Here comes along overdue update and outlook, and it is the first day of Gen Con 2022, which I will sadly miss this year due to too high travel costs. I hope my friends at Syrinscape have a great convention and I'm missing them and the buzzle of Gen Con a lot.
Flanaess & Hepmonaland 598 CY - 2022 Edition
A preview is out in the wild and people are sending me things to correct and a couple of glaring misses have been caught. Thank you everyone who take a close look at it and report problems with it, you are the best quality assurance team any cartographer can wish for!
A release candidate will come early next week, and that will be non hexed JPG and EasyZoom only. Then I'll correct the outstanding issues and small things that comes in during the week for a wrap up and final export next weekend. Then a major project is done, which feels great. Might be my last Major Greyhawk map work using Illustrator, and then it can be delegated to things it was intended to do, Illustrative stuff like symbols, heraldry and decorative elements. GIS work using QGIS and other related tools will gradually fill the void next year and onwards.
Custom Map Patreon Tier
I've talked a bit about my idea to test a much higher patreon tier for a few people who want to have a customized map, and other related stuff for their campaign. My premise will be that I will dedicate a day per month to work on your project,and with a day I mean around 6 hours of work. The pricing of the new tier would be $50/month with a yearly plan as well with a month free.
This tier is not an ongoing full commission, the content created using this will still be released under the same Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license I publish my other Greyhawk content under. This means that it is not for publishers looking for content for their products, it is a tier for Greyhawk DM's, streamers, bloggers and others who want to have access t custom versions of my Greyhawk content to use in their games, streams, blogs etc.
How things will work practically needs to be worked out with each of you who sing up. The way I similar stuff for Jay Scott and his Knights of Ulek Campaign is that we have a zoom conference on a monthly bases for an hour or two to go over things and I made some changes while we are on the call and work on other stuff afterwards. Some of you might want to send a list of things to change sketches etc, and that could work as well.
My original plan was to try it out first with 5 slots and see how that works, and the number will always be limited. My plan is to keep it limited to a week per month with limits the number of slots to somewhere around 7. I have 4 interested already which means that there might only be 3 more slots for late comers. If the demand is way higher, which I doubt considering the price, a rethink might be needed. But this is my plan so far please tell me in the comments what you thing would work best.
The new and updated heraldry have been a huge success, I've received a ton of positive comments, emails and more telling they like it. This is fantastic and show that there is a huge interest and need for heraldry, and I have several projects related to heraldry. First is to look at how to best go about with the Heraldry Compendium this fall. Almost all the heraldry for it are done now it is time to start looking into things like layout, formats etc. I want to look into having a print option for this project, a real print option which I will contact Noble Dwarf about to see if something could be worked out. There sill be a separate post about the compendium soon to keep topics separate, and there are a lot of things to consider with the Heraldry Compendium project.
Death Knight heraldry is coming fairly soon. I had a set of designs, but then Mindjourney (AI graphics service) made it possible for me to use its power to work on this. So I'm going to give it my ideas and see what comes out, which can be cool I think. Same goes for my series on the heraldry of the Horned Society, elves and expanding on the Iuz heraldry. Dwarven stuff is beyond my horizon for the moment, I haven't researched the Dwarves of the Flanaess enough yet to dare start with it. There are also some gaps to fill when it comes to provinces and local heraldry of the major nations which will be given some love too, and having a powerful AI engine will probably help a lot with stuff like this.
Converting all the exiting heraldry to SVG files will also start very soon. It is fairly easy but repetitive and tedious which means I will do it for a couple of hours each day until it is done. Not sure if I'll release them in batches or in a single release when they are all done. I want o get things in your hands as soon as possible, but keeping track of all of what have been released when adds administration which should be kept to a minimum.
Slowly but steadily a whole new branch of my creative content is taking shape. Wasn't really sure how much you would like my campaign stuff, but just like the heraldry it have turned out surprisingly popular so I'm making more of it. The really good part with this is that in most aspects it is a win-win, most of the stuff I create and use in my own campaign is of dual use for general Greyhawk release as well. Also running games and being a creator who is also an active DM makes me better understand an anticipate what you need for your games. The popularity of the heraldry I originally made for my own campaign is a good example of this, and lots of it is now on the public map.
