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The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:16 am
by Havard
Compiling a list of generic D&D novels published in the 4E era, I came across this novel:

Image
The Last Garrison
Matthew Beard

In the shadows between the living world and the land of the dead, the night’s terrors lurk…

For as long as anyone can remember, the mountain village of Haven has been under the protection of an ancient warlock known as the Old Stargazer. But after countless years spent deciphering the mysteries of the night sky, the old man is starting to slip. Now, a dark figure controls the forest with minions of kenku marauders—crowlike men who menace the villagers with violence and mayhem
Of course, the first thing that caught my eye was the mention of the mountain village of Haven. Generic enough a name of course, but could it be a reference to the town from B3, making it in effect a novel set in Karameikos (or possibly on the Adri Varma)? I was even more pleased when I learned from a novel review that the Last Garrison also has references to the Keep on the Borderlands. Sadly another review on the same page mentions that one character in the novel is a soldier from Nerath. That sort of undermines the KotB reference, since the Nentir Vale also has the Keep. On the other hand, the author, Matthew Beard, does mention in an interview that he was a fan of the original Basic and Expert rulesets.... :ugeek:


-Havard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:33 am
by Culture20
Perhaps it's set in the other realm that Haven disappears to occasionally?

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:49 pm
by Havard
Culture20 wrote:Perhaps it's set in the other realm that Haven disappears to occasionally?
Not a bad suggestion :)

I took a look at some previews of the book and it is so packed with 4E references to Gods etc that it seems hard to otherwise incorporate into Mystara. The main monsters in the novel, Kenku, are also not typical Mystara monsters.

I guess I will leave this alone... :P

-Havard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:28 pm
by matthew_beard
This thread made me very, very happy.

Here's a little something.

best,

matthew beard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:52 pm
by Havard
matthew_beard wrote:This thread made me very, very happy.
Mr Matthew Beard! Welcome to the Piazza! :)

Ahhhhh! So I wasnt so far off after all? Does the inspiration from B3 go beyond the name of the town in the novel? :)


-Havard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:55 pm
by matthew_beard
I think Haven was originally chosen as a stand-in name until we* could think of something else. At some point, though, we liked the way the name gave some odd allegorical power to the village.

To be honest, if there was any intentional referencing to Palace of the Silver Princess, it was done by my deep subconscious mind. I did really love that module. When I had no one to play D&D with, I'd read and reread it. I traced the image of the dragon-rider from the introduction for at least three characters. It might have been buried in my head, somewhere. And I would love to claim it was an "easter egg" we dropped in for old school gamers.

But, most likely, it was a coincidence.

I really shouldn't admit that. I'd love to have that spreading around as a rumor about the book. I really love the idea that Haven might be a little village outside of and existing in all the canonical D&D worlds at once.

best,
-matthew beard-

* "Matthew Beard" is a pen name for a pair of writers.

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:01 pm
by Havard
matthew_beard wrote:I think Haven was originally chosen as a stand-in name until we* could think of something else. At some point, though, we liked the way the name gave some odd allegorical power to the village.

To be honest, if there was any intentional referencing to Palace of the Silver Princess, it was done by my deep subconscious mind. I did really love that module. When I had no one to play D&D with, I'd read and reread it. I traced the image of the dragon-rider from the introduction for at least three characters. It might have been buried in my head, somewhere. And I would love to claim it was an "easter egg" we dropped in for old school gamers.

That is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it! :)
But, most likely, it was a coincidence.

I really shouldn't admit that. I'd love to have that spreading around as a rumor about the book. I really love the idea that Haven might be a little village outside of and existing in all the canonical D&D worlds at once.
I appreciate the honesty. :)
And the idea of the village existing on many different worlds is pretty cool. I will have to look closer into how to fit it into Mystara once I have read your novel! :)

best,
-matthew beard-

* "Matthew Beard" is a pen name for a pair of writers.
Mysterious! Will there be more books from Matthew Beard then? Perhaps you will keep our little community in mind for future projects? If so, let us know! :)



-Havard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:53 pm
by Big Mac
matthew_beard wrote:I think Haven was originally chosen as a stand-in name until we* could think of something else. At some point, though, we liked the way the name gave some odd allegorical power to the village.
Maybe this book is technically nothing to do with Mystara, but The Piazza also has a Nentir Vale forum (its still small compared to our Mystara forum and Spelljammer forum, but I believe it is already the world's largest independent Nentir Vale community, as there is not much out there).

Would you be willing to talk about the Nentir Vale side of things over there?
matthew_beard wrote:To be honest, if there was any intentional referencing to Palace of the Silver Princess, it was done by my deep subconscious mind. I did really love that module. When I had no one to play D&D with, I'd read and reread it. I traced the image of the dragon-rider from the introduction for at least three characters. It might have been buried in my head, somewhere. And I would love to claim it was an "easter egg" we dropped in for old school gamers.

But, most likely, it was a coincidence.

I really shouldn't admit that. I'd love to have that spreading around as a rumor about the book. I really love the idea that Haven might be a little village outside of and existing in all the canonical D&D worlds at once.
That sounds interesting and very much like Dragon Mountain's abilty to shunt from setting to setting. Do you think you would want to do something like that in a sequel novel? WotC seems to be interested in setting crossing elements at the moment. I'm not sure they would want to connect Nentir Vale back to Mystara (as I'm not sure if there is time to put Mystara into the 4e schedule) but they have done Eberron and Forgotten Realms crossovers with that Abyssal Plague thing.
matthew_beard wrote:best,
-matthew beard-

* "Matthew Beard" is a pen name for a pair of writers.
I'm interested in that too. It sounds like Michael Andrews, the made up author for the DragonStrike line (who was actually at least four people, writing separately - including Bruce Heard). I had a funny conversation about Michael Andrews with Bruce Heard. Funny because there was a geeky interruption by someone that bought the book that Bruce Heard wrote, as soon as they heard it was his first novel.

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:06 pm
by Havard
ZeromaruX wrote a summary of this novel in this Nentir Vale forum thread.

I find it interesting that Haven has no official placement in the Nentir Vale/Nerath setting.

-Havard

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:07 pm
by Zeromaru X
Yeah. I guess we can work with the stuff of being an interdimensional town.

Re: The Last Garrison: 4E Novel Set in Mystara?

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:46 pm
by Havard
Zeromaru X wrote:Yeah. I guess we can work with the stuff of being an interdimensional town.
With so many references to older modules in the Nentir Vale setting, it is surprising that Haven wasn't a deliberate reference to B3. Of course the idea that Haven from B3 is a town that shifts its location between worlds is a fan developed concept, but it could certainly work here.

The way I see it, the Nentir Vale setting exists roughly 100 years into the future of Mystara's Gazetteer era so it could even have relocated permanently to the Nentir Vale at that time. Of course, if the town spent time in the Feywild (Feywoods in Mystara terms), time could have passed differently there.

I have actually been toying with the idea of the Nentir Vale being a kind of mirror dimension reflecting the other D&D Worlds. Or perhaps it is the other worlds being reflections of the Nentir Vale. Sort of similar to how Roger Zelazny's World of Amber casts shadows that are their own worlds as well as reflections of the one true world (or really, of The Pattern).

While these theories might have much impact on actual play, it does mean that some aspects of the Nentir Vale setting could actually tell us things about Mystara and the other worlds...

-Havard