Deep Worldbuild Project Part 2: Landscape and How It Affects Culture

Deep Worldbuild Project:

Part 1: Map Outlines

Part 3: Wildlife

Part 4: Technology and Magic

Part 5: Religion

Part 6: History

Part 7: Culture

For a newer and more practical post on this topic, click here.

So, on Tuesday (I apologize for this being a few days late. I had to wait for my mom to send me the pictures since they were taken on her camera. :P) we worked on the outlines of the three (or three of? Who knows. More might pop up.) continents on the planet I’m creating for this series.

I’ve decided to call the planet Themar, since I can’t exactly call it “the planet I’m creating for this series” in every post. I mean, I could, but it would get really tedious and annoying, so we don’t want to do that. I’ve come up with names for each of the countries I created, as well. The main kingdom we’re focusing on is Kaloris, the one with the lagoon is Adrelia, and the last one is Roenor. I think Kaloris is going to be the most powerful, and Roenor will be the center of trade.

But on to the matter at hand. I’ve gotten better map pictures now, and I’ll share them with you here so you can see them blank before we continue. (I had to graft halves together, so they still look weird. :P)


Roenor Graft

Adrelia Graft

There we go. Nice neat(er) copies that you can actually see. So wonderful. All right.

Now, I’ve made a change of plans for this post. On Tuesday I said it would be about landscape, but as I began drafting this post I realized how hard it is to keep the culture separate from the landscape (and also how boring it is to just talk about the landscape), so instead we’re talking about how the landscape affects the culture that lives around it.

We will, however, start with the images of the landscape. This was really tedious with such big maps, but it’s possibly the most necessary part of this process. What’s the point of having a blank map, right?

So here we have the maps with their brand new terrain.

Kaloris Graft

Roenor Terrain Graft

Adrelia Terrain Graft

Voila. I was way overly happy with the rivers. My old maps had weird, wide, wonky-looking rivers. Example:


That thing that looks like a noodle arm with a fist? That’s a river with a lake at the end of it. So having actual professional-looking rivers is a big deal for me.


The Northeast (Kor-Baen)

We’ll start with the northeastern region of Kaloris.

Kor-Baen Region

It’s going to be called Kor-Baen, and the big old mountain ridge that cuts it off from the rest of Kaloris is called the Baenor. Beyond the Baenor mountains there’s quite a bit of grass before we get to a snowy part (indicated by a squiggly line and a few poorly-drawn glaciers).

I can already tell that Kor-Baen is going to be really interesting. It’s feared, rarely visited by any of the inhabitants of the other Kaloris regions, and extremely dangerous. And it’s also spawning a story idea in my head, as was fairly well expected. It is inhabited by dwarves, as well as several types of dangerous animals. I’m thinking to put some kind of panther-like cat up there.

Since it’s so cold up there, the dwarves live mostly on meat and much less on vegetables and grains and so forth, although the inhabitants of the southern piece of Kor-Baen probably provide some of that and send it up to their fellow Kor-Baenese.

When I added terrain, that included some rocky shorelines to indicate that those sections are up on rocky cliffs. Kor-Baen is obviously one of those places. This makes it all the more dangerous, since if you fall off of one of those cliffs… Well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Fortunately, the dwarves know their way around.

Because of the cold, rocky terrain, the dwarves have to be tough and hardy. They mine in that little mountain range on the eastern side and probably send some of their ores by way of the rangers who travel between Kor-Baen and the rest of Kaloris. They probably trade with Roenor, as well, though I haven’t decided for sure yet.

The Northwest (Shae Nir)

Shae-Nir Region

The chief feature of this region is the coast. It’s mostly sand across the more northern side, while across the western side it’s more elevated and rocky. Both of these are important to the elves who live there, since they’re mainly fishermen. The sandy shores are where they do most of their fishing, while there’s a dock at the base of the cliffs for both fishing and trade boats.

The Western Island (Egath Baen)

Egath Baen Region

This region is heavy jungle crisscrossed by several rivers. I had to make up my own symbol for jungle, because I couldn’t find anything online, so jaggedy-looking forest (basically) is what now indicates jungle on my maps. If you’d like to use that as well that’s totally fine. I’d be happy to have made something helpful. :)

Egath Baen is treated a lot like Kor-Baen (and named similarly because the dwarves were the first to inhabit Kaloris) in that it is considered dangerous (accurately so), feared, and avoided like the plague. I have yet to decide what dangerous wildlife lives there, but most of it will probably be reptilian.

The Mainland (Calen)

Calen Region

This region is mostly flatland, obviously, with a large mountain ridge in the middle, a couple lakes, and one main river. It’s not real exciting. It’s surprisingly uninhabited for its size, which makes me suspect that this is a young country. The only cities are around prominent terrain – the mountains, the lakes, the rivers, and the coast – and they’re thus widely spread out. I feel bad for whatever characters have to traverse this place.

City Names

Names are an important part of worldbuilding. They can tell a lot about the culture of the place.

