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 The maps before Kara-Tur
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2009 :  19:52:37  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Sorry that I couldn't think of a better name for the subject.

I was flipping through the Oriental Adventures book yesterday and reading Zeb Cooks early notes on Kara_tur and it got me thinking. As the continent was thought out before the Realms was published, were the cultures and geography fitted into Eds maps of the eastern part of the Realms or where those outlines dropped and the Kara-Tur region inserted instead?

Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2009 :  05:39:30  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AFAIK, Ed had some ideas about what was 'beyond Thay', but none of it was ever mapped. The idea of attaching Kara-Tur to the Realms began when the Realms were in the process of being purchased, so the published Realms always had Kara-Tur to the east.

The problem occurred when they decided to try and connect the two, and realized K-T was far TOO BIG, so when Hordelands came-out, the sourcebooks said to reduce the sizes of all Kara-Tur maps by a 1/3, thereby making the eastern half of the continent 2/3 of the size it was originally intended.

I'm not sure if the scale was corrected on the K-T trail map - I never bothered to check (although I really should).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 24 Jul 2009 14:16:29
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Thauramarth
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
656 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2009 :  07:19:15  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
I'm not sure if the scale was corrected on the K-T trail map - I never bothered to check (although I really should).



It was - I used to have both trail maps pinned to a wall, and they matched up OK (not perfectly, but still...).

Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2009 :  08:12:45  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

AFAIK, Ed had some ideas about what was 'beyond Thay', but none of it was ever mapped. The idea of attaching Kara-Tur to the Realms began when the Realms were in the process of being purchased, so the published Realms always had Kara-Tur to the east.




Thanks, that s what I thought. I just wished I could see what the maps looked like before TSR started working on them. The regions and cultures of Kara-Tur is easily removed, but I would love to see the outline of the world as it was created/planned.

But, like musical dream-collaborations and jam sessions, this will have to go into the filing cabinet in my brain called "What if's"
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2009 :  14:22:52  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
According to Ed (from questions I asked), the maps done by Karen Fonstad in the Forgotten Realms Atlas were very close to his originals. Supposedly, she worked from his originals that were sent-in to TSR (and I've found a couple of things on them that aren't anywhere else, like the large lake in the Evermoors).

THO said that Ed had once mentioned to her "a large bay and some cities" to the east, but it never was developed beyond that, AFAIK. Those may very well be the cities we now see in Returned Abeir.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2009 :  04:58:14  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wasn't aware of any maps of Kara-Tur existing prior to the OPB (Old Purple Box); are we sure that Kara-Tur wasn't just shoehorned into Ed's existing physical geography? This may be something to ask Ed about, if nobody's already done so... thoughts?

Edit: A good starting point would be determining the age of the world-map sketch found in the 3E FRCS... was that map drawn for that publication, or is it an older map (possibly from Ed's original pile of papers sent to TSR)?

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 27 Jul 2009 05:00:43
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2009 :  05:07:34  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Re: Returned Abeir: Mark, I don't suppose you have a larger version of that "alternate placement for Laerakond" map kicking around, do you? On a related note, does that map shove Evermeet south, or did Evermeet's position change with 3E?

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 27 Jul 2009 05:07:53
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2009 :  09:35:48  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

I wasn't aware of any maps of Kara-Tur existing prior to the OPB (Old Purple Box); are we sure that Kara-Tur wasn't just shoehorned into Ed's existing physical geography? This may be something to ask Ed about, if nobody's already done so... thoughts?

Edit: A good starting point would be determining the age of the world-map sketch found in the 3E FRCS... was that map drawn for that publication, or is it an older map (possibly from Ed's original pile of papers sent to TSR)?



Thanks. In the Oriental Adventures book for 1ed. published in '85 I think, Zeb Cook gives about ten pages of information about Kara_Tur, but without maps. So that is what left me wondering whether Zeb had maps that were added to the east or whether the information was just adjusted into Ed's maps. But as I suspected, it seems like the maps were more Cook than Ed.

As for 3ed. maps. After the shrinking done, I hold no maps published for that edition as an authority. Among all the things I object to with 3ed. that is one of the top elements.
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2009 :  09:38:00  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

According to Ed (from questions I asked), the maps done by Karen Fonstad in the Forgotten Realms Atlas were very close to his originals. Supposedly, she worked from his originals that were sent-in to TSR (and I've found a couple of things on them that aren't anywhere else, like the large lake in the Evermoors).




