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FR10 Old Empires (2e)


This booklet presents the Old Empires for DMs and players alike. Descriptions of all the major cities and towns, maps of the most important ones, information of the people, places, economics, geography, and cultures of these countries, are within these pages.

Prepare, then, to enter the realms of god-kings and pharaohs, of strange magic unknown even to the likes of the Red Wizards of Thay. These are the Old Empires.

Product History

FR10: "Old Empires" (1990), by Scott Bennie, is the tenth book in the "FR" series of sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms. It was released in February 1990.

Continuing the "FR" Sourcebooks. "Old Empires" is another geographical sourceobook — as was the case with the majority of the "FR" series, which had been running since 1987. However, it varied the standard geographical format in two ways. First, it covered three different kingdoms, something that had also been done in FR3: "Empires of the Sands" (1988). Second, it was extra large at 96 pages, where the traditional size of a "FR" book was 64 pages.

Expanding the Realms. "Old Empires" extensively details three of the oldest kingdoms in the Forgotten Realms: Mulhorand, Unther, and Chessenta.

Mulhorand is probably the best-remembered kingdom from this supplement because it's an evocative Egyptian-themed kingdom. This was actually the second Egyptian kingdom found in the Realms, following Tracy Hickman's I3-5: Desert of Desolation (1987). The Desert was actually not a part of Greenwood's original Realms, but instead was one of several existing landscapes that was shoe-horned into TSR's new setting.

To account for the fact that there were now two Egypts in the Realms, "Old Empires" touches upon how the Desert of Desolation was created by wars with the gods of the Mulhorand and Unther pantheons. Those peoples were then forced to migrate south, where they'd form the Old Empires.

The focus on the Egyptian gods of Mulhorand is also somewhat different from what was seen in Desert of Desolation. That's because Greenwood originally created Mulhorand as somewhere that adventurers could fight with "bald-headed priestesses of Set". As a result, the pantheon of Mulhorand is Set-centric.

The other two countries of "Old Empires" are also based on Earth analogues. Unther is Babylon (more or less) while Chessenta is Greece.

Monsters of Note. Several new monsters are introduced in "Old Empires", the most important of which is the brown dragon (or desert dragon). Not only does the brown dragon fill in one of the missing shades in the chromatic color wheel, but it's also a monster that's reappeared many times over the years.

Future History. "Old Empires" remained the prime source on these three countries throughout the 2e period. More recently, Lost Empires of Faerûn (2005) provided some updated details on Mulhorand and Unther in one of its chapters.

About the Creators. Bennie wrote extensively for TSR starting in 1988, focusing on AD&D and Marvel Super Heroes. Around the same time he also contributed to DLR1: "Otherlands" for D&D.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and 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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Matthew U April 20, 2023 6:18 pm UTC
How is this not available in POD yet?
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POD please
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This title was added to our catalog on July 22, 2014.