(Geography follows below, but for the final version of Idasia’s map, consult “The Great Fantasy Extravaganza!”
Welcome, all, to a little sneak peak on my upcoming novel, “The Hollow March.” While I’ll have other goodies appearing in days to come, I thought you all might be interested in a glance at some of the locales I’ll be introducing therein. Above, you’ll note a lovely map crafted by one Nathan Hartley – a friend, and quite a skilled cartographer if I might say so. Though nearly complete, there are still a few tiny details to add – and the final version, of course, will be featured in the novel itself. I’m truly indebted to him for taking the time to do this. I couldn’t have asked for more!
This is, primarily, a map of the fictional nation of Idasia, wherein a large portion of my tale takes place. Specifically, if you note that nice big forest in the east – the Ulneberg – you’ll already have an idea of where one Rurik Matair’s first literary footsteps will take place.
But now then, with your map in hand for reference, let me lead you on a little tour…
Idasia is a sprawling nation located smack in the midst of the continent Marindis, on a world known as Lecura. Dominated by plains and fields, it has long since lurched into the expansive definition of an empire, unified over bloody centuries and tense decades of peace and trade. It is a nation built originally on the concept of the power of cavalry – a notion being rapidly eroded with the increasing relevance of gunpowder to the field of battle. Yet the Empire has tried its best to maintain, and adapt, and they remain a power to be feared, as its recent gains against the nations of Surin and Effise in the east have proven all too well.
Vast rivers feed the machine of the Empire, while trading ports along the northern coast – on the Sea of Ordun – and the southern coast – on their strip of land along the well-traveled Wine Coast (an offshoot of the Marali Sea) – provide the economic means to support its structure. Both the Ulneberg and Hanschleig forests in the east offer the possibility of expansion, and both settlers and loggers flood into these places, fueled by beneficial Imperial edicts.
Being as large as it is, the Empire of Idasia has many borders. To the west, the small Duchy of Walim has long since submitted itself to the Imperial whims, in order to maintain the visage of semi-autonomy. It is a vassal state, which Idasia uses as a buffer against the ambitions of the Kingdom of Asantil.*
To the south, however, the Principalities of Ravonno have remained largely untouched by external influence, their northern borders secured by a rough and ragged chain of mountains that leave travel a monstrous challenge in the best of months.
To the east lie the nations of Effise, Surin, and Banur.
The Kingdom of Effise, presently locked in war with Idasia, was once known as the belly of Marindis, for the golden what fields that once dominated its heartlands. War’s fires have stricken these, however, either burned by retreating Effisians, or gobbled up by the invading Idasians. Though its water supplies remain mostly secured, it has lost more than a quarter of its land to Idasian ambitions. Though many of its cities remain surrounded, and its fields bare, its people hold out hope that the winter will break the intruders – as it has time and again throughout their history.
The Kingdom of Banur is a formal ally of Idasia’s, through marriage to its emperor. It has never been a large nation, but its careful politicking has long secured its borders from everyone save Tajalik further to the east. A dusty land nestled along the wealthy Wine Coast, it is its mines that have long maintained it.
By contrast, the Kingdom of Surin serves as a woeful tale of how fragile a game politics can be. Once a far greater nation, its zenith has long since passed, its coffers depleted by internal bickering and civil war, its land gobbled up by the greedy eyes of its Idasian neighbors two decades past. Only the massive river Jurree (Juree on the map – yes, I know) and the mountain “cup” along its western and northern borders has saved this landlocked nation from further embarrassment…and even these, most presume, provide but a temporary reprieve. Its valleys are lush, despite a distinct sag in population, and much of its internal land lies in the hands of powerful ranchers. A land with little central authority anymore, it is often seen as the black sheep of the continent, given its lawless and chaotic state, and the high concentration of banditry within its borders.
Well, I think I need to take a few breaths now, but I hope you enjoyed this brief peeking into my brain. It can be a chaotic place, so I’m glad you had the map to guide you…
*Note: In the map, the Kingdom of Asantil is noted as “Ajansil.” This is a typo that has since been corrected in later editions of the map.