Maps & Sketches
When I first created the land of Ithania, I attempted to make the geography more realistic by pushing around slabs of clay as if mimicking the movement of a planet’s surface. I squished these ‘plates’ together and pinched the ridge that formed where their edges met into little mountains. Then I dribbled water down the sides of these ‘ranges’ and pressed grooves into the clay where these ‘rivers’ ran. I tweaked my map here and there, because I had a rough idea where I wanted some features to be. Then, when I was satisfied with what I had, I made a plaster mould because I’d probably trapped plenty of air bubbles between the layers, and it was likely to explode if I had it fired.
At the left is a diagram of the circ, drawn mostly in order to explain it to cover artists. I don’t think the cover artists were at all impressed, as none of them painted a garment that looked anything like it. The circular item is a clasp.
The bad sketches of hands were to show the two versions of the “sign of the circle” used as a ritual guesture of respect by Circlians, the two-handed one being more formal than the one-handed version.
As with the White’s garments, I reconsidered the Dreamweaver manner of dress as well. Initially I described them wearing robes, but I wanted their garb to be practical so the robes became a vest. Later it bothered me that what I’d drawn looked too much like the novice robes from the Black Magician Trilogy. I also wanted Leiard to have a more rugged, wiry, man-of-the-land kind of look. A look that was attractive to women, but also set him apart from the fashionable, rich people Auraya would normally associate with. So I made the vest something like a hunter’s vest, but the pockets were for cures and healing tools.
A sword was never meant to be part of the Dreamweaver kit, however. I did point out to the US publishers that Dreamweavers are pacifists and would never be seen brandishing a sword like on the US edition of Last of the Wilds, but at the time fantasy book covers were still stuck in the 1970s and I couldn't persuade them to change it.