Another beginning!

Hey guys!

It’s been a looooooooong time! College is a bitch, as I’m sure many of you know!

Anyway, I’ve just resumed my work on Thyrdain! Since my drawing skills have improved a little, I’m going to redraw the map (the geography is still staying the same, though). Pretty soon I’ll start posting some tests, and more info on the campaign setting!

Coming next, the third and final human society of the continent: the ruthless Zhalnians!

See ya!


More mapping progress with final parchment texture

So, made some more progress today! Here it is (warning, BIG image!):

Current stage of progress!

Also, that will be the final texture for parchment I’ll be using, apart from some darkening here and there.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve done lately (still studying), so farewell to you all!

See ya!

Minor continent map progress ; Humans of Thyrdain (part II)

Hi guys! How are you all doing?

First of all, I’d like to show my latest WIP image of the map for the Thyrdain setting. Here it is:

Part of Laranya & Druhk Mvwrahk

That is basically the final parchment texture I’ll be using. I’m just going to give it a more worn out look once all the drawing is done.

With that said, let’s cut to the chase to the REAL subject of today’s post:

Human Societies (part II)

Today I’ll write about the Jards, the northernmost people of Thyrdain. They live in a land of snowy rocks called Jarmund, wich is more a large group of different allied but independent tribes than a nation. Each tribe is similar enough in both appearance and culture to be seen as exactly the same by non-Jards, but there are many subtle differences between them. Jarmund borders with Laranya to the south, on an area dominated by a Taiga biome. The vegetation turns to Tundra to the north, and eventually the low temperatures turn the landscape into a frozen wasteland.

The Jards themselves are taller, burlier and hairier (even the women) than their other human cousins. The harsh climate of the north made them very hardy. Their hair can be wavy or straight (although such individuals rarely have clean enought hair for it to be noticeable), with diverse colors like medium and light brown, red, blond and other variations. Their skin is almost always fair and their eyes can be brown, grey, blue or, rarely, green.

The people of Jarmund, whose culture haven’t changed much in the last centuries, are strongly traditional. Each tribe has a chief who is always the best warrior of the tribe – the position is not hereditary. When the chief dies, the warriors of the tribe gather to decide the most suitable successor. If a consensus can’t be reached (and it almost never can), the matter is settled with a duel – or a series of duels. Jards love stories, but don’t have a strong writing tradition. Tales are passed from generation to generation. Religion-wise, they venerate an extensive pantheon of gods, of whom the most important is Durgjar, the god of the mountains. They, however, don’t pray much, and priests are rare.

Jards value prowess in battle, and have little proficiency in diplomacy. They obtain most of their food by hunting, and although they do have a few farms on the fertile lands of the south of Jarmund, they are insufficient. Therefore, they are constantly raiding laranyan settlements for food. They also take as many captives as possible. These unfortunate souls are sold to rich Zhalnian merchants, for the Jards themselves find the use of slaves unsavory.

Well, that’s all I have for today! Remember, everything I write here is a mere WIP. I’m still working on other details and changing a lot of stuff!

Anyway, see you guys later!

Much improved Dwarf drawing ; Humans of Thyrdain (part I)

Dwarf 2

The masterpiece is done!

… Okay, maybe not THAT better. And totally NOT ripped off from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (*cough*).

Anyway, I haven’t done much work on the map of Thyrdain that is worth posting. Mostly just effects and textures tests, nothing fancy… What I HAVE done is flesh out the world a bit more. I won’t go into the details of anything, because I still don’t have those details. I’ll just be giving you guys a brief overview on various subjects. So, let’s get started!

The Human Societies (part I)

h are three major human ethnic groups in Thyrdain: The Athesians, Jards and Zhalnians.

The Athesians are the dominant humans of Thyrdain. Their hair usually varies in color from light brown to pitch black, and their eyes can be light or dark brown. They have fairly light, but not pale, skin. Athesians occupate the whole east-central and southwestern areas of the continent, although they don’t all belong to the same nation. The southwest contais two countries: Warysia and Eldecia. Warysia is known for its navigators and for having the most powerful navy in Thyrdain (the only one including dreadnoughts). They practice rather large cultivation of wheat, tobacco and olives, and also have many fisheries. Warysia’s eastern neighbour is Eldecia, a country with extensive fields of grapes. Their wine is very famous, and belongs to a very old national tradition. Eldecians also cultivate wheat, and obtain most of their meat by hunting local animals, like deers and boars. They have the most efficient trackers and hunters known in the realm, surpassing even the elven archers: the Falconeers (a possible Prestige Class in the future). The warysians and eldecians enjoy a civil mercantile relationship, and hostility between the two countries is very rare.

In the east-central region of Thyrdain lies the athesian nation of Laranya. The laranyans keep large herds of sheep and – in a lesser but still large scale – cattle that supply them with meat, milk, fleece and leather. The country also has some rather large iron mines in its northeast region. Laranya also borders Druhk Mvwrahk, the dwarven nation. They have developed a close bond with the dwarves, selling them cloth and meat, and buying high quality weapons and armor of dwarven make. Laranya has to keep its military very well trained and equipped, for they are constantly suffering attacks from the Jards of Jarmund at their northern borders, who seek their resources and sometimes captures their peasants as slaves.

