Windward Point Rookery: An Aarakocra Village

Windward Point is a place that isn’t meant to accommodate the non-flying. There are no stairs between levels and no paths to walk between them, which might make things interesting for your players. The rogue and the wizard will be fine. The rogue can climb reliably well and the wizard can fly from place to place. But the cleric? He’s gonna end up praying for his god to fix his broken legs by the time he’s done here. No athletics OR acrobatics? Best of luck, fella.

In case you’re unfamiliar with aarakocra, they’re a bird-like humanoid race that looks like this. Well, until fifth edition, when they apparently grew some arms. This leads me to a point I wanted to mention: the lore about aarakocra is REALLY inconsistent. At least one of you is looking at this and thinking, “Aarakocra would never live there, they’re too claustrophobic.” And you’re right, there are sources that say that. But there are other sources that say aarakocra used to live in cities carved into cliffs. So how do I decide which version to go with? I chose the version I thought was more interesting.

In any case, I think it’s reasonable to imagine that some tribes of aarakocra could be comfortable with lifestyles that others aren’t. Humans are certainly like that. You’ve seen those survivalist shows, right? They drop Bear Grylls or whoever into an arctic wasteland and he shows you how to build a fire, find food, get to safety. Remember that, somewhere, a few hundred kilometers to his north, is an Inuit village where people are just going about their day.

Anyway, next up is a dark, surreal estate on the plane of shadow. I’ve been looking forward to drawing this one and I have every intention of making it as grim and bizarre as humanly possible. If this thing doesn’t make Warhammer 40K look like My Little Pony, I will have failed.

There’s an annotated version of this map, DM notes and VTT and print versions available to patrons.

The dynamic lighting for Brazenthrone is finished.

With the rest of Brazenthrone taken care of, patrons using Roll20, Foundry or EncounterPlus will never have to draw wall segments for any part of the city ever again. And neither will I. THANK GOD.

Anyway, I’m going to start sketching out the next map. Here’s where to get the dynamic lighting stuff:

Roll20

Non-patrons can download the wall commands (which draw in the walls and doors using the UniversalVTTImporter script) from here. They’re in the ZIP file. Instructions are included.

Patrons can download all the commands from the patron content drive. Open the VTT folder, then the Roll20 Wall Commands folder.

Foundry

The public Brazenthrone module can be downloaded with this manifest URL.

The link for the patrons’ module can be found in the Table of Contents (pinned as the top post on my patreon page, visible to patrons only). If you already have the patrons’ module, you can just update it.

EncounterPlus

Download the public Brazenthrone module here.

The patrons’ Brazenthrone module is in the patron content drive. Open the VTT folder, then the EncounterPlus Modules folder.

Mind Flayer Dreadnought Spelljammer

You’ve gotta love Spelljammer. Want to travel into space? Just duct tape a spelljamming helm to the deck of a stolen fishing boat and you’re off to explore the stars.

Mind flayers, however– former masters of the universe that they are– tend to be a bit more sophisticated about interstellar travel. Dreadnoughts are the capital ship of the illithid fleet and they weren’t built for catching seabass. In addition to carrying a variety of weapons on board, the dreadnought also holds a fleet of boreworms, small attack ships with a single crewman. Boreworms aren’t fighters, they’re actually boarding ships, designed to crash into the side of a ship, punch through the hull, then eject the illithid pilot into the enemy vessel.

If you find some things about this ship unusual, remember that mind flayers are a little different than the rest of us. As a brain-eating species, they don’t need a dining table or a kitchen. And illithids love pools. That might be their main motivation to rule the universe: more time in the bath.

As I promised, I’m going to spend the day doing the dynamic lighting for Brazenthrone. I think I can get the rest of it finished by tomorrow. I honestly thought this would take longer and I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

Next up is the aarakocra village, the second-to-last of the Great Vote maps. The last will be the Deepspire, a fortress city in the seas of the Underdark, carved into the sides of a massive column of rock stretching from the sea floor to the roof of the cavern. This is going to be a part of the Black Loch and will be pretty huge, so I’m going to do the next Cartographic Congress map before I get started.

That map will be a dark, surreal estate on the plane of shadow. I hope you like weird, because that is going to be WEIRD. I’m going for “Salvador Dali plus MC Escher plus your worst childhood nightmare.” We’ll see how that goes.

There’s an annotated version of this map, DM notes and other stuff available to patrons.

Another hard day’s work in the dynamic lighting mines

I got quite a bit done on the VTT walls and doors for Brazenthrone. Links to download this stuff for Roll20, Foundry and EncounterPlus are below. These maps are now lighting-ready and available to the public:

  • The Noble Quarter (4 levels)
  • The Old Quarter (3 levels)

Those maps, along with the ones I did earlier, will complete the public module. There’s now a patrons’ module as well, with the following lighting-ready maps:

  • Delvers’ Rest
  • The Grand Temple
  • The Iron Mines
  • The Old Mines
  • The Mushroom Farms
  • The Pits of Justice
  • The Underdark Trading Outpost

I think I can probably finish this up in one more session. Most of what’s left is small chambers and I don’t think they’ll be much trouble. Anyway, here’s where to download everything:

Roll20

Non-patrons can download the wall commands (which draw in the walls using the UniversalVTTImporter script) from here. They’re in the ZIP file. Instructions are included.

Patrons can download all the commands from the patron content drive. Open the VTT folder, then the Roll20 Wall Commands folder.

Foundry

The public Brazenthrone module can be downloaded with this manifest URL.

The link for the patrons’ module can be found in the Table of Contents (pinned as the top post on my patreon page, visible to patrons only).

EncounterPlus

Download the public Brazenthrone module here.

The patrons’ Brazenthrone module is in the patron content drive. Open the VTT folder, then the EncounterPlus Modules folder.