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Plane of Shadows by tacticangel Plane of Shadows by tacticangel
Call this another one of the ones I had sitting around that I wanted to finally do something with. The original, I should say, was actually a collection of about 8 illustrations of completely different little things. I wanted to put them all together to make one strange, confused map, which was what this was. Think of American McGee's Alice and call that a campaign map. Of course, traveling around in the Plane of Shadow is to be unpredictably unpredictable. Let me fill in a little mythos that would have gone with this map.

The first thing you have to understand was that on this map there would have been, essentially, a dismembered god. You can see his foot on the far right of the map. Also listed in my gallery is an illustration of one of his eyes, which was an enemy creature. Essentially, this God, lets call him "Hobbes" for now, created the world of the Plane of Shadows, as far as the people on this continent are concerned.

The most tangible sign of his hand is the Clockwork Tower. No one really knows what purpose the clockwork tower has, though the denizens of the continent have a lot of theories. What is know is that it is big, it has a wind-up function that is so large that only Hobbes can wind it, and no gnome tinkerer has ever left. No, not all things in the Plane of Shadow are dangerous, but the impossible workings of the tower require more than a lifetime of fascination to explore.

There are a few settlements on the continent. 'People' live there, though really shadow people are as much a part of the landscape as a tree... which granted could be quite lively itself. They go about their lives as a computer simulation for lack of a better turn, and though things frequently change in the Plane of Shadow, as far as they are concerned most of these natural changes have always been. There is no sense of history there aside from mythology.

Salem, bottom right, is a very troubled town. Its name is not unintentional here. Its meant to be pretty much anything from Sleepy Hallow to a witch infested nightmare.

In order to get to Salem, people pretty much have to go through the Briar, which is at times a pleasant candy coated experience, and at times a razor coated horror. Most things in the Plane of Shadow function off of human emotion greatly, so fantasy, doubt, sarcastic thoughts, and pondering can make reality in the plane shift quickly.

The Dark Tower is the place of the Queen's seat of power. It is far from accessible, as the only way to get to it is over or under the High Lands, which is quite dangerous to go over, quite frightening to go under, and in all cases rather mazelike.

That is not all that different than the Porton Mais, which is the only conventional way to get to the other continents on the Plane. It is the only port to the endless sea. While it might make sense that anywhere around the continent people could travel using the ocean, but most of the continent seems to be surrounded by a nearly bottomless drop. It doesn't make sense. It isn't supposed to.

The Porton Mais is probably the place where things make the least sense to most city dwellers. The streets are winding, nonsensical, and tend to change from day to day as new buildings appear and disappear. No where more are the Shadow People seemingly oblivious than here

To get to Porton Mais, characters would have to travel either through the Swamp of Sorrow or the Living Wood -- which isn't called such because the foliage is vibrant, quite the opposite. Both places are places where an imagination is a liability. A creeping feeling of dread permeates the place and the fear of what might be behind the next tree or lurking just beneath the water is all too often exactly what is there. The Swamp of Sorrow is also the only way to get to the Outter House. Whats there? Hopefully someone who can shed light on the Plane.

Finally, the Strange Hills are so named for obvious reasons. Generally anything that lives there is abnormal. Think shape people or impossible animals. Random geometric forms protrude from the earth. The ground is a bizarre texture, striped, and flows ever so gently.

In any case, I hope it at least makes the top 10 of strangest or most unique D&D or general role playing 'campaign maps' ever produced.
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:iconj4b:
J4B Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like this map.
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:icondemialc-neeb-sah-em:
Demialc-neeb-sah-em Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013
Very cool, and very nutty.
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:iconthevizir:
thevizir Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Student Writer
Well, this is quite brilliant and awesome and all-around fantastic! A most excellent job indeed, and certainly one of the most unique D&D maps I have ever seen. So keep up the good work, eh?
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:iconfang-silverleaf:
Fang-Silverleaf Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
fang, demi god of shadows appreciates such art of my lands :P
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:icontacticangel:
tacticangel Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012
Well thank you! I am sure Fang would have felt every bit as unwelcome in this place as Whitney did.
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:icondepassage:
DePassage Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice style and feeling!
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:iconcometbab:
cometbab Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
I love the clock tower! if i could live there i totaly would!
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:iconel-titiritero:
el-titiritero Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
waaaaauuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!
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:iconebraunstein:
EBraunstein Featured By Owner May 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like it! It seems reminiscent of the old Grimm's Fairy Tales to me... (I blame the candies in The Briar) And the awesome American McGee's Alice! Love that game!
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:icontacticangel:
tacticangel Featured By Owner May 31, 2010
American McGee's Alice was probably the most direct inspiration for this. I loved the in-game map. I didn't quite replicate the feel of it, the clutter. That is probably one of the things I would do if I revisited this and were to change it.
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:iconebraunstein:
EBraunstein Featured By Owner May 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like it this way though! There IS one thing I LOVED most about Alice and that's The Vale of Tears, the big lake like area... Seemed so sad there, I LOVED it! So if you ever DO decide to revisit the map, you oughta put in something like the Vale somewhere... Someplace that always rains...?
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:iconluckybananas9213:
luckybananas9213 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009
wow i could sit here and just look at this for hours picking out little things i love

this is amazing! and i love it.
great job
its very fun and interesting to look at
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:icontacticangel:
tacticangel Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009
Notice anything interesting? There's more than one or two allusions in this illusory image.
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:iconkrowley83:
Krowley83 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2009
Wow, this took a while to finish. Weren't you working on this when we were still doing the two man campaigns at Ken's? Might be a fun map to play on one of these days.
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:icontacticangel:
tacticangel Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2009
Probably... this survived the fire by virtue of already being scanned, so most of it was probably form all the way back then.
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