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The World of Dark Advent

Discussion in 'Fantasy Art' started by Grandeur, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    So I'm making my first splash, and it is here in the art forum, to showcase the maps I have created for my future novels, a series I have entitled 'The Dark Advent Cycle', or just 'Dark Advent'. Despite the rather bleak title, the world is immensely deep and richly populated with histories and cultures and fantastical wonders. What I have tagged below are the world map (largely unused by the core plot), the national map whose borders define the region where the primary story ensues, and lastly is a symbol I call the Astral Lexicon, a motif of sorts that encapsulates the language of all manifested cycles and the ultimate pattern of reality (metatron's cube anyone?).

    I understand that all three of these images carry very little weight considering virtually no one in this forum is familiar with the plot, characters, history, or mythos that make them interesting. But I am interested to hear ANY criticisms on them, especially the final image.

    I am placing emphasis on the Astral Lexicon because it is the pattern at the heart of my entire project, and I am quite curious to learn what other people see in the structure, be it comparisons to other artwork, allusions to similar systems/patterns, and inferences that come the symbol as itself.

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    Don't worry. I plan to open other threads go into the descriptions, plot, and world-building elements as I get more familiar with this site.
     
  2. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I adore the top map. The font is very fitting too.
     
  3. The Construct

    The Construct Minstrel

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    These are all very good. The maps are very well done and although I can't tell exactly which biome is being represented at each point on the map it does appear to be climatically sound to me. However, zooming in on the regional map some of the rivers strike me as a bit odd. It's not very likely for a river to split in two, except in certain special circumstances such as river deltas. And flowing from a lake to a sea or vice versa seems unusual behaviour for a river, seeing as they only move downhill. Although I'm hardly an expert on such matters, merely having picked up certain tidbits from critiques of other maps I've read, it may be something you'd want to look in to.

    As for the Astral Lexicon, well, there's certain immediately apparent symbols. The ying-yang-like symbol in the centre brings to mind notions of duality, balance, opposition, order/chaos, light/dark, passive/aggresive, etc. The six parts around it bring to mind 6 elements, though I'm not sure which ones they are. The colour red is usually associated with fire, though the rectangle within seems to contradict that, suggesting something more akin to earth or rock (a hard, rigid structure). My subsequent guesses, presuming again that they ARE elements, going clockwise: Rock, fire, air, wood, water, aether. This is mainly based on the colours, as the other symbols don't appear particularly indicative of one element. Except for the last one, which I guessed as aether because of the star, which are usually linked with the aether.

    The outer twelve symbols on the other hand. Various possible interpretations jump to mind. If the six are elements, the outer twelve could be more individualised types of those elements, the ones at the centre of each of the six being a pure form and the ones between them being combinations of the elements on either side. They could also be representations of the twelve months of the year, if your world has a twelve month year like ours, and/or they could be constellations of a zodiac-like system.

    Going back inside the Lexicon, the 3 circles at the very centre could mayhap be symbolic of the world, like a geocentric model of celestial spheres. Or possibly it represents the singular and central nature of an all-powerful monotheistic entity, if such a thing exists (or is believed in) in your world. Why there's three of them is a bit more difficult. It could be that the outer one is the sky, with the second one the world's surface and the centre point is...something, not sure. It may also be an eye, perhaps of that same monotheistic entity.

    Of course, this is all purely conjecture, based solely on complete ignorance of your world. But it's a nice, interesting, multifaceted image and the above, even if it's utterly inaccurate, are possible interpretations of the symbolism included.
     
  4. Lumani

    Lumani Minstrel

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    Very well done! :) I really like the maps, they can be tricky things sometimes. I am still trying to work on two of mine!
     
  5. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Excellent insights and commentary, The Construct!
    I would love to hear more about that rivers thing you mentioned. If I can do anything to make this world more plausible or scientifically accurate, I am all ears.

    As for the Lexicon, you got it about half-right, at least according to my interpretation (yes, it can be interpreted in multiple ways; it is fractal in nature). Below you will find what I assign to each part.

    GRAND CELESTIUM TRACKS
    OUTER TRACK The Celestium
    The Months of the Year, the Signs of the End Cycle, the Life Cycle, the Progress of Evolution, the Calendar of an Aeon, the Celestial Sphere of the Sky
    This track does represent my world's zodiac, but the history of their canon traces to a time when ideals were not embodied in heavenly gods, but in the spectrum of perspectives. The spectrum is divided into twelve concepts, the Inception, the Advance, the Nurture, the Awakening, the Toil, the Rise, the Shift, the Dissolution, the Beacon, the Squall, the Dirge, and finally the Ender.

