02 November 2016

Sneak Peak - Parthis

Here's a sneak peak of the next map in the Atlas Elyden series - the Secular Republic of Parthis, one of the major powers in the Inner Sea. It's the largest individual area I've worked on so far, larger even than my map of the Republic of Almagest and is taking a while to get finished.

This region depicts a fold mountain range inspired by the mountains of Pakistan and would realistically be the result of two plates colliding with each other, giving an indication to the region' history. Hopefully I'll manage to get the map done by the end of the month (LOTS of labels and rivers to do on this one as it's so big)

#Parthis, #Elyden, #Atlaselyden

25 October 2016

Elyden Audio recording

This is something exciting and completely unexpected! Below is a short 7-minute recording of one off the Elyden flavour texts originally posted here, that I found on Reddit a few days ago.

The soundloud account belongs to zefmiller. The voice acting is by @Jacob-Pett, and the Music is by Ross Bugden

A few pronunciation issues aside (fair enough considering I never told anyone how some of the words are meant to be said... a subject for another post!) I think they did a really good job. The music is spot on and the atmosphere is suitably foreboding. I'd love to work with them again if I ever get the chance to. Maybe a reading of a short story or something similar!

18 October 2016

Elyden Primer

I'm tentatively working on a PDF I hope to make available to anyone interested, detailing the world of Elyden in general. I tend to focus on micro-slave things, and I think it's about time that i show the world in a macro scale, which might show in more detail what Elyden is all about. This is the beginning of that project. I hope to licence or commission some art to show off some of the more representative regions, creatures and personalities, which will be used in guide.

This is the world of Elyden. She exists in the shadow of gods that have long-since abandoned her. Her domains are slowly crumbling, succumbing to pollution and decay. The natural order unravels, though few truly know why. Seemingly ensnared by her own decadence, Elyden has become a world far removed from the beauteous realm that once was. Deserts slowly expand, pushing the boundaries of life ever farther. Seas dwindle. The sun grows dimmer in the sky. With this unravelling of the natural world comes the waxing of the two elemental forces known as the Firmament and the Atramenta – the two halves of creation.
Her wardens, the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges, are forgotten. Once sustained by mortal worship, the Demiurges have mostly fallen dormant and are weak and hidden, forgotten by most. Those who slumber are blights upon both the material landscape and the thoughts of mortals across Elyden. The bodies of these Demiurges are gigantic and fossil-like, though they are far from dead. Though their bodies may appear lifeless, thoughts yet trickle through their minds. The dreams and nightmares of these maddened gods are felt across the world as the mortals continue in their paths to oblivion and self-indulgence. Elyden is now a place corrupted by these nightmares, where small yet steadily growing demesnes fluctuate like rotten dreamscapes of impossible design.
Those Demiurges who still live do so through their own artifice or the whims of those who yet follow them. Bitter at their own fall from grace, they survive in diminished form, decrepit and feeble. They withhold the secrets that madness has not yet consumed, leaving the mortal races to reel in their ignorance. Most have come to detest the mortals, only grudgingly seeking them out due to the restorative effects of their deference. Some Demiurges secretly reward those noble and hard-working mortals who yet worship them with minor secrets in the hopes of increasing their own power.
Above them all, unchallenged throughout the latter millennia of the Fifth-Age, has reigned a single Demiurge: Rachanael the Hungry, the so-called Undying Machine. Under his selfish reign has Elyden been allowed to rot. The cities of the Korachani empire spread like a disease around the Inner Sea, propagating his church and creating more bling followers to sustain him. Farther abroad, distant empires and nations cling to a semblance of culture, though they too are in decline.
Elyden is a land of idiosyncrasies. The art of technarcana offers marvels previously unthinkable even as the Korachani empire fractures to corruption, making such discoveries untenable. Explorers restore contact with descendants of ancient colonies even as the seas slowly retreat, rendering old harbours and ports unusable. Natural resources dwindle, pushing the value of all objects ever higher. Ancient bloodlines - patrician families, merchant houses and royal dynasties - blind themselves to the truth and lose themselves in their last days of decadence before the world or lesser people claim them.
Amid this corruption do the remnants of the Two-and-Twenty mortal races struggle to survive. Some seek solace in ignorance. Others however seek answers to questions unasked, searching cyclopean ruins of distant ages revealed by the rot of the world, hoping to find in catacombs and foundations hints as to where they came from, what their purpose is. Perhaps in such ruins might they find the answer to their survival... or madness.
This is the world of Elyden: a tomb in the making, its end within sight, yet still out of reach.


