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    Map Insulae Eldarae - My first completed map

    Here it is at last, my very first map. Before I begin my spiel, I would first like to extend my deepest thanks to RobA, because without his regional maps in GIMP tutorial I would never even have gotten started on this thing. Everyone else who had suggestions is equally deserving of my gratitude.

    So, obviously, I followed RobA's tutorial nearly to the letter, and also used some "not-so-random coastline" generation techniques detailed here as well. The water ripples are an effect I banged out myself in a way I don't remember entirely clearly; lots of bump mapping and overlays, I do know that. There's also an overlay generated by GIMP's Lighting Effects filter put on top of the islands themselves to really make them pop. The lava is something I made using the techniques in RobA's tutorial; masks, clipping, noise, gradient maps, etc.

    This islands are only one tiny part of my campaign world. I plan on making maps for the other parts of the world (composed largely of one huge continent and a smaller one to the south of it) and then stitching them all together in a single map of the known world as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy goodness, for those who care
    Office of Intelligence and Espionage
    Anno Imperium 997


    Auth: Trevalus Meniente, apprentice to to Agent Marcus Denilis

    My master has tasked me to summarize his thoughts on this particular subject, and unfortunately I must fail slightly in this regard, as the report is filled with less than professional language. Simply put, a military campaign to overtake and conquer these islands after one thousand years of independence (a fact that embarasses our legions, to be sure) would be far too costly to justify.

    The islands are almost completely surrounded by coral reefs that would cause significant damage to any ship that tried to ram its way through. It is believed that the elves cultivated this reef themselves with the aid of magic when they first established their sanctuary in this place. As the wisdom of divine Caedius would tell us, simply lining up ship after ship to ram the coral would get the job done, but it would be a foolish endeavor. Thus, there are very few avenues of approach to these isles, and they are all well-guarded by the elves' so-called "Sun's Heart Tower," a curiously ornate marble tower* with a great lens at the top that is quick to set ablaze any military ship that tries to approach. What little trade that can be performed with these elves for their exotic spices and fruits must be done in small quantities on rowboats sent out from the larger merchant ships that make their way to the reef's edges. Again, mounting a military campaign entirely on a swarm of rowboats launched from a fleet just out of sight of the islands is simply not practical, and has also been proven to be ineffective, as General Hernaldeus discovered 300 years prior in his own disastrous campaign. The tower is presumed to be controlled by the few mages they have left, as most of them have forsaken magic as well as civilization for a simpler existence. Our own Legion's mages refuse to assist us in suppressing the magics of the tower, as the Guild of Mages is dependent on trade with these isles for exotic and rare alchemical plants that only the islands' inhabitants know how to cultivate.

    The elves have shown time and again their determination to not be a part of our empire. Nearly all the elves who remain on the Great Continent live a nomadic lifestyle, actively avoiding not only our cities but also our armies and, of course, our tax collectors. The million or so elves who have taken refuge on these islands (numbers are not certain) and the scattered islands beyond the central reef-surrounded cluster have made it clear that they want nothing to do with us apart from trade, and their blasphemous belief that the Empire will fall eventually -- infuriating though it is -- pervades every aspect of their interaction with us.

    I will state this again for clarity's sake: the islands cannot be invaded in a way that will prevent massive losses to our legions and extensive destruction of the natural beauty of the islands themselves. Holy Emperor Saerdast bid us to spread his empire to the corners of the world prior to his ascension to the heavens, but personally I think we can put these islands aside until the very end.

    Trevalus Meniente

    *Our surveyors speculate that since no marble is likely to be found in that area of the world, it was most likely conjured piece-by-piece from another plane, or merely constructed from the Elemental Chaos itself.
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    Last edited by Gregorus Prime; 09-07-2009 at 02:15 PM.

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