Everything is inked except for the tiles and the wall fill.
If you’re wondering how I draw wall fill, it’s pretty simple: First, draw little lines over and over until your hand hurts. Next, keep drawing lines until your hand feels like it’s going to fall off. Then, keep drawing lines until your hand actually falls off. After that, go to the hospital and get your hand reattached. Repeat.
It’s my least favorite part of drawing maps, but I really, really like the way it looks. The things I do for cartography.
Okay! Here’s a photo of the finished pencils for the Great Hall. Drawing furnishings for most of the rooms really makes this take a lot more time, but I think it’s worth it. I had a photo of the other half (which is also finished), but it’s really blurry and, between spending ten minutes getting another one and skipping it so I can start laying down ink, I think I’ll just leave it at this and get back to work. I’ll post another update in a couple days.
These are the early final pencils for the Great Hall. Most of the buildings only have their outer walls drawn in, but the upper left of the top image has a number of finished buildings with the rooms and furnishings done.
The big things against the walls and columns are giant dwarven statues, which are basically mandatory for something like this. I’m not trying to make Brazenthrone a completely unoriginal dwarven city, but I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, either.
The building in the middle of the top image is the amphitheater. The one in the middle of the bottom image is the Great Festhall. I’ll say more about it later, but for now I should get back to work.
Just wanted to give you an update on the Great Hall. These are the layout sketches, which are 25% of the size of the final maps. Since a lot of this is connected, I decided to plan out the most substantial levels all at once. The above is the ground level. Below is the top level, The Promontories. It’s the area where many of the city’s wealthiest commoner families live.
Finally, here’s a sketch of the two biggest columns in the middle of the hall, which lead up to the walkways of the Promontories. Time to get started on the final pencils for the ground level.
This came from an idea I had for a tower buried in a landslide with a stream now flowing into it, which filled it with water, eventually breaking through the cellar floor into a chasm below. The chasm can connect to another dungeon, the Underdark, or– if you’d rather keep it shorter– can just be filled with water. The tunnel in the side is a cavern or burrow whose inhabitants dug in through the wall. Or it could be from something that dug its way out. It’s meant to be flexible.
The next map will be the Great Hall of Brazenthrone. It’s going to be huge and it’s going to take a week or two. I’ll keep you posted with work-in-progress pics to let you know how it’s going.
An annotated version of this map and DM notes are available on the patreon.
This is the fallback defensive position and meat grinder that rewards the success of any army that manages to take the city’s outer gates. With no walls to climb and no space for artillery to break through, this is an assault that has to be done the old fashioned way: by sending lots and lots of people to die. Good times.
This is the last Brazenthrone map before the Great Hall, which is the central chamber of the city and will be around the size of Finbarr’s Marsh. Before that is a map called The Buried Tower.
An annotated version of this map and DM notes are available to patrons.
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).
This map was chosen by the Cartographic Congress last month, based on the proposal of Senator Tim. If you’ve ever wondered where all those potions the PCs keep finding come from, this is the place. How they got into a ghoul’s pocket or a goblin’s treasure stash is another question.
This place doesn’t necessarily have to manufacture potions, though. There are all kinds of scientific pursuits these guys could be engaging in, from inventing gunpowder to cooking 99.6 percent pure crystal meth. It’s all up to you.
An annotated patrons’ edition of this map and DM notes are available on the patreon, if you’re interested.
“How big is Brazenthrone going to get,” you ask? This is just the door.
The next part will be the entrance tunnel and the fortified inner gates (marked as 3 here). They’re the fallback defensive position in case the main gates are taken and they’re basically a meat grinder. You’ll see why.
Before that, we’ve got an Alchemists’ Guildhall and Manufactory, the map chosen by the Cartographic Congress last month.
Finally, here’s the non-annotated version and the black and white. DM notes for this map are available to patrons. Also, starting with this map, I’ll be making VTT versions of all maps, sized for Roll20, for 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.