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Thread: Haibianr - an Asian-themed coastal city

  1. #1
    Community Leader mearrin69's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Portland, OR

    Map Haibianr - an Asian-themed coastal city

    Hi all,
    First off, I'd like to thank everyone that helped with suggestions, encouragement, and undeserved flattery as I worked on this map. Second, I would like to present the city of Haibianr - a Hong Kong-like city that serves as the introduction to an Asian-themed campaign setting I'm building. The name means "by the ocean". They'd call it Oceanside it were in California.

    Here's the "boxed text":

    On the mountainous north-eastern coast of the world’s largest continent perches a bustling trading port – a cosmopolitan city of twisting streets protected by ancient magic and modern might. Over the nearly two thousand years since its founding, Haibianr has evolved into a powerful independent city-state. Its masters pay no tribute to the feuding “Five Emperors” that rule the southlands, wielding Haibianr’s near-monopoly over trade with the rest of the world as a cudgel that guarantees freedom from Imperial dominion.

    Also called Wanxiangshi, “city of ten-thousand alleyways”, this appellation is often rendered in a twist of words by the locals as “city of ten-thousand odors”, owing to the many curious smells that emanate from Haibianr’s harbor, a by-product of industries ranging from the distillation of rice and soy to the manufacture of explosives and fireworks. These products – along with fine silk, exotic spices, art objects, and the highly addictive “dream flower” snuff – all contribute to heavy trade with lands beyond the continent. Haibianr is the port of choice for foreign traders.
    I went through a few stages with this one until I found a style I liked (you can see the WIPs here). This iteration started off on 14"x17" smooth bristol board as a pencil sketch which was then inked using Staedtler pigment liners. I had it scanned at Kinkos (quite reasonably, to my surprise) and brought it into Photoshop for painting. Most of the map is hand-painted, though there are some layer styles (buildings, trees, water, overlays).

    This is "forum final" but it will be presented differently when it sees an adventure called "Curse of the Emperor's Stone", which will be compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo. Later it'll appear in a setting book about Haibianr itself. I'll be posting some encounter maps I'm working on for CotES as I make progress. If anyone feels like using this map or any of the stuff I'm posting for the adventure in their home game please go ahead...but I expect to hear how it went!

    Thanks again. So glad I found this wonderful community.

    P.S. It's pronounced high-bee-are. Don't drag out the last syllable, though, it's a "word-sound" added due to a regional accent - the "real name" of the city to speakers of other dialects is Haibian, pronounced high-bee-enn. Okay, so, I speak a little Chinese and I expect this interests me a heck of a lot more than it interests you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by RobA; 04-11-2013 at 12:12 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Wonderful map. It's been great watching this thing grow into the work of art it is now. Well done.
    Royal: I'm very sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman.

    My Cartographer's Guild maps: Finished Maps

    More maps viewable at my DeviantArt page: Ramah-Palmer DeviantArt

  4. #4
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    Amazing work
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  5. #5
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    Repped and rated

    This is a great city map. Usually I complain about red text but you pulled it off very nicely; it fits well on this one. I love the compass rose as well.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    Nicely done!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #7
    Guild Journeyer Tear's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Beautiful map.

  8. #8
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Repped - and, you just made it into the thumbs update too.

  9. #9


    Very cool map. Thanks for posting it, it gives me lots of ideas...

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