First, I'd like to preface this post -- and possibly invoke a disclaimer -- that this is my first unveiling of a map here at the Guild. I've dabbled in map design, but nothing serious. What you're about to see isn't pretty, but it's not meant to be... not yet, at least. Primarily, these maps will be used as I write a fantasy novel about Trevin and Ikarius, two young men who have a lot to learn. So here we go.
As you look at the maps, I'm mostly interested in thoughts or suggestions regarding the geography and assigned climates -- if things make sense, if they're impossible, if they're illogical, etc. I'm not a scientist, and I'm certainly not a geographer, so all my knowledge (or lack thereof) has been gleaned from Wikipedia, various websites, and a single textbook on physical geography. Of course, any insight on beautifying the project would be lovely... I'm deathly afraid of that side of things, since I know next to nothing about Photoshop and have yet to be able to find a way to draw mountains that actually satisfies me.
Anyway, on with the background!
In the distant past...
Nestled in a lush tropical rainforest, the Melishkan emperor was not happy. He had complete control and absolute power over everything on the continent, with one exception -- the city-states of the far west, known as the Three Sons. They were few in number, but their strength was great; their refusal to bow irked the emperor. He had spent decades sending tendrils of his power into the desert that protected Harasa, Aramasa, and Marabisa, creating several towns along the route that passed through the jungle and around the mountains -- places like S'lesh and Gisha and Sirasha that had encouraged a false sense of fraternity between his people and the desert-dwellers. Now, with insider knowledge of the Three Sons and their leaders, he would strike.
And strike he did! But he had underestimated the spellblades, the native defenders of Marabisa. Their weapons, aflame with some foul sorcery, seared right through his necromantic armies, nor did the barren desert provide enough detritus to fuel his powers. He had no choice but to retreat, tail between his legs, and hope a heartfelt apology would be enough to keep any lust for vengeance at bay.
Situated in the rain shadow of the Sulentasa Mountains, the Marabisan Protectorate is a group of city-states under the protection of Marabisa, home of the spellblades. It has been centuries since the Melishkan Empire attacked, cauterizing the union of the Three Sons, and though no threat has arisen since then, the protectorate remains firm. In fact, it has grown, as the three desert cities created by the Emperor as part of his invasion have rebelled and sought protection under Marabisa. Even tropical Inoishka, always a part of the Melishkan Empire, has seceded and joined with its desert neighbors. Not even the Emperor dares defy the will of Marabisa, for he hasn't forgotten the burn of their blades and fears invoking their wrath.
Consequently, life has been peaceful for Marabisa and her spellblades. But when the Queen of Marabisa runs off with the leader of the far distant, frozen city of Icefall, that peace is shattered. The Marabisan king will stop at nothing to get his bride back, even if it means aligning with the necromancers of Melishka. With their powers combined, nothing can stand in their way, and Icefall seems doomed to fall -- unless they can unlock the mysteries of their religion, unleashing an ancient magic nothing, not even Death itself, can stand against.
And some notes...
As I said, I'm really worried about climates. I don't want to fall victim to Patchwork Map Syndrome, so I've tried to the best of my ability to justify the climatic choices I've made, though I'm not sure I'm right. (In fact, I'm probably not.)
Basically, for the eastern continent, I've assumed everything west of the mountains will be dry, dry, dry... due not only to the rain shadow effect but also because of the cold ocean currents running alongside that coast. Because of that current, though, and because of all the water, I'm assuming the desert areas will have less temperature variation and be generally a little cooler than, say, the Sahara. I did have trouble, though, as I got farther south, where I assume things will still be very dry but also pretty cold... and what is that? Cold desert? Tundra? And I still can't figure out what the heck a steppe climate is...
With the western continent, I'm still not really sure what the difference is between tropical rainforest and tropical monsoon, but since these lands are on the eastern side of a relatively large continent, I assumed we'd have some monsoonish things happening. I just followed the Climate Cookbook down the coast and hoped for the best! (That website, by the by, has been my primary guide. It's wonderful, but it's far too brief for my liking. I prefer to understand things rather than just have a guide. But that's just me...)
Now I'm rambling. Let me know if you have any thoughts! Suggestions, criticism, questions, comments... anything! On the map or the story! Thanks!
Last edited by inpariswithyou; 11-27-2013 at 03:50 AM.