Thursday, November 9, 2023

The Eshkom District

Though progress continues to be quite a bit slower than I'd like – due, in large part, to my constant tinkering Secrets of sha-Arthan continues to chug along. I've taken a break from working on its rules to working on its setting. In particular, I've been developing a border region of the Empire of Inba Iro that can serve as a starting area for a new campaign. The first step in doing so was producing a map. Here's a scan of a portion of my original, hand-drawn map.

The region is called the Eshkom District, after its largest settlement, the city-state of Eshkom, one of the so-called Twenty Cities of Inba Iro, whose kings swear fealty to the King-Emperor of da-Imer. Eshkom has a history of unrest and periodic rebellion against the Solar Throne, all the more so since Chomachto invaders from the north seized it and declared themselves the new ruling elite of the Empire. I think a troubled border region like the Eshkom District had a lot of potential for adventure.

Fond as I am of hand-drawn maps, I nevertheless wanted something a bit more polished for eventual inclusion in Secrets of sha-Arthan, whatever form it eventually takes (that's a topic for another day). To that end, I turned to the cartographic skills of Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design to create a more attractive map. Here's the same portion pictured above in more professional form:
I'm quite pleased with the results. Glynn did a superb job of translating my rough original into something that's both usable and appealing. What I particularly like about Glynn's map is the way that the various settlements and ruins stand out against the background. That's important to me, because I made an effort to include lots of places for the referee to develop into adventure locales and I want their locations to be visually apparent.


  1. That is a really nice looking map.

  2. A good setting will sell me more than yet another set of rules to learn.

  3. Great map. Usability and beauty combined.
    @James, could you share the link to the template for the hand-drawn map?
    The scale (4 hexes per major hex) and numbering are exactly what I'm looking for.