So I recently more or less finished the sixth version of my Emaria galaxy map and felt like sharing the result. Six stars have been added, the resolution has been upped since I got my old monitor back and am no longer working off of a laptop connected to a TV.
As I try to do fewer and fewer things by hand I find new ways of handling the once annoying tasks like feathering the edges of the nebulae. This time around I selected the regions and set the selections to paths, then stroked the rendered clouds with a smudge tool with jitter applied, rather than a regular line to get the irregular edges. I still had to touch up a few parts manually, but otherwise I'm very happy with the result.
A few things about Emaria:
1. Emaria makes no distinction between galaxy and universe. This map doesn't show every star that there is, necessarily, but it does show the entire region that is inhabited, and most of the stars that are on the trade lane grid (as well as the two notables which are not). The "stars" in the background are more akin to what ancient humans believed of them: lights in the sky, ever moving but unreachable
2. Emaria has just five basic types of stars: Hot, energetic white dwarves; cooler, stabler red dwarves; cool but energetic green dwarves; hot, energetic blue giants; and hotter, stabler yellow giants. Paradeisos and Dark Star are special cases. Aum is a very small white dwarf with an artificial shell that harnesses the energy.
3. There is air in space. A "vacuum" is an entirely artificial thing and rarely used in technology because the concept is so alien to the average person. Also, heat from stars spreads very evenly due to the air, meaning a wide "life zone" around every star with sometimes five perfectly inhabitable planets in orbit.
4. The "nebulae" are really just four regions of different gasses in space. The brown/yellow nebula was once different but a planet's last dying gasp essentially threw pollution far and wide, resulting in a technically breathable but very choking region in space. Most spacecraft are airtight, because the purple and red nebulae are completely toxic, and some clear regions are predominantly carbon dioxide, rather than oxygen-nitrogen. The blue nebula is breathable, though it carries a bit of methane scent.
5. Light does not travel; it is instantaneous. Looking at Mendle from near Oach will look exactly the same as looking at it from Notanban, and the only faster-than-light concepts to be put forward were time travel machines, which is impossible even for the gods.
The fonts used on this map are "Freya Neu," which can be picked up at CoolText, and Mode Nine, which is a totally free (even for commercial use, I think) font. I don't remember where I got it, but it was one of the major font-gathering websites. The little space-jellyfish in the corner there are from Ecco: The Tides of Time, and uh, would not be considered to scale.
I doubt many people care much about the little details of my created universe, so I'll refrain from filling four more posts about it and just say that "Emarion" refers not only to the universe, but to the race which kind of pushes the story forward throughout its history.
I am open to constructive criticism, especially when paired with a suggestion of how to do something better, and I always like answering questions about my worlds or how I make my maps.