The Vale of Pentandra was a map chosen by the Cartographic Congress. Ben, who proposed it, wanted an elven city in the rainforest with a magical portal in the center, surrounded by two huge trees arching overhead.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I like the portal. Sometimes, as a DM, you want your players to be somewhere really far away. And you don’t want to say, “You get on your horses, clap the coconuts for two months and you’re there,” but you also might not want to do three sessions of “stuff happens while you’re on the road.” Having a way to avoid either of those things in a way that feels natural can be nice. Ready to stop doing Chult stuff and start doing Waterdeep stuff? This might be a nice place for the party to hear a rumor about.
I apologize for this taking so long, but I wanted to get it looking right and that required a lot of changing things around this time. Also– feel free to laugh at me– I got everything done an hour ago, was ready to post this, and realized I forgot to put a scale on it. I managed to forget about that for the entire week and a half it took me to plan, draw and color this. YEP THAT’S ME PROFESSIONAL FANTASY CARTOGRAPHER RIGHT HERE.
Anyway, I’ll be getting to work on the Black Loch next. I’m going to draw the inn on the left side of the map. I know there are a million maps of inns out there, but this one is going to be a little unusual, because this place is owned and operated by a clan of ogres. And it features only the finest ogre furnishings. Ogre-crafted tables. Ogre-crafted bar. Ogre-crafted doors and walls. Starting to get the picture? Your players think they’ve stayed at a crappy dump of an inn before. They have no idea.