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This month I started posting Darklingtown, a series of maps that can completely change the way I see the Heart of Darkling maps and implied adventure. Originally when I started this series, it was a “Heart of Darkness” run down a river to get to the MacGuffin while running into weird and occasionally weirdly normal underdark locations and encounters along the way.

Then we get Darklingtown. Originally this was so we could have a resupply location that feels somewhat normal – a trading community on a confluence of rivers in the underdark. In Apocalypse Now this would be where the USO show is going on while forces from the surface have occupied the town. But it can also become the centre of a much more traditional UnderWest Marches kind of campaign where Darklingtown is the base of operations as the party explores the many routes to and from the town.

Darklingtown is being drawn as a series of 12 inch by 16 inch canvasses at 4 squares per inch. When we compare this to The Ochrenvault megamap that I posted last month, it turns out that 4 of these canvasses combined is already larger than the Ochrenvault’s total area. And… well… there’s going to be more than 4 canvasses in the finished Darklingtown.

State of Darklingtown - Nov 10 2021
State of Darklingtown – Nov 10 2021

Here’s where we stand currently – down the left side of the page we have three 12″ wide by 16″ tall canvasses (Darklingtown North, Darklingtown South, Frogsport) and on the right side we have three 16″ wide by 12″ tall canvasses (The Mushroom Fields, The Tunnels District still in progress, and East Frogsport). This brings Darklingtown to already nearly twice the size of the Ochrenvault… and there’s another 12″ x 16″ canvas not shown here – Frogsport East has a large circular chamber in the cave walls which is known as “Frog Tower” that leads up through 7 levels to a whole other level of the underdark.

Further there are at least two more districts to draw once the Tunnels District is done. We have a small level that sits above the Tunnels (the High Tunnels), and then the Great Cave and Vorpal districts south of the maps shown.

The plan as it currently stands is to have all the districts mapped and released by mid-January.