Thought I'd get a placeholder up here for my intended entry. Looks like someone already grabbed "Earth," so next up is fire!
I figured that the logical place for the power of fire to flow out of the earth is, of course, a volcano. This much is obvious (so much so, wasn't it
one of the examples in the description?) but I got my mind thinking about how one would harness flame--the wildest of the elements.
I've decided that the Pyromancers who embrace and worship the consuming power of fire would not so much try and harness it (why, that would be disrespecting the raw force of nature) but rather would choose simply to devote themselves to stoking the flame, consequences and goals be damned--even at the risk of being consumed themselves (indeed, this would be considered a worthy way to go).
So, the basic layout is this: The pyromancers have established four (for lack of a better word) temples. Just as smoke (fire's offspring) winds upwards into the sky, so too do the temples gradually rise up the sides of the volcano, each at a higher and higher elevation. The higher and closer to the locus the temples get, the more powerful their connection to element.
Farthest from the smoldering peak lies the Temple of Ash, where visiting mages and adventurers are allowed to come bask in the heat and learn what they can. Bandaged mages in red robes prevent any outsiders from progressing, but the initiates of the order may continue up the mountainside to the Temple of Embers, in which lies a vast repository of arcane knowledge. Above this structure sits the Smoldering Spire. It appears to be the oldest structure on the mountain, and no one knows how tall it once was--the layers upon layers of cooled magma have long since encased the base of the tower--it is anyone's guess how deep into the volcano it truly goes or, indeed, if one descending the tower into the rock would ever find a bottom. Almost nothing is known about the mad mages who reside here, nor the armored sentries that stand vigilant atop the battlements, their soot-covered armor making them appear as shadows against the smoke-filled sky. Only the blades of their halberds glitter in the red glow of the mountain, seeming themselves to be glowing with heat.
Nothing can be said of The Fortress of Flame but whispered stories of a blackened throne and the King of Fire, whose charred-black face haunts the nightmares of every child in every village within view of the vast plume of smoke that stretches into the sky.
It is known that this order will one day be consumed by the angry Mountain, but indeed, like a wildfire, it is difficult to extinguish: curious wizards and sorcerers tempted by the consuming power will always return to rebuild, to stoke the furnace--is has happened before and it will happen again.
Last edited by Immolate; 07-09-2010 at 11:32 PM.
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Absolutely love it! Can't wait to see more of it with such a vivid description.
Something witty and pithy
Working on the volcano itself...
Last edited by RecklessEnthusiasm; 07-11-2010 at 01:06 PM.
looking really good - good height on it ... like the orange glow on the inner walls, but somehow I'd expect the lava to me more smoldering
and nice backstory ... elequently put.. you should teach english
A fine start.... volcanoes can be tough.
My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.
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some good stuff happening here too. I am curious about the height of the volcano because just one spiral trail around it makes either the "trail" too steep to be easily passable or the height is not that significant... then again, maybe we are only looking at the very top of the volcano... love the looks of this one though. bet you are getting tired of looking at volcano pics.
Something witty and pithy
Thanks for the comments on my off-the-cuff lore, guys. I like to write (definitely my strength over mapping) and since I like comic books and RPGs, I kind of like embracing the "low fantasy" cliches and trying to develop them into something fun.
mmmmmpig (did I get the right number of M's?) you do have a point, I didn't really think about the size of the volcano. I have hiked a fair number of them in my time, and the ones I have been up tend to be really wide and relatively short, compared to mountains. As a locus for fire, this would probably be of pretty epic size though. Hopefully adding the buildings will give it a nice sense of scale... Hm. I'll consider smaller, more winding paths, but I'd be sad to let the symmetry of a spiral path go. Thanks for the advice.
Tilt - thanks, as always, for the encouragement and the kind words. I know I should probably be doing the 'lite' map challenges before stepping up to play with the big boys here, but this subject interested me a lot more. I almost did the lite challenge with a map of a modern day, inconspicuous suburban house with a basement 'kill room' a la Dexter. I guess there are no rules that say you can't participate in both... darn it, I already have too many projects going on! As for smoldering, I think I have some ideas for that. I'll finish up the basics before I do the dressing though...
SG - thanks! This is the second volcano I've mapped (the other was a tiny tiny one for the Droaam regional map) and you're right. They are always fun though!
I tried to taper the road a bit to give a sense of height, also roughed up the rock a little to make it look a little less smooth. I'll focus on the buildings next...
Last edited by RecklessEnthusiasm; 07-10-2010 at 11:56 AM.
You might try a little blur to the base of the Volcano and more clear and sharp near the mouth. That might look good and add more depth to it....just depends on if you are going for photorealism or usefulness.