Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Greyhawk Map: Azure Sea

Click to zoom in
What did you guys do last weekend? I was busy making a Greyhawk map of course. This hand-drawn map is typical for my campaigns, focusing on areas that I primarily have the players running around; in this case it's my ongoing Hold of the Sea Princes game. If you haven't seen my other handmade maps, I have a thing for the south seas.

I recently had their characters hauling off from Keoland in the west to the other side of the Azure Sea to pick up some dwarven ale in Irongate and bring it back for the duke's party in Gradsul. Unfortunately the South Province currently has a blockade on this port and will give chase when they try to leave for home. Yes, I'm running the plot Smokey and the Bandit in Greyhawk.

This "nautical chart" is drawn at the Darlene map scale of 30 miles/hex using paper provided by Black Blade Publishing. I drew the coastline in pencil from existing source material and inked it with the same pens I use on the Castle Greyhawk comic. Then cause I'm always in a rush, I colored it with my old Prismacolor pencils that I've had for probably over 20 years. As a final touch I added dashed lines to indicate trade routes. For my own amusement I thought about naming all these sea lanes with things like the "Gryrax-Scant Run" or the "Olman Passage". Still pondering this, but I'm open to suggestions.

One thing I've taken away from making this map, the Azure coast is freakin huge. Maybe not huge in real world terms but for fantasy maps of it's kind, I bet it has more coastline than the Sword Coast or Middle Earth. Also, looking at the Azure with trade routes in mind, there is no logical reason for sailors to cross over the middle of this sea. Many of the credible ports-of-call on the Azure are in easy in coastal distance of each other. Only a crazed pirate coming from the southern isles would be in a hurry enough to zip across to the Gearnat Sea in the north. I can only imagine the dangers natural or magical that lay in the middle of that vast body of water...


Mystic Scholar said...

Great map, Mort. I really like it.

tom said...

But can your captain make the Gryrax-Scant Run in less than 270 leagues?

Al H. said...

I agree with Mystic Scholar, nice map. I will be lifting this for my use, TYVM.


Mike Bridges said...

Mystic: Thanks buddy!

tom: Hah! Good stuff to brag or bet about.

Alfons: Excellent. I wish I had the time and patience to scan it properly. You'll have to settle on this for now.

grodog said...


What's your view on sailing and navigation technology (and magic, I suppose) in the Flanaess? I ask because I noticed that most of your trade routes are coast-huggers, rather than sailing straight across the Azure by the shortest possible distances. I figured you had some reasons that limited the ability to sail shorter, more direct route, and am curious as to what they are :)