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.