There’s nothing like opening a new fantasy novel and seeing that map in the beginning, with all its promise of strange and wondrous adventure!
I produced a couple of maps for my flintlock fantasy, Stonefoot. I’m a bit of an amateur at this sort of work, but it’s really fun, and to me, this whole endeavor has to stay fun (for myself, and for you, dear reader!), or else… what’s the point?
Here’s an overland map of Aesir and Domany, the two kingdoms seething on the brink of war at the opening of Stonefoot, along with the frontier and the mysterious Twilight Forest, into which Rowan plunges headlong during his desperate flight from Stonefoot.
Here’s a city map of Fort Drondrez, one of the main theaters of action in Stonefoot. I still need to add some labels, like the shanty town spilling out of the north wall called The Point, where all hell breaks loose in one of the climatic scenes. And the Old Fort, which you can see near the center, the original timber fort General Lucrest, Hannity, and TeQua, along with some of the other old-timers in the story, worked so hard to establish back in the days when the Drondrez River was an uncharted, hazardous nightmare.
Both of these maps started out as hand drawn sketches with pencil, then souped up a little with ink. Then I used a graphic design program called Pixelmator to clean them up and add some texture and labels. Here’s the original sketches: