Friday, January 25, 2013

A Relic from the Dark Ages: Wild Coast Map

From 1989 until 1992, this was the map of Greyhawk I got to use. My brother didn't trust my pre-adolescent self with his 1983 Greyhawk boxed set, so he photocopied parts of Darlene's map for me. I had two other maps: one showing the Yeomanry, Sterich, and Keoland; and the other depicting Furyondy, the Vesve, and Iuz. These other two maps were lost during a move, I think. These were the only "official" Greyhawk material I owned. So, until Greyhawk: From the Ashes came out in 1992, I had to improvise, using these maps, and building on the information found in my brother's handwritten adventures. 

Greyhawk scholars will probably notice that Seaton is out of place in correlation to Saltmarsh. Hommlet also isn't in its proper hex in the Kron Hills. There are reasons for this, most of which comes from the brief alternate history my brother developed for the region, and my interpretations of where things should be placed, given this history (more on that in an upcoming post). 

A few other things of note include:

--the line running from Saltmarsh, around the Pomarj, and up the Wild Coast to Hardby was the Old Coast Road, as indicated on my brother's map of Saltmarsh. The road is mentioned in module U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, but not capitalized. I had envisioned the road as the means for the players to get from Saltmarsh to the Wild Coast, (but I settled upon them meeting the King of Keoland and flying their on gryphons instead--which is another story).

--If you look closely, just below Eldredd, you might be able to make out "The Black Eagle Barony." Yes. It is the same barony from Mystara, featured in the D&D module The Eye of Traldar. 

--Calari? It was my creation. I know threw that adventure away, unfortunately. I've said this before: never throw away the stuff you write, ever, even if you think its lousy. 
--The town of Dukna, about half-way between Narwell and Safeton, was my brother's creation. He marked it on the original map. My only knowledge of it comes from the beginning of an adventure he wrote, Decent into the Dungeons of Authoria:

"You have met in the town of Dukna (this depends on if the PCs have met before) because of rumours of adventures nearby. This town seems very small & has no gates or walls around it. It is about 3:00pm (The general alignment here is neutral to good so the people here are pretty much nice. It consists mainly of humans, elves, & a few half-elves)."

--Under the "L", there's some illegible scribbles. There seems to be trails or roads leading to them, but I really don't know what they are.

--At the headwaters of the Jewel River, you can see an X, nearby is the word "Aleene" above a dot. Aleene served as a base camp for the dungeon marked at the X, the ruins of Fortress Resolution (yeah, lovely name).  Fortress Resolution played a key purpose at the end of the Elemental Wars.

"Oh," you might be thinking. "He's talking about the Battle of Emirdy Meadows, the Temple of Elemental Evil, and all that."

Yeah, sort of.

My brother, from what I can tell, interpreted the "Horde of Elemental Evil" as mentioned on page 9 of "A Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy setting, as an actual horde of evil elementals, consisting of all four elemental types--yikes! Furthermore, the war against this horde took place not in recent memory, but centuries ago.

Fortress Resolution was my creation, and it, just like many other parts early on in my Greyhawk campaign, built in part on the backstory of my brother's campaign, which he ran for his buddies in the early to mid-1980s. Together this created an alternate history of the Wild Coast.

I was flying by the seat of my pants at times, making stuff up, pulling together ideas from books, adventures in Dungeon Magazine, or whatever. I will further explain this alternate history in an upcoming post. 

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