Hohenzollern Castle (Work-in-Progress)

These are the drawings of Hohenzollern Castle I’ve been working on for the last week. I’m going to draw in the courtyard and the entryway on my tablet, then start coloring it all.

If you’re not familiar with the Hohenzollern Dynasty, they were the rulers of Prussia. They had one of the most formidable armies in Europe and, in 1871, they made a country called Germany, which you may have heard of.

But, no matter how impressive a performance you put on, if you want that gold medal, you’ve gotta nail the dismount. And the Hohenzollerns fell flat on their faces. Their last ruler was Wilhelm II, a man one might describe as the final season of Game of Thrones in human form.

Anyway, whatever. They had a really cool castle and that’s the important part. I’m gonna get back to work on it.

The Blackboots’ Camp

This is the encampment of the Blackboots mercenary company in Tir Thelandira. The Blackboots are from all over the place. so the camp is filled with tents from all over the place. You’ve got ridge tents, pup tents, tipis, a marquee and, of course, yurts. If tents had a hierarchy, yurts would be the king.

The Blackboots are meant to be everything Glaver’s Regiment isn’t. They’re a cavalry company made up largely of former bandits, known for their dubious loyalty and their habit of killing more civilians than enemy soldiers. Hired after the wood elves destroyed the first human colony, the Blackboots are in Tir Thelandira to commit atrocities and read poetry. And they don’t know how to read.

The next map is something I’ve been asked to draw by several people over the years. I told them it wasn’t time. It’s time. I’m drawing Hohenzollern Castle. Strap on your spikiest helmet, things are about to get Prussian.

Blackboots Camp (Work-in-Progress)

Here’s what I’m working on right now. It’s a mercenary camp, but I said it’d probably work as an orc village, too, and I think it does.

By the way, the vote for the first location in Tir Thelandira is down to the final two. It’s also a tie right now, so if you’re a patron, please go and break it. This isn’t soccer, we don’t do ties. This is hockey and play will continue until one side claims glorious victory.

Laon, France

I don’t draw a ton of city maps and this is the first one that I’m really happy with. Hopefully you like it too, or at least agree that it’s less crap than usual.

Laon has been around for a long time and, if you’re going to draw a map of it, you have to pick a specific point in time to depict. Well, in theory you do. I didn’t. I used several maps from various points in time as reference and, as a result, this is a sort of mash-up of several centuries of the city’s history. I don’t think that’ll be a problem for most people, but, you know, don’t use this in your Master’s thesis on the history of the Kingdom of West Francia.

Next, I’ll be drawing another map for Tir Thelandira. This time, it’ll be the Blackboots camp. The Blackboots are a mercenary company with a nasty reputation and they’re basically the other side of the coin from Glaver’s Regiment. Whereas Glaver’s Regiment is well-organized, professional and honorable, the Blackboots are filthy, drunk and cruel.

I don’t know exactly what the Blackboots camp will look like, but I can tell you two things right now:

  1. There will be yurts
  2. You can probably use it as an orc village if you want

After that, I’ll probably draw whichever map wins the vote for Tir Thelandira’s location #1. If you’re a patron and you haven’t voted in the runoff, go do that.

Anyway, I hope you like the map! Also, does Laon look like the Italian Peninsula to anyone else? I just noticed it. The bottom-left part is Sicily, tell me I’m not crazy.

The City of Laon (Work-in-Progress)

This map is taking a bit longer than I’d expected, but it’s also looking a lot better than I’d hoped. I don’t draw a ton of city maps and I think this is substantially better than any of my previous ones. I’m coloring it now and it should be done in a day or two.

By the way, if you’re wondering why the city is laid out like this, it’s because it’s located on a very strangely-shaped hill. That’ll be much more clear once the ground is colored.

Okay, back to work. Let me know what you think!

Glaver’s Regiment

So, let me start by acknowledging that Glaver’s Regiment is maybe a little small for a regiment. It’s really more like Glaver’s Company. I hadn’t realized that until I counted the beds and realized that there’s only space for about 127 soldiers here. Let’s chalk it up to attrition.

This map was inspired by the marching camps of Roman legions, who would build a defensive stockade and dig a ditch around it whenever they made camp for the night. They were able to get this done in a few hours by bringing the wooden stakes for the walls wherever they went.

There are actually a few of these around today. Well, kind of. You see, when a legion stayed in one place for a while, they would reinforce their camp. Build towers, reinforce wood with stone, replace tents with buildings and so on. Some of those are still standing.

A few European cities actually originated as Roman forts or “castra.” Castres in France is one example, as is any place in the UK with a name ending in -caster, -cester or -chester. There are quite a few of those, which suggests that the English were a fairly rowdy bunch in the ancient times. And the Great Wall of Scotland tells you everything you need to know about Rome’s issues with the folks to the north.

Next, I’ll be drawing a city map based on a real place: Laon, France. It’s a walled town with a cathedral, a palace and a templar church. Here’s a photo. It’s a classy place and I think it’ll fit right into a fantasy setting. After that, I’ll be back to work on Tir Thelandira.

Well, that’s it for now. Let me know what you think of the map!