I mentioned in the last post that I’m going to be in Spain for a few days and I wanted to get this done before I left. Well, after a few days of doing literally nothing but drawing, this is as far as I got. There will be second floors for a few buildings and, of course, I’m going to color it, but that’ll have to wait until I get back. Still, I thought you might like to see what it looks like so far.
Okay, I’ve been awake since… a really long time ago. I’m going to sleep.

Brazenthrone – The Anvil Quarter – Ground Level

 

The Anvil Quarter is Brazenthrone‘s center of industry. Here, dwarves can be found making things from steel, stone, gold, glass, ceramics and more.

One of the quarter’s more notable landmarks is the massive, communal Freehammer Forge, built to ensure that no dwarven smith is unable to practice his or her craft on account of being unable to afford a smithy of their own. Waterwheels power the Freehammer’s giant bellows, as well as two hammermills, a grinding mill and a rolling mill. The jewelers, smiths and engineers all have their guildhalls in the Anvil Quarter and the Royal Mint can be found here as well.

So, on Monday, I’m taking my first vacation since I started this. I’ll be going to Spain to attend a friend’s wedding on Monday and I’ll be gone for six days. That’s going to be pretty weird for me, since I’ve hardly even taken a day off in the last year and not drawing for six days seems like a totally alien concept right now. Luckily, my friends are getting married near the Alhambra and there is no version of reality in which I don’t take the chance to see that. It might end up becoming a map, who knows? I mean, not soon, but someday.

Next up is the harbor of Carthage, last month’s Cartographic Congress winner. I’m going to try to get it to you before I leave, but it’ll probably be pretty big, so I don’t want to make any promises.

And finally, this month’s Cartographic Congress has chosen Senator Williams’ proposal of a cathedral fortress. As it happens, I went to see a cathedral fortress several months ago and I was tossing around the idea of making a map inspired by it. Well, now it’s happening. If you’ve never heard of it, behold the Rock of Cashel.

There’s an expanded annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.

Brazenthrone – The Anvil Quarter – Work-in-Progress

 

Here’s the Anvil Quarter, ready for the scanner. This actually took quite a bit of research to draw. I read about metalworking in the middle ages, glassmaking, foundries, ceramics and enamels, stonecutting, coin minting, hammermills… all kinds of stuff. I wanted it to look right and I think it does. Hopefully you’ll agree when it’s done.

All right, I’m gonna go put some color on this thing.

Anchorage Isle

In honor of my wife’s birthday and the 1-year anniversary of the site, I’ve decided to give away everything for this map. All the patron content is free for everyone:

  • DM notes
  • VTT versions (includes Roll20 and FantasyGrounds sizes)
  • Print versions (in PDF)
  • You can download the 1-inch grid print version and a complete zip with everything in it from the patreon (they’re big files and patreon’s servers are much faster than mine).

Be sure to check out the DM notes if nothing else. There’s lore about the distillery, which makes the world’s most godawful hooch, the mysterious guy who lives in the manor house, and the island’s only tree. There’s also an idea for an adventure that’s inspired by a Clint Eastwood movie. Anyway, I hope it helps!

In the past, I normally haven’t done two really big maps in a row, but I’m starting to realize that’s coward talk. Next up is the most dwarven area of the dwarven city of Brazenthrone: the Anvil Quarter. Prepare your beard.

EDIT: I think this is my 72nd map. 72 in a year seems like a decent start.

Merchants’ Trade Port Island – Work in Progress

First of all: yes, that is seriously my phone. Now you know. I’m the last person on earth with a phone that folds in half. I’ll give you a minute to finish laughing.

All good? Okay, so these are the pencils for most of the merchants’ trade port island. There are a number of smaller outlying islands, plus upper and lower floors for a few buildings, but my camera is dying and I had to fight with it just to get this picture, so the rest will have to wait.

The island has around 50 buildings, including three taverns, a brothel, a lighthouse, a distillery and a number of traders’ warehouses. I was reading about Port Royal, a town in Jamaica that used to be a pirate hangout. In its heyday, it was flooded with money and prostitutes and had around one bar for every ten residents. This will be that kind of place.

