Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Better Map #4 Uploaded

As previously promised, I went and got a better scan of Map #4, the Newer Large-Scale Lands of Ara Map.  The previously available version was scanned in two sections -- the western half followed by the eastern half.  This new version is one solid scan.

Recall that this map is intended as a companion piece to the older (but in many ways more accurate) large Ara map available here.  Please also refer to my previous notes on that older map, which are available as a pdf download.  Much of what follows repeats information from those notes, but since neither of these two maps is wholly accurate, I am trying to triangulate the cartography of Ara via comparison and contrast between the two.  Thus, herein, whenever I say “old map” I mean Map #1, the large-scale Lands of Ara map from my first maps post.  Whenever I say “new map” I mean Map #4.


Noffel and Southwestern Ara
The old map has far better topographical details in general, and should always take precedence in determining natural features unless otherwise noted.  This is especially true in the Noffel – Blint – Western Lands – Kaladar regions, which are out of proportion and too scrunched up on the new map.  However, Northern Telengard, near the dreaded Ghardash Wilderness, should be even more densely forested, as should the northern end of the Western Lands.  The old map’s placement of Kaladar and its arrangement of Noffel, Blint, Minoch, and The Western Lands relative to each other is perfect.  As are the Frey Mountains, which are scrunched in too far south and too close to Noffel on the new map.  As far as this southwestern area goes, the new map is mainly a good source for the latest and most correct city and settlement names.  For example:

In Achelon: the large unnamed city indicated in the middle of the old map exists and is called Achelonia.  Achelonia is where the Queen of Achelon resides and rules.  

In Noffel: the old map says Jakama, which is correct, though I may incorrectly refer to this same Noffellian port city as “Jakarta” in some places.  The old map lists no Highgate, which now exists (see new map; on the old map, Highgate lies just across the river from the top left corner of the “B” of “Blint”).  Highgate is where the Noffellian King resides and rules—such a city was implied to exist before, but was never explicitly named until now.

In Blint: Marshton (old map) has been replaced by Blintsport (new map).

The Western Lands and the Great Western Swamp
The towns of Vedik and Malak exist in the southern region of the Western Lands, as per the old map.  But follow The Western Lands insert map for all specifics of the rivers and human-made features in the northern two-thirds of The Western Lands.  Certain Western Lands cities from the old map, like Bozart and Garakthon, should be eliminated (though we could keep Bozart as a small village somewhere up there), and note that Tradefair, the largest and most important city of the Western Lands, does not even show up on that old map (it would go a bit east of where Bozart is now. . . see also my comments on the placement of Nurna below).  The features of The Western Lands shown on the old map may or may not always be accurate, especially as concerns those cities indicated in the southwest region: maybe one of them is Castle Morko, but I cannot vouch for any of them or their placement on the old map—see The Western Lands insert map instead.  

Note that where The Western Lands insert map says “to Redvine” it should more accurately say “to Holtboro and Redvine.”  Also note that The Western Lands insert map really only covers the northern two-thirds or so of the Western lands

The Great Western Swamp should encroach a bit further into the Western Lands, and the north half of the Western Lands should be much more thickly wooded (similar to northern Achelon).  Nurna, the great elven lake, is a bit misplaced on the old map; it should be much further north and a wee bit east, more ABOVE the Western Lands than off in the NW corner of it—see the new map as a guide.  Also, note that Marsh Town, the town built on docks in the middle of the southwestern region of the Great Western Swamp, lies just off the Western edge of the old map, at roughly the same latitude line as Swampsedge. 

Telengard, Delzar, Eastern Ara
I prefer Delzar to be more narrow and skinny than is depicted on the old map, and Delzar should be smaller than Telengard; thus I favor their relative proportions on the new map.  The new map is also an excellent resource for place- and city names throughout eastern Ara.

Click here to download new and improved Map #4!


  1. Hey Dude, I just linked to this post from Grognardia! Since you were too modest to shill your own blog when James asked about other blogs of interest for his blogroll, I suggested yours and it looks like he liked it! Congrats!

    BTW, I know I should be working on the fracking album cover, but I have an itch in my fingers to start drawing you a beautiful campaign map... maybe those two things aren't mutually exclusive? I may start working on a composite sketch based on the maps you have posted so far and your notes as to what is correct. I have all these grand ideas about HOW AMAZING this map is going to be - I told you I bought a book of early renaissance maps this summer, right? I can't wait to try my hand at something in that style, those maps are GORGEOUS.

  2. Carl, that is SO DIFICULT for me to judge, as I am in love with both projects, but I always feel you should go where inspiration strikes. . . and at this point, we have no show to sell the new CD at until after New Year's, so. . .

    Mappy Time?

  3. P.S. Thanks for the mention on Grognardia -- I truly am modest to a fault when it comes to self-promotion.