Gazetteer – 00 – Introduction
The World of Atlas is an open source, OGL world that anyone can use for personal or commercial use. The world strongly favors the Mediterranean Sea and its environs in both map and feel, but there is a strong myth behind this world that does not parallel ours and provides plenty of mystery for even the most learned historian players. From the raksha race of cat people in Abel to the sky watching astrologers of Magi to the Elven Kings of Amont and Tarabelle, the world provides great wealth, intrigue, and danger for even the most jaded adventurer.
The reason for the strong parallel to what is familiar is a technique used ably by Robert E. Howard when writing Conan stories for Weird Tales. He knew he was writing short stories and didn’t have a lot of time for world building in such a truncated medium. The magazine was also read like pulp novels and you needed a story to grab your reader quickly, put them in a place they understand, and get on with the adventure with as little need for assimilation of setting as possible. For lack of an established term, we call this technique Myth Fusion.
James Maliszewski wrote a great blog post about this very topic (Myth Fusion) in 2008 which we link here. (http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2008/06/hail-hyboria.html)
The impetus for this kind of open source world is fairly straightforward. I grew up playing in some fabulous Greyhawk campaigns. There was a lot of great original work created by my group’s GMs. From Bloodcore, the Bakluni stronghold sealed since before the Rain of Colorless Fire, to the Grand Empire forged on the lands of the Great Kingdom when a son of Hell claimed the Malachite Throne with an army of dragon riders. None of these great adventures can be published for others to read or play due intellectual property rights. With the World of Atlas, no one will have that problem.
We are creating webseries (Dangers of Daggermore, Drow Ballet), adventures (The Blade of a Guillotine, Foggy Mountain Beatdown, Suponez’s Apprentice), source material (this book), and tools (Adventure Board and Adventure Workbook) to integrate with this world. You can do the same and we encourage you to do so. Any content appearing in this book is free to use. We will produce a logo soon that you can add to your cover if you want.
We reserve the right to mention your work in future source materials including mentioning characters, artifacts, and monsters that you may create. That said, we will not reprint your art. The reason we mention this is if someone writes something as good as the Tomb of Horrors with a cool history featuring Acerak and we see how to incorporate that into deepening of both the mythology and the history of the World of Atlas, we’d like to do so.