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Gods & Monsters news and old-school gaming notes.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

New, improved Vale of the Azure Sun!

Jerry Stratton, September 1, 2014

Vale of the Azure Sun

Fields of blue by hills of stone,
Sky bright green on a sparkling dome.
Clouds of wispy yellow foam,
In the Vale of the Azure Sun.

I just uploaded the new version of The Vale of the Azure Sun. The accompanying PDF now has a table of contents as well as some links between content. And of course is in the new 9x7 format. Maps are integrated into the text, and, most importantly, maps are now in Inkscape SVG format instead of AppleWorks. This is the last of the AppleWorks map sets. The later adventures, even though they use the old Word format, at least have Inkscape and Scribus resource files. Because of that, both Helter Skelter and House of Lisport should be easier to get into the new Nisus format.

The Valley of the Blue Sun/Vale of the Azure Sun is one of my very earliest adventures. I wrote it back when I played the 1981 Purple Box version of Basic Dungeons & Dragons. That box came with Module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands. It’s hard to imagine a better adventure to train new dungeon masters on. I was especially fascinated by the Mad Hermit domiciled in a “huge hollow oak”. I decided that the hermit was the guardian of a wild and crazy—and dangerous—world. Back then it was, literally, an underground valley, tricked out with strange plants but not an actual other world. The dragon at the center of the caverns was a huge creature who really had no way of getting in or out of his lair.

Basic D&D

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

This may have been my first adventure, and throughout my limited Basic/Expert tenure, I continually revisited it, because it was part of the Keep.

When I was looking for a change of pace after Lost Castle of the Astronomers and Haunted Illustrious Castle, I remembered the old valley, pulled out my ancient tractor feed notes, and decided that it fit Gods & Monsters even better than it fit D&D. Dragons are more subtle, and I’d already been thinking about sorcerous pocket worlds because of Merle Davenport’s Magic Garden and Grant Morrison’s Danny the Street.

  1. <- New Haunted Castle
  2. Dwimmermount ->