May 2012 Entry: A Map of Penance City
My neck is not thanking me for this challenge; I'd forgotten how much I tend to settle into bad seating postures when drawing! Well, anyway.
I'm returning to a game world which is not technically mine, named Saren. I was commissioned by a friend (and indie game dev. colleague) last year, to think this world up and to illustrate it. I'd produced a world map and a hand-drawn, digitally-coloured map of the vampire capital, Brannstadt, but for this challenge I thought I'd address one of the equatorial settlements, on the desolate island continent of Ar Drennor.
The story as I see it is that Saren's particularly magic-attuned race, the dryans, were exiled for the supposed safety of all the other factions. Back when the kingdoms were united, it was the humans of Midhaven who were tasked with the exile of this increasingly-powerful race, who once dwelled with the dwarves in Unnoria. The dryans, physically weak but intelligent, dwelt above ground, while the stout and narrow-minded dwarves tunnelled below. Humans, being neighbours to both these peoples, and a generally sea-faring race at that, were a natural choice to deliver this judgement. So, with the help of the elven army, the dryans were rounded up and deposited on Saren's southernmost continent, there to suffer in prison colonies.
Penance City was established in a tight cove to serve as chief port for this region, with the combination of restrictive geography and alarming, stepped elder architecture making it an ideal prison. Walls and forts were erected to cut off any escape over narrow mountain paths, while a great gate was erected in order to buffer the sea and isolate the cove. Dryans could then be delivered by the ship-load to a small marine cavern just north of the compound, there to be led through fortified tunnels into the city proper. Escape from here was deemed impossible; no architect could break the elder stone, keeping each tiered set of steps in tact. Furthermore, the area was surrounded by impassable mountains, so that in combination with city walls and a small army, touring every four months, kept the dryans in check for nearly a century.
Of course, the humans were overthrown, and within a single generation of the dryans' expanded lifetime, they've sought to claim Penance City as their capital. Human settlements still remain outside the city walls, and although any remaining supplies have been pillaged, they still stand until a time comes that the dryans will either move in or renovate. For now, they've simply sought to build passageways and breach the defences which were once designed to keep them penned in.
</lore waffle> ;)
### LATEST WIP ###
Also, a wider shot since while pencil doesn't come out at all well on a camera, I can at least show my working environment - and the map which I'm using as a style reference: