The Lake of Garahil, called after the ancient heros Garahil who killed the dragon that used to settle in the area, is a huge lake covered by a rich region. From the highest tower of the golden castle of the Imperial City, Emperor Vincesus has a magnificient view over his town, its harbour and the lake. Many minor and rival lords have settled and built their strongholds in the area, and often fight for the control of natural resources, such as the southern gold and silver mines. Taking advantage of this big and rich lake, scouts also report that dangerous pirates have established their camp next to the Lake.
"The lake of Garahil" by Tarsiz was a submission for Tanks's Totally Terrain Contest in 2010, where it won an honorable and well deserved second place. Losing to Julius999 in a map design contest is basically just as good as winning it.
The map will be a joy to behold for map design enthusiasts, and it has a lot to offer visually. The landscape is for the most part very well executed, though it is not excessively creative, and it successfully describes a temperate region, with some good looking forests, hills, mines and beaches. There are smaller and larger human settlements or fortresses scattered all over the land around Garahil Lake, and you will enjoy discovering each of them. They mostly make use of the asian building set, except for the biggest one (Imperial City), and the pirate fortress, which both makes use of the middle-eastern one. I found Imperial City to be the best designed overall, with a lot of attention given to details such as terrain and some map copying that I found inspiring (the university in particular).
There are also tasked units everywhere which make everything look more realistic. What I found a little bit annoying though was the very large number of eagles that the author has chosen to put on the map, I was going to turn off my speakers because of the constant sound that they were making. As far as map design goes, I found the shallow part covered with flowers to be a little bit under the average of the map, and maybe a tad more terrain mixing wouldn't hurt, even if I did enjoy the overall simple look of it.The snowy northern part seems a little bit out of place judging by the contents of the rest of the map, but it is understandable that the designer wanted to showcase his skills for the contest.
This is a good download for anybody who wants to improve his map design skills and find templates for their scenarios (crediting the original author of course), but also for anyone who enjoys a good looking map.