Saturday, 30 April 2016

Aethwyrd and Olivari's Map of Esdaria

I love maps.

Maps are great. They're clever. They're fun. A huge amount can be learned from a map, and in an age of smartphones and Google, the joy of leafing through an atlas or gazing down upon a geographical map are nearly dead and gone. So, when a few days ago, I got a request from a friend for a map of Esdaria, I was more than happy to oblige.

'Why, Rob, are you giving us a map now after your wonderful account of Esdaria through Aethwyrd's eyes?' Well, there are two answers: one, as I've said, maps are great; two, someone asked me (very politely, mind) to do one especially. I already had my own, hand-drawn map which I use when writing and can add to and edit as I go, so it was just a case of getting a rough copy into the computer and editing it. After hours of relatively painstaking and arduous labour, below is the result. The friend's name is thus immortalised in the title of this post, and his character now has his own little nook in the lore behind this map. 

Coincidentally, as per my last post, Aethwyrd is cropping up again - as promised - though this time, he is not alone.


Below is the map put together by the scholar Aethwyrd and his student Olivari some one-hundred years into the Second Age. It also seems to have been edited at a later date, as it was not for another century or so before Maedar was renamed to the Kingdom of the Free Esdarians. Unfortunately, Aethwyrd died before the map was completed, and his most highly prized student, Olivari - a Gnome from the Great Mountains - undertook the task of completing it. The project, however, was doomed to fail, and Olivari had only just finished adding the major geographical locations, kingdoms, provinces, and major rivers when he was imprisoned by the Vidorian Inquisition on heretical charges. Though he was found not guilty, by the time he was released the map had been filed away in the Imperial Archive and Olivari never had the chance to find it. His name is not credited on the work as a result, but in the Life of Aethwyrd - a biographical account of his teacher's life - he speaks of assisting his professor with the project, and taking it over on his death.
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