My First Map - Guneslidunyasi (The Sunkissed World)
I originally posted this map in the Finished Maps section (http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...nkissed-World)), however, I was hoping for more feedback and more critiques. I think people may have been somewhat discouraged from suggesting changes to the map because of the forum I put it in, so I'm reposting it here in the hopes of getting more feedback. I'd like to print this out sometime and hang it on my wall, but given the cost of printing something this size, I'd like to make sure that everything is perfect before I go and spend a bunch of money on it. So all feedback and input is both welcome and encouraged.
My friend and I created this setting essentially as a way to combine all sorts of anachronisms. The world is on the inside of a hollow sphere with earth radiating outwards from the sphere in every direction (the earth is interspersed with water and magma, and the occasional cavern. This is in part why there are so many inland seas and lakes on the map - the connect down to deep reservoirs of water "outside" of the world, so to speak. In the center of the sphere is another sphere, which we may call the moon, which is solid. It radiates a gravity-like force outwards, thereby keeping people / animals / etc. anchored to the interior of the large sphere. Around the moon orbits a sunlet. It always stays in the same plane relative to the moon. This relates to the map as follows: moon is directly over Yeni Demirshehir, and the plane that the sun orbits on is perpendicular to it (this is no accident - the city was founded here for religious reasons). The entire sphere is thus bisected by the solar plane, creating a natural division of hemispheres for the otherworldly cartographer. Additionally, each of these two hemispheres have natural poles - the points directly under the moon and perpendicular to the solar plane. The directions on the compass rose are arbitrary; they point to four locations equally spaced around the globe which were decided by League geographers (the League of Guilds being the "Viewpoint Civilization" of the map) as navigational references. Though there is no magnetism to draw compasses towards them, they can be triangulated by explorers who know the position of the sun and their own position, or who can find familiar landmarks on land curved "up" from them. I could have named the directions anything; I stuck with North, East, South, and West so as to try and avoid overwhelming my players with too much new terminology and thus increase their immersion. (Attached to this post is a quick graphic I made in MS Paint to try and help illustrate what I said above)
The languages used on the map are intended to reflect something of the culture for the area they represent, and within the history I have constructed for the setting, I have tried to place them as realistically as possible. The two main languages and their heartlands are Turkish in the Shadowed Empire (SW of the map, outlined in red) and German in the central chain of mountains that runs through the central continent. A long time before the map was made, the Shadowed Empire governed most of the area mapped, and as such there are still a lot of place names in the League of Guilds and surrounding areas that are Turkish in origin. However, eventually the Empire entered a period of decay, and was forced to withdraw from the mainland; into this vacuum came the Germanic tribes, who in some cases used the old names, and in other cases gave ares new names. Many of these heavily Germanic names survive in more isolated regions such as the area between the Kus Dagalari and the Ekmek Dagalari. However, around the coast frequent interactions with other cultures led to linguistic drift, giving rise to League Common (ie: English). I realize this doesn't make an enormous amount of sense, since League Common should logically be a mix of Turkish and German, while English is (generally speaking) from French, Norse, and Anglo-Saxon, but the League is intended to be the starting point for my players, and as such I wanted them to feel "at home" there, so to speak. Regarding other languages on the map: in the NW is the Babbage Technocracy, who speak Dutch. They were a tributary state to the Shadowed Empire at its height, and as such have no Turkish place-names. In the West, North East, East, and South East are found French, Nahtul, Malay, and Welsh, respectively. These areas have less of a direct impact on the League, and are primarily far off trading partners. A final note about the languages: I speak English, French, and a little Turkish. For the rest of the languages, I used online translators, so problems may abound.
And... I think that's pretty much it. I've posted a highly compressed version of the map below; the post in the Finished Maps forum has the map in full resolution in fourths (Although these are a little out of date). Please tell if you have questions / comments / suggestions / etc.