Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Cathedral



Constructing religious structures for a fantasy world can be quite challenging. For this map, I drew up a cathedral dedicated to Heironeous, the standard D&D deity of chivalry, glory and heroics. I figured that if any of the deities in the D&D pantheon had cathedrals, Heironeous would. The grand, soaring architecture was meant to evoke a sense of glory, awe and power in actual cathedrals. Why not coopt that mood for a fantasy structure?

So much symbolism is built into real sacred spaces that it can be difficult extracting the real world symbolism while still making a structure that is recognizable as a holy space. I modified the architecture of a archetypal Christian cathedral, shortening the nave and adding a portico and plaza outside the main doors. A large statue of Heironeous stands at one end of the space with the main altar center.

I turned to some of David Macaulay's books as inspiration for this map. He has been one of my favorite illustrators since I was a kid, and I really wanted to capture his combination of accessibility and attention to detail.

Oh, by the way. If you are someone who likes maps... like, LIKE likes, like more than looking at an atlas likes, you may want to check out the Cartographers' Guild, of which I am an infrequently active member.

You can get a printable version here.

20 comments:

  1. Good job on the map. My son is an avid D&D player. Me, don't really understand it.

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  2. Nice. Heironeous would be proud! Of course I would imagine that he would also have a field in front where non-letal jousting and other tests of strength and courage would be performed. At the church of Heironeous you get a show with your service!

    Keep up the great posts!

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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  3. I love your A to Z theme! The maps look so pretty :)

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  4. Looking at your maps is making me want to use them. Bah!

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    1. Go ahead and use them! As long as you aren't making money off of them and as long as you link back here if you put them online, they are meant to be used! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. The plan of the cathedral looks so insignificant compared to the power of stone and three-dimensions. I read Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett, such a thick book it felt cathedralic holding it.

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  6. Way cool! Is there a software you use? How do you draw your maps? I want to do maps interior and exterior for my story. BTW, visiting via A to Z

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    1. I hand draw the basic map and then scan it into Photoshop to add the text and parchment texture. If you don't have Photoshop, I'm sure you could do something similar with Gimp.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Hi, Geoff! I love maps and globes. Thanks for the link to that site. I'll have to check it out!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  8. Very pretty maps! Visiting on the A-z

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  9. Following from the A to Z Challenge.

    My mind gets boggled by most D&D style games, although my brother, husband, and sons have been playing them for years. I do like your map of a cathedral.

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  10. You're so talented. I definitely get the sense of glory, awe, and power. -Belinda (also A - Z participant).

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  11. Apparently your bitchin cathedral is locating squarely in Comment City :) Keep it up, my friend

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  12. Love the Cathedral - definitely a sense of grandeur and glory. Visiting from the A to Z list, and glad to have clicked on your link! Nice stuff - can't wait to see the rest of the maps!

    Greetings from A to Z #396: http://travellatte.net

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  13. Gorgeous.

    Lovely idea for A-Z.

    I have two major structures in the book I'm writing - one is a mountainous fortress for the Darke and the other is a Temple of Lighte. They are in all senses diametrically opposed to each other.

    After A-Z, I'd like to keep in contact if I may.

    Best regards
    Felicity

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  14. I love that you hand draw them first. I love the detail in this one - especially the rug!

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