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    • CommentAuthorpixelkitteh
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2017 edited
    Inspired by the beautiful world of Kelleemah, I have decided to properly map out my own world, Alari. Right now, it has one continent, Almithara, but I have six planned. Here is a very rough first look at Almithara :) most of it is still empty, the only part full mapped out is the Aezin Isles, everything else is subject to change. I'm really happy with how this is going, it took a lot of work to get it the shape I had in my mind.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2017
    Oh this is exciting Pixel :D

    I love watching people create worlds, and you've made an excellent start on it here with this beautiful map :D
    Very nice! I am looking forward to seeing all the cool stuff that you do with this. :-)
    • CommentAuthorHadrianVI
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2017
    That is a very beautiful map. Great job.
    • CommentAuthorpixelkitteh
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2017 edited
    Thank you all! :) This is my first continent sized map, it's very exciting and daunting at the same time. Getting the level of detail right is difficult, I want to put so much in but there isn't the space nor the need at this scale. I've settled for adding major cities, followed by major land features as I build up the areas.
    I'm currently working on region maps and a little bit of history for this tiny chain of islands, called the Aravae Cay. It's been a lot of fun, but much harder than I thought! I've put a lot of work into this, and I feel like I haven't got very far, but I am pleased and proud at what I have done. Here is a bit of what I've been working on. ^_^

    To the south of the Aezin Isles, off the eastern tip of Almithara's tail, lies an ancient nation known for its brilliant contrast between the thick, flourishing jungle, and the merciless, ravaged wasteland. A great, magical cataclysm destroyed and transformed the land, splitting the once proud nation in two both physically and politically, in a past not too distant to forget. Yet amid the ruins, there are signs of resilience and hope, as the determined elven peoples create a peace, and together restore and rebuild the Aravae Cay (Aa-rah-
    vay Kay).
      The Aravae Cay.jpg
    Home to a race of elven peoples, Taentalor (Tay-en-tah-lore ) is a spiritual land where the very magic of Alari can be felt. The vast and choking jungle of the most eastern of Aravae's isles is home to a myriad of poisonous flora, and deadly predators, yet still there are those brave enough traverse the perilous thicket and seek their fortunes. Many exotic plants grow only along the narrow band of islands that make up the Aravae Cay, most in Taentalor, and they fetch a high price in foreign markets. Pelts from rare tigers - fur the color of deep wine - are particularly favored among smugglers, and a particular plant which thrives on faeces, transforming the putrid stench into that of a pleasant bouquet. Towards the west, past the Cursed Divide, lies the ruins of the great cities of Taentalor, whilst the east is home to what is left of her timeworn nation.

    Myrin (Mear -in), the northern-most city, stands in stark silence along the White Coral Coast, waiting for those brave enough to reclaim her. Her sturdy walls, made from round, black, volcanic stones, stand thirty feet tall, and many would think to look at her that she is a fine and proud port. It is only for the thick jungle vines that have begun to creep through the city, and the stillness within, that her emptiness is given away. Myrin is one of the few places that remain relatively untouched by the magical cataclysm, lying just outside the curse of the Shadowed Fields - the scorched area of land between the western coast and the Cursed Divide - yet, she was not outside the fallout. Whilst her mighty walls were spared, her people were not, and many thousands died both in the final battle, and the great white flash of light that destroyed the land. When the flash was gone, not a single soul remained. The survivors - those who had fled the city days before - travelled by boat to the Aezin Isles, and became the elves of Zaleria. Her only inhabitants now, hundreds of years later, are the ghosts of those who perished. Still, Myrin waits to be restored, but no one yet has heard her call.

