Fiachna’s Knoll

Fiachna’s Knoll is an elven town in Tir Thelandira. With this done, there are only two more maps to draw before the island is finished. The next will be the one proposed by Magpie and voted for by patrons: the ruins of a monument built by a civilization so ancient that it preceded even the elves’ arrival on Tir Thelandira.

I’ve been thinking about what this place should be and I’ve decided to make it the absolute last thing you’d expect to find on an island full of wood elves. And what would that be? The most dwarven thing ever. These ruins are going to be more dwarven than a drunken axe-throwing contest. Of course, the elves of Tir Thelandira have never actually seen a dwarf, so they wouldn’t know what to make of it, which could lead to an interesting conversation if a party with a dwarf passes through.

After that, there’s still one more map to go. I’ll be sending out a message to all patrons asking for proposals for location #2 in the next few days. Here are a couple guidelines: first, the location can be anywhere on the northern island. And second, Tir Thelandira is very isolated, so the location can’t be a major city.

Anyway, this megaproject should be wrapping up soon and then I’ll get started on the next one, which will be that giant ship I mentioned earlier. Hopefully that sounds good to everyone!

Driftport 40K: In the grim darkness of the open sea, there is only fog.

The other version of Driftport is a pretty nice place. This is the version for DMs who imagine it as a place where the residents might drink turpentine, engage in cannibalism and sacrifice outsiders to an ancient abomination lurking deep beneath the waves. Or it can just be the night version, I suppose. Your call.

Drawing this gave me an idea for a map of another large, seafaring settlement and I wanted to get your opinions. Imagine a ship, like a galleon or a ship of the line, but much bigger. Bigger than any sailing ship ever built. 400′ (130m) long and 140′ (45m) across the beam. Eight masts, thirty sails. But this isn’t just a ship, it’s a town with hundreds of residents. Across the ship’s 5-6 full decks, there are shops, craftsmen, a marketplace, a tavern, an inn, a temple, gardens, a library, a mill and a lot more. There are cabins for the middle class, luxury apartments for the rich and hammocks for the poor. This is a ship you could get lost in. It could be a community of traders, explorers, pirates or wanderers.

I don’t know what the biggest ship map ever drawn is, but I’m fairly sure this would be larger by an order of magnitude. It would probably take around a month to draw and color. Anyway, is that something you’d be interested in?

The Floating Town of Driftport

I’m going to say something wildly controversial. I probably shouldn’t, but I’m going to anyway and I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. I liked Waterworld. I haven’t seen it in years, but I watched it a few times as a teenager and I thought it was a pretty good movie. Feels good to get that off my chest.

Driftport was sort of inspired by the town in that movie. It’s the kind of town people might build if there was no land. A collection of salvaged ships and scrap wood Frankensteined together into a floating community.

There are a few things that might need an explanation here. The first is the building at the bottom right. This is a trywork. It’s a stove used to harvest oil from blubber. Since wood, coal and peat are hard to come by in the sea, I’d imagine whale oil would be the common fuel used for cooking and heating.

The other two unusual buildings are a ropemaker and a distillery. Rope and rum seem fairly mission critical for a place like this. You need rope for fishing nets, boats and to hold this place together. And you need rum because… well, in the Age of Sail, every ship brought loads of it on every voyage. They considered it a necessity and I’m going to assume they knew what they were doing.

I’m going to make an alternate version of the map next. It’ll be a grimmer, darker sort of place. I’m just going to adjust the colors, add some fog, stuff like that. Anyway, I’ll have it done by tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll still have patrons at that point after what I said about Waterworld.

Driftport (Work-in-Progress)

This is the first floor of Driftport, a floating town made of scrap wood and salvaged ships that have been spliced together like some kind of nautical Frankenstein. There will be a second floor above this and a small third floor as well. I got really inspired by the idea of this place and I think it’s going to make a really cool map. All right, I’m gonna get back to it. Let me know what you think so far!

New Giltwater – A Gold Mining Colony

Here’s a version without the mines.

New Giltwater is a gold mining colony in Tir Thelandira. After the last colony was burned to the ground by the island’s native wood elves, the colonists have taken a few more precautions this time around, building a palisade and keeping a few companies of mercenaries close by.

There are only three more maps to draw before Tir Thelandira is finished. After that, I’ve got a few ideas on what to start on next and I’ll probably let patrons vote on which one you want to see first. Here’s what I’m thinking about:

  1. Dhasra. An incredibly wealthy city built across a river delta. The main location on the island would be the White City of Dhasra and I’d draw an overview of the city, then detailed maps of different locations within the city. There might be a couple other locations on the island as well.
  2. A very bleak island whose noble families all became vampires long ago. The peasants are little more than livestock for the nobles, who have established an upper caste of commoners to keep the rest in line. The nobles live in lavish palaces with fountains of blood, while the serfs live as prisoners in their own lands. A few groups of wanderers roam the forests, living free from the predation of the nobility. Deep in the shadows, there is talk of an uprising.
  3. A new version of Tortuga. I’ll redesign it and it’ll probably be a bit smaller, but the same basic idea. Since I’m drawing a world full of islands, it seems like an interesting way to travel between them. It lets the party stay on the move, while also having a community of people they know around them.

By the way, the runoff vote for the next location in Tir Thelandira is open, so if you’re a patron, go over there and participate in democracy. It’s really close right now, so your vote very well might change the outcome.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on those three ideas. What you like, what you don’t or what might make them better. I really want to draw all three, but I’d like to hear your opinions first.