Saturday, November 14, 2015
24 December, 1977:
It began with the Bloated Blowfish Tavern in early December of 1977. After finishing that single point of reference I slowly expanded outward on old brown paper and by Christmas eve, I had roughly drawn out the area of Lake Elise, and started branching towards the Crestfallen Mountains.
In March of '78 I had the Southern tip completed, and began work northward ever-expanding the realm. By Christmas of that year I had started reading a series of Fantasy books that would alter my vision. Stephen R. Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" series began with Lord Foul's Bane, and the character's and the map of "The Land" fascinated me.
As the years passed, I kept adding to my own world, but couldn't come up with an area to fill the northeastern corner. My original brown paper drawing had been erased so many times in that area that it was tattered and had torn easily from all the redrawing attempts.
I redrew it and improved the details over the next five years.
Then, one evening in 1983, I had just finished a chapter of Donaldson's sixth book, "White Gold Wielder" when I casually flipped to the map in the front of the book. It suddenly dawned on me what was missing, so at 2 am I took off from my apartment in Illinois, and drove straight through to my grandfather's house in Ohio. Six coffees and one stop for breakfast later and I was comparing my dog-eared tattered paper-map to the "The Land" map.
This could work...
Over the next thirty years I slowly laid everything out, and finalized each place, creating backstories and using newer media to update and make my world come to life. Then I got serious...
12 October, 2013 to 14 November, 2015:
After laying out "The Land" section, I began re-creating my features using CC layers and sheets to provide a unifying base. Throw in my own custom textures, and in the end I settled on two distinct types of fonts - Packard for my world, and Palatino for "The Land" so that it would be easy to differentiate between worlds.
I used Sketch-up to create various city symbols like the Bloated Blowfish Tavern and Castle of the Bloated One. Even created a full ship called the Maiden's Kiss (see the post for details further down the front page) - for inclusion as a Symbol in any port of bay where I needed it.
I used Campaign Cartographer 2, then updated to 3 about a year and a half ago. One thing is for certain, the new CC 3+ is out, and I will be purchasing the updated base kit that Pro-Fantasy offers (CC3+ and City/Dungeon Designer 3) because I now have proof that the software is worth every penny.
I created the map border, ripples for the shoreline, underwater features and legend/compass on different layers in Paint Shop Pro 7/9. Then added a burn layer on the underwater features (set at just 17%) to blend everything together.
Campaign Cartographer 2/3
Paint Shop Pro 7.4/9.1
Twenty three months
38 years later, and I made the trip to Staples and had the map printed at 3'x3' in full glory on glossy paper. Included below is a finished 1/2 scale copy for those interested.
Throw in a 48"x36" display board, two different types of hangars (one to mount the poster to the board, then mount the board to the kitchen wall) and 50 bucks later we have a finished campaign world fit for a king.
The author standing near his finished map, pointing to "where it all started". Obviously 3.2 megapixels ain't very clear, so blame it on my non-photogenic qualities. 8)