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Release the Kraken on the Ruins under Axehead Mound

Release-The-Kraken

It is the end of the month and time to head back into the older maps and dig up a few to re-release under the free commercial license, all thanks to the awesome patrons who support my cartographic wanderings via Patreon. Today we are bringing back “the Ruins under Axehead Mound” from four years ago. The versions below have been upgraded to 1200 dpi and an optional grid has been added.

The Ruins under Axehead Mound (with grid)The Ruins under Axehead Mound (with grid)

My default assumption for old school dungeons is that you’ve come across the ruins of something huge and underground – something like the ruined cities of the Elderlings buried in the swamps in the Rain Wilds stories by Robin Hobb. It’s the basis I use for all my “random dungeon” rolling.

Here is a small dungeon level set up exactly along those premises – the ruins under Axehead Mound have two entrances – one a collapsed wall section that leads into a chamber, the other a pair of ruin-cluttered stairs that lead into the ruins from a ruined above-ground building.

The Ruins under Axehead Mound (no grid)The Ruins under Axehead Mound (no grid)

This map was originally drawn almost exactly four years ago in a single draft using Sakura Microns (a 03 for the walls, and a 01 for the hatching).

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Return to Quasqueton – Map 2 of 3

My revised map of the main level of Quasqueton (from the classic B1 module “In Search of the Unknown) just didn’t have enough space for all the rooms on that level even after reducing the amount of hallway space, and I wanted to keep it so you could access most rooms via multiple routes, avoiding other sections of the dungeon level if you need to.

Return to Quasqueton - Upper LevelReturn to Quasqueton – Upper Level

So here’s the upstairs, containing two of the best-known rooms of the dungeon – the strange magical pools and the overgrown fungal garden. I purposefully placed the gardens right against the rock face. In my mind, there are metal shutters along the top of the west wall that are well concealed from the outside. These shutters have rusted shut – allowing rain water into the room without allowing sunlight.

Return to Quasqueton – Upper Level – NumberedReturn to Quasqueton – Upper Level – Numbered

I’ve also made a version of the map with the rooms numbered for use with the classic adventure module. The numbered rooms correspond with the original rooms in the adventure, and the lettered rooms are new to this map.

Both maps are 1200 dpi images with the squares being roughly 7mm per side. To make the squares 2 inches per side (appropriate size for miniatures, since the adventure uses 10 foot squares instead of 5 foot squares), you would have to blow it up about 7.25 times (which still has a resolution over 150 dpi, so it should look fine printed, although incredibly big).

I haven’t had a chance to get to the basement caves of Quasqueton yet, but I expect I’ll have them done by the end of the month so they will show up next month on the blog.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on the Sunken Maw

Release-The-Kraken

It is the end of the month and time to head back into the older maps and dig up a few to re-release under the free commercial license, all thanks to the awesome patrons who support my cartographic wanderings via Patreon. Here we are bringing back “The Sunken Maw” – a vertically-challenging dungeon drawn back in 2014. The versions below have been upgraded to 1200 dpi and an optional grid has been added.

The Sunken Maw (with grid)The Sunken Maw (with grid)

Far too many of my dungeons are easy to access. So why have they lain unplundered all these ages? The Sunken Maw is a bit trickier to get into than most. A nearly straight vertical drop leads to underground stone construction just above the water table. Rope and climbing gear will be the order of the day for lower-level groups, whereas the entry will be a lot easier (and thus less frightening) to those who come equipped with the magic of levitation or means of flight.

To complicate the matter, of course, we have nearby ruins which may contain untold horrors (who may be waiting when you come up from the maw) and a harpy nest has been established just inside the entrance of the maw, with a narrow path along the edge of the maw to allow pedestrian access to the stinking nest of foul birds.

The Sunken Maw (no grid)The Sunken Maw (no grid)

But it’s the structures below that will of course draw the attention of adventurers in the first place. Originally built by elven sorcerers with imprisoned demons to transport them up and down the maw itself, the structure’s name has been lost to the ages, but it still contains eldritch magics that were once common to the Kale empire thousands of years ago.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on Tever’s Fort

Release-The-Kraken

It is the end of the month and time to head back into the older maps and dig up a few to re-release under the free commercial license, all thanks to the awesome patrons who support my cartographic wanderings via Patreon. Here we are bringing back Tever’s Fort – an urban map I originally released in October of last year.

