12 June 2017

Atlas Elyden #20 - the Old Forest and Rhamia

Atlas Elyden #20 - the Old Forest and Rhamia

Known as Tar yo- Dhai in the Korachani empire and as Vanefar by its natives, most names for this region, regardless of language, can be roughly translated as: Old Forest. Not without reason is that name used, for this area is amongst one of the few virgin woodlands remaining in the continent of Llachatul.

Ancient accounts tell us that the forest once stretched across all of central Llachatul, from the eastern shores of the gulf of Skaros in the west, to the Argent mountains in the east, and from the northern shores of the Inner Sea to the polar circle in the north, covering most of central Llachatul - an area no smaller than * square-miles. So vast was it that it became a haven to disparate people fleeing ancient wars and genocides. Its dense cover and size meant that anyone with the ability to survive in the wild could enter its periphery and disappear, forgotten by the outside world for millennia.

The descendants of those early immigrants went on to populate the Old Forest, and from these small pockets emerged various groups of people - the attori, ramon’athi, valkai nomads, sidhe, and vanefari, amongst others - each with a history going back to the Fourth Age. These people populate different regions of the Old Forest and though propaganda and bigotry informs outsiders that they are a united people, they are in truth divided, linked only by the ancient traditions and religions they adhere to, and their hatred of outsiders.

There is a great deal of superstition surrounding the Old Forest and its people. What was once history became corrupted by distance into legends which have become ingrained in the cultures of lands surrounding the Old Forest. Tales of blood-moon worshipping druids, ley lines of ancient power, horrific fey creatures that defend their lands savagely from intruders, unicorns whose blood is said to be magical, ancient dragons, and bestial tree-kin are all common within lands such as Almagest and the empire. Modern scholars have tried to trace the origins of these myths to their mundane roots, though common sentiment is difficult to change. Besides, the greatest evidence of the evil nature of the Old Forest can be found in the tombs of the beings that rest there - no less than four Demiurges are believed to be buried within its reach, tainting its lands, adding to the sense of unease that overcomes outsiders entering that primal realm.

Testament to the depth of such superstitions has been the Korachani empire’s reluctance to explore the region, which is found so close to the capital’s doorstep, even though its explorers have charted all of the world’s seas and marched thousands of miles south into far more inimical lands.

Despite this almost preternatural distrust of the region, the scattered progress of technarcane arts and the coming of industrialisation between 1400 and 1800 RM saw nations as disparate as Korachan, Laaskha, Azazem, Almagest, Pelasgos, Ahrishen, Saua and Vârr growing hungry for natural resources. As old sources became depleted, they looked elsewhere to sate their hunger. Beneath the forest hid a great wealth of resources - coal, umbra, gems and ores in abundance, and the forest itself was a thoughtless source of fuel. Strip mines, quarries, refineries and lumber-yards all appeared, rapidly consuming huge swathes of the forest’s edge. Every passing year moved its borders dozens of miles from the coast until all that remained were scattered pockets.

By 2200 RM the forest was no longer a singular expanse. It had been reduced to various smaller forests, the largest of which were the Old Forest in the west, the Malani forest in the east, and Kolchis (?*) in the north. The industries that had replaced the forests had mostly fallen dormant by 2800 RM, leaving abandoned pits, polluted lakes and thousands of square-miles of tree stumps. Fertile land changed to dust which blew over the forest into the lands that would later become known as the Desolation of Astudan.

That millennium of expansion and exploitation became known as the Forest Wars, not after its battles, but its wanton destruction of the region. What little trust could exist between the civilised world and the Old Forest was shattered by that period, which decimated hundreds of locations sacred to the religions and cultures of the forest, leaving them xenophobic and highly protective of what remained of their world. They clung even harder to their barbaric beliefs, butchering any and all missionaries and crusades into their lands, feeding the very myths that caused outsiders to distrust the forest-dwellers, which are now labelled as witches and druids.

In many ways it is thought that they value the Firmament and Atramenta and the natural world in ways forgotten by those outside their lands. The truth is far more complex and we are unlikely to know for certain the truth behind these people’s way of life. We know little of their cities or their culture, beyond what twisted lies Church bigotry and imperial propaganda have fed us for centuries, and it is unlikely that we will anytime soon.

#Vorropohaiah #Elyden #FantasyCartography #FantasyMap #Worldbuilding #AtlasElyden

06 June 2017

Atmospheric circulation map

I've been working on a worldbuilding article that requires quite a few graphics of the process and I've just started working on these now. This is the first of hopefully many such graphics: the Atmospheric Circulation map.

