1. Eric Anondson
    3 January 2016 @ 12:01 pm

    The tilt to the Savage Coast is so interesting. It must have been done intentionally to get the coast as “horizontal” to the paper as could be aesthetically possible.


    • Thorfinn Tait
      3 January 2016 @ 4:43 pm

      That, or to fit more on in the corners — meaning, the Arm of the Immortals and the Serpent Peninsula. As it is, they “cheated” and added in parts of the Serpent Peninsula that shouldn’t be there, moving them so that they fit on the map.

  2. Joseph Triplett
    3 January 2016 @ 2:09 pm

    That is a lot of research, Thorf. Way to go in trackin down and using all these sources!
    It IS amazing that the large continental map is fitting, even with the “skewing,” as you said. There were so many products going on during the 80’s and beyond. That so much fits together is credit to Bruce.
    But it’s not like there was a huge dedicated department that was dedicated to keeping all of these things straight, with amazing digital files and technology to along with the files. And, after Bruce left, even less oversight to maintain integrity of Mystara a whole project.


    • Thorfinn Tait
      3 January 2016 @ 4:45 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Joseph. It’s a hard job to keep maps consistent even with today’s technologies. Bruce and the other cartographers had to do it all by hand more or less, so it really is amazing how well things do fit. 🙂

  3. Kilr Kowalski
    3 January 2016 @ 4:40 pm

    I think that the call regarding the great escarpment (as with Carillion’s two different versions Eastern savage coast c and d) is really a preference on which source you prefer.. I am a fan of the Savage Coast and Savage Baronies supplements, so if I had the choice I would choose the latter sources, i.e Carillion’s “c” version. It also matches your savage-coast-central-gulf-of-hule-8.pdf well (although this may be a recursive argument).


    • Thorfinn Tait
      3 January 2016 @ 4:48 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, Kilr. 🙂

      I’m definitely leaning towards using the latter sources. As I’m sure you realised, I changed my mind on this while writing the article; originally I wanted to go with X5, but it turns out that Savage Baronies with a linked up Great Escarpment seems to be the most interesting solution after all.

  4. Carillion
    4 January 2016 @ 10:18 am

    Hello Thorf,

    Some good news – I’ve finally got some free time so I’ll be able to put some hours into giving feedback etc over the next few days!

    Firstly, I really like the Arm of the Immortals map you’ve just done. That was always a map I had considered doing as well, as expanding the map Northwards from the one printed in Dragon Magazine #200, and then combining it with what was shown on the Savage Baronies map always seemed like a logical thing to do. Happily, now that you’ve completed it means that I won’t have to!

    As we seem to agree on the Great Waste area and the Arm of Immortals, this means the only area where we could have a different point of view appears to be the Savage Coast. In order to help matters, I’ve now completed a combination map of my two previous maps of the area, which removes the duplicated crossover area and also ensures that the top border now ties up (previously, one map was detailing an area 1 hex further North than the other one). This new combination map can be found here:


    I had always intended to complete this map previously, but the “lining up the maps” project that you are now working on gave me the motivation to finish it.

    I’ll explain where I got some of the less obvious details from in the next few days (for example, most of the Great Northway section is actually canon material and not my own invention), which will hopefully help you decide how you want to map this area.

    Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to help out with the 72 mile hex map discrepancies, as I know little about them, but I’m hoping I can at least add some extra value to the Savage Coast part of your project.


    Matt (Carillion)


    • Thorfinn Tait
      7 January 2016 @ 12:22 pm

      Unfortunately, I’m back at work since Tuesday, so I have a lot less time to work on this stuff. To compound this, I’ve been working on finishing off some other hex maps, which eats up all the rest of my time.

      Anyhow… Your map looks great. I’m having a bit of trouble getting it to match up with what I have, though. I was expecting the Orc’s Head Peninsula not to line up, but in fact it does, as does Slagovich on the opposite end. The trouble is, most of the middle doesn’t. It looks like it should be shifted one hex to the northwest.