Tever's FortTever’s Fort

The fortifications of Tever’s Fort were erected quite recently along the Dragonfly Channel and local farmers and tradesmen quickly moved into and around the fort. The region south of the Dragonfly are wild and dangerous lands officially under the massive land claims of the Satrapy, but uncontested, unmonitored, and unprotected.

Erozel Tever built the fortification as she retired from adventuring. A woman of late middle age, she’s still skilled with the blade, but spends more of her time maintaining the household than adventuring. Her goal was to pacify the lands south of the Dragonfly, but underestimated the amount of time required to build and maintain the fort that bears her name. Now she only sends out teams to deal with incursions and immediate threats instead of proactively working to pacify the region.

The main fortress on the north side of the enclave houses Tever, her family, and her military forces. Opposite the fortress is the church of the Binder who “help” maintain order within the town, providing help to worshipers and keeping an eye on everyone else.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Catacombs of Olik Gullar

Since the Day of the Green Sun three weeks ago, the catacombs of Olik Gullar have been teeming with the undead. A sanctified necropolis, Olik Gullar contains untold numbers of the dead from the city above. The catacombs have been locked down now, but some worry that it is only a matter of time before the restless dead claw their way through to the cobbled streets of the city proper…

The Catacombs of Olik GullarThe Catacombs of Olik Gullar

This map is a “proof of concept” of what I wanted a few earlier catacomb & sewer maps to look like. I just didn’t have the skill at the time to pull it off. I drew this on a single page, with the two different scales for the overview and callouts – although I ended up moving the callouts a bit in photoshop afterwards because they were a bit cramped in some places and sparse in others.

In the end I’m very happy with the resulting mix of scales, and am proud to release the Catacombs of Olik Gullar to you.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken upon the Great Hall of Gruthren the Excessive

Release-The-Kraken

It is the end of the month and time to head back into the older maps and dig up a few to re-release under the free commercial license, all thanks to the awesome patrons who support my cartographic wanderings via Patreon. Here we are bringing back the Great Hall of Gruthren the Excessive, a map I originally posted back in 2014.

The Great Hall of Gruthren the ExcessiveThe Great Hall of Gruthren the Excessive

Gruthren the Excessive (also known as Gruthren Lord of All That Shines and is Buried, Gruthren the Obsessed, Gruthren Master of All Things Great and Small, Gruthren The Builder, Gruthren the Immense and Gruthren Of Too Many Titles) had this great hall constructed on level 3 of a local dungeon that he had cleared out by a team of mercenary adventurers. Purely so he would have something this insanely big for others to discover. Once the reconstruction of the level was complete, he abandoned the site and encouraged its repopulation with various foul beasts by leaving behind a significant quantity of gold, gems, foodstuffs, and even some mighty magical treasures he had accumulated.

The Great Hall (no grid)The Great Hall (no grid)

Sure enough, his plan worked, and foul beasts moved in from below and above, warring over control of the hall in the centre of the dungeon. Finally a potent mind controlling beast took residence here and used one of the magic statues left behind by Gruthren the Foolishly Brave as a magical link back to him, and drew him here to meet his doom.

Well, that’s the story at least. Others say that Gruthren died choking on a chunk of overcooked mutton at the local whorehouse, and the stories of his luring back to the Great Hall was just to conceal how much treasure his advisers and staff took with them when they vacated his palace.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on The Ten Crown River Caves!

Release-The-Kraken

 

It is the end of the month and time to head back into the older maps and dig up a few to re-release under the free commercial license, all thanks to the awesome patrons who support my cartographic wanderings via Patreon.

Ten Crown River CavesTen Crown River Caves

The mysterious Ten Crown River Caves are a set of five entrances cut into the limestone walls of the Ten Crown River by another watercourse that no longer travels this way. Four of the openings are into a single cavern that runs adjacent to the river (typically referred to as a “gallery” cave). Somewhere deep inside is an old hole where the prior river ran into the caves, but it has been filled in with dirt and rubble for untold years now, leaving the caves dry and almost hospitable.

