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by AllanP from Threshold Magazine issue 21

Why don’t we write a Mystara City Book?”

Much of the content for this issue is derived from material that was collected in a topic thread in the Piazza’s Mystara Forum beginning some 10 years ago. Håvard asked what Mystara City Books (citing the vapourware DCr1, DCr2 & DCr3 products from Bruce Heard's 1991 Mystara Reference Guide) would fans like to see, and somehow out of this Giampaolo Agosta (Agathokles) and Allan Palmer (AllanP) found ourselves propelling this forward within the forum. One of the initial developments was Agathokles’ detailed heraldry and patrons for the city districts, and Brendan Corliss then produced images for most of the coats of arms.

Over the next 5 years or so, various people (including James Mishler, Ville Lahde, yellodingo, Spellweaver, and Hugin to name just a few) added comments and ideas to our postings. Agathokles’ encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Mystara was able to identify a host of NPCs and locations. AllanP started to sketch a more detailed map of the city using the city map from GAZ1 as the template, and Agathokles kept finding locales to place on it! And raiding the Vaults of Pandius uncovered more sources that would further develop the detail of the city and its background. The aim was to create a fan supplemen, inspired by the unproduced “Dcr1”t: (FC1) Fantasy City #1: Specularum, and over time draft chapters of this planned tome began to appear via the Piazza forum.

The project went into abeyance in 2013 as Threshold Magazine burst into life, and as members of the Editorial Team, Agathokles and AllanP found ourselves busy with putting together the issues. At one point during the course of planning future issues, the Editorial Team discussed the idea of a “back up” or “inventory” issue that could be pulled off the shelf (as it were), in case a planned issue hit problems. One suggestion for an inventory issue theme was Specularum -publishing much of the material that we had accumulated for the “City Book” project.

That “inventory” issue has been tentatively penciled in a couple of times, but now the time has come - the earlier pieces have been reviewed, revised, re-edited and extra material has been created to produce this current issue of Threshold.
Walk with us now through the streets of Specularum… but watch iut, you never who (or what) you might encounter!!

Giampaolo Agosta (Agathokles)

Allan Palmer (AllanP)

Issue #21 Joint Editors-in-Chief