    Azmon, the Birthing Seed Spirit/Potential Energy
    Adym, the Male Twin Fission/Atomic Energy
    Erus, the Female Twin Fusion/Chemical Energy
    Nume, the Dawn Butterfly Light/Radiant Energy
    Midur, the Scarred Ox Body/Homeostatic Energy/ATP*
    Firone, the Violet Phoenix Heat/Thermal Energy
    Shindara, the Spinning Eels Motion/Kinetic Energy
    Kotta, the Grey Tortoise Binding/Magnetic Energy
    Myahin, the Hermit Sage Mind/Psionic Energy
    Vargir, the Storm Wolf Electricity/Electrical Energy
    Laela, the Virgin Songstress Vibration/Sound Energy
    Terhos, the World Serpent Spacetime/Gravitational Energy
    Vaedyn, the Black Shindarus Dark Matter/Dark Energy (The unseen forces)
    Lumae, the White Shindarus Light Matter/Light Energy (The perceivable forces)
    Alamir Valena All Energy (Mechanical Energy)



    MIDDLE TRACK The Terrestrium
    The Seasons of the Year, the Days of the Week, the Six Ascendoms, the Six Soulgates, the Six Elements
    Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sound, Light (and Thought, which is the 7th at the center), according to the seven chakras in buddhism

    INNER TRACK The Shindarium
    The Passage of a Day, the Wax and Wane of the Moon, the Conflux of Light and Darkness, the Paradigm of Creation and Destruction, the Balance of the Universe, Eternal Duality

    NEXUS The Transcendium
    The Seventh Season, the Thirteenth Month, the Alignment of Soul, Body, & Mind, the Union of the Twelve as a whole creating a Thirteenth, the Seventh Ascendom, the Singularity of Existence, the Moment
     
  6. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Also, here are some examples of things I found in correlation to the Astral Lexicon.

    The first is an adaptation of the Twelve Nidanas of Hinduism converted into a causal chain representing the Celestium.
    The Inception- With Aging and Dying as a condition, Ignorance arises
    The Advance- With Ignorance as a condition, Mental Formations arise
    The Nurture- With Mental Formations as a condition, Consciousness arises
    The Awakening- With Consciousness as a condition, Mind (Name) and Matter (Form) arise
    The Toil- With Mind (Name) and Matter (Form) as a condition, Sense Gates arise
    The Rise- With Sense Gates as a condition, Contact arises
    The Shift- With Contact as a condition, Feeling arises
    The Dissolution- With Feeling as a condition, Craving arises
    The Beacon- With Craving as a condition, Clinging arises
    The Squall- With Clinging as a condition, Becoming arises
    The Dirge- With Becoming as a condition, Birth arises
    The Ender- With Birth as a condition, Aging and Dying arise

    This next one is the Wheel of Life, the Bavracakra
    The meanings of the main parts of the diagram are:
    1. The images in the hub of the wheel represent the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.
    2. The second layer represents karma.
    3. The third layer represents the six realms of samsara.
    4. The fourth layer represents the twelve links of dependent origination.
    5. The fierce figure holding the wheel represents impermanence.
    6. The moon above the wheel represents liberation from samsara or cyclic existence.
    7. The Buddha pointing to the moon indicates that liberation is possible.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    This all looks really cool! I especially like that you're going with a system that isn't strictly Western based. I'm going with an idea of reincarnation and karma in one of my stories, so I may need to explore these kind of things myself when the time comes to flesh out my world more. I'm more of a world-builder on the go, so I don't put in as much detail as I used to before I start writing.

    Your maps are also very detailed and interesting. I'm curious, does your work take place in Aevon primarily? I just wondered since you seem to hone in on that in the second map.
     
  8. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Yes, Aevon is the focus of the Dark Advent. It is also called the Corridor, and the Heart of the World, because literally all trade across the equator and between the east and west must pass through this societal hub.
     
  9. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    May I ask what kind of climate Aevon has? If it's on the Equator, than unless the world's climate is a lot cooler than ours, I would expect something tropical. Which I would love since I'm a big fan of jungle settings.
     
  10. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Aevon is kinda similar to the United States, as it is roughly the same size (Aevon is smaller though). The Phentis Islands would be the equivalent of the Florida Keys, the bulk of the Corridor would have warm, balmy climates like California, Georgia, and Kansas, Havelle would be equivalent to New York. When I said that all trade across the equator must pass through Aevon, I mean that if something wants to go from the southern hemisphere to the north or vice versa, then it must pass through the Corridor. The equator is actually the bottom edge of the map of the Corridor.
     
