As it stands, I’m waffling between two geographic areas that each have their own advantages and disadvantages. I can’t make up my mind if I want to develop an area that would be more akin to northwestern Canada or Scandinavia in climate and geography, thus being more of a traditional pseudo-European setting, or if I want to indulge in a drier climate someplace to the south, which would a mixed southwestern U.S. region crossed with the Middle East. Such a setting always put me in the mind of Howard’s Conan tales and spaghetti westerns, which always prove to be rich veins to mine for inspiration.
I’ve gone as far as sketching out a rough draft of the northern, colder region to get a vague idea of what might lie outside of the dungeon. I’m picturing vast pine forests, rugged mountain peaks, mosquito-infested bogs during high summer, and ports choked with ice in the winter. The primary livelihood in such an area would be mining and fur-trapping, with trade limited to the warmer seasons and exchanges with the indigenous barbarian tribes. This region would be located directly to the west of the map I’ve posted here in the past.
The southern region would be a richer area, both in trade and history. A drier climate always hints to me of quasi-Egyptian fallen civilizations and a climate prone to the preservation of ancient texts and codices written by authors of questionable sanity. A place where lost cities and ancient ruins await to be revealed by the shifting of the desert sands.
Both areas have their own attractions and difficulties, but are similar in that they are on the fringes of the settled lands and invite more exploration. Such locations cry out for order to be carved out in the wilderness.
Quite frankly, I’m stumped at the moment. More pondering is in order.
Just to give you an idea as to what I’m looking at, the above is a scan of one of my oldest rough sketches of the main continent of R’Nis. The light blue section would be the colder, northern region I’m considering, while the light green area would be the more arid area. And just for the sake of completion, the red area on the map is where I’ve placed Gloomrisk and its outlying areas.