Dwarven Catacombs (Work-in-Progress)

I decided that the ancient crypt in the Black Loch would be lost dwarven catacombs with a royal tomb deep inside. In order to make the royal tomb look as splendid and impressive as possible, I learned how to draw celtic knotwork and basically covered the thing in it. I did screw it up in a few places, but less than I’d expected. Nothing that can’t be fixed.

Anyway, just thought I’d give you a look. Back to work!

Elderseed Sanctuary

Elderseed Sanctuary is a small treehouse settlement in a giant baobab. I designed it with a druid community in mind, but it could easily be a village of wild elves as well. Or aarakocra. Or avariel. Or weresquirrels.

Here’s a question to think about: is it a treant? If so, that makes this place mobile, which allows for some interesting possibilities. For example, your party could make camp in the woods and wake up next to this thing. That could be a handy approach if your party isn’t great at following a trail of breadcrumbs to the next adventure. Just park the next adventure on top of all their stuff and see if they can work out what to do.

Next up, I’ll be drawing another map from the Black Loch. This time, it’ll be the ancient crypt on Cairnhollow Isle. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing with it, but I think it’ll be a fairly decrepit series of winding tunnels and catacombs, leading to a huge, elaborate burial chamber at the end. I’ve got a bunch of maps of the Paris Catacombs, so hopefully I can give the map a fairly authentic feel.

Well, that’s it for now. Let me know what you think about the map!

Tree Village (Work-in-Progress)

Here’s the big tree village I’ve been working on. As you can see, I decided to put it in a giant baobab.

One of the reasons I went with a baobab is that I wanted to put a couple of big, hollow spaces in the trunk, which baobabs are known to have. For example, here’s a baobab tree in Namibia with a toilet inside. And here’s one in South Africa with a bar inside it.

Anyway, the drawings are done and I’ll start coloring it tomorrow. Let me know what you think so far!

The Village of Spyr-Anaisz

Here’s the non-annotated version of the map.

Spyr-Anaisz is a small drow village in the Black Loch. The residents here aren’t big city drow, they’re rural drow. Drow hillbillies, if you will.

I don’t picture them chewing tobacco or wearing cowboy hats, but I imagine there’s a different sort of culture here. A bit less backstabbing and cutting throats to get ahead. Not much infighting among the nobility, since there’s only one noble house. And I think the city drow would probably look down on them, as inferior drow from an inferior place.

With an economy based around fishing and mushroom farming, Spyr-Anaisz isn’t a particularly wealthy community, but they are a fairly safe one. Built in and around a cluster of giant stalactites, the village hangs 80′ (25m) above the ground, making the list of dangerous creatures the people of Spyr-Anaisz have to worry about quite a bit shorter than it would be if they lived down below with everyone else. It isn’t the most convenient living arrangement, but sometimes convenience has to come second to security. Especially in the Underdark.

Next up, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner. This will be a multi-level village built in and around the branches and trunk of a giant tree, with bridges running between the buildings. I haven’t drawn a map like this in ages and I’m really glad to get another chance.

It’s not the first map of a tree village anyone’s ever made, but I think it’ll be a pretty unique take on the idea. I’ve got a lot of ideas about it swimming around in my head right now and I really want to start sketching things out and see how they look on paper. I think I’m gonna get started on that now.

Well, I hope you like Spyr-Anaisz. Let me know what you think!

Black Loch Drow Settlement (Work-in-Progress)

So, I wasn’t originally planning to make this drow settlement the second-largest map in the Black Loch, but… well, that appears to have happened. I think it’ll be worth the effort.

Anyway, everything is drawn and inked and I’m about to start coloring it today. I hope you like it so far!