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.
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!
These halls are the “suburbia” of Brazenthrone, which makes them a little hard to say much about. They’re where normal dwarves live. They’re neither the wealthiest commoner district nor the poorest. The wealthiest is the Promontories, of course. The poorest will be the Hollows, to the west of the Anvil Quarter. It hasn’t been drawn yet, but that’s where it’ll be. Ye olde hood.
With these chambers done, a finished Brazenthrone is starting to come into sight. As I promised earlier, I’m going to redo the overview map of the city to include all the unmarked chambers. That won’t take long and it should be up later tonight. I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve been using it as a handout recently and, with six chambers drawn that aren’t marked on there, it’s probably a good time to do it. Anyway, I’ll be back with that in a few hours!
This is the main temple of Mystra, the goddess of magic in the Forgotten Realms. In addition to its religious functions, the temple also houses a massive storehouse of magic in the caverns below. I only included the first level in the map, but there’s a stairway on the left side of the caverns to allow you to expand into another map if you want.
The symbols at the bases of the towers are meant to be glyphs that teleport people between levels. But if you’d prefer boring old stairs, I made another version with those.
My game is starting soon, so I’ve gotta wrap up this post. Next up is more Brazenthrone!
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!
So, a few months ago, I was asked to draw part of a map of that a bunch of other artists would be working on. The map was of the innards of a tarrasque and the idea was that each person would draw a different organ.
I was asked to do something different, though: draw a building piercing through the side of the creature. Why? Because *Ralph Wiggum voice* I’m special. I decided to go with a minaret, the pointiest buildings in all of architecture.
Anyway, there’s an adventure to go with it and a whole bunch of other stuff, which you can download here. It’s all free for everybody. All right, I’m gonna get back to work on Mont-Saint-Michel. I’ve got a few more pages to show you, which I’ll post either tonight or tomorrow.
The Carthaginian harbor is one of those things that has to have been imagined by a fantasy artist, except it wasn’t. It was real and this is, from what we know, what it looked like. On the left is the merchants’ harbor, built for trade, with a chain boom at the entrance that can be raised or lowered to block access. On the right, the war harbor, housing the mighty Carthaginian fleet. And in the center of the war harbor is the Admiralty Isle, a man-made island with more docking space, a naval shipyard and an observation room from which the fleet’s command can oversee everything.
The main departure from reality is the scale– the war harbor shown here has space for 34 ships, but the real harbor held around 220. Still, I think this gets the point across without the need for a map the size of a mattress.
Thanks to Anders, who proposed this idea to the Cartographic Congress. Some of my favorite CC maps are the ones where I started out thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to draw this?!” I definitely felt that way with this, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you like it too.
Next up is the second (and last) floor of Brazenthrone’s Anvil quarter. Then I’m going to do last month’s Cartographic Congress map, which will be inspired by the Rock of Cashel. Then I’m going to go straight into Brazenthrone’s Noble Quarter. I was thinking about trying to get one of the Great Vote maps done in between, but my thinking on that is this (and correct me if I’m mistaken): the Great Vote maps people are really champing at the bit for are the bigger ones, but I need to get the core of Brazenthrone (the Noble and Anvil Quarters) finished. Once I’ve got those two huge maps taken care of, I’ll be freed up to take on Mont-Saint-Michel, which, I suspect, is the map a lot of you are looking forward to the most. So, that’s the plan at the moment. We’re just gonna run past all the minions and rush down the big guys. Can I get a Leeroy Jenkins?
The Great Library is a fantasy version of the Great Library of Alexandria. The historical Library of Alexandria is famous for being the largest repository of knowledge in the ancient world. Its construction, ordered by the Pharaoh Ptolemy II, was probably the greatest accomplishment anyone who slept with their sister has ever made.
In addition to its large collection of books, scrolls and maps, the Great Library features living facilities for resident scholars, a lecture hall, shrine, scriptorium and more. It truly is a great milestone in mankind’s eternal quest for knowledge. You should send your players to burn it to the ground.
This map was chosen by the Cartographic Congress, based on the proposal by Senator Parker. Originally, I wasn’t sure how I’d combine a castle and a lighthouse, but I really like how it turned out.
Torchguard is built on a rocky outcropping in the middle of a harbor. This puts it in a good position to defend against attacks by sea, but it also makes it a thing that ships might run into at night. Thus, the lighthouse atop the keep. An array of artillery, as well as docks to host its own fleet, help Torchguard keep unwanted ships from marauding the surrounding city.
Next up is Brazenthrone’s Common Quarter. It’s one of the bigger parts of the city and it’ll take a little while to draw, but I’ll give you some work-in-progress pics along the way.
Also, something I wanted to share: the other day, I went to the dentist and I had to fill out a form, which had a space for “occupation.” Writing “Fantasy Cartographer” on that line was one of the sweetest, most delicious moments of my life. I still can’t believe I do this. My god. Thank you so much.
There’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.