I draw the occasional D&D map

the Vanshiro Reliquary

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A quiet structure for the contemplation and learning about the life and trials of the paladin Eneshra and their eventual transformation into the dragon Vanshiro who flew into the west and who’s occasional returns to these lands are a mix of myth, hearth-tales, and the one time it landed on this very hill to speak to the Grand Eclesiast and deliver the three emerald scales.


Four generations later there is no longer a Grand Eclesiast at all. One of the scales was used and destroyed in the Battle of Long River, another went missing with the last Grand Eclesiast who travelled south to find the Eye of Kin. The final scale is supposedly still here, kept under guard by the small number of faithful priests and paladins who maintain the reliquary.


A 1200dpi version of the map along with the free commercial use license are at https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/08/vanshiro/
 

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The Ruins of Greymail Clanhold

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Greymail Clanhold has fallen. Word of the tragedy has only recently made it down from the mountains, but the stories paint a bleak picture of the hold being invaded and the dwarves destroying much of the structure to keep it out of the invaders’ hands.


But that is only part of the tale. There are still dwarves once of the clan in the ruins. They survived the siege through cannibalism and they were the ones responsible for collapsing the extensive hold to deny it to their foes – killing most of the non-combatants of the clan in the process.


These guilt-wracked survivors hate themselves more than anything and only survive out of a twisted need to defend what is left of the clanhold – and yet they are still the only ones destroying it. In the time since the siege and fall, they have smashed the statue of the clan founder by the entrance and dragged the larger parts out of the clanhold to throw them down into the ravine below.


The survivors are in great pain, and seek their own deaths defending the clanhold one last time.


1200 dpi version of the map and commercial use license are at the blog post - https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/11/greymail/
 

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This is the fourth level of the Geomorphic Halls, a dungeon designed around my dungeon geomorph design to produce levels that have specific waypoints and landmarks, but also areas that shift and change between visits.


This is the final level of the Geomorphic Halls – except for that one small tunnel that has been dug out to the west, leading perhaps to other complexes or the fabled “underdark”.


The east side of this level of the complex is a span of natural caves and a quiet lake which in turn is home to a small island at the base of spiral stairs that descend from the low ceiling (and from the level above).


As with the other levels of this dungeon, you can use any of the geomorphs from my own Geomorph Mapping Challenge, or the thousands of other compatible designs from sites and blogs all around the net.


1200dpi version of the map, along with links to the other three levels and many many geomorphs to fill it are available here - https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/15/geomorphic-4/
 

Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide Perspective Map

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When I got a copy of the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide some 33 years ago, it was a flood of information, rules I would consistently ignore, scraps about the underdark for the first time since the D series of adventures…


And a collection of pages at the back on drawing perspective-based maps. Not the isometric (axonometric) projections of Castle Ravenloft, but grids set at various perspectives and rotations along with instructions on photocopying and cutting them up, or tracing them in order to draw multi-tiered maps of some of the larger spaces in the underdark.


33 years later, I finally did it.


I ended up choosing a grid that looks a lot like an isometric projection instead of a perspective piece, and following the directions for tracing the grid for a section, then moving the grid and tracing the next section produces very… vertical separations between elevations.


The end result is a multi-tiered open space to explore – a large uneven “cave” (that has definitely been modified by the residents over the ages) with ramps and stairs between sections.


I’m definitely going to take another shot at this using a grid that has a stronger perspective and probably a smaller space to try to make something more like a traditional cavern. But I’m spectacularly happy with this piece, and glad that I finally drew it after 33 years of “planning to draw it”.


The 1200 dpi final map can be downloaded at the blog post - https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/18/dungeoneers-survival-guide-perspective-map/
 

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Nearly a decade ago I spent most of a year drawing and posting geomorphs to this blog. This year’s Kickstarter for a new series of DungeonMorph dice from Inkwell Ideas brought me back to drawing them again… with the slight stylistic improvement of a decade of experience.


Clockwise from top left we’ve got:
Shrine / Temple complex with secret reliquary.
Forge / Workshops
Magic Pool
Crypts / Tombs


And of course, while these geomorphs work great with each other (and the thousand or so compatible morphs collected by Dave @ www.davesmapper.com ) but also with the four dungeon levels of the Geomorphic Halls.