The lands around the Inner Sea reached an industrial age many centuries ago. Wrought iron bridges and chrome steel are a common sight, as are concrete foundations and fortifications and trench defenses, Steam and technarcane engines and machines are common, if not readily available to all classes. Steel-hulled steam-powered ships cross the Inner Sea and distant lands can maintain tentative contact through primitive telegraphy and other more esoteric methods. Single-shot rifles and mortars are the tools of war, as are primitive land-ships and ambulants that crawl across the inhospitable wastes (though trains do not exist).
It is, however, a time of decline and in many cases technology has stalled or diminished since the golden age of the Korachani empire, over a millennia past. Superstition and ceremony take the place of logical thinking in many circles and there exist many idiosyncrasies that in a sane should not be, Though the nations around the Inner Sea are industrialised, lands farther afield may not be. Technology is a treasured commodity rooted in a xenophobic and imperialistic religious tradition and though trade reaches far it is in many cases a one-way system. Many places, particularly the Surrach in Sammaea and much of far eastern and western are less technologically advanced, though that is not to say they are primitive. Many such places have a more pronounced arcane tradition than those around the Inner Sea, which have eschewed the discipline of the esoteric for the short-term gains of technaracana.
One thing that merchants are not reticent of selling are arms. Rifles, repeater cannons and revolvers are traded with pre-industrial nations without thought, leading to one of the more pronounced idiosyncrasies that are prevalent in Elyden.

Elyden’s ancient history is divided into five distinct ages,,referred to as the Five Ages of Mortal Life, and a Mythic Age preceding them. Each age is characterised by certain themes and the transition between ages is generally a major event like a war or major cultural shift. Events in recent centuries such as the independance of Almagest, the Sundering of the Korachani empire and more recent political tensions have led many scholars to believe that we are living in the autumn of the Fifth Age.
What follows is a condensed history of time that readers may be interested in learning. Do be warned though as much of this material is very much unknown to the denizens of Elyden and to know such things is to court madness:

The Age of Myth (the Four Great Acts of Shaping)

  • The creator stirs, causing the Sea of Chaos to separate into the Firmament above and the Atramenta below.
  • 1st Act of Shaping: between the Firmament and the Atramenta appears the material plane. In the material plane the creator forms the mesochthons – failed experiments at life, they are abominations that were rapidly abandoned, sent to the primordial material plane to waste away.
  • 2nd Act of Shaping: the creator makes the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges – worker gods entrusted with shaping material plane into a realm habitable to future creations.
  • 3rd Act of Shaping: the Demiurges fill the material realm with the orbs of life (planets). One such orb is Elyden and they shape its oceans and continents, mountains and rivers (c. 1 billion years ago).
  • 4th Act of Shaping: the creator, pleased with the Demiurges’ work, sees that Elyden is ready for life, and places two-and-twenty pods - one for each of the Demiurges - each containing seven seeds, which in due-course will germinate into the Immortals – beings that will inherit the perfect world.

