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.
The annotated version is here.
Eldfjall is an arctic island in the northern seas, a bountiful hunting ground for whaling and seal-hunting. But it’s so far north that crops can’t grow and even a fire won’t keep away the bitter, year-round cold. Still, one brave group of settlers found a way to make it habitable: they built their homes in the caldera of the island’s volcano, using the heat it gives off to stay warm and grow small gardens to supplement their diet of fish, seals and whale. This town wasn’t built around a volcano by chance, but by necessity. It’s not a threat to the town, it’s the heart of the town. It’s what gives it life and, without it, the town couldn’t exist.
Eldfjall is the Icelandic word for “volcano.” I don’t know much about the Icelandic language, but that word is so Skyrim it makes my brain tingle. Also, Eldfjall is a pretty Icelandic place. Cold, volcanoes, whaling? That’s everything Iceland is famous for minus Sigur Ros.
DM notes for this map are available to patrons.
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.
With this done, the shattered wreck that is Brazenthrone‘s Old Quarter is now finished. Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a small castle on a floating island in the sky. Following that, we’re going back to Brazenthrone to do the Opaline Grotto (24 on this map). Then it’ll be the most recent Cartographic Congress winner, a city built on an active volcano. So, you know, Hawaii. Not really. Kind of, though.
I’ve got another bunch of tokens I made for my game as well and I’ll have those up in the next few days. There’s some town guards, pirates, mind flayers and a hill giant that one-shotted an NPC in my game the other week. The dude valiantly charges forward and says, “You take the goblins, I’ll handle the big guy!” And then that giant did to his head what Tiger Woods does to golf balls. Good effort, though, buddy. Good, solid try.
There are DM notes and hi-res print and VTT versions of this map available to patrons.