Back in the day, Wintertree's most popular non-TableMaster product was a package of fonts called Arcane Alphabets. It consisted of several dozen fonts covering a wide variety of historical and fantasy alphabets, and included a manual with information on their backgrounds. It's back!

A new version of Arcane Alphabets will be released at GnomeCon, the first weekend of March 2017. Some of the old fonts were removed for legal reasons (specifically, back when Arcane Alphabets was new, Lord of the Rings was just some books and nobody cared about a couple of fonts; now it's a multi-billion-dollar property and the owners very much care), and some for aesthetic reasons (I'm sorry about DarkElf, really I am). They will be replaced, however; Arcane Alphabets has been substantially expanded. Some of the new ones include fonts for Sabaean and Lycian, two interesting ancient alphabets; the secret alphabet of the Vehmgericht from the Holy Roman Empire; a set of orcish petroglyphs created by Wintertree, and more.

This includes several fonts from the old Mapographer, a font package that was not nearly as popular as Arcane Alphabets, probably because even back then, nobody felt a burning need to draw maps in their word processor. Specifically, the new Arcane Alphabets will have the Dark City silhouette font, InstaGraph, and InstaHex, plus a font containing the map symbols that might come in handy in other programs. There will also be two cipher fonts, one for Edgar Allan Poe's "Gold Bug" cipher and one for one of the many variants of the Pigpen cipher, as a preview of a planned Cryptic Ciphers package. In addition, a handy little program called Text Jiggler will be included, which makes it easy to convert text to random upper/lowercase for use with fonts that have variant characters in one case or the other, reverse text for use with right-to-left writing, etc.

All of the fonts will be overhauled and revised, both to update them for modern operating systems and to rectify various issues that have been discovered over the decades. Dark City has been expanded with new buildings and a "blackout" version. Glyphic now has over two dozen determinatives, and the letters have been redrawn and, in some cases, rearranged. InstaHex will be substantially expanded to allow for dotted-line hexes, various types of borders, etc. Being able to print your own custom graph or hex paper in any size you want is always a useful thing.

The Arcane Alphabets revision is due to be released at GnomeCon in Savannah, GA, on March 3 and will be available here in the online store on March 6. Meanwhile, here's the old version of InstaHex, updated.

The quick usage guide: Capital letters produce hex patterns without borders, lower-case letters include borders. abbbc/efffg/ijjjk is the basic layout of a hex page (with the b, f, and j repeated as many times as needed, of course). Additionally, d, h, and l are hex edges to fill out the right side, if needed. The nubers provide compass roses, 1-5 taking up space normally and 6-0 being copies with a width of zero so you can overlay them on other things (like your new hex paper). As it did in the past, the real thing (when available) will come with a complete explanation and examples.

Download instahex.ttf.