Mapping Out Erfworld - A Lookamancer's Quest

Part 1 of 2 in Mapping Out Erfworld

Phase Two 

                Ok, ok… so this isn’t actually a story of some random lookamancer trying to map out Erfworld. Instead I have been working tirelessly to bring together the most comprehensive CANON based Erfworld map, and a much more complete (and truly immense) FANON world map. In the CANON map series I have taken notes of the few map coordinates given and the battle maps (or just imagery) shown throughout the main story (Books 1 through 3). The reasoning behind my placements of “Canon” maps will be described as they come up. Once the CANON maps are done I will show work on the FANON maps. The FANON map series will be much more complete and will hold a LOT of supposition, based not only from the CANON story, but also from the backer stories and many of the Fanon stories floating around out there. What few details that are garnered from these stories will be put into the maps and reasons explained to the best of my abilities. Please note, these maps are made by a Lookamancer NOT in a tri-link, so things may not match up perfectly with actual Erf, but are rather the closest and safest suppositions he can make.


My first task was to find the most comprehensive map to date. Didn’t take too long to find one… This map is a re-viewing of the one found here . This map would give me a good basis for my own, though it had a few distinct problems. The first issue being that as shown it’s orientation didn’t match up to our X,Y coordinate system. Fortunately fixing that would be a simple matter of rotation. However this showed a MAJOR problem… namely that this map was HORRIBLY skewed. The known locations of Spacerock (-1156, 398) [SR], Charlescomm (-1181, 550) [CC], and FAQ (-1252, 461) were incapable of fitting within their respective sides’ marked territories, regardless of rotation.

Another big problem is this map is territory only, and does not show any of the terrain types aside from water… and it doesn’t even show all the bodies of water (I’ll get more into that later), and no, I’m not talking about the rivers not being shown. So, with a skewed map of territory only I set to the painstaking work of making a hex map where the known sites above would fit into a fair representation of the territory shapes and sizes shown. Measurements and comparative skewing and dilation would help greatly in this, thankfully I dabble in Mathamancy so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

 My first point of order was getting it so that each capitol marked on a blank hex map would fit correctly onto this map. With skewing and rotation I ended up with the above… A beautiful fit! Now I just had to increase the size of my hex map, take out those annoying letters, and clean up the boundaries. Once all that is done I can finally get to work noting the probable locations of other major sites, and maybe even add in terrain information for some areas! I decided to take the liberty and recolor some of the territories to better match their ruler’s livery.

Above is the hex territory map showing ONLY the area between the three known capitols. Don’t worry, I will present the whole map to you all later, but first let’s try and determine some city site based on this map. From here on the following will be assumed true: 1.) all capitol sites will have a hex control of 1+1 move/ level at minimum. 2.) all city sites will be assumed to have a hex control  of 1 move per 2 levels (rounded up). 3.) If another side’s border is near a city or capitol, its hex control may be reduced (by up to half). 4.) No city may be closer than 7 hexes  to another city (evidenced from the map seen here). Now with all that set I can get to work. So I have already determined that confirmed capitol sites will be represented as an orangeish blob. The assumed locations of other sites will therefore be represented by greenish blobs, with the larger blob representing a capitol site and the smaller blob representing a city site.

 On this hex map you will notice that in the area of GK’s territory that bulges out a bit I put our first greenish mark. This is my best guess as to the location of the Unaroyal [UR] capitol site. This information comes from the fact that shortly after UR was defeated GK paused expansion to go straight for SR (so would likely be at/near GK’s territorial border), it is also known that UR shared a border with Jetstone [JS] near the JS cities of Bridgestone and Firestone so this location is logical. As a level 4 capitol it would have a hex control of 5, and this point fits all the above requirements. If true, this would make UR’s capitol city site have a hex coordinate of: Unaroyal (-1168, 466). ... in fact Maybe I should talk to Spenser … he’s from that side and as a fellow Eyemancer he might be willing to confirm this information. It is interesting to note here that while Ansom said at one point that Unaroyal was over 200 hexes from GK, this is right around 70 from GK's FARTHEST border edge (and only 88 from FAQ... GK is noted as being East of FAQ), in fact not even Spacerock reaches a 200 hex distance (135 hexes from GK's farthest border) and it is quite simply the farthest thing from where GK could possibly be...  Was Ansom overstating the distance, if so why? if not... something is definitely weird here... perhaps Ansom had meant to say "more than 200 move..."? Anyways, also of note is an additional assumed city in the slightly separated Hyatt territory. This city is assumed due to the size of the area (allowing for a 3 hex central location, my assumed maximum) allowing for a non-capitol city to be present. This city COULD be Powerstone (a once UR city, which possession is currently unknown) *if* it had been captured by Hyatt prior to TBFGK. More than likely though it is simply an unnamed (as of yet) Hyatt outpost city. This assumed city’s cords are: (-1154, 490). The gap in territory between this city and the rest of Hyatt implies that UR had that city surrounded, other previously UR cities are likely to be to the north and to the east of this unknown city, which UR likely passed troops between, thus creating this gap.

