This is the second of the maps chosen by patrons in the Great Vote. The Tempest of Reckoning is like the Goodyear blimp’s crazy older brother who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and is serving 40 to life for a triple homicide.
If you’re in the market for an airship for your players, the Century Pelican might be more your speed. It has 2 fewer engines, 29 fewer ballistas and, crucially, 1 less bomb bay. Do think carefully before giving your players a bomber. It’s your game, of course, but… I’m just saying.
I didn’t do four different engine variants for this like I did with the Pelican, but here’s an alternate version with the engines removed. If your setting features airships powered by sails, you’re good to go. Or you can draw in your own zombies-on-a-hamster-wheel or whatever. Or you can just tell your players the power plant is there and leave it at that.
Next up is the second level of Brazenthrone’s Common Quarter. After that, the Library of Alexandria, as chosen by the Cartographic Congress. Then it’s the third and final level of the Common Quarter, then the map just chosen by the Cartographic Congress, a Persian-inspired Assassins’ Keep. I need to catch up on that and this seems like a good time to do it.
As usual, there’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.
This is the ship my PCs are currently on, cruising through the Underdark with a crew of orogs whose occupation might be described as “often but not always pirates.”
Since the Underdark lacks wind, this ship lacks sails. Instead, it’s powered entirely by rowers on the lower deck. And since the Underdark is a dangerous place, this ship is equipped with a pretty solid arsenal of weaponry. Still, there’s nothing here that rules it out as a surface ship if you’d prefer to use it as one. In the Greek and Roman times, this is more or less the kind of warship you might have seen.
Here’s the final map of Tortuga: the overview. The image above is the gridless version because I think it looks better. I’m not sure why. Here’s the gridded map.
Also, I’m giving away the DM notes on this one because they explain some important things about this map, as well as my thoughts on the ways it can be used in a campaign (especially as a traveling home city for PCs). Here they are:
So, now that the six-story turtle town is out of the way, it’s time to start on something much, much bigger: Brazenthrone. I’ll have a map of the layout of the city up on Monday.
A zaratan is a giant turtle that sleeps for years at a time. They often come to look like islands, with plants and even trees growing from their backs. Sometimes, people– knowingly or unknowingly– inhabit those “islands.” The main problem with living on a zaratan is this: when they get hungry, they wake up and look for food. And when they look for food, they dive. Which is catastrophic for anyone living on the creature’s back. So, in order to prevent this, the zaratan must be fed. Even sleeping, it will eat anything coming into its mouth. The town of Tortuga is well-prepared to handle this, having a small fleet of fishing boats and a large crane to deliver their offerings.
The idea for this map came from a patron, who suggested a city on a zaratan. That’s been done before, of course, but it’s typically a small village with a few huts. I thought it’d be interesting to make the most overpopulated zaratan ever.
My idea was that the town of Tortuga grew so much that they had to keep building higher and higher, which necessitated constructing the wooden deck on their host’s back. After all, it’s hard to build a solid foundation on a curved surface, especially when you can’t dig or drill down into it without pissing off a creature that can bite the head off a storm giant.
There are a few things to note here. First, you may notice that there’s no coal pile. This ship doesn’t run on coal. The engine is powered by a magically heated chunk of metal which is lowered into the boiler to drive the paddlewheels. Second, the sails are meant as an auxiliary power source, in the event that the engines suffer some sort of catastrophic failure (either magical or cannonball-based in nature). And third, the ship would have around 60 crew, plus five officers (including the captain).