Some of the names in Kor-Baen include Ulolineth, Dakineth, Avuineth, Istrineth, and Iltineth. See any patterns? Yep. They all end with “ineth,” which is dwarvish for “city.”

Shae Nir (which I’m considering renaming something like Nirieth to sound more Elven) has a similar pattern. Ianlar-Illien, Roduk-Illien, Linwe-Illien. Illien is Elven for “dwelling.”

Calen also has a specific ending to its city names. Aital, Collotal, Tiltal, Cron Hatal. The “tal” suffix means “city.”

You obviously don’t have to go into such detail with your own maps, but it can be fun to do if you want to.


Roenor is home mostly to humans, but also to a few hundred dwarves and elves.

The Shattered Lands

Shattered Lands

This region is equally as interesting to me as Kor-Baen, and for similar reasons. It, too, is rarely visited by the Roenorians, though it’s visited more often than Kor-Baen is by the Kalorisians (ooh, that sounds like Calrissian). The Shattered Lands are completely the opposite of Kor-Baen in climate, though, as they’re desert. Think the sun-baked dry sand kind. There are quite a few tiny islands off of its coast that were once part of it but broke off. Or shattered.

Lost Fang

Lost Fang Island

This island is very barren (it’s icy just like Kor-Baen, which might be just south of it), but it’s rather interesting. It was found first by the dwarves of Kor-Baen, but they only settled one city there, and it has been the only one there ever since. The city’s name, Tetóth, literally means alone.


Telnir Region

Telnir is the majority of Roenor. It’s where the trade happens, where goods are made, etc. Despite being a great trade partner and producing quite a few different resources, it has very few cities. They are larger than most, but they’re few and far between and – like in Kaloris – only placed at key terrain spots.


Adrelia is full of lush green grass and inhabited by a mix of Elves and the natives, a dark-skinned, pointy-eared race called the Morressir.


Almis Region

Almis is the southwestern region of Adrelia, and the most aggressive. Most of the country is peaceful, but Almis has a bad habit of starting issues with its neighbor across the strait, Nishmeena, and the natives there. Almis doesn’t particularly like sharing the strait and its fish with Nishmeena. One wouldn’t think Elves to be so petty.

Most of Almis is lush grassland, though they do have sandy shores on two and a half sides, as well as a patch of jungle. The land is amazingly fertile and perfect for growing crops and whatnot.


Nishmeena Region

Though Nishmeena never instigates the petty wars with Almis and its Elven inhabitants, they are more than willing to finish them, and the two regions have been feuding for years.

Nishmeena’s landscape is similar to that of its rival, although it has lower elevation and sandy shores on all sides. The Morressir here are handy fishermen as well as skilled craftsmen and farmers, and some think that the wars are really the Elves’ way of saying they’re envious that the Morressir are more skilled than they.


Bisolmeena Region

Bisolmeena is like the annoyed older sister who always has to split up her younger siblings. The inhabitants there are more mixed, though leaning in favor of the natives, and it helps somewhat to stop the Almis-Nishmeena feuds.

They have the same lush, fertile land as their neighbors, and theirs is watered by a river in addition to the ocean.


Ulen is the forgotten island off the northwest of Adrelia. It’s all sandy beach, with a copse of palm trees on it, and it’s completely devoid of citizens. Adrelians sometimes go there on vacation, but it’s not much different than the rest of the country, so it usually just lays dormant.

Country Relations

I already mentioned how Kaloris is the main power of the world and Roenor is the main trade partner, but what are relations like beyond that? Well, Adrelia pretty much keeps to itself. It’s self-sustaining and doesn’t really like interacting with outsiders.

Roenor is allies with both of the other countries and sends resources to both of them, as well. On occasion they’ll send goods to Kor-Baen separately, but usually they just receive ores from them that they then distribute to the other countries as well.

Kaloris pretty much only interacts with Roenor, although it has had some passing communications with Adrelia in the past. For the most part they don’t produce much, but they do have the largest military of the three, as well as perhaps the firmest government.


I feel like this was a really boring post. :P Sorry if it was. It was also really long, so here’s a link* to the first few chapters of my WIP as a reward for reading through it. (I’ll post a link to the next one or two in the next post, as well so you’re not left hanging. ;))

*This link is over 2 years old now, so be prepared for reeeeeally cringey writing. XD

In the next post (which will be either tomorrow or the next day) I’ll be covering the wildlife of the world.

Feel free to comment with any questions, or suggestions for ways to make these posts better and less boring. :)






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11 thoughts on “Deep Worldbuild Project Part 2: Landscape and How It Affects Culture

  1. I didn’t find it boring at all I learned a lot from it I’m working on my own story world and I’m just learning about doing world building I never considered that the way the land is could or would have an effect on the people. Thanks for the l esson.

  2. Late to the party, I just found this post, but I can’t agree loudly enough. Societies are influenced, but not wholly determined, by the environment they develop in. Understanding this help build better worlds and better stories. Thankyou for writing this.

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