This is the map I created for The Queenschair series, over the span of about 3 years.
|Because nothing screams "epic" like homemade parchment|
The border lines were drawn in Photoshop using anchor points, which means it's a pretty painstaking and tedious process but comes out looking fairly clean. Then I took up my trusty Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet (got it for $80 about 5 years ago) and drew the little mountains. I drew the inspiration for how to shade them from Christopher Paolini's map for his Inheritance series.
Then I added the text in Photoshop, which is nice and simple; I played with lots of fonts and layer effects before I found the look I wanted, though.
Oh, and the texture of the background! That might have been the most fun part of all. I wanted it to look like parchment and initially considered buying a parchment texture off the internet, but after Googling "how to make your own parchment", I realized I could make my own. So I got a normal white piece of paper, put in on an oven baking sheet, and soaked it in some weak coffee. Then I baked that sheet of paper to a nice golden brown (well, a soft beige-brown at least), and voila - scan it in and there's my parchment texure!