Today sees the release of The Ship’s Graveyard map pack released in partnership with Kobold Quarterly. The pack details a huge underwater map (25 square feet when printed out full size) with walls of kelp, schools of fish and shipwrecked hulks. The perfect lair for a kraken or aboleth and their dark designs upon the world. When I used this map the players found themselves in the deep after their ship was destroyed by a kraken. At 6000px square (25 square feet when printed out at 1 square = 1 inch) there’s more than enough room for an epic battle against the horrors of the abyss.
I’ve been curating a gallery show of maps of New York by a collection of very talented artists. The maps are on display at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art until March the 16th. We’ll be having a party on the 20th to show off the maps and have some wine and nibbles and if you’re in the New York area you’re very welcome to come by. Wine will be open from around 7.30 and the address is 138 Sullivan Street, Manhattan.
If you are unable to make it to the gallery in person, you can still view the wonderful maps on display. Check out the online gallery for the show here.
Since the earliest ages of man, people have sought to map and understand their surroundings. From figures drawn on cave walls to show a route to Babylon, to the illustrated manuscripts that inspired Marco Polo in his search for “lands of gods and spices”, maps have always had the ability to inspire the would-be traveler.
To see windroses buffeting a spindly ship on a sea of ink, or to look to the edges of a map and read the legend “here be dragons” is to feel an echo of that sense of the romance of exploration. Though science can chart our world in precise detail, maps have lost none of their artistic power.
The imaginary worlds that are mapped in this exhibition detail alternate earths, treasure islands, ships’ graveyards, a ruined Atlantean city, and a transit system on a Venus settlement. The 40 cartographers – whose work can be seen in best-selling books, magazines, computer-games and fantasy games – combine craft and aesthetic to give us glimpses of worlds ripe for adventure.
And in the uncharted edges of these worlds, who knows, there may well “be dragons”.
I’m curating a gallery show of maps of imaginary places. It’s taking place in Soho, New York at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art from the 16th to the 29th of July. We have over 40 artists signed up for the show – from experienced industry professionals to highly talented hobbyists. If you’re in the area, then drop by.
Cassedega – Built on the Ruined Remains of Ankeshel
This sunken city map was created for Open Design for their Pathfinder supplement Sunken Empires. I was asked to create a city in two halves – one above the sea and one below – built on top of the ruins of an ancient city that had been sunken beneath the waves and recently re-appeared. Nothing like a challenge…
This was created as a personal piece and was then picked up by Open Design. It has since graced the back page of Kobold Quarterly #13 in glorious full colour and turned up in Sunken Empires – a sourcebook for underwater adventure. It can be purchased at full resolution – 100 pixels per grid – in the Kobold Quarterly store here.