Ishtarland

Gary Gygax's original D&D world, where Dungeons & Dragons came to life in the greatest show on Oerth!
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:23 pm

The only real setting info on the Sundered Empire, IIRC, is in a series of Dragon Magazine articles written to supplement the Chainmail rules. As far as I'm aware, the Underdark set turned into vaporware since WotC cancelled the line (I wouldn't be surprised if some of the minis for that ended up in later sets- plastic, instead of metal of course, which was the trend shift for the new minis game).

The Wayback Machine probably has those old WotC Chainmail articles, although I seem to recall finding them on the Wizards site as well (had to do some real digging, though, as the main links don't work any longer.)
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:46 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Big Mac wrote:So is there any sort of non-rules material in the original Chainmail? And if there is, is there any sort of background material in the original Chainmail (or associated products) that might also be mentioned in the later Chainmail?
Not that I saw, and I looked pretty closely in Chainmail (3rd edition, 1979) & Swords & Spells, also 1979.
I think what I'm asking is this another Oriental Adventures with a setting "brain transplant" or have WotC retconned original Chainmail background elements into Greyhawk?
Since there was nothing to take from original edition Chainmail, I'd say that WotC placed post-2nd edition AD&D Greyhawk into it's version of Chainmail.
EDIT: While, I am at it, how much overlap is there between Ishtarland and the Chainmail area? I did ask before, but I think my question got missed in the excitement.
I can't answer that one, sorry. I'm not up on post 2nd ed AD&D settings. :?
Thanks for the information that you did have.
Cthulhudrew wrote:The only real setting info on the Sundered Empire, IIRC, is in a series of Dragon Magazine articles written to supplement the Chainmail rules. As far as I'm aware, the Underdark set turned into vaporware since WotC cancelled the line (I wouldn't be surprised if some of the minis for that ended up in later sets- plastic, instead of metal of course, which was the trend shift for the new minis game).
IIRC, Candlekeep has created an archive copy of WotC articles about Forgotten Realms, so that they don't get lost when WotC eventually takes them down. Maybe Canonfire! should be doing the same sort of thing for Greyhawk. (Maybe all the big campaign setting websites should also be doing it.)
Cthulhudrew wrote:The Wayback Machine probably has those old WotC Chainmail articles, although I seem to recall finding them on the Wizards site as well (had to do some real digging, though, as the main links don't work any longer.)
I've had some luck finding things on The Wayback Machine, but the WotC website changed the way that its links worked ages back, so sometimes it can be tough. Newer links often redirect themselves to the WotC website (even if you are trying to look something up on the Wayback Machine.

If you have the dead links, I might be able to help find the archived articles. But I'm not sure if this is anything to do with Istarland. :? Please start a new thread for "missing Sundered Empire/Chainmail articles" if you want help for this.
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:34 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:The only real setting info on the Sundered Empire, IIRC, is in a series of Dragon Magazine articles written to supplement the Chainmail rules. As far as I'm aware, the Underdark set turned into vaporware since WotC cancelled the line (I wouldn't be surprised if some of the minis for that ended up in later sets- plastic, instead of metal of course, which was the trend shift for the new minis game).

The Wayback Machine probably has those old WotC Chainmail articles, although I seem to recall finding them on the Wizards site as well (had to do some real digging, though, as the main links don't work any longer.)
Do you know which issues of Dragon has these articles? I'm assuming that they'd be after the switch to 3rd ed D&D, so I don't have these issues...
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:57 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:Do you know which issues of Dragon has these articles? I'm assuming that they'd be after the switch to 3rd ed D&D, so I don't have these issues...
Got most of them but I don't recall the numbers offhand. I'll post up the info later today.
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Tue May 05, 2009 3:12 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:EDIT- Found the part of the Oerth Journal website that deals with their Beyond Oerth Development project. Check it out!

Found the map, too!
Hmm, is that entire landmass Oerik, or is it a multicontinental landmass, a la Eurasia? I'm curious because there was an earlier mention of three other continents, and I'm kind of wondering if there really is enough space for all of them. Has there ever been a full map of the entire planet published, or is that map there all that's known?

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue May 05, 2009 10:17 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:EDIT- Found the part of the Oerth Journal website that deals with their Beyond Oerth Development project. Check it out!

