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Heart of Darkling Series Header

The Darkling River works its way through the underdark beneath the grey hills to depths unknown. This is the fifteenth mapped location (and 18th map total) along the Darkling River and the Darkling Lake beyond.

Heart of Darkling - The Pillars
Heart of Darkling – The Pillars (300 dpi promo – no commercial license)

Fires light this cave – there’s almost always a small bonfire on the upper reaches of the cave, and typically several torches scattered here and there around the shrine and pillars. The Darkling slowly runs past and between a series of eleven cyclopean hexagonal pillars that reach floor to ceiling and encroach on the river itself. The cave is home to a strange mix of underdark denizens, all here at the behest of the ur-priest, one who does not worship the gods, but siphons their power.

Heart of Darkling - The Pillars
Heart of Darkling – The Pillars (1200 dpi)

All the major underdark humanoids can be found in the ur-priest’s flock – pech, darrow, svirfneblin, drow, goblins, and more. They chant and dance among the pillars, fed by the hero’s feast that the priest brings forth each day. They seem half-drugged, completely under the sway of the powerful charisma of their leader. They live within and around the structures here – the old shrine, the small fortress, and the outbuildings – but also sleeping in bundles of rags and clothes on the floor of the cave itself, a few leaning against the massive pillars as they sleep and dream of enslaving the gods.

Heart of Darkling - The Pillars
Heart of Darkling – The Pillars (1200 dpi – no grid)

The shrine predates this neo-religious group – dedicated to one of the dark elf gods, the main statue is generally used to hang clothing and to hold cloth that is being repaired. The rest of the structure is used as anything here is – as a place to celebrate the words of the ur-priest and to sleep when the hero’s feast can no longer sustain you.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 14,400 pixels (48 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for 10′ squares) – so resizing it to either 3,360 pixels wide or 6,720 pixels wide, respectively.


This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 500 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”).

Please note that the promotional version of this map (the one with the brown paper background) is not included in this commercial use license.