03 June 2012

of stars and constellations

One thing I notice a lot of people that create worlds (both professionally and amateur. of course, I'm the latter...) is that they tend to leave out certain things, like varieties of flora and fauna, climate and geography (other than the broadest implementations) and the skies.

With Elyden I've created a star map with a catalogue of all the stars and constellations and other extraterrestrial objects (satellites, planets, comets etc.). Like much of the world, I'm still deep in creating these facets of Elyden's skies, though I have completed a star chart. the above map was created in the nation of Almagest in c. 3000 RM (the present day is 4008 RM). Though very far removed from the neolithic stargazing culture of its past (extinct now by around 4000 years), the great city Almagest remained a hub of astronomical knowledge, with astromancers remaining in power throughout its existence. The city was once one of the great gems of the Korachani empire (with over 8,000,000-bodies at the peak of its influence), though the so-called Artifex Wars left it an independent entity. sundered from the empire, it died a slow death of disease and starvation, and the city remains now as a ruined metropolis with the descendants of degenerates populating its haunted streets. These are the constellations as recognised by the Korachani empire. Much like western and eastern constellations bear little resemblance to one another, the constellations detailed here are those as recorded by the Korachani empire, based off of ancient knowledge from people it has subjugated over the years. Also, much like our own constellations,those of the southern hemisphere are more 'artificial' as they come from far later in history and were first recorded by sea explorers (indeed there are far fewer in the southern hemisphere as the exacting requirements of the Order of Astromancers in almagest has failed to recognise most of the newly-named constellations).

on a more practical standpoint, I really enjoyed using noise/levels/hue&saturation in creating the stars in the background. though the constellations haven't been described in any detail yet, most of them are based off fauna that I created for the world (or pinched from extinct genera, in the case of the Indrik - indricothere), or mythological objects/events, that i deemed worthy-enough of making it into the skies in the form of constellations, most of which are carried over from ancient cultures (much like ours).

in addition to the standard map (as i imagine it would have looked hot off the printing presses), i also created an older-style version of the map:

antique Almagesti map
 Took me longer than I wanted, though I'm rather pleased with the end-result.


  1. This is great! I just wish for a larger image so I could really bask in the detail. So far I only have the 12 animal zodiac for my world, but I fizzled on creating the constellations themselves. A friend really liked what he saw in the notes, so maybe I'll get around to finishing it. Anyway, just wanted to say I'm impressed.

  2. thanks :)
    here's some 'slightly' bigger versions if youre interested: