I’d like to express my thanks for all the amazing feedback on my work so far, here on my site, on Facebook, and over at The Piazza. In today’s article, I’m going to address some of these ideas while dealing with the next issues.
Savage Baronies poster map
LoZompatore pointed out that I hadn’t yet brought in the Savage Baronies poster map, which covers a huge area of Brun, from Hule all the way to the Arm of the Immortals. Let’s take a look at this, and see what it can do for us.
To start with, I’m not a fan of this map, for two reasons: first, it’s very general, the equivalent of a 72 mile per hex map; but second, and most of all, it doesn’t have north at the top like all other Mystara maps do! Take a look at what you have to do to get it to fit with other maps:
On the other hand, after rotating it and resizing it to fit, it does fit the Savage Coast rather well — including even the Orc’s Head Peninsula and the Trident Bay region. (It doesn’t fit at all well with the Serpent Peninsula, but I’ve already disregarded Red Steel and Savage Baronies as sources for lands east of Slagovich, so we can ignore this.) Most of the settlements marked on the map fit remarkably well with their 8 mile per hex counterparts.
There are three areas where this map could come in useful. Let’s take a look at each in turn.
LoZompatore noted quite correctly that this map is another source for Hule. It shows it somewhat differently than X5 and Champions of Mystara, with steppes instead of plains, the town of Magden in a different location from Champions, and the town of Khuur named instead Kizil. It also shows that the large escarpment labelled “Dankut Territory” in fact curves east before almost meeting up with the Savage Baronies’ Great Escarpment.
I’m inclined to go with X5 and Champions with plains rather than steppes for Hule. Champions suggests that southern and southwestern Hule are steppes, while the central area is plains and forests, and this seems the most interesting solution. Besides, Savage Baronies, like Red Steel, has a bad habit of contradicting other sources in these areas, so I’d prefer to use other sources where they are available. I think the steppes should start past western Hule, with the Yazak Steppes.
Regarding Magden, X5 wasn’t clear on exactly which town was Magden out of the three it showed, so this alternate location is just as valid as that shown on Champions‘ Great Waste map. But since Champions named them all, I will go with its version. Kizil could be reused for another town or village in Hule.
As I said previously, I agree with Carillion that the Great Escarpment should be restored to something more like its X5 dimensions. Carillion’s excellent map of the Eastern Savage Coast presumably uses Savage Baronies as the source for this, joining up the large plateau labelled “Dankut Territory” with the Savage Baronies’ Great Escarpment. Personally, I’m tempted to go further than this, largely restoring X5’s Great Escarpment in place of — or even in addition to — the Savage Baronies and Red Steel terrain. I’d be interested to hear other opinions on this.
Here’s how X5’s Great Escarpment fits in to the Savage Coast:
Carillion also has a great mock up of this version, which you can see here.
Now that I see this, I’m not so sure. Carillion’s first version does seem to do the Great Escarpment justice, and the bend to the north, creating a large lowlands area encircled on three sides by the plateau, seems rather interesting, too. I find myself inclined to go with the Savage Baronies version joined up, rather than discarding it in favour of X5.
The Yazak Steppes
This is the only official source at this scale for this area. The only other source at all really is the Outer World map from the Hollow World Set. It builds nicely on the terrain from Red Steel‘s poster maps, although as with those maps it’s all rather general, and without detail. Still, good for a base map of the area. I will certainly use this as the main source to expand the area.
The area on the left of this image, approaching Yalu Bay, probably has a better source. Let’s look at that next.
There’s one other source for the Yalu Bay area that I have yet to tackle: Dungeon 6 and 7’s Great Northway Lands map. This is one of the few maps I have yet to create a replica for.
Happily, once again Carillion has mapped this area out in his Orc’s Head Peninsula and the Great Northway Lands map. Carillion’s map actually goes way beyond what Dungeon 6 and 7 showed, to create a far more interesting picture of the area, and I will definitely be looking at this as a major source for the area.
Arm of the Immortals
Getting back to the Savage Baronies map, there is one more area where it could be of help: the Arm of the Immortals. The far western edge of the map portrays this area in a surprisingly nice amount of detail, especially considering how little detail it goes into for the Yazak Steppes area. Red Steel had some detail here too, but this map provides almost the same again, and it looks quite consistent, both with Red Steel as well as with Dragon 200’s 24 mile per hex map.
Talking of which, could this map be the source I’ve been looking for to place Dragon 200’s map?
It’s not quite a perfect fit, but it seems to be pretty good for showing the relative locations of the Arm of the Immortals and the Orc’s Head Peninsula. And since it provides lots of nice detail on the adjacent coast, all the way up to the end of Yalu Bay, there are good arguments to use this to decide the relative locations.
Incidentally, look closely and you can see the location shown on Dragon 196’s map (here overprinted with the word “Kingdom”). This location always seemed off. I’m much happier using this as a source.
Any thoughts on this? You may be wondering how the continental and world maps will fit with this. I’m afraid the answer is not very well, but that’s the case in general for Brun. The continental map of Brun already requires all sorts of warping to fit at all, and it will likely have to be cut up and placed like a jigsaw to get the best fit in each location.
But perhaps I’m looking at this all too closely. Zoom out, and it doesn’t seem at all a bad fit:
Of course this is after rotating and scaling to try to get a best fit, but I guess it’s surprising how well it’s all fitting, considering.