I removed my old campaign map from EasyZoom, both to make room for other stuff and also because it was past it due date. A major overhaul of my MeyerHawk campaign map has just started and it will be presented in regions this fall for my mid tier patreon members and a full release this winter. Comments and background information on what is going on will be added as well.
My Shield Lands campaign "Against the Old One" is now on its second year and we have played 33 sessions. The characters are now 4th level and close to being 5th. Its only nine days in campaign time though,so these youngsters have been through a lot in a bit over a week!! Originally my intention was to use my campaign material for my DM during D&D in a Castle, but I canceled that this year. Which means I no longer have to keep it secret (more that for my players), so I'm going to start releasing it for my mid tier patreon members very soon. First out is Auldet the little settlement my campaign started in, maps lots of maps, but also indoor map, NPC presentation with stats, and some notes on hos things turned out when we played it.
In my games we use a heavily house ruled version of Level Up - Advanced 5E from EN World: https://www.levelup5e.com. I will present a series on how I run my games, rules, tools and more.
Mapping Live Streams
The Friday Mapping Live streams are popular and we have around 30 or so viewers which is great, and with Alyssa and at times CaveGeek being there as well it is a lot of fun. This Friday I'll work on my Shield Lands detailed area maps. Please join us and make sure we work hard!
Thank you again everyone for all your support!!! 🙂
I'm sure most of you have seen a new craze hit the interwebs, AI generated art. When I got a chance to jump in fairly early using the Midjourney service I couldn't resist taking the plunge.
It is a service that plugs into Discord that lest you use a cloud based set of servers that use Artificial Intelligence art using written input from you. You can then guide it further by telling it to create variants of the samples you like the best. My first test was to create my fantasy cartography office in the World of Greyhawk, and with a bit of fiddling around this is what it came up with.
For what I wanted to use it far the results are fantastic, and I'm really impressed with what it could create in about 15 minutes of trying for the first time. As a bonus you get a whole bunch of great variants giving me screenshots of "my" whole workplace in Enstad.
With results like that I got in deep and decided to have it help me illustrate things for my Shield Lands campaign "Against the Old One" and yes it works wonders...
creating the backdrop for a promo banner for my campaign!
Now its time to take a look at what this beast can really do, and it really shines when it comes to portrait creation. I need a druid and found this:
and it can illustrate you magic items like nothing I've seen so far..
and a villain from my campaign.
This was a taste of what this tool can do. I have already made a couple of hundred images for use in my campaign and my work, from textures, concepts, illustrations and much more. This technology will be VERY disruptive and change what creatives can do and what they will get payed for in fundamental ways. It is too early for me to have any conclusions on that yet, since the service is only in its infancy and I'm new to this world.
Even if it is the end of things as we know it, it is a VERY cool tool and kind of a dream coming true for a graphic nerd with a world building passion like me. It will mean that I can now illustrate my campaign material in ways I never thought possible before. Look forward to lots of cool stuff...
Thank you again for all your support, more map and fantasy content coming up!
Here are the first 598CY - 2022 Edition Public preview:
This easy zoom link will only be valid until the next preview or final edition becomes available.
12 mile Hexed version JPG (303MB): https://www.dropbox.com/s/vjvhh7e27gy966w/Flanaess%20%26%20Hepmonaland%20Map%20598%20CY%20-%202022-%20HEX12%20-%20Preview%201.jpg?dl=0
30 mile Hexed version JPG (265MB): https://www.dropbox.com/s/d2z170pbb8ibcxd/Flanaess%20%26%20Hepmonaland%20Map%20598%20CY%20-%202022-%20HEX30%20-%20Preview%201.jpg?dl=0
Please check for typos and other mistakes and report back to me here, on Facebook, or Twitter message.
The final version will be in a week or two depending on the number of things to fix. the final version will be available in JPG, PDF and EasyZoom versions.
The links will only be valid until the next preview or final edition becomes available, and new ones posted here and on my website: https://www.annabmeyer.com
The credits section is not yet final, and will receive an update with all the latest patreon supporters on it. Thank you so much for all your help making this possible, and there are lots more coming. I will have several updates coming on that this week, more heraldry, MeyerHawk, Shield Lands Altimira, Oerth and more!