    At the western pinnacle, one hundred miles south west from Myrin, lies the remains of Meira (Mear -ah). Once a lush and thriving port city of humans and elves, she was famous for the trade of black stone and vine, sought after building materials for the Aezin Isles. All that remains now are ruins, for this was where the war of magic began, this was where the first lives were lost, and this was where the very life of Taentalor was nearly extinguished. What began as a simple struggle for power between Meira and her southern sister city, Sakaala (Sah- kaah -lah), soon swept up both Taentalor and Aelar Vaedar, and became the greatest, most destructive war the land had ever known. No whole building was left standing, and those that still have enough walls and a roof have centuries later become homes to pirates and brigands, using Meira as a base for their raids on the Bay of Vespera. It is well known that no Meirian residents survived the cataclysm, for even centuries later, not a single remnant of her people has been found. It was almost as if they had been transported to another plane of existence, leaving behind the rubble of what was once Taentalor's glorious capital.

    Sakaala, the southern instigator of war, was split into two - quite literally - by the catastrophe. Most of the city fell into the gaping scar, taking it's people with it. On the eastern side of the crevasse, those who survived fled as far as they could, to the eastern coast. On the western side, the people were not so lucky. The humans were transformed into undead monsters, the very flesh ripped from their bones, doomed to this pointless existence for all of time. The elves, magic users all, were more harshly punished for their part. The gods and goddesses of Alari were so enraged by this magical destruction that together, all fifteen deities, sucked the very souls of the elves, leaving them to wander, never to rest, never to repent, as nothing more than a hollow, translucent, shell known as a wraith. Today, Sakaala is home to nothing more than magical creatures, and even the brave do not venture to the western ruins. The east was salvaged over the centuries, for stone and precious trinkets, but none have returned there to live, preferring to leave behind the destruction, and the memories, of their ancestors mistakes.

    The people of Taentalor who managed to flee the magical cataclysm sought safety in one of two places. Some, who were able that is, left by sea and found refuge in another land. It was a harsh and difficult life for these people, and it is only in recent times have they been considered as equals, and have been able to call their new land 'home'. The few not wanting to leave their homeland, or those unable to flee by boat, moved to the east and founded a new city, Nalaris (Nah- lah -riss). Across the many years the population grew, and learned from the misguided ways of their past. Magic is still abundant, yet policed carefully, and only the most simple of tricks, nature magic, and divine spells are allowed. The punishments for breaking the new laws of magic are harsh, often leading to a swift and decisive death by being thrown into the swirling core of Mount Boulderblast, to appease the goddess Orelia.

    Nalaris has grown to a bustling port city of 4,000 peoples, mainly elves, but there are humans and half elves which still call Taentalor home. Many smaller farming settlements have sprouted along the eastern coast, for the rich volcanic soil provides nutrients for exotic crops to grow. The small nation makes most of its coin from the trade of native goods, such as banana, mango, wild rice, vermillion, obsidian, beef, and tallow. They are a happy and bright people, yet, scars of the magical war are still visible, not only in the land, but in the people. Taentalor has to this day not re-established relations with Aelar Vaedar, preferring to trade with the other lands of Almithara, and further east instead. Whilst the two have never gone to war again, their rapport is nothing more than that of estranged sisters.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2017
    This is great, and I like the Ancient realms style used here. The history is dark, but really good.
    Thank you Quenten :) I thought about it a lot and tried to make it detailed, yet broad enough that I could go in and flesh the rest of it out later. I have many ideas for this region but I didn't want to give too much away in this small overview, there will be much more detail when I get to working on the actual 'nation' section, including going into the entirety of the magical war and the fallout, but that is a looooooooooong way into the future! The history here is dark, yes, but not every area can have a happy past!:D Let's be happy that they learnt from their mistakes and live much more simple, magical cataclysm free lives now. The ancient realms style really is perfect for continent maps, I can put big cities and landmarks on the continent map and not clutter it up too much, and then add more details to the region maps! Very handy. Once I learn how to do an atlas I will link them all together!
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2017
    Look at Earth. Our history is dark, BUT... we have not learnt from the past, as it turns out.
    Truth... Alari seems the better option ;p
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2017
    Hey Pixel :)

    I can see that you're really getting your teeth into this now, and the story is terrific.

