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Posted: July 2nd, 2010 under artwork, Kings of the North, the writing life.
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You’ve seen much of this before, in the Oath of Fealty map, but there are some additions.

Hills are round-topped sort of dumpling shapes; mountains are spikier.  To show at the scale in the book, hills had to be about the same “height” as mountains.  I did not draw all the possible hills–it would’ve made the map too messy for reproduction at the size of the book.  (Later, as a poster, bwah-hah-hah….)

For those unfamiliar:  North is at the top of the map.  Tthe obvious pass through the E/W mountain chain is the pass of Valdaire–the city just south of it.   Straight north (though the roads aren’t straight) is Vérella, the capital of Tsaia.    Squares are forts, strongholds, or (since all were originally forts) major steadings.   Circles unfilled are towns/cities; circles with dots are capitals.

This map shows part of Fintha, all of Tsaia, all of Lyonya, and all of Pargun.    Note Pargunese forts in the hills, near the border of Pargun and Tsaia.    The capital of Pargun, Rostvok, is just east of the hills, near the southern end, on a branch of the big river.  The isolated fort in Tsaia–up north, in that sort of horseshoe of hills–is the Duke’s Stronghold, or the North Marches.    Chaya, the capital of Lyonya,  is just south of due east of Vérella.  The isolated fort south of Chaya, almost to the Dwarfmounts, is Halveric Steading.

Borders are not shown.   Some borders (such as the Ladysforest) are completely indeterminate “hard” only for areas humans must not enter without permission.  Others (Tsaia/Pargun) have been (and still are, with border raids) in dispute.   In thinly populated areas where there’s been no hostilities, borders are somewhat indeterminate unless there’s something valuable (a gold deposit, say) near or on the border.     Mostly they’re recognized by natural features, and aren’t anywhere near straight.

Possible spoiler warning (avoid if you don’t want to know ANYTHING)

spoiler space

spoiler space

OK.  Those sinuous lines of little hills in northern Pargun?  Important.


  • Comment by Robert Conley — July 2, 2010 @ 3:25 pm


    Wondering where is Brewersbridge?

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 2, 2010 @ 3:34 pm


    Take the trade road south from Verella to Fiveway, then go east on the South Trade Road. The next town shown is Brewersbridge, very near the Lyonya border. Beyond it is Halveric Steading.

  • Comment by Adam Baker — July 2, 2010 @ 4:24 pm


    Very cool.

    I love seeing the expansion of the maps.

    How about Dwarfwatch? I know its going to be south, but not sure where.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 2, 2010 @ 4:56 pm


    It’s east of this map, a little. IIRC. I haven’t placed much of Aarenis on these maps yet, just what’s been relevant so far. And this one doesn’t include Andressat, which does come into _Kings_.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 2, 2010 @ 5:05 pm


    OK, I was wrong; it is on this map. But for a better view, see:

    The Paksworld website (link, oddly enough, under the links button above) has a map that shows it. It’s above that odd “flat” river fork on the east side…I need to add more hills to that area, for sure, because it wasn’t sitting in a plain a long way from the mountains. Should be closer to the mountains than shown.

  • Comment by Adam Baker — July 2, 2010 @ 10:25 pm


    Ah, thanks.

    I didnt realize that DW was noted on the map in DoP.

    I guess I should have thought about looking in the links section. Sorry about that. I knew the maps section was there, Ive looked at them a few times.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 2, 2010 @ 10:50 pm


    No apologies necessary–just hoping others notice the links and maps. The area covered by these two maps will go onto the website when I have the master scanned next week and can crop a continuous strip. The map is just large enough that–with the camera I have–I can’t get it all in focus at a distance that will work well.

    When the master map is finished, it too will go on the website.

  • Comment by Jim DeWitt — July 8, 2010 @ 11:26 am


    In my misspent youth, I studied geology, getting a minor in it, in fact. About the only use I make of it is trying to imagine the geological processes that give rise to the land forms in fantasy maps like yours. In many cases, it’s impossible; you have to invoke magic to explain the topography (L.E. Modessit did so explicitly in his Recluce series).

    Your map makes geological sense. A terrane consisting of most of Aarenis docked from the south into an existing continent consisting of what’s now the Honnorgat Valley and points north, pushing up the Dwarfmounts. The Aarenis terrane already had the older Eastmounts, much like the eastern hills of India, or eastern coastal hills of Brazil.

    The uplifted sea bottom where the two terranes stitched would be more highly mineralized, which would explain the Gnomes and Dwarves that have colonized the area.

    The uplift created the upper Immer valley. The Westmounts are newer, broader and likely a slip-strike feature like the Alaska Range (although I’d expect more of an arc to them; this is a flat drawing of a curved surface, after all. I’d expect a lot of geologic action – volcanos, earthquakes, rifting – in the Westmounts and the mysterious country to the west of them.

    The new hills in north Pargun do bear the distinctive track of surface features from a “hot spot” like the Yellowstone hot spot or the Hawai’i hot spot, where a plume of mantle breaks through the surface, as the continental plates drift over it. I can see that such a hot spot might appeal to certain classes of magical creatures…

    If I have trespassed over into speculation, feel free to delete this comment, but my congratulations on a fantasy map that makes geologic sense.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 8, 2010 @ 11:58 am


    I’m glad it makes sense to you. I had some geology courses during my first degree. The OOM map had geologic notes on it but having lost it and being on a deadline, I had to combine the previous maps printed in the books without reference to it. So I’m aware there are some problems, but had no way to fix them as well as I’d hoped. Still, the basic ideas are there. When/if I ever get the surrounding maps done (as far west as another ocean, as far south as central Old Aare) I hope it will still make sense. You’re quite right about Aarenis…the Dwarfmounts are Pyrenees/Alps equivalents. Speculation on geology is fine–it enters the story as setting, not character.

    A lot of Paksworld doesn’t come into the story yet. I don’t know if it ever will. I know there’s an ice cap; I know there are glaciers. On the “adventure” travel shows on PBS, I keep seeing terrain that I invented but it’s also real…a bit here from the Carpathians, a bit there from Bhutan, etc. I take that as proof that the imagination is working with some good paradigms.

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