Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Livid Fens - Color Maps

The Livid Fens, a land of trackless swamp, shifting channels and rotten mangroves filled with uncanny reddish and purple growth. The lands are firmly in the clutching hands of the Fen Witch and her coven of lesser witches who allow neither rival Wizards or worship of the orbital religion within her swamp domain.  The people of the fens are a tribal lot, generally peaceable, living in small villages, and paying a yearly tax of corpses to their necromancer god-queen.

Despite harsh conditions, wretched heat and the unnatural fecundity of the bruise hued alien flora, treasure seekers are drawn to the fens rich stores of unique furs, hides, drugs, spices and gems.  In addition to these prosaic sources of wealth the fens are dotted with ruins: fallen plantations, crumbled towers, shattered temples and strange underground fortifications from an ancient war.  In addition to these ruins, countless wrecks sink slowly into the pools and bogs of the fens – wrecked trade ships, side wheeled steamers and ancient warmachines of rust red and glassy black offer lost cargos and magical artifacts.

The Fens in Hideous Color

The Lichthrone – A twisted tower, also called the Tower of Flints, marks the gateway to the Livid Fens.  A few hours from the water, the tower was once the lair of a decadent wizard who tried to stand aloof from the Fen Witch.  Rivermen claim that his tortured screams can still be heard from atop the tower.

Rendermarche – A city of spice traders, froghemoth hunters, and the factory workers that convert the catch into oil, bone, meat and hide.  A detachment of the Unyielding Fist from Denethix and a larger force of elite tribal warriors loyal to the Witch Queen hold Rendermarche as a joint outpost of Denethix and the Queen.  The city is also protected by a small squadron of river leviathans (crude steam powered skiffs armored in riveted steel plate and armed with cannon or heavy machine guns).  Rendermarche serves as a base of operation for Northern Traders and is the first major port on the trade route between Denethix and Druid Hill deep in the Emerald Jungles further South.

Bone – The capitol of the Witch Queen, set amongst poppy fields and rice paddies in the most solid area of the fens.  Bone is a strange place, the huge corpse drums, each stretched with the skin of a hundred wizards boom out from atop the Queen’s great palace tower to give vigor to the myriad of undead who work the surrounding fields and man the walls. Marble temples to the Fen Witch cluster around her palace, and the rest of the city is only sparsely inhabited, with many of its grand old mansions falling into ruin and home to undead scavengers.

Grave Ancien – A deep crater around a bore that descends into the earth, surrounded by the melted and warped ruins of the Fall.  The bore itself seems to breath a miasma that reeks of death.  Even the warriors Fen Witch, used to the creatures of undeath and disease fear to enter the grave.

Wight Bog – The Wight Bog is an expanse of mudflats around a pair of odd stone spires.  The bog itself is a deep mire teaming with the restless dead below its surface.  While the Fen Witch’s servants can easily control these feral wights, and the locals travel on giant transparent shelled crustaceans whose long spindly legs fail to stir up the dead.  To facilitate travel the locals have also created paths of white tree trunks, sunk into the mud, but to discourage trespassers these routes are often trapped to drop into the mud, or lead into dead ends. Protected by the bog itself the sleepy blue and white town of Teacup winds up the side of one of the stone spires and is home to a community of skilled potters.  

The Fens Brown and Grey


  1. That's beautifully detailed map. I got to know how long it took to draw it?

  2. THe brown and grey version is great but the yellow and orange does indeed have a hideous appeal.
    These are the sorts of map you just have to let the players see and use while playing as they drip with flavor.

  3. @Jonas - This sorta map takes me 2-5 hours - this was a more time consuming one. Took another couple hours to color it, but I was playing around with a new drawing pad, so that was much of the time.

    @JD - I would certainly let the players see this map. The scale is obviously off, and equally the icons representative rather than definitive (meaning it shows wrecks and such but not all of them nor necessarily what's where exactly). I personally treat these sorts of settings as a point crawl, so really it could function as an overland map as well.

  4. These are great. I much prefer unreliable/incomplete maps that are more representational than definitive in most presents options without revealing everything all at once.

  5. Damn you, I just finished working out a rudimentary map using An Echo Resounding. Of course this is much better.

    I wonder, do you still have the list of "dangers" you mentioned when you posted the list of Livid Fens encounters?