                             Atmospheric Circulation Map

Atmospheric Circulation
You can divide both northern and southern hemisphere into three distinct bands between the equator (0O) and 30O, 30O and 60O, and 60O and 90O. These can be called tropical, temperate, and arctic bands. These bands are also used to calculate atmospheric circulation, as seen below. Flora and fauna from one band will struggle to survive in another and biomes are typically unique to each band.

Hadley Cell: warm air rises at the equator and cools as it moves towards to poles, falling at 30O latitude, moving back towards the equator along the earth's surface, where it becomes warm again. Air moving towards the equator collects moisture, giving rainforests the climate they need to thrive. Air moving towards the 30O latitude has lost its moisture and is dry, explaining the many deserts found at such latitudes. Prevailing winds in the Hadley cells blow towards the west and the equator - rain shadows will form on the west sides of continents if the winds are blocked by mountains.

Ferrel Cell: warm air rises from the surface at the 60O latitude, moving either towards the pole or equator (where it becomes part of the Polar Cell or Ferrel Cell, respectively). In the Ferrel Cell cool dry air drops at the 30O latitude. Prevailing winds in the Ferrel cells blow towards the east - rain shadows may form on the east sides of continents if the winds are blocked by mountains.

Polar cell: warm air rises at 60O latitude, moving towards the poles, cooling as it moves eastward, sinking at the pole. This air is dry, which means there is little rainfall.

#HadleyCell, #FerrelCell, #AtmosphericCirculation, #Climate, #Worldbuilding, #Elyden, #Vorropohaiah


29 May 2017

catching up...

I've been a bad blogger!

I've been neglecting the place where it all started - this page - in favour of other platforms, like
Deviantart, Twitter and my Patreon, so I thought I'd post something to get me up to speed.

I've finished a couple of Atlas Elyden maps, which brings be a lot closer to finally completing the Inner Sea region, which has been my goal all along. Now I see an end in sight, I'm concentrating on finishing off that blasted 2nd Draft of Twilight of the Gods so that I can finally get it to print.

I've also been creating more of those Heraldry things, which are fun and relatively quick to do and help flesh out the world a bit more.

the Faded States of Daarken
Perhaps exemplifying the entropy of Elyden more than anywhere else in the Inner Sea, the history of the regions of Arkos, Ba’ath, Suma’ya and Zion (collectively known as the Faded States) are, as befits their geography and cultural similarities, intertwined. They are regions whose past was shaped by Korachani expansionism and whose futures are bleak. Invaded relatively early in the Korachani empire’s history they became at first colonies and then part of the empire itself, with immigrants and caretaker patricians lording it over the natives, who in many cases became second-class citizens, and the lands themselves were valued only for the resources that could be exploited.

In particular, the regions of Ba’ath and Zion became prized for their reserves of raw umbra, which was essential to the rise of Technarcana in the region and instrumental in the growing power of the Korachani empire. As is so often the case, when those resources waned to the point that large scale extraction was no-longer profitable, Korachan abandoned the region to the Domnitors (regional care-takers) in 2732, handing it over to Sathep the Risen of Sarastro in 3103 RM, alongside Zion. This became known as the Sarastroan Sanction.

Starting in 3097 RM the political situation in Ba’ath had grown out of control, with anyone seen to be a threat to the administration exiled to the south of Ba’ath, which by that had become an Atramentally-tainted wasteland with little resources. This continued well into the start of Sarastroan rule, and over the next centuries the area became a war-torn region of opposing warlords and tyrants. By 3311 the city of Suma’ya had risen above the others, with other cities subjugated beneath its banner. Sarastro had no need of its lands and allowed the fledgling state to fester. Raiding neighbouring territories for slaves and resources it is little more than a localised threat and of little importance to the world without.

Arkos, despite being a relatively small land, had a rich history following failed Korachani attempts at conquest. It was originally conquered by prototype of what would later become the feared Steel Legionnaires - elite vat-born clones that formed the vanguard of Korachani armies - one regiment of which was left behind to maintain the region during the Korachani withdrawal. The descendants of these caretakers would eventually become a ruling caste, known as the Arkos, their imposing statures and military prowess making them natural leaders to a region that was forever fending off barbarian attacks from the south. Though predation from Sarastro would ultimately lead to the region’s downfall. After periods of Sarastroan subjugation, the last of the descendants of the Arkos killed himself in shame 3822 RM, leaving the ruin of its once-great capital Arkashan ( corruption of the original Arkosachan, meaning city of Arkos in Korachani) empty, guarded by a crumbling colossus that echoed a golden age that had passed into memory centuries past.