Hm, its been so long since I looked at a map not found in that source, that I never noticed that the lake was not a standard in all publications. Thanks for the information.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2009 :  20:27:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Her attention to detail was amazing, and she did everything from scratch (not relying on previous cartographers, which often leads to mistakes being repeated over-and-over again, even between editions).

Her researching skills are what I aspire to emulate (I could never hope to reach her artistic skill) - hers are the only maps I never find errors on.

And the hand-drawn look is just so 'old school' RPG that you just have to love them.

quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

Re: Returned Abeir: Mark, I don't suppose you have a larger version of that "alternate placement for Laerakond" map kicking around, do you? On a related note, does that map shove Evermeet south, or did Evermeet's position change with 3E?

I found no need. The Laerakond map is located on my DeviantART site, the Faerūn one is the standard (72 dpi) one available for download at WotC, an the Evermeet one is avalaible here in the CK map-room, among other places (all the same scale). I just pasted my Evermeet and Laerakond ones onto the official map, to give people some idea of an alternate placement - it was never meant to be anything more then a suggestion, and I didn't bother to save the original size when I shrunk-it down to post on the WotC forums... sorry.

And yes, Evermeet is completely in the wrong place - I wanted it further south, both to give it a nicer (and therefore more 'Sylvan' IMHO) climate, and also to keep Laerakond from winding-up between Evermeet and the mainland (which would cause all sorts of problems, especially with some canon souurces and stories).

As I said, that was really just a quick "You can always put it here" type of thing. I also toyed-with rotating it 90° counter-clockwise for that, so the sea's open-end faced the Swordcoast, but that was a bit much... and the mountains really belong in the far north, NOT the east.

I've also thought about flipping it upside down, and replacing chult with it... and moving Chult even further south (as it was disconnected in 4e), to replace that rather large island on the end of the Farasahad Islands (that long chain west of Zakhara).

Lots and LOTS of ways to use Returned Abeir in 1e/2e/3e, WITHOUT losing poor unloved Maztica. I figure it was one of the only useful bits (not to mention THE most intersting) of the 4eFRCG, and I really want folks to be able to use Ed's lore, whether they use 4eFR or not.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jul 2009 01:21:07
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2009 :  00:15:16  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

<chop>

quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

Re: Returned Abeir: Mark, I don't suppose you have a larger version of that "alternate placement for Laerakond" map kicking around, do you? On a related note, does that map shove Evermeet south, or did Evermeet's position change with 3E?

I found no need. The Laerakond map is located on my DeviantART site, the Faerūn one is the standard (72 dpi) one available for download at WotC, an the Evermeet one is avalaible here in the CK map-room, among other places (all the same scale). I just pasted my Evermeet and Laerakond ones onto the official map, to give people some idea of an alternate placement - it was never meant to be anything more then a suggestion, and I didn't bother to save the original size when I shrunk-it down to post on the WotC forums... sorry.


No problem; just curious. If I had a full-size copy of your last Toril WIP before you went PDF, I could play with placement myself... but I suspect that file is just too big for transit.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

And yes, Evermeet is completely in the wrong place - I wanted it further south, both to give it a nicer (and therefore more 'Sylvan' IMHO) climate, and also to keep Laerakond from winding-up between Evermeet and the mainland (which would cause all sorts of problems, especially with some canon souurces and stories).

As I said, that was really just a quick "You can always put it here" type of thing. I also toyed-with rotating it 90° counter-clockwise for that, so the sea's open-end faced the Swordcoast, but that was a bit much... and the mountains really belong in the far north, NOT the east.

I've also thought about flipping it upside down, and replacing chult with it... and moving Chult even further south (as it was disconnected in 4e), to replace that rather large island on the end of the Farasahad Islands (that long chain west of Zakhara).


Hrm... I like Chult where it is... but I guess another place we could put Returned Abeir would be in the far eastern ocean between Kara-Tur and Maztica/Anchorome/Katashaka. I like that, actually... Evermeet can stay where it is to be consistent with canon, and since there is no 3.x canon for Returned Abeir, the DM has complete creative freedom, which is something I like.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Lots and LOTS of ways to use Returned Abeir in 1e/2e/3e, WITHOUT losing poor unloved Maztica. I figure it was one of the only useful bits (not to mention THE most intersting) of the 4eFRCG, and I really want folks to be able to use Ed's lore, whether they use 4eFR or not.



