As promised, here’s the second level. Four more chambers to go!
Here’s the non-annotated version and here are the DM notes, which I’m giving out to everybody because there are some unintuitive things about the Mushroom Farms and I want everyone to understand why they are the way they are.
One of the buildings here is Meard’s Dwarven White Whiskey distillery. White whiskey is a thing I came up with while thinking about dwarven liquor. I thought, “Dwarves are known for drinking really strong ale, right? So what is their liquor like? How strong is that?” This was my answer.
I introduced white whiskey to my players at a tavern once. The bartender told them it’s too strong for anyone but dwarves, so, of course, everyone HAD to try it. He put a tiny metal cup in front of each of them, filled them up and backed away. When the players threw their drinks back, I told everyone who wasn’t a dwarf to make a CON save. Those who failed vomited immediately, violently and copiously.
Later, they came to find out what’s in white whiskey: alcohol. And nothing else. It’s just a bottle of ethyl alcohol. That’s dwarven liquor.
The second (and final) level of the Mushroom farms is close to being finished and I should have it up later tonight, tomorrow at the latest. It’s just roofs, but that’s part of the protocol.
After that, I’m drawing the floating fortress warship that was voted on as an honorary Great Vote winner several months back. It’s been a while since I’ve done a ship map and it’s about time for another one. Unless the half a ship in Whiskey Point counts, which it doesn’t. Okay, I’m gonna go finish up the mushroom farms!
The Hollows are the closest thing Brazenthrone has to slums. They’re the poorest neighborhood in the city and, secretly, the home of the local Thieves’ Guild. They also have the lowest ceiling of any chamber in the city.
Rising only seven feet above the floor, the walls of the buildings here go from the ground to the chamber’s roof, making the streets more like winding tunnels. The second level is actually a separate chamber altogether, located directly above the first. Imagine going to work in the mines, then coming home to a place every bit as cramped. That’s life in the Hollows. There’s more information about the area– particularly the Thieves’ Guild– in the DM notes, if you’re interested.
There are five more parts of Brazenthrone to go and I think the next one will be the Mushroom Farms. There’s going to be a distillery there that makes something called “Dwarven White Whiskey,” which is a drink my players encountered once at a tavern. I’ll explain more about it when the map is done.
But before that, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: an abandoned fortress with a lighthouse at the end of a peninsula, taken over by pirates and turned into a black market trading port. Well, I’m gonna start sketching that out! See you in a bit!
And here’s the last level of the Oreworks. Is there much here on the third floor? No. Is there a hole through which your players can drop someone into a blast furnace? Yes sir, there is.
Honestly, I think the real potential of the Oreworks is that there’s all kinds of dangerous stuff sitting around that can make a fight here a lot more interesting. Furnaces, molten metal, an assortment of smashing machines… there are a lot of hilariously terrible ways to die here. Something to think about.
Anyway, next up is a mountaintop airship port. A place to gas up the ol’ flying machine, make some repairs, sell off some loot, have a few drinks and get in a fight. It’s not going to be nearly as much like a truck stop as I’m making it sound. After that, it’s back to Brazenthrone. I’m not sure what I’m doing next, but it’s not the Old Palace. I’m saving that for last to make sure it ends on a high note.
Here’s the second floor of Brazenthrone‘s Oreworks. Not too much going on, but now you know what those horses are walking around in circles for. Also, the Miners’ Guildhall isn’t just a bar, even though it is mostly a bar.
I’ve actually got the third level done as well, I just need to make the VTT and print versions and so forth. I’ll have it up later tonight. All right, I’m gonna grab something to eat and get on that.
First, here’s a few things:
This is the first of three levels of Brazenthrone‘s Oreworks. This took a bit of research to draw, since– like most people– I wasn’t all that familiar with the processes and equipment involved in pre-modern ore processing and steelmaking.
It took some reading, but I got the basic idea and there’s an explanation of all the equipment depicted here in the DM notes, which I’m giving out to everyone so you don’t have to spend half the day on Wikipedia just to understand this map. I’m not sure my explanation of this stuff is completely accurate, but it’s accurate enough for D&D purposes. If you’re a welder or a steelworker or someone else who actually knows about this stuff… I mean, I don’t think you’ll facepalm, but I also can’t guarantee you won’t facepalm.
There are a few different methods of steelmaking that I could’ve chosen for the dwarves of Brazenthrone, but I decided that they used a Bessemer Converter. Having been invented in the mid-1800s, this is somewhat advanced technology for a middle-ages setting, but dwarven steelmaking is meant to be advanced and, more importantly, I think it looks cool.
