Here’s the second level of Brazenthrone at last. Sorry, this took me longer than I’d have liked. The illness I mentioned in the last post declined to go away, which is not conducive to productive mapmaking. In any case, I think it’s over and I should have the next map up in around 4-5 days.
Next up is the third level of the Great Hall, then I’ll be doing a ranger outpost, which I think I’ve got an interesting idea for. Alright, back to work!
I’d meant to get this up yesterday, but I’ve been sick for the last few days. You so very do not want to know the details. Let’s just say if I spend any more time with the toilet, my wife is going to get jealous of it. Anyway, it’s done now and here it is, all tidied up.
When I started Brazenthrone, I promised that I’d alternate between Brazenthrone and non-Brazenthrone maps, since I’d imagine people have different levels of enthusiasm for the Great Dwarven Ultramap. I wanted to get the two DiFlorio Keep maps out back-to-back, but now that they’re done, I’m going to draw two Brazenthrone maps, which will be the second and third floor of the Great Hall.
If the pace seems slow, keep in mind that the other chambers will not be as large or have as many floors. But the Great Hall is the centerpiece of the map and I think it needs to be pretty epic. I did say that it would be about the size of Finbarr’s Marsh by itself and I wasn’t exaggerating.
One small castle with a unique entrance and a little Italian flavoring. Then I wrecked it. I hope you like it.
This is the map chosen by last months Cartographic Congress vote, as proposed by Senator Hal. The good senator wanted a small keep that his players could retake from some hobgoblins, then restore and use for themselves.
I thought about it for a while and decided to draw both the destroyed and restored versions, since I think there’s a lot of things a pair of maps like that could be used for and since I haven’t seen anything like that out there. There are a few interesting uses: fix the castle, destroy the castle, or travel through time to see the castle in two different states. So the intact version of this keep will be the next map. After that will be two floors of Brazenthrone’s Great Hall.
An annotated version of this map is available on the patreon.
Well, here it is, finally. I promise you won’t have to wait this long for any other part of Brazenthrone. This is easily the biggest piece of the city.
Here’s the non-annotated version. There’s a Patrons’ Edition of this map with all the rooms of the numbered buildings marked and labeled (it is monstrous), as well as a VTT version, and all the other usual stuff available on the patreon. There will be DM notes as well, once the upper floors are finished.
Also, here’s the first edition of Brazenthrone’s History and Lore. I’ll update it as I write more throughout the process of making the map:
Here they are with the walls and floors finished. My hand is killing me and I don’t care. Time to fire up the scanner, stitch these together, color them and annotate them. I’m going to guess that’ll be three days’ work. It might be less. I’m going to stop typing and get started.
Everything is inked except for the tiles and the wall fill.
If you’re wondering how I draw wall fill, it’s pretty simple: First, draw little lines over and over until your hand hurts. Next, keep drawing lines until your hand feels like it’s going to fall off. Then, keep drawing lines until your hand actually falls off. After that, go to the hospital and get your hand reattached. Repeat.
It’s my least favorite part of drawing maps, but I really, really like the way it looks. The things I do for cartography.
Okay! Here’s a photo of the finished pencils for the Great Hall. Drawing furnishings for most of the rooms really makes this take a lot more time, but I think it’s worth it. I had a photo of the other half (which is also finished), but it’s really blurry and, between spending ten minutes getting another one and skipping it so I can start laying down ink, I think I’ll just leave it at this and get back to work. I’ll post another update in a couple days.
These are the early final pencils for the Great Hall. Most of the buildings only have their outer walls drawn in, but the upper left of the top image has a number of finished buildings with the rooms and furnishings done.
The big things against the walls and columns are giant dwarven statues, which are basically mandatory for something like this. I’m not trying to make Brazenthrone a completely unoriginal dwarven city, but I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, either.
The building in the middle of the top image is the amphitheater. The one in the middle of the bottom image is the Great Festhall. I’ll say more about it later, but for now I should get back to work.
Just wanted to give you an update on the Great Hall. These are the layout sketches, which are 25% of the size of the final maps. Since a lot of this is connected, I decided to plan out the most substantial levels all at once. The above is the ground level. Below is the top level, The Promontories. It’s the area where many of the city’s wealthiest commoner families live.
Finally, here’s a sketch of the two biggest columns in the middle of the hall, which lead up to the walkways of the Promontories. Time to get started on the final pencils for the ground level.
This came from an idea I had for a tower buried in a landslide with a stream now flowing into it, which filled it with water, eventually breaking through the cellar floor into a chasm below. The chasm can connect to another dungeon, the Underdark, or– if you’d rather keep it shorter– can just be filled with water. The tunnel in the side is a cavern or burrow whose inhabitants dug in through the wall. Or it could be from something that dug its way out. It’s meant to be flexible.
The next map will be the Great Hall of Brazenthrone. It’s going to be huge and it’s going to take a week or two. I’ll keep you posted with work-in-progress pics to let you know how it’s going.
An annotated version of this map and DM notes are available on the patreon.