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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. Darklingtown is a trading community built into a series of claustrophobically low-ceilinged caverns on the banks of the Darkling and a number of its tributaries. Darklingtown (which in turn will be made of 9+ maps) is the seventeenth mapped location (and this the 23rd map total) along the Darkling River and the Darkling Sea beyond.

Darklingtown - Mushroom Caves
Darklingtown – Mushroom Caves (300 dpi promo – no commercial license)

The populace of darklingtown subsist on a diet of various underdark food animals and a LOT of mushrooms. While a number of houses have small mushroom gardens, one family has set aside whole sections of caves for the cultivation of several varieties of mushrooms. The river that flows through this area comes almost immediately down from the surface and brings with it significant organic sediment – including a lot of surface farm animal excrement and topsoil. This slop is dredged from the river and spread over the fields for the mushroom harvests. A new cave (on the far right) is being prepared for farming, but for now it is mostly used to collect organics from the small tributary that flows through it. A few youngsters who work here have figured out how to get from this cave to the main fields and pilfer the occasional mushrooms for themselves after hours.

Darklingtown - The Mushroom Caves
Darklingtown – The Mushroom Caves (1200 dpi)

At least as important as the food mushrooms grown here are another crop – the “Gift of Zuggtmoy”. These giant magical mushrooms consume stone instead of organic matter as they grow. While the Gift of Zuggtmoy is edible, it is very hard and tough to eat and not very nutritious. By planting them on the walls they are used to slowly expand caverns, and they are also used to level floors and generally modify the environment gradually without actually mining the stone. The hard material of these mushrooms when cut down is used as the primary building material throughout Darklingtown. It takes a special alchemical preparation to induce the Gift of Zuggtmoy to spore and this secret is closely guarded by the owners of the mushroom caves and a few others who know the trick.

Darklingtown - The Mushroom Caves
Darklingtown – The Mushroom Caves (1200 dpi, no grid)

In the cavern along the river are a number of homes, mostly used by those who work in the fields as there are no decent amenities in this area. The exits on the west side of the map lead to Darklingtown South, while travelling upriver to the right will quickly enter a section where the river comes down a series of tight chimneys from the surface.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 19,200 pixels (64 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 4,480 pixels wide or 8,960 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. Nor is the title of the map included in the commercial license.