I wanted to take some time and give a little more detail about this beautiful map Jason Michael Hall created for On the Winds of Quasars. Jason and I discovered making a map is REALLY HARD. It’s 100% lore-based. Literally, it’s the physical embodiment of world-building for a novel. We ended up bouncing a lot of ideas and details off each other, back and forth.
So, being coworkers who worked in previsualization our whole careers, we did we do best. We planned.
Here’s the rough layout I sent Jason to get him started:
Things I wanted to accomplish with this map:
-Fantasy-type world map but still represent its Scifi-ness.
-Slightly isometric instead of straight down orthographic.
-See the horizon, so we can add low orbit elements.
I think Jason nailed it. He was up until 4am one night cranking this thing out, and it is BEAUTIFUL. I can’t express how happy I am with it. I even have a large one hanging on my wall.
The map is labeled in On the Winds of Quasars, but I only labeled the important locations in that novel, as to not clutter the top with too much information. Every inch of this map is dense with information and lore. So let’s go over them in detail!
Some of these details may involve some minor spoilers, but mostly I’ll be talking about my thought process and behind the scenes info you wouldn’t get in the novels.
Kamaria’s dueling moons, Tasker and Promiser. Tasker is the larger of the two moons, and I named it after my 3rd grade teacher. I wrote the original comic book (Space Explorers) in her class, and she passed away the next year. So that’s my little memorial to her. Promiser is the smaller moons, and it’s a message to my characters that I will do my best to make them real.
The Infinite Aria and the asteroid field. The Aria is picking up where John Veston’s Telemachus project left off, but it’s years away from completion. One of our main characters, Cade Castus, works on a ship called the Maulwurf, refining asteroids to help with construction on the new interstellar ship.
Odysseus City. The forest to the east is the Timber Chase. Not pictured is the Scout Campus (originally the Scout Pavilion in Sirens.)
This area to the south is only mentioned briefly in In the Orbit of Sirens, but I may do something with it in some future companion novel. This area is a jungle/swamp called “the Rib cage,” which readers of Sirens might remember is the region the Mactabilis Wasps come from. I always think of this place as one of the creepier areas of Kamaria, but haven’t fully explored it yet.
The Spirit Song mountain and the Unforgotten Garden. I won’t go into too much detail here, just to avoid spoilers, but readers get what I’m mentioning. The mountain specifically is the peak with the river exiting at its base.
That suspicious looking hole in the Azure Vault forest is the city of Apusticus. I won’t go into much details about that either to avoid spoilers.
This is an unlabeled part of the map in Quasars, but readers of Sirens might know this landmark! This is the Siren Cave, where the Scouts stumble upon the corpse of something otherworldly. The dead trees signify the lost city of Ahn’ah’rahn’eem.
North of the Siren Cave is another location only briefly mentioned. This is the Hearth. It’s a series of lava tubes residing under Kamaria’s surface. The character Hrun’dah comes from just North of this region. Eliana mentions one of the first scouting expeditions went to this area in book 1. They encountered something called a Hell’s Basilisk there, a dangerous cave creature that prompted the use of the Obstacle Course assessment for future scouts. That event was in the first draft of In the Orbit of Sirens, but actually got cut for later drafts. I keep bouncing around the idea of making one more prequel novel all about Eliana and John and the first efforts of colonization on Kamaria, but we’ll see if I actually develop that further.
Moving South of the Siren Cave and Apusticus, we have the Tangle Maze jungle. The Sharp Top mountain is prominently shown, it’s more geologically significant features. Pockets of trumpet shaped tubular trees pock this jungle. The trees stop at the edge of a cliff, that leads us to…
The Starving Sands desert. This is a place filled with crimson dunes, plateaus, and canyons. The only oasis is a singular river that empties into the Alabaster Palace, or what is now known as the Siren Pit. The water flows from the jungle on the upper cliff ledge through a tunnel dug into the cliffside. This desert is one of Kamaria’s larger features.
East of the desert is the Supernal Echo and Mountain Basin. The Echo is a lake that is usually so still it reflects the sky and stars like a mirror. It is fed into by various waterfalls that come off the surrounding mountains.
The Ember-Lit Forest is a vast mountain forest region with trees that eek blue ember light. The glowing embers mix with the steady snowfall, giving the ground a glistening white and blue glow.
Last stop on our tour is the Howling Shore. It’s named this way because of the unique red algae that grows in abundance in the waves, giving the water here a blood-like appearance, as if an animal had been cut open and howled before death. Auk’gnell litter this region, living singular lives in the forest nearby and fishing off the shore.
And there you have it! Kamaria’s corners explored. As I mentioned above, there’s still territories that have remained uncharted, and I may look into diving into these regions in companion novels. I hope you enjoyed this deep look into the beautiful map made by Jason Michael Hall.
If you’re a huge fan, you can purchase a large Map of Kamaria for yourself!
Do you have a favorite region?
What types of places on Earth do you enjoy the most?