Ten Crown River Caves (clean)Ten Crown River Caves (no overlays)

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Coward’s Crescent

Built into a stony hillside, this small dungeon was originally constructed as a storehouse for important, magical, and often illicit goods. The strong defensive construction made it a prime fortress and hideaway when the crown was being contested and became the secret home to the treacherous Prince Kalway.

The Coward's CrescentThe Coward’s Crescent

In the end it took a skilled assassin, some magical assistance, and a fairly large deposit of gold to pull the prince out of the structure alive to be tried for his crimes. The structure is still used by the merchants of House Pirret as a valuable goods storehouse, but it has forever been rebranded as “the Coward’s Crescent”.

I drew this particular map at a different scale than usual. Normally I work on 5 square per inch graph paper and draw with a general intention of 10′ per square (or 50′ per inch). For the Coward’s Crescent, I went with 4 square per inch paper, and drew at 10′ per 2 squares (well, 5′ per square on the graph paper, but when inked I kept to the 10′ squares).

I actually found it difficult to draw at this scale – not because of the extra detail, but just having to constantly watch over my scale and square placement instead of just letting my pens draw as they want.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on New Cresthill!

Things got a bit busy at the end of last month, so I didn’t get around to posting the second map released in June under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” project. Every month that Patreon funding remains over the $400 mark I sift through my back catalog and bring up a selection of maps that my patrons then vote on as to which will be released under the free commercial-use license. June turned out to be a city map month, with the first release being Joseph’s Inlet, and now we have New Cresthill!

New CresthillNew Cresthill

Along the rough eastern coast of the land is the bridged town of New Cresthill. Built up around a small fortress overlooking two river access points to the Grey Sea, New Cresthill is known for the multiple bridges that connect the various sections and elevations of the town.

New Cresthill is “ruled” by a council of the five “established houses” of the town – each household having one vote in urban affairs. However, no matter how much they like to think otherwise, the reality is that the town is still beholden to the Earl of Everren who’s father built the original fortress on the hilltop that remains one of the central parts of town. While the council pretends autonomy, they make sure that no resolution or decision will cause too much conflict with the House of Everren.

New Cresthill (no water screens)New Cresthill (no water screens)

The town is primarily centred around the Everren Fortress on the central promontory and the city hall to the north (with the Cresthill open-air market just downhill to the south of the city hall). Several small farming and fishing communities exist along the coast nearby that regularly trade goods and food with the New Cresthill families.

New Cresthill Progress ShotNew Cresthill Progress Shot

New Cresthill is a smaller map than most of my recent cities as it was drawn in a small pocket-sized book that I did most of my cartography in before I settled into doing most of my work in my “office” in mid 2014. It was originally released on the site back in November of 2014.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Ascent to Lucas’ Watch

Up along the edge of the cliff face overlooking the Bay of Eels are a set of steep stairs cut into the stone. A number of niches and chambers have been cut into the cliff along these stairs over the years. The top-most of these is a landing and set of chambers known as Lucas’ Watch where the aged Sorcerer-Priest once sat for days at a time watching over the bay or retreating within the cold stone structure within when the weather became too hostile.

The AscentThe Ascent

The lowest two flights of stairs are much older than the upper flights and rest at a shallower angle. They lead to a landing that in turn has the entranceway to an old crypt where unknown ancients were once interred – the lower crypt still bears the bas relief carvings of strange gods and geometric shapes that also decorated the long-absent sarcophagi that were here. The upper crypt on this level on the other hand has been fairly heavily damaged by later work which included adding a shaft between the crypt itself and the upper level.

The upper flights of stairs along the cliff face are much steeper – running at 45 degrees up the stone face. After the first 40 feet there are a pair of alcoves cut into landings 20 feet apart. Above that is the hermitage of the sorcerer-priest who spent the last twenty years of his life here, seeking redemption according to some, and waiting to face down a great evil according to others.

I drew this particular map as an exercise in “hard mode” isometric drawing – it was drawn without actually using isometric paper in the process at the end of a week of drawing isometric maps nearly every day. Some people found the two 45 degree angles in the lower passages difficult to interpret, so I made a quick photoshop recut of the map (above) where I replaced the two 45 degree turns with a single 90 degree turn that I cloned from the upper landing – once you see the corner represented as a 90 degree turn, it is easier to see the two 45 degree turns which result in the same basic thing in the proper map.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on Tramur’s Lakehouse!

