Roads have also been added to the map, which was the first thing I did. It looked a little odd only having roads heading to the major cities, though, so I added some to the desert in the north as well as the swamps in the south.
It still didn’t look that good though, so I put in a few more cities. I had to think what these would be doing there, but it wasn’t too difficult. When you’re writing a fantasy novel you’ve often got to put in extra places that may never be used, just so you can have that added sense of realism.
In this case, however, I feel those places with form important parts of my story, and it will make it easier for me to write a fantasy novel when I can see those right there on my map.
I started off by putting the Slums of Mareto up near the Wo’dan Desert. It seemed logical to me that many of the poorer people living in the West would try their hand at crossing the desert from time to time. Most would no doubt fail, but some would succeed. That’s why this slum grew up, which only grew over time.
To counter that threat, the East set up their own watch posts across the desert. One is a land post that will stop anyone crossing over the desert by foot. The other is a sea post which will intercept, or shoot down, anyone trying to get by on a boat, or by swimming. Collectively they’re referred to as North Post.
The same thing sprang up down south. The Swamps of Miletus weren’t always there. Perhaps as little as a few hundred years ago they were a developed city, surrounded by great pastures, farmland, and vineyards. Something happened, however, but at this point I’m not quite sure what. Maybe a natural disaster from the sea befell the people there. It could have been a catastrophic earthquake which caused the surrounding mountains to collapse onto the city. It could even have been through the fault of the people living there, or one of the major cities in the East or West.
Nowadays there’s the Ruins of Miletus in the West. Just like the Slums of Mareto, these grew up mainly as a staging ground for people wishing to make a crossing. Most fail at this, even more so than in the Wo’dan Desert, so the ruins are not nearly as inhabited. I’d say a few thousand people live in the Slums, and only a few hundred live in the Ruins. That’s a big difference from the tens of thousands that live in both of the major cities, Finnegal and Drubeck.
Across the Swamps of Miletus is South Post. Just like North Post, these two posts guard the land and sea against illegal crossings from the West. Duty here is much more boring than at North Post, but those that attempt to cross here are more daring as well. When an illegal crossing does take place, it’s often violent, and people on both sides die.
The last thing I did on my map was to give my lake a name. Lake Lo’tan sounded good, so I kept it for now. Remember, all of these names can be changed later, especially if you find that writing a fantasy novel is getting on your nerves. You want names that are easy to say, and easy to write hundreds of times. I might get tired of the apostrophe in “Wo’dan,” so I might change it.
There needs to be something in the lake, or else why wouldn’t the people in the West just swim across or wade along the mountainous shores? Piranhas would be a good thing to put in there, or something similar but unique to a world that comes about when you write a fantasy novel. Perhaps the lake has been poisoned, but I feel as though there has to be some fishing and other commerce on the lake. After all, fishermen from the West will be allowed to troll the waters, but they’ll probably have to have special permits to do so. No one deemed a flight risk will be given one, and these people will often be the first to crack down on Visa scams and illegal crossings.
But now I’m getting more into how to write a fantasy novel’s characters. I think I’ll save that for next time. Feel free to comment if you think this world is rubbish, or if you like some of the ideas. Regardless, I’ll just keep going.