Brazenthrone – The Grand Temple

Brazenthrone‘s Grand Temple is a religious complex dedicated to all the gods of the dwarven pantheon. I use Forgotten Realms deities for Brazenthrone, so the big golden gentleman in the middle would be Moradin the All-Father, surrounded by the other 13 gods of the Morndinsamman. The four larger statues are Berronar Truesilver, goddess of hearth and home (and wife of Moradin); Clangeddin Silverbeard, god of battle; Sharindlar, goddess of love and healing; and Dumathoin, god of mining and gems.

I said I’d be doing one of the larger maps chosen in the Great Vote next and I’ve decided on the small, but densely-populated merchants’ trade port island. In the vote, it was in the large category, but I’d say it’ll end up being what I’d normally class as a “huge” map (actually, I’d say it’ll be pretty massive). Also, as I said before, I’m looking to tackle Brazenthrone’s Anvil Quarter and Noble Quarter soon and one of those will probably come after that.

Here’s a version of this map without all the numbers and words on it. There’s DM notes, higher-res versions with even less words on them and VTT versions available to patrons, should you be interested.

The Assassins’ Monastery

If you like this map, but you’d prefer to hide the secret rooms from your players, here’s a version without them. That’s also the version for people who’d prefer this monastery to be occupied by honest, wholesome monks who actually spend their days thinking about god, growing herbs and killing as few people as possible. Also: boring. Just kidding, do your thing.

In case you missed the last post, this place was inspired by Rudkhan Castle in Iran, which was actually controlled by the historical assassins at one point. I think this place could be used for plenty of other things, though. Maybe they’re cultists. Or vampires. Or werewolves, or bandits, or… bandits who are also werewolves. You get the idea. Anyone who wants to hide in plain sight.

I said I was going to do a residential part of Brazenthrone next, but I changed my mind. I’m doing the Grand Temple instead. After that, I’m doing one of the bigger maps chosen in the Great Vote. Then, I’m not sure, but I can tell you this: I want to make a push to get Brazenthrone’s Anvil Quarter and Noble Quarter finished. That gets the core of the city done, along with entrances from the surface and the underdark, and puts the whole thing in a much more usable state. I think I can get those both finished within the next two months or so. All right, I’m going to get to work on that temple.

As always, there is patron stuff for patrons.

The Assassins’ Monastery – Work in Progress

So, this is the next map, the Assassins’ Monastery. Originally, it was meant to be a keep, but Anders, who proposed it to the Cartographic Congress, suggested giving it some form of cover, so it ostensibly became a monastery.

Also, this map has some roots in reality: the design was inspired by Rudkhan Castle, which was once controlled by the historical assassins (the Nizari Ismailis).

Anyway, I should have this up in a couple days. And in case you’re curious, that’s not a tiny table– the map is around four feet long. Okay, back to work!

Brazenthrone – The Common Quarter – Third Level

Here’s the non-annotated version.

This is the final floor of Brazenthrone’s common quarter, capping off the local shopping center arcade market and the presumably-expensive apartments to the north. Speaking of which, I don’t add a compass to my maps, but if you ever want to know which direction a map is facing, there are always two possible answers. Choose the one that satisfies you the most:

  1. Whichever way is most convenient for you to use it in your setting.
  2. The top of the map is north.

Another thing I want to mention, which also applies to all my maps (aside from region maps): the scale is always 5 feet. I don’t always include a scale, but it’s the same for all of them. I’ve had people tell me they use certain maps at a 10′ scale (particularly Brazenthrone and Finbarr’s Marsh) because they like a little more room, which I can understand, especially if you have a big party and you need to fit 8 or 10 players into one place for a fight. But, since 5′ is pretty much the “standard” and because so many people have a strong preference for it, I won’t be drawing maps at any other scale.

Alright, next up is the Assassins’ Keep, chosen by last month’s Cartographic Congress. Then I’m thinking I’ll knock out one of the residential districts of Brazenthrone, which will give me time to take on one of the bigger maps chosen in the Great Vote.

There’s DM notes for this map, VTT versions and all the usual stuff available to patrons. The annotated version is the same.