1. LoZompatore
    14 February 2016 @ 4:58 am

    Magnificent work Thorf! It perfectly describes mapping issues with Davania.

    About Davania I’d prefer Placement 1, especially because it leaves more space to seas in the northern and southern polar openings, so nearby landmasses are (a bit) farther away from the Poles and so (a bit) less distorted.
    Notice also that south of southern Davania (Grunland/Vulcania) there should be room for (the island of) Evergrun. This land might have been demolished by the Immortals after teh GRoF to be substituted by the new polar opening, but the area it occupied cannot have been removed from Mystara. That’s why I’d go with more room between the Poles and the southernmost (and northernmost) tips of the continents’ coastlines.

    About the Equator placememt I’d definitely prefer HW/VotPA location. PWAII map is utterly wrong in this, in my opinion.
    If you remember we had a mail exchange a few years ago about this subject and i suggested a solution involving the stretching of the western half of northern Davania to get a better match.

    For details I summarized the whole approach I’d use here:


    About Skothar, what about a little enlargment of Mentzer’s map in order to match the hexed maps? If you do this you could have multiple advantages:

    – The bay on the Mineaean coast would be pushed eastward (likely moving off the hexed map border) so you can keep it as an interesting feature of the coastline (I’d keep it too, by the way);
    – The northern coastline of Skothar will move northward but this is not a major issue if you go with Placement 1 option as there is enough room to accomotate it before reaching the Polar opening;
    – Skothar will be enlarged also eastward, filling at least a bit of the large ocean that seems to be necessary in order to have a proper equirectagular map.

    About the islands north of Alphatia I like your approach of linking them with Skothar. You could choose to enlarge them as well or to leave their size unchanged and to link their positon to some specific point on Skothar’s coastline. As these islands were never detailed nor mapped except fromt Mentzer and HW map I believe it is admissible to tweak them a bit.

    This is my feedback, so far, I hope it could be helpful for you!


    • Thorfinn Tait
      14 February 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      For my replies, I think my next article should be quite relevant. Unfortunately it seems like Placement 1 is just not going to be viable — and neither is Placement 2. Mystara’s Outer World is just too big, it seems. This is also why I would consider PWA2’s equator, though really it would just shift the problem to southern Davania, so I’m not sure it’s worth thinking about. Besides, I agree with you that the Princess Ark equator is the better one.

      I haven’t forgotten your article about Davania. 🙂 Thanks for the link — in fact I had already looked out the file you sent me before.

      Thanks for the input on Skothar! I’m reluctant to enlarge it. Isn’t it better to keep the three major landmasses the same scale? To tell the truth, the exaggerated size of Skothar has been an issue I’ve had with some other fan-created maps.

  2. Robin
    14 February 2016 @ 6:16 am

    That is minute detailing work.
    Alost as if you would be working on Mystara itself makingf an accurate map of te world.
    Respect…but is it possible at all to mix all these maps of different makers, different desing, different opinions, and of course different flaws (they obviously never noted, or did not bother…”it’s just a game after all”).?

    I would go for placement 2, as in my opinion it gives less problems in regard pro/con and is easier to do.

    Also, as you said, Bruce was not very correct in it himself…(“wonky calculations”..typical Bruce 😉 )

    The problem with Davania in my opinion is that the Norther Coastline varies waaaaay to much to merge.
    However, if fusing them together, a new (better) map could be the result.

    As for Skothar and the world map in general…I believe to remember that the original map was hand painted, over a matte pencil drawing. Many flaws would have arisen here. especially to size and location detailing. I myself would therefor not use these large non-detailed maps as a base, but concentrate on the hex maps and use the paintmaps (to give them a name) to fill in the blanks were no hex maps do exist….to later overlay these with hex maps.

    As example that small bay you mentioned; I would do the last option..keeping them both.(the bay in itself is interesting) and since it comes from the world map, could easily be shifted eastwards.
    The same you did with the alphatian isles. Linked to to a sold fixed pint that was overly credible, with a good result.

    Then only one question remains; You’ve probably collected all the canon maps to enable this, but the area covered as such is limited.
    Do you intend to use oyjer sources (fanon) or your own imagination in those almost blank areas (like you did excellently with the upper section of Arm of the Immortals)???

    Any way
    Great work
    Do continue 😉


    • Thorfinn Tait
      14 February 2016 @ 10:56 pm

      Thanks Robin. 🙂

      I do indeed intend to use fan-created maps as sources to expand the official hex maps. Doing it all myself would be fun, but it would be a lot of work, and most importantly it would needlessly conflict with the work of others. I see no reason to create more conflicts, so I am collecting fan-created maps, which I will adapt to my base maps.