The First Age of Mortal Life
  • Though their work is deemed complete, the Demiurges cannot comprehend a life without shaping and continue crafting the material realm, slowly tarnishing the perfection that they had achieved. This leaves the world an imperfect place.
  • The chaos brought about by the Demiurge’s work makes the immortal seeds germinate before their time. What emerge from the seeds are not immortal, but rather imperfect versions – the two-and-twenty mortal races, of which humans are one. The mortals, like a prematurely born child, are not ready for their world. Likewise, the world, reduced from perfection to a state of chaos, is not ready for them – raw sounds and sights assault the nascent mortals, maddening them with a cacophony of stimuli.
  • To help them cope with this chaos the creator (knowing they are not at fault) bestows upon them a spark of its own divinity, to help them survive the raw world. This trait would be passed on to their children. From this point mortals who die leave behind Soulstones – physical manifestations of that divine spark that take the form of large spheres, ranging in appearance from pearlescent to pitch-like. The soulstones are now thought to have been primitive corporeal souls.
  • Most Demiurges ignore the mortal tribes, and go about erecting monuments and shaping continents. The creator, having given them chance to mend their ways and take leadership of their wards is angered by this indifference and exiles them to the material realm, forcing them to become leaders of their respective tribes. They will come to draw their strength from their followers (so a Demiurge without followers would grow weak).

The Second Age of Mortal Life
  • The mortal tribes worship their ‘patron’ Demiurge as a living god, providing it with the vitality it needs to survive and continue shaping, though this shaping is now restricted to moulding their tribes in their own image and making the world a better place for its children to live in.
  • The Demiurges’ individual characteristics become more evident as they grow more distant from one another and the creator, whose existence is never mentioned to the mortals. Many grow bitter at their punishment, with them all coping in different ways: Some try to bury their resentment and anger in their work, ceaselessly erecting monuments. Others grow distant from their own children, becoming weak and insular. Others try to reforge the link to the creator, failing. Others, like Urakabarameel, turn to asceticism. Some (including Rachanael, Ashterath and Baphomet) understand the status quo and begin amassing followers in a bid to culture power.
  • As the mortal tribes grow some of them fracture, with groups abandoning their homelands to forge their own fates, leaving their gods behind. Worship of the Demiurges lessens and most are noticeably weakened. Fearing what may happen if this continues, the Demiurges meet and in their desperation are convinced to elect Rachanael to teach the mortals discipline and awe.
  • Rachanael betrays his siblings and enslaves unnumbered mortals, growing powerful. His siblings form an alliance, led by Talantehut. They eventually defeat him, at no small cost to their own children and lands.
  • The creator sees the Demiurges’ actions and fears they have not all yet learnt their lesson. This is most balant in their failure to teach the mortal races of him. In punishment he strips them of their divinity. They are now mortal, and can die is severely-weakened. Many amongst them despair, knowing they can now die. Such Demiurges include Vorropohaiah, Nergaal, Achaiah, Ialdabaoth and Shibboleth. Others accept their new fates and cope in various ways. Sybaris turns to hedonism, as do her children (shie). Avraham, becomes a materialist and guides his tribe (humans) into an imperialistic future. The conjoined twins S’hith and Nelchael use what powers they have to give hope to mortals in the form of prophecy and visions, respectively. Neith and Kharani forsake the mortal realm and forge their own realms, creating the two moons of Siella and Arakhame’, respectively.
  • With the greatest of their divine abilities gone, the Demiurges turn to the material realm to fuel their crafting. Rachanael and Duruthilhotep are the first Demiurges to master the Atramenta and the Firmament, respectively, and begin teaching the mortals some of their secrets. Others, like Nyarloth and Synchthonith, help the mortals develop technology.
  • The creator grants the mortal races the gift of a conscience and the free will to seek out the truth of their world, should they wish. Upon death a mortal’s soul is no longer trapped within a soulstone and instead becomes one with the otherworld where it will eventually be reborn as an otherworlder – beings that help and hinder mortals seek the truth of their world.
  • Many Demiurges continue to despair following their sundering from the creator. Allaishada calls a council of her siblings where it is decided that a great bridge shall be constructed linking Elyden to the realms of the creator. All but two of the Demiurges worked together constructing the bridge. The other two – Talantehut and Arimaspi – secretly oppose them, praying to the creator to stop them before things become worse.
  • The creator responds, destroying the bridge, plunging the world into darkness for a year and a day. So they can never work together again the Demiurges are stripped their divine language and their children are given different tongues. Talantehut is granted the title of Keeper of Balance (at the cost of her children’s worship), and Arimaspi becomes the King of Kings – he alone can now shape the natural features of Elyden.
  • Mortal nations rise and fall, races intermingle, leading in most cases to a dilution of the two-and-twenty mortal tribes. The Demiurges begin to wane in power.

