Vertical Underground Necropolis Map

I’m working on some kind of conceptual framework/campaign environment for my fantasy-horror themed dungeon maps. I wanted an environment where maps like Arcane Chambers and SVART GRIFT could be placed without feeling out of context.

The idea is an ancient civilization obsessed with death, digging deep into the earth to reach their dark god, and then committing mass suicide in order to be “blessed” with the breath of undeath. A huge necropolis filled with absolute horrors and blasphemy.

Background

In ancient times, this civilization was flourishing, and its realm was vast, centered on what today is a putrid swamp. Its scholars and magi and warriors were unmatched, and the people were living in prosperity. But the civilization drew to it the attention of the arch-demon ABZU ABYZOU, a necrotic duke of Hell.

Slowly, ABZU ABYZOU mainpulated people of all castes. Initially small cults started to form among the poor, but within decades the demon’s whispers reached the nobles and even the mighty Czar. Worship of the demon came with great rewards for those who submitted themselves, and ABZU ABYZOU demanded little tribute of its followers. At first.

It took several generations before the arch demon decided to take the next step of its plan. Natural disasters struck the lands: storms and drought and great fires. Insect swarms ravaged the fields and villages and even the capital. And the demon whispered salvation into the ears of his followers, and convinced them that they needed to take shelter within the earth itself. So they dug.

The great excavation

An entire civilization relocated from a now barren surface into the sheltering depths of the earth. It was an incredible achievement by its architects and labourers, even considering they got infernal assistance. During the great excavation, the teachings of ABZU ABYZOU became more grim. While the darkness of below might provide shelter, it is not a place for human life. You should bury the dead, not the living. And so slowly the absurdity of undeath became less absurd. After years in the darkness, the people did not only consider unlife, they yearned for it. Anything to relieve the pain and melancholy of a life devoid of the light of the sun, the wind in the branches and the memory of a gentle spring rain. They had become obsessed with the thought of death and dying. It manifested in everything – art, architecture, magic and worship.

They were ready to die, and to rise again immortal.

The night of relief

So came the night of the great turning. A ritual mass suicide orchestrated by the priests of the Ashen Basilika, the Czar Necromancer and the members of the Grand Council. When a bleak sun rose over the Wraithbog, ten thousand ghouls and ghasts rose in the necropolis below it.

This is still just early thoughts, notes and sketches, but thought I should share it so you can follow my trail of ideas from the start.

I will probably not develop this with any specific game system in mind, but needless to say it would fit most OSR-games, or the grim darkness of artpunky MÖRK BORG.

This is not so much a map as a mindmap, and absolutely not to scale!

Deep space radio relay satellite

A vertical map of a deep space radio relay beacon. I’m working on “Termination Shock” – a mini campaign/setting for OSR games, where we set off in the solar system, exploring planets and asteroids in the wake of a cosmic storm that took out most of our space-faring technology. These radio beacons will be highly important in the setting, as described here:

“For the last hundred years or so, cosmic phenomenons, radiation fields and electrical storms has increased in our system, and it has made communication over vast distances much harder than it used to be. We now rely heavily on a network of radio relay satellites to facilitate transmissions between planets, stations and ships. Bandwidth is low. We cannot submit video, and images arrive distorted. Since the cosmic storm, all of these satellites needs to be repaired.”

I intentionally wanted adventuring in space to be a quite scary, silent and isolated activity, hence the above setup. I don’t want Earth to be just a call away. Phoning home should be hard, and establishing contact with other ships or planetary outposts should feel like an accomplishment.

Kuiper’s Cantina – Asteroid bar and diner

Deep in the Kuiper belt – the great asteroid field of the outer solar system, the Kuiper’s Cantina bar and diner can be found. A popular place for starship crews to rest, drink and stock-up on goods, Kuiper’s Cantina is well-known among all space-farers and astronaut adventurers.

Click here to see a larger picture.

Latest blog posts

HMS Nordenskiöld – Starship Blueprint

Built in Sweden, and considered one of the first true exploration vessels capable of manned missions beyond Mars, the HMS Nordenskiöld is mankinds greatest explorer, and our biggest hope to bring us answers to the riddles of the great unknown.

Captain Palander and his crew of sixteen (incluing legendary adventurers like Giacomo Bove and Ernst Almquist) have not seen Earth in eleven years (only restockning occasionally at the Martian colonies), as they tirelessly explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

Click here for a larger image.

Latest blog post:

Nuclear Ray Cannon 3 – Sunburst

A cut-through, vertical map of LUNA NRC3, one of three nuclear ray cannons installed on Earth’s moon. This one, unfortunately, is infected by alien space goo, and is no longer under control by earth. Better get some space adventurers there to investigate, right?

Click here to download a larger image for personal use.

The Slaughterpit – Gate to Hell

The Slaughterpit is one of the entrances to Hell, located deep in the infernal wasteland of Gol. It can be descended to gain access to the domain of the demon lord Byleth. His realm is a vast, dark butchery.

A pound of flesh for Byleth!

Pledge of the self-mutilating cult of Byleth

The hanging witnesses are dead and flesh-less, but sees all who enter, and scream their names.

The eyes are Byleth’s, and if you let him witness you before your descent, his gaze will be on you as you travel the abyss. It could be beneficial, but also very dangerous.

In the cage is Namtar, a lesser demon that angered Byleth, and now serves a thousand year punishment as head witness of the Slaughterpit.

The biggest challenge of getting into Hell is climbing down the great spiked chain. It is long, and slippery with blood. It will take days to descend it.

You may download the map for personal use, click here for a larger image.

The Lair of the Bloodwood Bandits

A vertical map of the lair of the Bloodwood Bandits. Perfect for use with your favorite fantasy RPG!

I’ve always been fascinated by underground tunnel’s and lairs, and as I just recently watched the great documentary “The Vietnam War” (seriously, watch it!) I guess I was somewhat inspired by the guerilla tunnel warfare of the Viet Cong.

This underground bandit lair has a lookout at the top, and several arrangements to quickly seal off tunnels in case of an attack. It has enough living space (and beds) to host the gang of nine bandits, and also a nifty excape tunnel. It even has a lavatory!

Feel free to download or print the map for personal use, click here for a larger version.

Vertical Sci-Fi map – Listening Post Pluto 3

A vertical, retro sci-fi map of a listening post on a desolate planet. For use with sci-fi roleplaying games like Starfinder or Traveller.

Since the Science Outpost Thule map turned out nicely, I decided I wanted to try out another Sci-Fi map. Imagining a team of technicians manning a listening post as far away as you can get within our solar system. You can feel the isolation. Space is vast, dark and unimaginably desolate. But what if one day they hear something. One day the arrays suddenly pick up something else than the usual static?

Feel free to download this map for personal use. Click here for a larger image.