This is the Rock of Cashel, the inspiration for Saint’s Rock. Before it was a cathedral, it was the castle of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland. Fun fact: Brian Boru is the reason there’s a harp on your Guinness can. He’s also the reason that there are pictures of harps all over everything in Ireland despite the fact that no one plays it or has any interest whatsoever in harps or harp music.
With the second level done, the Anvil Quarter is now finished and Brazenthrone looks a lot less like The Dwarven City of 10,000 Desk Jobs. As I mentioned in the last post, the next Brazenthrone map is the Noble Quarter, which completes the core of the city (although there’s still a lot more to do). After that, I’m going to do something I’ve been waiting to do for a while: I’m connecting all the chambers of Brazenthrone and putting everything into a single image. Of course, I’ll have to shrink it way down to keep the file size from being absurdly huge, but I think it’ll be cool to step back and get a look at the whole thing.
So, I went to Spain earlier this month. And I learned a few things:
1)”España” is not Spanish for “Hot France.” I have it on very good authority.
2)Spain doesn’t know anything about October. Seriously, it was like 35°C (95°F). I don’t think October has even been invented there yet.
3)The Torre Del Oro is definitely going to be a map. Not soon, since there’s plenty of Great Vote maps to take care of first, but one day.
4)The Alhambra is unbelievable. It’s a giant castle with several palaces, a church, homes, workshops, gardens and about a billion fountains. These guys were really into fountains. Like, there are literally fountains surrounded by other, smaller fountains. Will this ever become a map? I don’t know. This place is absolutely enormous and it would easily be the biggest thing I’ve ever done aside from Brazenthrone. For now, let’s file it under “we’ll talk.”
5)Seville is kind of unreal. I’ve been to Spain before (I live in Ireland and Ryanair will fly you there for some loose change and a stale slice of leftover pizza). But before, I was in Barcelona. Barcelona is a great city with some impressive stuff, but… how do I put this? You can go to Barcelona and not realize that Spain was once the center of a massive empire that was swimming in gold. That is not the case with Seville. Seville slaps you in the face with that fact over and over again. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Plaza de España was built for that specific purpose.
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.
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.
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.
I just wanted to drop this off to show you the finished inks. That’s 51 buildings in all (including 4 outhouses, but still). All right, no big speech or anything, I’m gonna get back to work on the colors.
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.