Mountain Pass Caravansary
For my Exalted rpg I am running, the next couple of sessions will be taking place in a caravansary that acts a way-point between the capitals of two major nations. This caravansary is run by an independent 3rd party, as it is a favorite hangout for traveling merchants, mercenaries, and people who are just looking for the next caravan out of town.
I modeled the caravansary after those found in the Middle East found along he Silk Road. A small town of merchants and other services travelers might need has sprung up around the inner and outer walls, with nearly everyone trying to set up a market stall to sell whatever goods they have for sale. Slaves, drugs, rare spices, precious stones, mercenary contracts and whatever goods and services the weary traveler might need can be found here. Also a safe night sleep for those affiliated with a caravan passing through can also be bought here. For the less discerning customers, or the unaffiliated, can find a place to rest in one of the dodgy brothels and hotels surrounding the caravansary. Souks and bazars make up the inner market within the walls, which cater to the wealthy caravaners. Here the more expensive commodities can be bought and sold with relative safety, while the outside in the travelers market and the exodus market more common items can be traded for. Slave trading inside the caravansary is against policy, thus all the slave trade takes place in front of the slave citadel as part of the exodus market. Silver is the main currency here, but jade and even Realm script is accepted and can be exchanged at steeper than usual rates. The towers, especially the outer towers are armed with mercenaries, and the double towers at each end of the caravansary are armed with massive Fire dust cannons taking advantage of the elevation.
This is nearly a finished project. Although I am looking for any minor modifications to improve it.
I started by drawing with paper and pencil and then scanning the image. I did the line work in Adobe Illustrator, and the exported the file to Photoshop to do the color work. In all I think I ended up with over 50 layers for this project. Total time it took me (so far) was 10 hours spread over 2 weeks.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback and comments on this map. After getting a sketch book and sketching pencils and a tablet (and learning how to use it) I feel that my technique is improving.
I like it. I have only one criticism. It took me ages to find the 1900 mark on the topography, with it on the other side of all the other numbers.
Agreed, the 1190 elevation mark should be on the other side. Also, a pass is usually the *lowest* point between two peaks, not the highest (as here) - although the scale might be too low to show that.
A rather important thing I'd also like to point ous is that it's spelled "caravanserai" not "caravansary". A minor spelling point: unless it's the market of just one traveller, it should be "travelers' market", not "traveler's market".
Other than that, the style looks good, clear and concise, so it's rather simple and easy to use this map - which is, of course, the point.
Last edited by Lukc; 01-01-2012 at 12:21 PM.
Reason: Some more notes
Thanks for the input. I made the suggested changes, and I think it looks better now.
Oof. I double checked ... Caravansary is actually also a legitimate alternate spelling. The things one learns every day! I'd never come across caravansary before, only caravanserai, but I guess it might be one of those British/Americanish spelling dilemmas.
That's what I initially thought, that is why I originally spelled 'caravansary'. However, this spelling gives it a more exotic feel. My intent was to give this map a desert/spice road theme, hence the palm trees, souqs, and earthy/desert color palette, and now the more exotic spelling of 'caravansarai'. I hope I was able to get that feeling, it was my intent anyway. thanks for your input.
As a funny aside - the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia was founded by the Ottomans and the name actually means "Sarai's" (as in "of the Sarai").
I have nothing useful to add to this, other than to say:
Woo! Exalted love! This is a great addition to the South.
This is beautiful work; I wish I had as much talent with texture and shapes as you do, to say the least. Keep at it..this style would be a joy to behold scaled up to a larger environment, like a town.