw a challenge that interested me, I might do an off-the-record entry in the WIP forums, which is what I did for this one. Besides all the work on my coming publication with all those Japanese maps, I wanted to do a side project that had a different flavor.
In this map, first I created the Celtic knotwork border. Its not hand-drawn, rather it is a font I paid for and haven't used much, basically letter combinations have the various knots used, but not all match, so without knowing all the "combinations" its trial and error to get what you want. Then I went searching for Celtic knotwork samples and found the two I used for the symbols of Ambrathas and Dernallion. I recreated them by tracing them in Xara, then colored, applied bevels, shadows and stacked into a grouped object.
After which I decided since the knotwork was Celtic, I'd do an old style map, in this case, the entire map linework is hand-drawn. The WIP shows the steps I had taken, the changes, and the fact that the mountains; coastline; escarpment, river, Grimwode and Dernallion are all drawn as separate elements all composited in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
After drawing, I scan it in PS, then import to Xara for map composition and coloring, I also make each scan transparent for use in layers against a parchment background.
With the complex border, all the hand-drawing, and the major changes made, this entire map took me about ten hours altogether - which is a long time for me the normally hyper speed mapper! :P
Since this map is not intended for publication it is CC licensed, free for personal use in your games!