What is a "lay line" ?
Created with GIMP, Inkspace, and Wilbur, this map depicts the Upper Peninsula as described in the Rifts Role-Playing Game by Palladium Books. This is the final version that shows political boundaries/affiliations and settlements, and it includes all the extras I like to throw in: a compass rose, legend, and frame.
The Rifts RPG is set several centuries after a future apocalyptic event known as The Coming of the Rifts. The ley lines are areas of supernal energy, and the nexus points where they come together are common places for dimensional rifts to open up. The Earth is changed, and humanity is on the ropes worldwide. This makes for a "kitchen sink" setting that combines elements of fantasy, cyberpunk, mech combat, survival, horror, and other genres.
The Upper Peninsula is a region of relative stability and prosperity. There are two human-dominated countries on the peninsula. Ishpeming is a country that is dominated by Northern Gun, the best-known arms manufacturer on the planet. The Mantistique Imperium is a close ally and trading partner which also trades in weapons and other goods. Iron Heart is a member of the Coalition States, a human supremecist, nazi-like empire.
My objective in this map was to squeeze every piece of canon information I could into a single map, while keeping it readable and nice to look at.
The setting is the intellectual property of Palladium Books, and I re-created the logos for Iron Heart and the NG logo from their published books. Special thanks to Arsheesh, a master cartographer whose tutorials taught me fundamentals I needed to make this map.
As with most of my creations, I did some experimentation with this map. The most conspicuous was the national border technique with the fade-in colors. I tried using some Google Earth images of cities embedded into the terrain (see below), I tried my hand at coming up with a technique for making a Damascus steel texture (the frame and the background of the legend), and I tried showing deep spots in the water with some overlay darkening.
If you'd like to see the map without the extras, here's a version that focuses on the physical and supernatural geography:
Last edited by Coriolis; 05-06-2014 at 11:24 PM.
In the setting of the Rifts Roleplaying Game, Ley lines are areas of significant supernatural energy. They're bright enough to see at night, though not as much during the day. The places where they intersect are called nexus points, and those are places of particularly strong supernatural energy. Nexus points are where most of the rifts open up.
They represent a unique cartography challenge, since they're not really part of the terrain per se, but their locations are very important in the context of the setting.