So when you’re overseas, and the internets hate your existence… sometimes you get creative when filling your free time. And let me tell you, on a Forward Operating Base (FOB) that allows no white light after the sun goes down, that can be an awful lot of free time. Gave me a whole new respect for our ancestors before the days of light pollution and electric illumination… the dark can really be SCARY sometimes. And that’s a good thing.
Anyway, during the last few months I have had the blessing of a wealth of free time, and one of the ways I chose to fill that time was indulging in a new-found hobby of mine: digital mapping of places that don’t exist. I started with my home campaign, because that area lives and breathes in my brain and I know it so well.
If you recall, a while back I took the digital illustration software GIMP for a test drive and liked it a lot, creating a map of Brittanis. That map took me along the learning curve of the GIMP software and after much hemming and hawing, I decided that while I was proud of the map itself and what it represented, I wanted to do better. Simple fact is, the map didn’t give off the feel that I wanted to express with my campaign setting. So I snooped around on the days the interwebs were being kind and scoured the Cartographer’s Guild Tutorial Messageboard for something in the style that I wanted to invoke with Brittanis. and I found it– the style is referred to usually as hand-drawn, mainly because some of the more hardcore guys on those forums have tablet-style computers that let them actually draw with an electric stylus. I’m not that hardcore, so I found a cheater method, but I think the results are far more interesting and definitely evoke the Dark Arthurian Fantasy style I want for Brittanis more than the considerably more digitized, computer-y previous version.
So without further ado, I present to you the Version 2.0 Map of Brittanis: