Here’s a map with all the locations I’ve got planned for Tir Thelandira. There are 12 in all, of which 3 are already drawn. For another 6, I have a pretty good idea of what will be there. And for the last 3, I’m going to let patrons decide. I’ll take proposals for ideas for those locations and hold a vote to determine which ones get drawn.
Okay, let’s talk about the first nine locations. If you haven’t seen the lore, here you go.
Broch – This is a broch. Historically, they were built in Scotland in the Iron Age. The elves constructed this place as a defense against the Dhasrans and it’s the first large-scale stone structure they’ve ever built. This will be the next map.
Elven Town – Like the rest, this will get a more interesting name once I draw it. The town will be laid out in a motte-and-bailey design and there will be a bridge or a ferry over the nearby river.
Dhasran Colony – This is the settlement the Dhasrans built around their gold mine. The mine itself may get its own map.
Burned Colony – This is the previous mining colony the Dhasrans built, which the elves burned to the ground.
Glaver’s Camp – The encampment of the mercenaries of Glaver’s Regiment. Tidy and organized. Very professional.
Blackboots Camp – The encampment of the Blackboots mercenary company. So filthy you’d expect orcs to be living here. But nope, just really nasty humans.
The other locations are marked 1, 2 and 3. These are the ones I’m leaving up to you. I did this for the Black Loch and the ideas you submitted were so good I decided to do it again with Tir Thelandira. Here are a few guidelines on each location:
This can actually be in one of two places: the little island in the river OR the swamp to the east of Oakenhold.
This can be anywhere on the island, so if your idea is for a location on the coast, that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be where the dot is.
This can be anywhere near the marked area, so if you want it by the lake or in the forest, that’s fine. It can also be on that small island in the bay.
I’ll send out a message to all patrons asking for your ideas on the first location in a day or two. While a lot of the places on the map are settlements, I’d love to get ideas for other types of places as well. Think it over. I know there are a ton of good ideas out there and I really do want to hear them. Help me make this world.
I just have one piece of advice for any DM whose party takes up residence in this castle: that cave is not a safe place to dock a ship. It’s out of sight and it gives a group of thieves plenty of time to get it ready to sail without anyone seeing. So, if they don’t station a guard down there to watch it, have somebody steal it. Maybe one of the PCs wakes up in the middle of the night and sees their ship pulling out of the cave.
It doesn’t have to be more than a short encounter. You could give them enough time to grab their swords and leap for the mast as the ship is pulling away. I’m just saying, a completely unexpected, butt-naked pirate battle in the middle of the night sounds like some pretty good D&D to me. Worth considering, at least.
Next, I’ll be updating the Tir Thelandira map with all the locations I’ve got planned. I just want to give everybody a better idea of what the island is going to look like once it’s finished. I’ll post that tomorrow, along with a brief description of what I’m planning to do with each of the locations. After that, I’ll pick one and draw it. Okay, see you then!
Caergyd Point was inspired, in part, by Conwy Castle in Wales. “Caergyd” is my attempt at a made-up Welsh castle name. All I really know about Welsh is that there are several castles with names that start with “Caer” and that a lot of Welsh words have a Y in them. This is the culmination of those two pieces of knowledge. Hopefully it’s passable.
This map was largely designed to be an ideal castle for a party to buy or otherwise acquire. To that end, it’s got a lot of things a party would want in a castle: a smithy for repairing equipment, a laboratory/study for the wizard, a chapel for the cleric, a kennel for whatever filthy creature follows the ranger around, a secret room, a tavern, a trading post to unload loot, and several empty rooms for the party to do what they want with.
There’s one more part of this map to finish: the sea cave underneath. I decided to make it separate in order to keep the map from being too huge. It’s about half-finished already and I should have it up tomorrow.
There are only three things in the cave: a dungeon, storage space, and a parking spot for a ship. Still, for parties that do a lot of sailing, it’ll be pretty useful. Or if you want to use this place as a pirate fort. Or if you want to have the party storm the castle to kill the bad guy, but leave a way for them to escape. I guess it opens up a few options.
Anyway, I’m gonna wrap that last bit up. Let me know what you think!
I’m almost finished coloring this and it should be done by tomorrow, but here’s a look at it anyway. I meant to post this a few days ago, but I got a new computer recently and it doesn’t have a slot for my camera’s memory card, so I decided I’d buy one the next day. But that was St. Patrick’s Day and, here on the Isle of Emeralds, the stores close for that. Then I realized that the mysterious hole in the side of my tablet was a card reader, so here’s the picture.
Anyway, I’m gonna finish this up and I’ll have it for you tomorrow.
Ponte di Palladio means “Bridge of Palladio.” I hope. Apologies to the Italians out there if I screwed it up, but can I promise you that, as we speak, there are dozens of people at Google Translate working hard to improve my fluency.
