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It is a tradition in many celtic pagan annual rituals that at Yule, the Oak King slays the Holly King and replaces him until Midsummer.

The Holly King

The Holly King

My Holly King is a dollar store notebook that I’ve been drawing maps in lately. Like all my maps – instead of drawing on scraps of paper, graph paper, the inside covers of books, napkins and so on, all my maps for the past four months have gone into this book. He never had a name until tonight, but tonight we found his name. Like Robert Paulson, in death he gets a name, and his name is the Holly King.

The Holly King is a nice little notebook – his pages are slightly off-white, and he fits neatly into my pocket. He also has a hardcore white on black sticker on his front that proudly reads CARTOGRAPHY (the Y is hidden in this photo by the elastic strap).

Contents of the Holly King

Contents of the Holly King

But like the Celtic Holly King, his power has waned, and he has been replaced.

The Oak King

The Oak King

One of my gamers and his wife got together and presented me with a new mapping book. The Oak King I call him. He is wrapped in leather, has cool buckles, and contains 120 hand-made parchment pages. In all honesty, he doesn’t have that many more pages than the Holly King, but his pages are bigger, thicker, and have way more texture.

I opened him up for the first time the other day and gave him a nice cover page on the inside, and started doodling a few maps. Nothing awesome yet, but some stuff that shows promise. But now the first full map is complete within the Oak King, and it isn’t actually one of my own. I’ll post a nice clean scan soon (maybe this Friday as the Friday Map, maybe next week), but here’s a quick snapshot from my phone:

Oak King Interior

Oak King Interior

That’s right, it’s not really an original piece, it’s an Extreme Dungeon Makeover: Dyson Edition of a dungeon that never was, but may someday be by Wil Wheaton.

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