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    Canonfire :: View topic - Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...
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    Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...
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    Novice

    Joined: Nov 04, 2003
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    Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:46 pm  
    Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...

    Can anyone describe for me what the difference between the so-called "parallel" Greyhawks are? I can't find a thing about them online, except that each is supposed to along a spectrum of higher tech to higher magic, and that a lot of people think the names are silly.

    Anyway, could one of you knowledgable Greyhawk fans help me out? Thanks.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
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    Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:17 pm  
    Re: Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...

    JEB wrote:
    Can anyone describe for me what the difference between the so-called "parallel" Greyhawks are? I can't find a thing about them online, except that each is supposed to along a spectrum of higher tech to higher magic, and that a lot of people think the names are silly.

    Anyway, could one of you knowledgable Greyhawk fans help me out? Thanks.


    Aerth, I believe, is Dangerous Journey's. I find it referenced once in Night Arrant.
    Zenobia of Aerth [NPC]
    NA - 62

    I found Yarth mentioned in Night Arrant and LGJ#5
    Yarth [Planet]
    LGJ#5 - 6
    NA - 91

    But I need to look up the context. I believe Y'rth is the Castle Zagyg planet.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3204
    From: Michigan

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    Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:34 am  
    Re: Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...

    JEB wrote:
    Can anyone describe for me what the difference between the so-called "parallel" Greyhawks are? I can't find a thing about them online, except that each is supposed to along a spectrum of higher tech to higher magic, and that a lot of people think the names are silly.

    Anyway, could one of you knowledgable Greyhawk fans help me out? Thanks.


    This is honestly a huge question.

    So when Gary Gygax co-authored the first Sagard the Barbarian gamebook with Flint Dille, the accompanying map showed it took place in Ratik.



    However, the later books took place in divergent lands that looked increasingly less like Oerth. Gygax rationalized this by saying that Sagard's adventures actually took place on the parallel world of Yarth, which resembles Oerth only in the Ratik region. This was clearly a retcon. Note that the Bone March disappears from the second map, and "Aerdy" and "Medegia" become mere cities.



    As Sagard ventured south in the third and fourth gamebooks, all resemblance to Oerth was gone.





    In any case, that's Yarth.

    Aerth, stylized as "Ærth" in the Dangerous Journeys RPG, is a very different world. It first appears at the end of Gygax's Gord novel Dance of Demons, but at the time Gygax was confusingly calling it "Yarth," which makes Jason's index a little misleading. The names of the nations mentioned make it clear this is an early version of Ærth, with nothing in common with the nations Sagard explored on his travels. In Dance of Demons, Gord's companion Gellor has become ruler of the nation of Hy Brazeal in what is Ærth's equivalent of South America, and the kings of Avillon—Ærth's equivalent of the British Isles—come to Hy Brazeal to attend Gord and Leda's wedding.

    Ærth is a parallel version of our own world, Earth, with no particular similarities to the World of Greyhawk. Its map resembles Earth except that lands legendary to us—Atlantis, Ys, Lavondyss, Lemuria, Mu, Hy Brazeal—never sank and remain thriving nations in the present day. Time passes on Earth and Ærth at the same rate, but on Ærth, monotheism never took hold and civilization progressed along magical lines rather than technologically, locking the world in medieval times technologically but with magic and wizards practicing openly. Ærth has a parallel world of its own, the hypermagical world of Phaeree, whose map resembles Ærth but backwards. Portals and gates between Ærth and Phaeree are fairly common, but gates to our Earth have grown less common over the centuries, leaving glimpses of those worlds as legends to us. Ærth also has a hollow interior, Inner Ærth, whose map is identical to the outer world except the continents are seas and the oceans are land. The world of Phaeree also has an interior, where the unseelie faeries dwell.

    The name Uerth was used in the 3e hardcover Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk to describe a parallel Oerth, accessible through a mirrored artifact called the Orb of Opposition, "a place similar to Oerth but several shades darker" where "evil" versions of Zagyg, Keoghtom, Heward, Robilar and so on dwell (and a good version of Iggwilv). You can tell they're evil because their names are spelled backwards or rearranged. We don't know anything about its history or how its inhabitants came to have different alignments than Oerth's people have, but as presented in Expedition it seems to have the same level of magic and technology as Oerth.

    The "mirrored creature template" in Dungeon #143 provides a standardized way of creating duplicates from "evil worlds" like Uerth. That source suggests some ideas for why parallel worlds might have fallen into darkness—one world was overrun by evil monks, and invasions from the Nine Hells or rampant lycanthropy are other suggestions.

    Earth is just our world in the present day. It's hinted that Murlynd has been there, since his home in EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror includes modern technology. "Murlynd’s home has as many 'modern conveniences' as he cares to possess. The lights work if the 'generator' is functioning. The water upstairs can be turned on from the cellar. The place contains a movie projector, film, phonograph, VCR, and many cassettes..." Mordenkainen used a portal to Earth to start a movie career in Hollywood in WG7 Castle Greyhawk and he met regularly with Elminster and Dalamar in Ed Greenwood's house in Canada in Greenwood's "The Wizards Three" series in Dragon Magazine. In the adventure "The City Beyond the Gate" in Dragon #100, characters from Oerth travel to Earth to find the Mace of St. Cuthbert in a museum in London, where St. Cuthbert had left it to keep it safe from the forces of evil.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:23 pm  
    A Yarth Topic!

    In order to define what Yarth is for myself beyond the Sagard books, I think it makes sense to use a backwards Aerth map so I can still have the nations that belong to the Gord Yarth on the same planet as the Sagard Yarth.

