The Great Garden

I think this is the first map I’ve drawn where everything is outdoors. No buildings, no caverns. Weird. That’s not the only unusual thing about it. I tried a few new things with this. I lightened the grid, I made the grass look more… grassy, and I used much brighter colors than I normally do.

I’m really happy with it and I think it’s one of my favorite maps I’ve drawn. Unless people object, I think I’m going to start doing maps this way from now on, with the exception of Brazenthrone, since I want to keep everything looking consistent with the rest. Anyway, let me know what you think!

By the way, I’m giving the patron content for this map to everyone (you can get it here). I put a lot of detail into it and I want everyone to be able to see it, which is easier in the higher-res versions.

There are no DM notes and no annotated version for this map because I don’t really have much to say about it. Usually, there’s some sort of story in my head about a place when I draw it, but I don’t really have one here. Everything is there because I thought it looked interesting. Who’s the mossy lady with one hand? I don’t know. What’s the round stone surrounded by water? No idea. What’s with the face in the ground? Not sure, just felt right. This could be an elven garden, a druidic enclave or someplace in the feywild. I leave that to you to figure out.

Anyway, I hope you like it! Next up is Brazenthrone’s Oreworks (26 on this map). Let me know what you think about the Great Garden, I’m honestly really curious to hear!

All the tokens I’ve made for my game and a few more.

Download all the tokens or just the new ones.

These are all the tokens I’ve made since my game went online in April. The second image is the new ones. I don’t know how useful a lot of them are going to be for a lot of people, but if you really, REALLY needed a token of a horse-drawn sleigh, well, you’re welcome.

My game is going to some pretty strange places. I’m running the Illithiad trilogy and I’m currently on the second part, Masters of Eternal Night. Basically, the players need to go to a crater, dig up an old spelljammer and get it running again so they can blow up a mind flayer death star. They’re going to meet some Gith, kill a giant alien spider and get chased around by some mind flayers in a sleigh. Hopefully no one gets their brain eaten by Tentacle Santa, but we’ll see.

The Great Garden is all drawn and inked and I should have it colored and done in a couple days. Until then!

Brazenthrone – Burke’s Hall

An explanation of who Burke was and why there’s a chamber of Brazenthrone named after him is in the DM notes, which I’m giving away to everyone. As with most of the other residential chambers, all the buildings in Burke’s Hall are houses, so there’s no annotated version.

Next up is the Great Garden, which I described in the last post. I’m still not completely sure what it’s going to be like, but I’ve got some ideas and I should be able to turn them into something cool. After that, we’re doing Brazenthrone’s oreworks (at 26 on the city overview).

The oreworks is the area outside the iron mines, where ore is stamped, smelted and made into steel. This is a map that’s going to take a little research, since I want to get things right and, like most people, I’m not especially well-versed in the details of the medieval steelmaking process.

Also, I’m making some more tokens for my game and I’ll post those once they’re done. I’m not going to lie, they’re some pretty weird stuff. The most normal thing might be an ice troll. The weirdest? A horse-drawn sleigh. Yeah, like Santa. Except the surprises in the back of this one are going to be mind flayers. My game is going to some strange places, haha.

Eldfjall – A Perfectly Safe Place to Live

The annotated version is here.

Eldfjall is an arctic island in the northern seas, a bountiful hunting ground for whaling and seal-hunting. But it’s so far north that crops can’t grow and even a fire won’t keep away the bitter, year-round cold. Still, one brave group of settlers found a way to make it habitable: they built their homes in the caldera of the island’s volcano, using the heat it gives off to stay warm and grow small gardens to supplement their diet of fish, seals and whale. This town wasn’t built around a volcano by chance, but by necessity. It’s not a threat to the town, it’s the heart of the town. It’s what gives it life and, without it, the town couldn’t exist.

Eldfjall is the Icelandic word for “volcano.” I don’t know much about the Icelandic language, but that word is so Skyrim it makes my brain tingle. Also, Eldfjall is a pretty Icelandic place. Cold, volcanoes, whaling? That’s everything Iceland is famous for minus Sigur Ros.

Next up is Brazenthrone‘s Burke’s Hall, at 23 on the overview map. Then it’s the Great Garden: a huge, elaborate garden with ponds and a great sacred tree.

DM notes for this map are available to patrons.

Brazenthrone – The Opaline Grotto

Grotto. While drawing this map, it occurred to me that “grotto” might be… not the ugliest word in the English language, but the ugliest word for a thing that’s usually beautiful. Say it: grotto. Grotto. Ugh.

Yeah, so anyway, the Opaline *ahem* Grotto is a natural cavern with unmined opal deposits in the walls. There’s also a small cave system behind one of the houses leading to the Bitterwash River in case your party happens to need a shortcut.

Since I’d originally drawn this as a rectangular chamber on the Brazenthrone overview map, I updated it with the new shape. The print and VTT versions of it are here (they’re free). I know I updated this the other week and I apologize to anyone who just printed it and is staring at the screen like, “This f#@%* guy…” But this is probably the last time I update it. Unless it’s not.

Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a city built around a volcano. After that, we’re going back to Brazenthrone for Burke’s Hall (23 on the overview). And then I’ll be knocking out a map from the Great Vote. I’m thinking the Great Garden sounds good, but I reserve the right to change my mind to Greenskin Rock. Screw it, I’ll put up a vote on the patreon. Decisions are hard.

There are DM notes for this map available to patrons.