Cinderfork Foundry

Cinderfork Foundry is a duergar armorsmithing operation built around an exposed magma vent. Is that safe? No, it’s not. But pumping a bellows is hard work and it’s nice to have a pool of molten rock do the job for free. Well, it’s free if you don’t count the expense of a few people dying because a tectonic plate jiggled a bit, squeezing 80 tons of magma into the room. But of course you don’t count that. Or maybe you do. Look, I’m not an accountant.

If you use this map, remember that it’s insanely hot in there, especially the top floor. You could make an encounter here a little more interesting by giving the party exhaustion penalties, which increase every few rounds. It’d make the players really feel the environment, while also giving them an incentive to get things done fast. You might also want to think about how much damage you’re gonna hand out to anyone who gets chucked into the magma, because, chances are, someone’s going for a swim.

Next up, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: an ancient clock tower with a chronomancer’s workshop below. I’ve looked into some real clock towers for inspiration and I have to say, there are some actual clock towers that are a lot wilder than anything I’d have ever come up with. Here’s a clock tower in Bern, Switzerland. Now, let me read you a description of that:

Every hour, a performance involving automated figures is set in motion by the astronomical clock. A dancing jester rings two bells and cues a parade of bears, Chronos turns over an hourglass and opens his mouth, and a gilded rooster raises its wings and crows to start the show.

So, I think we can all agree that Switzerland wins. Congratulations to Switzerland, you win at clocks. Forever.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’m going to do anything quite that crazy, but hopefully I’ll manage to come up with something that doesn’t put the Swiss to sleep. After that, I’ll start on the last few things I need to take care of with the Black Loch, which should be finished later this month.

Well, I’m gonna go find out what the inside of a clock tower looks like. If you’ve got any suggestions for clocks I should have a look at, let me know!

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