The Island of Elver lies off the NW coast of the Garganeion peninsula, a western extremity of the Moranian Empire which projects into the Warrowing Sea. The island is divided into nine shires, each governed from its shire-town by a thane; the thanes are vassals of the King of Elver, whose court is at the city of Winster in Wentland. The Island of Elver has long been bound to Garganeion and the rest of what is now the Moranian Empire by extensive trade networks and systems of gift exchange and clientage however, the imperialist and domineering policies of the Moranian Empire have rather driven the Elvarians to keep more and more to themselves, becoming more and more suspicious of outsiders. War is the word most whispered through Winster and all the cities of Elver - and with the insurmountable resources of half a continent behind the Empire of Morani, it is a war that the Island is unlikely to win. They must seek new ways to defend themselves...
I signed up enthusiastically yesterday and went through a couple of tutorials - before realising that it was going to take a little longer than that to become a half-decent cartographer! But, since I was dying to actually see a pretty version of this map I had half in my head and half on paper for a fantasy story I'm cooking up - I had to do something. So I kept it simple and had a go. This was done pretty entirely manually on Gimp (no fancy effects needed cos I don't want any fancy effects yet!). It just shows the nine shires, their shire-towns, the major rivers and the capitals. I am also going to add an old mountain range in the North, giving way to uplands across the centre and SW, with lowlands across the S and E. I also have another version of a slightly randomised landscape from following RobA's brilliant guide, but it's a bit more than rubbish and I gave up at the mountain stage.
It's basically England, obviously. :P On my first draft it was even more obvious... I'll leave you the fun of working out which places are where in reality. ;) I plan to turn this into a "West of Middle Earth"-style map - mainly adding mountains and forests and a few more toponyms. After that, when I'm a bit more comfortable with basically drawing stuff - I am reasonably familiar with Gimp but I've never really used it for anything properly artistic - I want to do something more colourful and topographic; also a larger map showing the Garganeion Peninsula and the rest of the Moranian Empire. I made this thread to eventually house all the maps I'll do of this world.
Comments and feedback appreciated, if you can think of any; if not, encouragement or advice will be welcome too. :)