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Draft Map: Duchy of Amblehock


This is a draft map of the Duchy of Amblehock. It is the area for the various Fibb stories, such as “Goblin Hollow Cave”. The Duchy is also the neighbouring region of Veldon, which lies to the south of the Duchy, from the “Bounty for the Taking” series.


Duchy of Amblehock

Pen (Letraset 0.7 fine line, Pilot V5 Hi-techpoint, Sakura Micron #02) on Ikea kids roll-paper. Digital camera photo. Sepia filter. Contrast alteration. Otherwise completely hand-drawn.

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Younger Days: my first maps of Khara Thel


Here’s some pics of my earliest maps of the surface of Khara Thel. I think these maps are 25 years old this year and they show it.


first map of Ferromaine 2


first map of Ferromaine 2 detail



It’s funny how real landforms show up in maps. Makes me think they get stuck in one’s mind and come back out through a pencil. This is a place in my home-state called Lakes Entrance. Looks quite a bit like Lake Windemere and its nearby bays.

the real landforms

Lakes Entrance (VIC, Australia)

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What has been explored in play?


Jensan from Rustfoot asked what areas have been played in, within Khara Thel. So I’ve made up a map to show those places. Most gaming has occurred in the kingdom of Iron Claw & its protectorates – the various borderlands, city-state of Phrad, and all along the Nihles Reach.

The overview looks like this:



When we zoom in on Iron Claw we see a bit more detail:

Iron Claw Gaming Areas

Lots of overland journeys and sea-travels.

The cities most visited are:

Phrad in the SW of the map

Ferris, near the centre – which is also the setting of my novel “A Tale of Rum Town“.

If you want more information about these places download the Khara Thel – Worldbook System Neutral Draft. It contains details on all the towns and cities as well as information about their environs – as well as armour, weapons, magic, items, people and the rest of the world.

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Immense: a quick walk around the world


How large is Khara Thel?

Considering one contiguous landmass makes up Khara Thel, with a plethora of archipelago around it, it is IMMENSE. I’m not just telling you to brag but when I see people say their lands are huge, comparing it to Russia, I have to stick a finger up and say, “Ahem. That’s not so big.”


You see Khara Thel is more like a ball of string. It’s coiled on itself. The land winds and wends about for many thousands of leagues. Let’s go on a little journey with the archmage and scholar, Meyendir Aravalon.


Starting in Iron Claw, North East of the whole world map, we walk a 1,000 miles to Mekong Reldeng. The Boarland Scrubs were a concern – all those mounted Tharkhor on their huge war-boars. Quite the sight, was it not?

From Mekong Relden we walk to Al Hadir, don’t worry about the Ring Channel it’s small enough for us to walk over in this special journey. We are well away from the Gorgax Islands so you’re quite safe, but thank you for the reminder of their dangers. That was another 1,400miles by the way.

From Al Hadir, and its marvellous deserts, we’re going to pass some very rough country. The Blood Ochre Mountains with their ruby mines and slave-labour camps, then over to the rainforests on the other side and the Sea of Mists. It’s lonely out here. No civilization but we follow the rough mountains all the way to the land of the Pilanen – those with the connection to elemental light. Only 5,500 miles. I know you’re tired but we’ve just started this journey. Gird yourself, there’s more, and those Pilanen made boots should last quite a lot longer than your last two pairs.

Now I’m going to let you in on a secret. We travel south-west for a time, past the kingdoms of Nalien Dreenai, and along the coast of the Sea of Draxaam. Here are the hidden kingdoms. You’re very special in having the opportunity to visit these places. The Kingdoms of Eafwhaine have rarely been seen by those of the north. How far? I forgot to mention, yes. I lost count after 1,000 leagues. Oh yes, forgive me, in miles: that’s 3,000. Although I think it was a bit further.

We are a little over half-way and I can see your third pair of boots is wearing thin. I guess the Pilanen boots aren’t as sturdy as they are comfortable. The Vahltic Empire’s southern, and oldest, territories are our next stop. Only another 3,000 miles. Yes it is true. They border Morranzano, home of the Genlei of Shadow. That’s right, not darkness like the Blakh.

North West we head now, into tropical mountains and many huge river valleys. The Inland Sea. Quite a sight, and freshwater, too. This is the northern reach of the Vahltic Empire. A quaint 4,000 miles but weren’t the roads just marvellous. To the east is the free city of Imjin. A strange city-state built on many islands in a river delta. Possibly the largest hive of villainy outside of Krenshae or Port Cutthross. Yes; hard to believe.

Onwards, around the Inland Sea and North East again, through the Khob Odan. A vast dry basin with a few wide but shallow rivers feeding the mighty Mustang River as it passes through. Mostly grass struggling through shale and gravel aid its appearance as arid but that is deceiving. There is quite a lot of life here. Between the three Trade Cities and the various nomad tribes it forms a region many outsiders call the Mustang Territories. How far? Forgive my rambling, a mere 3,500miles.

Storm Bay and its peoples are over there to the north but we’re passing most of them by and heading up to Kiltayre’s coast and the land of the Rett. Just a short leg of another 3,000miles.

So how far have we travelled? I’m sure you don’t really want to know given the state of your poor feet.

Oh? You insist? Very well, it was no less than 24,400 miles.

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Hand Drawn Maps: Available for Commission

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Do you want a hand-drawn map for your project or novel? I draw quality maps in ink and can touch them up for good labelling in digital-art suites. Contact for rates and availability, or just for a chat about your ideas.




Schwedt: haven from the Wild Lands

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Big PDF: from disorganised to organised

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Taking the work of Khara Thel from a bunch of disorganised Word, Open Office, Text, JPG, PNG and PSP files is a bigger task than I anticipated. The current file has bloated out to nearly 13Mb and I have now idea if it will compress or get fatter when it is PDF’d. One thing I am thankful for is using headings and sub-headings from the outset. Thanks to the old style guides for that tip.

The organised PDF draft should be ready to download in a week. In it will be many maps and a few quaint little illustrations by the author (yes I draw and make the maps). What has become apparent is that after the draft is assembled I have a few styles of maps. The style needs to be unified and that means remaking most of those maps to match. It also means choosing a style and should I decide a new style is required; then I have to remake all the maps. Who said it was easy? Certainly not me or it would be completed and polished already.

Al Hadir general 

Al-Hadir topographical features map

Ferromaine Port Hacking and Wood Eton

Port Hacking & Environs, Ferromaine

Iron Claw Barrowlands Ferris

Barrowlands, Iron Claw

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The World as it Stands

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Khara Thel is a complex contiguous continent with many island chains and archipelagos. From a design perspective it allows migrations of cultures without ships or other methods of distance-travel: any culture can conceivably walk to almost anywhere.


My favourite parts, aesthetically;

  • Tay-Tay, and associated island chains
  • Candarian Rift
  • Arnthax River basin
  • Palinleague’s large lake
  • Mustang Territories, aka. the Khob Odan
  • The colossal Storm Bay

After many years of map developments I have found a ‘standard’ that suits me and makes very nice maps.


The Badlands of Iron Claw are situated on the western edge of the Borderlands, also called the Iron Claw Protectorates. Here I’ve done a great deal of my favourite Games Mastering and playing. Where it stands in a global perspective:



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