First go at worldbuilding
Been working on this map with the help of Jezelf's wonderful tutorial. I'd been doing this all originally on pieces of graph paper, but could never quite get the coastlines to work out.
All I can say is thank god for photoshop :)
This is an extreme rough-draft of the map. It will be used once all the countries names are on there as a handout for my players when I start up the campaign, since the worn-paper look makes a much more realistic handout.
World still to be named:
So far on the map:
Khurash: a mayan-themed kingdom.
It, the hazard-stripe area, and a yet unnamed kingdom on the far side, were once a single great empire. However, a century ago a great evil erupted from the empire's capital of Gea Kul, splitting the empire in two.
The other kingdom is to be Aztec themed (with the two derived from an Olmec-themed empire). Having trouble finding an Aztec-sounding name that doesn't look silly, and isn't 14 consonants string together. Thinking Aztlan perhaps...
Both are dying empires, slowly being suffocated by the encroaching jungle. All manner of demon-twisted wildlife constantly assault the populace, making even basic survival a struggle. Each only survives due to the sheer wealth of precious metals and gems within its boundaries.
Azahrim: an Arabian-themed kingdom, which is my most likely starting point for this campaign. I'm really taken by this setting thematically, and I have a good idea for a starting hook and a short string of adventures to get everyone going. The name is a recent thing, was previously called Zakhara (stolen from a d&d campaign).
Though officially ruled by the Caliphate, Azahrim is in truth not much more than a tenuous alliance of city-states, each competing with the other for the lifeblood of trade that flows over the mountains from Khurash and ?Aztlan? towards the west, as well as other trade goods produced within Azahrim itself.
Khemet: Egyptian-themed (obviously). What was once the crade of a globe-stretching Draconic empire is now little more than ruins and memories, though few small Tatsuo (Dragon-born) towns still remain.
League of Delios: The Greek-themed city-states of Delios are leaders in economic activity, philosophy, and technological development. Much like Azahrim though, the stability of the league is tenuous at best, with each city eternally seeking to eke out an advantage over it's neighbours. This creates ample opportunity for any enterprising adventurers, who would not have to look far for potential employers. The markets in Delios are also bursting with fantastic and exotic items of both the magical and mundane variety.
Praetoria: This psuedo-Roman empire stretches across much of the western continent, and rules over a wide variety of cultures and even races.
This is most likely where I'll stick all the races I'm having a hard time placing. This will most likely mean gnomes and halflings will have their homes within the Praetorian empire, since it makes sense that they would seek the protection of a larger empire rather than form armies to protect themselves.
Still to come:
Norse-themed kingdom: most likely called midgard, and most likely on the mountain-covered island north of the western continent.
Elven/Eladrin kingdom: not sure what to do with these guys yet
Barbarians: possibly a mongol/germanic nation, if not both. The germanic/roman clash would be rather historical.
Dwarves: Most likely, the western continent will have a large, inhospitable mountain region inhabitted by dwarves (as well as goblins, orcs, giants). The eastern continent will be inhabitted by the much less friendly Duergar.