Found the map, too!
Hmm, is that entire landmass Oerik, or is it a multicontinental landmass, a la Eurasia? I'm curious because there was an earlier mention of three other continents, and I'm kind of wondering if there really is enough space for all of them. Has there ever been a full map of the entire planet published, or is that map there all that's known?

Jeff
I think someone had an "unofficial" (read: home campaign) world map of Oerth with other continents, but I have no idea who it is now. Maybe James Mishler?

"Officially" I believe that one map is all that is known of Oerth. My campaign is "unofficial" and everything in this project contradicts my works. :cry:
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cebrion » Wed May 06, 2009 11:31 am

AuldDragon wrote:Hmm, is that entire landmass Oerik, or is it a multicontinental landmass, a la Eurasia? I'm curious because there was an earlier mention of three other continents, and I'm kind of wondering if there really is enough space for all of them. Has there ever been a full map of the entire planet published, or is that map there all that's known?

Jeff
Yes, it's a multi-continental land mass. The break is the gap between the Celestial Sea and the Sea of Hyperborea. The Flanaess is the easternmost portion of the eastern continent(Oerik).

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by night_druid » Wed May 06, 2009 1:08 pm

IIRC, I think the "four continents" of Oerth are:

1) Oerik
2) Hyboria
3) Hempmonialand
4) "Australia"
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cebrion » Thu May 07, 2009 5:35 am

Hepmonaland isn't one of the continents(it's just a GINORMOUS island), though your "Australia" has been referred to as "Terra Anakeris Incognita" in the Dragon Annual issue with the World of Greyhak map in it. The westerly portion of the central landmass was originally the continent of Aquaria, as introduced by Frank Mentzer, but was later developed for Chainmail(NOT the original pamphlet Chainmail mind you) by Chris Pramas, et. al of WotC, and apprently bears no resemblance to Mr. Mentzer's version. Hyperboria is the fourth continent.

So,

1. Oerik
2. Aquaria
3. Hyperborea
4. Antaria/Terra Anakeris Incognita

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Thu May 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Cebrion wrote:Hepmonaland isn't one of the continents(it's just a GINORMOUS island), though your "Australia" has been referred to as "Terra Anakeris Incognita" in the Dragon Annual issue with the World of Greyhak map in it. The westerly portion of the central landmass was originally the continent of Aquaria, as introduced by Frank Mentzer, but was later developed for Chainmail(NOT the original pamphlet Chainmail mind you) by Chris Pramas, et. al of WotC, and apprently bears no resemblance to Mr. Mentzer's version. Hyperboria is the fourth continent.

So,

1. Oerik
2. Aquaria
3. Hyperborea
4. Antaria/Terra Anakeris Incognita
So the only major missing landmass is the continent Hyperborea, then? Is there an accepted fanon represention of it?

EDIT:
Whoops, just looked at the map again and noticed that's the northern polar cap. Seems like there would be a LOT of empty ocean to the east (and stretching around to the west).

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Dread Delgath » Thu May 07, 2009 6:22 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Cebrion wrote:Hepmonaland isn't one of the continents(it's just a GINORMOUS island), though your "Australia" has been referred to as "Terra Anakeris Incognita" in the Dragon Annual issue with the World of Greyhak map in it. The westerly portion of the central landmass was originally the continent of Aquaria, as introduced by Frank Mentzer, but was later developed for Chainmail(NOT the original pamphlet Chainmail mind you) by Chris Pramas, et. al of WotC, and apprently bears no resemblance to Mr. Mentzer's version. Hyperboria is the fourth continent.

So,

1. Oerik
2. Aquaria
3. Hyperborea
4. Antaria/Terra Anakeris Incognita
So the only major missing landmass is the continent Hyperborea, then? Is there an accepted fanon represention of it?

EDIT:
Whoops, just looked at the map again and noticed that's the northern polar cap. Seems like there would be a LOT of empty ocean to the east (and stretching around to the west).

Jeff
Bold emphasis mine. Since the Spelljammer description of Oerth & Greyspace in general tends to view people from WoG to be kind of self-centered, based on the cosmology of Greyspace, (Oerth is the central point of the system, and everything else, including the sun, revolves around it) then having one major land-mass on Oerth follows this dichotomy. Image

About Chainmail (WotC version): Aahh, now that is clear to me now. I had assumed the new Chainmail covered the Western portion of the Oerik continent west of the Hellfurnaces & the Sea of Dust. Unless you mean [this[/i] area to be where Frank's Aquaria was to be set?

