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Science fiction moonscape map for “Lycaon”

This map was made as a commission for the novel Lycaon by author Wes Parker. Here’s the blurb:

Harvey Howlett, Astronaut and Robotics Technician is nearing the end of his six-month rotation on the surface of the moon. What started as a dream mission quickly turned into a nightmare when Harvey finds a woman from a neighboring base covered in blood and wandering the lunar surface.

The woman's appearance raises a few questions that are quickly answered when Harvey and his team come face to face with a horrible monstrosity...

WEREWOLVES...IN SPACE...

I love drawing science fiction themed maps, and especially retro-futuristic, pulp or horror sci-fi. Illustrating this map was a lot of fun, and I’m really quite pleased with the outcome.

The hardest thing with moonscape maps it that the “palette” is kind of limited to rocks and craters. This goes for any barren landscape map, really. Such maps can easily get a bit monotonous and uninspiring. However, for this map I got the opportunity to play around a bit with the different space stations as points of interest. By not doing them to scale, but rather as map symbols/illustrations, I could add some simple architectural features. I also chose to add curvature and a starry sky to the top of the map. This brings contrast and frames the map quite nicely. These are just a couple of tips and tricks on how to make a barren map more interesting and aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Lycaon is published on 20th of October 2021, just in time for Halloween. You can pre-order it for Amazon Kindle now.

More science fiction maps

I’ve done quite a lot of sci-fi maps, expecially for my Termination Shock setting. Here are a few samples:

Convenstead of the Greenbottle Crones

This adventure location was inspired by the third act of the classic (and exceptional) action RPG Diablo II (I’ve been playing the remake a lot lately). It just so happened that my own setting has a large and creepy swamp called the Wraithbog, and I thought it was about time I started to give it some more attention. I also consider placing the covenstead in the Greenbottle Morass close to Fourtower Bridge. I haven’t really decided yet!

In any case: a coven of nasty old hags have made these ruins their domain, and whoever stumbles upon it is in grave danger. The sadistic ladies have a taste for human flesh, and are quite cunning in the dark arts. The dungeon below the swamp is a wet, hellish labyrinth of filth, disease and decay.

Feel free to download the map and print it for your own campaign should you ever have need for some grimy old swamp ruins. As always the work I publish on this website is free for personal use, but please do not publish it anywhere else without my written consent.

Free download (300 dpi .png file)

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A Moment’s Respite – Grave of the Unknown Paladin

The dungeon is dark and full of dangers – as it should be. That said, it’s a good idea to sometimes offer your players a place for their characters to rest. Give them just a glimpse of safety and comfort in contrast of the horrors they face in the underworld.

The grave of the unknown paladin is such a site. It is the final resting place of a noble paladin who sacrificed herself for her companions. Her party were unable to carry her body to the surface, so they laid her to rest deep in the bowels of the dungeon, and before leaving her the fighter thrust her magic sword into the headstone (carved by the dwarf) and lit a single candle (made permanent by the wizard).

No monsters come here. The air is soft and warm and smells like a summer meadow. Wounds heal at double the speed of normal. Food and water doesn’t spoil, and camping adventurers often leave rations and drinks for whoever might need it in the future (considered to bring luck to the expedition).

Download high-resolution image (300 dpi):

This illsutration is free to download for personal use (but not for publishing without my consent). Feel free to use it as you please in your dungeon adventures.

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If you like my stuff and want to give me a tip to cheer me on, please click the button below. Please note that tipping is appreciated, but not expected. Don’t donate if you’re short on cash, I’m sharing content because I like to, not to make money.

The Vault of the Shattered Sword – isometric map for “Swordtember”

Apparently there’s this thing called #swordtember, where artists dedicate the month of September to drawing sword. Well, count me in – I love swords! I’m also a mapmaker though, so I just couldn’t resist drawing a fitting dungeon for this entry.

Standing guard over the ancient, shattered sword is a demonic statue. The room also hosts six plain stone plinths, each with a heavy stone bowl containing rusted iron residue. In the southern part of this dungeon section there’s a round room with a large half-sphere made of the darkest black obsidian, and covered in mystic symbols. What secrets can this strange vault hold?

Like my art? Please feel free to browse around for more:

Magic items for D&D: The Vulture Scimitar and the Shield of the Sun and the Moon

The Bazaar of the Sun and the Moon is usually a deserted place where commerce is just a whispered memory. However once per month, under the full moon, the ghosts of the merchants rise and peddle strange and peculiar goods. Here are a couple of magic items that can be found at the bazaar.

The Vulture Scimitar is a magic +2 scimitar which provides it’s wielder with the ability to detect (through scent) corpses and cadavres over large distances. Whoever carries the Vulture Scimitar can accurately point out the direction to any corpse or cadaver (dead or undead) within 1000 feet. There must be some flesh still left on the corpse, i.e. skeletons cannot be detected through this ability.

