Yeah the mountains are really simple - just a slight tweak to some of the styles a load of people use - but I think they work well on this
The polar graticule isn't straight actually, it's traced directly from a G.Projector image centred on the city. I've added a line to the screenshot below so you can see the difference - the curve isn't very obvious unless there's a straight line next to it
I actually tried to put a bit of contrast between the two graticules, but they were both so light that it didn't really work in the end. The polar one was half the width and half the opacity of the other one, but it was hard to tell to be honest. When I made one of them dark enough for the contrast to be visible, the light one was barely noticeable and the dark one took too much precedence over the map for my liking. I'll leave it off for now, then after I've added most of the labels and stuff I'll try to find a way to put it back in without affecting the rest of the map.
Very good point on the shape of the river Lingon, just had a look at some satellite photos of rivers and it's very different to what really happens. I think I'll wait to use my tablet for that, I can finally have it back when the new monitor arrives in a week or so
I'm treating the labelling as if it's part of an infographic, since that's effectively what a map is, right? The more important the item is for the users of the map, the darker and larger the text should be. You're right about the Aestura label, I was thinking it'd look better once several other country names had been added, but now that you mention it I realised that actually it made no sense to make those so dark when the map is supposedly for traders. Cities, coasts and rivers are the most important elements for that use case, so I've removed the shadow and lightened the text
Thanks for the comments everyone, really helps me work out what I actually want the map to do. I guess the next step is to come up with some more names for things!