The Third Age of Mortal Life
  • The Demiurge Malachai dies – a warning to all his siblings of their mortality. Many Demiurges fall into deeper misery. Vorropohaiah copes by erecting gigantic monuments in his own name. Greatest of these is Carceri a world-spanning labyrinthine cavern, the purpose of which is unknown to all but his highest-ranking primates. Stripped of the powers of shaping the world he accomplishes this through the labour of billions of followers and slaves over millennia.
  • War, expansion, fragmentation of the mortals continues. The land slowly changes at the hand of Arimaspi.
  • Mortal expansion reveals the forgotten mesochthons, which wreak havoc upon the mortal plane. Synchthonith, Nyarloth, Duruthilhotep and Urakabarameel succeed in imprisoning them within Carceri. Vorropohaiah becomes their gaoler.
  • The Third Age ends around 49,000 years ago.

The Fourth Age of Mortal Life
  • The predecessors of extant nations appear. Very few ruins and relics found today date to before this period and indeed few survive from this age.
  • The Demiurges continue to wane during this time. Most mortals have forsaken them and their memory slowly begins to fade. Many Demiurges fall into languor, their dreams polluting the world.
  • Rachanael grows more belligerent and following a long conflict between his followers and those of Allaishada is imprisoned beneath the desert of Kharkharadontis. The place becomes known as Daekyn.
  • The followers of Rachanael clash with many mortal tribes and their allies in their attempts to free him. This time becomes known as the Shadow War. They fail and the age ends with the near annihilation of the mortal civilisations around 6,500 years ago.

The Fifth Age of Mortal Life
  • The merchant prince Malichar discovers an artifact of the Demiurge Talantehut in -23 RM, intended as a warning to the mortal races. It is a history of the ancient world and the crimes of Rachanael.
  • Malichar seeks him out and, following many trials and tribulations, frees him in 331 RM (3700 years ago), encasing him in the Leaden Throne, a technarcane engine created with the aid of Nyarloth to sustain him. Malichar has been ruler of Korachan since then.
  • No longer sustained by the Shaping of the Demiurges, the natural world begins to fragment. Her seas slowly begin to disappear. Life itself begins to wane.
  • The Korachani empire fragments in two in 3705 RM (just under 300-years ago). This leaves the High empire, north of the Inner Sea and the Reformed Empire south of the Sea. Corruption within politics and religion is rife. Resources begin to expire. Prophecies and visions are on the rise, as are those whose dreams and nightmares reveal the bitter thoughts of the Demiurges.
  • Eschatological cults become more common as people begin to feel Elyden’s sickness. Worship of Rachanael wanes and other Demiurges experience flickers of sapiency.
  • Many scholars believe that we are in the last days of the Fifth Age.


07 October 2016

Here's the latest map in the Atlas Elyden, a land-locked region in the continent of Sammaea. this is the smaller version available to everyone. Patrons giving at least $5 a month also gain access to a larger version, a textless version and .PSDs of the maps, thanks!

I'm also doing an AMA (ask me anything) on reddit about my world. If anyone is interested in asking anything, please head on over there and go ahead and ask me anything :)

Atlas Elyden #15 - Paraiya

* * *

Paraiya is a land that has evolved under two shadows - that of Korachani colonists who settled the region between 1200 - 1400 RM, abandoning it to the Domnitors between 2700 - 2800 RM; and the Atramentally-active region that dominates lands to the south of the nation, known as the Umbra Solare.

   Situated North of the Tropic of Rah, the climate is semi-arid to arid-temperate, and were it not for the many rivers that flow through its lands the region would be largely uninhabited (indeed the name Paraiya roughly translates to ‘Many Rivers’). The ancient people of Paraiya adapted to the harsh climate by constructing bulbous wattle towers that collect condensation in large quantities and surrounded their cities like silent sentinels. Though not as common as they once were they can still be seen in smaller settlements that are cut off from the more urbane population centres. This is just one of many examples of the ingenuity of the Paraiyan people.

