Henderson Guthrie's Geographical Map of Tir Tairngire
Hi all! Wow, it's been a while since I was here. I've been noodling around with a genre-blender project, a Western set in a fairy tale land - that is, of the old scare-your-kids-witless-so-they-don't-go-into-the-woods variety. Humanity has settled a distant continent, which they discovered a little too late was inhabited by an actively hostile, technologically and magically advanced species called the Sidhe, but known by the humans euphemistically as 'faeries' or 'the fair folk'. Fortunately the fair folk tend to stick to the forests, so humanity is stuck on the plains and prairies where their presence is tolerated, if not particularly liked. Those humans foolish enough to enter the forests rarely come back out; those who do are irrevocably changed.
Despite all this, six generations after colonising and being hastily abandoned by the folks back home, humanity on Tir Tairngire has managed to reach a level of technology similar to mid-nineteenth century North America, with the help of some bits and pieces stolen from the faeries. There are roads, railways and mines justs as one would expect from any good Western setting, all of which are grudgingly accepted by the fairies as long as they don't encroach on their land. This doesn't mean there aren't border skirmishes and general griefing from both sides, but for now a detente is holding.
Regarding the maps themselves, I've not got much in the way of settlements confirmed yet, but I was hoping for feedback on the general aesthetic as well. For example, the term 'explanation' I've seen a lot in my research, but usually accompanied with text underneath that's too small to read at the resolutions I've been finding, so I'm wondering is it reasonable to attach it to my key? Comments and critique about other bits are more than welcome too. Also yes, the continent is supposed to look vaguely like a triskelion.
Those grey splodges on the second image represent where my major forests will go; I'm struggling to find 1800s maps showing forests, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to depict them on this map I'd be much obliged.
Henderson Guthrie and Arthur B. Walpole are here played by Gaetano Casati, nineteenth-century Italian explorer of Africa, and Elisha Kent Kane, nineteenth century US explorer of the Arctic, respectively. I'm guessing (and hoping) that the engravings were made while they were alive, and thus are within public domain.