Tag Archives: Sandbox

Northern Continent, WIP 3

3rd WIP of the Northern Continent map:

map01h-smallI’ve added two layers (the “high mountains” layer is very unfinished though – it’s obvious where more detail is needed) as well as adding a lot of detail to the existing layers. Click on the image for a 2048px wide version. I’m fairly happy with how this map is turning out, if I may say so myself…

Mars: Timeline 1877-1987


1877: Giovanni Schiaparelli observes “canali” (channels) on the surface of Mars. The term is widely mistranslated as “canals”.

1892: Camille Flammarion suggests that the “canali” might be a planet-wide irrigation system.

1894: Percival Lowell builds observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and dedicates his life to the study of Mars. He subsequently publishes Mars (in 1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908).

1909: Mount Wilson Observatory confirms Lowells observations, but many astronomers remain skeptical.

1916: Percival Lowell dies.

1965: Mariner 4 takes pictures that include glimpses of artificial structures on Martian surface, confirms that Martian atmosphere is dense enough for human survival. Mars craze begins.

1969: Apollo 11 lands on the moon. Presentation of Mars Mission plans by Wernher von Braun, which is subsequently supported by Richard Nixon.

1971: Mariner 9 sent to Mars.

1972: Mariner 9 images reveal river beds, canyons, craters, volcanoes, canals, and cities on the surface of Mars. There are even images of what appears to be vegetation. US Congress approves von Braun’s Mars project.

1975: United States invites Soviet Union to participate in Mars mission.

1976: Viking 1 and 2 land on Mars. Data collected shows that humans can survive on Mars, and also discover flora and fauna on the surface. Mars mission plans are reevaluated.

1977: New Mars mission plans are approved by US and Russian governments. Retooling of mission begins. Wernher von Braun dies.

1981: Mars mission team selected.

1986: Mars mission launches.

1987: Mars mission lands.

A Northern Continent, WIP 1

More cartography…

A Northern Continent
A Northern Continent

Click on the image for a (slight) zoom.

This is a map roughly representing a continent that featured in a series of dreams I had over the years, where a group of adventurers would explore the continent. It’s all made-up, of course; I never saw a map of the place in my dream but the basic features are all there…


Sandboxing a World – Foreword

By chance – thank you, cartographer’s guild poster – I came across The Piazza which linked to a series of articles by Rob Conley about creating a “Fantasy Sandbox”. I have only skimmed the beginning, and it looks like a fairly logical process not unlike what I do anyway, so I decided to use it to create my “Consolidated Fantasy World”. I’ve done this sort of experiment before: When I created Arnâron, my Barsoom replacement, I followed ideas put forth in the now defunct Shakespeare & Dragons podcast – even if I did not post about every single step.

And that is something I’m going to do different this time around; I expect to post the results of every step in the process. Rob writes he expects the entire process to be about 24 hours of work, so it is tempting to try this in weekend of insanity, but instead I’ll aim for one step per day. If I get through these steps faster, then that’s fine of course.

Consolidated, you say?

So what is that “consolidated fantasy world” anyway?

As you probably know, my fantasy world is Enderra – the namesake of this site. Enderra was originally developed in a mad two week bash for a 1992 GURPS campaign, and recycled years later for our Dungeons & Dragons campaigns after massive redesigns. And after I stopped gaming, I began to create “Enderra v3”. It never got “done” – as you will know if you’ve followed my work for any period of time, I tend to get distracted by all kinds of new ideas way too easily.

Some of those ideas also covered fantasy worlds. Naturally, these were mostly collections of ideas rather than real designs. But in the end I have to admit that I have only a very limited amount of time, and that it is impossible for me to actively maintain a number of fantasy worlds (even one is difficult!) and so all the material I create (and eventually publish) should feed one setting.

Since the Fantasy Sandbox process does not specify the necessity for prior planning, I will leave it at that – but of course I already have a lot of ideas on where I want this to go as well as a good amount of material from previous Enderra incarnations to base this work on.

Let’s see what happens…