A parched parchment

Syskuun map

A crazy-quilt hand-drawn (ink, colored pencil and pastels on paper) map of Syskuun.

Just a random posting of an old map I drew many ages ago.

This is the realm of Syskuun, which began as a roleplaying setting before being expanded to serve as the setting for a series of stories that still may, someday, become novels.

My creation of Syskuun was a reaction against the Tolkien-inspired, elf-and-dwarf infested, hack-and-slash dungeon crawling tedium of TSR’s AD&D (1st Ed.).

It may not be obvious from the map, but you can tell from the relative lack of green hues that Syskuun is not a verdant place.  In fact, most of the known world is mountains, dry plains, tundra, ash-covered wasteland, desert, or worse.  It’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy realm, long past its golden prime, inhabited by hardened survivors, mutated creatures and buried mysteries.  The stories I’ve plotted are often grim, and many of the characters occupy the antiheroic side of the protagonist spectrum.

Syskuun map detail

A closer look at Vik’Essi and the Fingers of Tharadd.

Someday, I’ll return to this place and put all its sordid details in order.  Even many of the words on this map will have to be changed … for this world, I broke the human tongue into a handful of languages, so many of the place names are out of date.  There are centuries of history to be written.  A pantheon of gods await personification.  All in good time.

For now, I’ve another fantasy realm to take care of.  Glyph knows, as a writer, I try awfully hard to be a monogamist.

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