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    Canonfire :: View topic - Remapping the Flanaess ala Mort and Boslok
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Remapping the Flanaess ala Mort and Boslok
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
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    Fri May 07, 2010 11:53 am  
    Remapping the Flanaess ala Mort and Boslok

    Having been playing in the World of Greyhawk since its inception as a setting, before if you count adventures set therein, I am really pleased when people take the time to redo or reimagine parts of the Flanaess, such as Mortellan’s “Great Oerik Flood” found here - http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=544 – but note that the link to the map is dead (Admins please note). And now Boslok the Elder’s “Map of the Glacial Flanaess” found here - http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=995. It refreshes the setting for me. While I love Greyhawk, the Flanaess gets old, because it is old.

    Maps like the above are practically useful to me in two ways. First, time travel adventures are there for the asking. Second, and more regularly, these maps add to the history of the setting and suggest new encounters with survivals of the prior ages being mapped etc.

    Given real world history, where for example the Sahara Desert was not a desert but green within the span of human existence - http://www.world-science.net/othernews/080814_sahara.htm - or where Glacial Lake Missoula created a “Great Flood” and the Scablands of Washington State -http://www.glaciallakemissoula.org/ - that could have been witnessed by early humans - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/megaflood/lake.html - it doesn’t seem implausible to me to imagine a Flanasess that looked different. After all, there is always magic that can create a land of “black” ice and “bright” deserts.

    Maybe the Dim Forest was once the Rainbow Desert. And the Bight Desert was the Emerald Jungle. Toss in some late remnants of Boslok’s glaciers and Mortellan’s flood and the same old Flanaess is reborn.

    Of course tastes will vary with respect to how much change, if any, is a good thing, but I for one would look forward to a modified geography of the Flanaess if such should even be officially published in 4e or later editions. Until then, I love the work Canonfire folks are doing looking at different versions of the Flanaess. YEAH! Mort and Boslok!!!!!!!

    If I had a lick of artistic talent cartographically, which I don’t, I’d make the following dozen changes to the geography of the Flanaess:

    1) The Yeomanry is replaced by a glacial lake and accompanying glacier that extends into the Crystalmists/Jotens.

    2) The Dim Forest is replaced by the Rainbow Desert (think Painted Desert in AZ, USA). The Rushmoors expand south 4 hexes as half forest and half swamp intermixed.

    3) Perrenland is covered by a glacier.

    4) Lake Whytsil floods to connect to the Nyr Dyv, which in turn floods the Domain of Greyhawk (CoG now of on the shores of the expanded lake) to connect to Wooly Bay.

    5) The Pomarj becomes an island chain with the Drackensgrabs forming the largest island in the chain. Toss in an active volcano or two on a couple islands too.

    6) The Bright Desert becomes the Bright Jungle.

    7) Make the Hold of Stone Fist a glacier (extending to cover the lands of the Ice Barbarians (who really get to earn their name), add another glacier in the Calbut valley in Tenh and add a glacier north of the Troll Fens in the Pale in the middle Griffs.

    8) Extend the Adri Forest to meet the Gambodge Forest around the southern Flinty Hills, engulfing Womtham in Nyrond.

    9) Completely forest Sunndi.

    10) Completely jungle the Tilvot Peninsula of the Scarlet Brotherhood, except for the central mesa.

    11) Make the area around Rauxes, at the confluence of the Imelda and Flanmi Rivers, an 8 hex swamp.

    12) Add an archipelago extending north from the Olman islands, half way into the Azure Sea, canted toward Onnwal. Add a volcano for flavor on one of the islands.

    Keep the timeline the same to circa CY 576, then advance it 75 years (plus or minus a modified Greyhawk War, which in canon I found ultra-boring, particularly as evidenced by the play of the Greyhawk Wars boxed wargame). Call it Greyhawk 2 !!! Or Alt-Hawk!!!

    YMMV

    Anyway, good on Mort and Boslok!!!
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    GVD
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    Fri May 07, 2010 1:48 pm  

    Thanks GVD!

    Always good to hear praises about our work here at Canonfire. Alternate takes on old themes is a great way to keep the setting fresh. I know everyone like me who fell in love with the Darlene map has spent countless hours looking at it and imagining ways to use it. Heck I had the thing laminated and hung on my bedroom wall for years.

    I can already feel the creative urges flowing from your brainstormed suggestions too. The one catching my eye was the completely forested Sunndi. One of my infamous 'scrap-maps' here at home is my vision of the Flanaess during the height of the Flan-Elven dominion. I postulate that the Oerid-Suel Migrations up to present, largely wiped out several mega-forests akin to the Burneal. Some forests you can chain together like the Suss-Welk-Gnarley still is while others like the Grandwood probably got their name from back when it was MUCH bigger. The idea of the alternate map then for anyone who wants to give it a try (Boslok?) is to simply reverse the shrinkage of the forests and expand their hexes out in all directions and see what develops. I'd say the forests would stick to waterways or be cut away from places where major cities are presently (due to agriculture).

    Another mapping quest I would love to see untaken someday is a recreation of what the Suel Basin/Baklunish Empire looked like before the Twin Cataclysms. I could go more into that but I'll save it for another day and another thread...

    Thanks GVD!
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat May 08, 2010 10:35 am  
    Alternate Era maps

    Well ... I too would encourage people to come up with their own version of the Flanaess. This may come as a surprise to some, since I am such an ardent fan of keeping things canon.

    But the thing of it is, if the Flanaess and Oerth in gerenal has gotten tedious for gamers - by all means, do something interesting with it! While I personally think that it's a pretty big jump from maps of alternate eras (Boslok's Glacial era map noted above) to re-creating the geography, it's great for those who want to do it. Take a little tangerine, mix in a little orange, some grapfruit, and toss in a pamelo - make it everything that you want it to be.

