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Thread: June/July 2014 Lite Challenge - Jade Mountain Pass

  1. #11
      Bogie is offline
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    This is coming along great!

  2. #12
      Meshon is offline
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    Jade Mountain Pass - 1371

    Story, if you want...
     

    Because of the occasional disappearance of its rulers, and the significant resources those rulers devoted to finding a way to reach the Throne of the Architects, the Portalist Empire soon became fractured and weak. The final straw that broke its back was the rise of the tribes of Sendak to the south. The tribelands had been a source of slaves for a millenia and the brutal oppression of the Architect Priests ensured that no power ever rose in the south. Freed from their yoke it was not long before Sendaki tribes united and moved to take revenge for generations of misery. One of their invasion routes was through the Jade Mountain Pass. The soldiers stationed there put up a fight, but they were sorely outnumbered. The southernmost keep fell on the first day and the rest of the soldiers could only watch from their walls as it burned. Within three days the tribes had overrun the walls of the main stronghold but already there were mutterings in the invading army of spirits on the mountain slopes, and they soon departed once the Empire's soldiers were slain. One of the mausoleums had been slightly damaged, but fear of vengeful spirits discouraged the Sendaki tribes from tarrying. They erected a totem to keep the spirits from leaving the pass and then left, never to return. In the years that followed the Jade Mountain Pass and the necropolis it harboured passed out of memory as the Empire was reduced to warring states that no longer looked beyond the mountain borders.

    Though the rule of the Architect Priests had ended some three centuries earlier, a cult had persisted in secret, dedicated to the worship of those undeniably powerful sorcerers. Members of the cult still sought the power of the priests and a few followed old writings to rediscover the necropolis. Over a hundred years after the invasion a small cult temple had been raised within the crumbling walls of the old keep, and the cultists had begun to excavate the ancient tombs in hopes of finding a way to follow their long-dead lords into another world or, at the very least, to uncover the powerful artifacts buried with them. For their cult was always viewed with suspicion and not a few of the petty rulers of the former empire's provinces had instituted inquisitions against them, so they kept their work secret and looked for ways to defend themselves.



    Oh, wait, what? I'm supposed to be drawing, not writing? Oh dear!

    ### Latest WIP ###
    June/July 2014 Lite Challenge - Jade Mountain Pass-jade-mountain-pass-3.jpg

    cheers,
    Meshon

  3. #13
      Diamond is offline
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    I think I'd vote for this just based on that background snippet. That is begging for a short story or even a novel...
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

    -Emily Dickinson

  4. #14
      jkat718 is offline
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    If you don't mind, I would love to write a D&D encounter for this, once it's finished. Either 3e or Next (once it comes out, of course).

  5. #15
      Meshon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    I think I'd vote for this just based on that background snippet. That is begging for a short story or even a novel...
    Thanks! I will have to think hard about a story. Coming up with a point of view from which to tell about such an extended time period has my hamster wheels spinning...

    The part of this that has actually had the most time spent on development is the Throne of the Architects, the place that most of the powerful people in this history are obsessed with getting to. It came out of a D&D campaign a few years ago and I have copious notes, though no maps yet. It's been fun to think about this side of the story though, and I'm sure I'll keep working on this stuff for awhile!

    Quote Originally Posted by jkat718 View Post
    If you don't mind, I would love to write a D&D encounter for this, once it's finished. Either 3e or Next (once it comes out, of course).
    Absolutely, that would be great! After the next map it should be a place with a few possibilities for adventure, but you're free to use any of the maps in your games. I'm pretty excited about Next, actually collaborating on an adventure for that system in my spare moments. Did you know that the basic rules have been released for free?

    Thanks again for all the positive encouragement and kind words.

    cheers,
    Meshon

  6. #16
      jkat718 is offline
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    I did not! I knew that they were going to be released, but I thought it wasn't going to happen until the end of the month. Thanks, I'm going to go read the entire PDF now.

  7. #17
    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Hard to think you're still a beginner with your tablet! If you already do such a nice map while you're just starting with the tool i'm impatient to see your maps when you mastered the tablet The map is great and you already have a real personal touch, i'm particularly fan of the effect you give on the ruined roof of the sacked fortress.

  8. #18
      jkat718 is offline
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    Mesh, how are you working on a Next adventure already? We don't even have the PHB yet...

  9. #19
      Meshon is offline
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    After the collapse of the Empire and the battles that followed, anything to do with the portals was viewed with great suspicion. Though the cult of the Architect Priests had kept itself secret for centuries word soon got out that the necropolis at Jade Mountain Pass was occupied again. A nascent group who called themselves the Lustrators were dedicated to ending the influence of the gods in mortal affairs and they were not known for diplomacy or mercy. A well armed band quickly made its way to the pass and joined battle with no desire to take prisoners. The cultists fought back as well as they could and, to this day, the remains of a magic they unleashed can still be seen in two places where a cold black fire burns from the ground. However, even with the aid of the artifacts they gained from the tombs they were soon overrun, their buildings pulled down and their members slaughtered. The Lustrators, however, did not remain long, though none of those on the expedition would say why. After hastily closing the tombs that had been opened they retreated, leaving the Jade Mountain Pass to be forgotten.

    ### Latest WIP ###
    June/July 2014 Lite Challenge - Jade Mountain Pass-jade-mountain-pass-4.jpg

    This was great fun to do and an excellent way to learn more about using my tablet. It was all done in Illustrator, so I think I will have to move on to Photoshop next, but I'm very happy with how this turned out. I would have liked to add in some subtle elevations to represent the older ruins being slowly overgrown, but I tried lots of experiments and none of them made me particularly happy. I guess the Jade Mountain Pass is high enough that it's not particularly prone to overgrowth.

    I may get one more map up if I can figure out a way to put all four maps in one image without breaking the bandwidth bank.

    Thanks for all the encouragement and kind words along the way!

    cheers,
    Meshon

    PS jkat718: I'd like to say I have gotten hold of a developer rules set... but that's not the case. My collaborator and I are currently designing the adventure without any rules mechanics. If we need to refer to any of that sort of thing we just use plain language. So mostly we're designing encounter flow, NPCs, and soon... maps! This also gives us a bit more freedom to adapt it to a different system if we want to later.

  10. #20
    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meshon View Post
    It was all done in Illustrator, so I think I will have to move on to Photoshop next,
    Wow, even more awesome map if you only use illustrator!

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