The Shield of the Sun and the Moon is a magic +2 shield. It is sturdy, but weighs next to nothing.

  • If used as cover from sunlight the shield keeps it’s wielder comfortably cool (not subject to envornmental effects).
  • If used in a simliar fashion under moonlight the shield is inhibited with the Conjuring light effect as per the Light spell. It needs to be “charged” by moonlight for one hour, and will provide light for eight hours after fully charged.

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The Bazaar of the Sun and the Moon – isometric map

The Bazaar of the Sun and the Moon was once a bustling marketplace, filled with exotic trade goods from far and wide. A deadly sickness befell the merchants and other residents of the bazaar and it is nowadays a deserted place, void of life. Every full moon, however, the spirits of the dead tradesmen rise and for just one night haggling whispers fill the air as ethereal (and most peculiar) goods are exchanged for prices just as peculiar.

It is a dangerous place, this bazaar of the dead, but for those who require items not of this world visiting this market might be the only chance to acquire them. Living customers must be careful though, as the ghosts might sometimes demand more than one would be willing to pay.

Download high-resolution image (300 dpi):

This map is free to download for personal use (but not for publishing without my consent). Feel free to use it at your gaming table should you need a map of a desert marketplace.

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If you like my stuff and want to give me a tip to cheer me on, please click the button below. Please note that tipping is appreciated, but not expected. Don’t donate if you’re short on cash, I’m sharing content because I like to, not to make money.

More desert fantasy maps

This map is part of my series of “desert fantasy” maps. If this is your jam, make sure you check out the others as well! (links open in new tabs)

The Chantry of Desecration – isometric map for D&D

Here’s a simple isometric map for you to use should you need a spooky, desecrated church in any horror-themed Dungeons & Dragons adventure. I intentionally skipped drawing details in the rooms on the floor plans. Treat it as a blank canvas to fill with whatever creepy things you can come up with!

In my own campaign I plan to use the Chantry of Desecration as a non-combat encounter. A place where atrocious deeds have been committed in the past, but where remnant energies still linger.

Here’s a link to download the map!

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Shields are splintered!

In “The Return of the King”, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote:

“Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

It is a mighty rallying call, but did you know it is (probably) inspired by the old norse Vǫluspá (Prophecy of the Seeress)? In verse 45, the Vǫluspá states:

“Brothers shall fight | and fell each other,
And sisters’ sons | shall kinship stain;
Hard is it on earth, | with mighty whoredom;
Axe-time, sword-time, | shields are sundered,
Wind-time, wolf-time, | ere the world falls;
Nor ever shall men | each other spare.”

The verse describes how the world plunges into chaos before the great end of everything – the apocalyptic Ragnarök.

I’ve always loved norse mythology, as well as the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and I wanted to pay tribute by illustrating this part of the poetic Edda. The text reads Skeggǫld, skálmǫld, skildir ro klofnir, which translates roughly to the iconic: “An axe-day, a sword day, shields are splintered”.

The Deepwood Lodge logger’s camp

I made this map for a short horror adventure I ran with my players. Deepwood Lodge is a logger’s camp and lumber mill located along the river in the the outskirts of Deepwood. The adventure was inspired by horro movies such as The Thing and Dawn of the Dead. It all started when a fungus infected, zombie-like lumberjack came floating down the river all tangled up in a timber raft, crashing into Fourtower Bridge.

The adventurers were tasked by Majken the cleric to investigate a remote logger’s camp called the Deepwood Lodge, about a day’s march upstream. At the scene they discovered the lumberjacks had been infected by some type of necrotic fungi, killing them and reviving them as undead.

I might write out the full adventure at some point, but as for now I don’t have an active InDesign subscription so that will have to wait. Until then, please feel free to use the maps with your own gaming group.

Maps of the logging camp:

I have prepared two maps for you. The first map has a legend to fit into the Fourtower Bridge campaign environment. The other map is without legend (and I have removed the dead body laying on the ground), so you can modify it to fit your own campaign. Both are free for personal use. Click the links below to download the maps as .png image files.

Overland map of Fourtower Bridge and its surroundings
An overland map of the Fourtower Bridge campaign environment

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If you like my stuff and want to give me a tip to cheer me on, please click the button below. Please note that tipping is appreciated, but not expected. Don’t donate if you’re short on cash, I’m sharing content because I like to, not to make money.

The infernal monolith – isometric dungeon room

”Deep in the bowels of this forsaken labyrinth stands a strange monolith adorned with blasphemous runes. The stone whispers ancient curses in maddened voices. Its language is that of the Abyss – infernal and sacrilegious.”

Just a little bit of “dungeon dressing”. I’m imagining the monolith to be somewhat sentinent, so a player character with the right knowledge can communicate with it. Initially it would be very helpful and provide sound advice, but sooner or later it would require something in return. How far will the players go to please the monolith? What would they be willing to pay?

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