Release-The-Kraken

Every month that Patreon funding remains over the $400 mark I sift through my back catalog and bring up a selection of maps that my patrons then vote on as to which will be released under the free commercial-use license. This month the top choice was one I posted back in 2014 right before I started the Dyson MegaDelve – Tramur’s Lakehouse.

Tramur's LakehouseTramur’s Lakehouse

The old stone structure at the end of the lake by Devil’s Creek has been quiet but not abandoned for a few years now and the town folk know to keep their distance. Once the lakehouse of Viscount Tramur, it is now home to strange and somewhat disturbing demonic Kabuki infestation. The white-faced demons maintain the grounds immediately around the lakehouse and are said to grab anyone coming too close and forcing them to watch their endless plays… and then something even more foul perhaps, as no one has yet returned.

Tramur's Lakehouse (without screens)Tramur’s Lakehouse (without screens)

Sure, the white-faced Kabuki demons might actually be a team of hobgoblins with a penchant for makeup and scary stories, but either way, they have managed to cow the locals and thus to live in some semblance of peace out here. And perhaps their disguise and performance skills are honed enough that they could pass themselves off as not-so-local farmers when they come into town to resupply…

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Crashed Engine

When the flaming metal castle arrived in the skies, it was intercepted by three warlocks in mid-air – one on her hippogriff, one on flying carpet, and one just levitating there in the skies as this monstrosity of steel and fire approached.

The Crashed EngineThe Crashed Engine

But as hoped, their magics prevailed and the castle was shattered and fell to the land in pieces – most into the Lake of 800 Lilies, but one section sliding along the shore to come to rest near the fishing village of Velland.

This piece of the metal castle is enough to make some believe the whole structure was not a castle at all, but perhaps something alive – it bleeds strange glowing fluids now from arteries both small and large. These fluids are deadly to most who touch them, but some others seem to acquire strange powers from them – glowing eyes, strange growths, and even telekinetic capabilities.

It is definitely time to investigate this ruined structure more thoroughly.

This was drawn during the Mapvember challenge. On the empteenth day of Mapvember, Miska gave to me… ENGINE.  I contemplated some massive steam-powered monstrosity as the map, but in the end went with a sci-fi / fantasy crossover, partially inspired by the fact that I was running Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for my D&D5e crew at the time.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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City of the Gods – Session 2

After finding their missing companion half in his cups with no memories of the previous day at all (let alone a monstrous chronovore, demon, people skins, etc), the group assembled to figure out what to do about the skins they had found last session.

They had stumbled upon the perfectly dressed, immaculate skins of three people under the guard / protection / or possession of a demon.

One of these they recognized as the elder of the Beardsmith dwarven clan – a gentledwarf rarely seen outside of the dwarven enclaves, but who would probably make an appearance at Dwarves Night in three nights (the night commemorating the departure of most of the dwarves from this world at the end of the great war).

Another was of Darius an Durrend, a playboy and dilettante who thinks himself a fair duelist (although he isn’t – as the duelist in the party was quite aware having bested him two years back).

The party checked around for information on the two people, suspecting them of being replaced by something foul. They get a little information here and there, but also find out that the house of Durrend is currently in turmoil. Arriving at the house they manage to wrangle out of the majordomo of the house that the head of the house and his son are both our searching for a missing / kidnapped handservant. The majordomo had been out searching for her already and returned to find the home even more stirred up than when he left, with conflicting stories that the serving girl had already turned up, but that this sent the father off immediately, incredibly upset.

They decided that this meant that someone had figured out that the father and son were replaced (and maybe the daughter) and they were now on the warpath to prevent the further spread of this information.

With some diplomacy and investigation, they figured out that the son (Darius an Durrend, the playboy they are seeking) was at the House of Deryre – a tea-bar south of the red light district that serves a salty alcoholic tea that can be laced with strong soporifics and hallucinogens so the devout can fully explore their consciousness. At the House of Deryre they wrangle the young lad into an alleyway with worried tales of people searching for him all around town… where they promptly knocked him unconscious, pilfered his belongings, and ascertained that while his skin seemed to be pretty solidly part of his body, his blood was an insectile ichor.

With this information in hand, they brought it to the House of Crane (the family of the party’s young noble) and presented the proof that the House of Durrend was being controlled by something foul and inhuman. They were then tasked by the elder of the house to bring back the senior an Durrend so the house of Crane could make the most of this situation.

