When I was a young teen and first introduced to Dungeons and Dragons by a friend one of the things that attracted me were the gazetteers – guides to make believe worlds. When I started writing The Dragon Star I had only thought about including a map or two. Then as I considered the book more, I decided on a Miscellany rather than a glossary. (I’ll write more about that later).
It wasn’t until I was well into finalizing the last edit that I decided that the maps didn’t help orient the reader well enough. I looked at the 130,000+ words of notes for Realms of Shadow and Grace and tried to figure out how I could compress the useful bits of the notes into something that would help readers understand the world the story was taking place in – how to guide them through Onaia. That is when I remember the D&D gazetteers of my youth.
I tried to keep it simple – a few categories for each entry. An entry for each realm, and one for each dominion of the Iron Realm. And to make it a little more interesting – tell more stories – I added comments from the notes of a character who is only mentioned in passing by one of the other characters, and related to a second. I liked the way it resonated with the theme of interconnectedness that is at the heart of the story. Hopefully readers will find it useful and entertaining.
You can check out two excerpts from the Onaia Gazetteer on the Maps Page.