In an earlier post I presented my Etrakien map that I made after having joined Cartographers guild. As time went by the story of the world had a tendency to outgrow the map in many ways. So I decided to start all over again and make a new one.
Mainly I wanted to expand the world a bit. A big part of the world’s back story is how the two Empires Arnoria and the Etrakien Empire slowly conquered the world until their borders met and the Great War of Tears broke out, a war that in the end brought them both to their near destruction. To make this development plausible I felt that in the old map the Island of Arnor and the central parts of Etrakien was a bit too close, to solve this I needed to expand the area called the Etrakien sea.
A part from that I also wanted the western continent to be bigger. During the war a lot of people emigrated to this western continent to avoid the horrors that war brings with it. I see this western continent a bit like when America was colonized. There are great plains where small communities have settled in and the state don’t have the same control of its citizens and land here as in the “old” part of the world. Life is in many ways hard and there are foreign creatures and savages to defend against. But at least they are more free then before.
The eastern continent was mainly put in to balance the map. Then I just had to put in some countries as well to justify its existence.
This was an easy way to keep the feeling and look from the original map. The western continent is actually partly based on the two bigger western islands but moved to the left. You can clearly see how far I moved them if you look at the island Perlago (marked out with a red circle on the map) that is situated between the two continents.
I’ve imagined the Etrakien world to be the same size as earth. So when I made the map I downloaded a map of earth that I put in a bottom layer in photoshop. This was an easy way to get the right proportions in the map. I also used earth as inspiration when I created the eastern continent. As you can see in the picture below I “stole” the coast of china and Vietnam :).
The whole map kind of slightly resembles earth, which is done by purpose. I believe that this makes the map more convincing because you recognize part of it and will then accept the “wrong” parts more easily.
After having done the whole map I had a black and white map that only included mountains. In this map I also put in the regions where civilizations had emerged. I used this map as the base for the new Etrakien map. In this way I could easily transfer the continents onto a paper background and then start painting it from there.
The map was completely done in photoshop and all the symbols where made by me, except the compass that I got from the Cartographers guilds homepage.