Athesians in general are loyal to their respective countries, but don’t usually have a stric loyalty code like the dwarves. They are well organised but not obsessively, and their personality varies much more than the other humans of Thyrdain. They are versatile, and have great soldiers and merchants. They worship a single god, called Eteo (almost always refered to as the ‘Creator’), an almighty and lawful entity.

Well, that is it for now! Hope you guys enjoyed it! In the next post about the world of Thyrdain, I’ll be taking about the second human group, the Jards.

Until then, farewell!

Defined name ; Race profile: Dwarves

Hey, y’all!

Today’s post is, in contrast to the previous ones, not about map-making. It’s more about the world-building of my campaign setting.

First of all, I’d like to say that the setting name has been defined: Thyrdain. And now, the important part: I’m going to start making profiles for the different races of Thyrdain, and I’ll be posting all of them here in the blog. So let’s get started with today’s race: the Dwarves!

I started with Dwarves because there aren’t much changes I’m making to them if compared to traditional fantasy dwarves. The reason why is because they are generally my favorite default, traditional race, and I mostly like them the way they are. That said, there are a few details I’d like to adress.

Behold my amazing drawing skills!

The dwarves of Thyrdain are a reclusive bunch. They are hardy, stoic and loyal, famous for their grumpiness, crafting gifts and drinking skills. Their homeland is the mountain country Druhk Mvwrahk (Shield of The World, in ancient Dwarven).

Dwarven society is divided in three great clans: the Shield Clan, made of warriors, the Gem Clan, composed of artisans of all kinds, and the Wheel clan, formed by merchants. They are governed by a council of elected representatives from each clan. The council deals with all the civil and military questions, and also functions as a tribunal.

WIP of the Dwarven alphabet

The dwarves are very pragmatical. They don’t venerate any gods, and the closest they have to a religion is their fervorous devotion in honoring their ancestors’ wishes. Besides being naturally unable to wield arcane magic, their almost atheistic view of the world also renders them incapable of casting divine magic.

The dwarves’ inability in magical prowess has led to several technological advances, as they had the need to equal their power to the other races. Examples of those advances are the Full-Plate Armors and the Flintlock Firearms. Firearms are especially expensive and difficult to make, especially considering the dwarves never use any kind of wood.

And that’s it for the Dwarves! Of course, it’s still under development, so I may add/modify a lot of stuff.


Unnamed campaign setting: further testing

Hi guys! How’re you all doing?

Before starting the actual map of the setting, I’m still doing some testing regarding the style of drawing for the map. I came up with this:

…wich is pretty much the look I’m going for. I’m still honing some suff, mainly the foothills and tress, but apart from that this sketch represents the final drawing style I’m going to use.

I also did some tests with worn parchment textures in Photoshop. This is the result for now:

I’m actually pretty satisfied with it! I also used the texture to make a test map, using my previous sketch, to see how I could achieve the effects I desired. Here it is:

And that’s it for now! What do you think? Opinions and criticism are always welcome!


My personal campaign setting: first steps!

So, as my first REAL project in mapping, I decided to create a map that will become the setting for my personal Pathfinder setting. It won’t be too big, but definitely large enough to have everything I want.

I also decided, by a friend’s suggestion, to try something different this time: a hand-drawn map. The catch is that I’m not exactly a good artist – I’m not even average, actually. So there is a lot of practice involved, and it will hopefully help me improve a lot. =)

First, I started drawing various features, just to try and decide the overall style of the map. This is what I got so far (click to enlarge):

I’m still drawing a lot of trees, mountains, cliffs, dunes, etc. I’m having a difficult time with dense forests, so if anyone has any tips, I would appreciate it!

Also, I started sketching the overall coastline shapes, mountains and forests locations, rivers, etc. Here is the rough first draft (click to enlarge):

Both were drawn by hand and scanned. I’m also planning a lot of other stuff for the setting, but most don’t really belong here, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Well, that’s what I have done at this time. Please feel free to criticize (I need it a lot)!

See ya!

Starting the Journey

Hi guys! My name is Gabriel, and I started this blog today to record my progress in a hobby I’m just starting out: Fantasy Maps Drawing. In here, I’ll be posting my own work and sharing related stuff I deem important. So, without further ado, let’s get started! Today, I’m going to post my very first map, made completely in Photoshop. Here it is (click to enlarge):

Creating this map was a good exercise, mostly because I had to work with a lot of stuff in Photoshop that I don’t normally use (like masks, the color burn tool, etc). Of course, there is a lot of tweaking to do, but I think I’ll just move on to a new project in wich I can apply everything I learned.

Well, that will be all for today! I’m hoping to keep this updated fairly regularly, so I hope you decide to come back and check it out. Oh, and don’t forget to leave comments. Criticism is always welcome!