Welcome to the Guild, Dark Lodestar!
Not all of us are gamers here, but most are - some are authors looking to illustrate their written works, some are just hobbyists in the art of mapping, but by in large the majority here are gamers. So you're not alone.
Check out the Tutorials forums, and definitely look at the Finished Map forums, but it might be wise to explore the WIP forums, since the WIPs are in progress and it is here, other members give advice and suggestions on where to improve, what techniques to try, etc. Which makes it great for learning experience.
The best thing to do is create your own WIP, start posting your early work, tell us your goal and we can guide you to a masterpiece. Many here come as amateurs or even less skilled and in a couple months we create mapping artist extraordinaires.
Besides, if ye be one thems, elveses, we orcses will eat you up!