It’s the last day of the #My30DayWorld challenge! Day 30! ANd we’re only… like, a month behind! Oh, well, we did it!
Today’s post is all about the cartography of the world. The Legacy of Ash began as a role-playing setting for us, slowly evolving into fantasy fiction as the characters and cultures we created began to take on lives of their own. We hope you’ve enjoyed us blabbing over the last few weeks, revealing our world and the characters who bring it to life.
This post will cover day 30. We’re doing them all on our Legacy of Ash Facebook page as well, so head over and give us a like.
4/18: Are the Lands Cartographed? Where are the Boundaries?
The lands are, for the most part, mapped out with various levels of detail. Most countries on the continent of Alrend’ris have thorough notes and maps of their lands. Borders are usually based on geography instead of politics. The Empire of Mirias Deil, for example, is bordered on the south by the Veis’senur Sea and west by the Aechetian Ocean. To the north there are deep jungles the imperials struggle to expand into, and to the east lies a broad wasteland called the Heramear. While everything within these borders have been mapped out by their cartographers, things outside the empire are far more vague. Most large countries on Alrend’ris know about the general shape of their lands and surroundings. There are wild places between countries, however, that remain unknown.
Æsc and I have mapped out nearly everything for writing purposes. We know the general shape and location of every continent, and have extensive notes on the empires, countries, and cities in our continents. We split up the world early on, deciding that I would take one continent and he another. Mine became Alrend’ris, though I’ve expanded a little bit to the south with the Sule Basin Strait. His became t’Avallin. We decided to separate them by a vast, sorcerous body of water, making trade and travel difficult but possible for small crossovers but not a complete merging. There are a few locations that are only pencilled in. We know the rough layouts of these places, but the details are open leaving us room to explore as well.
The following is an excerpt from the notes of the Desajin Coil, official cartographer for the Intur Republic, head of the cartographer’s guild in Rustari, which were given to the guild before his final voyage across the Sovereign Ocean.
“I have travelled across much of Calus Rukan. I have seen the jungles of Mirias Deil and the cities of that great empire. I have run from the kinasahr tribes of the Heramear and suffered greatly under their iron wills. I have ridden across the fields of Inturian, and lost half my fortune in the gambling houses of the republic’s capital. I have bathed in the waters of both the Inner Rukari Sea and the Aechetian Ocean. I have seen much of the great continent called Alrend’ris, though I have not seen it all. For all my longing I know that to see everything, to walk every field or climb every peak is not only absurd, it is impossible.
In my travels, I have seen all I can, and even still it is not enough.
My life’s work, the maps I have made for the guild in Rustari, will have to be passed down, generation to generation, explorer to explorer, until the true breadth of our world is know. Maps already exist, of course. I am not the first scribe to drag my notes across the lands, but many of the old maps are flawed. Distances inconsistent. Landmasses made smaller or larger, changed to suit the egos of the prince, baroness, or queen who commissioned the piece in the first place. Why, you might ask, is this so important? A shepherd needs not know what lies over the distant hills; he needs only care for his flock. Well, for all the attempts of our government, we are not sheep. We are not content to sit in a valley, merely accepting our place in the world. We dream, wondering what lies over the next peak, across the distant valley, or beyond a great sea. We are not content to drift through our lives without knowing what else is out there. And so I chart our world.
Our home, the great Alrend’ris, is just one continent that makes up this world. Inturian and Mirias Deil are but two countries, as prosperous as they may seem, upon this land. Beyond Alrend’ris there are other realms and distant shores. My next voyage will be my last. I leave from the capital in the day’s time, sailing first to the island city of Coin, and then onward to the distant shores of the Scorpion League. I do not think to survive this voyage, my age and health failing, but if I can stand on a ship’s deck and look out and see endless blue waves, I will die content.
My work, the maps of Alrend’ris that are more precise than any of my predecessors, will hopefully outlive my children, my grandchildren, and even their children. The knowledge I helped provide, I trust, will aid future generations in their own understanding of the world.
For Rustari, my city. For Inturian, my country. For Alrend’ris, a continent will more pain, suffering, joy, and passion than I can truly comprehend. And for Calus Rukan, heart of the world we call Celduras, I am glad to have given my life. Hunched over scrolls and parchments, quill in hand, ink staining my fingers, I would do it all again.”
The Challenge is Complete.
Thanks for reading about the world Æsc and I have built. This world of ours is massive we know, but with two authors creating it and writing stories how could it not be? Our short stories and novellas are just the beginning, and if you’ve followed along you know how much more we’ve got to show you. If you have read anything we’ve written, we’d appreciate reviews, shares, mentions, comments, or anything to spread the word and gain momentum.