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An early hand-drawn map. Click for larger image.

See the copyright date on there? Yes, the Darklaw Saga has been around for many years. In fact since the 1990s. It took decades for publication because the series and world are enormously complex, include a great time commitment of writing and art, and have had to compete with other creative projects — and life in general.

Most creative endeavors find success with persistence and consistency as much as talent.

I started this map in Adobe Illustrator but it’s finished in Photoshop with about 50 layers. I used to draw maps when I was a kid, just fantasy places at first but later, for D&D.

I got ahold of some generating apps that help me create the cities and even the buildings for Darklord. I really enjoyed designing Avestine’s quarters at Castlebejel with Ye Olde Mapmaker. It’s an iOS app I used on my iPad Pro. I had to export and do some additional things in Photoshop to get what I wanted, but a great place to start.

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Map of a floor plan for Darklord. Click for larger image.

I also have used Strategery Games City Generator (great for supplying background population and interactions) and Medieval Fantasy Games Generator (great for a general idea of the city’s directions and major roads) and Donjon Medieval Demographics Calculator (similar to Strategery but more of a summary) to create the main cities you’ll see in the webcomic. Each of these generators provides a little something the others don’t. Altogether, I have a well-rounded world from which I can pull out details as I write.

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Do you make maps? Do you like maps with the stories you read?

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