    (and now I'm going to be the fly in the ointment)

    That Cursed Divide is kind of dominating everything by being straighter than a ruler. I know its an unnatural formation, but would it really be so very straight over such a huge distance?

    Only asking!
    Your world is coming along nicely pixelkitteh! :-)
    • CommentAuthorpixelkitteh
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2017 edited
    Heya Sue! Thanks a bunch :) I'm having an awesome time with it for sure. Good question about the cursed divide - and the answer is pretty much what you would expect, it's because it's an unnatural formation, the story that goes with it (which I haven't fleshed out a whole bunch just yet) is that during the final battle an arch-mage decided to decisively end the war by splitting the land in two, he holds his staff up to the sky, speaks a few words, lightning strikes it repeatedly, and uttering one last word he slams it into the ground, splitting the island from coast to coast...

    Hope that makes sense ^_^ It's totally unnatural yes but, it's meant to be a spell gone wrong xD the mountains were not there at all before this, they are a culmination of the land that was ripped up from the divide.

    Thanks for the question! It really helps me to think about things like this.
    Thank you Charles! I feel like I have a bit of direction now and it is truly satisfying seeing it all come to life piece by piece. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration! :)
    • CommentAuthorJMunsonII
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2017
    Wonderful stuff! :)
    Posted By: pixelkittehHeya Sue! Thanks a bunch :) I'm having an awesome time with it for sure. Good question about the cursed divide - and the answer is pretty much what you would expect, it's because it's an unnatural formation, the story that goes with it (which I haven't fleshed out a whole bunch just yet) is that during the final battle an arch-mage decided to decisively end the war by splitting the land in two, he holds his staff up to the sky, speaks a few words, lightning strikes it repeatedly, and uttering one last word he slams it into the ground, splitting the island from coast to coast...

    Hope that makes sense ^_^ It's totally unnatural yes but, it's meant to be a spell gone wrong xD the mountains were not there at all before this, they are a culmination of the land that was ripped up from the divide.

    Thanks for the question! It really helps me to think about things like this.

    I have a similar concept for a portion of Kumarikandam on the Community Atlas Project. I am looking forward to seeing more! :-)
    Thank you very much Munson!

    And Charles, hehe and here I was thinking I was being original! >_< should have known, everything has been done before haha! Awesome stuff though, I really love the idea of the planet being changed by magic, I feel that if it's used for evil then it should have consequences, and what better outcome is there than literally splitting the land in two and destroying everything? Seems pretty evil to me mwahaha!
    I got my idea from Africa's Rift Valley. As such, God thought of it first - Lol! :-)
    Brilliant Charles! ;D
    A nation named for the two islands it inhabits, Aelar Vaedar (Ay-lahr Vay-dahr) is a land that, by some miracle of the gods, managed to escape most of the magical cataclysm. But, the elven peoples here are in no way free of guilt, for they played as equal a part as all of Taentalor, and she has just as many scars as her sister.
    On the larger of the two islands, Vaedar, lies the port city of Oriviryn (O-ree-veer-en), or as it is more commonly known 'the Rich Elf's Playground'. With a population of over 20,000 elves, and almost half as many humans, it is the largest settlement in the Aravae Cay. Oriviryn is a place where the wealthy rule and the poor obey, the wealthy being the eight ruling elven families, considered nobility in Oriviryn; and the poor being the rest of the rabble, a mix of elves and humans, that survive by catering to the every whim of their superiors. The elves here are not known for their kindness or generosity, unless there is coin involved, of course. Shrewd traders, they believe that a successful transaction is justified by any means, be that proper or not. Although the city single handily makes its nation far more prosperous than Taentalor, her influence is curbed by the unwillingness of the Circle of Eight to work with the rest of the Almithara. If not for the exotic goods she exports, such as maneirium, malachite, and coal, many neighboring nations would choose not to trade with her at all, as she has done with her sister. Luckily for Oriviryn, the eastern nations prize her many natural resources, and she has little need for Almithara, feeling little loyalty to the mainland.

