Mapvember and WorldEmber Prep in Kohtalo | World Anvil

Mapvember and WorldEmber Prep

Hmmm, another year almost gone. Usually I look forward to panicking my way through Mapvember while exploring new places in my world and flexing my mediocre DungeonFog skills and my severely underdeveloped drawing muscles as seen here  
Mapvember 2021 Tracker
Generic article | Nov 3, 2023
  or in 2022 using Midjourney to iterate until I got what I wanted for the feel of a place, as i did in Mapvember 2022  
This year sadly I have no list of other prompts to go off of*, so I am instead delving into a present I got myself back around SummerCamp times. The Deck of Worlds is awesome. I mean like, outside of a few other things like WA meetups and playing A Quiet Place with some awesome people last April it is the most fun I have had worldbuilding.   Like seriously, this will hopefully be really good at getting the creative juices flowing for World Ember. I may have stayed up WAAAAY later than usual getting things set up for my plan for the month. Admittedly this is somewhat better than staying up late doing other less productive things when work is waiting on the other side of sleep.   What is this plan? Well, my world map is severely underdeveloped. Sort of... probably similar to most people there are places that i have actually written about, places that I know a whole heck of a lot about, places that are really just a name and a map symbol, other places that are really just a map symbol, and blank space. Blank space is needed, but the other stuff we can definitely work on. Between this and World Ember we will be looking to perhaps fill out the old map a bit more... and maybe update it a bit, some of the tectonics are bugging me a bit, so the landmasses may change. I also havent played with the Project DEIOS alpha (beta?) in a bit... so we will see what the future brings.
Playing A Quiet Place with some Awesome People by Drunkenpanda951
Jerry the Jello is running because he heard I had a plan...
by Model: Dungeons and Lasers /Painter: drunkenpanda951

Homework Week 2

Which is being placed surreptitiously up here because otherwise at the end of the month there would be a lot of scrolling just for me to update with later homeworks. So let us see what we have to do.... hmmmm, yes, a mini-meta. Well, this is sort of done already with the deck of worlds stuff. both in the creation of the location and with the expansion symbols on some of the cards. Yes, the plan has worked out quite nicely.   Up next we have set up a solid category structure? Silly people, Worldbuilding, much like the world, is chaos. What is that old elvish saying? "You cant wind a ball of twine with a cat in the room," or some such. Yes that sounds about right. But really, everything will at least get the worldember tag... maybe even a worldember 2023 tag? The Brain Goblins haven't liked organization since I was 12, sometimes we briefly beat them into submission on that front, but then they gain ground in other places. (speaking of, stay tuned, one WE article will likely be a recipe that will consist of pictures of what I cooked me and the other night shift crew at my job for Thanksgiving. If we feeds the goblins turkey they get sleepy)   Inspiration from other worlds I'm hoping to cheat again. I once again volunteered to judge a category. But if we want specifics, I guess I can give the readers of this someplace maybe new to check. Stormbril, Kitoypoy, Strixxline, ECCBooks, Mochi, Catoblepon, but even more than those others follow KumerWolf, and read his "What I'm Reading" posts. I cannot stress enough how much he helps people in this community find both articles and new worlds to look through.
I mean, there is just so much to explore here and I only have a measly 3 pins and just the one layer. (There are more articles about things here than that, I am just really bad about updating this) (there is even more, but it exists mostly on sticky notes or scribbled away on a page in a notebook or binder)  

Homework Week 3

I need to work on my homepage. I acknowledge this fact, as I often do during homework time. It is sort of like adding pins to my map, or going back and filling out old articles. Now to distract everyone here is an awesome sunrise I got to enjoy while driving home from work earlier this month (picture taken stationary in the parking lot, safety first people.)  
by Drunkenpanda951
  So yea, nice and scenic. Speaking of, sunrise and sunset pictures with clouds can give you soem pretty cool coastline ideas for anyone stuck on making maps. This one is not necessarily the best example, but It is an idea I have had for a while now. Really clouds in general, seriously, go to a weather map and just grab a random storm, it even comes with mountains based on where the heavier precipitation is.  
The Base Map of Kohtalo
The world name is now spelled correctly
  So anyway the Plan. Every day in November I will be making a "tree" from the Deck of Worlds. That may even be the right word for it... I think.   Do any of these peak your interest? Will you tackle some yourself? Are there any in particular that you are looking forward to me exploring?

