This is the blog. Click here to go to the Zenopus Archives website.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Land of the Great Kingdom and Environs

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video by Jon Peterson (author of Playing at the World) highlighting some awesome pre-D&D treasures from his collection:

"History of D&D in 12 Treasures"

Item #5 is a map, labeled in the video as "Great Kingdom Map, Gary Gygax, 1971, Territories of the Great Kingdom". In the accompanying post he further describes it as  "showing Blackmoor and other Castle & Crusade Society holdings". In the video Jon gives us several glimpses of the map that show a number of familiar kingdom names from the published World of Greyhawk, 1980.

An earlier version of this map, originally published in Domesday Book #9, appeared in Jon's book in 2012. This map has some geographical features named but is mostly missing the names of kingdoms. However, at the time I noticed that Dave Arneson's hand drawn map of Blackmoor from the First Fantasy Campaign (1977) matched a portion of the Great Kingdom Map. Combining the information from the two, I posted ("The Weird Enclave of Blackmoor") an annotated map with speculative locations of Blackmoor and Greyhawk:

Great Kingdom Map from Domesday Book #9, annotated by myself in 2012 with speculative locations

Now, thanks to the glimpses of the "new" map that Jon has shown us in his video, I see that I was basically correct in the locations for Blackmoor, the Egg of Coot, the Duchy of Ten and The Great Kingdom, each of which is named in this map.

While the outlines and geographical features of the "new" Great Kingdom map are not identical to the previous one, they are close enough to roughly transpose the kingdom names back on to the mostly blank original map: 

Great Kingdom Map from Domesday Book #9, annotated with locations from 1971 Great Kingdom Map


-Obviously, many changes were made when this world was later adapted as the World of Greyhawk in 1980, but it is striking how many familiar names appear in familiar locations. 

-Perunland is between the mountains to the northwest of Nir Dyv lake, as with Perrenland in the published Greyhawk map. 

-A Paynim Kingdom is further to the northwest, south of the Far Ocean. In the published Greyhawk this becomes the Plains of the Paynims, south of the Dramidj Ocean.

-The Hold of Iron Hand, north of the Paynim Kingdom on the Great Kingdom map, likely became the Hold of Stonefist. In published Greyhawk it is not anywhere near the Paynims, instead being at the western base of a northwestern peninsula in the same position relative to the Barbarian Kingdoms. Gygax seems to have split the northern areas of his Great Kingdom map, putting the the Hold and the Barbarian kingdoms on a great peninsula to the northeast, and leaving Perrenland, the Paynims and Blackmoor in the northwest.

-A Grand Duchy of Urnst is to the immediate southeast of Nir Dyv lake, as in the published World of Greyhawk. A Kingdom of Catmelun is to the southwest of this, possibly where the Kingdom of Nyrond is in the published version.

-A Grand Duchy of Geoff is to the west near the mountains, as in published Greyhawk.

-Where the City of Greyhawk should be, there's C. of Yerocundy [sp?] and to the west, a Kingdom of Faraz. There is the possibility that these two were combined to form the Kingdom of Furyondy, which in published Greyhawk is to the west of the lake like Faraz.

Interestingly, Andre Norton's 1978 Greyhawk novel, Quag Keep, uses similar but not identical names for two kingdoms:
"We shall have Yerocunby and Faraaz facing us at the border. But then the river will lead us straight into the mountains" (Chapter 6). 

-A Duchy of Maritz [sp?] also appears as an island on the Great Kingdom map. 

Quag Keep further mentions:

"In addition he saw a dozen of these silver, halfmoon circles coined in Faraaz, and two of the mother-of-pearl discs incised with the fierce head of a sea-serpent which came from the island Duchy of Maritiz" (Chapter 3)

This warrants a closer look at the geography mentioned in Quag Keep versus the Great Kingdom map. Andre Norton consulted with Gygax in writing Quag Keep so she possibly saw an earlier version of Greyhawk using these names.

-Neron March (possibly "Nekon") might possibly be a predecessor of "Gran March".

