Goldenfields: The Breadbasket of the North

Well, I finally made another map for my own gaming needs. Because so many of the resources I use don’t have the awesome maps that I have come to desperately crave for my tables (hehe), I had to start making my own. And that one simple step was enough to thrust me into the cartography world and make mapmaking an addiction… <sigh>… And so I fell–hard–into the hedonistic pit of zen joy that is mapmaking. And this is the latest one I’ve put together.

A few words:
This piece is something entirely out of my own head, working with the descriptions in the adventure my group is running through right now–Princes of the Apocalypse.
Goldenfields1
There is no map of Goldenfields in that adventure. It’s supposed to be a huge, 20+-square-mile farm–the largest farm in the region. What makes Goldenfields so unique is that it’s all within a wall that is protected by the druids and farmers that operate Goldenfields. Their harvests are well known in the region, and they provide a huge amount of grain and foodstuffs to Waterdeep, several hundred miles to the south and the largest city in that campaign setting’s world.

Goldenfields is a giant shrine dedicated to the goddess Chantea of the Forgotten Realms pantheon. The druids and priests that live there help administer the farming in her name. The 5,000+ inhabitants of Goldenfields are spread out within that huge retaining wall, which is patrolled by hired adventurers and sell swords. There is no interest in expanding from an “imperialistic” perspective, but instead from the desire to enhance crop-making capabilities and increase the amount harvested every season.

As such, the orginal lands that belonged to Goldenfields have slowly annexed surrounding lands and expanded their walls. The are several fortifications along the perimeter, which has expanded over generations. Several gated access points permit travel in and out of the stronghold. At any given time, several dozen adventurers of a variety of different classes help patrol the lands within and without the walls.

Goldenfields itself is nicknamed “The Breadbasket of the North” because it primarily grows wheat which is used to make bread. But they also grow corn, nuts, various fruits and vegetables, and have the largest orchard on the Sword Coast. They tend several herds of animals for pork, beef, mutton, milk, and wool. While their primary goal is the farming of grains, they are very aware that the rotation of seasons allows other crops to be harvested in the name of Chantea as well.

Small hamlets have developed throughout the stronghold as the need for easy access to different crops necessitated a closer proximity to the fields. These hamlets have names, but are far from official “towns”. They often lack facilities and merchants that might be common place in other villages, such as inns, blacksmiths, wheelrights, magic users, etc. For these necessities, most of the inhabitants travel to Goldenfields proper. There they can acquire healing as well as any sundries they might require.

Water comes from a divinely wrought spring under Goldenfields proper that supplies the region. Clever priests created an aqueduct that carries the water south among the surrounding higher elevations.

This particular map is something I threw together in about 8 hours. It’s not perfect, but it’s functional. It’s enough to give players an idea of the magnitude of the area they’re in. My players like illustrations and maps, so I think this will be an interesting one for them. Feel free to use it as you will!

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