There’s been a lot going on, but I’ve found some time recently to continue working on this. In addition to refining the map itself a bit more, I’ve now named several of the country’s administrative divisions (of which there are now 22 total). Usually, names (whether for a person, place, anything) are really hard for me, but I’ve managed to come up with quite a few region names in a relatively short amount of time.
The names are a mix of English, French, and what I am terming the languages of native Valoceans, i.e. those that lived there before European contact. I don’t yet know a whole lot about them, culturally, other than some ideas I’ve had that – rather than being people that migrated to the island from mainland North America – the earliest human inhabitants of Valocea actually came there from the Pacific Islands region, with origins tracing back to the Austronesian-speaking peoples. Thus, I have looked to Chinese, Indonesian, and Hawaiian languages as a root basis for creating native Valocean names and words. The names themselves that you can see on the map are, of course, made-up; I never intended to simply copy words from any of those languages directly, as I don’t want the languages of any of Valocea’s native groups to BE Chinese or Indonesian or Hawaiian, but the inspiration for the structure and sounds of the words does come from those languages. Also note that when I refer to “native language” or “a native word”, I am using the word “native” collectively; there are of course several distinct cultures comprising “native Valoceans”, but I haven’t yet come up with details on what those groups were called, where each one lived, etc.
So, here is the map:
The region names are all in the box in the upper left; I chose that method to show the names because actually putting them on the regions in the drawing ended up looking terrible. Compared to the last map I posted, I’ve tweaked the southwest end of the main island and added a lot more small/medium islands, which I think gives the whole thing more character. The blue lines and blobs are major lakes and rivers, and the thick dark gray squiggles are major mountain ranges (this is not meant to be representative of ALL lakes, rivers, and mountain ranges in the entire country, of course; just a general overview of many of the largest/most prominent ones). The black dots are some probable locations for major cities, though as of yet, only Lennvale (the black dot with a white center) has a 100% definitive location (and a name).
At this point, I’m ready to move on to creating a “real” Valocea map in CC3, using this style-pack add-on for the program, which as you can see from the screenshots, was created with the express purpose of providing tools to make modern-styled nation maps. Here is a better look at the style: a full map made by Brian Stoll and originally posted at the Cartographer’s Guild (scroll down a bit and click on the thumbnail to see the full size map). This map was made with Adobe software, not CC3, but the ProFantasy folks liked it so much that they wanted to make an Annual add-on based on it, and Stoll agreed, resulting in this gorgeous mapping style being available for others to use in CC3. Creating maps in this style is a lot of work, but then, so is creating ANY good-looking map with any software, and in the end I think it will be worth it if I can get the hang of it!
And now for the region names:
-Region 1 – Kusan: named for an influential leader among one of the native peoples.
-Region 3 – Sen-Halu: native phrase referring to a “meeting of many rivers”, named for the region’s river/delta system
-Region 6 – Laluri: named for a native word roughly meaning “last refuge”, a reference to an area into which several displaced native groups fled during the tumultuous periods in the 1800s (details on just what was so tumultuous, exactly, will have to be posted another time; I’m still trying to refine my ideas for the country’s history into something presentable).
-Region 7 – Northlight: named for the high occurrence of visible aurora borealis that can be viewed from this region.
-Region 8 – Ciel: French word meaning “sky”. Named for the tallest mountain in the region (and in the country); the full name of the mountain is “Ciel Perceur de Montagne” (“Sky Piercer Mountain”), though in casual conversation, the mountain’s name sometimes combines both French and English: “Ciel Perceur Mountain”. People began referring to the greater area by the mountain’s name, and then later, even the full name was dropped, leaving the region’s name as “Ciel” when the regions were formally established during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
-Regions 9 and 13 – North Peregrine and South Peregrine: these were both named for the “Peregrine Mountain Range” that runs along their shared border; the range was in turn named for the large number of Peregrine Falcons that live among them.
-Region 11 – Pascale: named for one of Valocea’s residents during the 1800s; her contributions to the country’s founding, and the surrounding events, will have to be its own post at some point. “Pascale” is also the name of the large east-west channel that bisects the main island and ends at the Pascale region (and it., too, is named for the same person).
-Regions 14 and 19 – East Portal and West Portal: named for their location and status as “gateways” to the country as a whole, the former being connected via bridge to Vancouver Island, Canada, and the latter containing a major port and city at the western end of the channel.
-Region 16 – Cassius: named for a British colony that existed in the area during the 1700 and 1800s, which played a significant role in the country’s history.
-Region 17 – Ahkien: another native word, this one referring to the concept of a “gathering of knowledge”; this region contains a notably large preservation of displaced (and, in several cases, basically extinct) native cultures and languages.
-Region 20 – Shulanu Island: “Shulanu” is a native word, but… I have no idea what it means. Yet. It’s entirely possible it could be named for a person, though. This is the most recent name I came up with, so I don’t yet know the particulars.
More to come soon, hopefully!