Thursday, August 20, 2009

From the papers of Professor Ignalius Potchkins.

For ages cartography in the Lands has been much more art than science. As a rule, modern sailors—their attentions turned toward profit rather than exploration—content themselves with obsolete maps, filling in whatever gaps that may exist in the guidance offered by their charts with anecdotal knowledge and other lore.

Among the most legendary mapmakers is Farbdonnel Erlonis, renown not for his skill but his gross and often comical inaccuracy. Indeed, Erlonis was murdered by one of his own customers, a merchant captain who lost more than half his fleet due his reliance on the maps he'd purchased—even though it reportedly took the enraged captain years to find his way back to the Lands to exact his revenge.

Featured here is one such Erlonis map, on loan from a private collector. Note the misplacement of forests and mountain ranges, the absence of key island groups, and even the misspelling of "Lyrria" itself.

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