I’ve taken about a month away from this project. My daughter graduated and a week later jetted off to Russia to complete her language studies in St. Petersburg. And my weekly campaign was languishing and needed quite a bit of attention – so I’ve had little time to spare. But I am still working on Tarantis.
One of my biggest dislikes about the original Tarantis map is that the huge sea wall that surrounded the wharf area of town seemed immense and frankly unbelievable. I know, it is a fantasy world, but just the staff and continued maintenance on the largely submerged wall would realize such limited benefits that it did not make economical sense – never mind the original difficulty in constructing such a thing.
It is also very blocky and clearly on a grid, being hyper naturally straight. No question that this is a lawful town!
I decided to re-envision the the defenses. Conceptually, the entire wharf area is artificial. The harbor was dredged out and the soils were heaped creating a protective island. The protective island was then carpeted with jagged rock and stone to prevent it from eroding. Meanwhile, pilings were hammered in, stones submerged, and a series of towers were constructed around the docks. These towers are normally unmanned and contain magically powered gears that pull lengthy runs of immense iron chains taut – and these chains prevent ships and large submerged objects from entering the protected harbor. Finally, a large manned tower is located on the isle, a twin to that guarding the palace, a place where aerial mounts are housed and catapults and the like are manned to fight any seaborne threat.
I am not 100% sure that I want to do this, so I am pausing and letting this sink in.
I have also been exploring tools to colorize the town and bought Clip Studio Paint because it could import the vector files produced by my ancient version of Adobe Illustrator. Unfortunately, it is a one-way trip – CSP can import the data, but it is not good about output that Illustrator can use. Still, I may use it anyhow since I don’t care how Illustrator has to internally convert all the vectors into a mass shape before it can be used to colorize the map – at least with CSP I still have vector groups and pieces and it is a very mature, capable piece of software.