You know, I’m not sure why I decided to draw a giant tortoise. I just find something so charming and mystical about a lumbering animal so large that you could build a house on its back, and so I drew just that.
Our turtle’s back may bear a simple palm tree in the base map, but it is plenty large enough for you to overlay one of our buildings. It’s so large, in fact, that the shell alone is almost as big as our standard map size! Thus, this sea turtle battle map is a gargantuan 44×32″ large in order to encompass her entire form.
Besides the tropical sea that I chose for the base map I also made variants (seen below) for a swamp turtle, a forest tortoise, and a slumbering, lighthouse-bearing turtle. Which is your favorite?
Be it the palm tree or something else, what encounter or plot hook can you imagine for this ancient, majestic creature? Please share your ideas in the comments!
Humans and their noise, always upsetting the forest and scaring the birds. Their hunger for industry and expansion had long been a frustration for Eremus, encroaching on the forest’s borders and threatening his grove. It was not that he a problem with any one of them in particular, of course. He simply grew frustrated with their incessant disturbing of the land as he fights to maintain it. It was, ironically, in their nature. That, and making noise.
Though he had to be fair, this was a unique case. Their noise would alway increase when the human need for dominion or development earned them enemies. Uncovering curses, awakening long-dead monsters, or wandering into dragon lairs; it could all be avoided if they shared Eremus’s contentment. But they did not. And it seemed that they had annoyed a clan of goblins this time. Eremus let out a long sigh. They could not have foreseen the clan possessing a tortoise the size of a small mountain, he supposed.
The forest hermit strode into town, paying a polite nod to the scattering, screaming residents as they fled. Several of them seemed to forget their panic in favor of gawking at the grey-skinned half-giant. He would have loved to stop and chat but thought it best to leave that for another time.
On the opposite end of town, the wall had been crushed under the tortoise’s foot. Goblins crawled over its shell, releasing all manner of projectiles at the buildings below. A painful harness had been bound to its mouth and head while a connected set of pulleys granted control to a small group of riders. Far below, their ground troops began storming the residential streets.
The half-giant continued pushing his way through swathes of humans. Unfortunately, Eremus was not what one would call ‘fast’, even at the best of times. A few hundred years spent gardening will do that to a person. Nevertheless, he slowly waded his way towards the attackers.
The tortoise grew in grandeur as Eremus moved closer, earning an impressed chuckle despite the situation. Coming within several hundred feet of its legs, he channeled a spark of magic into his feet and calmly scaled the wall of some sort of furniture-selling establishment. His reaching the roof only drew more attention, this time from the goblins. No matter. He wouldn’t need long.
Eremus clapped his chest, reciting a small verse in his ancestral language. Magic charged into his lungs. He opened his mouth and the boom of his enchanted voice froze goblins and humans alike in their tracks. Not that any of them would understand it, as they were not his target.
The tortoise stopped too, one foot hovering above a squad of town guards. Its eyes were set on Eremus, listening and waiting. He opened a small leather pouch and withdraw a shard of stone. Pointing it towards the tortoise, a thunderous blast shot forward and detonated on its restraints. Contraptions of wood, rope, and metal came tumbling from its head, releasing the poor creature from its enslavement. And then, for one serene moment, all was quiet.
Satisfied with his efforts, Eremus turned and descended the building once again. Dozens of human faces now stared gormlessly as he strode through them, repeating obligatory smiles. Behind him, legions of goblins and their ilk fell from the shell of a tortoise as it shook their machines free. Those that survived the fall promptly disappeared beneath the beast’s feet.
By the time Eremus had reached the opposite gate, droves of humans were cheering in his direction. It was loud and a little uncomfortable, but he would have been lying to say that he did not enjoy it for a moment. Still, he would be happy for silence to return the next day.
– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy
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