This is my first sketch of my fantasy map called "The Wiltz Valley" and maybe I'll use this for a D&D campaign in the future. It's a real location in Luxembourg, Europe. It's a 3 hour drive from my hometown Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It's where me and my friends go when we need to escape from work. We set up some tents, make a bonfire, cool our (Belgian) beer in the river and do all kinds of stupid and funny stuff.
What's in the map?
You have the village called Wiltz where we do our groceries and get our special Belgian beers. In Wiltz there is a castle which you can reach by foot through a secret forrest road. You have to cross the river, go through the tunnel underneath the railroad tracks (which could be an awesome dungeon). After the tunnel there is a great spot for collecting wood for our bonfire. I'm imagining some creature protecting the wood/forrest here. Then there is a secret road to the castle (It's not visible in my sketch right now).
Our camp consists of a big bonfire with tents on a grassy field next to the river. A little bit further there is the toilet building where you can take a shower en get yourself refreshed. I'm thinking of turning this into an inn, because it's where we drink our beers and hangout when it's raining.
On the left there is a big hill which you can climb. Big trees cover the hill and there are leaves everywhere. It's kind of like the end scene of The fellowship of the ring where the company falls apart. Halfway the hill there is an open spot with lots of rocks. I've always imagined to find a rocky type of monster there, which could be an epic battle for a D&D campaign. At the top of the hill there is an open spot where you can get a great view of the whole valley. There is something mystic about it, but I'm not sure yet what to place there.
I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the area where the river starts. I'm think of turning it into a swamp with a hidden treasure and obviously a swamp monster protecting it.
What I've learned
I really enjoyed the course and all the examples of great maps. My usual maps look a lot like the first Tolkien map you've showed. I'm really inspired to create a real fantasy map out of this. The castle and the camp will be in the center of the map, kind of like the safe spot. It's where we hang out and have the most fun. Our worst enemy is the weather when we're out camping so I want the sky to be dark, at the start of the map it should invoke a warm and happy feeling. I'm planning on using this contrast throughout my map.
Hope you'll like it! And I'm open to feedback!