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Our final map of the month will be some Stinking Marshes. I want to try for a swampy wilderness map that’s really fetid and rotten. Lots of decay and places to get waist-deep in muck! Should be fun 😀 Expect that around the end of the month. If you have ideas or suggestions for new map ideas I’m always open to them! Hello to you wonderful new Patrons, thanks for signing up! And of course, to those of you that support me each month, I can’t emphasize how much I appreciate it, I salute you, brave adventurers! I hope you all have a great week and as always happy adventuring! Now let’s go explore this suspiciously empty oasis, just us, the sand, and these strangely humanoid-shaped rocks.
Blistering heat ripples off the sandy floor of the canyon, in places, pools of shadow create a brief respite from the sun’s gaze. It’s been days since you last filled your waterskins, which are now almost empty. Your camels walk behind you making odd grumbling sounds, once in a while bellowing loudly to each other. They have been invaluable in your journey so far, but even they look tired and ready for a good drink.
It’s late afternoon when your Bard companion stops and sniffs the air. “I smell water, my friend,” he says with a grin. Rushing ahead, he shouts at you to follow. The canyon walls begin to widen and eventually open out into a sheltered oasis, surrounded by tall cliffs and crumbling rock formations. Along the base of the cliffs are pools of glistening water, reeds grow in the shallows, while palms sway in the light breeze. Jutting from the sand and cliff walls are weather-worn pillars, bricks, and steps, their forms softened by centuries of wind-blown sand. Against the cliffs, towards the back of the oasis, is a cave entrance leading into darkness. Leaving the camels at the entrance to the oasis, the rest of your party rush towards the water laughing and shouting with excitement, the Bard is already half undressed and knee-deep in a pool. You are left to lead the camels, they seem out of sorts grumbling and moaning more than normal.
“Look at this!” the Bard exclaims, bending down he picks something from the water, a stone foot, broken off at the ankle. You notice other pieces of statues strewn around the oasis. You pick up a stone finger, so intricately carved even up close the tool marks are invisible. You begin to get a sick feeling in your stomach, something isn’t right here. From the pool, you hear the start of a scream cut short. Looking up you find the Bard pointing towards the cave, mouth open, his skin turning grey. From the cave’s entrance, you hear a growl, something large and scaly moves within the darkness. For the first time in your life, you thank the gods you can’t see in the dark and draw your weapons.
Notes and Tips
- 30×45 grid map
- This could be used as an oasis in the middle of a rolling dune desert, the rocks protecting it from the encroaching sand, or it could be placed within a labyrinth of canyons, simply mask off the surrounding sands if need be.
- Monsters can attack the party from the ruins or from the cave.
- Have flying monsters roost around the edge of the oasis. The party may not even notice them flying in after dusk if they are not perceptive enough.
- This is an ideal place to sacrifice someone to a monster, with the cave entrance at one end of the map and an ‘alter’ ruin at the other.
- A sandstorm rages on, the oasis is the only shelter for miles, things come to shelter, they are not friendly 😉
- The pools are the result of underwater springs or aquifers, heavy in minerals the springs have formed these strange-looking pools. They could be extremely hot or salty, depending on what mood you are in when you make the encounter 😀
- The passages at the rear of the cave could lead to other caves and underground locations, as could the ruin’s entrance.
Day/Night for all the maps!
Rather than a cave at the back of the oasis, there is a second open area.
How about a dried-up oasis?
Need some hot springs on a cold trip? I got you!
Blastedlands – Or we could go with some really hot spring and do the whole lava thing!
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