Just wanted to show you all how the ground level of the Common Quarter is coming. The big building in the lower left is a huge arcade market. To the right of that is a park. There’s also a theater, a temple and more than a few places to get liquored up, as you might expect in a place full of working-class dwarves (or any dwarves, really).
For comparison, this is about half the size of the Great Hall. It’ll be a few more days to finish the inks and color it. Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.
The last of the Great Votes has finally ended and the winners are Mont-Saint-Michel and the Deepspire. Those are both excellent choices and I congratulate all my patrons on your collective good taste.
I’d also like to say thanks for getting me this far. The Great Vote began when my patreon reached the point that I was able to live off your pledges exclusively and that is a really, really big deal to me. I used to say that being a freelance illustrator was my dream job. It was, for a long time. Right now, the only thing that would make me quit this to do freelance illustration is a gun to my head. This is literally the best thing I can imagine doing for a living. Thank you all very, very much. You are amazing.
To recap all the Great Vote winners:
Small Category: Old Madeleine’s Country Inn and Fighting Pit, Floating Market
Medium Category: The Great Garden, Aarakocra Village, Airship of the Line
Large-ish Category: The Fallen Tower, Greenskin Rock
Large Category: Merchants’ Trade Port Island, Fortified Oasis
The winning maps in the large-ish category are The Fallen Tower and, after two grueling runoffs to the death, Greenskin Rock. I’ve wanted to do a map involving sea stacks for a while now and I’m glad to finally get the chance.
The large category vote will be posted on the patreon shortly. The next map, Brazenthrone’s Underdark Trading Outpost, will be a few more days. I’ve got slightly bigger plans for it than I originally anticipated. It’s not going to be huge, exactly (not by Brazenthrone standards, anyway), but we’re looking at around 30 buildings and 100 rooms across 2 floors. Anyway, I think you’ll like it. Also, The Grey Huntress will be there.
The voting has ended for the medium category and, after the Great Garden was chosen in the first round, the runoff between the Aarakocra Village and the Airship of the Line ended in a tie. Which is good, because I really want to draw them both. So I’m declaring them both winners and drawing all three maps.
Voting has closed for both the Great Vote’s small category and this month’s Cartographic Congress. For the Great Vote, the first winner was Old Madeleine’s Inn and Fighting Pit, then the Floating Market, which beat the Traveling Inn in the run-off. It looked like we might be doing two inns for a minute there, but I guess the later voters decided to mix it up. Coming in dead last was the Spelljammer, which, like wallet chains and huge jeans, were a lot more popular in the 90s.
In the Cartographic Congress, Senator Parker’s Coastal Castle was the winner after a run-off vote. Senator Maurice’s proposal of Bodiam Castle was the first time I’d heard of it and… wow. Yeah, that’s getting drawn at some point for sure. Senator HAL’s City of the Dead got some ideas stirring too. But that’s going to have to wait until the Great Vote maps are done.
So, I’m going to finish work on the map I’m doing right now, then after that is Brazenthrone’s Pits of Justice, then the maps you guys voted for enter the queue. From there, we’ll be alternating between the Great Vote maps and Brazenthrone (plus the Cartographic Congress map once a month) until all 10 maps you choose are done.
The vote for the medium category has begun. If you’re a patron, head over to the patreon and participate in democracy.
Voting has opened for the first of five votes to determine the maps you’ll see here over the next few months. We’re starting with the “Small” category. If you’re a patron, be sure to go cast your votes (multiple choices are allowed). If you’re not a patron and you’d like to have a voice in this, consider becoming one.
Here’s the second edition of Brazenthrone History and Lore. New entries are marked with a red dot. The main things added are about the origin of the city and the unusual system of nobility in the kingdom.
Here’s the list of map ideas that I mentioned in the last post. As I said, all patrons will be able to vote. I’ll probably start the first vote in a week to ten days from now. Read it over. For the next few months, I’ll still be at the helm, but you’re charting the course. Tell me where you want to go.
Anyway, here are the choices. Two maps will be chosen from each group.
EDIT: Some ideas are more fleshed out than others, so I don’t necessarily know the specifics of how they’ll look, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Traveling Inn – An inn that floats up and down a river or coast. Sort of like a big houseboat.
River Island Homestead – A little house with a little farm on a little island in a river.
Floating Market – This is a real thing. I’ll make a map of one.
War Wagon – A giant carriage pulled (or maybe carried) by elephants.
Gnomish Wizard’s Home – An odd little home in a tree.
Old Madeleine’s Inn and Fighting Pit – Just what it sounds like. An inn with a fighting pit. Owned by a surprisingly lovely little old lady.
The Head – A giant stone head with some rooms inside. Something weird to have your players stumble across in the middle of nowhere.
Crannog – This is a crannog. Irish and Scottish people used to build them. I’ll draw one.
Whiteshield Lodge – A waystation for traveling paladins.
The Elven War Catamaran “Salvation of Dawn,” Flagship of the Elven Fleet – A catamaran is a ship with two hulls. This will be a very large, heavily-armed one. Probably single-masted with two sails. Elves are too elegant for square-riggers.
