Right after War Witch was accepted for publication, I began wondering if we could include a map in the book. After all, it’s practically a time honored tradition that fantasy novels have a map. Not having one felt a bit like bad luck.
Turns out, having a map was completely okay. Good thing, too. I feared upsetting the Gods of Fantasy and getting a Balrog shoved up my… never mind. Let’s just agree that having a map is good.
Now, I sketched out a rough map years ago, and I am not going to lie, I have little to no artistic ability. Except for writing, at which I am perfectly adequate. The problem then became that my rough sketch was not something that would work in a novel, at least not one written by an adult, which I am told, I am.
Personally, I think everyone is lying to me.
Anyway, eventually I happened across a program called AutoRealm, which let me take my rough sketch and turn it into a somewhat respectable map image. If you haven’t heard of AutoRealm, it’s a free program, that I will link right here. In case you’re into D&D and need a map maker on the cheap.
What I ended up with, was this…
This is not the whole of the Middle World, by the way. That’s just the northeast continent, where the entirety of the first book in the War Witch series, Rise, takes place. We’ll see more of the world in the second book.
It’s still a bit rough, but honestly, I’ve gotten to be okay with that. I know I’ll never finish the world War Witch is set in. Even if I lived to be 100 years old, there would be things I felt still needed done. I’m okay with that, because a world should never be easy to explain, or explore.
So, the world, like the map, is still a bit rough. Maybe someday, after I’m gone, someone will find the Middle World, be inspired by it, and build on what I have left unfinished.
When I think of that way, it doesn’t so much feel rough, as it feels as if it has just gotten started. As if maybe, I’ve managed to craft something that will outlive me.
I am surprisingly happy about that.