Tonight! Join Alyssa Faden, Jay Scott and me for the Fantasy Mapping Show, Episode 14; we welcome Special Guest: Matt Ryan of Chaosium Inc!
Friday, July 22nd 8:00 PM EDT https://twitch.tv/lordgosumba
This weeks Legends & Lorre Show was dedicated to Vecna, so I created some more heraldry. Like this D&D5E inspired Vecna shield:
and here it is on old and rusted version:
and a cultist shield:
and another Vecna Cultist shield:
and all of them in a zip: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2b4azj7m75x5u1u/Vecna.zip?dl=0
Time to give the villains some love with new heraldry. Here comes a few that I have developed for my campaign, so lets go through them.
First stop is Bone March, and Lands of the Broken Bone. The area directly ruled by Spinecastle. First in original polished form.
and then in the more decrepit state you will find it in the hands of most of those using it.
Next in line from the Bone March are the Ripper Hills Hobgoblins.
and the Gashclaw Gnolls:
and maybe the worst in Bone March, the Evil Eye Orcs:
and finally the Vile Rune Orcs also from the Bone March:
Here are a few from the sands once ruled by the Horned Society and now (mostly) under Iuz. But there are still those who resist him and Dahlvier is one of them, he is as mean and tough as the Old One they say and his heraldry goes back a long time and is a dire waning to those who dare intrude...
With the Dahlvier shield I wanted to reach back and tie into old flan tradition of symbols. Very different from the Aerdy designs, simpler and more occult. My inspiration is Celtic, Nordic and European bronze age.
Next are the Tribal Lands of the Hoch Jebline in the Northern Horned Lands. Nominally under Iuz rule but in reality a mostly self, or non governed area full of various Goblinoids who are fans of Maglubiyet. The design is inspired by the Illustration in Dragon #372 p33.
Next is Kazgund, a city run by Orc's in my campaign. They want to convey a bit more civilized flair and show of their building prowess.
Last in this small collection are the city of Izlen. Originally (in my campaign at least) it got started as a outpost of the Great Kingdom on the north western shores of the Whyestil Lake. It was probably intended to be the base for further expansion, but then Ferron broke off and Izlen's future became very different. The original heraldry shows the fledgling city as a bastion of the Aerdy.
if you can find any of those old shields in the late 500's they will look something like this:
Nowadays the Old Empire have adopted a more, for their emperor, suitable shield that still keeps the same old elements:
You can get all of these in a zip file (139MB) here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q34zmb6i1dhqf3p/Heraldry%207.zip?dl=0
You can see a old version of my campaign map here: https://www.easyzoom.com/imageaccess/5f9d1e423c2d442fa71ed45397420b63
I haven't updated it properly, that is something for later this year. The places referred to here are on the map.
That was it for this time, more is coming. Now back to my 598CY map again.
I'll be streaming a work session on my Twitch channel tomorrow at 5PM PDT/8PM EDT. https://www.twitch.tv/anna_b_meyer
The plan Photoshop and Illustrator work for the most part both artistic and tedious work. Stop by and questions and keep me company!
Her comes the last of the updated old heraldry and some new ones as well. Notable among the new ones are Kargoth, the death knight, based on the illustration in Dragon Magazine #290.
Next of the new ones are Duke Szeffrin, which is my design I created for my Rel Deven campaign.
Next is a shield I've looked at many times without seeing, on the cover of TSR 9577 - Adventure Begins. One of the humanoids hold a shield that I have assigned to one of the fiercest orc tribes in the Flanaess, the Urzun.
And her are another piece of heraldry also from a very iconic module, and overlooked until now. Larry Elmore illustrated the Inn of the Welcome Welch in Hommlet, and on the wall there is a shield hanging. It is only in black and white so a bit of imagination have to be added. I decided to label it Nulb until we can figure out more.
The shield above is an old and decrepit shield that probably was recovered after the Battle of Emridy Meadows and was already old at the battle. Below is a version of what it looked like in better condition.
Mike Bridges did the design of the Sybarate shields with a 576CY,
and a 598CY version.
You can download a zip file with all 38 here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfvt5wyz8l05vpa/Heraldry%206.zip?dl=0
Tomorrow at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT I'll be on Twitch again for some more mapping. I'm sure exactly what I'll work on but it will be Greyhawk related for sure!