   Extant Paraiyan history begins in 73 RM when an exiled prince, Abir Paria settled the region now known for the ruin of the Ebon Palace. His birthplace remains unknown, though his familial name would later become the name of the confederacy of cities that he founded. The region Abir settled was centred on a ruin of black stone that to this day was shunned by the nomads that roam Paraiya, becoming the capital of a confederacy of city-states that emerged by 300 RM.

   By 1150 RM, increased Koachani influence across the Paraiyan borders caused tension within the city-states, leading to a period of hostility and warfare between the city-states, whittling down the once prosperous people of Paria, leaving whole regions and cities in ruins. As the open caste mines of the Korachani city of Beluan grew, so did it become more influential. In 2132 RM the Ebon Palace was sacked by descendants of the Pariayan nomadic caste, the Dynasty of Paria left without heir, the conflict at an end.

   Their resources spent, their homes destroyed, the remaining people left the area, either populating the lands to the north west, around the river Nothiya, or returning to the semi-nomadic lifestyle they had enjoyed before the rise of Paria, giving rise by c. 2300 RM to the three tribes of the Paraiya – the Arena, Belln and Kharan – which remain largely unchanged to this day.

   Korachani colonists abandoned the region between 2700 - 2800 RM, leaving Beluan and other cities in the hands of the Domnitors who would rule as caretakers in their absence. The Domnitors were forgotten by Korachan and over generations they mingled with the upper-classes of Beluan, forming a ruling caste that over the next 1000 years would come to dominate the lands of old Paria, Paraiya as we know it was born. The city of Sopora was resettled in 2750 RM by this ruling caste as a capital. This new ruling caste clashed with the then capital of Bakkou which was the centre of a traditionalist nation that abhorred the memory of the imperial occupation tried to stifle aspects of its culture that had remained (including religion, which has ousted traditional gods in many regions, especially in Sopora). This clash of cultures was most blatant by viewing the lower classes in each city. In Bakkou those of korachani descent were treated as lower class citizens, where in Sopora it was those descended from the nomads who were seen as unclean.

   Frictions escalated into civil war in 3792 RM, which dragged on for 2 decades until 3813 RM, with Bakkou losing and the city being sacked. A ruling Sultanate emerged in 3821 in Sopora, which struggles to this day to unify the region.

   Travel within Paraiyan territories is hostile and most merchant caravans are armoured and guarded against nomadic attacks. Most people do not see the outside of their cities or their immediate environs. The nomads who proliferate the north west are allies of Karakhas, and the subjects of the Sultanate trade north with Mharokk and Lidea, which are loose allies. The nomads are themselves only loosely connected and still exist in three separate tribes, with members meeting on the winter solstice to revere ancient traditions.

#paraiya, #atlaselyden, #elyden, #fantasycartography

24 September 2016

reddit AMA - Sunday September 25th

I'm doing an AMA about the world of Elyden on the /r/worldbuilding reddit tomorrow at 18:00 (GMT +1). This isn't going to be a live AMA that will only be open for an hour or anything, so if you can't make it at that time, don't fret, just ask something and I'll reply. As long as i find comments I'll continue replying to them.

This will be mostly themed towards worldbuilding aspects so ask about things like cultures, religions, toilet habits, themes, etc.

For those of you who don;t know AMA stands for ask me anything, and, well, that's pretty self explanatory. It's used in this case as a way for worldbuilders to tackle subjects and questions that they otherwise might not have thought of. Hopefully something productive will come of it.

Thanks :)

21 September 2016

the Path Travelled - part 8

After missing out a few entries on the blog and a long hiatus on Patreon, here's the latest entry in the adventures of Chronicler.

