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Out of the Suitcase #6: Maps and Legends

Posted by Michael O'Brien on 29th Jan 2021

Chaosium President Rick Meints shares stories from a life-time as a collector of all things Chaosium

I was sorting through some things when I came across these original maps from 1979. Drawn by William Church, they debuted in the 2nd edition RuneQuest Rulebook. For years they were tacked up on Greg's office wall and slowly suffered decay and exposure to the elements. The lettering may look odd because it was done with Letraset dry transfer letters, one letter at a time.

I find the place names on the map noteworthy because Greg rewarded many of his White Bear & Red Moon playtesters with the honor of naming a place on the map. Other place names were also made up from rather quirky origins. Greg and I chatted about them a few years ago and I thought you might find them of interest:

  • Biggle Stone - Clint Bigglestone, one of his playtesters.
  • LACA - Los Angeles, California "city of brown air".
  • Cam's Well - Greg's wife Cam Stafford.
  • Corflu - correction fluid, aka Tippex, or White-Out.
  • Duckpoint - compromise with Brian Crist requesting Duckburg (for the story of that see Out of the Suitcase #2: Ducks, Ducks, and more Ducks).
  • Tourney Altar - Art and Ray Turney (RuneQuest authors).
  • Wilm's Church - William Church (cartographer/artist).
  • Nochet - when one of his players asked if a certain location had a name yet, Greg pointed at the unnamed city and said "not yet".
  • Swenstown - Steve Swenston, artist.
  • Hendrikei - Hendrik Pfeifer, one of his playtesters.
  • Jansholm - Ian Pfeiffer, who taught Greg to play D&D.
  • Tada's High Tumulus - Tadashi Ehara (early Chaoium staffer, and editor/publisher of Different Worlds magazine)
  • Pimper's Block - Jeff Pimper (All the Worlds Monsters author).
  • Hender's Ruins - Steve Henderson (RuneQuest author).
  • Jonstown - Bill Johnson (WB&RM editor).
  • Rory's Well - Rory Root, playtester and comic store owner.
  • Pairing Stone - Steve Perrin.

nb Greg also made it clear that Prax is NOT a Seuss reference.

Get your own copy of the William Church Maps!

dragon pass and prax map

William Church's instantly memorable and evocative Gloranthan cartography is available singly (Dragon Pass and Prax) and combined as one map, at the Chaosium Redbubble store. These maps come in various formats including rolled posters. Our Redbubble store features assorted other Gloranthan and Call of Cthulhu cartography too!

RQ Classic edition

William Church's Dragon Pass - Prax map also features in RuneQuest Classic (RQ 2nd edition), available in hardback, POD softcover, and PDF.