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A few weeks ago, Reynold the paladin and his comrades Walter and Victor found themselves in a sprawling grimdark cityscape with no friends and many enemies.

Luckily, Reynold is a paladin of the Silver Lady and knew of a small temple in the area built long ago, even before the land was covered in cobble and haze. Navigating the web of cramped streets, they found their way to the tiny relic, now decrepit and tended to by an equally decrepit caretaker.

Father Desmond lowered the final offering into the brazier. The coin’s polished gold rested on the oiled ashes, between sticks of incense and exotic herb sprigs. He backed away to the edge of the candles’ light, rejoining the ring of elders.
His counterparts had drawn their hoods, but the warm orange glistened in the tears that rolled down their cheeks. Each of them took slow breaths of the cool basement air, thick with moisture that collected on the damaged masonry. Desmond removed the gauntlet from his belt, sliding his right hand into the gold-trimmed metal. He reached to his sides, taking hold of the blood-red cords that encircled his companions’ hands. Their knuckles gripped white as each took a breath. In one voice, they began to speak.

We seven in one convene,
Offering to gods of light.
May this city’s plight be seen,
And aid be granted in our fight.

Hold this place against all tides,
‘Til comes the day of its need.
When fated those you choose to guide,
Rise forth to see our people freed.

In red binds we seal our pact,
In coming shadow we endure,
With silver gauntlet we now act,
Courageous in this place so pure.

We seven in one convene.
May this city’s plight be seen.

The words repeated, filling the hall’s basement. They would continue, for as long as they needed; as long as it would take for the gods to hear them. Hours would pass and the incense would burn out before the first sign. But as the sticks lost their final embers, the coin glowed with a golden pulse. It sank into the sanctified ashes, and sparks of fire spread to the herbs.
And so the priests continued. Unsure of how long it might take, or what it might cost, they continued. Their circle held as strong as the old stonework above them. The church, like them, would remain until the job was done. It would hold against the city’s darkness. It had to. And someday, someone would come to see it finished. Desmond knew this, and accepted his fate as he chanted their divine plea. This was their last resort, their final defiant act to see their city protected. Someone would come. Someday. They all knew it, and they all believed it. They had to.

– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy

The download includes Roll20-friendly PNG layers
Roll20-friendly PNG layers included!

The Hallowed Hall could be used as either a temple or a guildhall, I think. From top to bottom, there is a bell tower, a dining room, a four bunk dormitory, a study, an altar, and a meeting room. Stairs lead even further down, into whatever you can imagine (In our particular case, a small crypt).

I have found a much more reliable screen recorder, and can happily say that I have a time-lapse of the digital painting, which I will upload tomorrow!

Mmm, high quality ink smudge
Mmm, high-quality ink smudge

Another happy announcement is that I discovered how to scan the physical drawings in MUCH higher quality! This means the upscaled printouts will have zero blur and zero JPG compression, which was an annoying problem that plagued me in the past. In time I will rescan and update the old maps, which you can redownload at any time.

The Hallowed Hall Downloads

For exclusive map variants and even the PSD files, consider joining the amazing community that makes these maps possible:

About the author

Ross McConnell

DM, aspiring artist, and founder of 2-Minute Tabletop! I love drawing, writing, and worldbuilding, and this is the website where all of it comes together.

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Published: September 28, 2015
Tagged: battle map, blog

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