I’ve got the second and third levels of this mostly drawn and I’ll have them up in the next few days. After that, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a mountaintop airship port.
Well, I’ll be back with the rest of the Oreworks. There’s a lot going on in this map, so if you have any questions about it, just ask!
An explanation of who Burke was and why there’s a chamber of Brazenthrone named after him is in the DM notes, which I’m giving away to everyone. As with most of the other residential chambers, all the buildings in Burke’s Hall are houses, so there’s no annotated version.
Next up is the Great Garden, which I described in the last post. I’m still not completely sure what it’s going to be like, but I’ve got some ideas and I should be able to turn them into something cool. After that, we’re doing Brazenthrone’s oreworks (at 26 on the city overview).
The oreworks is the area outside the iron mines, where ore is stamped, smelted and made into steel. This is a map that’s going to take a little research, since I want to get things right and, like most people, I’m not especially well-versed in the details of the medieval steelmaking process.
Also, I’m making some more tokens for my game and I’ll post those once they’re done. I’m not going to lie, they’re some pretty weird stuff. The most normal thing might be an ice troll. The weirdest? A horse-drawn sleigh. Yeah, like Santa. Except the surprises in the back of this one are going to be mind flayers. My game is going to some strange places, haha.
Here are the DM notes. There is no annotated version, since all the rooms are residences.
The Bloody Hall is a residential district of Brazenthrone, located just south of the Common Quarter. It’s unique on account of all the residences here being in a single, large building formerly known as “Amber Manor.” There are more details in the DM notes if you’re interested.
Next up is the Hall of Iron, another residential district adjacent to the Common Quarter. After that, I’ll be doing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, the High Temple of Mystra. Then it’ll be back to the mountain for the rest of the Brazenthrone maps I owe you. There’s not too much of the city left to go!
Last month, I was making all the patron content for my new maps available to everyone (for reasons explained in this post). I’m going to continue doing so until at least May 18th, which is the date for the end of the lockdown in Ireland (where I live). I hope these maps have been helpful to those of you who have had to bring their games online (and everyone else).
Anyway, this map is Brazenthrone‘s old mines, the city’s disused and sealed-off iron mines. What went wrong? They dug too deep and too greedily? Disturbed a sleeping dragon? No, they tunneled into an underground stream and flooded the place. Eventually, various critters tunneled their way in from outside and made it their home, leading to the dwarves sealing the whole thing off.
But maybe somebody left their lunchbox inside and your party has to go in and get it. Or maybe there’s an aboleth in there doing some kind of psychic nonsense and someone needs to put some lemon juice on that sucker and toss it on the grill. There’s some ideas in the DM notes.
Next up is more Brazenthrone. I’m going to do a residential district because there’s quite a few of them left to draw and I don’t want to end up with everything else finished and 8 residential chambers to draw in a row. Well, I’d better get started!
Here’s the annotated Patrons’ Edition and the DM notes. I’m still giving away all my new patron content for free while everyone is stuck inside. You can get it from my patreon here or from Google Drive.
Brazenthrone returns! This is the first of a number of Brazenthrone maps I’ll be drawing in a row. Gnomestown is pretty much what it says on the label: a small corner of the city where a lot of the gnomish residents live. Most of these would be deep gnomes, with whom the dwarves of Brazenthrone have a tight relationship.
The “Tavern in the Sky” at (5) is a good place to hang out if you’re three feet tall and everyone else in the city has a liver like a bank vault and casually drinks an amount of alcohol that would kill your entire family. If the name seems confusing, here’s the explanation from the DM notes:
The name of this tavern makes plenty of sense to deep gnomes, but almost none to anyone else. The gnomes‘ perspective is this: most deep gnome communities are miles below ground. While Brazenthrone is under a mountain, the city and it’s entrance are fairly high up in the mountains and the city is, in fact, at a higher elevation than most surface cities. Thus, it is– according to the deep gnomes– “in the sky.” To be clear, the sky is in no way visible from this location.
Next up is the Old Mines, east of the Noble Quarter. They’re long abandoned and blocked off from the city, which makes them sort of a “wilderness.” But, you know, maybe somebody forgot something in there and maybe your party needs to crawl on in and go get it. It’ll be fine. It can’t be that bad, can it? I mean, of course it can, but… look, just get in the hole.
Before that, I’ll post another batch of tokens I made for my Roll20 game. Those should be up tomorrow. Until then!