View Full Version : Birch Queen's Fair (Kobold Quarterly Open Design)

08-19-2009, 02:48 AM
Here are two maps (or, perhaps, one map and a set of accompanying diagrams) that I did for "The Wrath of the River King," a Feywild adventure published by Wolfgang Baur's (Kobold Quarterly) Open Design. "Wrath" presented D&D 4.0's first major adventure into the Feywild, delving deep into chaotic and often dark depths of Faerie with a rip-roaring 27 encounters in 96 pages.

Wolfgang asked me to map both the Court of the River King himself, and, presented here, The Birch Queen's Fair. Hidden by the magic of the towering mushroom circle that surrounds the secretive fair, only those who can find the Fey Road or Ettin's Gate can enter. Within, one finds a fair the way I wish my local Renaissance Faire truly was. Neil Gaiman, eat your heart out!

Anyone want to buy a new dream? A lost memory? A baby in a cage? Someone else's success? If you can find this market, well, here they sell . . . everything.

The main Birch Queen's Fair map captured my imagination completely. Utterly. Absolutely.

The peripherals map grew out of collaborative effort. Wolfgang needed 4.0-style tactical combat maps for Ettin's Gate and the Vile Gnome's Weapon Shop. I wanted to paint The Hall and Hill of Revels. A lot. Wolfgang (a terrific guy!) accommodated my desires. I also thought the side-view diagram of the Queen's throne and the Fey Road Door would help explain the text. That gave me an excuse to blow up the Feasting Area (complete with seats ranging in scale from sprite to ogre).

Wolfgang accommodated all of my artistic dithering with great good humor and professional grace. Didn't even charge me a lost memory or a baby in a cage (hell, I got paid!), but I got to build out my dream.

Yeah. I'm a big fan of Mr. Baur.

Please tell me what you think of the results!!

08-19-2009, 02:56 AM

The image of The Birch Queen's Fair map that our beloved site let's me attach is too small to see many of the map's charming details. Numerous structures that look like huts, for instance (particularly close to the river), are actually colorful, spotted mushrooms (often with market counters spread out before them).

I shouldn't blame our site. I probably just don't know how to load larger images. Any advice?

08-19-2009, 04:37 AM
Beautiful work, Ashenvale and very atmospheric! I love the backstory too and am not surprised that this became such an absorbing project!

I'm afraid that the site has both dimension and memory limits as to the size of images posted, but I can see the toadstools!

The whole feel of it reminds me of a modern take on Sir Arthur Rackham's work.



08-19-2009, 05:00 AM
As I said in your introduction thread, I love this map. I have never seen something quite like it. Lovely colors and lights!

Steel General
08-19-2009, 07:00 AM
Very, very nice...

Regarding the limits Ravs briefly touched on. The pixel 'density' (for lack of a better word) is ~ 33 Megapixels, so you can upload a sizable image if you're willing to lower the resolution a bit.

File size limits limits depend on the type (.jpg ~ 4.7MB, .png ~ 7.4MB), these are listed in the file upload window.

08-19-2009, 07:16 AM
I saw these in the adventure and I think you did a really great job. Well done!

08-19-2009, 09:12 AM
Really great work! I love the trees.

08-19-2009, 08:46 PM
Thanks, Steel General! Let me try posting a larger, low-res pdf.

Edit: Okay, that's not bad. Resolution's weak. Zooming in makes everything blurry. And I miss the thumbnail! But at least you can see everything up closer than in my original JPEG..