Or is Aquaria it's own, separate continent not shown on the Dragon Annual #1 map?
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by night_druid » Thu May 07, 2009 6:29 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:About Chainmail (WotC version): Aahh, now that is clear to me now. I had assumed the new Chainmail covered the Western portion of the Oerik continent west of the Hellfurnaces & the Sea of Dust. Unless you mean [this[/i] area to be where Frank's Aquaria was to be set?
Chainmail covered the far western end of the continent; I wasn't sure if that continent was divided in two (or where the divide would be; its a pretty solid continent from end to end). Between the Chainmail territory & Flanasses is a huge swath of unexplored land (the original Kara-Tur would be placed here, I suppose).
Or is Aquaria it's own, separate continent not shown on the Dragon Annual #1 map?
Aquaria, IIRC, was only detailed in a couple of the "I" series of modules (Egg of the Pheonix & Needle, I want to say, maybe one or two more). It wasn't expanded beyond that, other than maybe on a website. I want to say it was settled by people from the Great Kingdom who got blown off-course by a storm, implying it was either meant as a separate continent, or Oerth is much smaller than Earth (not sure they had ships to sail an ocean that big).
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Thu May 07, 2009 6:53 pm

night_druid wrote:Chainmail covered the far western end of the continent; I wasn't sure if that continent was divided in two (or where the divide would be; its a pretty solid continent from end to end).
It really depends on how one defines continents. It seems to me that based on the map (reposting so people don't have to go back and find it again), Oerik and Aquaria form a supercontinent, like Eurasia. If Oerth has traditional plate tectonics, then it seems to me there are actually at least three large continental plates involved, with the borders along the Dragonspine Mountains and the Baklhaut Mountains. Where the natives would divide it would be hard to say, but I'd guess along the Baklhaut mountains.

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri May 08, 2009 2:37 am

night_druid wrote:IIRC, I think the "four continents" of Oerth are:

1) Oerik
2) Hyboria
3) Hempmonaland
4) "Australia"
According to The Adventure Begins, this is correct.

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 08, 2009 3:52 am

AuldDragon wrote:It seems to me that based on the map (reposting so people don't have to go back and find it again), Oerik and Aquaria form a supercontinent, like Eurasia. If Oerth has traditional plate tectonics, then it seems to me there are actually at least three large continental plates involved, with the borders along the Dragonspine Mountains and the Baklhaut Mountains.
Hmm. That map does not seem to obey the 2:1 ratio that Silverblade says is required for maps to be wrapped onto a sphere. I'd say there was a bit missing.
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Fri May 08, 2009 7:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:It seems to me that based on the map (reposting so people don't have to go back and find it again), Oerik and Aquaria form a supercontinent, like Eurasia. If Oerth has traditional plate tectonics, then it seems to me there are actually at least three large continental plates involved, with the borders along the Dragonspine Mountains and the Baklhaut Mountains.
Hmm. That map does not seem to obey the 2:1 ratio that Silverblade says is required for maps to be wrapped onto a sphere. I'd say there was a bit missing.
Correct. There is definitely more ocean; the question is whether that's pretty much it (islands a la Hawaii not withstanding), or if there is another continent there. I'm going to play with the image some over the weekend to see if I can determine just how much area is "missing."

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri May 08, 2009 8:47 pm

Maybe Oerth is in the stage of the "Supercontinent" in it's planetary life? Millions of years in it's future, the continents will break and shift, spreading all over the surface.
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 08, 2009 8:58 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:It seems to me that based on the map (reposting so people don't have to go back and find it again), Oerik and Aquaria form a supercontinent, like Eurasia. If Oerth has traditional plate tectonics, then it seems to me there are actually at least three large continental plates involved, with the borders along the Dragonspine Mountains and the Baklhaut Mountains.
Hmm. That map does not seem to obey the 2:1 ratio that Silverblade says is required for maps to be wrapped onto a sphere. I'd say there was a bit missing.
Correct. There is definitely more ocean; the question is whether that's pretty much it (islands a la Hawaii not withstanding), or if there is another continent there. I'm going to play with the image some over the weekend to see if I can determine just how much area is "missing."
I would actually love to see some D&D world maps (including Oerth) thrown onto spheres (perhaps with something like a black/white checked pattern behind the maps) to demonstrate how much "missing map" there might be.
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cebrion » Sat May 09, 2009 2:21 am

It has been done using Google Earth(I think), but I can't find the link. I'll post it if I can find it.

