A year ago I got the terrible news from Suzanne that Greg passed away. It seems fitting that I’ve been spending this week reconstructing his old master maps of Glorantha – some of which were lost, some of which were never finished. Among his many talents, Greg was an amazing cartographer – his maps of Arthurian Britain are simply works of art.His maps were often the basis of his stories. He’d draw a map and then look at how it fits together. The myths and stories underlay the setting, but usually the maps came first.
So here is a reconstruction of his map of Tarsh. He water painted the back of his originals but I am reluctant to do so at this time.
That’s part of the reason Glorantha or King Arthur Pendragon feels so real. Greg worked out spatial relationships very early in the creative process. The broad contour setting usually came first – and then came the stories to fill it up.
It does raise the question for me whether the Lunars have north up or south? Their maps are of course centered on the Crater – but which way does it look? Towards the Valind’s Glacier? Or towards Dragon Pass?
Pre-Lunar maps would be centered on Raibanth of course. Raibanth is to the southeast of Glamour. Not very far.
But more than anything, that helps me visualise the Red Emperor as ruler of almost everything he sees. From atop the Crater he can see through the haze but then sees the Rebel God in the distance. It must be maddening. He is so far away that he is barely a blue speck, but he refuses to scrape and bow to the Lord of the Middle World.
Most of the time the Red Emperor has more important things to deal with closer to home. Nomad hordes, Mad Sultans, rebellions, harvests, irrigation systems, heron dances, court intrigue, Dart Wars, etc. But one day – ONE DAY mark you – he’ll wipe that smile off that blue bastard’s face.
And of course the followup image is that of a 2 cm long dragon spiralling around Kero Fin! YIKES! Thankfully the Red Emperor stopped the Dragon from coming here!
Here’s an old post of mine that helps with a sense of scale:
But by the time you get to Dragon Pass, that influence from the Lunar Heartlands is largely dissipated. There’s a much richer, and much nearer source of influence on Dragon Pass. But that will have to wait until I am finished with the fourth map of the series.