Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Gary Gygax Day!

Gary Gygax

It's time to take a minute and salute Gary.  This is a very special person for me. Gary hired me in 1983 when I met him in Paris.  I was a wide-eyed fan back then, totally awestruck at the opportunity to work at TSR.  He truly was a really good guy: simple, friendly, and with a great sense of humor.  I remember how proud he was showing me the latest games at the time, which included Star Frontiers and Gamma World if I recall correctly.  That is an evening I'll never forget as it became a life-changing event for me.  Shortly afterward, I ended up at the toy fair in Nuremberg.  The sound of TSR's video running in the background of our booth still rings in my ear:  "We are the game wizards!"

So, thank you, Gary.  If not in person but in spirit, you'll always be present in my mind.

"Happy You!"

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Frisland: The Marquisate of Azafeth

Continued from "The Grand Duchy of Frisia"

This strip of land squeezed between the Sea of Alphatia and the Kerothar Mountains is home to descendants of ancient Antalians, their Alphatian overseers, and the sinister Ogam. Behind the orderly façade of imperial law rages a secret fight for survival.

Mystara Alphatia Frisland Azafeth Hex Map
Marquisate of Azafeth -- Scale: 1 Hex = 8 Miles

This Frislandic dominion is one of the hardest to administrate because of its narrow, nearly-370-miles-long shape and forbidding terrain intersecting its mid-point. In fact, locals perceive three distinct regions. Northern Azafeth centers around the boomtown of Nasta. The southern region, anchored around Zuuldal, includes the Hills of Ygdumma. The midsection lies within the Västmark Shield, a rocky spur of jagged ridges and narrow valleys. Coastal residents don’t think of the hills and mountains in the east as part of the marquisate, for the Ogam dwell there. Townsfolk see the short, swarthy goat herders as little more than beastmen who would enslave and sacrifice them all to their evil gods if given the chance—a belief that isn’t remotely preposterous. Climate along the coast is similar to the one prevailing in real world Glasgow, U.K.—cool and rainy. Winds generally blow from the west, and a mild sea current flows from the south. Temperatures drop rapidly in the mountains.