Day 1

I mean look at that, I even know sort of which city I want this to be, or at least where. The Shattered Port, The Prison of the Fifth Wind. How cool is that? There is so much right there to just go crazy with.

Day 2

This one is a bit harder to figure out where on the world map I want it to go. Part of me looks at The Wall Under the Ice linked to the legend of a frost creature and goes "put it in a desert near the equator". part of me wants to be a little more reasonable and put it more towards one of the poles, probably either waaay north of Osect, or a little west of Pearlcrown Warf

Day 3

This one is also a little exciting. How does one make a whispering tower with unscalable walls as a mistake? What was it supposed to be shouting? jokes aside, the Deathless Island(or islands we will see) with a city of true mirages. Jellyfish invading a mangrove that is already filled with graves. Drought, a new island nearby (geology, magic, a giant sea creature... who knows?) missing artifacts.

Day 4

I think I am most excited about the glade for this one. A magical trap that turns things to stone, it is an animal graveyard. Let's be honest, that quest is a noble who lost his favorite pet.... probably, definitely not him trying to get rid of meddling heroes. The cathedral could be fun too. And also bread.

Day 5

The labyrinth of bribes is gonna be a lot of fun. Dont know if the song will happen, but a place that you can advance the hard way or pay to have an easier time. But is the cost strictly monetary? Knowing me probably not, but no need to tell the adventurers that. The town shall be properly mysterious, because mirrors. I think we can all admit that mirror magic is one of those things that, as a world builder, is really fun to reflect on.

Day 6

Hmm, not quite sure about this one. I like the magical idea of a canyon with no wind. The spiral could be fun, and I can definitely write about the Vale. but this grouping just doesn't draw me in as much as some of the others. Except for the Nest of Gems. That I can work with just based on other things that exist in the world, like Jaccast and the Tuulikello Forest.

Day 7

Admittedly I went a little out of order to get this tree. I just found it really entertaining to have a Fen of Good tidings that is also known for having a bunch of poisonous plants. And a cairn of smoke that only some people can see, oh boy are there fun things to explore there. A vineyard with a massive bat colony, why do their grapes taste so good, what is the secret, are you sure you want to know? All of this is overlooked by a table-top mountain similar to Mount Roraima.

Day 8

This one could also be a lot of fun. The archives just have monsters, and were originally founded by a former criminal. Now a trial of endurance happens there. Is it that the books and scrolls attack, perhaps you must best them to gain their knowledge. The longer you stay the more powerful the attacking literature becomes, but the reward for besting it is also greater. And an entire plaza of jade, an emerald beacon in a place known as The Pale City must be a striking site indeed. The spire beyond sunset is gonna take some quick math because I'm imagining it got its name because the light of the setting sun lingers on it for some time after twilight has eclipsed the surroundings.

Day 9

  This is part of why the Deck of Worlds is so much fun. A swamp where no rain falls, I mean where does the water come from? I imagine it is still fairly humid, and admittedly the "shaped by unusual weather" is a bit on the nose with the name. It is so humid, in fact, that that is where the spectacular sun halos come from, which probably influenced the local city's art style. The fact that the region, not the city, is known for renowned smiths, maybe there is something in the water away from the city of rivers that affect the quenching process. Of course, maybe it is just that local peat has properties that allow it to burn hotter and/or longer. Then you have the Pond of Scorpions, covered in fog, which does seem a tad dangerous. And the whole thing is at least close to a coast of some sort, as the cove would indicate, although it remains to be seen whether it is a big lake, a sea, or an actual ocean.

Day 10

I know I have been saying this a lot. But I am really excited for this one. The mysterious shipwreck in the mountains will be cool, but its the walking volcano that has me really excited. I'm picturing a building sized primordial magma elemental that just sort of moves from mountain to mountain in the night, playing a sort of hide and seek, but his distinctive silouhette gives him away. Perhaps it is a game he plays with a demi-god or some other immortal creature.