-In the comments Jon mentions Walworth north of the lake and that In published Greyhawk The Shield Lands appear in the same location and are ruled by the Earl of Walworth. In the video, Jon mentions that Gygax was named the Earl of Walworth in Domesday Book #2, and Walworth represents his holdings in the game (and is also the name of the county that Lake Geneva is in, in Wisconsin).

-I left out material from the map in the video that I couldn't read, and several small areas around Blackmoor that don't seem to correspond to anything significant: March Slove, County of Celate and County of Stabilny

-The title of this post references the Foreword to the original D&D Set, also reprinted in Holmes Basic:

"From the map of the "land" of the "Great Kingdom" and environs - the territory of the C&C Society - Dave located a nice bog where to nest the weird enclave of "Blackmoor", a spot between the "Great Kingdom" and the fearsome "Egg of Coot"". 


  1. I hadn't thought to mine Quag Keep for vintage Greyhawk place names, a good intuition.

    One other thing I might point out - do you see that dot, to the northeast of the Duchy of Urnst on your mock-up? It's right at a river delta, below some marshy-looking territories. In the DB #9 map, when you see it full size, that is a typed asterisk, not a hand-drawn dot. It's apparently the location of the castle of the King of the Great Kingdom; in the middle of the Royal Demesne.

  2. IIRC Faraz is part of Rob's writings---it rings bells from Kalibruhn and some of his manuscripts. I've also got a copy of a letter Gary sent to Andre Norton (via Scott from the Acaeum), sendig her some reference materials for Quag Keep---that may be worth comparing.

    Unfortunately I'm heading off to work in CA through next Friday, so it'll have to wait, but when I return I'll do some digging!


  3. I don't know if you're aware of this, but Charles Atkins over at Dyvers Campaign recently posted commentary on the original (1976) Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth adventure. It appears to use names and locations in the map above, like "Perrunland." The treasure is located "in the no man’s land between the Duchy of Geoff and the forsaken Sea of Dust."

    1. Off the top of my head I'd say all of the early TSR modules are based in the proto-World of Greyhawk under discussion here: Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, etc.. An interesting question would be how much these modules drove the further specification of that world.

    2. I guess the only remaining question is...where is the city of Greyhawk on the new map?

    3. Jon said the "new" map is from 1971, so perhaps the Castle/City of Greyhawk did not exist at that point yet? IIRC, the first Greyhawk dungeon was run in 1972. If I were going to use the map in a game I might place Greyhawk City along the south edge of the river coming out of the south end of the lake.

  4. Great stuff!

    I like how an OD&D/Holmes world is taking shape. I had pondered the Domesday Book map since it was first posted, and it's really nice to see that your intuition was correct, as well as the wealth of additional information.

  5. Andre Norton used a few of the names in these maps, like Maritz, Nekon, Faraz & Yerocundy. I always 'just knew' there had to be an unpublished map at the time I first read QK & made the immediate connection to EGG's Greyhawk (this was in 1982 or so), and I made a lot of notes on the changes to include in my own campaign. Thanks for posting this great info.

  6. Just a mention that there is a Terrence of Walworth character in the Blackmoor adventure Garbage Pits of Despair by Dave Arneson. On the Comebackinn forum this has been discussed as a probable reference to Gygax and the C&C society.

  7. In one of the Gord novels, City of Hawks I think, there was a character called Fon-Du-Ling of Faraaz. I always thought it was just some silly wordplay name.

    1. Thanks, I didn't know about that character. Are you sure he appeared in City of Hawks? A quick Google search shows this character appears in Quag Keep.

  8. I know i am late to the party here. I some how came back to this last night and stared at this map way too long.
    I was wondering have anyone done a hexmap of this or a color copy.

    1. That would be awesome, but I haven't seen anything like that.

  9. Has anyone done this in a color map like the Darlene Greyhawk map?

  10. That would be a fun project, Adrian. Might be time to break out my Prismacolors! :D


  11. Rather belatedly, here's the map I drew last year inspired by Adrian's suggestion above: