Here is a map I made recently of a city that is prominently featured in my upcoming release; The Fate of Kings and Queens. This is Antei!
Antei is a town that was already there prior to the start of the series but becomes more important once the series got going with the Goldwater family leading the town. However, they fell out of favor and soon they were removed from power and the crown prince became the baron of the town. Notice the ruined keep in the image. That’s the remnants of that ill-fated rebellion. Since then, the town fell into disrepair. However, in more recent years the town has grown and gain more prominence.
So, let’s get to the map itself.
I created this map using the books. Directly from the books. I create most of my maps with the thoughts I have on how the area should be laid out. Then I write about the town in the book. This is what I do for most major towns or cities. Regional areas, as well. This one was different. I did not have a map ready, but I had an idea for the town but it was solely to describe it in the books as people walked through the streets and made their way up to the manor house. I then created this map based on that description and maybe it is because of that I feel that it is one of the best ones I’ve made. Usually, I feel that my maps are okay but missing something. This one, I don’t feel that.
In the book, the town was built around two key features: the river and the motte. That is the hill where the manor house sits. The town then sprung up connecting the two features. There were docks built to help with the trade from the interior and leading to the sea. Fertile farmlands built around the town to take advantage of the good soil from the river. This led to trade and a populus center that helped safeguard the border from southern enemies.
For me, placing the homes and buildings differed from in the past. This time I place them in random order and without a grid layout. I also used complete city and town assets (the icons) along with the individual pieces to fill out the town. This was a first attempt based on a suggestion that another cartographer gave me when I showed a map that had a neatly ordered town based on a grid. I do that often, and in some historical sources that was a common base model for many towns and cities. They laid them out in a grid structure with square blocks. We still refer to streets and distance in these terms. However, for this map I wanted to branch out and create a town that was built up over a few hundred years with a wall and outer structures but also one that was made to look like the one I described in the book. Part of this was done with the two different walls. Wooden palliasses to show the older bailey beside a newer stone wall.
For the colors of the map, mainly the ground, I still did my usual dirt road and grasslands around it. This is the first true motte and bailey style fortification that I’ve ever made. I added the trees to give a bit more character to the map with mostly deciduous trees but a few pines mixed in. This helped to show the region as more lifelike and still viable than a desert or tundra area. Though those areas have a wonderful life all their own.
Here, however, I wanted to create a map unique to its own environment but still true to the town that I created and described within the book. Will readers relate and appreciate this effort? Time will tell.