Over the past few months I have been working to improve my mapping skill and made reasonable progress along the way. Earlier this week I was asked how much I worked with color. I thought for a moment and realized all of my maps are quite black and white save for the backgrounds I drop in behind them.
I am not sure why it had not occurred to me to play with color and my maps. I think a lot of it is because I like the old school feel of the black and white maps and the hashing. I think they come off looking clean and are by their very nature printer friendly.
I decided I wanted a village to toy around with coloring in the map. One day at lunch this week I drew up a small village near a pond. This was done in Sharpie Pens. I skipped the pencil step for this map as I was just letting things flow and was not necessarily trying to recreate something I already had in my mind beyond the bare basics.
Once the map was complete I scanned it in at home that evening and cleaned it up a bit and tossed in the background. From there I used Gimp and some watercolor brushes to color the following map.
I think it came out fairly well for my first real attempts at playing with color with my maps. And with that, I present you with Deerpond Village:
Deerpond village takes its name from the small pond to the north of town. On many an early morning several deer can be seen drinking from the pond. The village sits on top of a small rise, gaining a good view of the surrounding low rolling hills.
The village is a very small community, home to a handful of houses and a large inn, The Scarlet Pheasant. The inn serves several roles for both the villagers and travelers through the area providing lodging, food, and acting as a community center for Deerpond Village.
The residents of the village primarily make their living off the land with excess furs and meat from hunting being traded and sold. The folk are a good people and enjoy the tough life in the near wilderness.
- Recently the hunters have been returning from their hunts reporting finding large humanoid footprints coming down from the more rugged hills several miles away. The hunters believe the hill giants are wandering further from their homes than normal. Each week the prints get a little closer to the location of the village. Is something chasing the hill giants from the hills or are the hill giants expanding their area of control?
- A day to the west lies a larger city. On a bi-monthly basis a pair of wagons leaves Deerpond Village to carry goods to the city for trade and bring back items the villagers cannot produce on their own. Over the past months bandit activity on the road west has been growing. There is talk among the village they may be forced to stop their trade to the west until the bandit issue is dealt with.
- Just east of town past the switchback in the road is a small graveyard. The graveyard has been used for many years with gravestones predating any local knowledge of the current residents. Last week two of the gravestones dated from over 150 years ago were found tilted askew and the earth appearing freshly turned. Skeletal footprints were seen leaving the gravesite and then disappearing. Some of the finest hunters have tried to track the prints and failed. None are brave enough to dig up the two graves and confirm if the bodies are still laid to rest.