Revisiting World Building in Pannulus

The Pannulus map is done, but more important, it’s done far ahead of schedule. Another map? Yup, but the story for this one is different than the other two.

The focus for Tremjara and Carrdia was mapmaking over world building since I’d been developing them for over a decade. Pannulus had no such history aside from expanding the number of islands in the group a couple of times.

Map: CA Hawthorne

Tremjara. Pannulus is the island group in the northeast. Map: CA Hawthorne

A disclaimer here. This isn’t my most beautiful map. I stretched Pannulus considerably so as to label it so some definition is lost, but it exists primarily for my use so I’m not worried about it. That’s also the reason for the unusually long Scale of Leagues at the bottom of the map.

Okay, let’s move on to the topic…

Even before I unveiled the other two maps I was working furiously on Pannulus because, like I said, there was almost no previous world building. All I had were the names for the three major islands, a few cities, and the largest bodies of water.

The task was huge, especially in the time frame.

The task was further complicated because, unlike with Carrdia, there were many more bodies of water along with capes, peninsulas, and a host of lesser islands.

So, what did I know?

I knew from the Empire history that Pannulus was able to maintain its independence because the Empire was too busy fighting with the shadow lords of Draskrith to the north. Pannulus ended up a neutral trading partner with the Empire until the Empire’s decline.

The short stories I’ve placed in Pannulus provided isolated glimpses, though mostly in Raspell and Arthune. The nationwide insights included the unusually high concentration of magic in the islands, that they struggled with maintaining their population, and that they embraced both magic and technology. Not much more than that.

On the fly I tried to pry open some additional insights. Logic dictated there’d be some regional differences, especially between the three major islands so I skewed some of the names to reflect outside influences. Scurpia Island would have been most influenced by the shadows lords of Draskrith to the north and Shorus the Empire to the south.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Just like this. I was a brainstorming hurricane. Photo: CA Hawthorne

In addition, I threw in a lot of seemingly meaningless names because I knew from experience those names would take on meaning later. Need a name for an influential figure from the past? Take one of those. Armed with a Thesaurus and my knowledge of the geography and magic, I filled a file full of possible names, grouping them by major island. I then filled three map printouts by hand.

When I placed them on the digital map I used up all those names and ended up adding more. Too, as so often happens, some locations were changed while I worked or names altered.

The higher concentration of magic in the islands is intriguing. I haven’t defined it completely, but the natural magic density is unusually strong in the Vortex Gulf region, growing weaker with distance until it falls to normal levels, though that doesn’t happen until beyond the Pannulus borders.

Gee, what do you know, the school stories I’m considering would be located on the tip of Cape Caprice, which juts into—you guessed it—Vortex Gulf.

Map: CA Hawthorne

(click to enlarge) It’s amazing how colors and names make it come alive. Map: CA Hawthorne

Now that I’m armed with the map and have given some thought to the republic, I’ve been able to dive deeper into the history already along with the society. Their love for magic and technology has led to a number of breakthroughs and innovations. That struggling population growth? It’s tied to the unusually high magic concentration.

On and on it goes.

It’s fun and it’s already enhancing the short stories I’ve written there, but I’ve barely started.


One Reply to “Revisiting World Building in Pannulus”

  1. Pingback: Revisiting World Building in Pannulus | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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