the Faded States of Daarken

Karakhas and Khuraur
A nation in N Sammaea that is built on the ruin of many previous people. It loosely emerged from the ruin of the Fourth Age civilisation of Ellora, which dominated what is now southern Jurras and northern Khuraur and Karakhas. To the west of the Kathan mountains are the crumbled remnants of the Karthan empire. To the south-east are remnants of the last keratin nation of Fanes. To its south is the tainted region of the Umbra Solare, preventing spread south.
It was discovered by Korachani explorers in c. 30 RM, when the region was dominated by dozens of blood-cults that shared a common heritage though saw each other as rivals. Cultural and political unease was rife in the region at the time. This lack of cohesion is what allowed Korachan to so easily penetrate the region. Imperial immigrants had integrated themselves with the natives by 70 RM, with Korachan becoming its true ruler in 121 RM,after a 4-year war. Water was used as a means of control in these years, forcing the subjugated people to co-operate.

Due to its distance from the central empire and the great many resources needed to control its populace, heathen practices remained common there, as did the rural and some might say barbaric lifestyles of the natives, whose worship of the god Khar’illæ remains widespread to this day (where it survives in a corrupted form as an imperial saint) with their Vaticinator leaders still common. Blood crusades, originally a religious hunt for sacrifices, became an excuse to capture Pariayan slaves under Korachani leadership.

Under imperial rule, Karakhas served as a stepping-stone of sorts. It was the closest Korachani nation to the deserts of Kharkharadontis, and as such, many Atr. and technaracane organisations maintained chapters and sects there from which they could more closely examine the effects of the Atramenta on Elyden (for instance, the exploration of the Umbra Solare and the subjugation of the natives of the Algol Haren region). Karakhas also became a link between Korachan and its later colony of Noavatur in the far S Sammaean continent, with a long dangerous route established that winded its way over 2,750-miles across the Umbra Solare, linking the two together. It was through this route that much of the Umbra Solare was explored, at a great cost.

Despite this link that Karakhas served, it was always plagued by inner-turmoil. Its people were passionate by nature and their acceptance of the Korachani rule was never placid. Unrest was common and the first millennia of imperial rule there was characterised by brief, if intense, bouts of conflict, often erupting into full-fledged civil strife. This culminated in 1248 RM with a large uprising centred around the region of Lateritia, which left the entire area devastated hounded by marauders that emerged from the wars. Over the centuries these marauders coalesced as three distinct barbarian groups that continue to roam between settled areas in Karakhas; in the basin of Lateritia, the volcanic plains of Sargoth and the plains of Eriteia. Known respectively as the Lateritians, and Sargothi and the Eritei, these marauders, while far from numerous, continued to worship Kharl’illæ as a deity and opposed the imperial rule of their nation, disrupting trade and causing chaos. Were it not for the vast mineral wealth of the region it is likely that Korachan would have abandoned the region in this time. Their lack of centralized leadership and their guerrilla-like tactics made them difficult for imperial forces to oppose and they remained a thorn in its side until its demise following the Sundering of the Shadow.

Unrest returned to Karakahas during the War of the Artifexes, which saw the nation of Almagest splinter from the Korachani empire and become a Republic, where the marauder tribes and their fundamentalist supports once-again caused havoc in the region, destabilizing the Korachani leadership there. The motherland was too busy with the was in the north to be able to spare resources in Karakhas and a fundamentalist group took control in 3012 RM, remaining in power until 3043 RM when the Korachani government was reinstated in the form of the Domnitors, which oversaw what remained of the region’s diamond mines.

Despite this new leadership the region remained broken, starting with the defection of a regiment of Steel Legionnaires in 3103 RM, and culminating in the nation’s fracture in 3478 RM with the signing of the Covenant of Khuraur, which saw the western portion of the nation break away in a militarised state.

The Sundering of Korachan in 3705 RM saw Karakhas become an independent nation for two years before it was absorbed by Sarastroan occupiers, under whose control it remains to this day.

Karakhas and Khuraur


Navah Berden

St. Flokan

St. Bael

House Porphyron

#Elyden, #Writing, #Worldbuilding, #Fantasycartography, #Cartography, #Fantasymap, #Heraldry, #Vorropohaiah


27 March 2017

Another two character bios with accompanying heraldries

#Carceri, #Elyden, #Worldbuilding, #Heraldry, #Vorropohaiah

25 March 2017

Dothil, Surveyor of Impossibilities

Another addition to the as-yet tiny collection of mini biographies with HERALDRIES! Fun and relatively quick to make (my my standards) I'm really hoping to get more of these done over the coming months. They don't take too much time out of my mapping schedule and I can easily use them to flesh out parts of the world that might not otherwise get much attention.

