Sunday, 19 August 2018

Steven Erikson releases original MALAZAN maps

Over on his Facebook page, Steven Erikson has begun releasing images of his original Malazan maps, including maps created for the novels and for the original roleplaying campaign (beginning in 1982) where the world was created. That map and a cleaned-up version I created are as follows (click for larger versions):

First up is his original world map. This map was created some time before work on the novels began in earnest (so probably late 1980s/early 1990s) and does not reflect some changes made for the books. The major differences are as follows:

  • Quon Tali is much bigger on a east-west axis. This was reduced for the novels.
  • Korel and Stratem were given over to Ian Esslemont to redesign in greater detail, hence why Korel doesn't look much like the map in Stonewielder.
  • Similarly with Assail and Jacuruku, also though they at least kept their general shapes (the cities noted on Erikson's map are not present on the book maps though).
  • Genabackis, especially in the north, was significantly redesigned for the books, and may have already been redrawn by this time (as noted in the errata section on the right).
  • Jacuruku appears to be too close to the east coast of Kolanse, and probably should be more central in the White Spires Ocean.
  • Reacher's Ocean was moved to the stretch of sea between NW Assail, SW Genabackis, NE Korel and eastern Quon Tali (where "Seeker's Deep" is marked now).
  • Seeker's Deep was moved up to between Genabackis and Seven Cities.
  • The Ilbain Ocean was renamed the Dryjna Ocean.
  • The Bager Sea was renamed the Sea of Kaltepe Kadesh.
  • The Cragg Sea was moved north-east to near Falar. The Horn Ocean was introduced in its stead.
  • Drift Avalii in the books is much, much smaller.
  • Lether appears to have been stretched somewhat on an east-west axis. There isn't enough room for the Wastelands and the Glass Desert on this version of the map.
  • Spelling: Shal Morzin became the Shal-Morzinn Empire, Cabil became Cabal, Leathers became Lether and so forth.

New and probably still-canonical information from this map:

  • There is a south polar continent, with a possibly-habitable extension moving up towards Assail.
  • The location and shape of the island kingdoms of Genostel and Umryg.
  • The shape of the far south and west coasts of Seven Cities.
  • The location of Shal-Morzinn, Perish, Nemil and Cabal.

Erikson has also posted the first map he used for a roleplaying campaign involving the Bridgeburners. This campaign took place in north-west Genabackis, in and around Blackdog and Mott Wood.

More maps are to come. It is interesting to note that the world maps D'rek created for the Malazanempire forum (and modified by myself) are very close to the original:

I recently covered the Malazan world in a series of maps over on Atlas of Ice and Fire. I get the sense I'll have to revisit these maps very soon.

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