Back at the Durrend estate, they mostly convinced the majordomo of the issues at hand and wrangled the most likely location for the father of the House of Durrend to be (the temple of Barathmon – demon of the vanquished). At the temple they find one of the house man-at-arms of Durrend at zero hit points, bandaged and slowly recovering as the temple guards and two other men-at-arms lay dead inside. Putting the information back together from the survivor, the Durrend patriarch arrived here, got into a yelling match with the priest of Barathmon and then the fighting began. He since departed heading towards the old hunting grounds where he usually hunts, with the priest trussed to the back of his horse.

Catching up to him, the party commandeers a night soil wagon (using the folk hero background of Kothar) and pursue into the stony highlands northeast of the City of the Gods. When they finally close up to them, the patriarch’s men-at-arms form a skirmishing line to protect their liege. In the ensuing battle, many are struck down by Kothar’s dragon breath, but Kothar is unseated from the wagon, and it rushes onwards and out of the battle. All the passengers jump off to engage in combat except for Mara who attempts to regain control of the vehicle…

In but a couple of rounds all the men-at-arms were quickly defeated, leaving the Patriarch facing off against the group. He demanded that they let him go to rescue his daughter – that they could have his money and the goods of his men, but that he had no time to discuss anything else until his daughter was returned to him.

And the party struck him down as he turned to escape.

Mara finally gave up on regaining control of the horses and cart, jumped off, and walked back to the group. Rasha grabbed a horse to chase after the Patrician’s horse to recover the priest. Quinn and Bei Ji confirmed that Kothar was quite dead, and looted him down to his underwear.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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From Winterspire to Yoon-Suin

I finally finished our first Dungeons & Dragons 5e campaign last month – and to celebrate the end of the campaign I made a poster-map that I gave out to all the players in the group as the campaign wound down.

From Winterspire to Yoon-SuinFrom Winterspire to Yoon-Suin

Over a week and a half, I took the original map that I drew up for the campaign (last spring, about two-thirds of the way through the game) and expanded on it and drew it at a much larger size – where the first map took up most of a letter page, this version took up four sheets of paper.

20161211_000951-01

The campaign started as a slightly modified version of the D&D5e starter adventure, “Lost Mine of Phandelver” – but my aversion to the Forgotten Realms meant mashing and mangling the setting a bit. So I started the campaign, and my redraw of the campaign map, with Winterspire, my replacement for Neverwinter.

Winterspire is a city built on the ruins of the old space elevator. The top of the spire is perpetually covered in snow, and living in the upper sections is a sign of abundant wealth because it means you can afford to have coal or firewood shipped up the spire to heat your house year-round.

In the end the adventure travelled around a lot, explored a few cities and adventure modules (listed in the map above) and was a lot of fun. This redraw of the map was almost as much fun to do – I feel a lot more confident in my skills as a cartographer and even a bit as an illustrator.

I also discovered that I can get my larger B&W works printed for a pittance at Staples using their Engineering Prints – up to 36″ x 24″ B&W prints on 20lb paper for only $3 per copy.

I hope you enjoy this map, it was a LOT of fun to draw and I’m exceptionally proud of the end product.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken – The City of Blue

Release-The-Kraken

Every month that Patreon funding remains over the $400 mark I sift through my back catalog and bring up a selection of maps that my patrons then vote on as to which will be released under the free commercial-use license. This month I decided it was time to present a very different field of options, and thus pulled out a dozen city and town maps from the history of the blog and put them up for voting. As we ended last month at the $500 mark, the two top maps selected are being released – so today I’m happy to bring back a particular favourite of mine: the City of Blue.

City of BlueCity of Blue

Ten pillars of pale blue crystal jut straight up from the island that has become the City of Blue in the unimaginatively named Azure Sea (which is actually a massive freshwater lake). The pillars are are almost perfectly square, set perfectly vertically to the horizon, and are roughly 400 feet wide (although scholars of the city will be quick to point out that they are precisely 396 feet, 2 inches, accounting for some sections having worn corners and edges). These pillars are of a robins-egg blue stone not found anywhere else in the world and they tower over the lower parts of the island by about 200 feet.

