This week’s map is a pine forest with a bit of an infestation of… something 😉 I wanted to create a wilderness map with a bit of a twist and I think pine forests have an amazing ominous vibe to them and so ‘The Weaver’s Way’ was born. I know many of you will not have watched this film but I may have had some scenes from Hawk the Slayer in mind when I drew this. There is some very dark spider webby woodland in that film, along with pythons hanging from branches, which I feel may not be too accurate for a medieval European setting but hey it’s fantasy!
As always I can’t thank you enough for supporting me here, especially my amazing Patrons, without your help I simply wouldn’t be able to spend the time creating these maps. Thank you all, have a wonderful week and happy adventuring! Now let’s get onto the map notes.
Oxen with perpetually bored expressions pull the merchant wagons, ears switching once in awhile to brush away flies. The wooded terrain around you is thick with brush, boulders litter the ground often half covered by ferns and tall grasses. You notice the road is moving downwards into a hollow in the landscape. Slowly cliffs rise around you, pines replace deciduous trees, the sun, now low in the sky is blocked by the high cliff walls, plunging the road into a twilight darkness.
As you walk alongside the wagons you notice something strange and ominous, the trees here are covered in webs. Long strands of silk hang between branches, swaying slightly in the still air. You glance at your employer, a portly merchant with a friendly disposition. He sits atop his wagon, face ghostly white, holding a silver dagger in his shaking hands. He notices you watching him and tries to smile, it looks more like a grimace of pain.
With movement almost to fast to see, something leaps across the road, grabbing a cart driver from his seat in a single movement. Before you can react the driver is gone, the creature that took him was large and incredibly fast. Again another creature jumps across the road and another driver is picked from his seat, this time you make out spindly legs and a large black abdomen.
Your employer jumps from his seat and crawls under his wagon, with a wave of his dagger he points to the forest. “Save us good adventurer!” he pleads in a terrified voice. You get the impression vital information related to the dangers of this route were left out of the job listing. However, it feels a little petty to bring it up quite at this moment as a dozen large spiders drop from the trees around you and attack the caravan.
Notes and tips
- 30×30 grid map
- This forest could be used as a spider themed encounter or a spooky, ‘cursed’ or just old part of a forest.
- If you do go down the spider route, imagine how they would reveal themselves. Have them snatch a NPC or two, or even a PC.
- Give your party a good chance to notice the spiders as they hang amongst the trees, passive perception is great for this!
- Webs cover certain routes around the map, they could hinder movement.
- As you move into the trees visibility is low, both because of the light and the foliage.
- There are a few small caves along the roadside, and there are two openings on either side of the map which could be used as larger cave entrances or be simply ignored.
- Maybe this area is near a hags hideout, have poppets (corn or stick people) hanging from the trees, Blair Witch style!
- Will-o’-wisps could dart through the trees, pretending to be someone walking around deeper in the forest. The whole forest could be haunted but any number of ghosties!
Even spookier night version
General forest version (day/night) – when you just need a simple forest travel map!
Desert canyon (day/night)