Today’s map was inspired originally by the fighting at Parth Galen in the Fellowship of the Ring movie. And it grabbed my players the same way – as soon as the fighting around the ruins began several players got right into it. And of course, since this was a dungeon-based campaign (this is from the Saber Lake campaign again, which the players asked to be almost entirely dungeon-based), the fighting on the surface in and around the ruins was the prequel to the explorations of the small dungeon that is beneath. The map itself is of an old stone structure in great decay set along a gully with trees around it. On the west wall of the ruins, hidden by brush and detritus are a pair of ancient doors that lead to an old storage and command area beneath the ruins.
The initial encounter here was with a team of goblin wolf riders who rushed straight at the party when they arrived. In reality, the goblin are on the run from a gnoll ambush team. The party responded by attacking the rushing goblins and the goblins figured that they were part of the gnoll ambush and stopped running to finally join battle. When the gnolls finally showed up and started attacking both sides, the party realized they were in the middle of a “situation” and high tailed it out of there.
They returned in the early morning hours the next day to sneak past the gnolls who were camping on the ruined structures (and drying and smoking the wolf flesh for use in rations) and enter the dungeon where they were seeking an old campaign map of a young noble who also died on this hill and was buried in the ruins. In the ruins proper they dealt with the young noble himself (now a wight) and the clan of morlocks who now worshiped him as the incarnation of a pre-human chaos god. (In the Fallen Empire setting, morlocks are the feral offspring of the Kale elves – basically what happens when you let half elves run rampant).
The map itself was drawn in black gel pen on plain white paper with a backing grid and then scanned and contrast-enhanced. Feel free as usual to make awesome stuff with this map to share on your blog and I’ll pimp it here too.