The pillars are the kind of thing that get peoples’ attention. Many have traveled to the island to investigate these strange (and ever so slightly magical) stone formations. They appear to run straight down to immeasurable depth, and no amount of mining at the base of any of the pillars has determined a bottom.

Several magical schools and groups of sages have set up operations on the island over the decades, and the City of Blue has become a fairly self-reliant trade hub of its own right in recent years.

Much of the city infrastructure (and the highest building density) is on the one pillar that is off the island proper. 300 years ago, when the waters in this area were contested between empires, an army of freebooters and mercenaries descended here and took over the island and burned most of the structures, leaving only the small port attached to the lone pillar standing. With the end of the border dispute between the empires, the freebooters were finally removed from the island nine years later and the city has slowly been rebuilt.

City of BlueCity of Blue

One pillar in the middle of town has almost no structures on it to this day (as well as “the Orphan”, the pillar furthest to the west which has never had stairs attached to it). This pillar is known as “the Ghost” and during the reign of the mercenaries, those who resisted their orders were left to hang from the edge of the pillar in chains. There are many stories of the images of these dead gentlemen still haunting the blue crystal of this pillar, and few are willing to build here.

While living upon the pillars themselves requires a significant effort in transporting (or magically producing) water, many have claimed that those who do live and study directly on the blue stones age more slowly and enjoy better health than those living in the mud below. As such, the six “bridged pillars” all have a number of structures on them (even the haunted Ghost Pillar) – including a walled off stepped pyramid that houses a religious and secretive research team. In addition there is a full fortress constructed on the seventh central pillar (known as… The Seventh – the residents of the City of Blue tend to be sages and researchers and are notoriously lacking in the capacity for imaginative names) which acts as the centre of government now that the port pillar is so overcrowded with shops and businesses.

At the northeast end of the island is a small fishing village surrounding the Fishers’ Pillar with their own docks and piers. Most travelers however arrive via the Port Pillar in the small bay, and then those seeking more information about the pillars themselves (or more affordable accommodations) will grab a small taxi boat from the Port Pillar to the southeast island port.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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My Private Jakalla – Map 1G

As we approach the end of January, it’s time to post another piece in the collection of maps of the Jakallan underworld-like project I am taking on. The goal (started last year) is to produce a large set of maps that interconnect to produce something akin to, but very much different in style from, the original Jakallan Underworld map that M.A.R. Barker used in his Empire of the Petal Throne games.

This is the seventh map in the set, this tag link will bring you to the full list of maps in the set.

My Private Jakalla - Map 1GMy Private Jakalla – Map 1G

In this portion of the undercity we see many of the elements that make the undercity what it is

  • the infrastructure of the city above in the form of sewers and waterways
  • secret passages and accessways from the surface for those who use the undercity (thieves, secret cults, etc).
  • ruins of older structures

This map segment is built up around two key features – the first is the sewer line that starts in 1F and runs through 1E before coming into this map segment. Attached to this sewer line is an access corridor (that also links into a large crypt back in map 1E that may or may not have access to a temple or clanhouse above). A basement access leads into two different secret entrances to the sewer line – probably used by thieves, smugglers, or a cult that doesn’t have easy access to one of the ruined areas.

My Private Jakalla Overview (1A-1G)My Private Jakalla Overview (1A-1G)

The other key feature is a partially collapsed structure from the ancient city that became the undercity over the years. The collapse in question is actually fairly recent, as it not only affects this structure, but some of the sewer lines to the north as well – perhaps caused by water damage from the sewers almost running through this old building. Now this level of the structure is almost completely inaccessible, cut off from the rest of this part of the undercity by the extensive collapsing except via a secret access concealed in the floor of one of the sewer access lines (the secret door in question is actually a collection of stone bricks placed over a reinforced wooden slat that can be pushed up from below requiring a lot of force, or opened from above by first removing the bricks).

 

My Private Jakalla Map 1G (no grid)My Private Jakalla Map 1G (no grid)

This particular structure was once an administrative building of some sort, with a number of cells around the level that were used to store, read, and scribe documents important to the operations of the clan who once operated here. Some of these documents may be useful to trace ownership of lands or locations of lost treasures, others might include spells either lost to the ages or specific to the temple of the god of the old clan.

