Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mapping the Eastern Isles

After many years of using Fractal Terrains in various editions I have abandoned it for this project. You can certainly get good results out of it, but the problem seems to lie in then doing much with those results in Campaign Cartographer. I have simply had enough of the crashing. So I went back to doing my initial design the old fashioned way... on paper.

The first image here is the result of that effort. While obviously incomplete I am fairly happy with it and in terms of area it is far more room than I need. A continental landmass or two and a chain of large islands, of which the latter will be the developed area, the so-called (because I haven't a proper name for them yet,)"Eastern Isles."

Of the Eastern Isles, two are by far the largest. The smaller of these is yet un-named (because its name will be Dariscene) but the larger I can now name Llethra, from our naming language of Cythric.

After the continental map I drew an expanded map of the isles, littered with notes and features. This became the basis of my digital map.

I am sticking with Campaign Cartographer because it will produce the results I want and I'm very familiar with it. And at least this time around, I have a solid design that was transferred to CC without too much fuss or grief.

This was done manually; you can scan a paper map,drop it into the background as a bitmap and trace it in by hand, but I think that's more trouble that it's worth — I don't demand that great a fidelity with my paper map.

This third image is the current map of the isles in CC3. You may notice that the islands appear a bit wider compared to the drawing; this is due to my developing a mapping system between the paper and CC3 maps that didn't quite line up with the proportions of the paper maps. This might get corrected as the map gets developed, or it might not; the coastlines on this map are more or less the final coastlines but I may tweak, in addition to adding some minor islands and lakes and things of that sort. This can be done as each district is detailed. The hexes shown are 42 miles across, by the way. They are the "Large Hexes" that I have mentioned before.

The red lines represent the general flow of mountain chains, extending southwest into the continent of Emen, and northeast to the so-called "White Isle," a forbidden place beyond the ken of man. This is in some sense the edge of the world.

The purple line is where we touch on the subject of the last several posts. I call this the D/C line — names to the west of the line will tend to be Dariscene, except for a few settlements on the northwest coast which are named in Sk├Ârkaga. Names to the east of the line tend to be Cythric in origin.