Caravanserai – This is basically an inn for caravans located along the route of an imaginary Silk Road, with facilities for food, lodging, water, repairs and re-supply. This will be a middle-eastern design (as caravanserais generally were).
Giant’s House – This will be a fairly normal, somewhat primitive house, except for the scale. First floor is the floor, second floor is the chair and the stools, third floor is the table, fourth floor is the cabinets…
Overgrown Abandoned Village – The ruins of a village in the jungle, covered in plants and vines, with trees growing through buildings.
Aarakocra Village – Aarakocra are avian humanoids. This will be a cliffside or mountain community of them, featuring various things unique to a community of people who can all fly.
Slavers’ Outpost – Pretty self-explanatory. A place to go kill some bad people and burn to the ground.
Airship of the Line – This is no Century Pelican. This is a giant, flying murderblimp. Has multiple gondolas connected by rope bridges and is bristling with weapons.
The Great Garden – A huge, elaborate garden and ponds tended by druids or elves, with a huge, sacred tree. Might be walled.
The Halls of Glory – An angelic temple fortress. Something that would be at home in Mount Celestia or elsewhere in the Upper Planes. Your paladin’s favorite place.
Greenskin Rock – One or two sea stacks with a goblin or kobold community living in tunnels inside.
Airship Waystation – A dock for airships up in the mountains. Someplace to eat, rest, resupply and change the wiper fluid.
Horde Camp – An encampment of yurts. Could be an orcish horde, could just be Mongolians.
Dragonriders’ Aerie – A place for dragons and people who ride them into battle. Extremely metal.
Underwater Kuo-Toa Temple – A kuo-toa temple with features that only work underwater, like hallways that lead upward.
Bleakhall – This is a strange, unnatural place, like you might find on the Negative Energy Plane or in some sort of hell. It probably won’t be any specific sort of place, just… weird. Dark. Alien. Lovecraftian.
The Fallen Tower – A large, broken tower. Part of it remains standing, the rest lies on the ground in several large segments.
Fortified Oasis – The middle of the desert. The only water for days. And someone built a stone fortress around it. This will be a middle-eastern design.
Legion Camp – A large army camp with a palisade, like the Roman legions would have built.
Deep Road – A large section of dwarven underground road with tunnels and caverns leading off from it.
Small but Densely-Populated Merchants’ Trade Port Island – One or two small islands packed with buildings and people and surrounded by docks.
The Gate – A large fortress walling off a mountain pass.
Red Rock – An orc settlement built into coastal cliffs. This is something I imagined while visiting the Cliffs of Moher.
Hidden Valley – A secret community in a valley surrounded by mountains with a hidden entrance.
The Chasm – A huge cleft in the Underdark with various caves, tombs, structures and tunnels leading off from it.
Mont-Saint-Michel – This will be as accurate a map as possible of the fortified island monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel. A little something French to class the place up. I’ve already promised to do this at some point, so it will happen eventually, but we can do it now.
Halfling Town – A halfling community, partly above ground and partly below. Homes and shops built into the sides of a big hill, as well as on top of and beneath it. I’ll resist the urge to call it Brazenstool.
Driftport – An island made from a large cluster of ships lashed together.
First, thanks to all my patrons for your support! I didn’t want to say anything about this before, but this goal was the point where my rent, bills and food are all covered and I’m able to pay all my expenses without drawing from my savings. That is a really big deal and I can’t thank you enough. I now officially make a living drawing D&D maps. I wish I could go back in time and tell 15-year-old me about this. He would freak out.
Now, here’s the big news: A series of votes will be held to decide on the next ten maps I draw*. Patrons of all tiers will be able to participate. There will be five votes held with 8-10 map ideas in each. The five votes will be grouped by size, so Castaway Island doesn’t have to compete with The Epic Doomfortress of Blackreach. The top two maps in each vote will be drawn. If there aren’t two conclusive winners, there will be a second round of voting with the least-popular choices omitted.
I’ll prepare a list soon of the map ideas to be voted on and some information about them, so you can decide how you’ll vote in advance. The maps chosen will probably account for the next few months of content here, so be sure to check that out. Well, I’m going to get started. Thanks again, everybody. You are amazing.
*Brazenthrone and the Cartographic Congress maps will continue as usual.
So, about a week ago, Windows found a problem with my PC. I didn’t notice anything wrong, but Windows decided there was a problem anyway and offered to help. Click here to fix it. Sure, why not. One reboot later and my computer is a toaster with a keyboard. Thanks, Windows. Thanks for helping.
So between then and about an hour ago, I’ve been going insane trying to get this thing back up and running. System restore, failed. System reset, failed. Full wipe and reinstall, failed. I don’t even know how that can fail, but by god it did. A few times. I’m not even sure how I got it back up and running, but I guess I finally mashed enough buttons to get it to work again.
Anyway, that’s why the next map isn’t up yet. It’s also why I haven’t responded to any messages in the last week. But my machine is running again, so give me a minute to reinstall Photoshop and I should have the rest of the High King’s Palace up in a day or two. Again, sorry, everybody.