Of more interest to most underworld explorers is the massive hole in the floor of this partially collapsed level, one of only a few means of access between this level of the undercity and deeper levels below.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Mapvember 21 through 30

Not only did I end up finishing the whole Mapvember thing, I managed to get all 30 maps done in the 30 days (although at two points I fell behind, once by two days – by the 30th I was done with 30 maps drawn).

I posted my Mapvember maps to my social media feeds (Google+, Facebook and Twitter) as I got them done, but before I scan them. Now I’m going back into the collection, adding details, cleaning them up a bit, scan them, and then posting them to the blog as finished works.

Some of the photos suck, some of the maps are weaker than others (having to do one a day means some get significantly less time dedicated to them than I would like), but overall the quality surprised me – and by the end of the month I was producing pieces that blew my own mind.

So here’s the final set of ten maps, photographed as soon as I was done them:

Mapvember 21 – Codex

(The secret library of the Emerald Hawk Society)

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Mapvember 22 – Fallen God

(Strange dungeons behind the fallen idol)

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Mapvember 23 – Revelation

(This is the main access point into the Valley of Revelations)

20161125_232751-01

 

Mapvember 24 – Awakening

(So I drew a Sietch. If you can’t connect Awakening to a Sietch map, then we cannot be friends.)

20161126_171319-01

 

Mapvember 25 – Betrayal

(When betrayed during her plot to take the throne from her sister, Diane the Thrice-Damned retreated to this small fortress for the next five years along with the witch Enshelon and the company of a few loyal men at arms.)

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Mapvember 26 – Swarm

(So here’s a strange dungeon-hive where the swarm lives.)

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Mapvember 27 – Infection

(I’m not sure why my brain decided we were drawing a city for the Mapvember Infection theme, but that’s what you get when you throw themes at my brain and let it draw. Let’s say the city is riddled with a cursed plague brought here by tomb raiders.)

20161128_230120-01

 

Mapvember 28 – Cure

(While I was originally thinking of drawing a map based on Robert Smith’s oft-mangled application of lipstick, instead I drew a magical pool where pilgrims go to be cured of many minor afflictions such as halitosis, hypertension, and luposlipaphobia.)

20161129_154857-01

 

Mapvember 29 – The Last Stand

(This is the last fortress of the cloud giant high priest. Each square measures 30 feet across.)

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Mapvember 30 – Ascent

(I decided to go all “hard mode” for this one, and drew it without isometric paper. It’s not as stunning as yesterday’s, but it is still pretty rockin’.)

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(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Mapvember 11 through 20

Still I succumb to the peer pressure and am producing a mad flood of Mapvember  maps (although I’m two days behind now)

I’ve been posting my Mapvember maps to my social media feeds (Google+, Facebook and Twitter) as I get them done, but before I scan them. My goal at the end of the month is to go back into the collection, add details, clean them up a bit, scan them, and then post them to the blog as finished works.

Some of the photos suck, some of the maps are weaker than others (having to do one a day means some get significantly less time dedicated to them than I would like), and one is a full-on joke.

But here are the second third of the Mapvember set to date:

Mapvember 11 – Gold Mine

(Old school Dyson, with top and side view)

img_20161111_220610-01

 

Mapvember 12 – Cave In

(This one links into the My Private Jakalla Project too!)

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Mapvember 13 – Burrow

(It’s the burrow of a gargantuan burrow owl.  Anyway, 10:30, the other night, I go out in my yard, and there’s the Wurster monk, building a church. I say “What are you building a church for?” He says “I’m building it for my gargantuan burrow owl.” I say “Leaping Lolth on a pogo stick! Everybody knows that a gargantuan burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they call it a ‘gargantuan burrow owl’ anyway?!?” – Dead Milkmen appropriation by Erickson Adam)

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Mapvember 14 – Ruined

(It’s a redraw of Hejmarko’s Arch city that I drew last year… now in ruins)

img_20161114_190653-01

 

Mapvember 15 – Portal

(I started drawing a magic summoning circle… then just converted it into a building, and drew a portal inside it.)

