I came across this old map when I was cleaning out my office a few weeks ago. It's not the original, but a taped-together photo-copy. Where the original ended up, I have no idea.
I sketched this one in 1996 or '97, in pencil on a sheet of A3 graph paper. It was definitely a while before The Longest Journey came out; the map references 'the Pig People' rather than 'the Mole People' (or the Banda). It was my first draft of what Arcadia looked like, and it's remarkably close to the final version. That map, incidentally, will be part of Dreamfall Chapters; a glorious, colourful, high-resolution reproduction of an entirely imaginative world.
I love maps. I love how they can make the unseen (and the unreal) stark, glorious reality. Maps have power, they contain worlds, and everything in them. Maps don't dilute landscapes: they expand upon them. Far from removing mystery, maps are the very source of mystery.
To wit: Here be dragons.
And yet... Maps have become a crutch for an endless torrent of three, six, nine, twelve-volumed fantasy epics; an easy way, together with glossaries, family trees, and 'cast' lists, to avoid lucid storytelling. Why bother describing the geography of your world, teaching the player to recognise signs and landmarks, when you can just reference the map on pages 6-7.
Maps are magical, but sometimes, oftentimes, maps can end up pulling you out of the text. When you have to flip back to the beginning to locate 'Druinwood', instead of instinctively, intuitively, understanding where the characters are, what they are seeing, through the words on the page -- you've lost something crucial. You've lost being there.
Still, though: maps are lovely, aren't they? This is one of Arcadia, and the one that comes with Dreamfall Chapters will be infinitely more lovely.