Also notable here are the capitols of Hyatt and FoxMud. This is extremely close for two capitol sites, as such I wanted to place them as far apart from one another as possible, this gives them a hex distance of 33 hexes from one another with the coordinates represented being: Hyatt (-1135, 518) and FoxMud (-1161, 531). Of special note: FoxMud’s coordinates place it precisely 30 hexes from CC’s capitol, which is the closest on record and will therefore be assumed to be the minimum hex distance between capitol sites. All other cities shown are unnamed cities, and are placed centrally to their respective borders. If these sites are true it implies that FoxMud has 1 capitol +3 cities + a possible 2 more cities. Hyatt would have 1 capitol +2 cities + a possible 3-4 more cities. The Jetstone city shown is placed so far from the border because a.) That is the central point of those borders, and b.) hex influence into uncontrolled territory *may* be greater.

Other city sites being assumed are these Haggar and Jetstone cities shown above almost making a yin-yang like symbol, both are probably cities which are often fought over, and thus likely to be level 1s. The city of Aqua Velva (with a possible 1-3 hex deviation), the coast bordering city shown below. This city is declared as being 'west' of "the only pass in high mountains"  (part of the Faq territory show)and 'down a river' , the assumed coordinates: Aqua Velva (-1258, 436). The Jitteratti city shown is another instance of being based off of hex influence. The final assumed city site is another GK city, this one in the SW corner of their territory, and like many others is assumed from hex influence. (note: each island is assumed to have 1 city site, but due to their size the city site could be anywhere on the shown islands)


Now we put them all together and we get the hex map below with assumed cities based on Canon information. Next I will be adding in terrain from known hex maps shown in canon, so stay tuned!


Phase Two


(Note: user was awarded 25 Shmuckers for this post. -Rob)

Part 1 of 2 in Mapping Out Erfworld


  • kilantolshi

    If anybody wants to view the full size images, they can check them out in my deviant art page. Just do a search on  for Kilantolshi and check through my scrapbook!

  • Free Radical

    "Was Ansom overstating the distance, if so why? if not... something is definitely weird here... perhaps Ansom had meant to say "more than 200 move..."?"

    Possibly Ansom simply wasn't talking "distance as the dwagon flies", but distance by the shortest land route around mountains, rivers, lakes and any other obstacles to ground forces.

  • kilantolshi

    Another possibility at this juncture, true... guess we'll learn more in the next chapter where I add known terrains to the map


  • falcore51

    50 Smuckers Tipped because I really love maps.

  • falcore51

    kilantolshi just to be fair I gave you 2x as many smuckers as @rob.  :-)

  • Crisis21

    100 shmuckers, because this had to take some serious time to pull off.

  • Isben

    I'm super excited to see this take shape! I love watching the process.

  • MGII

    Shouldn't Gobwin Knob itself as a capital site have a bigger green surrounding? It's shown as a simple city there. This said, take some smuckers. 

  • RumpusImperator

    Wow, this is a pretty incredible amount of work.  My only question is, "Does Rob actually have a detailed map of Erf?  Or does he have a general sketch, and the geography of Erf more of a, 'Starfuries move at the speed of plot' kind of thing?"

  • kilantolshi

    actually at this point Gobwin Knob's capitol site of Gobwin Knob (the capitol) is not shown. the capitol site seen in green in the GK area is actually the captured Unaroyal site. GK itself is likely going to be on the west side, possibly northern portion. The city you are probably noticing is the one in the far SouthWest corner... it is declared "The final assumed city site is another GK city, this one in the SW corner of their territory, and like many others is assumed from hex influence." it is possible this city once belonged to the milquetoast clan (if they were actually a side) otherwise it was most likely a HobbitTM city.

  • Mirage GSM

    Magnificent work. Also take a tip from me.

  • kilantolshi

    very good question RumpusImperatorI would be very interested in seeing how my next 'chapter' matches up to Rob's potential detailed map of Erf.

  • NoteToUrist

    -1218,467 is a hex somewhat near GK the city, it's within a dwagons flight, round trip, at most 30 hexes?