1200 dpi versions of the geomorphs are of course on the blog - https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/25/geomorphs4/
 

The Crypt of the Smith

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Drawn back at the end of 2015, I've upped the resolution on this map and am re-releasing it today.


The Smith’s Reliquary was crafted from heavy blocks of stone banded together with huge bands of steel that wrap around the structure like the hoops on a barrel. These bindings have rusted through the two hundred years this reliquary has stood, discolouring the stone of the building as well as the walkway and the cobbled street that passes along it.


The central chamber within is the reliquary itself, with a massive anvil in the centre of the space, flanked by tools and half-complete weapons and iron hardware of immense size. The back of the chamber is a huge furnace, long cold but for a few coals that are kept burning by the priests, replaced every few hours as they burn out.


Behind the central chamber is the resting place of the Smith. Either a mighty titan of the craft, or possibly an actual godling struck down somehow. But the sarcophagus is a lie, and within it is but the corpse of a stone giant embalmed and secured against grave robbers.


The true tomb of the Smith is hidden deep beneath this structure. In the priests’ chambers on the left side of the map is a small secret door behind which is a secure area containing a key as well as a variety of minor artifacts of the church (the first nail crafted by the Smith, a hammer head that has been shattered from heavy use, leather tongs that held his works, and so on). The key in turn unlocks the secret door hidden beneath the anvil in the main reliquary. But first one has to pull the four massive iron bolts that hold it in place and then slide this hundred-ton piece of steel aside.


Beneath the trap door is a set of stairs leading down to a natural cave with heavy and poisonous sulfuric fumes bubbling up through mud pits. The whole cave is wet and hot and oppressive. At the far side across a small bridge over the mud pits is the actual tomb of the Smith with a shaft of blackest obsidian through his chest – still breathing, but never waking.


1200 dpi versions of this map, with and without grid, can be downloaded at https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/28/smith-kraken/
 

The Frogs' Reliquary

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Even bullywugs have saints, holy frogs, and sanctified leaders and allies. They aren’t common, and they are revered. This bullywug reliquary dates back to the rule of the Verdant Administrant and The Empire of Gold.


The reliquary itself is collapsing into a much deeper dungeon. It can be entered from the jungle entrance in an old bullywug temple, or by climbing up out of the deeper levels below. But getting into the reliquary proper to acquire the holy relics within requires collecting the Agate, Jade, and Lapis keys that are sealed into tombs around the space.


High resolution copies with and without the notation are on the blog - https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/07/29/frogs/
 

The Phoenix Diadem

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Portals between worlds are crafted from potent materials in places where the energies of the world intersect with that of other places. Sometimes these ‘ley lines’ are conveniently found where the sky meets the earth and the portals can be built on the surface of the world itself.


But more often they meet in places deep or high. And thus we build “dungeons”.


The Phoenix Diadem is such a place – built beneath the world and linking it to other places. But it is not just a portal; it serves as a prison to those whom it calls forth. There is insufficient space here for the great birds who fly in the liminal worlds between the planes of water and air (referred to as the para-elemental planes by some sages learned in the ways of the many worlds). Within the diadem they find themselves trapped, forced to subservience in order to be able to return to the cold skies of their world.


Even without the spells and rituals to summon forth the great para-elemental birds, the placement and design of the Phoenix Diadem allows things to “leak through” between worlds. Smaller elemental phenomenon occasionally breach into the diadem, and some unfortunates have also been lost here, having “successfully” pushed through from the Prime to the homes of these creatures.

https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/08/03/diadem/
 

The Old Turnip Inn

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We don’t know why we call it the Old Turnip… it’s just always been the Old Turnip. Well, I guess about 30 years ago it was the Old Turnip Eatery and Inn, but that didn’t last.


You can tell it is old just walking past. The windows are out of square now as the building has settled over the years, and it still has a small outbuilding for horses from when this was the East Gate district, before the new curtain walls were built under Geoffrey the Bold’s rule.


With only two fireplaces, the upstairs gets a little cold in the winter, but the rooms are cheap and the blankets are warm. The current owner, Haknoi, is an unusually thin dwarf who is rumoured to buy liquor and ale stolen from other inns in the city.


The woodwork is old and stained from ages of use and abuse, but a close look will note old sigils against the undead, dark magics, and the evil eye inscribed into many surfaces, including the undersides of all the tables.


https://dysonlogos.blog/2019/08/05/turnip/
 

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