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Sat May 09, 2009 4:47 am

Dread Delgath wrote:Maybe Oerth is in the stage of the "Supercontinent" in it's planetary life? Millions of years in it's future, the continents will break and shift, spreading all over the surface.
Oh, I agree, but let's be honest here: would the natives of Oerth have any idea that this is the case? :) They're probably not going to divide the "continents" along every actual major plate boundry; they'll probably divide it along cultural borders or racial stock borders or something.
Big Mac wrote:I would actually love to see some D&D world maps (including Oerth) thrown onto spheres (perhaps with something like a black/white checked pattern behind the maps) to demonstrate how much "missing map" there might be.
One of my short-term goals is to slap some rectangular world maps onto the flash sphere model I found. I don't want to make anything that can be used as a precise map, just something that can give general ideas of scale as well as something that can be shown to Spelljammer players when they encounter a planet. :)

I'm going to look at the maps in Practical Planetology as well as the Krynn map in Otherlands. I'll look at the other settings as well to see what can be done with their maps, too (Mystara should be easy to do; it looks like people have already done it using other apps).

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat May 09, 2009 7:17 am

AuldDragon wrote:
Dread Delgath wrote:Maybe Oerth is in the stage of the "Supercontinent" in it's planetary life? Millions of years in it's future, the continents will break and shift, spreading all over the surface.
Oh, I agree, but let's be honest here: would the natives of Oerth have any idea that this is the case? :) They're probably not going to divide the "continents" along every actual major plate boundry; they'll probably divide it along cultural borders or racial stock borders or something.
As they should. ;)
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I would actually love to see some D&D world maps (including Oerth) thrown onto spheres (perhaps with something like a black/white checked pattern behind the maps) to demonstrate how much "missing map" there might be.
One of my short-term goals is to slap some rectangular world maps onto the flash sphere model I found. I don't want to make anything that can be used as a precise map, just something that can give general ideas of scale as well as something that can be shown to Spelljammer players when they encounter a planet. :)

I'm going to look at the maps in Practical Planetology as well as the Krynn map in Otherlands. I'll look at the other settings as well to see what can be done with their maps, too (Mystara should be easy to do; it looks like people have already done it using other apps).

Jeff
I recall seeing a flash sphere model used for D&D maps. Dunno where now... :?
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Cebrion » Sat May 09, 2009 8:55 am

Here's one pic, and there might be others:

http://www.imagebam.com/image/562ef918661418/

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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 10, 2009 3:40 pm

Here is a bit of minor necromancy, as I originally missed this.
AuldDragon wrote:So the only major missing landmass is the continent Hyperborea, then? Is there an accepted fanon represention of it?

EDIT:
Whoops, just looked at the map again and noticed that's the northern polar cap.
I don't see being the northern polar cap as a reason not to develop Hyperborea. There are plenty of monsters (like White Dragons) that can live in this sort of environment. All you need to do is find a few races that can live in the snow and then create some places where they can live.

Outlands (Dragonlance) is a free download from the WotC website and one of its environments is Chorane (a vast underground civilisation that is over 1,000 miles beyond the Ice Wall to the south of Ansalon). I think that it would be possible for fans to use Chorane as a template for a similar Hyperborean (is that the right word?) underground city. In fact, as Greyhawk is more friendly towards the "underdark" concept than Dragonlance, I think you could build the entire continent as a "cold underdark" and have a few locations where people come up to the surface during the warmest (read not so cold) parts of the year.

I think it could be fun to throw a few things like albino elves at players. Would these "snow elves" be white drow? Or would they be white wild elves? Or would they be white high elves? Or would you create several subraces of elves that all look as white as each other?
Dread Delgath wrote:Since the Spelljammer description of Oerth & Greyspace in general tends to view people from WoG to be kind of self-centered, based on the cosmology of Greyspace, (Oerth is the central point of the system, and everything else, including the sun, revolves around it) then having one major land-mass on Oerth follows this dichotomy. Image
That isn't limited to Oerth. It is a "control mechanism" designed to justify the fact that nobody on Oerth, Toril or Krynn mentioned spacefarers before the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set was published.

I love the connectivity of Spelljammer, but this "control mechanism" (as well as the lack of support for out of print products*) does introduce a problem for the connectivity. The original "control mechanism" breaks the ties between GH and Greyspace, but then some "well thought out exceptions" to this control mechanism need to be created, to "put the 'Grey' back into Greyspace".

