Northern Chalcedonia - a WIP
Here is a map I am working on for my Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG campaign. Legends of Nor'Ova is a unique game not based on any other RPG, with its own dice system, races, etc.
Anyways, this map is the continent of Northern Chalcedonia. It is part of the larger Chalcedonia continent system which consist of Northern Chalcedonia, Southern Chalcedonia, and the outlying islands. It is in the north eastern quadrant of the world called Nor'Ova. The continent is bordered on the west by the O'Lennon Ocean, on the north by the Aech Ocean, on the east by the Andron Ocean, and on the south by Southern Chalcedonia. The boundry between Northern and Southern Chalcedonia is a small but somewhat wide and very mountainous isthmus known simply as the Middle Lands. The equator of Nor'Ova runs through the center of that isthmus, which is where the map cuts off at the bottom. (the equator position is not fixed at this time, and may move further south to account for a larger southern continent if need be when I get to that point). The northern polar continent of Tyrasia can be barely noticed on this map.
This map illustrates Northern Chalcedonia during the Second Era of Nor'Ova's time line, an era of time that has come after a major muclear war (remembered only as the Great Magic War now) had reset the world basically. While it's only been 830 years after that terrible war and intial fall-out, the world has redeveloped certain technologies, such as steam engines, rail roads, guns, plumbing, and crude electricity. It would almost classify as a steampunk-like setting, however things such as airships and the like aren't yet available. As a side note, it is the radioactive mutation through generations that has given the ability to use magic.
The purpose of my maps is to provide a means and method of tracking overworld movement, and showing what places are around. Therefore I tend to draw things so that I can law a graph-grid layer on top of it (LofN uses a movement by block/hex system). I do not use complex mountains or trees for forest because I want to be able to track movement better with the grid, and well, I just am not an awesome artist lol.
So, here's the maps. Or I should say, here's the screenshot of the maps. I made a region screenshot to show the map only within GIMP. I am uploading a screenshot instead of the map file itself because the map is HUGE. It is 11520 px x 7920 px. Basically, I already drew the map on large vellum graph paper, so I set te canvas size to match the amount of graph pages it took to make the map. Heh, it is a continent after all right, so it should be huge . The first image is showing the entire Northern Chalcedonia continent, whereas the second image shows zoomed in on the most completed part of the map sofar, the area known as the Outer Limits, which is an island nation called the Kingdom of Nethisda. It is the Nethil Isle and surrounding islands. I wanted to zoom in on the most completed part to show how the different elements look sofar - forests, mountains, volcanos, etc.
So please, review the maps. They are far from complete, and let me know thoughts, critiqs, imrpovement suggestions, etc.
The larger territory reveals a river violation in the northwest (assuming north is up). Rivers join up as they flow to the sea, they don't divide, except in certain specific circumstances, and rejoin fairly quickly.
Another over in the east, the river splits almost immediately before going in two completely different directions.
Originally Posted by rdanhenry
There are also three of lakes in the olive-drab color. It looks like the river connects with the lake, bounces away and wraps around it, then reconnects with the same lake. That kind of stuff doesn't happen.
Are you so certain about that? Allow me to illustrate what I mean.
1.) The olive color indicates swamp/marsh/bayou type areas. In my home area that is common to see "lakes" with rivers like that, within swamps and marshes.
2.) THe Pascagoula River does just that, diverges into the East Pascagoula, aka the "Singing River" and the West Pascagoula before reaching the gulf.
3.) And here's the crux of them all. In a world so controlled and dominated by magic, how much can we rely on earthly knowledge and preconceptons of rivers anyhow?
For reference, I have attached two images taken from google maps. One is of the Pascagoula River, showing the split and the laking affect. Granted it's in a delta region. The other is of the Mississippi River, right north of the Lousianna and Arkansa border. A smaller river actually splits from the Mississippi there, and never rejoins it.
So maybe I've done so more than should happen and could look into fixing them. Maybe such things could be considered as delta effects (except the "lakes" which are marsh land/swamp effects that are very much present on earth). But why are such things immediatly frowne upon in a fantasy world? I curiously would like to know.
Thanks, again though, for your critiq and responces to this. I'll look more at the map and see ho I can adress the river concerns, but the lakes are very much legal.
it does happen, obviously, but only on a very limited scale. My hometown of Hamburg for example has a river that "splits up".
Still, that should probably only happen small scale, not over vast distances, and only in flat areas etc. What should not happen is the river you have that splits up near the source and then flows into two entirely different seas (just north-east of the continent's center).
Right. After thinking on it I agree with that. I even made changes to the WIP map and posted them here. However for some reason they are awaiting mod approval...
I wonder if its because I clicked the WIP button icon. I sure hope it's not making a new thread!
But anyways in my latest map, I seperated those split up rivers into new rivers, and even worked on the lakes in the swampy/marshy areas.
