The Fortress City of Finbarr’s Marsh – Ground Level

As long as that took to draw, I can’t believe it didn’t take longer.  And Finbarr’s Marsh isn’t even half finished.  Still to go, we have: upper levels, which most buildings will have, as well as basements, sewers, three crypts, the walls, towers and gatehouses.

I don’t like plugging my Patreon, but I figure this is a good time to say that, if you like what I’m doing and you want to help keep a pen in my hand for as many hours a week as possible, please consider supporting me.

There is a Patrons’ Edition version of this map with over 150 buildings and rooms marked.

Also, here’s a version of the map without annotations.

The Fortress City of Finbarr’s Marsh – Overview Map


I’ve had an idea for a megaproject in my head for a while now.  The plan was to make a map of an entire city.  Not an overview like the image above, but a detailed interior map of everything, every building, including upper floors and basements.  And not only that, but the towers and gatehouses, multiple crypts, a full sewer system.  Everything.

Well, I’m doing it.  Starting now.

So let’s talk about Finbarr’s Marsh.  Finbarr’s Marsh is strongly inspired by the Irish city of Cork, as it was in the Middle Ages.  Cork was built on an island in the fork of the River Lee, near where it meets the sea.  The inhabitants, who were apparently very security-conscious, felt that being surrounded by a river wasn’t enough and decided to construct towered walls around the edges of the island, along with two bridges, both with gatehouses on both sides of the river.  In short, Cork City was a fortress.

Another interesting architectural feature of Cork solidified it as my choice of city to use as inspiration for this project: a watergate.  When Cork was a walled city, it had a large canal running through the city center and a huge gate that allowed ships to enter to load and unload cargo inside the city walls.  On either side of the watergate were two castles: Queen’s Castle and King’s Castle.

Are you sold on Finbarr’s Marsh yet?  I’m sold.  The above map is getting enlarged 16x.  The ground level is coming first.  Hold my beer.

The Necromancer’s Corpse Farm


This map was chosen by last month’s vote of the Cartographic Congress (although there was only one member at the time, so it was more of a Cartographic Tyranny, really).

Anyway, the idea of this map is that a necromancer (probably of an aquatic species) who lives in some caves beneath a lighthouse has managed to gain control of the lighthouse keeper (or become the lighthouse keeper, if you prefer) and is doing a really terrible job of keeping the fire lit.  As a result, the necromancer has a ready supply of corpses to… you know, necromance.  Build an army of the dead, make Frankensteins, whatever they’re into.  The rest of the details are up to you!

This map has an annotated version and DM notes for patrons.

Drow Surface Raiding Outpost


This is my idea of what a drow outpost for raiding the surface might look like.  Built into a cliffside, it has only one entrance to the surface, which is a narrow tunnel in the roof of a small cave, accessible only by a rope ladder, which would normally only be deployed when drow are coming or going.

The cottage above the cliff would have been built by the drow as well.  Although they have no use for the building itself, they would need a way to vent the smoke from their cooking fire without drawing attention to the presence of their outpost.  By running the house’s chimney directly to their vent shaft, they can make it look like the house is producing the smoke.  Of course, this will not pass close inspection because the house itself has no fireplace or occupants.  That might be useful as a way to allow the PCs in your game to discover the outpost.

Anyway, I hope you like it!  I’m giving out the annotated version for free on this one:

The Seer’s Home


I recently started a Patreon and I decided that I’d offer to make a map of my first patron’s choice.  She requested a swamp map with the home of a wise woman, the entrance to which is hidden in a tree.

To make it interesting, I threw in some huts that could be used for some sort of encounter.  They could be a community of lizardmen, bullywugs or just good old fashioned hillbillies.  After that, we’ve got some ruins, which could contain another encounter or just be used as cover in a fight.

The wise woman’s home in the bottom right leads from the staircase in the giant tree stump.  I didn’t think that needed an explanation on the map, but if anyone found it unclear, please let me know.

Anyway, I hope you like it, LadyAhiru!

Here’s a couple alternate versions of the map:

Fugitives’ Isle


Here’s something I came up with that I thought could be useful for creating an encounter at sea.  A small island, dominated by a big, ruined… something, newly inhabited by a small group of people.

I’ve got a black-and-white version for you as well:

This map has an annotated version with DM notes for patrons.