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Thread: Commission: Lleimilla

  1. #1

    Wip Commission: Lleimilla

    jfrazierjr has kindly taken this request. The original thread can be found here. The quote below has been modified from its original version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magrathean View Post
    I'm looking for a semi-professional style: something that looks awesome and has been made by a pro (read: not by me) while not necessarily being something enormous prints can be made of and exhibited in a fine-arts museum. Somewhere around 3000x3000 or 4000x4000 pixels would be great. Something along the lines of the following two maps would be awesome:

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    I'd love cities, ruins, etc to have different graphics, if possible. For instance, the cities of one nation should have one graphic while those of another nation should have a second graphic and any ruins or fortresses should have a third graphic (actually, one set of graphics which includes cities of different sizes). Since the maps are for D&D campaigns which are still far from over, I'd like to be able to add new cities and such to the maps as the campaign advances, so i'd be most grateful if you could provide all the individual city/ruin/etc graphics, as well as the font(s) used for the names, along with the maps when they're done.

    ------------------

    The map I need depicts the continent of Lleimilla, which has been ravaged by a nine-century war. The continent was home to two great empires which, as they expanded, clashed violently and began to destroy each other. Originally, Arkhosia spanned the southeast and Bael Turath covered the northwest, more or less. Now, there is no definite boundary between them; as lands were conquered and later reclaimed, fortresses built and cities destroyed, the lines on maps changed rapidly and eventually faded away. Now the architecture of each empire can be found almost all over the continent, and in many places an odd hybrid of both architectures is present; the predominance of each style varies depending on the region, but even a few elements of each empire's lifestyle can be found in even the deepest recesses of the other empire. The war ended not because one side won, but because decadence, corruption, inner conflicts, awfully powerful spells cast by both sides, and centuries of war exhausted both sides' populations, resources and power. Everything is now rather destroyed and impoverished, but life goes on. Recently, humans have begun to pop up all over the place, so there's a multitude of small towns and villages only a few years old dotting an otherwise bleak and wrecked landmass.

    I'll provide a sketch I made below. If it helps, Lleimilla is far from being the only, or even the largest, continent in the world; there is a large continent to the west and at least one large sontinent somewhere else, but the people of Lleimilla have not explored these (or vice-versa, with one tiny exception which happens to be crucial for the storyline). Lleimilla is entirely situated in the southern hemisphere; the equator shouldn't even be visible in this map, although the continent isn't all that close to the south pole either (maybe somewhere along the lines of 40-55 degrees southern latitude). Its climate would be subtropical leaning towards slightly chilly had it not been for terrible spells designed to convert large expanses of fertile land to barren deserts. I'll provide an indication of where forests, jungles, deserts and so on are on the map, though.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As far as the cities and towns go, I have an updated/revised version which I'll post sometime this week. Meanwhile, this sketch and my post should provide the necessary geographical information. Region names have also changed, so for now please use them only as a reference, not for the actual text on the map.

    For scale, the distance between Razortear and Vor Kragal should be roughly 80 or 100 kilometres (i.e. walkable in a day or two if one only stops to eat and sleep).

    All arkhosian cities are carved into the sides of cliffs. A few fortresses aren't, as they were built hastily wherever needed while a powerful enemy exerted much pressure. Turathi cities, on the other hand, are usually vast metropolises with closely packed buildings. On the other hand, the new (mostly human) settlements are all rather small and medieval in architecture; they are built entirely out of wood and stone.

    As I mentioned, Lleimilla was originally subtropical in climate. Although a large portion of the continent remains so, vast regions were transformed into desert by turathi dark magic. The extension covered by arid wasteland where only small and hardy shrubbery grows has its western border just west of Razortear and the river south of it (Razortear and Pass lie at the edge of this desert), extends eastwards all the way to the coast, doesn't extend very far north from Razortear's latitude (for instance, Vilesoul Manor lies outside of it), and doesn't quite go all the way on the large peninsula just west of the Heartlands.

    Vor Kragal and everything west and north of it sit on rather comfortable grasslands. This region is extremely fertile, particularly the area around the great river-thing which nearly splits the continent in two (from Vilesoul Manor all the way to the northern tip; south of Vilesoul it's all dead).