1 and 2 ) There was no way of knowing beforehand that such areas were swamp/marsh/bayou types. I'm no geographist, but it's my understanding that those types of areas generally occur within a reasonable distance of the coast. Your samples are very much inland. There are some inland swamps, such as the Vasyugan Mire in Russia (http://g.co/maps/2uqnd). In fact, two or three rivers actually source from the swamp. However, it doesn't look like a big giant lake. You could always re-texture the area with typical swamp textures (a gross yellow-green with soem grassy bits) for clarification purposes. In my big, fat, not-so-humble opinion, those areas as currently depicted defy logic.
Both of your examples are very close to the coast, and that area in particular is relatively mushy compared to other areas. That river that "branches" from the Mississippi ... if you're talking about the Three Rivers area ... well. First, that "branch" river doesn't actually originate from there, the source is farther north. Second (and this is without any scientific founding), that branch looks way to straight and perpendicular to be natural. *Checks* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Riv...trol_Structure. Yep. That right there is man's fault. Anyway, distributaries are common in delta areas, so your examples really don't prove your point, nor do they really disprove mine.
3) But then as you say, who cares! It's magic! ... *shrug* Don't ask for advice if you're just going to shrug it away with magic.
Have fun with your map, sir.
Regarding the rivers: aye, and after further analysis I even came to agree with that, and edited my map. I uploaded it in a reply post here, but that post is awaiting mod approval. But yes you are right, the only places for river diveragnce is in delta regions. So what I did was I seperated the offending points, making the diverged rivers as seperate rivers with seperate starting points. I also made fixes to the lakes in the swamp areas.
Regarding the swamps: Yes, I understand that the swamps/marsh/bog areas aren't clearly noticable as such. After all, it's just an olive green color on the map thus far. While this is still a IP map, and no where near completed, you are right in that I do need to differentiate with the swamp areas better - heck on my hand drawn version it's only noticable as a swamp area because it is labled as such. Clearly an area in need of improvement.
So I'll look into the texturing of the area. I do want to be careful though, as the primary use of this map isn't decorative, but campaign overworld travel. As described earlier, I have a grid graph layer that is not visible in these shots and overworld movement is tracked by it, so I am trying to stear away from textures that could complicate movement and such, while still trying to illustrate the world environment itself. It is a very difficult balance to strike, and one who isn't much of an artist or mapmaker like myself has even more difficulty doing this. So if you have any suggestions in this area, I'd appreciate hearing them.
As to the location of these swamp areas, while it is not noticable right now, the idea is that the stretch where those swamps are is a recessed valley of sorts, with higher than average water tables and the like. I am not fully certain on how feesible or realistic that is, but that was my thought in designing it. A swampy interior was somewhat pivotal parts of the story and history of the area, but maybe a change is needed? I do want to make it right after all, otherwise I wouldn't be seeking advice. So I want to have thee swamps, bu maybe I should move them? Lots to think about here, and any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. It seems to me you are much more knowledgeable in geography than I. I admittedly only have a fleeting knowledge of it, having focused more on history than anything.
One thing I do want to mention though, those attached images are screenshots of the map. The image showing the entire continent is zoomed out to 9.65%. I mention this because you mention that the lakes were small. THey are pretty big actually. Putting the file up here in its original size whould be quite the upload for me and download for you, so I thought it best to make the screenshots.
Regarding #3: I have a feeling you might have misunderstood me there, not that I blame you. I do not always express myself clearly nor my intentions, so for that I am sorry. WHen I made my remark about magic and such, I was not trying to hide behind it. I was simply inquiring on how the rules of geopgraphy work in tandem with a world that is (a) not earth and (b) a magic-based/altered world. Of course I want advice and amnot shrugging it away. It was more of a curousity to me on just how flexible can the notions of mapmaking be with fantasy maps.
I do hope you weren't offended by that, nor that I offended anyone else. I had already learned a good deal from the earlier critiqs and edited the map in response, which did indeed make the map look better! I wouldn't be posting here my WIP if I didn't want ctiricisim and wasn't open to making changes and such. I simply question things, and sometimes I have a nack for questioning things in ways that well putt people off, making them think I'm being overtly defensive and not really caring about what they have to say. The reverse is the case, though, especially here.
I do wish that my last upload of the map didn't have to wait for mod approval. I wonder if I did it wrong or something to require that.... I think that if it had posted right away like the other posts did (oddly enough) then you would have seen that I actually did listen to yours and others critiq's and make changes despite my questioning - which for my part did read and sound loaded and such though I never meant for them to be. I also do hope that you will continue to critiq the map, pointing out things that I didn't know (like with the rivers and lakes and swamps) so that I can continue to make the map better, correct, and continue to learn how to do this better.
EDIT: I just noticed that you said that the RL swamp doesn't look like a big giant lake, not that it needs a big lake to make - which is how I read it first making me thik you were implying that the lakes were too small. My appologies. And you are right, swamps are not big giant lakes. I have seen, especially around here, marsh lands and wetlands around lakes.. but again I live on the coast, and these clearly are not coastal, giving more credit to the need to make a change there.
Last edited by mythus; 02-14-2012 at 08:34 AM.
Reason: correction to what I thought was said.