      Could this be a problem of misalignment when adding together all the pieces of the Dungeon 6/7 or X9 maps? There are a number of different ways to do this (and with Bruce’s Voyage of the Princess Ark maps too, if I remember right), but Red Steel‘s maps solidified an official position on which is correct, and this is what my Savage Coast trail map is based on.

      In any case, it’s not a problem for me to realign your map to mine in order to use it as a source to develop the area. You did a far better job than the guy who did Red Steel‘s extra areas! 😉

      Your help in this area is invaluable, Matt. Thanks again!

  5. Carillion
    6 January 2016 @ 8:35 am

    Hello Thorf,

    As promised, I’m now going to summarize where I got my source material for the Great Northway map. Knowing how familiar you are regarding Mystara’s source material, I’m sure you already know most of what I’m about to detail, but I think I should still document it all here for completeness! I would also like to say thank you at this point for continuing with your excellent mapping project, as I know it will be very time consuming for you.

    Firstly, I used the Dungeon Magazine Issues 6 & 7 (DM 6&7) maps as the basic template for the Great Northway region (which is the source I consider to be the most authoritive), and then added further details from the other sources mentioned below, As not all of the details shown on the Savage Baronies map tied up, especially with regards to the river tributaries and the fact that the Dry Flats (see below) are missed of completely, I had to shift some of the locations around a little, and in some cases, disregard the Savage Baronies map entirely.

    Following now is a breakdown by geographical location.

    Salt Flats and the Empty Valley:

    The first thing I should point out here is that a very handy map was created by Bruce Heard which gives some useful details about these regions. This can be viewed here:


    It is from this source that I decided to include a desert region in the top North West part of my map (which I called the “Salt Flats”), as this is what the climate of the region dictates. It also gave the locations of the escarpments that I included next to both the Great Northway River and the Empty Valley. These escarpments were caused by a great earthquake in the region which occurred many centuries ago, which is described in Dungeon Magazine issues 6 & 7 (DM 6&7). The locations shown for the escarpments in Bruce’s map ties up with the notes in DM6&7 so I therefore used them accordingly. The Empty valley is also confirmed to be dry and barren, and full of canyons, so I detailed them in line with this. The Empty valley is also described to be “a scar on the land” in DM 6&7, which I think comes across quite well visually when mapped like this, as it is surrounded by grassland and thus contrasts quite nicely.

    Dry Flats:

    This area was documented in DM 6&7, and is also shown on the atlas map in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (and this atlas map is also shown in the Hollow World boxed set). Unfortunately, on the atlas map, the Dry Flats is placed incorrectly, and is shown to be on the Savage Coast, covering Herath and a few other Kingdoms! However, the maps in DM 6&7 fortunately show us the correct positioning of part of this region, so I used that source. However, the right hand part was not mapped in DM6&7, and so I used Bruce Heard’s map to give me the correct placement. This also works as the Dry Flats stop just short of the area mapped in X5, so it doesn’t conflict with that source.

    Dravya Ruins & the Tortle Mounds:

    Believe it or not, quite a lot of work went into their placement! The fist article on this was done by Lo Zompatore, which can be found here:


    His excellent article led me to try and replicate it on my map, although when using a fully scaled map, Lo Zompatore’s interpretation didn’t always line up, so there are some differences. Some of my notes can be found here:


    Unfortunately, the Vaults of Pandius doesn’t appear to be linking to the correct map at the moment, but it can be found here instead:


    It’s rather spooky how the Tortle Mounds all line up with the Monoliths of Zul, as those Monoliths weren’t even detailed in DM6&7!

    Other locations:

    A number of geographical and settlement locations were mentioned in the DM6&7 article which were not replicated on the accompanying map. These include a few human villages near the Tall Grass Coast, a nomad migration trail across the Dry Flats, various Nomad and Dervish tribes, and some low lying hills in the Dravish Steppes. I added all of these, although the actual placement locations are obviously my own. I also added these fellows onto the map:


    I also added a tortle homelands area, as such a place was hinted at in canon sources, but was never actually placed anywhere on canon maps.

