Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Mapping the Harrowmark

I've started to actually map the Harrowmark. I've been thinking about mapping it since Animosity iii ended.

I have never wanted to draw all of it as that feels like it will undermine the idea of an unnatural forest that seems to go on for 10,000 leagues in every direction. And it takes away from the idea that it is easy to get lost there. I also don't want to make some things too specific, like how far apart places are, or where things are in relation to each other - both of these tend to get nailed down by maps!

But I also really enjoyed the way the Aiii map made me think about The Prime Dominion in a different way to the way I think about the Harrowmark. My worldbuilding was more holistic and more coherent, as well as more thorough.

But I had an idea this week: What if I don't draw it all on one page? What if I draw each location separately, and the pages don't meet at the edges?

By putting each location on a page of it’s own, the distance between them is elastic.

Not just in what I write, but in terms of the way it works in-universe. The characters can't predict how long a journey will take, because things "shift" in the supernatural forest.

The pages might fit together, but they don't have to. If they do fit together in many configurations, is any of them "right"?

Then it's still very possible to get lost in the Harrowmark, even with a map.


  1. Beautiful maps and idea. I always loved maps as props for rpg or wargames, but never had the patience to actually make them right.

    1. Thank you! I really really love fantasy maps too. They take a lot of time and they are easy to get "wrong" - there are a few really good tutorials around though, they do a good job of reminding you about the fundamentals.

  2. Love the idea and the ability to remake the map from its sections given the nature of the forest. Doing the same thing to map out sections of an underhive dome and it's surrounding territories could be fun for a campaign. Dome runner notes, Mechanicus schematics, psyker cartographers, enforcer patrol maps...

    1. Thanks!

      Oh, now that's a great idea... =0
      Overlapping but inconsistent maps with errors, things that have changed over time, secret knowledge. Love it!