[WIP] World of Flammarion: The Holy Empire
As part of a setting I've been piecing together lately for my current Pathfinder campaign (a roleplaying game very similar to D&D 3.5), I've begun drawing some maps for it, both to illustrate my players and because drawing maps is always fun.
Here's the WIP of a region known as the Holy Empire, which is where the campaign, at least for now, takes place. It is heavily inspired by the real Holy Roman Empire, in the sense of being a sprawling, nigh-ungovernable dominion conformed by a large number of smaller realms with various degrees of independence, although also incorporating cultural equivalents of regions not traditionally associated with the original's reality, such as Spain or Scotland.
Just like the one in our world, it is not really an empire in the formal sense of the word, although it does -allegedly- have some degree of holiness to it, as the several families that constantly vie for the imperial throne claim to descend from the agents sent in the deep past by the Lord to straighten man back into virtue. Supposedly tied to certain constellations, these families rise and fall from power depending on the configuration of the heavens, which makes the imperial office something quite fleeting, with some emperors having to be forcibly deposed when the lineage they come from no longer dominates the skies or others rising when no proper candidate could be produced. As a result, the political stability of the region is as solid and dependable as morning dew.
Joined together by a faint sense of shared divinity that serves to give some kind of authority to the Emperor -along with the ever-watchful presence of the Church-, these lineages exists nonetheless are virtually independent states, oftentimes warring more between themselves than with external threats, to the point that the Holy Empire has turned out to be more a general territorial reference than an actual, cohesive nation.
This is the blank geographic outlook of the region. The old-paper texture I used as background was created by Eric Salvi (http://ericsalvi.deviantart.com).
The second one shows the political divisions within the empire. The names are made up and not supposed to mean actual things, but rather sound like the cultural equivalents the regions they are inspired after (so Castillian/Català-sounding names for the Iberian-like regions of the empire, French-sounding ones for the respective area, and so on). I hope I didn't accidentally write down an insult in a language I don't understand, though!
Finally, the third map show the language distribution of the region (including some that are outside the Empire itself. The empty areas have no significant population in them). Had to make this one since the players were picketting me for directions on what languages to choose for their characters. While not entirely homogeneous, the liguistic areas roughly represent culturally-close realms.