The Smoldering Abyss

Here’s an alternate version if you’d prefer the place dried out.

The Smoldering Abyss is a part of the Black Loch almost no one even knows exists. It’s a deep, underwater trench at the bottom of a larger underwater trench at the bottom of the loch. And, in a place where no one even wants to think about what might be under the surface of the sea, places like this tend to go unnoticed.

There are three things of note here. The first is an ancient, kuo-toan royal catacomb. Built thousands of years ago, before the kuo-toa became… let’s say “psychologically non-conformist,” it was a place where they buried their kings.

The second thing is a monster called “the Whisperer.” It’s a huge, black beast with rubbery tentacles and a wide, fanged mouth like an anglerfish. While not as big as a kraken, it’s more than big enough to scare the hell out of the sailors of the Black Loch. Fortunately for the sailors, the Whisperer hasn’t been seen in almost 250 years and many believe it to be dead. Unfortunately, they’re wrong and it’s not. It’s hibernating here and it’s about to wake up.

Finally, there are the smoking rocks. Those are a type of hydrothermal vent known as a black smoker. They’re like tiny, underwater volcanoes that pump boiling hot water filled with minerals into the sea and are usually found around 3km below the surface. If you’re planning to use the map, keep in mind that those vents would actually make the water fairly warm here. And they’d burn anyone who got too close pretty badly.

With another Black Loch map down, I’m going to spend the rest of the day drawing some tokens, which I should have for you sometime tomorrow. After that, I want to check another Black Loch map off the list. I’m not sure which one, but I’ll let you know in the next post. Then, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, a mountainous island settlement.

Anyway, that’s the plan for now. Let me know what you think of the abyss!

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