* = I'm not talking about WotC here. I'm talking about the fact that an "abandoned" part of Greyhawk becomes something that could potentially derail a new project. If a Greyhawk boxed set keeps referencing a rare six-year-old Hyperborea-based adventure, GMs are not going to be able to easily access that sort of thing. I'm sure that editors bear that sort of issue in mind when working out what needs to be cut. It seems to be the reason for 4th edition taking a slash-and-burn approach to its campaign settings.

The tiny percentage of SJ support for Greyspace vs the larger percentage of Greyhawk support for outlying regions also causes a secondary problem for the connectivity. All the original stuff needed to be packed into a sidebar on pages 78 and 80 of Concordance of Arcane Space and pages 89-92 of Lorebook of the Void. Some later products (of which SJR6 Greyspace is the most well known) add a bit more "support" to Greyspace, but with all the will in the world, you can not really do justice to the planet Oerth with the sort of page count that the SJ authors were given.

What Greyhawk deserved** (but couldn't possibly have logistically) was for someone to sit down and look at all of its many places (including places like Istarland) and say: "what would happen if this place had visitors from Greyspace?" If that had even been attempted, I think it would have caused a risk that the original AD&D Adventures in Space project would be derailed.

** = The other thing that Greyhawk deserved (and could have had, but sadly didn't) was for someone to sit down and skim through the vast range of ideas from Greyhawk canon and work out a way to take inspiration from that canon and make every single part of Greyspace have a recognisable Greyhawkness to it. There are a few SJ elements - like the multi-sphere nature of the Celestians, that infer spacefaring elements directly from GH canon, but there could be so much more of this. And old "unloved" out of print Greyhawk suppliments would make as good a source for this sort of thing as the more popular Greyhawk products. A great, but unused idea could have been turned into the central theme of one of the asteroids in The Grinder. What the FRCG did to the Forgotten Realms (and was disliked for) could have actually been done to Greyhawk to create - rather than destroy. Things like Blackmoor could have been given a spacefarer past and fans would have looked upon Greyspace "Endless Reaches" as Oerth's version of The Sea of Night. Without even going as far as describing things like spelljamming helms, "up there" makes the perfect answer to questions like: "where did mind flayers come from?"

I think that if Spelljammer had continued, and that we were on the third iteration of Greyspace and the RPGA had been running a Living Greyspace campaign (with triads from different geographical regions looking after the individual planets) I think that Greyspace would have learned some of the lessons that the World of Greyhawk itself has learned. It would have been especially great to have seen the many deities of Greyhawk moved out into space, to see how worship on different planets would affect the pantheon(s). And it would have been great to see Greyspace expanded, corrected, expanded again to become the "Worlds of Greyspace" that fans of both Greyhawk and Spelljammer deserve it to be.

Spelljammer really gives us a bare-bones version of Greyspace. If you treat it as if it was an obscure 1st edition AD&D suppliment for Greyhawk, that nobody ever bothered to reprint, I think you see it in a better light than if you weigh it up against other 2nd edition products (that can stand on a ton of earlier GH work).
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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AuldDragon
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by AuldDragon » Mon May 11, 2009 3:28 pm

Big Mac wrote:Here is a bit of minor necromancy, as I originally missed this.
AuldDragon wrote:So the only major missing landmass is the continent Hyperborea, then? Is there an accepted fanon represention of it?

EDIT:
Whoops, just looked at the map again and noticed that's the northern polar cap.
I don't see being the northern polar cap as a reason not to develop Hyperborea. There are plenty of monsters (like White Dragons) that can live in this sort of environment. All you need to do is find a few races that can live in the snow and then create some places where they can live.
I wasn't saying not to develop it or anything; I mistakenly thought it was "terra incognita" and had only been mentioned but never drawn and placed. For some reason I never thought to look at the icy north. :)

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Big Mac
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Re: Ishtarland

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 11, 2009 7:39 pm

AuldDragon wrote:I wasn't saying not to develop it or anything; I mistakenly thought it was "terra incognita" and had only been mentioned but never drawn and placed. For some reason I never thought to look at the icy north. :)
OK. My bad.

<waves hand>

This is not the thread you are looking for. We can go about our posting. Move along. :lol:

<waves hand>
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