Day 11

Oof, have fallen a bit behind here, but life gets busy sometimes. Hopefully with an actual real weekend I can play some catch-up, although with visiting friends it may be between doign other stuff. Which is also fine. so we will just grab what i put in the discord about this one. I think the moss barrens will be fun. I'm thinking the moss is something along the lines of a Spiderman Venom symbiote type species crossed with something like sandtrout from Dune, which is why mages built an aqueduct over the region to get water from the mountains (mayhaps yesterdays mountains) to someplace else, like the Pale city. or maybe it just runs to the fort. I don't know, i'll have to see where on the world map this ends up

Day 12

Oh hey, a port up north (or south) somewhere. Yup, have a few of those on the map. Admittedly this doesn't really work for the most fun one right off the Usan Uuls. But we can still have some fun with it. The palace and the meadow offer some interesting things. There are definitely ideas marinating there, but the real gem is the Drunkards lighthouse. Serial Murders, the name, it induces visions, worldbuilding gold as people would say.

Day 13

A bit mundane idea wise as far as this one goes. In my head this is just gravitating towards martial arts school mystical training area. Not that that idea is boring, I mean, cultivation is literally an entire genera of novels and games. Maybe we mix it up because even though the initial thought was elves I could always pivot to some other race. Orcs aren't really mentioned in to many places, Goblins are also underdeveloped aside from Boblin the goblin and Igotak Aboom. Although with the Boblin information putting a bit of a stop on the front end of the timeline they may not work the best in retrospect.

Day 14

The village and the Stadium I think are the things to focus on here. Not that I am against an extinct species. A silent village with MUSHROOMS. There are people I will have to ping in the discord when I get to this one. I know that mushrooms excite some. Plus, this gives me another necropolis to play with. Its an underdeveloped area considering how pivotal the Necromancer Wars are historically.

Day 15

You know, on the one hand, part of me is disappointed that I was not able to keep this up all month. Part of me also realizes that even keeping something up for 15 days is actually kind of big. And we end with and awesome Taiga with a henge hermit and a point jutting out into the ocean. And a trading town. What lies in the chasms, do you think? I am getting a bit of Icewind Dale/Ten Towns vibe, for those that know about the Forgotten Realms.

Week 4 Homework

Last minute prep. This is honestly someplace where I am absolutely amazing. Not so much on the writing exercises and joining groups. And tidying up the writing space. Yea, no, i thrive in the organized chaos. The last time I did tidying-up I lost my favorite reference for over a month. (National Geographics Guide to National Parks for those who are curious.)   Also, my brain will actively rebel if I try to implement a rigid schedule. This is a thing that I have known since I was in my early teens. So writing will happen as it happens. Just like reading (i fell behind this year, the pile has grown), and finishing that Rimworld playthrough (no mods, Maybe I will actually finish this one), and beating Baldur's Gate 3.   But snack stocking and as already mentioned the organized chaos that is the references I use. I do great there. I am apparently an okay cook, as I have been told multiple times by my night shift co-workers. (see sidebar)   So yea, food and snacks, not a problem. Focus space for someone on night shift who lives alone, also not an issue. Actually I am about as prepped there as it is possible to be. Now we wait, for soon WE will be here.   Good luck to everyone on making your goals and have a wonderful holiday season.

* so there are actually some lists.

As always, Miska's Maps has previous lists. That has been the list that World Anvil has done in the past and they can be found here Miska's Maps I did not see a 2023 list though, which may in part be why there is no WA Mapvember this year. That is okay though, because we have an absolutely amazing community,so

