This draft map is for mine and Janell’s setting which has been in development since 2006 or so. There have been other maps in the past but this one I think is worth sharing. This pink watercolor beautiful color painting rendition of Almaera is of course biased by the Families who dwell in that particular region and think for the most part they’re the only things of importance and the way they do life and all. Versions of their flags can be found for every region, and you will note that it is not united. Old versions had this area split into two countries, Caedes and Amneth. Caedes is the name of the former monarchy which fell 2000 years ago, more or less, in what’s referred to as ‘the Fall’ and is the event that caused Estavin to throw up their borders. Really, the south still probably is Amneth but the families could care less. Two of the families trade with Estavin. The Alkes Family and Quistes-Kyrie family. Of course trade usually ends up tromping through the Iles family fishing grounds and precarious agreements with oceanic Malelri. But yeah, Estavin is kinda that way, west and south-ish from this part of the world. And there is stuff over there and over there and also over there but the families, as far as they’re concerned, might as well BE Almaera.
There’s a lot of tiny worldbulding details in this map, but what thrills me most is the null cycle worked into the compass. The compass isn’t just decorative color but actually demonstrates the functionality of the magic system plus some hints at the family’s beliefs in the magic system woven into the very negative space itself.
Almaera’s climate is much like Canada, cold and hardy, with a harsh growing cycle. Without trade they wouldn’t have a lot of great fruit. Their creatures include some really nasty goats, and a lot of weird crossbreeds created by Malelri and Almaera’s tampering. This results in some odd creatures, like riding ostriches and lemonfish, which have a lemony scale and taste like lemon already. This version of the conlang and the world is approximately two thousand years after the magical catastrophe that wiped out the Wastes and the thriving civilization there (Vilanars and Dols, only one of whom you’ll find around these days).
The Elasses and Vilanars are historically at odds with one another, tenuously held together by many measures. The Quistes-Kyries and Alkes families like money most of all; the Alkes family has volcanoes and Malelri to contend with but the QK’s get it a bit easier due to the Iles family working hard at interpersonal relationships. The Naran Family has a lot of sheep. The purple place over in the far corner is like… full of tiny little provinces of individual lords and culturally very different. They don’t interact much, but the Delmas people will trade with the Wastelands nomads who come south enough.
Most of the growing is done in Vilanar, Naran, and Elass territory. Iles people aren’t farmers, they’re fishers.
Oh yeah, and Malelri is the name of the species declared “dangerous shapeshifter” on the Estavin map. Of course, YMMV, many people in THIS region get along great with Malelri and wouldn’t consider them dangerous shapeshifters at all.
Still with me? Here is the code for the conlang. It might be a bit vague, but basically, all vowels are done as floating attachments to the consonant unless it’s a capital. A Capital letter comes into place for a vowel when it’s a Family name, for example. There’s a tradition of calligraphy and magic writing, but this script is more contemporary and would be less likely to be used with a magic working, and more likely to show up in a print. I am willing to develop conscripts and conlang elements for world building consultation clients.
As with all maps that I made for my setting, you can use this for your private non-profit gameplay purposes. Someday I hope I’ll be able to say, “oh and here’s the book so you can find out about this stuff like, happening and all” because it’s a lot of cool stuff I think many of my map fans would enjoy, given it’s the attached worldbuilding project and lore narrative.
The Ekaeli con-script has been in development for several years and gone through multiple evolutions, which I consider to be historical changes in the writing style. This one I went over brutally to try make it flow naturally to hand write, but there’s one or two symbols I flipped from the OG script, the N in particular, which may be inverted on the map due to me being in the habit of writing it that way. So I don’t believe this is going to be the final draft of the conscript. As for the conlang development, I’m monolingual with cereal box French and a smattering of German words picked up, so while I’ve identified anywhere between 20-100 words for Ekaeli over the years, the language itself is unstructured in its grammatical flow. While the words have a consistent feel, and the word bank feeds into the names of the places, it’s by far incomplete and unusable.
The language is designed to be very modular, with single syllables having meaning from the original language and now being constructed into longer, more complicated words. A simple, single syllable name will be one that came from old Ekaeli, such as Dau. As Malelri are a hive species, the word ‘dau’ to them had many meanings. The more humanized people just went with ‘it means water / waterfall’ and were satisfied with that, but the essence of ‘dau’ could be used for many more words.
Other xamples of the conlang in the names–
Oth = an ending that means ‘city’
Mal = Means ‘people’. So when we’re saying there are Malelri and Malchani who live there, what’s being said in the language is that it’s an “elri” person and a “chani” person.
Elri = in old Ekaeli, el and ri were probably both separate words with dozens of meanings. It might distort down to referring to the changingspiritbody oldtype.
Chani = literally means child, implying that the Malchani are a younger race. Similarly, cha and ni were originally separate terms with dozens of meanings. The word Malchani might distort down to being ‘people meatbody youngtype’.
So, every syllable that constructs an old Ekaeli name (which also would break down into ek ae li) is modular in function and holds information about the word, which it wasn’t necessarily originally intended to be. One of the more convoluted conlang words is Maldlahin, which was probably originally a sentence (mal dla hin) but with the more object-oriented thinking of humanity in the mix, became a noun. Even though ‘mal’ was the noun and dla hin was just two more terms to add to what sort of person that was. Thus you will see repeating syllables in the names throughout, and if you knew what they meant, it would communicate to you what sort of town this is.
It can break down even more than that, where Al Mae Ra for example, Al is part of ‘people’ but not fully the term that meant people, Al alone is more like… archetype, the m adds the soullifespark to it which is informed by the element the M is associated with–Mind and Memory.
The string of words stuck together like that is the best English way I can translate the intent behind Ekaeli words and the stream of meaning which is evoked from a single sound in its old high version. Of course that’s devolved over time and simplified and been replaced with object based symbolism.
This core region holds the Ekaeli speaking traditions, but in Estavin there’s more variety of language informing the place names. Here, the most variation is in far-south locations.
In this draft of the script, I made it intended for the language to have a base6 number system but never got on to developing the mathematics of that. However, 6 is very important to their society, so they probably use it. Counting happens by using the palm as part of the six, so one would count in the round, using the two pads on the bottom of the palm and the fingers.