      But this is beyond the scope of this current project, of course, and it will likely take some years to get it done completely, because there’s so much to cover. For now I need to concentrate on getting the official maps sorted out so they can be the foundations for a new set of maps.

  3. Carillion
    14 February 2016 @ 6:34 am

    Hello Thorf,

    Excellent work, as ever!

    With regards to Davania, I must confess that some of the mapping issues with regards to latitude are above my head, but my suggestion would be to go with whatever option ties up most closely with this excellent map from Christian Constantin:


    This map was discussed at length on the Piazza when it was completed, and Christian modified it on a few occasions to reflect the general consensus at the time. It therefore would, in my view, be a great place to start when deciding which option to go for.

    I hope this helps!




    • Thorfinn Tait
      14 February 2016 @ 3:35 pm

      Hi Matt!

      I agree that Christian Constantin’s map is great. But it has a number of problems with placement. I’m not sure what he used for reference, but the relative locations of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, as well as the corner of Davania from Champions of Mystara‘s map are all out of sync with each other. These are things that can all be linked up using official maps.

      There’s another issue with the western part of the map, as LoZompatore mentioned in his comment on the previous article.

      On the other hand his detailing is wonderful, and I will certainly use it as a source for later Davania maps. But I don’t think it’s going to help with placement.

      Thanks for bringing it up, though — I had it downloaded but had forgotten to look at it.

  4. Simone Neri
    14 February 2016 @ 8:09 pm

    Great work, Thorfinn! The decision to tackle all those controversial mapping issues is surely going to leave a mark on the future development of Mystara. I’m very happy you took this duty on your own shoulders. 🙂

    Now, coming to the continents.

    Skothar first. I’d rather avoid to rescale anything, as you suggested. Also, my preference is to stick with hex maps for areas covered by them, and use Mentzer’s map only for the areas outside of them. This means, for example, discarding the small bay east of Minaea. After all, we’re going to ignore the odd shapes of the northern Isle of Dawn and most of all of Alphatia due to the fact that we have more detailed hex map for these regions. I’d do the same for the small part of Skothar we have on hex maps. When the Mentzer map conflicts with hex maps, I’d always use the latter, at least for coastlines – meaning that if Mentzer map shows some additional isles that were not featured on hex maps, it might be worth adding them (such as the two islets found west of the Pearl Islands in the Companion Set map).

    Moving to Davania, my first idea was to use PWA2 map, which is the only one which consistently connects Brun with Davania in the same map, thus tying Davania’s position to the ones of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands. If I have correctly followed your analysis, it seems that the Serpent Peninsula’s position from PWA2 matches that of CoM – the difference regards the distance of the peninsula from the Davanian Green Coast (Kastelios-Garganin). So I’d ignore the distance of Davania from the Serpent Peninsula featured in CoM and move that small 8mph chunck of Davania to match the PWA2 map.

    Instead, if single maps’ internal consistency is to be preserved, I’d rather stick with your solution as shown in the “Placement 2” hypothesis. Its defect isn’t really such – I mean that having Thyatis at 32°N instead of 30°N actually helps moving M-Rome/Costantinople to a more “Mediterranean” position. 😉

    My two cents!


    • Thorfinn Tait
      16 February 2016 @ 5:28 pm

      Simone, thanks for commenting. 🙂

      I’ll definitely add everything from the Companion and Master Sets that was not featured on the hex maps, don’t worry. This includes details like the bay in Minaea — I’d rather not just discard details like this. After all, it’s perfectly permissible, no in fact it’s expected to add detail to these world map coastlines.

      The problem with PWA2’s map is how to place it in reference to the 24 mile per hex maps, because no one placement works everywhere. That said, I have just realised that the placement I’ve been using for reference in these latest articles is the Alphatia-centred one, which is probably not the best to be using.

      I guess I forgot I was supposed to be using local placements. So I just tried lining up the Serpent Peninsula on PWA2 and Champions, and comparing it this way is much more favourable — in fact, they are fit reasonably well, at least as far as 72 mile per hex maps ever fit.

      In other words, I’d say that PWA2 and Champions largely agree on Davania’s location. This is quite useful. (Having said this, lining them up based on the Serpent Peninsula means that the locations of the eastern Thanegioth Archipelago, Ochalea and the Pearl Islands are all a bit off. But there’s just no way to make all of these line up. We are forced to choose one, so why not go with the one we have a 24 mile per hex map for?)

      I’m really interested in your latitude comments — this is something I’d love to hear more ideas about. What latitudes do we want these cities to be at?

  5. Lining Up Mystara I – Thorfinn Tait Cartography
    28 February 2016 @ 1:46 am

    […] Davania (Lining Up Mystara XII) […]


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