The Fallen Tower

Drawing this map made my brain hurt and I’m genuinely worried that, by posting it, I’m going to cause other people’s brains to hurt as well. I think this has something to do with the floor being a wall and a wall being the floor, which… dammit, my brain hurts again.

Here, I made a diagram to explain it as simply as I could:

There’s some further explanation in the DM notes, but I think this covers the important stuff. As you can see, I had to change the way I draw significantly to accommodate some of the Fallen Tower’s peculiar needs. Like, there’s a map symbol for a door or a window, but there is no map symbol for “There’s a gap where a staircase used to be. In the wall. 30 feet up,” or “There’s a door, but it’s sideways.” So I had to draw in the sides of the walls to show those things.

A huge part of the time I spent on this was just figuring out how to present it in the most easy-to-understand way I could. At first, I had plans to complicate the hell out of this thing, but I decided to keep it fairly simple and see what you all thought. If the Fallen Tower doesn’t cause too much cerebral hemorrhaging, I may revisit this idea down the road and go a bit wilder with it.

Anyway, I do think this came out pretty well and I think it’d be an interesting place for players to explore. If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around it, let me know and I’ll do what I can to help. It’s my fault you’re looking at this thing in the first place, so I kind of owe you that.

Next up is Brazenthrone‘s Freeholders’ Hall (27 on this map). It’s where the mushroom farmers live and it’s the second-to-last Brazenthrone map. After that, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, a dwarven mining outpost built into the side of a cliff face. Then we wrap up Brazenthrone with the Old Palace. This journey of nearly two years is coming to a close.

Brazenthrone – Greenstone Hall

Greenstone Hall is a residential district of Brazenthrone with a large, green crystal formation embedded in the floor. Discovered when the chamber was excavated, not much is known about it other than the fact that it’s magical. Once seen as a cause for concern, it’s managed to blend into the background after eight centuries of not causing any apparent problems.

With this chamber finished, we’ve got three more parts of Brazenthrone left to do, the next of which will be the Iron Mines. But before that, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, a hanging wizard’s tower built into a stalactite. It’s a concept that allows for some unusual design decisions compared to your standard tube of rocks poking out of the ground. I think it might lead to something pretty interesting when it’s finished. Well, I’ll be back with it in a bit and we’ll see!

There are DM notes for this map available to patrons.

Brazenthrone – Excavation

This is a new, unnamed chamber of Brazenthrone currently being excavated. It’s at 19 on this map. This is where dwarven cities come from: lots and lots of tedious digging. Fortunately, that’s a thing dwarves happen to be into. For them, hammering away at rock is like… taking a walk in the woods. Or petting a kitten. You can hardly even call it work.

With that done, there are now six chambers of the city left to draw. Six! There are three small residential districts, plus the Iron Mines, the Mushroom Farms and the Old Palace. I don’t see any way that this doesn’t get finished by the end of the year at the latest.

Coming up next is Greenskin Rock, a cluster of sea stacks with a goblin or kobold community living inside. After that, we’re back to Brazenthrone with the Hollows (12 on the map above). It’s a residential district, but there are two things that make it a little more interesting than most: first, it’s the bad part of town. Crime, heroin, bad language… they’ve got it all. And second, it’s where the thieves’ guild is secretly located. I’m not sure where I’m going to hide it away, but I’ll come up with something interesting.

All right, I’m gonna get to it!

Brazenthrone – The Opaline Grotto

Grotto. While drawing this map, it occurred to me that “grotto” might be… not the ugliest word in the English language, but the ugliest word for a thing that’s usually beautiful. Say it: grotto. Grotto. Ugh.

Yeah, so anyway, the Opaline *ahem* Grotto is a natural cavern with unmined opal deposits in the walls. There’s also a small cave system behind one of the houses leading to the Bitterwash River in case your party happens to need a shortcut.

Since I’d originally drawn this as a rectangular chamber on the Brazenthrone overview map, I updated it with the new shape. The print and VTT versions of it are here (they’re free). I know I updated this the other week and I apologize to anyone who just printed it and is staring at the screen like, “This f#@%* guy…” But this is probably the last time I update it. Unless it’s not.

Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a city built around a volcano. After that, we’re going back to Brazenthrone for Burke’s Hall (23 on the overview). And then I’ll be knocking out a map from the Great Vote. I’m thinking the Great Garden sounds good, but I reserve the right to change my mind to Greenskin Rock. Screw it, I’ll put up a vote on the patreon. Decisions are hard.

There are DM notes for this map available to patrons.

Brazenthrone – Updated Overview Map

Sorry this is a little late, I had something come up last night before I could get it done. Anyway, here it is! I reserve the right to change 19 and 27 if I come up with a better idea for them, but I’ll update the map again if I do.

Here’s the non-annotated version. You can download the print and VTT versions for free from my patreon here. The VTT versions aren’t marked with dimensions, they’re just a smaller file size you can use as handouts.

All right, time to get started on the Old Quarter!

Brazenthrone – The Hall of Iron – Everyone’s Edition


The Hall of Iron is a residential district of Brazenthrone. Admittedly, having nothing but residences, it’s not the most exciting part of the city. But a city needs homes and not everyone can live in some kind of dwarven Winchester Mystery House (here, let me save some of you the time).

This is one of a cluster of residential chambers surrounding a fountain plaza, which you can see here (17 and the nearby unlabeled chambers). I’ve decided to do the plaza and the rest of these chambers as one map, which I’ll add this to. That’ll let me consolidate everything into a single annotated version and a single page of DM notes, which is handy because, frankly, there isn’t much notable stuff here. This is Brazenthrone’s version of suburbia.

Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, The High Temple of Mystra, a massive library and storehouse of arcane objects dedicated to the goddess of magic. After that, more Brazenthrone, of course.

You can download all print and VTT versions of this map from this post on my patreon or from Google Drive.

Brazenthrone – The Bloody Hall – Everyone’s Edition


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!

All the print and VTT content for this map is available on my patreon here or on Google Drive.


Old Madeleine’s Country Inn and Fighting Pit

This is the first of the maps chosen by patrons in the Great Vote. It’s been in my idea book since just after I started the website and I’m glad to see Old Madeleine’s turn finally come around. If you’re looking to make a pit stop for a little booze and violence in your campaign, maybe consider having your players drop by. As Old Madeleine herself always says, “There’s nothing better than sitting by a warm fire, eating a nice, home-cooked meal and watching two people fight to the death.”

So, next up is Brazenthrone’s underdark trading outpost. After that is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, the harbor fortress of Torchguard. Then it’s back to Brazenthrone with… I haven’t decided yet. Probably either the Noble, Common or Anvil Quarter.

There’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.

The Border Bridge

My idea here was that this bridge is the border crossing between two (probably not super-friendly) countries, but it could also be used as a toll bridge or a fortress entrance. Of course, tell whatever story with it you like, but, personally, I think you should arrange a scenario where your players get to throw people over the side. Your barbarian will love you for it.

Also, the tower on the right really looks like something from Super Mario Bros. All I can think of when I look at the side view is, “Your princess is in another castle,” haha.

There’s an annotated version and DM notes and all the usual stuff on the patreon.

Brazenthrone – The Hall of the Long Banner

Here’s the first of Brazenthrone‘s several residential districts. I know these residential districts aren’t really the sexiest parts of the city, but I’m going to try and keep them interesting.

Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner, then back to Brazenthrone for the High King’s Palace, which I intend to run absolutely buckwild with.

Here’s an alternate version of this map with the market stalls removed. I made it for people who intend to use Brazenthrone as an abandoned ruin. DM notes for this map are available to supporters.