X11: Blackheart (?)



Aug 08, 2006 7:47:07
Shane's thread on the vapourware Islandia campaign setting got me thinking, so I visited the Acaeum link he so thoughtfully provided. I noticed, way at the bottom, a little blurb indicating that the code X11 was originally to have gone to a module entitled "Blackheart", but was later assigned to "Saga of the Shadow Lord".

Now, I doubt that this would have had anything to do with the Alphatian kingdom of Blackheart, as DotE came several years later, but has anyone here (Bruce?) heard of this rumoured module? If not, would anyone care to speculate as to what it might have been about?



Aug 08, 2006 10:15:10
In the Acaeum site you may also find a list of the TSR products (it is here http://www.acaeum.com/tsr_stock.doc).
"Blackheart" was planned with the 9161 product code, but it was never released:

9157 XS2 Thunderdelve Mountain
9158 CM6 Where Chaos Reigns
9159 M1 Into the Maelstrom
9160 X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield
9161 Blackheart (never published)
9162 Lankhmar City of Adventure
9163 N3 Destiny of Kings
9164 OA1 Swords of the Daimyo
9165 X11 Saga of the Shadow Lord
9166 CM7 Tree of Life

I suppose that the product codes are chronologically ordered, so "Blackheart" should be contemporary to the M1 and X10 modules.
This would mean that some adventures involving Alphatia were already developed (the Norwold part of the CM series and the M1 module), so it is possible that "Blackheart" may refer to the Alphatian kingdom itself .

I guess why the X11 module did not take the 9161 product code and took the 9165 instead. Maybe was the "Blackheart" module well in planning/designing when it was abandoned?

To my knowledge, the kingodm of Blackheart is explicitly described in two adventures (except for DotE): the "Heart of darkness" adventure in PC3 and the prologue of "Son of Dawn" Mystaran novel (where it is described a mage fight in Castle Qain and it is introduced the evil Blackheart's mage Struth the Shaker).
The DotE set describes an Alphatian Expert adventure called "Shraek in the night" which is set in the kingdom of Blackheart. It's a little bit more detailed than the other adventure plots described in the module, so it maybe has something to do with the planned module. Of course, this is just my personal speculation.