An outpost at the fringe of civilization where no man wishes to live, but the yearn for adventure compels him to go.
I’m going with something of a jungle theme lately, and I wanted to link my upcoming river crossing map with the rest of them. What came of it was this town map, which divides the lily-pad-strewn swamp and the tall jungle trees. I call it Fog’s Edge, because I imagine that the fog never quite leaves.
Below you will find my short blog post, preview images, and some immersive writing by Troy. Alternatively, you may skip straight to the downloads.
When I’m not preparing for or playing D&D I tend to go looking for inspiration in video games and movies. There’s nothing that I love more than some good world-building and a unique setting, and I recently found just that in a video game called Kenshi.
Kenshi’s world is bleak and mysterious, and it takes a lot of time mastering the game and earning your character skills before you start feeling even a little safe. A little while later and you can start building a base just about anywhere you want on the map.
Now, some places are better than others, and some places are plain deadly. It took me three save files to find a nice spot, and there I founded Breaker’s Forge, where I would go on to practise armor and weaponsmithing, all fueled by an abundance of iron and copper extracted from the ground below.
Kenshi doesn’t have a clear win state, you either make your own goals or you play until you’ve had your fill. Having accomplished mine, I retired my characters to Breaker’s Forge and saved the game one last time.
The next day I sat down to draw a town map, and I thought it would be natural to adapt my organically grown Kenshi settlement as a sort of tribute to the hours I spent in that world! Despite Fog’s Edge being in a very different setting, it is based on the generic layout of Breaker’s Forge.
In my mind, Fog’s Edge is an outpost built by human and hill-dwarven frontiersmen. Perhaps they are there to hunt big game in the swamps. In any case, the humans live in timber homes and the dwarves beneath the soil, though both races pitched in to construct the stone watchtower.
How do you plan to adapt Fog’s Edge for your campaign? What name do you plan to give it? I hope you will share in the comments below!
“Into the tunnels! Follow Julius to the circle!”
Despite Makren’s size, his voice traveled further and with more power than any of the humans. It filled the camp from wall to wall, commanding the fleeing residents into the central shaft. Magister Julius led them within, organizing the people through the dwarven camp and to the central chamber. His magic could get them out, but he would need time.
Officer Quinton, an expedition scout, fought the tide of evacuees to find Makren’s side. He turned to the dwarf, drawing his bow and nocking an arrow.
“The circle is being traced. Can we hold them off?”
“Not much choice. We hold for as long as we can.” Makren’s dry tone was little reassurance but his words were true. There was nothing for them to do but try and hold the line.
With a violent explosion, the outer gate fell open. Pieces of shattered palisade could be seen over the inner walls. Shards and splinters arced over, violently burying into the ground and rooftops. From the source of the commotion, legions of attackers rushed forth.
The creatures were amalgamations of man and reptile, each with its own unique formation. Not a dozen expedition troops charged to meet them, doing their best to fight against claws and fangs. Makren released a bestial roar as he barreled into the fray. His axe instantly felled two of the creatures.
Quinton held his position atop the tunnel entrance. He loosed arrow after arrow, each one warranting a pained hiss as it pierced the enemy’s hide. Between each shot, he would glance down, frantically hoping for the last of the camp to disappear below. Their defenses were losing ground.
To Quinton’s right, a shrill chorus of voices rose from the stone tower. Curling around its top floor was a snake large enough to constrict the entire structure. As its head reared to face the camp, a ripple of magic pulsed from its nose. Shimmering, its neck divided into six, each head now with its own voice. Two arms were produced from its body, humanoid but with long claws. The presence of this monstrosity was visible on the field, spurring its followers into battle frenzies and casting fear into the defenders. Time was running out.
Quinton’s hand shot to his quiver. The breath was driven from his lungs as his fingers found only two arrows. For only a moment, he closed his eyes. His mind forced out the sounds of death, focusing on the grim acceptance before him. He opened again, fixated on the monster with a determined scowl.
The first arrow was drawn, charged with words of old Elvish, and fired at the creature’s midsection. It was an easy target, owing to sheer size, and while the arrow did not seem to harm it, that was not Quinton’s goal. The blow was followed by the arrow cracking and breaking as the wood grew tendril-like roots. Vines whipped out from it, snaking their way around the beast’s body and tightly binding it. This ignited a rage in its many eyes, as each head turned to find Quinton. He paced back and fired again.
This time, the arrow struck some feet from the heads. It broke against the tower’s edge, the expected snap replaced with a vicious thunder. Stones from the tower were thrown outwards in the explosion, eviscerating one head and sending the entire monster falling beyond the walls.
Quinton continued his stride. His fear and panic had subsided to a sunken resolution. He quickly glanced to Makren, him and two others now entirely swarmed. Quinton kneeled down, plucking an arrow from a fallen snake. He rose amid the smoke and battle, took aim, and loosed.
The now-five-headed leader was cresting the wall as Quinton released the arrow, burning with wrath for the archer. Its eyes followed the small projectile as it traveled, finding purchase above the tunnel entrance, and exploding the same as the last. A low rumble shook the camp as stones collapsed, sealing the entrance closed.
– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy
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