The Lighthouse Fortress of Torchguard

This map was chosen by the Cartographic Congress, based on the proposal by Senator Parker. Originally, I wasn’t sure how I’d combine a castle and a lighthouse, but I really like how it turned out.

Torchguard is built on a rocky outcropping in the middle of a harbor. This puts it in a good position to defend against attacks by sea, but it also makes it a thing that ships might run into at night. Thus, the lighthouse atop the keep. An array of artillery, as well as docks to host its own fleet, help Torchguard keep unwanted ships from marauding the surrounding city.

Next up is Brazenthrone’s Common Quarter. It’s one of the bigger parts of the city and it’ll take a little while to draw, but I’ll give you some work-in-progress pics along the way.

Also, something I wanted to share: the other day, I went to the dentist and I had to fill out a form, which had a space for “occupation.” Writing “Fantasy Cartographer” on that line was one of the sweetest, most delicious moments of my life. I still can’t believe I do this. My god. Thank you so much.

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

The Shattered Gates – The Last Remnant of an Ancient, Forgotten City

Normally, when I finish a map, I just open up my ideas notebook and pick another to do next. This time, as soon as I picked it up, I realized that all those ideas were up for a vote and I couldn’t draw them yet. So, I came up with this.

This is something I thought would be an interesting place to run an adventure. I didn’t have any particular sort of story in mind. Mainly I thought it’d make a unique lair for goblins, bandits or whoever else is getting their ass kicked this week. If you’re using it as an uninhabited ruin, here’s a version without the bridges.

After this is the Pits of Justice, then I think I’ll get started on Old Madeleine’s Inn and Fighting Pit. That’s an idea that’s been in the book for a long time and I’m really glad you guys picked it.

There are DM notes for this map available to patrons.

The High King’s Palace – Complete

Well, there it is. A little later than I’d hoped, but with my computer degenerating into a mass of dysfunctional electronics that necessitated several full hard drive wipes, I suppose that’s to be expected. You know what’s funny? I wiped my SSD several times over and you know what’s still there? Two things: Europa Universalis 4 and Stellaris. Apparently Paradox Interactive makes some highly resilient software.

Anyway, I need to get caught up, so I’m going to do the bridge map that I promised next, then the Cartographic Congress map, which will be a mine and mining camp. After that, more Brazenthrone. I’m not sure what part yet.

Also, sometime in the next week, I’ll be posting a second edition of Brazenthrone History and Lore.

There’s an annotated version and DM notes for this map on the patreon.

The High King’s Palace – Second Level – Featuring the Actual Brazen Throne

If you look at the top-center of this map, you’ll notice a large chair. That is the city’s titular Brazen Throne. It’s a large, tarnished hunk of brass that has been the Brasshand clan’s royal seat for several thousand years. In case you’re unaware, a lesser-used meaning of the word ‘brazen’ is “made of brass.” It didn’t get its name for being cheeky.

I’ll release the rest of the palace next, including the High King’s treasure vault, which is a gigantic, Scrooge McDuck-style landfill of money. I’ve been looking forward to drawing it and I hope you’ll dig it.

Anyway, here’s the version without the labels. There’s an annotated version and other stuff available to patrons, if you’re interested.

Brazenthrone – The High King’s Palace – Ground Level

This is the first of four floors of the High King’s palace. This took a while longer than usual because I laid out all four levels before finishing this one. But with that out of the way, the next three should come pretty quickly. Look for the second floor in around three or four days.

Well, like (I suspect) a lot of you, I recently got off the emotional rollercoaster that was the last episode of Game of Thrones, and… I really need to lie down. Jesus.

No labels here. There’s an annotated version blah blah blah patreon.

Neuschwanstein Castle

I was going to explain all the things that aren’t accurate about this map, but it’d take forever and it doesn’t matter anyway, so let me just give you the short version:

  • Only the bottom and upper two floors of the keep were finished and the unfinished floors currently contain a gift shop and a cafeteria. Since I thought that might spoil the mood a bit, I took some liberties and drew in what was intended to be there: servants’ quarters, guest rooms and a “Moorish hall.”
  • The cellar is in the right place, but I couldn’t find a floor plan, so I made some stuff up. I was tempted to draw a dungeon, but there is no way there’s a dungeon in there.
  • Nothing about this map conveys the ludicrous degree of splendor in the finished parts of this castle. It really is jaw-dropping. Have a look.

Anyway, I hope you like it. There’s an annotated version of this map with 83 rooms numbered and labeled, as well as all the usual stuff, available to patrons.

Neuschwanstein Castle – First and Second Levels

This is the first map I’ve ever made of a real place. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was known as “the Mad King.” He was born in the 1800s and was really into Middle Ages architecture, so he had this built as a sort of idealized fantasy castle. I’ll be honest, I can relate to this guy. Except I’m not the king of Bavaria and I can’t afford to build these things for real.

My understanding is that most of the rooms of this place are empty and I wasn’t able to find information on what a lot of them were actually meant to be, but since most people won’t be using this map as Actual Neuschwanstein Castle, I figured I’d come up things to fill them with.

Also, the cellar is completely made-up. There is a door there, which is visible in photos and the place does have a cellar, but I wasn’t able to find any information or floor plans to indicate what it looks like, so I just made it up. Everything else is drawn from various floor plans I found.

I’ll draw the rest of it next, but I thought I’d drop this off for now.

An annotated version of this map is available to patrons.

DiFlorio Keep – Intact

I’d meant to get this up yesterday, but I’ve been sick for the last few days. You so very do not want to know the details. Let’s just say if I spend any more time with the toilet, my wife is going to get jealous of it. Anyway, it’s done now and here it is, all tidied up.

When I started Brazenthrone, I promised that I’d alternate between Brazenthrone and non-Brazenthrone maps, since I’d imagine people have different levels of enthusiasm for the Great Dwarven Ultramap. I wanted to get the two DiFlorio Keep maps out back-to-back, but now that they’re done, I’m going to draw two Brazenthrone maps, which will be the second and third floor of the Great Hall.

If the pace seems slow, keep in mind that the other chambers will not be as large or have as many floors. But the Great Hall is the centerpiece of the map and I think it needs to be pretty epic. I did say that it would be about the size of Finbarr’s Marsh by itself and I wasn’t exaggerating.

An annotated version of this map is available to patrons.

DiFlorio Keep – Destroyed

One small castle with a unique entrance and a little Italian flavoring. Then I wrecked it. I hope you like it.

This is the map chosen by last months Cartographic Congress vote, as proposed by Senator Hal. The good senator wanted a small keep that his players could retake from some hobgoblins, then restore and use for themselves.

I thought about it for a while and decided to draw both the destroyed and restored versions, since I think there’s a lot of things a pair of maps like that could be used for and since I haven’t seen anything like that out there. There are a few interesting uses: fix the castle, destroy the castle, or travel through time to see the castle in two different states. So the intact version of this keep will be the next map. After that will be two floors of Brazenthrone’s Great Hall.

An annotated version of this map is available on the patreon.

The Gates of Brazenthrone Remastered

I remade the Gates of Brazenthrone for two reasons. One, there was a mistake in the annotated version. And two, the more I looked at it, the more I started to dislike it. So I decided to simplify the background and make the whole thing vertical (which I don’t normally like to do, since this is a website and your monitor is horizontal).

Anyway, I hope you like it. Also, here’s the non-annotated version. Alright, back to it.