In this case it's probably my favourite region in all of Elyden - the Prison Carceri.  

#Carceri, #Elyden, #Worldbuilding, #Heraldry, #Vorropohaiah

15 March 2017

Here's the next map in the Atlas Elyden series. Slowly but surely I'm filling out the lands around the Inner Sea 😀

This map details 3 regions with a close history - Ahrishen, Virahan and Baatan (from right to left, respectively). The seas of Elyden are slowly retreating, and this is one of the areas hit hard by the advancing coastline - so the map includes an inset map showing what the coastline looked like 1,000 years ago.

Ahrishen as we know it has existed for less than 250-years, though the region has a long history going back millennia, to the dawn of the Fifth Age. Until a thousand years ago the region bordered the Sea of Pyrea, an extension of the Sea of Propontis that allowed merchant and fishing fleets to ply their trade of the eastern Inner Sea, but the slow retreat of the Inner Sea saw the Sea of Pyrea dwindle, leaving behind a flat expanse of wetlands and saltpans in its wake. This destroyed the economy and way of life that had sustained the region for centuries. The region crumbled into disparate townships and no-less than a dozen separate states that struggled to survive in their changed world. Piracy and slave-raids from Korachan did not help the situation much, either.

This state lasted until the arrival of the so-called Child-Prince, an unageing infant of prodigious supranatural ability, who managed to unify the region in 3763 RM, supplanting an ancient sky-based religion with worship of its own unchanging form. Though its fleets were no-more, the region came to be dominated instead by the river Aresh, which flows for over 2,500 miles west, feeding already rich soils with nutrients due to its yearly flooding. This has led to the region’s adoption of farming of a pastoral and arable nature. Rich cities thrive along the floodplains of this river, each surrounded by dykes and canals that defend against flooding. Between cities live gigantic herds of wildlife, relatively untouched by mortal interference.

The Ahrisheni people have a reputation for hard-work and the land is known far-and-wide for its beauty, which is even recognised by the Korachani empire. Living on the doorstep of Korachan has seen Ahrishen fend off many crusades and incursions into its land, though it’s wet coastline makes invasion from the sea difficult.

#elyden, #fantasycartography, #atlaselyden, #vorropohaiah, #ahrishen, #virahan, #baatan

Remember you can get exclusives (like PSDs, texless, and high-res versions of the map on my Patreon.

26 February 2017

The Path Travelled - part 11

It's been gone for a while, but Chronicler is back. He's stuck in the city of Zaffre as it prepares for war! The followers of a reborn otherworlder surround the city and Chronicler has been drafted to catalogue the events as they unfold, even as he tries to get his companion released from prison.

Check out the story here

24 February 2017

Atlas Elyden #16 - Parthis

Yes, I've been away for a while - Christmas and new year is always difficult to keep the creative juices flowing, with family obligations, though this is the first new post of what will hopefully be a return to form over the coming year. This will hopefully see the Inner Sea region fully-mapped, paving the way for the two Inner Sea poster maps I've mentioned previously.

This is a map of Parthis and surrounding areas, and, much like the map of Almagest, took a long time to get done as it covers a very large area - much larger than the average map. The topography in the bottom left took a while to get right, also, though I'm pleased with it.

Having said that I am already working on updating some parts of the topography to make it appear less uniform.

Parthis is many things to many different people. It has been a rival to the Korachani empire for millennia, managing to oust it as major superpower in the Inner Sea over the past few centuries. To those jaded and discontented by warring religions and cults it is a secular haven, one of only few of such size and power. It is a centre of flesh-weaving, and is to that art what Korachan is to technarcana. To its rivals, it is a godless land whose profane chirurgeons mess with natural laws. To its supporters, it is an answer to a corrupt ancient order that has reached its death-pangs

Parthis as a secular republic appeared almost 1,500-years ago from the ruins of civil war where 2 kings opposed each other. Before this the region was known as Parthia, before this it was part of the Seven States of Azora. Before that it was known as The Parria. Before that it was Sama Paria. Before
even that one of the greatest city states of the mythic world, and ancestral home of humans - Azer - was located there. The people of Parthis draw their roots back to this mythical time and are proud of such a long and ardent lineage.

The people of Parthis are amongst the most educated around the Inner Sea, with highly-literate merchants, and diplomats who have studied in some of the most regarded colleges in the known world. Slavery was abolished there in 3794 RM, making it the only major nation around the Inner Sea to do so. Its capital, Tethra, is a marvel of design and architecture and is dominated by an awe-inspiring administrative structure that can be seen from without its walls and acts as a beacon to outsiders and citizens alike.