- L.L. Stephens
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Behold. This is my hand-drawn map of Essera. It's a sheet of typing paper I drew on with a pen. I drew it 20 years ago when I was writing what eventually became the last two books. I took a picture of it with my phone just now because I don't have a scanner.
I have a series of such maps. Whole Triempery. Portions. Local. The maps grew and changed along with the series. As I wrote the books, I filled in the topography and added things or altered coastlines or the courses of rivers. I changed the locations of cities. The location of Dazunor-Rannuli changed a few times but the above map has it in the right place. Tenra... that city in Rannul... I added that last year when I wrote THE KHELD KING. THE KHELD KING is the second book in the series, but I wrote it last, so Tenra was a late entry.
These maps are high detail but not the kind I could put into the books. I could hire a cartographer, I suppose, and might do so if the series sells well enough to justify the expense. I like a high quality map as well as the next fantasy nerd. But for now I have relied on a good friend who has been willing to take my maps and render printable versions. They work well enough. I just thought maybe readers would be interested in seeing the originals.
Here's another, different map, one I drew strictly for myself.
If you have read any of the books, you can recognize this as being Dazunor-Rannuli. Yes... I drew it on a legal pad. I may someday draw a better version or even have one made for the books but for now this is my tea-stained reference when I write scenes set in that city -- and across all six books there are a lot of scenes set in the city.
The final map is the basic Triempery map with some (okay, most) parts unlabeled. That's because this an old, really early version of the map. No cities but Sordan, Permephedon, Stauberg and Amroset. It was the cleanest map I had, so it was the one I sent to my friend to be turned into a digital file. Later maps will show that the Dazun River has changed course and Sebbeth is now Xebbeth. [Because Sebbeth sounds too much like Sebbord.]
So there you have them: my hand-drawn, much edited, messy maps. These and others just like them (Sordan, Amallar, Trongor) are the ones I use when writing, the ones I reach for and flip through and try to bring to life. May you find them interesting, if only as oddities.
Next time, perhaps, I will show my hand-drawn genealogies. Those are a real trip!