Monday, August 15, 2011

This Is Going On The Map...

A vast tropical archipelago.

Thick Southeast Asian jungle--beyond Amazon-thick.

Quadruple canopies that choke off so much light that dark elves walk around during the day. Oh, also--little chameleon men.

They have drow kingdoms here--barbaric, ornamented princes. Curved daggers.

And their warrior caste goes around on dinosaurs.

Not all of them--this isn't Dinotopia--diplodocus and apatosaurus are somewhere else, the pterodactyls are mainly in the goblin empires, further north-- but the heavy brigades are all triceratops and stegosaurus, the light brigades are utahraptors (the velociraptor at riding size), the generals ride albertasaurs (riding-size T Rex) and the vain lords strut around on parasaurs, trailed by sacred ankylosaurs with gems embedded in their armor. Bringing sacrifices to an ancient, languid, despotic dracolisk.



  1. Great environmental portrait. Definitely off the beaten path, but familiar enough that I followed where you were going and certainly dug the ride.

  2. Drow cities that start in the caverns left by long dead giant trees that then extend up through the forest floor(or even they could carved out giant fossilized trees). Inverted spires/stalactite towers underground, and then these same towers burst through the forest floor to become the surface city.

  3. Fantasy fuckin' Vietnam! The megadungeon I'm working on is located in a similar environment, a fantasy version of Southwest China near the Sino-Viet border. In real life, this area has locations that just scream for RPG treatment -- places like the Tongling Gorge which is completely enclosed and can only be accessed through a cave entrance from a neighboring gorge. Because of its isolation it has many indigenous plants found nowhere else in the world. It was also a favorite hideout of bandits, and locals still report finding their treasures in the caves!

  4. You actually get similar conditions in any dense canopy, which is why I've always figured that Drow and Dark Elves were just deep forest elves robbed of their protective forests (explains their general level of hate, though not the skin tone), its also why I traditionally have allowed low-light vision for elves, but not thermal or "darkvision".

  5. Warhammer Dark Elves ride Cold Ones (dinos by any other name) and live in dark forests. It has 'traction' as an idea.

    Edit: confirmation word is "might", appropriate really.

  6. "Quadruple canopies that choke off so much light that dark elves walk around during the day."

    Make sure to have some "dungeons" in the canopy itself. This is where the highest density of wildlife is in a real rain forest.

  7. @fabian

    it's so weird how much time i spent googling "elf""dinosaur" and couldn;t even find the pictures of the wh4ok eldar riding dinosaus (which I knew about).

    Anyway, I'm glad 40k does that--though I feel like thinking baout them charging across the open plains that you usually see on a WH battlefields on dinos seems somehow more practical and less interesting than tromping through the undergrowth. Anyway, now i know where i'll get the minis...thanks!

  8. Not to nitpick, but if you google it with wh40k, i wouldn't be surprised you didn't find anything. it's warhammer fantasy. it gets a few results on google image search.

  9. @grylock

    i misstyped is all.

    i do it a lot