WordiGirl's Unofficial Mapvember

Unofficial MapVember Challenge!
Generic article | Feb 4, 2024
  Yup, thats right. For those that may not know we like our unofficial challenges in this community. There is a rumor that if there is ever a year without an unofficial WA challenge that the website will reach singulaity, sucking in the rest of the internet and leaving us with only fond memories of a more... i was going to say civilized time, but this is the internet we are talking about.   Other rumors say that Catoblepon's spreadsheets will become self aware and self-replicating until all of the internet is trackers and prompts. Either way we are thankful that WordiGirl has prevented this because some of us still need to beat Baldur's Gate 3.   There are even rumors of a possibly badge. GASP! So go on over and see what wonderful things Wordi has asked us to write about.
This is Tim, Tim made a map once. You can find it here.
The Rum Runner
Vehicle | Oct 9, 2021
        You are still over here in the sidebar, huh.... well, I mean I guess there is sort of another list of prompts that will be getting compiled a day at a time throughout the month that you could in theory use to brainstorm ideas. You just gotta glance over to the left and maybe scroll down a little bit (assuming you are reading this on a computer). If you do take inspiration from what the RNG gods have deigned to gift me with feel free to drop me a link to the article down in the comments.            
This is more remind me for accountability purposes, but I really, REALLY need to finish mapping out the leylines for my world. Then possibly add them as a map layer. And to remind myself that a confluence is the point where all leylines of a single type meet, while a conjunction is where 2 (or more) leylines of differeing types cross eachother. Thank you Strixxline for reminding me that these are a thing
  So, the brine. A lot of people are really intimidated by cooking, especially big holiday meals. Which makes sense to me sort of. (okay, not really, I love cooking for people. I have several friends who can attest to this. I bribe them to let me visit by promising to cook. its a thing.)   But yea, the key to things like poultry is preperation. Brines are there to help your meat not dry out. a simple brine is really easy. 1 gallon water, 1 lb salt, 1 lb sugar. Dissolve together, on heat if needed, cool off. Submerge chicken or turkey for 1 hour per pound (add more water if needed to cover) and keep in fridge. Remove, pat dry, season as desired and then cook.   Honey can be substituted for sugar 1:1 by weight. Maple syrup is a bit more of a guess and check based on water content, but make sure you are getting the real stuff, and not the sadly prevalent in the US colored corn syrup with flavoring.   All this I have learned from a combination of Food Network University and YouTube university. Neither of which are real, that is just what I call them. And experimenting, then iterating on what i ahve learned. Sort of like writing.   It is also worth mentioning that this is the difference between cooking and baking... I dont mess with baking. Follow baking recipies. Dont substitute in baking. It goes bad. Really really bad.   Observe, the turkey I made for Thanksgiving.  
  It was delicious. A Maple syrup and salt brine with some peppercorns and bay leaves, as well as a zested lemon. Then dry-brined with a rosemary salt blend and finally smoked for just under 4 hours. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and other things (i just provided the turkey and potatoes, because I am only one person and sleep is important). Already looking forward to the plans for the lamb roast for Christmas


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Nov 3, 2023 11:17 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

Much success with the stuff (and thanks for featuring my unofficial challenge)! This was a nice and fun read. <3

Nov 3, 2023 14:25 by TJ Trewin

Omg this is brilliant! I might follow suit on this one :D I looove deck of worlds!

Journals of Yesteryear
You're invited to explore my new world!
Nov 7, 2023 19:08 by TJ Trewin

Update: aaaaa I'm having to much fun! Thanks for the inspiration drunkenpanda :D

TJ's Mapvember 2023 Progress
Meta | Nov 26, 2023

Mapping out some ideas for WorldEmber and taking part in Wordigirl's Unofficial Mapvember challenge!

Journals of Yesteryear
You're invited to explore my new world!
Nov 8, 2023 10:22

Thank you, I'm glad I was able to help others be productive. It really is a great way to just come up with a whole plethora of things to explore and brainstorm about.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Nov 4, 2023 15:37 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is such a fun idea. The Deck of Worlds leads to some interesting things. I just got mine and have been playing with it. Good luck! :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Nov 30, 2023 02:56

Good Luck to you as well. Enjoy both WorldEmber and the enjoyable chaos that is the Deck of Worlds.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Nov 5, 2023 14:05 by Elspeth

Love what you're doing here with the Deck of Worlds! The whispering tower that was created by mistake sends my mind racing! :) Great idea to do this.

Nov 30, 2023 02:57

Thank you. Some of these are going to be so fun to delve into. Good luck with whatever your WorldEmber goals are.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Nov 8, 2023 02:25 by E. Christopher Clark

Ooh, I love how you're using the Deck of Worlds. I have a copy of my own that I'm hoping to bust out during WE. Great minds think alike!

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Nov 30, 2023 03:02

The Deck of Worlds is so much fun! Good luck on all of your WE goals and have a wonderful holiday season.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Nov 17, 2023 21:59

That's such an awesome use of the cards. I might need to stage something similar if I need some kick in the inspiration. Best of luck!!

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
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Nov 30, 2023 02:58

Thank you, best of luck to you as well. Have a good WorldEmber.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.