    Please include other mountains and mountain ranges in the desert region above the Heartlands as you see fit. While the whole region around Teldorthan and Vor Kragal is flat, the regions at the northern edge of the continent may also have a few mountains and hills. Any other rivers (anywhere except in the stormy region) will also be welcome as long as they follow the basic rules of physics (i.e. they flow from higher altitudes to the sea or to a lake, etc). The enormous river-thing in the middle of the continent is actually coastline, not river, so it doesn't have to follow this rule (in fact, if you're going for different shades of blue for different ocean depths then I'd like the river-thing to sort of continue into the sea in the form of a very deep scar on the seabed, as if it were the boundary of two tectonic plates which are drifting apart).

    A small forest sits slightly north of the point directly between Pass and Vor Kragal. It extends almost as far north as Teldorthan and then turns northeast, though not for very long. Feel free to turn the north and northeast of the continent into a realistic mix of forest and grassland.

    To the southwest (the whole jagged coastline, as well as all the islands there), the climate is very cold (though not tundra-like) and extremely stormy. The southern tip of the large peninsula directly northeast from where it says "Stormweather" should also sport this climate, and the contrast between hot/arid and cold/stormy should be stark on this peninsula, since there is no grassland buffer between the two opposite climates.

    This has not changed in the new version: The Heartlands are the richest arkhosian lands. The Seven Pearls of the South, the seven largest and mightiest cities of Arkhosia, form a string which runs horizontally (slightly curved). All of these cities are carved into the sides of cliffs, so there should be an east-west-running mountain/cliff range where the cities are; they all face northwards so the sun's light will hit them all year (we're a little farther south than what would be the Tropic of Capricorn). Io'vanthor, the central city, is the capital of Arkhosia and also its largest city. Vestiges of its greatness should be visible, as on the other six cities of the "string of pearls". Their architecture is almost entirely arkhosian (buildings, spires and defensive walls all carved out of the cliffs). All seven cities are built in layers or levels, each separated by defensive walls and united by small ramps or stairways. Please don't include the names just yet, but everything else in this paragraph is good.

    This hasn't changed either (except, once again, for the names): Vor Kragal is the enormous capital of Bael Turath. About a third of it has crumbled and fallen into the Underdark, the underground world which extends throughout the world. What remains of the black city is covered in a permanent dark cloud, whatever the weather outside. The lands in the immediate vicinity of it and the other two main turathi cities, Harrack Unarth and Vor Rukoth, should look slightly corrupted. Vor Kragal's architecture is entirely turathi, but the other two cities, while also large, did come under arkhosian rule for some time, so a few arkhosian elements should be present (even though no mountainsides are immediately available to carve stuff out of).

    Teldorthan is a new human town of moderate size; despite it being only a town (i.e. not a city), it is the largest settlement on Lleimilla which is neither turathi nor arkhosian in nature. It is mainly built of stone and fully resembles a medieval town. This town is probably the only other thing which hasn't changed, but more on that when I upload the version with the corrected town locations and names.
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  2. #2
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Ok.. Step one.... basic shape and a "token" background for contrast.

    next step is to read the entire post and figure out mountain placement...

    The grid and town information is just there temporarily for scale reference between the two mentioned towns. Each square cell is 250px and represents approximately 100km/62mi
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    Last edited by jfrazierjr; 08-22-2011 at 09:32 AM.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
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    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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  3. #3
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Ok.. after reading the brief, I am not quit sure if there is a way to do this map in the style of my Baldimar map with a pseudo ISO perspective. Given the East to West mountain range and the requirement than the cities be located on the north side, the mountains would cover the cities unless the map were rotated to a different cardinal direction so that North is right, left, or down(best). While most people think of things in up=north, there are a number of maps here that buck that convention, so it's not unprecedented.

    The other options are to go with more of a semi-realisticy top down satellite view(like this and this) OR with a top down line drawing (such as this or the third map down on this page or this and yes, there is a reason two of those maps with this style are from our own Torstan...)

