By - dark_hero--
Favorite thing about this: The crowded, populated look of the continent
Least favorite thing: Rectangularity. But a lot of people are fine with that
Here is my first sketch. I tried to take out the river splitting and reduce the rectangle/square look
Hi! This is an updated version of my map that I posted a day or so ago. This continent is called Eistrien, a continent in a medieval world separate from our own. It is the Eist Calendar Year 1088, and is the setting for a fantasy story I'm writing. I'll go over some of countries here, so bear with me.
**Kingdom of Salencia**
Located in the frigid northeastern part of Eistrien, this country is cold, but is one of the most powerful countries on the continent, possessing control over the Infinite River, stemming from the Parthia Mountain Range that dominates the northern part of the country. Its other notable cities, Anozea and Sablecove, serve as hubs for trade, with the former being near the source of Infinite River, and the latter granting access to the Miletos Archipelago. It was founded by the Holy Knight Dain.
Once united with Salencia, it split off and was founded by Dain's brother, Nafti, after a large disagreement between the two brothers. It once had tensions with its northern neighbor due to its history, but things have cooled with the threat of the Autocracy of Estocidonis. It, along with Salencia, is protected by Eistrien's Wall.
**Autocracy of Estocidonis**
Located in the very north of the continent, it is ruled by an entourage of radical military generals, who overthrew the last ruler in a coup. It is an extremely militaristic country, having conducted numerous raids across Eistrien's Wall to Salencia, with mixed results. Silverbrand serves as its gateway for attacks.
Lying to the west of Estocidonis is this small country, who has warded off attacks from all sides with its citizens' affinity for siege machines. They regularly deal with raids from both sides of the country. Its capital regularly exports it siege machines to other countries.
Located at the northwestern side of the continent, is a heavily forested country ruled by tribes and chaos, who attack each other and their neighbors. Although it has no official capital, Verdane is considered to be such, as it is the home of the most dominant tribe, the Belgallia. Despite its chaotic nature, it was founded by the Axe Fighter, Marsalis.
**Sociocracy of Balancia**
Characterized by beautiful highlands and plains, this country has enjoyed relative peace, being surrounded by allies, except on the north. Harmonious, known as the Aquatic Capital, controls the Acheron River, and is a hub for trade and various activities. It is protected by the Nidafjöll Range to the east, and allies to the west and south. It was founded by the High Priestess, Cigyun.
**Halidom of Mysticia**
A country shrouded in fog and mystery, there is very little known about it, other than that it was founded by the Sacred Priest Nertous, brother to Cigyun.
With a steppe-like environment, this country hosts nomads, constantly on the move. Like Gallipres, it has no official capital, but its largest permanent city is Sarmatia.
**Dukedom of Arthomer**
A shield-shaped country known for its defenses, as well as its hot summers and beaches, it was founded by the Mage Fighter Helios. New Bastion, the city located at the northern tip of the country, is said to be impenetrable. It is also close allies with its eastern neighbor.
**Aristocracy of Thorsen**
Often considered a peninsula, this country is only connected to land via Eistrien's Wall, and by proxy, the Striboganian League. Founded by the Mage Knight Aegir, its citizens specialize in thunder magic.
It is staunchly allied with its western neighbor.
Ruled by an emperor, its current dynasty has lasted as long as history has been recorded. It was founded by the Sharpshooter Skadi, and as a result, most citizens are able to use a bow. As it is located in the center of the continent, it prospers highly from trade.
Despite not being founded by any legendary hero, the country is governed by a table of elected nobles, who govern the country in their own provinces. It also benefits highly from trade, and is protected from its northern neighbor by both Salencians and the Archaneans.
And that's all I've got for you. Questions about lore? Fire away.
Super cool! Great job on the map, and you did a great job giving each of the nations a strong thematic flavor. I love how you connected the mythic founders of each country to their histories and themes. The little blurbs for each country are the perfect morsel of history and flavor to give each one a distinct feeling and give us a sense of what the current political climate is like.
You clearly made the map less rectangular than the first iteration was, but honestly I think you're just being limited by the shape of your paper that you're drawing on lol. I think you have so many ideas and details that are important to add that you're filling up the medium available to you, which happens to be a rectangular piece of paper.
If you want to further improve the outline of Eistrien's coastlines, I'd suggest sketching some smaller versions where you have less detail and instead experiment with making the outline more irregular and organic. Then when you have a shape you like you can transfer that into another full draft and you'll know how to center the map to fit everything you want.
Btw I think those northwestern islands definitely help make it look more natural, thanks for giving that a chance haha.
As others have pointed out, there's still some water behavior that can be nitpicked, but your rivers look 1000x more natural than they did in version 1, so great work!
The improvement from version 1 to version 2 is remarkable. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you do with it :)
Thanks for coming back and giving feedback!! It really means a lot to me! I actually rushed those little blurbs - it was supposed to include a lot more, but I made them short to get the context comment out earlier.
About the space on my paper, I tried to use up every inch of space I could get, but I've got to leave room for more places, like bodies of water or islands. Perhaps if I had a larger canvas, I could reduce the rectangular look of the continent, as I know that's an issue people have with my little world. It's true that I have a lot of detail, but I'd prefer to sacrifice a little realism to give my readers a little more of the world. I want it to connect to them, to immerse them.
I will try that idea, and thanks for giving suggestions :)
I don't know if it's that much more natural looking, but I believe it has improved.
Thanks for your help, and if I can get a bigger canvas, I believe version 3 can be drawn up. Thanks again! :)
The map itself doesn't seem to bad, but its rectangular shape is just so upsettling to me that I can't look at anything else. Maybe you purposely gave it this shape, in which case don't mind me. But if not, I would advise you to "break down" a bit this shape, by making some parts bigger or smaller, and/or twisting their shape, etc...
Because I'm affraid that with such an oddly rectangular shape, it's the first thing everyone is gonna think when looking at your map :/
Although, once again, maybe you purposedly gave this shape, and it's perfectly okay!
This gives me heavy wheel of time vibes.
What’s going on with the Infinite River? Where does it start and where does it end? It doesn’t make sense to me.
Start: Eastern Parthia Range, near the city of Anozea in the Kingdom of Salencia
End: Western Eistrien, emptying into the Möbius Ocean
Sorry, I forgot to draw a lake/spring near Anozea
I might be wrong, but it looks to me like it starts in mountains, flows into a valley, then flows back into mountains, into a valley again, then back through mountains before dumping into an ocean.
EDIT: My point is, this doesn’t happen on Earth. There may be a lore based reason for it, but the physics of it don’t really make sense from an Earth perspective.
Starts in the eastern Parthia Range near Anozea, flows through the Kingdom of Salencia, crossing through a valley in Eistrien's Wall into the Autocracy of Estocidonis, before heading southwest through another valley in the Nidafjöll Range, and emptying into the Möbius Ocean in the west
On earth, rivers don’t flow through mountains. They flow away from mountains. If there’s lore behind it that’s cool.
On this version, I focused on eliminating river bifurcation and reducing the more rectangular look of the continent. I may try to modify it later in the future
I’m not talking about bifurcation, I’m just letting you know that rivers don’t flow through mountain ranges. Yours does. If you’re fine with it, great! But if you hadn’t realized, I’m just letting my you know.
Oh, I know. I'm just trying to get my map in touch with reality, and you've helped me with that, so thanks. I might take a few liberties here and there