This thread will be the first part of a series of some sort. My plan is to map the greater region, the four kingsdoms of the queens, their capitals, the castles and palaces where the queens live and The Valley Of the Queens, the legendary place where the queens met for the first time. I don't know how it will turn out and it will take me a lot of time but I want to do it 😅

In this first thread. I will show the progress of Ayreon, the part of the continent where the four Queens have their realms. And I hope some of you will join me for this journey. 🙂

This is the bare outline of the map which is 1000 km long and 800 km high.



  • Small progress was made. I did the different climate zones to seperate the different realms but I'm not sure if I'm happy with it :D I guess there will be some changes ^^

  • I really like the coastline and islands; they have a nice 'flow'. Visually (for my aesthetic (which isn't worth much) ) I'd say the mountains and hills are a little to bunched up; they seem to be packed together very tightly. Also, maybe consider making the hills on the desert side of the mountain range 'sandy' in color.

    Keep up the good work (and keep sharing your progress)!

  • Short update: I have decided to start from scratch. I've worked on the map for the last days but I grew more and more unsatisfied with it. So I deleted it and will start a new map :D But the overall subject will be the same.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Oh dear!

    But sometimes it's the way to go if you don't like anything about what's there.

  • Whenever I reach the point in a map, that I would rather start over, I save the old map in a separate folder named "unfinished stuff" so I can use it, maybe years later when I forgot what it was about, as a starting point for something else.

  • This is progress of the map after the reset. The outline is there and some of the mountains and hills. So far I am quite happy with it. We will see how it will turn out over the next days :)

    But I wonder what this weird blue line is in the middle and more importantly how can I get rid of it. :D

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    It looks like an artefact that can happen sometimes if there are 2 nodes very close together. It will probably appear and disappear as you zoom in and out.

    The solution is to use the SIMPLIFY command to remove these problematic nodes.

    Type SIMPLIFY on your keyboard and hit Enter. Look at the command prompt and see the distance set by default. You can enter a new value, or just hit Return again to use that one. Then use the tool to simplify the coastline of the island the line is coming from.

    If you lose too much detail just hit the undo (CTRL+Z) and reduce the factor and try again.

  • Thank you very much for the advice. As it turns out the outline of the coastline caused this artifact. It was gone when I deleted the outline and came back after I simplified the coastline brought back the outline. 🤔 But I have found out what the problem is and can think about a solution. I guess am on the right track now :D

  • I always delete the coastline Sheet, and put an outer glow on the land sheet as well - eg, colour 66, blur low or none, and radius appropriate to map size.

  • Thank you for sharing your method. I 've added different contours of sea levels like the mapping guide of the Alyssa Faden Style suggested. In this Style there were an Edge Fade, Inner Effect for the contours already active and two glow effects for the land sheet. I just added a blur affect to the land and the lake-sheets and now it looks like this.

    But in general I've learned not to bother with these coastal outline and will delete it in future. 😀

  • This is the progress so far. I've added some vegetation, hills and different terrain textures but I'm not happy how they look. I miss a certain natural feel. To me the borders of the textures are looking too symmetric, too handmade if you know what I mean. This is at the moment the greatest issue I have. But in general I think I'm on the right way :D

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I think its looking quite good so far.

    You can make the joins between different bits of terrain more natural by increasing the width of the Edge Fade Inner sheet effect that should be present on those sheets.

    Don't forget that it won't work between two different terrains if they are on the same sheet as each other.

  • Slow but steady to the finish I guess. 😄 Not much to tell. I've added hills, mountains and vegetation to the islands. There are two more rivers now. Some parts still look empty on the other hand I don't want to clutter the whole map with stuff. This is one of the two tasks for the next day, to find the right balance and the biggest part is to play with the effects so that the texture of the land tool don't shine through as you can see between the ash area and plains are south of it. But I in general I am happy with the result so far 🙂

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Going well.

    If you don't want gaps between adjacent fills that have Edge Fade Inner sheet effects on their respective sheets, you need to overlap their extents.

  • GeorgeGeorge Newcomer
    edited April 22

    Silmenor, I really like the overall map. However, you added a lake to the bottom right that appears to be fed by a river from the mountains. But, the lake does not drain anywhere? No river from it?

    And I just noticed the lake at the top of the north with no source or outlet?

  • Heaps of lakes have no source, or no outlet. Caspian Sea for the former, perch lakes for the latter. Just need evaporation=precipitation/inflow.

  • And on most maps you only see the rivers, but not small brooks. There could be a shitton of tiny little streams flowing in a lake and you would never know from a map, because they are so tiny.

  • It is done. Ayreon is finished and I am happy how it turned out. The toughest part of the end was to think about names. :D

    But this map is done and now I can think about which realm I will map at first. :D

    "In Ayreon there are the four realms of the Queens"

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