Licensed But Never Published Manuscripts
As many of you know, Talislanta has been though many publishers. Over the past few years, there were several manuscripts created for publication that unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, never actually saw print.
This is a collection of those works. It must be said that these manuscripts are in various stages of production. Several of them are entirely complete and only lack the fancy stuff that makes a manuscript a book: artwork, borders, page numbers, maps, and the like. Others are still somewhat raw, with sections unfinished and unedited. For that we beg your indulgence and your forgiveness. This collection of authors all originally produced these works with the anticipation of being paid for their effort; in most cases, when payment was unforthcoming, work ceased as they moved on to other things that would pay their bills. All of these works have been donated to us, free of charge, for you to enjoy.
It is hoped that in the future, we might be able to revisit these pieces again to edit, add artwork, and format them in a manner so that they truly look like Talislanta products. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy them and find a place for them in your own Talislanta games. If you would like to know more about these books we highly recommend you take a look at this interview with Doug, project coordinator and the man who ultimately, through curiosity, made all of this possible.
The Authors of Lost Books
Friedrich Ulf Roehrer-Ertl, author of Werewood
My name is Friedrich Ulf Roehrer-Ertl. I have played Talislanta for almost twenty years, starting back in the early nineties when a friend of mine managed to get his hands on the second edition. And even though I have tried many other RPGs as well, SMS’ vision has always been one of my favorites. My first character in Talislanta was a Gnorl going under the name of “Gnorlo Rhabdomo Jr.” (well, I WAS a kid then…).
I have played a wide array of characters ever since (with the exception of elves, of course), but all the time I have retained a special soft spot for Werewood and its inhabitants. So, when I had the chance to write a Regional Guide about Werewood for the previous publisher, I gladly joined in and, with the help of my friends and family, managed to put together a manuscript right in the midst of my university exams.
But then it was never published… a sad thing to me. Unfortunately I had to practically give up gaming some time ago. Therefore, I am especially glad that my manuscript – raw and unpolished as it may be – can now be of use to you Talislanta Fans all over the world. Enjoy!
John Steele, author of Wilderlands Adventure and Rise of the Rasmirin
John Steele authored Wilderlands Adventure and Rise of the Rasmirin, loved Talislanta since 1987 for its simple system and amazing setting. John says, “No I’m really not a Torquaran necromancer or Black Savant returned from beyond, I swear, really…”
Desi Conrad, author of Seven Kingdoms
Desi Conrad (nicknamed “Jaka-Lover” by her husband) is a long time gamer and fan of Talislanta who got her dream come true when she was given the opportunity to write for the same game. She took the Seven Kingdoms turned them on their head and spun it around a few times, and what you see is the result. She’s pretty sure she isn’t an evil Torquaran Necromancer, but her husband and kids would beg to differ at times. Most of all, she’s just glad that she had a chance to write for Talislanta.
Matthew Webber, author of The Festival of the Bizarre
Like many old-school fans, I discovered Talislanta through the classic “No Elves” ads and a positive review in Dragon Magazine. Immediately picking up a copy of The Chronicles of Talislanta, I became an ardent and lifelong fan. In 2005, I was lucky enough to contribute, in my own small way, to the Talislanta canon by writing The Weight of Water adventure module. The Thaecian Isles; Festival of the Bizarre was written shortly after and had been submitted for publishing. Though it never made it to hardcopy, I am very pleased that it can now be shared by other Talislanta fans.
In the meantime, my Talislanta books were some of the few RPG books that made the trip east to Nova Scotia Canada where I now live with two grumpy huskies, two dim-witted but well-meaning cats, and a perpetually patient spouse.
Anthony Herring, author of Volcanic Hills
In the late 80’s through early 90’s, Anthony (Tony) Herring worked full-time as a freelance game designer and writer. Inspired by the first edition Talislanta books, Tony contacted Stephan Sechi and was then accepted into a group of freelance writers led by William Armintrout. This led to Tony’s first publication, The Cyclopedia Talislanta Vol. VI, the Desert Kingdoms. Over the next few years, Tony went on to write for Bard Games, TSR, GDW, and White Wolf.
Currently, Tony lives with his wife, Christine, whom he has adored since early childhood. Together they spend much of their time with a menagerie of two dogs, three cats, and three horses. Although he still writes as a hobby, Tony’s career path has led him into Information Technology as the lead of a team of developers at Indiana University.
Bart Savenije, author of The Underground Highway
Picked up an rpg rulebook back in his college days just because the cover art was beautiful and he was curious to try out a new game. This was 2nd ed Talislanta. After college he moved house, lost the rulebook, took up a career instead and nearly forgot about roleplaying. A new group of gamers in a new town were the spark that relit the flame. Once he got his hands on the Big Blue Book, the group ventured all over the world of Talislanta and even into the Midnight Realm as different characters in various self-written minicampaigns.