    Other Issues:

    Firstly, the Savage Baronies map changed the savannah grassland on the Tall Grass Coast (and in other areas) to clear/flat terrain, so that map shows no tall grass on the tall grass coast! DM6&7 shows savannah on the coast, which makes more sense, so I disregarded the Savage Baronies map with regards to the type of grassland in this area, and used DM6&7 instead.

    Finally, Zendrolion mentioned once that the Italian Mystara Board discussed DM6&7 in depth and concluded that the actual events described occurred about 800AC (two hundred years ago). Given that the Savage Baronies boxed set describes Richland as a town of about 2,000 individuals, whilst DM6&7 describes it as a small trader outpost, I think this makes a lot of sense. I’ve therefore upgraded Richland to a town, as well as Cropland, and put a trade route between the two. These are not shown in the maps for DM6&7, and they can be interpreted to have come about in the intervening 200 years between 800AC and 1000AC.

    Well, I think that’s it for this region, although if you have any questions, then please let me know. I also hope that the above is of use to you!


    Matt (Carillion)


    • Carillion
      8 January 2016 @ 7:37 am

      Hello Thorf,

      Many thanks for your positive feedback! I’m pleased my map is of use for your project.

      I wouldn’t worry about timescales on this one, as I’m in no rush to get it all completed. The only reason I’ve come back with a lot of information over the last few days is that I’ve actually had some free time to go through it all, and I was concerned that if I didn’t, it might be a while before I’d get another opportunity. Unfortunately my employer won’t pay me to do Mystaran cartography, so needs must!

      It is strange how the two ends of my map line up with yours but the middle is shifted slightly. I’ll have a look this weekend to see why that might be. To be honest, given the amount of contradictions in canon map sources, I was worried that it might be out by more than that so I think I’ve got away quite lightly!



  6. Carillion
    11 January 2016 @ 5:45 am

    Hello Thorf,

    I’ve now had a look to see what may have caused the hex shift you referred to in the centre of my map. I only used the Savage Baronies poster map for the middle part, which is where the problem lies, so this leads me to believe that this poster map has caused the issue.

    I’ve noticed that you have lined up the poster map at a small angle in order to get it to fit with the other sources, whereas I thought that North was pointing directly upwards (I agree with you now that this may not actually be the case at all). It therefore is possible that this issue may have caused the misalignment.

    Another possibility is that I may have slightly misaligned the Savage Baronies poster map while drawing it as it is not in hex format, unlike the other maps of the region, which made it harder for me to link it in with the others.

    There also some geographical features, such as some of the river tributaries, which differed between DM6&7 and the Savage Baronies map, which may have caused this issue in part as well. I remember having to move the large central plateau (I labelled this as “Southold plateau”) slightly to slot it in with the river tributaries as shown in DM6&7.

    Apologies I can’t be of more help here, but this issue has got me a bit stumped for an explanation! I’ll therefore leave it up to your expertise to decide on the best course of action. It also shouldn’t be that difficult for me to move a few geographical locations one hex to the North-West if required to get my map to line up with your proposed trail map, so this can be resolved easily enough.

    Finally, I’ve found one other map which may help you with this region, which can be seen here:


    This was one drawn by Christian Constantin, and I used it quite a lot for the Hule region, although I disagreed with some parts of it, so I did not replicate it entirely.

    Well, I’ll leave it all to your superb cartographical skills now – so good luck, and many thanks for picking this project up!


    Matt (Carillion)


    • Thorfinn Tait
      23 January 2016 @ 3:36 pm

      Thanks for looking in to this, Matt. 🙂

      I will be coming back to this region later on, once I’ve got the rest of the world sorted out — which at this point really just means Davania and the latitudes. I’ll get back to you about all this then, but I want to get the main thrust of the project done first.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: