Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rare Greyhawk Map Part 2

Okay Greyfolks, the last time I had a headline about a rare Greyhawk map I burned you all by discussing a certain despised novel with a pretty decent illustration of the Wolf Nomads-Tiger Nomads region. My apologies for that post.

Unfortunately, I need to apologize in advance this time because the rare Greyhawk map in question is not only quasi-canonical, but it is also found in another Rose Estes novel The Demon Hand. Written for TSR in 1988 this novel sports another top quality front cover by gem-loving Clyde Caldwell. Knowing nothing about Estes or her subject matter, the cover looks compelling. A Wolf nomad carrying a magic tome and the biggest gem (check) you've ever seen in his demonic hand. Of course you can't judge a book by its cover. Here is the blurb on the back cover:

"GREYHAWK...

In search of the gemstones, deep in the salt caverns of the island of Dramidja...

The wolf-shaman Mika, the enchanted princess, the faithful TamTur and the brave companions, all frozen in time...

Meanwhile...a certain little harpy and two intrepid werewolves join together in a quest to uncover the secret of their heritage, and to break the curse of the kingdom...

Return to the land of Greyhawk, where the demon Maelfesh is up to his usual unusual mischief, where magic abides and danger rules, where the beleaguered Wolf Nomad Mika must defeat yet another incredible array of other-worldly sinister forces-the deep-dwelling cavernquatch, the granite moles, the rock beasties and more..."

Fun eh? Now I've never read this book, but what is a cavernquatch (my guess is a Quaggoth?), granite mole and rock beastie? I'm not even sure who Maelfesh is or who he is analogous to in Greyhawk canon. I doubt anyone. Hey, but The Demon Hand has werewolves, they're hot property now right? I digress, the main eyepopper in this blurb is the topic of the post, the enigmatic island Kingdom of Dramidja.

Inside the book one soon sees an illustration of this island. Not bad looking eh? As it's name fits, Dramidja is in the Dramidj Ocean. Not surprisingly this place is on no other Greyhawk map as nothing Estes wrote appears in game material. However, if someone wanted to incorporate this huge island off the coast of the Baklunish lands, it wouldn't be hard. There is already a mysterious place in the Dramidj Ocean called the Pinnacles of Azor-Alq, where its peaks contain dragons and hidden wonders. Dramidja seems less like a mysterious place however and more like a whole setting of its own as it is an entire kingdom. There is no scale on this map so there is no way of knowing if its supposed to be as big as Sicily or Greenland. It is big enough to have two mountain ranges though.
Now knowing nothing about the dangers and denizens of the Great Salt MarshesDramidjhaven or Pyramid Lake (except from the blurb), the best way of blending the Pinnacles and this huge island in my opinion, is to sink Dramidja under the water and have just a cluster of the Cliffs of Dramidja remaining above. If anyone is brave enough to have read this novel and knows what this island contains and its Estesian version of Greyhawk history feel free to comment on how it fits.  


One last tidbit (thank you for hanging in there to the end), in the back pages of The Demon Hand is an ad for a brand new novel line that also came out in 1988. I bet you read this one, it's called The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore. And get this, it's a novel about a large gem, a demon and a barbaric hero (Wulfgar), all in a remote part of the main setting. I'm just saying... *shakes head*

2 comments:

mortellan said...

Oh yes, and let us not forget the animal companion in The Crystal Shard. Alot of similarities in these two books...

Mystic Scholar said...

Okay, Mort. We appreciate your "heroic" efforts on our collective behalves . . .

. . . but we are NOT going to "respect" Rose Estes!

So give it up!

Mwahahahahahaha!

That's not to say that we might have "burned" those books a little too soon. ;)

Hehehehehehe