Your lantern bobs on its hook as you ease the skiff through the waters heavy with lily pads, flanked on all sides by darkness and the drone of countless frogs and insects.
A few weeks ago I drew the settlement of Fog’s Reach. This, you may have noticed, has a vast lily-laden body of water in its background. In my mind Fog’s Reach is a frontier town at the edge of the dangerous jungle wilderness and reached by crossing a wetland. Well, I thought that wetland needed a map!
This led to me brainstorming a bunch of assets which would become the building blocks for this map and the distinct variants I made. I picked my favorite of these for the base map, a lone skiff in a sea of lilies on a warm night.
This map also struck me as rather romantic, and Mystarseed on Discord was quick to point out the Little Mermaid similarities. A good map for that lovey-dovey session you have been planning??
Below you will find my short blog post, preview images, and some immersive writing by Troy. Alternatively, you may skip straight to the downloads.
What kind of encounter do you imagine for these maps? I am thinking of some Warhammer-inspired toad-men. Perhaps they manipulate the lily pads like jet skis? Let’s brainstorm in the comments section!
Her eyes were like two sapphires, as clear and blue as the summer sky, wreathed in the sunset fire of her hair. They drew Amir in, threatening to drown him in the moment. It engulfed his very being. How could a girl so silent be so enrapturing? She had hardly spoken a word since their first meeting, but it did not matter. All that Amir cared for was her and this moment as they floated along, frozen in a world of their own.
The small boat bobbed forward, carried gently through the parting lilypads of the lake. Distant mountains had covered the setting sun but the darkness was not the usual cold of night. No, this twilight was held back by the warmth between Amir and Celia. A single lantern illuminated their rowboat and a thousand more encircled the lake, marking the distant towns and harbors. It was like a painting in shimmering motion. Yet, the dancing light did not hold a candle to Celia herself.
She remained silent, Amir stuttering as he searched for words. What could he say to someone so magnificent? For all his courtly training, the art of courtship eluded him.
A wave rolled passed, shifting the boat and causing the lantern to swing. Amir gave a calming chuckle as it came to rest. The moving light emphasized Celia’s features, soft and serene. The amber dulled the blues of her dress and eyes but could only make her fiery hair that much more striking.
Another small wave came and went. The boat rocked against it, the two inside stumbling as they caught themselves.
“Iiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssss…” A long, rumbling sound passed with the water.
“What was that sou-” Amir’s voice trailed off as he looked up and met Celia’s eyes, only inches away. Nerves drove the breath from his lungs. He brought one hand to her cheek, just barely brushing against it. Her eyes began to close in agreement as the two leaned in.
Amir flicked his head away. He was sure that he had heard something this time. But the lake was quiet. Was it just his mind playing anxious tricks? Celia’s touch calmed him again, taking his chin and pulling them into a deep kiss. The feeling was magical. Amir’s heart raced with blissful exhilaration. The boat rocked again, tipping him closer to her.
The sound was not muffled or moving this time. It rose from behind, forming into a deep, gargling voice. The rowboat had jerked with it, pushed by the displacing water.
Amir pulled away from Celia and spun on the spot. His mind rushed to refocus from the kiss and reconcile what he was seeing. Behind him, a great creature had breached from the water and was staring at the two. Its segmented form was armored in crimson chitin and two powerful, crab-like claws reached out from beneath a set of beaded eyes. Amir instinctively reached to his side but found no weapon. He must protect Celia.
The nobleman briefly turned back to his sweetheart, offering a reassuring smile and nod. She looked back with a calm blankness. Her mouth was open and a blue, leathery tongue snaked out to lick her lips.
Before Amir could struggle out the questions that filled his mind, a pincer wrapped around his torso. Ribs cracked and broke in its grip. In a flash, Amir was wrenched from the boat and dragged under the surface. He reached out ineffectually as bubbles escaped his mouth.
Celia leaned over the side of the boat, orange light rippling across her smile as Amir was pulled deeper and deeper.
– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy
Download the Jungle Wetland Maps & Assets
Here is a quick break down of all the map variants and where you can find them…
The FREE Jungle Wetland and night-time version
The $5 Jungle Wetland Pack’s variants & assets
The free map bundle above is also included in this Pack.
Get even more on Patreon
Alternatively, you might support us on Patreon. With a pledge of $2/map you can download the assets, and a pledge of $5/map grants you access to the map variants plus night-time versions (that’s 8 maps in total)!
At the very least, please enjoy the base maps for free below! We will deliver the download links to your email address, including printable PDFs and digital files.
This Jungle Wetland battle map is free to download thanks to Patrons such as:
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