    While I can do the former, it has been a number of years since I did that style, so might take a while of playing to figure out. I had tried in the past to do the later style, but did not work out to my satisfaction at the time, but would be willing to give it somewhat of a go again... Also note that on the latter two maps, the mountains are at a much lower scale and thus any I would make (in either style) would be much more representative than actual scale based.

    Please advise as to the course of action...
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  4. #4

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    Yep, your post made me realise that I was a little stupid to ask for a map with a mountain range and a bunch of cities carved into the northern side of said mountain range.

    Obviously I know nothing about making maps on a computer, so I'm afraid I can't give you any advice on that, but I can say that it wouldn't bother me the least bit if you turned the map upside-down (actually, I guess it would make much more sense for a map made in a southern continent to have south on top and north at the bottom, since top is usually associated with higher hierarchy and so on...).

    Still, any decision you make to fix this problem, be it putting south on top or using a satellite perspective, I'll be happy with.

  5. #5
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Ok.... I will think about that.... Are the cities actually on a cliff at the edge of the mountain range(similar to my mountains in the north on the Baldimar map), or do you must mean that the cities are partially up the mountain slopes?
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
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  6. #6
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Ok.. here is what I understand about the biomes from the text. Of course, the colors/symbols are placeholders for their respective biomes.

    light Green is "grassland"
    Blue is "stormy" land
    Yellowish/dotty is Desert
    Dark green is hopefully viewed as a forest...

    Dark/white with white lines is the mountains...


    Magrathean, please let me know how to adjust these areas.. also... I am not sure IF I will be doing this inverted view or not.. it really depends on how well I can pull off the top down mountain views to my satisfaction as well as some of the other questions I asked earlier.
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    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #7

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    The cities are actually carved into the mountains; no additional construction material was used, just the sort of stuff you use in mines to dig a tunnel (except here they dug buildings and houses and streets). That being the case, I guess the cities would "occupy" part of the slope of a mountain, beginning at ground level and ending several dozen metres (or a few hundred metres in the case of the larger cities) above that. So no, no cliff.

    I found a few real-life examples of similar things: Petra and Huápoca (only imagine they're on mountainsides and not on cliffs).

    Thanks for asking.

  8. #8

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    Ah, you beat me to the post!

    Ok, I've uploaded the geographical/climatic adjustments. I apologise for my description not being clear enough.

    Please note that the huge mountain range where the Seven Jewels are located should also have a desertic climate. The island just south of that should be slightly moutainous, I suppose, if we're going to have realistic geography based on realistic plate tectonics; I'm sorry for not clarifying this either (I just realised I didn't).

  9. #9
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magrathean View Post
    Ah, you beat me to the post!

    Ok, I've uploaded the geographical/climatic adjustments.
    Ummm upload? As in picture?
    Quote Originally Posted by Magrathean View Post
    Please note that the huge mountain range where the Seven Jewels are located should also have a desertic climate. The island just south of that should be slightly moutainous, I suppose, if we're going to have realistic geography based on realistic plate tectonics; I'm sorry for not clarifying this either (I just realised I didn't).
    ok... Your description of to the coast made me think of the split continent coast as well as the name heartlands lead me to think they were not close to being desert climate.... Perhaps you could mock up a quick drawing with a few simple colors to give me an idea of what goes where....

    As for the stormy islands/peninsula's I am not quite sure of any method to signify that, so if you have any suggestions or perhaps reference material, please let me know. Only thing I can think of is perhaps some type of darkish tint and some rain/storm clouds, but I am not sure how well I can pull that off from my head, so if you have some reference material that would help, please point the way! Also... any reference material might change the style of the map(top down vs ISOish), so the sooner I can figure that out, the better to avoid having to redo any of the mountainous areas... I am now thinking something more like Torstan's map you linked to first might be the way to go vs a top down approach depending on what I can find to signify the storm areas....
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #10

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    Yep, I edited your map last night but totally forgot to upload the new version. My mistake.

    Here it is...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As for the stormy weather, I suppose just a darker shade of green, such as that in the northernmost part of the following map, would work wonders:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks!

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