Friday, 21 January 2011

A map of the "Elvish Shore" (slight nudity)

A map of "the Elvish Shore" by Faadon Naano

The Elvish in this banner reads "[th]e elvi[sh] [sh]ol" - The 'l' at the end must be a miss spelling - it should be 'r',  the character to the right.

Green Man from above map
We will look more closely at the main map later, but for now will content ourselves with the border.  The pattern of spiraling vegetation is a variation on an old Elvish one.  In the modern age, when the Elvish peoples feel themselves to be in somewhat of a winter for their race on this part of Ottarol it is without leaves, except for close against the green man, the symbol of the green god who gave life to the paper which made it. This means the original (perhaps this is the original) was drawn on Gaer tree-paper, rather than Vellum.

A similar green man from a much older Elvish map

The depiction of a Dragon and a Unicorn is also an old Elvish devise.  These two beings are believed to be the creatures most in balance between the three substances of matter, consciousness and faerie.

Dragon from the map above

Unicorn from the Map above

Unicorn from an older Elvish Map
The beings at the top are a reference to the fact that though this area is referred to as the Elvish Shore this is an anachronism.  Now there are Dwarves and Humans living in this area, and the Elves are no longer a united race but split into countries.  

Forest Elve
The first depiction is of a traditional forest dwelling Elve of Gaer. With longbow in hand and curved blade by side this being carries the long banner of history in their hand.

Next comes the fearsome Dwarvish iron clad warrior who first arrived in this land in the early days of their ancient empire. Now they inhabit rebeliouse Nazuralnitotzu and certian remnant townships on the Western Plateau.  They bare aloft the broad axe of their people, symbolizing the cutting and the carving out of these lands into nations. The Galmearans who they drove out of these lands are not depicted.

Plains Elve
Here is the long legged Plains Elve of Cananshall. Although their people roamed the area before the coming of the Dwarves it is only through the deforestation of the Dwarvish Empire that their current lifestyle fully developed.  They are depicted carrying an atlatl, two small spears to through it with and a long barbed spear. The atlatl symbolizes the length of their limbs, the two darts their speed and dispersed population. The long spear symbolizes their own unconquerable strength. Above them fly two birds symbolizing freedom, and beside is a mobile tipi symbolizing that they are forever on the move, while no Plains Elve can be depicted without a horse! 

Lastly is the Human. in an old pot helm and a hunting spear. Faadon Naano has chosen to depict them as the noble but poor beings they where originally when they came to these shores. This is probably because given the choice between the northern Kingdom of Brach, with its often overblown and cruel leaders operating in a strictly feudal society, and the Common Lands of Brach to the south where an older and more democratic system based of gift giving and bravery is in force, Faadon felt the later better fitted the flow of history.  The castle depicts their reliance on these structures, and the banner planted in the earth depicts how reliant they are on personal stakes in land.  It is shorter than the elvish banner given their shorter time here. It is also set up to show their historical opposition to the Elvish people.

Compass Rose

At the bottom of the map is Faadon Naano's elaborate illustrated compass rose. 

Domtajoyan human and Cheetah
Domtajoyan trade goods
To the left is a dark skinned human from Domtajoya, the Human land in the extreme south-west. Behind him are trade goods symbolizing the wealth of the region, as well as the fact that most contact in the region is through trade rather than conflict. The Domtayoyan man brings decorated carpet, a famous export of the region, a jeweled  knife, a snake skin belt and a box of spice. Behind him are the long grasses of the fertile bits of his country and the sacred cheetah of his Savannah. He carried in his hand a ceremonial hammer-axe, as used on state occasions.

Elvish Shaman

Elvish trade goods
The Elvish woman is a shaman from the north eastern Sharmail Island region. (This area is called the Haunted Islands on this map - this is the Human name and serves the purpose of making the surviving underground vaults of this ancient library relatively undisturbed - this is a trick learned from the Galmearan people.)  She brings fruit from the forest gardens, a sealed drum of olives from her trade partners in Zingomoogaer, and the vital reason for her continued existence on this island, copies of the ancient elvish books.  Behind her is the  timid sacred deer of the island, and thick vegetation. Her weapon is the saw-spear, developed from the tools the elves have both used to tend their forest gardens and defend their privacy.  

The strait horned cow skull is from the Cananshal region, and the spear looks like the ceremonial spears of Darngaer, both regions central to the map.


  1. Great I'll look forward to my next installment - a world to rest in, far from washing up and homework and earning.
    Thank you.

  2. Cheers!

    yes - a land of dreams and possibility and thought experiments!

  3. Is the a complimentary iconography of colour? if you look at renaissance art portraits epecially there are both objects and colour expressing ideas. I guess colour is hard to produce and preserve though and so is less likely to appear in ancient documents.

  4. Oooo... What an intriguing idea! I love colour now, but when I was learning to draw I went through a black and white phase and then never really got a proper handle on how to use colour without it looking messy, except on a large messy scale! - But that is something I intend to work on.

    The use of colour expressing ideas really excites my imagination!

    I will see if Faadon's basket has anything related to colour in it. I will also look up renaissance portrait color.

    This map was not that ancient - Faadon himself drew it and I don't think too many years have lapsed since he abandoned his basket of leaves to the fates (though it has been long enough to find a little loophole into this dimension!)

    I will post some more maps soon, and maybe these will include color...