Kender keep wandering off with our maps, but this time we've caught up with them! Straight from the pouch of the legendary Tasslehoff Burrfoot (the original), we present a collection of a dozen maps set in the Age of Mortals. The collection starts with a full-sized poster map of Ansalon, continues with regional and location maps, and concludes with a pair of "kender"-style maps drawn by the irrepressible adventurer himself. The maps are sure to please fans of the novels and serve as a vital resource for game play!
"Tasslehoff's Map Pouch: The Age of Mortals" (2005), by Sean Macdonald, is a gaming accessory produced by Sovereign Press for the Dragonlance 3e RPG line. It was published in March 2005.
About the Cover. Each of the three Map Pouches shows Tasslehoff at a different age. "Age of Mortals" pictures the oldest Tasslehoff, no longer carrying his trademark hoopak.
Introducing the Map Pouches. Sean Macdonald didn't plan to become a roleplaying cartographer; instead, he started out as an internet programmer and website designer. However, he was also a Dragonlance fan. The combination of these interests led him to create the Kencyclopedia web site and later become a member of the Whitestone Council of the Dragonlance Nexus.
Dragonlance also led Macdonald to attend Gen Con, after a few of its books were nominated for ENnies. He was impressed by the cartography that was up for awards — and quickly realized that these maps were created by the same software that he used for his website designs. As soon as Macdonald got home, he began work on a map of the city of Flotsam. He showed that map to Jamie Chambers, who hired him on as a Dragonlance cartographer.
The three Tasslehoff's Map Pouches, starting with "The Age of Mortals", are all imbued with Macdonald's artistic vision. Many of them are based on existing references, but he gives them a unique spin. Macdonald believes that maps should tell a story and be full of visual detail. If anything was unimportant, it was the exact measurements (though Macdonald's maps remain as accurate as possible). All of this is on display in the three Map Pouch releases (2005-2007).
This was not the first cartographic look at the Dragonlance world. Most of the major Dragonlance sourcebooks contained large-scale maps, while two in particular were quite well-loved. The Atlas of the Dragonlance World (1987) was the previous gold standard of cartography for fans of the novels, while RPG players loved to hang the big map from Tales of the Lance (1992) on their walls. TSR had also produced a small foldout Krynn map: TM3: "The World of Krynn Trail Map" (1989).
Expanding Krynn. "Age of Mortals" contains maps of numerous locations across "modern-day" Krynn:
- Ansalon. A pair of maps depicting all of Ansalon provided the first in-depth look at the continent following the War of Souls. The poster map is notable because it's also the first official recognition of Adlatum, a new continent that lies "to the west" of Ansalon. At the time, Adlatum was being created by a group of fans, who would eventually release a massive 300-page PDF: Adlatum (2008).
- Citadel of Light. Once the home of the mystics in the Fifth Age, now rebuilt as a home to mystics and clerics alike. The locale premiered in The Dawning of a New Age (1996) novel and had previously been detailed in the SAGA book The Citadel of Light (1998).
- Darkling Hall. An largely undeveloped location. It first appeared on the map from Tales of the Lance (1992) and received a paragraph of description in War of the Lance (2004). It was intended as a "blank land" for GMs to explore on their own.
- The Desolation. Malystryx ruined Goodlund and Kendermore when she came to Krynn in the "Dragons of a New Age" trilogy (1996-1998). This is what was left. The map is credited to Kronn Thistleknot and is overall a nice tie-in to the adventure Key of Destiny (2004), which is partly set in this area and which guest stars Kronn.
- Nalis Aren, The Lake of Death. The new lake formed over the ruins of Qualinost after Beryllinthranox was killed in Dragons of a Lost Star (2001). It also appears in about half of the eponymous novel, The Lake of Death (2004).
- Sanction. Introduced as an evil "city of doom" in DL9: "Dragons of Deceit" (1985). It became an independent city in the early Age of Mortals, as detailed in The Clandestine Circle (2000), and was taken over by the Solamnic Knights after the War of Souls as synposized in Lord of the Rose (2005).
- Solace. The township where the Dragonlance Chronicles began in DL1: "Dragons of Despair" (1984). The site of the Inn of the Last Home and after Dragons of Summer Flame (1995), also the location of the Tomb of the Last Heroes.
- Solanthus. The former capitol of Solamnia. It appears briefly in DL8: "Dragons of War" (1985) and has been a constant presence in the novels and RPG supplements ever since. In the Age of Mortals, it was a flashpoint for the War of Souls (2000-2002).
- Storm's Keep. An island keep that was crucial to the founding of the Knights of Takhisis, beginning in Dragonlance: The Second Generation (1994). Later, the home of Ausric Krell in Margaret Weis' Amber novels (2004-2008).
- Teyr. This draconian-led city that was settled in the second Kang's Regiment novel, Draconian Measures (2000).
- Tower of High Sorcery: Wayreth. The only original Tower of High Sorcery surviving into the Age of Mortals. It was first alluded to in "Test of the Twins" in Dragon #83 (March 1984) and was referred to by name in the Dragonlance Chronicles (1984-1985) and early supplements like DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985). It had previously been detailed in The Last Tower: The Legacy of Raistlin (1997) and Sovereign's own Towers of High Sorcery (2004).
About the Creators. Macdonald is a fantasy cartography. The production of "Tasslehoff's Map Pouch: The Age of Mortals" actually predates his professional emergence as a cartographer in 2006. He continues to maintain kender information on the Kencylopedia.
About the Product Historian
This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.