    Standing for over a thousand years, Oriviryn has a rich, and somewhat dark, history. On the outside, she is a beautiful, circular city of white stone and ocean blue crystal. An eight sided pyramid lies in the centre, with the dense jungle and towering mountains behind her, creating a picturesque view. The rough, sandy colored streets slope harshly down towards the sea, giving her the illusion of height, and her buildings sparkle, made from enormous blocks of limestone - an expensive item imported from the west, all of this is crowned with the craftsmanship of intricately patterned roofs made with tightly woven jungle vines. The city shines almost as the ocean when hit by the suns rays, and glows like the light from the moon at night.

    Oriviryn is divided into eight districts:

    the Merchant District
    the Arcane District
    the Temple District
    the Justice District
    the Residential District
    the Tavern District
    the Port District
    the Noble District

    The majestic facade, however remarkable it might be, is just that - a facade. Beneath the glowing crystal lanterns and the glorious shimmering pyramid lie the deeper, more sinister truths of Oriviryn. An honest merchant is hard to find in a city where the black market pays a high price for the illegal sale of exotic plants and animals, and lowly paid guards can look the other way for a little extra coin. The merchant district thus has become a cesspool for elves of questionable character. Heavy velvet curtains hang from the windows of trade posts, and it is not uncommon for a crate or two to fall from a wagon between the port and noble districts, only to be found in the back room of a dark, dingy store. Many of Vaedar's natural resources are carefully weighed and measured, so that only the sanctioned amount is traded per quarter, but those who know of the Undercity markets have found ways around this 'inconvenience'. The services offered in this not-so-secret subterranean sector go far beyond just smuggling, the Hired Assassin Tavern certainly lives up to its name, and a man, or woman, can find company down nearly every dark alley for a single coin. Perhaps the least known, and most thrilling of the attractions Undercity offers, is the 'mage club', an invite only guild dedicated to the practice and contest of illicit arcana, by means of underground duels. There are many, of both common and noble birth, who quite enjoy the pageant, and gamesters will tell you there is much gold to be made in the wager.

    Eastward, the effects of the magical cataclysm were felt strongly in Aelar. Brivyre (Breh-veer), known as the great, artisan city of the smaller island, has not stirred in the 600 years since the abrupt end of the war. Once famous for its intricately crafted furniture fashioned from jungle vine, and a strong drink distilled from seaweed and the pure lake waters, she is now little more than a painful memory for the descendants of those who had survived her destruction. The red wastes of the catastrophe reach far into Aelar's once white shores and heavy jungle, blighting everything that it touched. Those who lived inland travelled west, and escaped the tragic end of their kin. But the people of Brivyre, not knowing, carelessly observed their own demise, as from across the sea a great wave came. Not of water, or even fog, but a wave of red, hot, rolling dust. They watched, never even realizing that it was their end, for the dust rolled unwavering through the city, turning everything it touched to stone and ash. When the stone cooled, it retained its hue, staining the land red, suspending Brivyre and her people in that terrible moment for all of time.

    Today, the only living occupants of the barren fens are those willing to risk their lives, dredging in the lakes of the corrupt landscape, for a beautiful mineral known as 'maneirium'. The luminous rock which is only found in the wastelands of the Aravae Cay, is a small, blue, hexagonal, crystal formed in the waters of the fallout. Aelar's tiny lakes are so full of maneirium that they glow a magnificent blue hue at night, such as that of Alari's two moons. Yet, despite its abundance, it is difficult, and dangerous to obtain. The lakes of the wastes are full of large, serpent-like creatures called 'Easlaiks' (Eee-slaykz), known for their distaste of anything foreign to their lairs. Invisible in the cool blue lochs, they prey on unsuspecting dredgers by jumping from the water and coiling themselves around whatever they can find, often dragging their victims to the depths below. The crystal's pure elegance, nonetheless, makes it extremely valuable, and extraordinarily popular with the nobles of Oriviryn. Indeed, the crystals are so sought after that any man who manages to amass a large quantity for trade knows that he and his family will never want for anything more in life.

