Tuesday, January 1, 2013


This is a "dead" map from many years ago. I can't take any credit for the map itself, that came from donjon fractal map gennie.

*Per the request in the comments, I have fixed the map with a larger font. It kinda crowds the main continent, but hopefully that's forgivable. The white labels are oceans/waterways, while the black is terrain features/homelands. I removed the red equator line (it really crowded things) but it would run just above the Torongo and Olivos lettering.

It was a trial/experimental world where I was trying a few new (to me) things. There were many races of elves and they were almost constantly at war with each other. Humans of the Mediterranean-like Arman Empire had infrequent contact with the elves of the mainland, and those instances were touch and go. The Coldborn were an ancient race of "frost giants" - picture them as if ice age humans were much larger, like the mega-fauna of the era - something like 18 feet tall with broad bodies and powerful limbs. They were most docile until encroached upon by elves from the western forests and barbaric orcs from the south. Now they hate all outsiders.

Because the orcs could never defeat the Coldborn in their chilly home territory, they instead turned their evil intentions toward easier prey....humans. The Sumaka are nomadic, fierce fighters and thus were difficult to locate and raid upon. When they were caught, they were brutally killed or taken as slaves - a fate worse than death. The west humans, who would become the Armans, fled the threat from the east and left their homes in the steppes to make a new life in the lush coastal lands. They founded the empire and were in a golden age of prosperous trade and discovery.

This was also my first foray into making animal races. Thissians are lizardfolk. Mantu are friendly baboon-like creatures, who are enemies of the vicious lemur-like Torongo. Halflings are known by their names for themselves; Olivos (olive skinned) and Oolu (darker skinned). Both were to be seafaring peoples and, based upon location, enemies of the Thissians, Torongo, and goblins. They were friendly traders with the Mantu and desert dwelling Sumaka.

And that's where it stopped. I had figured trade routes, climate zones, ocean currents, and even started crafting a Latin based language for the Arman Empire. But I got bogged down in the micro-detailing and lost the flavor of the world on a macro scale. I think I just had too much going on. Fortunately, because I had such developed ideas of various races, it was very easy to take them in patches and transplant them to other words. Oh joyous day! I love when it works out like that! Now I just have to remain conscious of "over crowding" again. Not everything fits all the time.


  1. I like it. I'd love to see this in a larger format. e.g.: One large enough to make the text legible.

    The map looks like an application of Torben Ægidius Mogensen's "planet" program(http://www.diku.dk/~torbenm/Planet/). He also has a pdf slideshow describing the tetrahedral subdivision algorithm used by the program(http://www.diku.dk/~torbenm/Planet/PSIslides.pdf). Interesting light reading.

    There's an interesting post here(http://www.shatters.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16085) describing a way to generate 16-bit heightfield data from planet. Cool, but it requires Image Magick(http://imagemagick.org/) to convert the .xpm into something Photoshop can read(typically tiff). This may be the basis of my next technical article.

    Anymore, I prefer to manually create at least the broad outline of a map before letting automation take over, but "planet" is by far one of the best one-click terrain-gen apps out there. Now that I've figured out how to produce the 16- or 32-bit heightfields I need for my other mapping work, I may use it some more.

    1. There, I fixed it. I'm a bit of a goober newb when it comes to mapping software/depictions. I don't have the know how to get it to look in pixels how it looks in my head. I also find it much easier and way more fun to use a map that I didn't create (with permission of course) because then I write to the world, instead of having to map and then fill it.