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Mapvember 16 – Trapped

(“Trapped in the tomb of the 14 Imperial Princesses”)

img_20161116_205546-01

 

Mapvember 17 – Checkpoint

(It’s a dual-purpose Tucker’s Kobolds or Thieve’s Guild Training Run map)

img_20161117_234437-01

 

Mapvember 18 – Labyrinth

(I might add shading behind the map in post-production)

20161119_183809-01

 

Mapvember 19 – Engine

(One engine pod remains of a space craft that was destroyed on re-entry)

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Mapvember 20 – Slime

(This small dungeon has a serious slime problem, and it is trying to escape!)

20161122_163606-01

 

Ten maps to go!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken – Ruins of the Gorgon!

Release-The-Kraken

Every month that Patreon funding remains over the $400 mark I sift through my back catalog and bring up a selection of maps that my patrons then vote on as to which will be released under the free commercial-use license. We ended last month at the $500 mark, so I put the roster up with TWO old maps being re-released this month – so here’s the first!

Ruins of the GorgonRuins of the Gorgon

These ruins of an ancient elven workstation have had a small watch structure built above them to keep an eye on them over the years since the collapse of the elven empire. But since nothing has come out of them in years, the watch has been dropped and the small structure, like the ruins down the hill, sits quiet and abandoned.

But as always, things change. A group of hobgoblins have just arrived here following an old treasure map, and are trying to find one of the secret doors into the ruins while basing their own operations out of the watch structure. They have found the secret door indicated (the one built into the side of the hill into area A) but haven’t figured out how to open it yet.

Underneath, however, things aren’t quite as quiet as hoped. The elves may have abandoned their research facility, but some of their servants remain (a clan of cannibalistic gnomes), and the devolved remnants of failed experiments still lurk here in the form of various oozes and slimes.

I used the adventure I originally wrote for this location in a third-edition campaign a few years back that ended up featuring a scene with the characters chucking cannibal gnomes at the massive grey ooze to lure it away elsewhere. Also, something I never mentioned was the bottom-most chamber being specifically designed to feel similar to the one in the end of a previous adventure of mine – Goblin Gully. The elves have a history of experimenting on slave races, and their most recent attempts prior to the collapse of their empire had a number of breeding pits hidden throughout the lands where they were working on their weird hybrid thralls.

Before releasing this map, I went back to the original scan, cleaned it up a bit better than I did in my original release over five years ago, and am releasing it here at a higher resolution and larger size than the old copy.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
Logo

Mapvember 1 through 10

For two years in a row I’ve totally bombed Inktober. Last year I got about half way through the month before I lost track, and this year I only managed 11 days.

And yet, peer pressure is here and I’ve signed on for Mapvember now too.

I’ve been posting my Mapvember maps to my social media feeds (Google+, Facebook and Twitter) as I get them done, but before I scan them. My goal at the end of the month is to go back into the collection, add details, clean them up a bit, scan them, and then post them to the blog as finished works.

Some of the photos suck, some of the maps are weaker than others (having to do one a day means some get significantly less time dedicated to them than I would like), and one is a full-on joke.

But here are the first third of the Mapvember set to date:

Mapvember 1 – Beacon
(It turns out it is DAMNED hard to freehand a good even spiral!)

img_20161101_184349-01

 

Mapvember 2 – Derelict
(I had a request from a Patreon supporter for an abandoned space station, so 2 avians with one igneous projectile!)

img_20161102_095421-01

 

Mapvember 3 – The Descent
(Spiraling stairs down into a deep dungeon in a hole)

img_20161103_163251-01

 

Mapvember 4 – Landing
(The small town of Bellfield Landing)

img_20161104_160606-01

 

Mapvember 5 – Hangar
(Aerie of the Airlords of the Aldeiron Peaks)

img_20161105_182730-01

 

Mapvember 6 – Saloon
(The Underhill Saloon & Eatery, a lovely halfling establishment)

img_20161106_133823-01

 

Mapvember 7 – Control
(Yes… this is a joke map. But it’s a good one, and most players probably won’t figure it out if they have to draw it themselves)

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Mapvember 8 – Storage
(Started out as six warehouse basements… connected to sewers… connected to My Private Jakalla!)

img_20161107_192741-01

 

Mapvember 9 – Refinery
(Garlough’s Grisk Refinery where they raise, kill, and dry a key component in healing potions)

img_20161109_125305-01

 

Mapvember 10 – Elevator
(A lovely little isometric map based around a central elevator shaft)

img_20161110_112840-01

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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