I turned to my followers on Twitter and Bluesky to come up with a few prompts that I could incorporate into my next Dungeons and Dragons hand-drawn map. I had hit a bit of a mental block and wanted something original that I wouldn’t have normally drawn. I decided to do this hand-drawn map on my digital setup, instead of using traditional pen and paper. (See my cartography gear here)
Several followers responded keenly, including “Skull Island” (Greybeard’s Tavern) , “Goblin Castle” (Rasmus Lovstad) and “Sinking Fortress” (Joe Grognard). More followers gave additional prompts that I have banked for future maps – thanks guys.
Skull Island immediately went down the pirate / sailor route, so I didn’t want to do a traditional A4/A3 proportioned map. I decided upon a rough square for my layout.
Scroll down for the results, I’m super happy with how this hand-drawn map turned out.
The Story of Skull Island
Captain Greybeard stood at the helm of his unusual ship, The Floating Tavern, as it sliced through the dark waters of the ominous Skull Island. Legends spoke of this mysterious place, hidden away in the uncharted seas, but few dared to venture there. Greybeard, however, was no ordinary pirate; his thirst for adventure and treasure led him to seek the truth behind the tales.
Navigating through treacherous reefs, Greybeard and his crew followed a narrow river that twisted its way inland, leading them to the base of the foreboding Chattering Mountains. The air was thick with tension as the crew set foot on the desolate shore, surrounded by twisted trees and ominous shadows.
Pressing forward, the crew waded through a murky marsh, the water bubbling and gurgling beneath their boots. As the fog thickened, they stumbled upon an ancient stone monument adorned with mysterious carvings of gemstones and precious metals. In the center, a swirling purple portal beckoned them with an otherworldly allure. Despite the crew’s greedy ambitions, Greybeard, driven by wise apprehension, forbey the crew to approach the swirling vortex.
The pirates cautiously pressed on and spread out across the island, guided by the distant echoes of the Chattering Mountains.
One party came across a small eerie seaside town. The lone watchtower, once climbed, allowed the crew a startling view over the buildings and streets beneath. The town’s population, now stood as motionless skeletons, frozen mid stride, or part way through conversation. Their skin and clothes long since rotted away. But their bones still clung together by dark unknown magic.
A separate band of sailors, led by quartermaster Grognard, journeyed to a sinking, partially collapsed castle to the north. The air rang with the cackles of illusive creatures as the crew explored through the dilapidated flooded halls. It wasn’t until a sailor by the name of Rasmus managed to trap one of the beings, that the crew then realised the castle was infested with mischievous goblins!
Realizing the danger, Greybeard’s crew hastily retreated, making their way South and up a mountain to escape the goblin horde. To their surprise, they stumbled upon a long-lost mine hidden within the rocky peaks. The tunnels within revealed ancient horrors and untold mysteries, driving the crew deeper into the heart of the mountain.
As they delved further, the pirates uncovered the dark secrets of Skull Island – a place forgotten by time and filled with unimaginable terrors. Fleeing from the depths of the mountain, the crew raced back to their ship, pursued by the malevolent forces awakened by their intrusion.
With the ship in sight, the crew scrambled on board, the echoing cries of the island fading as they set sail. The once-hidden Skull Island disappeared into the horizon, its secrets and horrors remaining locked away for those who dared to seek them.
Captain Greybeard, undeterred by the harrowing experience, plotted a course for new adventures, his eyes always scanning the horizon for the next mysterious land to conquer. While it was still fresh in his mind, he commissioned the ship’s cartographer to draw up the map of Skull Island – if they ever dared to return…
Skull Island Map
(Low resolution copy of my map. Click to get the high res copy)
Get Your Own Skull Island Map
Hope you like this map.
If you would like to get a high resolution copy of this map to print out yourself, it’s available for super cheap over on my PSJ Maps Ko-Fi store.
And once again, thanks to the followers who literally prompted this fantasy Skull Island map.