    Granted, it may not be Greyhawk, but hell, Tangelo-hawk is likely just as much fun!
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Sat May 08, 2010 8:10 pm  

    The only historical geography I have considered is that the Gnarley/Suss/Welkwood once extended to the coast, farther south to the Drachensgrabs, and up and around into Hardby and Greyhawk. It was once known as The Great Wood, and over thousands of years it has slowly shrank; more drastically so since the Migrations and dominant presence of humanoids in that area.

    Such ideas are always great for those who want to start a campaign in a very different time period, and maps are a great springboard. You also get to name everything, introduce new creatures not extant in modern/past eras,and introduce old/new lands, peoples, customs, etc. One could have some time traveling going on in their existing modern campaigns too. If Star Trek can beat the time travel horse dead and go back in time and do it again, and again, and again, why not consider a more minimal application of it in Greyhawk? It is not as if Greyhawk doesn't have its gods of time or anything. Wink
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun May 09, 2010 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat May 08, 2010 10:38 pm  
    Time travel and the Coliseum of Grtth'mar

    Cebrion wrote:
    Such ideas are always great for those who want to stat a campaign in a very different time period, and maps are a great springboard. You also get to name everything, introduce new creatures not extant in modern/past eras,and introduce old/new lands, peoples, customs, etc. One could have some time traveling going on in their existing modern campaigns too. ... Wink

    [emphasis mine]
    You know ... that kind of got me to thinking. I hadn't considered the fun part about introduceing monsters that rarely get used ... nor had I considered time travel as an option for using great maps like Boslok's.
    In fact, one of the great things about Canonfire! is that other players often come up with these ideas when I wouldn't necesarily have come up with them. For example, the article that I wrote, The Coliseum of Grrth'mar, spawned a comment or two that made it an ideal way to both introduce new creatures and use time travel. If you read in the comments, it was suggested that the portal could use different keys to get to different times or eras. Obviously the article itself introduced a fairly uncommon creature seldom found in the Flanaess (the Wemic).

    So ... whether it's Hepmonaland, the Glacial Epoch, or a future or past where the geography is vastly different, there's a lot of options out there for interesting storylines. ... and even more options for making maps!

    As Theocrat would say:
    Be Well. Be Well Mapped.
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    Forum Moderator

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    Sun May 09, 2010 2:47 am  

    Well said guys.

    Time Travel is the most practical use for them yes, but I'm more in the lore-buff category and would like to see these type of maps created to put the past in perspective with the present and give some present day prophecies a tangible theoretical outcome, if that makes any sense.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon May 10, 2010 12:16 pm  

    Thanks.

    I am blown away with mortellan's flood map, of all my years of crawling over canonfire's archives I somehow missed it, excellent work. It's interesting to see that we had made a few of the same geographical changes, Woolly Bay and Nyv Dyv connection in particular.

    Those are very cool ideas that everyone has brought up in this thread. Certainly has me thinking about the possibilities, now if I just had more time. I'm certainly up for changing around Greyhawk its geography and its past. I just want to know the how and the why that go along with the changes. Like with my campaign, as a player you can do pretty much what ever you want as long as you come up with a good story for it. (which has bitten me on the **** as well).

    I also think that the strength of canonfire is its stewardship of keeping clear what's canon and what's not canon. One of the reasons I enjoy the site so much.

    I think my next greyhawk project is to redo my glacial map. I'm a little torn on it since I generally feel that If you bother to have the good folks of canonfire post it, its should be done, or at least done enough to show others. Normally I do, but this one is just sticking in my craw. The scientific inaccuracies are just too glaring and I generally don't like to use magic as a cover for all mistakes.

    -boslok
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon May 10, 2010 5:22 pm  

    Diverging from maps here, but the time travel as well as "putting the past in perspective" aspects of this thread put me in mind of two articles -

    1) DRG #292 "Rune Skulls of Abbor Alz"

    2) The Grigaur, an extinct beast which roamed the Flanaess thousands of years before the arrival of humans. LGJ #2 "Enchiridion of the Fiend Sage"

    I don't know, maybe they'll inspire someone. Smile
    CF Admin

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    Thu May 20, 2010 10:46 am  
    Re: Remapping the Flanaess ala Mort and Boslok

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Maps like the above are practically useful to me in two ways. First, time travel adventures are there for the asking. Second, and more regularly, these maps add to the history of the setting and suggest new encounters with survivals of the prior ages being mapped etc.


    For my GH 175 CY game when I was still living in CA, I did some sketch maps showing the "reforested" look of the Flanaess as I wanted to resculpt it. My map certainly wasn't to the level of artistry that boslok or mort create, but it got the job done for the game.

    mortellan wrote:
    One of my infamous 'scrap-maps' here at home is my vision of the Flanaess during the height of the Flan-Elven dominion. I postulate that the Oerid-Suel Migrations up to present, largely wiped out several mega-forests akin to the Burneal. Some forests you can chain together like the Suss-Welk-Gnarley still is while others like the Grandwood probably got their name from back when it was MUCH bigger. The idea of the alternate map then for anyone who wants to give it a try (Boslok?) is to simply reverse the shrinkage of the forests and expand their hexes out in all directions and see what develops. I'd say the forests would stick to waterways or be cut away from places where major cities are presently (due to agriculture).


    That's pretty much the same tactic I took. I'll see if I can dig the map up and post it to my site, in case folks are curious.

    mortellan wrote:
    Another mapping quest I would love to see untaken someday is a recreation of what the Suel Basin/Baklunish Empire looked like before the Twin Cataclysms. I could go more into that but I'll save it for another day and another thread...


    Tempting, tempting! :D
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