    In Oriviryn, the largest and most magnificent of the crystals are crafted into fine jewellery, many nobles, and those with the coin, love to embellish themselves with the sparkling blue jewels, and they have become a status symbol throughout Aelar Vaedar. Clothing and furniture of the affluent are adorned with the smooth, glittering gems, which glow much more brightly once purified by specialist gem workers in Oriviryn. Large gems are made into lanterns and signs which line the streets of the most upscale districts. Most common people, who are unable to afford the services needed for such extravagance, use the smallest of the rough stones to light their houses, or as crude ornaments.

    After the devastation of the war of magic, laws were put into place, by the ruling noble class of Aelar Vaedar, to assure that a disaster of this magnitude would never happen again. The use of arcane magic was made illegal throughout all of nation, and only authorized spellcasters, mainly those affiliated with temples, or specialist arcanists approved by the noble populous, are permitted to use even the slightest of sorcery. Few crimes in Aelar Vaedar merit physical punishment, but for those that involve the use of arcane magic, or threat to a noble house. Most misdemeanours are settled by means of an apology, and a sack of gold coins for good measure. Those caught using magic on the other hand, are given no such exception. Taken from their home in the dead of night, by tall, dark, masked protectors known as 'Orelia's Zealots', the heretic is sacrificially thrown into the lakes of Aelar for the Easlaiks to feast upon, all in the appeasement of the goddess Orelia.

    Whilst the threat of being eaten by a hoard of water serpents deters most from even attempting a magical conjuration, there are those who risk their lives, and the lives of others, to pursue their craft. It most towns around Vaedar, one can find a circle of magic, if one knows where to look. Secret symbols are placed onto the doorways, letting the apprentice wizard know that it is safe to practice their craft within. The symbols change often, and decoys are placed on many regular residences to throw off any persons hunting the apostate. Random raids are a regular feature of town life, but mages are clever enough to hide their work behind illusion and guise. Whilst this practice is not limited to the island of Vaedar, it is certainly less common to come upon such divergence in Aelar. Most who engage in sorcery there do so in the quiet sanctum of the deep, dense jungle.

    As with all the Aravae Cay, Aelar Vaedar is shrouded by thick jungle. The landscape is dotted with ruins, the origin of which has been forgotten. Much of the island is simply too covered in the tangle to be used for any practical purpose, and travel by road is so difficult and risky that many use trade boats to travel instead. With exotic flora and fauna running freely in the dense labyrinth, the nation is a thriving wonderland of bizarre and curious encounters. All around the pristine shores, beautiful towns, built in a style similar to that of Oriviryn, although far less extravagant, accommodate the thousands of elves, and hundreds of humans, who call the pleasing isle home. Life has been peaceful for these past 600 years, and all who live in Aelar Vaedar hope it will stay that way for at least 600 more.
      Aelar Vaedar.jpg
    I love all the history! :-) It really brings the maps to life.
    Thank you Charles :) I get an idea and run with it, it starts to write itself which is wonderful.
    • CommentAuthorpixelkitteh
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2017 edited
    I've begun to add a second continent to Alari, it's very rough at the moment, but it's much larger than Almithara :)

    This is Almithara and Helestria in their accurate (and completely bare!) positions in the world. The grid is 1000 miles.
      Accurate Alari Size.jpg
    Really nice start on this one. :-)
    Thank you :) I wanted it to have some really interesting shapes but also be very large! So that was a bit interesting. I think once I fill out the coastal areas with a few more islands in places and ice up the north it will fit the image in my mind!