I agree entirely. In one respect, as I noted previously, 4E has been a good thing; with sparse and controversial lore, DMs have much more freedom... but, at the same time, some DMs might feel handcuffed to the creative process if they want to ignore the Spellplague, which is what using a predesigned campaign setting is supposed to prevent. I have always ignored canon when it got in the way; in my campaign, the Lords Who Sleep are still alive and sleeping (no thanks, Troy Denning), and Azoun IV had grandchildren years before he died (which happened according to canon); this last was the consequence of a campaign event back in early 2E too detailed to discuss here; suffice it to say that Azoun IV's son-in-law is a PC and a scion of a Cormyr noble house who was granted Tanalasta's hand in marriage as a result of a number of great deeds in the service of the Crown (and just a bit of persuasion on the part of the princess).

Apologies for the topic drift; to return to topic, I'd be curious to see any original maps for Toril outside of Faerun that may exist, but from THO's comments, I suspect that they may not. A question for Ed, perhaps?

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 28 Jul 2009 00:18:04
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2009 :  00:20:19  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

As for 3ed. maps. After the shrinking done, I hold no maps published for that edition as an authority. Among all the things I object to with 3ed. that is one of the top elements.



I have to agree there... they chopped out 3/4 of the wilderness for 3E, then used the lack of unexplored space as an excuse to blow everything else up for 4E. Not cool.

Edit: That being said, I really do like the style of the cartography used in 3E, definitely much better than 2E... but the original 1E-era maps are still my favourites.

Late-August edit: fixed annoying typo while searching for other map-related posts.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 01 Sep 2009 03:54:18
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2009 :  01:27:25  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

Hrm... I like Chult where it is... but I guess another place we could put Returned Abeir would be in the far eastern ocean between Kara-Tur and Maztica/Anchorome/Katashaka. I like that, actually... Evermeet can stay where it is to be consistent with canon, and since there is no 3.x canon for Returned Abeir, the DM has complete creative freedom, which is something I like.
I thought of that as well, and it is the area 'most open' to interpretation... buuuuut... it isn't as useful to DMs running games in Faerūn.

There are always portals, but I like the idea of it being within 'sailing distance' of the the Swordcoast.

If you were running a Kara-Tur based game (without Faerūn), and wanted an occidental continent, then placing Laerakond somewhere off the coast would be ideal for that type of game.

The fact that Oriental cultures revere dragons, and the returned Abeir has lands ruled by dragons could be a very interesting dynamic.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2009 :  03:42:24  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

<chop>I thought of that as well, and it is the area 'most open' to interpretation... buuuuut... it isn't as useful to DMs running games in Faerūn.

There are always portals, but I like the idea of it being within 'sailing distance' of the the Swordcoast.

If you were running a Kara-Tur based game (without Faerūn), and wanted an occidental continent, then placing Laerakond somewhere off the coast would be ideal for that type of game.

The fact that Oriental cultures revere dragons, and the returned Abeir has lands ruled by dragons could be a very interesting dynamic.



That last point is what I was thinking of... and my thought is, if players want to go to Laerakond, they'll find a way to get there, particularly when word reaches them from lands far to the east about a mysterious new land in the far eastern sea ruled by dragons...

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2009 :  00:17:16  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well this discussion peaks my interests. Ed's answer to my question of what laid beyond Thay with the realms surrounding a sea gulf got my creative process going. I've often wonder about the general shape of those Far Lands. I did not know that the FR Atlas version of Kara-Tur were roughly in the same shape. I always assumed the layout of K-T was developed separately as an elaboration on the pages in the original OA book.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2009 :  03:47:58  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Wizard

<snip> I always assumed the layout of K-T was developed separately as an elaboration on the pages in the original OA book.


That was my thought too... but your description of his answer is nicely accounted for by the shape of Kara-Tur's eastern coastline. It also makes me wonder just how old that whole-world sketch map in the 3E FRCS really is... except that I know that Ed's Anchorome was originally just a bunch of islands, and Ed's Moonshaes were originally a much larger number of much smaller islands as well. The map of the early Moonshaes in BRJ's GHotR Moonshae supplement (Sword Coast DR -11,000) might very well be based on Ed's original Moonshae map.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 01 Sep 2009 03:51:30
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