Having contibuted in minor ways to other rpg books, he jumped at the challenge to write a sourcebook on the Underground Highway for Talislanta. It was fun to write a world-spanning book that had to take into account every underground detail mentioned in any of the published Talislanta sourcebooks. The Underground Highway remains unfinished and is inevitably not matched with the information provided in any of the other unpublished books, but the author wishes anyone daring to go below the surface of Talislanta an interesting journey.
Bonnie Steele, author of Retribution
Bonnie was introduced to Talislanta by her ex-husband. She found the whole setting intriguing and so different. Talislanta was one of her first experiences in running a game. Since that time, She has spent innumerable hours coming up with diabolical new ways to terrify her player characters. Currently, she maintains her own writing blog, attends Texas State University full time in pursuit of her English degree, and runs a cross-over DnD 2E/Talislanta 4th ed. game, while writing short stories and raising her teenage child.
Douglas Bramlett, author of Deadwood, Jhangara, and Celadon
Author of The Northern Reaches, one of the first expanded regional books for Talislanta in years, Douglas followed Talislanta from the days of its publication by Bard Games. A freelance writer by night and currently a librarian by day, he finds the world of Talislanta a rich and wonderful place to create a variety of stories of different styles and genres. An avid supporter of the game for years, he was pleased to be able to contribute to the game’s published, and now unpublished, works.
Editing, Layout, & Cartography of Lost Books
We would like to extend a special thanks to Paul Cunningham who is the only reason these PDF’s look as professional as they do. Paul has been handed a digital pile of text and doc files. These files are a manuscript in its rawest form and without Paul’s expertise, volunteered time and services, and eye for quality these PDF’s would not be possible. Be sure to extend your thanks by leaving comments on the dozen or so news articles that will be dotting the site over the next few months.
The Lost Books of Talislanta
|Book #2: The Underground Highway|
|Download PDF (8.69 MB)|
|What is known today as the Underground Highway is the result of millennia of forces of nature, magic and hard labour working their ways through Talislantan soil. Traversing it is like wandering through a history book. The legendary Underground Highway from Phandril to Golarin and the one travelled today below the Seven Kingdoms mysteriously mix with the burrows of the legendary Urkra and the eroded streams of the Western Waterways. This amalgam of different origins of spaces in a myriad of geological layers makes the Underground Highway as colourful as life under the twin suns.|
|Pages 80||Type Sourcebook||Released Oct 29 2010||Author Bart Savenije|
|Book #4: Jhangara|
|Download PDF (2.54 MB)|
|It is simple to say that Jhangara is a swampy land surrounded by twin forks of the Axis River and the Azure Ocean. Perhaps too simple. For most foreigners however, that is all that they see and therefore all that they report of this savage land. But, to its native inhabitants the Land Between the River is full of different regions, all coexisting with a sense of balance. The exact origins of the Jhangarans are lost to time. They are often seen as primitive savages by the rest of modern Talislantans. While in some aspects this is true, the Jhangarans are still heirs to a culture that goes back several centuries, if not millennia. This book explores the history, landscape, flora and fauna, and secrets of this inhospitable southern land.|
|Pages 43||Type Sourcebook||Released Jun 02 2010||Author Douglas Bramlett|
|Book 6: Rise Of The Rasmirin|
|Download PDF (2.69 MB)|
|The Rasmirin have stolen a powerful artifact, slaughtered many, and left a swath of devastation in their wake. Now they flee with their ill-gotten gains, and you are the only ones close enough to run these anarchists down. It will likely be very cold, as they are running towards the north, the Lost Sea, or maybe even Narandu. You will need supplies, but also to travel light. The Rasmirins are known to be ruthless mages of dangerous power, so take care that the hunter does not become the prey. They have a couple of days head start, but even Silvermanes tire.|
|Pages 58||Type Adventure||Released Jun 09 2010||Author John Steele|
|Book 7: To Ride With Giants|
|Download PDF (2.69 MB)|
|A grand journey across the wastelands, starting in Akmir, then traveling to the Hadjin Ruins, next to the Library at Jalaad, and finally to the Kharakhan Ruins. A quest for something lost, something Archaen, something very valuable in a practical sense. This journey will familiarize the intrepid with much of the Wilderlands landscape, and provide plenty of opportunities to tempt those who might waver from the path.|
|Pages 47||Type Adventure||Released Nov 17 2020||Author John Steele|
|Book 8: The Volcanic Hills|
|Download PDF (2.17 MB)|
|The Volcanic Hills are one of the most desolate and forlorn sectors of Talislanta. It’s terrain is tortuous, rising and falling in twisted mounds of pitted pumice-stone, angular peaks, and deep ravines. Clouds of smoke and ash, by-products of the area’s considerable volcanic activity, blot out the sun for miles around. Streams of molten lava pose hazards to all but the most adroit travelers, and the air reeks of sulphurous fumes. Few living creatures dwell here, and those that do are of a nature akin to the hostile environment.|
|Pages 61||Type Regional Guide||Released Jun 12 2015||Author Anthony Herring|