    My currently unresolved dilemma is how to tilt the planet. The cities on the Oerth map don't line up on the Sagard map without tilting the Oerth map. I think placement of the Sagard map in the Atlantl spot on the Aerth map makes sense. So I can leave the equator where it is on the Aerth map or I have to decide if I tilt the Aerth map, where the equator should be. Making a backwards Aerth map square and then tilting it 35 degrees makes a neat looking map, except where the corners moved from when importing into Google Earth. I estimated that the Oerth map and Sagard Yarth maps are abotu 35 degrees apart from each other by comparing the locations of Marner and Ratikhill. I think the mountain range lines up better when comparing the two maps this way.

    https://sites.google.com/site/dndphilmont/yarth

    Also, if the Sagard Yarth map's Sea of Eternity really is a big sea, then maybe the Great Kingdom area is under water. If not, then the space between the backwards Atlantl and Afrik should work. And the lack of land appearing on the Aerth map between Atlantl and AEropa can be explaining that the land bridge on the Sagard Yarth map isn't big enough to show up on the bigger map.

    If we have "Uerth is the doppel-cosmology version of Oerth, the world you'll find on the other side of the Plane of Mirrors." Then, Uerth can be a backwards Oerth.

    So, if you go with that, then we have maps for Earth, Yarth, Aerth, and Uerth.

    For more planets:

    Aelos: Parallel world to Urt/Mystara in CM6 1985 [Urt/Mystara map is based on

    Earth in Pangea period]

    Aerth. Dangerous Journeys Mythus (1992) [Should use map in Google Earth with top and bottom borders chopped off for best placement of continents relative to Earth even though it makes Aerth's Antartica too small.]

    Áereth: (2007?) Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics

    Earth

    Erde (now Aihrde): Troll Lord Games setting includes Lost City of Gaxmoor and Rob Kuntz' Dark Druids (2002)

    Ghenrek IV (1976) is name of Judges Guild world. This world may be smaller if equator is where map says it is though BIII says his grandfather intended the planet to be Earth-sized. Rhadamanthia is one of three continents. Other continents not defined.

    Gaia (2003) is Necromancer version of Judges Guild world aka Ghenrek IV. Gaia is an Earth-sized planet.

    Learth/Lejendary Earth (2003)

    Nerath: This world is the core setting of 4th-edition Dungeons & Dragons, commonly called the "Points of Light" world. It is home to Nentir Vale and a fallen empire called Nerath, after which this world is known.

    Oerth (Living Greyhawk map inset doesn't show Aquaria)

    Owerth/Essarae/Kuhn is planet for Kurtz' Kalibruhn setting. (1975)

    Uerth "Uerth is the doppel-cosmology version of Oerth, the world you'll find on the other side of the Plane of Mirrors." [Does that mean it's a backwards Oerth map?] Moore said this is the same world of both X2 and Masque of the Red Death.

    Ur is the original known world setting developed by Tom Moldvay and Lawrence Schick using the whitebox version of OD&D. (So that is somewhere between 1974 and 1976). The Original Known World map seems to only be a European-type continent for a parallel Earth.

    Urt is planet for Mystara setting (1986)

    Urth is planet for the Shadow of the Demon Lord (2015) game and also Primal Rage from 1994; Primal Rage Urth is Earth after cataclysim but "Dragon" 223 recommends using Oerth or Toril. "Dragon" 223 includes Urth setting based on video game with continents that look like dinosaur heads.
    Gary's East Mark Gazetteer (2007) has Yggsburgh and Castle Zagyg taking place on a world known as Urth. The world has twin moons and the writing is very similar to that in the original Greyhawk Folio. (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=18825&start=25)
    Maybe the Gary Urth should be based on Gary's later description of Oerth which has four continents {Black Moon Chronicles map} {Orient--maybe based on North America/Aquaria} {Oerick} {and under Oerick is Gonduria}.

    Yarth

    Yrth (1986) is the world setting for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS Fantasy game
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:55 am  

    Regarding Gygax's initial comments about Uerth, I'm wondering if it's not just opposite Oerth in terms of alignment (and possibly geography), but also (at least nearly) magic? I can't help but imagine that on Uerth — at least when speaking in 5e terms — only ritual spells can be cast (so yes to comprehend languages, no to fireball).
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:08 pm  

    I started another thread back in 2007: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2507

    ...where I detailed my interpretations of those five worlds. I wrote that before Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, so my interpretation of Uerth is as the low-magic, Victorian-tech earth of Masque of the Red Death, not as the evil Oerth mentioned in Expedition (that was purely my idea, I didn't get it from Roger Moore or Gygax).

    I don't think that's compatible with the evil Oerth version, which is so similar to our Oerth that the same people live there. Low-magic Uerth is a different idea from evil mirrorworld Uerth and they might as well be separate worlds. Call them whatever you want, but it feels messy to try to combine very different ideas for variant worlds into the same thing.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
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    From: TregMallin

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    Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:21 am  
    Re: Oerth, Uerth, Aerth, Yarth, Earth...

    rasgon wrote:


    ... In Dance of Demons, Gord's companion Gellor has become ruler of the nation of Hy Brazeal in what is Ærth's equivalent of South America, and the kings of Avillon—Ærth's equivalent of the British Isles—come to Hy Brazeal to attend Gord and Leda's wedding.



    Hy Brazil was believed to be about 200 miles west of Ireland. I'm surprised that it ended up as an equivalent to "Brazil" on Ærth.

    I think that same scene also included people from Lyonesse, so it makes more sense in my head that it would all be in the neighborhood of Great Britain and Ireland.
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