Friday, November 6, 2009

Mediocre Maps of Ara Part 2

As promised, here are more mediocre maps of Ara available as free downloads!  Please recall my previous confession to being a lousy cartographer and visual artist, and be forgiving of these maps. 

Map #4 - Newer Large-Scale Lands of Ara Map
I just scanned this on my small home scanner in two sections -- the western half followed by the eastern half.  As soon as I can make it over to Knight Library to the fancy big book scanner, I will provide a nicer version of this map. 

This map is intended as a companion piece to the large Ara map available here.  Also, please refer to my previous notes on that older map, which are also available as a pdf download.  Much of what follows repeats information from those notes, but so be it – as I've said, neither of these two maps is wholly accurate, so I am trying to triangulate the geographic / cartographic realities of Ara via comparison and contrast between the two maps.  Herein, whenever I say “old map” I mean Map #1, the large-scale Lands of Ara map from the previous 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.

Map #5: Grimlock's Map of the Two Continents
This is a map I made fairly recently, as part of my 2008 attempt to introduce the Lands of Ara to my D&D 3.5e group.  As is embarrassingly usual, there is no scale given, but it does correctly depict the placement of Ara's West coast Cities and even reveals some of the (funny) names of port towns on the western continent that lies across the Algar Sea from Ara.  "Grimlock" is in fact a denizen of that western continent, a cartographer working out of Snotream Harbor, the principal port city of the region known as Iggle.  Note that Grimlock mistakenly identifies the Noffellian city of Jakama as "Jakarta."

Map #6: Southern Achelon
I cannot really vouch for the scale of this map -- it is given but I do not know how accurately it corresponds to the larger-scale maps of this same region already provided.  Also noteworthy is that Achelonia, the seat of the Queen of Achelon, is incorrectly placed here: it should be much further north, as on Map #4 (above).

Click here to access Maps 4-6.

Yet to come: a Comline Hills insert map and another cartographic look (besides Grimlock's) at Ara's West Coast Cities!

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