My latest project was upgrading my original Lanthian map for my WIP novel Captain of Fortune. The first map of Lantha was created about five months ago. It was also my very first digital map.
As I working on my style, improved my drawing, and figured out what I like, I found myself looking at that “old” map and deciding it wasn’t good enough anymore. It was time for a reboot.
Here’s the original:
Looking back at this map with a critical eye, I don’t like how thick the lines are, the overall bulkiness of every brush stroke. The little islands east of Perdu aren’t nearly as clustered and full as I imagined them. The rivers are boring, each represented by a single line. The text is boring mostly. The silhouette town markers are meh. I didn’t add in any forested areas either.
Maybe that’s good for some people. Simplicity over detail. The story is about pirates who visit or mention all of these locations, traveling by ship. They never step foot in the jungle that surrounds the lake there. Those details weren’t essential to the story so I didn’t add them.
Now, here is the updated version:
I rearranged the mountains quite a bit, and added a lot more islands! If I wanted to, I could go even further by naming the mountain ranges and even some rivers. I don’t think that’s necessary though.
Jungle covers most of this country, and the whole area around the Heart (the big lake) is wild and uninhabited. The mountains down the center serve as an obstacle too, making it necessary for people to travel by ship or take the only North-South Road between Matroa and Portaheim. I think the added jungle gives the map a lot of life!
The islands west of Perdu are perfect now! Most of them are high cliffs and narrow slices of land that pirates prowl through. I also love how the Sahirah Sea is more closed off now, thanks to Aren’s Hook. It’s a nice choke point into the area, but there’s always the chance for ships to sneak into the Sahira via the islands. So many possibilities for future stories or even backstory!
Mostly to be an artsy show-off, I designed and redid the whole border and incorporated the compass into it. It also looks like a ship’s wheel ❤
I love the text throughout, how the country and water names bend with the shapes but the city labels are more straight forward. I also enjoyed designing little crests for each one. Added a couple cities too!
Overall, the map is much more detailed, AND higher quality, with thin, cleaner lines!
Here’s another treat for you:
Let me know which is your favorite in the comments. Have a great weekend everyone!