Bassorah & Ipanah, Madour, and Thamal

While working on the Inner Sea map I took a little time to work on a new map in the Atlas Elyden series. This is the first map I’ve made in the series that doesn’t occupy the entirety of an A3 page. The map itself is 3 distinct unrelated regions, one occupying an A4 face of the sheet, and the other two occupying a space of A5, respectively. You can see the line denoting the page spine once the thing is assembled into a book and/or pdf.

I haven’t yet included the grid (the letters and numbers corresponding to the index that will feature in the back of the atlas, once it’s done) and will add it in later. I also changed the style of the cartouche, going for something more modern. Some people had commented that once the maps are arranged together in an atlas, the cartouche style (particularly the wording) I was using wouldn’t really make sense. So going forward, all new maps will include this new cartouche style, including a rational scale as well as the old scale bar, as well as a short note describing the projection (as it’s a fantasy world some projections - notably those named after someone, like Mercator or Wagner etc. will be renamed to fit into world, though other types of scale, such a the one used in this map - equidistant conic - will retain the same name as there’s no point confusing people just for the sake of doing so :p). I’ll be updating the older maps as I go along as I tend to have to update certain things on them anyway, particularly when working on neighbouring regions that appear on earlier maps that weren’t fully fleshed out.

Most of these maps already appear in other maps, at least partially, and serves as a bit of a spotlight on smaller regions that might otherwise be missed out, like Achera. Bassorah is mostly depicted in the map of Skaros and most of Ipanah appears in the maps of Azazem and Skaros, and Madour is already all visible in the map of Vârr though I wanted to zoom in a bit (I might add some more detail to it in the form of new labels that couldn’t fit into the map of Vârr.

* * *

BassorahA recent addition to the nations of Llachatul, Bassorah emerged from the newly independent Ipanah in the years following the Dissolution of the Korachani Empire in 3705 RM. Like Bassorah, it is a land founded by immigrants and refugees and they have made a name for themselves as traders and merchants, growing rich as intermediaries between Almagest, the people of the Old Forest (Tar Yo-dhai), and the Korachani empire.

The stereotype of the typical Bassoran amongst the people of Korachan is, at best, a moustache-twirling merchant or, at worst, a skulking thief. The truth is far more complex. Bassorah is at a crossroads of cultures, where religions and different beliefs mingle amongst the many merchants, leaving its people somewhat jaded and more world-weary than your typical work Slave in the empire.

IpanahA small, relatively recent nation to appear in Llachatul, Ipanah was settled in c. 3020 RM by refugees fleeing from both Almagest and Korachan in the years following the War of the Artifexes./ Much of the nation is built over the ruins of the older extinct nation of Asibaia, around an ancient cenotaph dedicated to a now-forgotten scion.

Its people were often attacked by slavers, with uncounted thousands of individuals carried into the empire in its ceaseless hunger for fresh bodies. In 3534 RM the nation was invaded by Korachan, and its people taken wholesale as slaves, leaving it largely deserted by the turn of the century. Following the Dissolution of the Empire in 3705 RM, its lands were later repopulated by dverg from Chthyrid between c. 3730 – 3750 RM as well as human immigrants, many of which would go on to expand north into what would by 3800 RM become Bassorah.

AcheraAlso known as ‘the Rusting Citadel’ Achera is in truth a monolithic fortification, comprising redoubt, concentric star forts and miles upon miles of trenches and walls in Llachatul, between Laaskha, Ipanah and Azazem. Originally erected in the early days of Korachani dominance in Laaskha in response to dissident attacks, the network grew into a militaristic conurbation with a population of over 100,000 at its peak. The citadel’s purpose changed over the years, leading up to c. 2910 RM, at which point it had diminished, becoming an independent caravanserai controlling 800-square-miles of land between E Lhaaskha and W Skaros, governed by an order of knights bound to both neutrality and the people it protected (pop. c. 3,000).

In the centuries since then the region has become an autonomous state, still bound to its self-declared laws of neutrality. It is the smallest autonomous regions recognised as a state by most other powers around the Inner Sea and its people, though few, are very proud.

