Dragon’s Sinkhole Battle Map – Launch

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Our last map for the month will be Penny Street Public Lavatories, a new and exciting public convenience that will delight with its wonderous ingenuity and… convenience đŸ˜‰ Thank you all so much for your support, you are all amazing! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and as always happy adventuring! Now let’s dive into this hole in the ground and see what lurks beneath!

Introduction

The terrain changes character as you get closer to the sinkhole. Vegetation is sparse and sickly, animals are completely absent except for the odd bone or stray feather. The ground itself changes from natural browns to a dark grey-purple, an unhealthy hue, as if the very earth is bruised or has some sort of infection. The air is heavy with sulphurous fumes, making your eyes sting and your head swim with light-headedness. In the distance, an orange glow lights the smoke and gases that linger in the air.

As you move forward you begin to see a huge depression in the earth, a roughly circular hole punched into the landscape. Its interior is rugged and crumbling, the very rocks glow red, orange and in places seem to burn with a sickly yellow flame. Around the edges of the hole, rocks stick out at odd angles, uneven teeth framing the maw of some immense subterranean creature. This is unmistakably the legendary entrance to the underworld you have been seeking.

The way down into the sinkhole is treacherous, loose rocks give way under your feet, tumbling down the walls into the darkness at the bottom of the pit. The place is quiet except for the popping and crackling of heated earth and stone. As you near the bottom movement catches your eye, something large shifts in the shadows, a low rumbling fills the air as whatever guards the way forward reacts to your presence. It seems the legends of a guardian at the entrance to the underworld were also true.

Notes and tips

  • 30×30 grid map
  • This could be used in most locations, simply describe the area around the pit as corrupted by whatever created the sinkhole. Trees begin to die back, animal bones litter the ground, the air smells strange.
  • Just being in the pit could make simple actions harder due to the unhealthy air. Have the party break out in uncontrollable coughing or have them see stars if they fail con saves.
  • The ground is heated and in places could be hot enough to burn.
  • Creatures could be hiding in the walls, ready to attack when the party makes its way down. I like the idea of some kind of fire-lizard creatures swarming down the walls, lighting up the interior with their bodies. Fire snakes could also work here.
  • Any loud sounds or concussive spells could make rocks fall from the walls.
  • Fire Salamanders (humanoid lizard-like creatures) have taken up residence here. Maybe this is the start of a colony, or invading force.
  • This could be an entrance to the Underdark, or even the Fire Plane. As with all entrances to such a place something will be guarding it.
  • This could be a roost for some type of evil flying creatures. They roost on the walls of the pit during the day and fly out at night to attack local villages. Some kind of giant flying bat would be fun.

Variants

Need a pool for the party to find while exploring the wastes? Here you go! This could still be an entrance, its just underwater.

I’ve also created a desert version (Day/Night)

A desert pool as well

As well as a more standard green woodland or grassland version

And again a pool version for this one

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