This post will describe the land masses I have created, and how I decided on what sort of climates and natural features to have in my world! I will also post a link to the In-Character Atlas when I have finished writing it! That link will be found in the World Building Discussion thread in the forums.
The first thing I thought about when deciding on what sort of land masses to have is this: What climates do I, and the people I know enjoy roleplaying in? This question lead to a nice diversity in my world, and I am quite happy I asked it! The next thing I did was decide how big I wanted the map to be. I settled on a HUGE map. I wanted it to be like traveling on earth. So, to get across my map from a western point to an eastern point would take a person travelling by medieval means a long time. I have not set miles to the length of the map, and I don't think I will. The vagueness leaves room to edit the story further if I need to.
As a side-note, I used the program CC3 to creat a rough idea of how my world looks! If I can figure out how to post that picture, I will!
The first land mass I came up with was Azon. Azon began as your stock Fantasy land, based largely off of Britain. Its got rolling hills, coniferous and deciduous forests, lakes, rivers, and moors. It experiences all four seasons throughout most of its landmass. When I went over the map I created, I thought to myself "I still have a lot of land left", so I brainstormed on how I could make the map stand out from other fantasy settings. I added in a large mountain chain, and named it "The Wall". I then split the central plains in two unequal parts using a large desert. This desert became the only one in my world. I also like cacti, so it was needed! The Wall mountains curve eastward from the north western corner of the continent, then curve back toward the south western corner where they end. This was done to block off the Elven Forest I put on the east coast, which is supposed to be secluded from the outside world. It helped shape the elves of my world into a more scarce, and mysterious entity. After that, I decided to put in something I had reserved for the eastern continent, to add an extra bit of exotic-ness to Azon.
I created the Land Reefs in the far south of Azon, as well as my eastern continent. I love the beach, and this landscape draws heavily from the Carribbean islands. I blended together a beautiful sandy coast line, with a rocky tide pool, and came up with the idea that some corals and reefs grew on a piece of land that is at sea level. The high tide covers the land in a few inches of crystal clear ocean water. It quickly became my favorite landscape, and one I plan to use for some upcoming short stories!
The Eastern Continent of Venia was next. It started off as a vast jungle land. I quickly decided I didn't want a whole continent to be dedicated to one biome, so I turned the northern half of the continent into a Savannah. Most of the human civilization on Venia lives in the Savannah. The Savannah also has a small area of Ashlands, where a large volcano spat out a bunch of lava and ash. The Jungle begins halfway down the continent, but is separated from the western coast bu a sliver of swampland. The swamp wraps around the back end of the Jungle, and secures most of the last portion of the continent before it turns into Land Reef. The temperatures on Venia are overall much warmer than Azon. The continent is kept warm by the southern gyration of the sea between Azon and Venia. It only has two season: Wet and Dry in the Savannah, and Hot or less hot in the Jungles! When creating Vernia, I really wanted to have something more exotic than stock fantasy settings. I wanted the places and creatures to feel foreign, or even alien to the readers. I think I have capture that feeling.
The final continent I created is a vast frozen land, inspired heavily by Iceland. Solymus is covered in mountains as high as Everest, and has geothermal springs, calderas, and ice fields. Its got glaciers and snow plains. It is rough and rugged, yet beautiful place. Solymus is plagued by blizzards on the East and West sides, but the middle of this continent is pleasantly warmer. The hot springs, and small volcanoes keep the central part of the continent warm, and snow melts constantly into steam there. This continent is dominated by the Orcs, who thrive in the cold. Solymus is a place where auroras can be seen, and exotic frosty critters like the Trunko are found. Its a place I imagine to have star filled purple dusks, which lead into dark and cold nights. I like to think of it as the top-tier adventure continent of my world.
Finally, the ocean and islands were made. I love the sea, and sailor's tales! I created the ocean to be a mysterious place, where many cultures are terrified to venture! Monsters abound, and the weather is unpredictable. I filled the ocean with few islands. There is an archipelago that reaches out from the southern end of Venia toward Azon. This is an island chain full of small islands and cays, which the Carcharia Tribes (The shark-people) live on. Directly in the middle, right between Azon and Venia is a large island called Nustar island, which is shaped like a five pointed star (Roughly). This is the central trade hub for all the races, as it is an equidistant island from almost all the major civilizations' capitol cities or main ports. Its one of the few places someone might run into a Carcharia, Seylonian, Azonian, Elf, or Sinai. The only exception being Orcs, due to their overwhelming fear of the sea!
Off of the north west corner of Azon I put an island of volcanic activity called Fire Island. This is a special place, which will be revealed in a future story. I made Thunder Island off the north east coast of Venia, which acts as a copy to Fire island. Thunder island is plagued by electrical storms! Both islands will server a purpose in future story content.
Overall, I quite enjoy making the land masses up. Molding the world to my view has been an extraordinary experience. I drew on many different aspects of inspiration from real life places and cultures, folklore, and even other fantasy settings. I can't wait to share the story that will further shape the world I created. I hope you all have enjoyed this blog post! If you would like to discuss further, please leave a comment, or post in the World Building Dicussion thread: http://rphq.enjin.com/forum/m/35146228/viewthread/28412079-world-building-discussion-thread
Thanks for reading, and I will see you in November for my next blog post!