MadourAn ancient city dating back to the early days of the Korachani empire, Madour was once a part of an independent pre-imperial Vârr, then became part of Rhamia before falling to Korachan in 792 RM. When Korachan was driven from the region in 1019 RM Madour became its own entity once again, turning to piracy in the Sea of Propontis, though traffic across the sea diminished over the next centuries. The city then became insular, its merchants and privateers, once a common sight, dwindling until all contact was lost with the outside world. Rumours grew across Vârr that a quarry within the city struck a deep hollow that led to the underworld of Carceri.

By 2200 RM those passing close to its borders would see a towering wall of iron and limestone surrounding the city, with no doors leading out. The Korachani empire reappropriated Rhamia late in the 4th Millennium RM its diplomats and explorers braved the city it in 3989 RM. The old city was found abandoned, a particularly deep mine collapsed, leading into Carceri - proving the rumours. The mines were sealed with reinforced concrete, the high walls levelled and the city - the strategic importance of its location clear to the pragmatic imperial colonists - rebuilt. Now landlocked following the retreat of the Sea of Propontis, a harbour links the city to the sea where slaves from the north east arrive.

A small nation in southern Llachatul, south of the Mull City-States. Thumal is composed largely of islands, which together form the southern-most point of the Toliasor Mountains. Parts of the region once formed part of the Korachani colony of Amondor though broke away in 3820 RM. It is people are the descendants of Korachani colonists and people native to the region, whose blood was mixed millennia past with that of mulls. The capital of Elbia is known for its beautiful and expansive natural harbours.

#Bassorah, #Madour, #Ipanah, #Thumal, #Innersea, #Atlaselyden,

14 September 2016

I haven’t posted a WIP on here for some time. I don’t tend to show most of my commissions here, and my personal maps haven’t had much that I can share before they’re done (at the moment it’s just getting the topography done and then adding the markers/text. Not much more other than that). This is something much more ambitious than any previous map I;ve created before, though.

Some of you might be familiar with my Inner Sea map. That map’s over 4 years old now and personally I think it’s really showing it’s age. I was only then starting to learn how to use Photoshop and was still experimenting with style (and horrible fonts). I’ve since moved on to a more modern style (both in terms of worldbuilding as well as the maps themselves), as can be seen from my Atlas Elyden maps. I’m enjoying the work that goes into those maps, though the topography and stitching that needs to be done to incorporate the maps into a larger whole is quite time-consuming. Just see the screenshot below for the size of the map...

yep, that's how big the uncompressed PSB is...

My efforts so far have seen me map various parts of the Inner Sea region I had explored in that original map 4 years ago. So I’m going to take what I’ve done on these maps (the first was created in January 2016) and apply that to a new map of the Inner Sea, depicting a slightly smaller area than that first version (I’ll be omitting the area of the Dark Sea in the bottom right to really concentrate on the Inner Sea itself).

I’m currently working on the topography, which is the most time-consuming part of the project. I’m probably half done by now, and am busy working on a region of dense mountains in the north west which is taking a long time to get done. Other than that I still need to tinker with the ‘finished’ areas to get them looking a bit more natural. Once that’s done I’ll be able to concentrate on rivers before getting things like borders and labels done.

I’ll be working at A1 size at 400 dpi on this one, with an eye to getting it printed as a poster for myself and patrons who are interested in it (at a cost that’s yet to be decided, to cover printing and postage). I’ll later resize it to A3 and adjust it as needed for the smaller size (removing less important labels as necessary, for instance) for my Atlas Elyden project.

I intend on keeping the same colours as the atlas maps, though I might weather the map a bit, to make it look used and add some texture to the otherwise flat atlas style.

This is what I have ready so far, in terms of Topography. Many regions are still rough (particularly the south and south western areas of the map), with just the first layer of topography finished (like in the south east):

Inner Sea map - WIP

To anyone wondering, the topography is done 100% by hand and none of it is generated. Each level of topography is a separate layer in Photoshop, filled with the respective colour and given a hide all mask that’s painted white and given a 1px dark brown stroke.

More details on how the map is generated can be found on a tutorial I posted, here.

#Innersea, #Elyden, #Poster, #Atlaselyden,