“The stories I had heard about the land of Avani were legendary. Stories and legends both told and untold. I know that the ancient world had centered around Avani. The stories of old tell us that the rest of the world was discovered only after the catastrophic events on Avani. These catastrophic events of legend had fueled my own longing for adventure and now I was nearly there, in the thick of it. I did not know what to expect of the peoples and places I was bound to meet. I can only wait in anticipation to see what fortune these foreign lands would bring.”
-from “The Travelers Journal”
I created the land of Avani to give a more concrete form and home to a collection of short fantasy stories that I have been cooking for a long time. After stumbling on this site by chance and seeing some of the fantastic offerings of the members I began to gather information and determine my own first steps into cartography. Hence, Avani was born.
I did a fair amount of role-playing in high school and my first part of college, but as the “real” world began to demand more time I was unable to maintain participation in any real meaningful campaigns. The fantasy bug never left me and I would always dream up new campaign settings. Eventually I had a collection of settings and no outlet. By turning these settings into the legends of Avani, I have provided myself with a great way to continue one hobby while still allowing me to work on my photoshop and design skills.
The overworld map of Avani is meant to give me a starting point for placement of my stories. I further plan on doing a series of regional sub maps of the lands of Avani where I can provide greater detail and add in more depth to the maps.
The excerpt from “The Travelers Journal” at the beginning of this post is the beginning of my collection of stories which will be told in the form of journal entries from a curious adventurer who wished to see the lands of Avani for himself and visit these places of legend.
The map itself could not have been made without the tutorials and other shining examples that are on this site, particularly “Ystraad” by Bohunk which is the map directly responsible for this one.
My map was done exclusively in photoshop using nothing by a mouse and keyboard. Many of the "hand drawn" brushes were simply created using a very high Pixel per Inch and then drawn with the mouse. Shrinking them then covered up any mistakes and aided in the "hand drawn" look you see with many of the brushes and textures. Construction of this map went thru several phases. Firstly was the creation of the landmass itself and establishing the overall style. Then with different colors the areas for forests, mountains, deserts, and plains were established. Then populating those areas accordingly. Next the map went thru determining practical placements for rivers and major cities, and finally naming the lands and places and adding gridlines, borders, and other style additions.
Along the way I compiled a library of custom brushes and textures that will aid in future mapmaking projects. I hope to compile these into a pack I can release on this site sometime in the future.
A huge thanks to the community and to the admins of this site for providing a place for this creativity to occur. It’s great to have a place where the people are helpful and supportive and always excited about new people and new projects.