Definitely like the finished map, can't find fault with anything, Excellent!
Calan Stonebridge wondered how much pain the human body could endure before it simply quit. He had spent the last unknown amount of hours cramped into an uncomfortable shape clinging to the bottom of a wagon as it sped along a rough dirt track. The sun had begun to set as finally the wagon groaned to a halt. He fell with ah grunt to the hard earth and scurried behind a small building. He had no idea where he was. He could see that he was in the center of what must have been a small town. There were people moving about and he could smell meat cooking. The wagon's drivers stepped off of the wagon and made a great show of stretching. After tying the horses to a post they entered a squat stone and timber building with a sign that read" The Axe & Stump" Calan knew with a name like that the building had to be a tavern. He moved cautiously across the street and took a up a position on the side of the building facing away from the street. He craned his neck and peered into a dirty window....
The next installment of the Calan Stonebridge Series. This map will depict the "Axe & Stump" Tavern a seedy and dangerous tavern in the Northern Shendenflar town of Lodge. Lodge is far enough North to be almost autonomous although the majority of it's citizens work in either the timber or service trades. Lodge has long been a haven for fugitives and naer do wells. The little town also harbors a dark secret that young Calan will soon discover....
I've started this map with the ground layers and added the exterior and interior walls. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
Calan Stonebridge had practically grown up in a tavern. He and his mother had lived and worked in one in the city of Riverhewn. While The Stabbed Soldier was a rough and seedy place it was a palace compared to the Axe & Stump. Calan peered through the window in disbelief. The common row was filled with drunken men sitting at long rough hewn tables. Although the sun had barely begun it's descent through the sky these men were already very drunk. Tired looking serving girls navigated between the tables fighting off the rough advances of the patrons as often as serving drinks. Calan spotted a vicious fight going on in one corner of the room. The entire place was lit by torches it seemed and they let off a hellish glow that did little to brighten the mood of this dark place. Calan spotted the wagon drivers sitting at one of the long tables in what appeared to be a intense conversation with two other men. After a while the group rose and moved towards the back of the tavern. Calan followed moving along the outside of the tavern which he discovered was very large. He flattened himself up against the back wall and looked through a partially open door. What he saw both fascinated and sickened him. In the center of the large shadow filled room sat an octagon made from giant wooden beams. Tall thin logs had been affixed to form a grid around it's outside. on these hung more torches that lit the scene with an almost evil glow. In the center of the structure two men were fighting. Calan had seen men fight before of course but never like this. The ferocity and brutality of the fight terrified him. These men were trying to kill each other. Around the outside of the octagon a crowd had formed cheering and booing and betting. The room was dark except for the octagon and the air was heavy with the smell of unwashed bodies and split liquor. There was a great cheer from the crowd and Calan watched as one of the men landed a brutal blow on the other. The struck man fell like a tree in the forest and laid still. The other man raised his hands in victory and let out a massive roar. Tavern workers entered the octagon and dragged the lifeless body of the loser away. Fresh dirt was sprinkled over the blood stains and two more men readied themselves to enter the pit. Calan was about to turn away when a strong hand clamped down on his shoulder and a voice rough with drink said " Now what do we have here?....."
Oh Calan What will happen to you now.....
More work on the "Axe & Stump" The center piece of the tavern the "fighting pit" I had to try to make this myself and I have to say I'm pretty proud of it. (so much so that I'll make it available in the "Mapping Resources" section of the forum.) I was going for a dark and scary atmosphere here and I think I'm getting there. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
Calan Stonebridge nearly fainted as he was roughly pulled to a standing position. The man that had grabbed him was tall and muscular. Calan struggled out of instinct knowing that he had no hope of escaping this brute. "Put me down !" he tried to shout but fear made his words come out in a squeak. The large man laughed and began to carry Calan towards the open door. Calan tried again in vain to wriggle free and was delivered a cuff on the face for his trouble. He was carried past the fighting pit where two more men had taken their place for the entertainment of the wildly cheering crowd. Calan screamed for help but either the people in the crowd could not hear him or merely didn't care. The large man stopped in front of a large heavy door. He reached for a iron key and unlocked the door shoving it open with a grunt. He then tossed Calan inside. Calan hit the hard dirt floor with a rush of escaping breath. As the giant man was closing the door, Calan heard him say: " Make a crown or two from him...Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll live long enough to be profitable" With that the massive door was slammed shut and Calan found himself in the darkness once more....
Work continues on the Axe & Stump. I've started the common room by adding my new tables and benches. I've also added torches and some lighting effects. I made some small changes to the walls of the tavern as well. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
Love the map and the story. Couple things you might want to try (if you agree and its not too much of a pain): maybe create more disarray in the bar area by having the tables and benches at slightly off angles from each other. Also might want to shrink the fighting pit just a tad so that people would have room to walk around it.
Clan Stonebridge sat still for a moment and let his eyes adjust to the gloom. He had seen two bodies lying on the dirt floor as he was being tossed into the room. He could hear labored breathing from one and a soft moan from the other. He was relieved to find that neither were dead. He had had quite enough of dead bodies for one lifetime. He sat in the cell and pondered what the large man had said "Live long enough to be profitable?" Were the mans words. What did that mean? Calan puzzled over it for a few more minutes until the answer hit him like lightning. SLAVERS ! He had heard rumors in the dock ward of Riverhewn that there were still groups of people that made money by kidnapping and selling human beings. It was highly illegal and worth the instant death penalty if one was caught. Most times the rumors spoke of people spirited away aboard ships fast departing from Riverhewn Harbor to lands far away from the justice of the king. To know that it was happening in the kingdom shocked Calan. What was even more shocking was that now he would find out if these rumors were true first hand. He prayed that he would live to find out.....
Young Calan Stonebridge's adventure has turned for the worse wouldn't you agree?....
*EDIT* After looking at this for a while I decided that I didn't like the bodies in the cell. They are great objects but just didn't "fit" in my opinion. I removed them and updated the image :)
Spilt ale mug: ProBono Dundjinni
Mugs: Bogie Dundjinni
Bottles: Bogie Dundjinni
Shackles: Greytale Greytales Nook
One minor detail with the wall torches in the bar. The light from the torches should not extend thru the wall into the next room.