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Jonril: Gateway to the Sunken Lands (1982)

Jonril: Gateway to the Sunken Lands (1982) is another settlement in the same world as Carse and Tulan of the Isles. It is far inland and has a bit more of a frontier feel than the others. There aren’t a lot of surprises here in terms of the city itself, but we do get quite a bit more history and detail on the wider region. That’s because the titular Sunken Lands are a vast wasteland created in a magical accident, ripe for exploration. Much of the economy of the town is arranged around expeditions into the Sunken Lands.

That was more thoroughly covered in Heart of the Sunken Lands, which is essentially a big wilderness campaign — I unfortunately don’t own it (but if you do and you don’t want it anymore, lemme know!). I’m kind of dying to see how Midkemia handled a hex crawl!

Unfortunately, Jonril didn’t get the Chaosium treatment, which seems like a missed opportunity. This book uses elements that make it explicitly compatible with Flying Buffalo’s first Citybook, though, which I think is an interesting RPG city synergy. I also really enjoy this Richard Baker cover.

Finally, a quirk of my copy: the previous owner scrawled the word “Dead” in pencil over a number of entries. There are a lot of them, and most of them just details shops and shopkeepers, which makes me a little concerned for the moral compass of those long-ago characters.

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