Well since school is out for a little while, I decided to start a mapping project. So as I've said elsewhere, ever since I saw HandsomeRob's atlas and the tutorial for his style I've wanted to try out Illustrator. Here goes...
I started by just messing around in Illustrator making land shapes, rivers and the like. I was particularly interested in text and labelling. I found the results inspiring, so I decided to push it up a notch.
I imported imagery from my Al Burphaban test project into Illustrator. Both with text and without. The version with text I used as a guide, the version without I used for the background image. This is far from finished. I plan to add a lot more cities and regions. I plan to go back to Wilbur and create a straight separate hillshade map a few separate hypsometric gradient maps for forest areas, deserts, grasslands and such. I also need a white-on-black river map to trace river vectors on. I will also probably play around more with an excellent erosion and terrain creation tool a local programming guru kindly let me use. He will remain nameless until and unless I get permission to identify him and his marvelous app.
Since this is turning into a major project, I've started to create a bit more background to flesh out this region. First off, I imported a map of Australia, sized it to about the same size as the northwest blob of my continent and roughly copied the scale bar. This set the size of my continent. I may alter it down a little in size later as I think the continent may be a bit big. This may also come in handy later if I decide to georeference this mess in ArcGIS.
The region around and to the south of the Al Qalaffiyeh bay(Khuluj al-Qalaffiyeh), to the southwest of the Al Kannadiyya mountains is ruled by civilized pseudo-Arabic Goblins. This kingdom is relatively tolerant and has enclaves of many other races and cultures, although the restive orcs of the northeast mountains have rebelled enough times to be put under strict military rule, this still isn't a very safe place. Dwarven cities in the Kannadiyya are considered independent of the goblins although they are friendly.
As one might presume, the Orclands to the northwest are ruled by orcs. As orcish kingdoms kingdoms go, the Orclands is pretty civilized(after a fashion) and even sort of, kind of, more or less tolerant. In a good year they might aspire to be as unified and well organized as the Holy Roman Empire and pogroms against the humans, goblins and other races in the region are frequent. Mostly, the orcs just can't get their act together enough to eliminate the other races in the region, and their economy is seldom far enough out of the basket that they can afford not to cooperate with their neighbors. Raiding, pillaging and brawling is common, though, even among their own kind.
The islands encircling the North Sea are largely inhabited by frog-man pirates. That speak something like French.
The island across the Imperial Strait to the southwest of the arabesque goblins is the home to a somewhat loosely knit empire of mostly human kingdoms currently under the rule of a psychotically mad emperor in the formerly lovely city of Kobenhag. Used to be a good-guy empire and pretty utopian, but is starting to go to hell. Some of the southern duchies are strongly considering rebellion. The great Order of Paladins has already denounced the emperor and fled to the south and to the imperial colonies on the southwest coast of the northern continent. Some of the imperial colonies have become the worst places in this world under the demon-ridden minions of the current emperor, while others, under the rule of rebellious Paladin Knights are still shining exemplars of what the empire had once been.
I have already traced a few rivers in an inland area in the west of the northwest continent, just north of the imperial colonies. This Shire-like region of halflings was formerly under the loose rule of the Kobenhag Empire, but is now independent although they still claim to be an imperial province. This is as much to keep their neighbors at bay as because they really don't care that much who rules what. Besides, wars are terribly inconvenient and unpleasant, and who wants to leave the comforts of home?
Somewhere out there, some great evil is rising and taking hold.
And dear God, is my 1.5TB drive slow...