  • Valtiel (Tipped by 1 person!)

    Um. I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you've made rather a large mistake. I don't think the map is skewed. I think the coordinate system is skewed.

    You see, on a hex grid, having the X and Y axes at 90 degrees to each other is just ugly. A better approach is to put them at 60 degrees to each other, so they lie along the line of the hexes, as illustrated here and here.

    So to map from Spacerock to Charlescomm, you don't track 25 units south and then turn ninety degrees and track 152 units east. You go 25 hexes in one direction, then turn sixty degrees and go 152 hexes in that direction. This means that while you've got those three capital sites in the right locations, I'm pretty sure everything after that is wrong.

    I am no great shakes at doing anything much with images, so I'm not sure if I can help you fix it. But I am pretty decent at mathematics so I will try and work the numbers so I can better show/explain what I'm talking about.

  • ArtyD

    ... interesting... and lots of work involved in doing this... Thankfully I keep piles of schmukers for things like this.  have a 4 digit.

  • kilantolshi

    actually Valtiel I understand perfectly well what you are talking about. However, as you'll notice I haven't yet placed a compass of any sort on the map. In a standard Hex system (like the one shown) 'North" is either up to the left or up to the right, either one is one hex north. Two hexes straight north would put you directly above the starting hex, while just saying "go north" in general can be any of those three hexes in the second row above the starting hex. 'West' on the other hand would have three possibilities, up/left, left, or down/left, and going multiple hexes "west" has even more possible outcomes than going "north" did. Because of this fact, Jillian would be able to "go west" and reach Aqua Velva, even though Aqua Velva is clearly to the SOUTH of FAQ.
    This is part of the reason I didn't show an assumption for the capitol city of Gobwin Knob, there are too many potential locations for it given that the primary information known on it's location is that it is 'east' of FAQ and approx 2-3 turns by dwagon over presumably mountainous terrain. This is also is precisely why I don't ascribe to the hex coordinate system you have linked to, as N/S vs E/W are 90* angles and can't be properly placed using that hex coordinate system, however in the hex coordinate system shown here (the class information on this page) the cardinal directions still work, thus this is the system that I have chosen to use for these maps..
    As far as the rotation of the hexes themselves... there are arguments for both sides. I simply used what was automatically given from MS Paint using the 'draw hex' and worked from there. You use what you have.
    None of this is to say that the hex coordinate method you refer to is incorrect, it is simply a different methodology, and would require more rotation (or more specifically a 60* rotation) to get everything to fit right. Some of the coordinates given for the other city sites may change in the differing system, but their actual hex distances would be effectively the same.

  • Xheralt (Tipped by 1 person!)

    90° changes of movement direction are possible on a hex map IF one's move value is an even number.  smile  If not flying, one would have to choose a specific hex (left/right) on each odd-numbered pulse to determine terrain factors, weather, random encounters, etc. but that choice would/could change each odd-numbered pulse.  While transiting a hex spine, a flying unit would probably be vulnerable to opportunity attacks from both adjoining hexes; if forced to land, would have to choose.  At end of move one will have to choose a facing that is not 90° to one's starting position (due to limitation of "must face hex side"; some games do permit facing hex corners, in which case only odd-numbered move can pivot 90°), but one's actual displacement on the map will be as intended. 

    Other than noting that all of this was congealed out of nebulous writerly invention, getting it to hang together even this well is something of a miracle.  Imma total n00b, longtime reader, firsttime poster, registered just to comment here, yadda yadda yadda.  No Schmuckers to donate, otherwise I would.

  • Pete

     Nice job! Have some more shmuckers.

    I seem to recall the coordinates being worked out in the forums, with a skewed coordinate system so the map is not skewed. Which makes sense - why would Jack have made skewed map?

    This does mean that the coordinate axes does not line up with the cardinal directions, but that's OK - the best Canon evidence indicates that this is how Erfworld works.

  • Pete

     See also the comments on this blog post:

    In particular, this image by Frankie:

  • kilantolshi

    Pete I don't see any evidence there... Just arguments for why a specific hex coordinate system that could work, and people defending it...

