Tuesday, July 02, 2013

mapping dreams

Inside cover.
 So Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi's The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is pretty groovy, with write-ups for all sorts of places that never were, like that little German duchy Flashman got in trouble in that one time or the places imagined by the Brontë siblings set all their early adventure stories.  But I really wanted to point you to the maps by James Cook.  Good stuff, including the best map of Earthsea I've seen.  I was surprised at Cook's interpretation of the Dreamlands of H.P. Lovecraft, which the book refers to as Dreamworld.  See the southern landmass on the scan below?  That's labeled the Isle of Oriab, which is much smaller on the map Chaosium published with the original Dreamlands stuff for Call of Cthulhu. The Gug Kingdom and the Vaults of Zin, which I thought were underground locations, are marked on this version of  Oriab.

You can see Oriab as a tiny little item at the bottom of this map:

Here's a close-up:

I only caught this discrepancy (not that there can't be two different versions of the Dreamlands) because I've thought for a while now that Oriab would make a fine place for a vaguely Arabian Nights style D&D campaign.  I vaguely remember reading that Baharna is sort of a Persian mercantile city, possibly full of Omar Khayyám style poets, Hashisheen, alchemists, etc.  The ruined city of Tyrhhia, the Accursed Valley, and the nightgaunt-haunted caves of Mount Ngranak would make for plenteous dungeoneering action.  And everyone would get to ride around on zebras.