A Map Of Kormak’s World

So finally the Kingdoms of the Sun have what all serious/series fantasy worlds seem to need– a map. This beautiful one was done by Chazz Kellner using Campaign Cartographer 3. (Thanks Chazz!) It’s an enormous improvement on the vague sketches and lists of names that I produced when I first started writing the stories. The distances are accurate and I now have a much clearer idea where everything is. It’s been a fascinating process watching bits of background from my published books, my notes and my half-completed short stories take shape. I’ll be adding this map to the latest version of the ebooks. Hopefully, there will be an update for those of you who have already bought them.

The Old Kingdoms Color 1

Of course, there are a few words of caution. Like all maps, this is a snapshot of the political boundaries of the continent at a particular period of time, roughly 20 years after the Orc Wars. They are not likely to remain stable for very long. The Templar Kingdoms are under pressure from the Seleneans to the East. Many feel it is unlikely the descendants of the Oathsworn will hold their lands for another generation.  The Elvenwood is shrinking as humans encroach from western Taurea and the Siderean strip on the Blood Coast. A blight is eating away at the heart of the forest.

Taurea is imploding politically as civil war tears it apart and it is quite likely that its neighbouring kingdoms will take the opportunity to rip chunks out of it. The Orc Hordes are rumoured to be preparing a new invasion which may re-draw the map completely.

As example of how quickly things can change, the Great Scar Valley was until about twenty years ago the Valley Kingdom of Rahania, a fertile land of lakes and farms. It was turned into a wasteland when the orcs came through, burning the cities to the ground and taking the human population for their herds. 

The Kingdoms of Shadow and Ash are expanding outwards and bringing  undeath and dark magic in their wake. This is not merely a migration of population, it is a malign growth of the Shadow-blighted Desert of Ash itself.

And of course, things are likely to change as new stories get written, new places get added

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Comments

  1. Davide Cortese says:

    I noticed that a lot of fantasy worlds maps take inspiration from Europe’s geography. This one strongly reminds me of Europe (The Dragon Sea = Mediterranean Sea), just as like The Elder Scroll Online map does. I wonder if the similarity ends there or if the connection extends to the inhabitants of those lands (Polaria = Poland? Belaria = Belarus?). If my memory serves me well, the map of the Hyborian continent in Conan’s lore resembles Europe as well, just as some of Warhammer’s old world does. I wonder if using a known template (i.e. Europe) as a base for a new, fantasy, world helps both the readers and the authors. The readers, by allowing them to find some affinity with the fantasy world’s cultures, the authors, by providing a lot of material to take inspiration from. I remember reading a book by Derrick de Kerckhove titled “Brainframes: Technology, Mind and Business” (Bosch & Keuning, 1991), describing how our brain tries to fit all the information inside predefined frames. Do you believe that familiarity helps the reader? I believe it must be very hard to find that thin stripe of territory where there is familiarity but it isn’t to obvious. The more I try to figure out how the process of creating worlds works the more I respect the hard work of authors.

    • Hey Davide, in this case, the main reason for using this sort of world was personal. I was trying to do something that harked back to the classic worlds of early sword and sorcery (Howard’s Hyboria being the prime example) and the map and some parts of the culture reflect that. Those ur texts of S&S tended to take place in a modified historical world because Robert E. Howard basically invented the genre out of his love from historical writing and his need to sell into magazines like Weird Tales.

      That said, this part of the map was definitely inspired by medieval Europe, simply because it gives me some idea of scale and distance. The bits that off-stage are not quite so familiar. Off to the west is a huge archipelago made up from the remains of a sunken Atlantean continent, for example. The culture is sort of medieval in some ways but altered by the fact that magic works in a fairly low intensity way and that supernatural beings demonstrably exist. The familiarity is, I hope, a jumping off point for the strangeness. I should also say that this stuff isn’t work for me, it’s fun!

      Totally off-topic– did you have any trouble getting your comments to come up? I am getting weird glitches when I try to respond in the comments.

  2. Davide Cortese says:

    Thank you for your answer.
    I didn’t have any problems posting my comment, but I did notice a difference compared to my previous comments in other posts. Usually my comment was posted as “awaiting moderation” or something like that, while now I didn’t receive such notification (just some java animation about my comment being submitted, that took about 3s).

    • Thanks for letting me know, Davide. Glad to hear you’re not having problems, I was getting a bit worried. Your comment was passed quickly because you are now white-listed and will be until you change email addresses :).

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