    That system uses (as you put it) a skewed coordinate system, while mine skews the map... from a straightened image of the map which you kindly provided in your third post. Unfortunately that image by Frankie has a problem... namely FAQ. Evidence in Canon suggests that the FAQ capitol is in the West of FAQ, not near the center. What evidence? This memory of a conversation between Jack and Wanda. Declares they are in FAQ capitol, that they are West of a pass and Jillians units come in from the East at the end. Add in that we know that "Pass through High mountains" is a.) the only pass, b.)is next to Transylvito territory and c.) east of Aqua Velva (since they first went west before going down to there), then the implication is clear that FAQ is on the Western side of FAQ territory. if the "skewed coordinate system" which Frankie's map is referenced to is accurate as shown, then the point for FAQ seems to be too far east (and likely a tad too far North), thus invalidating that coordinate system.

    Even assuming the map is straight, who says that the "spatial understanding and memory of the entire side" wasn't skewed to begin with to be able to show the area on a square map? Memories and understanding can have holes in them... holes others can fill in, or worse... they can fill in the holes with 'what feels right' to make an image look better. kinda like casting a bit of Foolamancy on yourself. (Yes, I know this "spatial understanding"is from thousands of people, so is likely a more accurate depicition then not... but then let me ask you this... what about the "spatial understanding" of units that don't agree with one another? Borders of kingdoms tend to be subjective unless there's an actual treaty stating the borders... which there's no evidence to [yet] in canon. So why wouldn't the map show 'disputed areas' at the borders? especially with sides being known to be at war?)

    point is... this can go on as long as a debate in the Magic Kingdom. As Sizemore said, "when we debate...we do it by comparing the merits of one system of terms and ideas to another one. And somebody is always defending the system they most admire. Maybe even because it‘s the system they invented." In this case it's us just people defending the "system" they prefer/have chosen. Until the Titans (aka Rob) declare which system is right and canonizes it, we mere mortals can only assume and test... and debate over who is actually right :p


  • Pete

    The map is straightened on the obvious assumption that the map table is rectangular. It's the best Canon map we have, and if there is a simple coordinate system that doesn't skew it, why not use it?

    Frankie's map does not look that precise. I suspect it was a rough proof of concept. 

  • kilantolshi

    Now, just so you know I'm not talking out my BOOP-hole... I went and made a quickie hex showing the locations of FAQ, Spacerock and Charclescomm (as according to the method Valtiel linked to here)... then added that to the straightened map version, trying REAL hard to make them even remotely match... I'll leave it to you to determine how much of a match there is...

    First the hex map of just the capitols...

    Now to overlay it on the territory map (Have to shrink it down quite a bit)...




  • Pete

     It works much better with a coordinate system like this:

    Which places Faq, Charlescomm, and SpaceRock like this:

    For a good fit, the map ( has to be slightly narrowed relative to its height (the width to height ratio on transformation from the comic image was partially guesswork)  then rotated about 5 or 6 degrees anticlockwise ie the table edges do not quite line up with the cardinal directions.)

  • kilantolshi

    Ah! Now THAT is also a decent fit. I am so **happy** to have someone who knows how to debate =^.^=. Gotta Tip you for that... You actually made me do some double checking on PHASE 2, which showed me that it would be really hard... like a lone bat scout soloing a full stack of led Dwagons hard... fit into that hex system. Also, you are bringing in a third coordinate system. While this one I don't have much complaint about as far as the territory map goes, there are a few things

    1.) All of my paint programs make hexes with the point being up and down not left and right. Thus I am using a system that works with the hexes I am given.

    2.) You openly admit that for your version to fit the map has to be narrowed and slightly rotatated... whereas mine ONLY needed a skewing. You add in the fact that for this third coordinate system to work I'd have to also manually rotate the hexes 60*... which takes more work? a narrowing, and a rotation of both map and hexes... or just a skew to the map?

    3.) There is a surprisingly large hex map of terrain I found in-comic. Large enough to cover nearly all of GK's primary area (using my grid system). From a preliminary viewing (I am still working on filling out that map at a size we can see.... been two days now) if I were to use your third coordinate system...
       3a.) Bohica would end up NE of Spacerock
       3b.) FAQ's territory wouldn't be all within mountainous terrain, where it should be fully surrounded...
       3c.) possible issue with the terrain overlapping the ocean
       3d.) GK itself might be pushed outside of GK territory
    each of these problems occur (except maybe c) primarily because the X-axis hex coordinates are narrowed when compared to my coordinate system. This argument will become more clear when I complete PHASE 2, and I will in fact be checking BOTH my coordinate system and yours (including the known coords from TBFGK, w/ possible rotations of the maps themselves [will get into that more in detail in PHASE 2]) to see which one matches up to canon best. If that ends up being your coordinate version I will return here and add in an edit post showing the territories (and assumed city coordinates) according to that version. I will be more than happy to admit if I am wrong. Though, as Jack would say, "current signs point to 'no'."