  11. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Also, for those that care, here is a colorized version of Aevon, giving definition to the borders of the nations of the Aevon Concordat. Hope this helps, The Construct.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  12. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    I just realized that biome meant terrain, so to clarify Construct's curiosity, I think what you meant was you weren't sure what color denotes what kind of terrain, as the map does lack a Legend or Key. But I kinda made it a little self-evident, though some colors can be misleading. So here we go:
    Green=flora/fauna, grass, foliage (Lt. green denotes tropics, Dk. Green denotes forests, especially if clustered)
    Brown=rock, dirt, blight, heath, wastes
    Gray/Dark Brown Strips= mountains
    Yellow=sand, desert
    Teal=marshlands
    Gray=tundra, cold wastes
    White=ice/snow
    Blue=duh!
     
  13. The Construct

    The Construct Minstrel

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    I assumed as much with the Biomes, I just wanted to be sure, 'cause there's different types of forest (Boreal, Temperate, Tropical, Rain, etc.) that could have been indicated by the greens but you seem to know your stuff when it comes to the climates so there's no problems there.

    You wanted further feedback on the rivers, so, I'll start with the splitting thing. Rivers very rarely split in two mid-course as they move purely downhill and either change course around an obstruction (generally an area of particularly hard rock) or just erodes straight on through. Now, if the area is rocky enough there is certainly precedent for the river splitting in two, but it's quite uncommon. An example I found on your map was on the Maphima Highplain, the river flowing from Midurundt splits part way through, one going to the Great Opheon Lake, the other going on to split again and flow into Lake Altera and Aven Bay. Not to mention that it's a plain, which is generally flatland and so especially unlikely to cause splitting. Deltas on the other hand are islands formed by the river depositing sediment as it slows at its mouth, creating what appears to be a split in the river. This is likely what's going on on the shore of the Sea of Frejia, so no problem there.

    On the other matter of the river flowing from a lake to the sea, this is actually a more common occurrence than I had previously thought. A river flows into a lake, raising the water level above a spillway, which creates another river that continues on until it makes it to the ocean. The Nile does it numerous times. So you can go ahead and ignore me on that one! :p (Though the vice-versa -a river flowing from an ocean- is really, very unlikely.)

    Then there's the Summerfeldt and the Baronies of Toman. Leaving aside the fact that these rivers split numerous times as I've already addressed that above, they also utterly disappear. I mean: Where did they go? Of course, it is possible they want underground through sink holes, and if that's what you want to/are going with, just remember that that would mean there would be expansive cave networks underneath that area. Also, though they may settle into an underground lake or flow into the sea directly from the cave network, many rivers resurface, some of them go in and out of caves numerous times. It seems strange that all the rivers in Summerfeldt and all but two in Toman, just disappear.

    Aaaaaand that's all I got. Hope that helped and wasn't just me ranting about rivers! And again, you may want to look this stuff up, if nothing else than to give you a better understanding of the possibilities than what I can give you. If you ever need any more help in any way, feel free to ask! :)

    PS. I really like your Wheel of Life image and its eastern influences!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  14. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Thank you very much, Construct. There are a few extra places that I noticed strangeness in my rivers, just by you bringing it up, I went and did some river/water source research. To clarify the examples you gave, the Maphima Highplain IS a plain, but it is also a Highlands area that slopes into low lands. However, the river's length versus the size of Midurundt is questionable. As for the Summerfeldt, some rivers just run out of steam and peter out into wetlands or dendrite-like pools, which are inconsequential at the scale I'm using.

    There was one river region I thought looked weird, and that is the area around Heracinde, on the southwest border of the Vales of Igleria, and wondered if you could comment on that.

    By the way, funfact: as far as the eastern influences and the Wheel of Life image, these aren't really influences, that is to say they did not contribute to the creation of my world's mythos and the Astral Lexicon; the archetypes/motifs/patterns that matched the Astral Lexicon were ones I found after I created it. It's one of the reasons I encourage people on this thread to also post examples of similar symbols/systems of understanding; the Lexicon seems to mirror many, if not all, classic mythologies.
     
  15. The Construct

    The Construct Minstrel

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    Ah, should've thought of that. That works too.
    Although it does look weird I had a look at that region while examining your map before and figured that it does seem to work logically. As I see it the river flows from the Feyl Rift and is joined by several others coming from the mountains on either side of the Vales. It joins with the one flowing from near Bravia, and then one from the Mistlands and they all flow into the Sea of Faron as a single river. Personally, I don't see a problem there. Maybe if you changed it so it doesn't seem like such a right angle where the Feyl Rift river meets the Mistlands one.
     
  16. Grandeur

    Grandeur Minstrel

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    Thanks for the comments, Construct! Not a lot of people who pay that close of attention to cartography.

    I was wondering why it looked kind of odd there, and I think you're right with the right-angled river, so maybe I'll tweak the Feyl River with that observation in mind. By the way, if you wish read any of the actual story appertaining to this world, I have a Prologue and First Chapter up separately in the Showcase.
     
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