This bridge was Andrea Palladio’s design for what later became the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy. They ended up going with a different, single-arch design, in part because they wanted more space for boats to pass under it. It’s genuinely tragic when practical concerns get in the way of doing something awesome, but I suppose that’s life.
Anyway, having drawn two Venetian-inspired maps in the last month, I think it’s time to take a break from Italy for a moment (although the Castel Sant’Angelo has been calling out to me, so we may be heading back before long).
Next, I’ll be drawing a keep that’s largely designed as an adventurers’ base. It’ll be the kind of place a party might buy once they get to the point where they’re dragging around an ox-cart with 100,000gp piled onto it and one of them starts wondering if this is a financially responsible course of action.
So this place will have all the things a party would want, like a laboratory for the wizard, a kennel for the ranger, and a dungeon for whoever the party has kidnapped recently (for good reasons, I’m sure). I’ll also put in a secret chamber because literally 100% of players will want one. There will also be space for various services the party might need, such as a blacksmith to do repairs and a trading post so they can turn all the jade statuettes and ruby earrings they find into cash. I’ll also include 3-4 empty rooms for the players to use how they want, since every party has their own particular needs.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Let me know what you think of the map (and my Italian).
I’ve got the deck of the bridge finished, but I’m going to draw a roof level as well, along with a sideview of the exterior, which looks like this. It shouldn’t take too long, but I wanted to give you a look at where things are at so far.
In addition to being a passage across Venice’s Grand Canal, this bridge was designed to be a market, with lots of spaces for merchants and vendors to rent. It also has stairs and I’m going to be honest– I have no idea where they lead to. Up, down? Not a clue. I spent about three hours trying to figure it out, but I finally gave up and decided they lead to the roof.
I mean, they can’t lead down into the pylons of the bridge, right? I’m not an engineer, but that seems crazy. Anyway, I think being able to access the roof makes this place much more interesting, especially since the central part isn’t covered. So the party can come by for a little shopping and enjoy a lovely rooftop ambush at the same time. Or maybe they can be the ones doing the rooftop ambush. Possibilities abound.
The Cave of the Sun is another map for Tir Thelandira. It’s an oracle and holy site where the elves gather to seek guidance from their goddess. The cave takes its name from a hole in the roof of the cavern, through which light beams down onto the pool within.
I’ll draw more of Tir Thelandira next month, but right now there’s something I have to draw. It’s Italian– Venetian, to be specific– and it’s glorious. It’s not a real place, but it could have been a real place. Unfortunately, somebody screwed up. Let me explain.
Was it because the guy who made the winning proposal was named Antonio Da Ponte and his last name is literally the Italian word for bridge? Was there a bribe involved? I don’t know. Maybe no one knows. But I do know this: I am going to make a map of Andrea Palladio’s objectively superior bridge. And I’m going to do it right now.
I want to thank Masque for telling me about Andrea Palladio’s design for the Rialto. I might never have found out about it otherwise. Just to let everyone know, I’m always open to suggestions and I’ve drawn a few of them. So don’t hold back on me. There’s no such thing as too many ideas.
So, Palazzo di Nettuno means “Palace of Neptune” (or at least Google Translate says it does), although that name is a bit more fitting for the other version of the map. Whatever, it’s fine. This one can be a reference to the planet.
Next, I’ll be drawing another map from the island of Tir Thelandira. This will be a sacred cave of the elven druids. I picture it like this: a cavern with an opening in the roof, through which light pours in. In the center lies a mossy pool surrounded by intricate knotwork engravings. This pool is used as an oracle by the druids, who gather here to seek advice from their goddess.
There may be a bit more to it, but that’s what I’ve got for now. If anyone has any ideas that might make it a bit more interesting, by all means let me know!
I think Venice is the kind of place a fantasy writer would come up with. “It’s this city in a harbor, you know? Trade port, super rich. Really beautiful. And get this: the streets? They’re made of water.” It’d be a really cool concept if it weren’t for the fact that it actually exists.
Of course, not everyone has a fantasy version of Venice in their game world, but I think this could be used as a palace with a moat as well. And I’m going to make a dry land version, which I should have up by tomorrow. Someone suggested turning the boathouse into a stables, which sounds good to me. I’ll draw in a few bushes, a happy little tree, it’ll be great.
By the way, I’m not sure if this map is supposed to be in daytime or a brightly moonlit night. I just started coloring without really thinking about it and this is what happened. Anyway, if you figure it out, let me know.
Okay, I’m gonna go draw some grass on this thing. Be back with that soon!
Since this is supposed to be a Venetian palace, it’s going to be on a canal, but I’m going to make a version that’s on land, too. The thing is, there’s a boathouse on the left side and I’m not sure what to do with that. I mean, I’ll get rid of the boats, obviously, but then it’s an Italian palace with a monster truck garage. Il Palazzo di Truckasaurus Rex. Well, I can probably just call it a carriage house.