[Outer World] Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:38 pm

Thorf wrote:This makes me wonder... Do we have any idea what Ennaej actually is? Simone, I'd love to see the description you wrote for your friend. There must be something worth naming the region for if it's one of the few places in the Emirates with a name, I think.
Before I share my $0.02, I just wanted to say you're doing a fab job with the maps, Thorf! Please keep them coming! :D

I've always thought Ennaej could have been a lost emirate or caliphate from the period immediately preceding Al-Kalim. Perhaps, during his quest to spread the Eternal Truth, he tried to enlighten the people of Ennaej, who worshipped a variety of Immortals but refused to accept his message. He may have received a vision that a great disaster was approaching, which would destroy Ennaej, so he went to the people once more, and implored them to hear him and heed his advice. They ignored him once more, and perhaps killed some of his followers. He then heeded Protius's advice and left the people of Ennaej to their fate. The storm came, and Ennaej was no more. Although the city and its fabulous gardens are no more, the legend lives on, and people have sought to find the lost realm since then. The entire region has since become known as Ennaej.

I would liken Ennaej to Irem or something similar - a small, prosperous kingdom/city-state that lay at the crossroads of several trade routes. They may even have acted as middlemen between the Thyatian and Alphatian colonies (trade continues, even in war). The cause of their fall was nothing mystical - a natural event that Al-Kalim had foreseen. Perhaps the city lay atop an underground lake, or something similar. Over the centuries, the lake had been drained, until the roof of the cavern became so weak that the city basically collapsed into the hole.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts....
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:21 pm

Ashtagon wrote:If they were heading east in the general direction of the caravan trail when they find Cynidicea, wouldn't they have to be somewhere to the west of the caravan trail?
The text actually says simply that they were part of a caravan, but got lost when a dust storm hit. Then they "continued east, the same way the caravan was headed before the storm". I added the bit about the trail (assuming they were actually following that caravan track with the caravan, and not some trail that isn't on the map or else just wandering aimlessly). IE, they were just heading east from wherever they got lost initially.
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:33 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:Before I share my $0.02, I just wanted to say you're doing a fab job with the maps, Thorf! Please keep them coming! :D
Thanks! It's very slow going and I do get distracted (how irritating having to go to work!), but things are proceeding again. :D

Great idea for Ennaej, by the way. I wonder if it's similar to or even compatible with Simone's ideas... It seems like there's enough here already for Ennaej to get a page at the Vaults. ;)

The best thing about this idea is that it allows me to just place the caption as is, and people can decide for themselves what it refers to - your idea, Simone's, or a new idea of their own. It's the cartographer's dream situation. :D

I'm going to put Cynidicea in the spot I proposed for now. I'll also add Ennaej to the area south of Sulba. Dar-el-Tamyya I will likely place in one of Simone's recommended locations.

Zendrolion, I agree with you about monster lairs. Maps exclusively showing monster lairs and distribution are already in the plans for the Flora and Fauna section, using Hugin's database, so it's probably best to keep the main maps as clean as possible.

On the other hand, it's also possible to mark selected monster information on maps, since the official maps have some marked already - generally humanoids, occasionally other monsters (including Dragons in the Provincia Septentriona, if I remember right), and sometimes even settlements (Darokin's Orclands).

Perhaps the best rule is this: if the lair is a major landmark, it should be marked on the master maps. If it's hidden or otherwise not obvious, it doesn't need to be marked. For settlements, if the population is large enough to constitute a major landmark, they should be marked.
Zendrolion wrote:
The Coastal Plain - do we mark on the escarpment?
IMO no.
Why not? Do you think the height (200-500 feet) is not significant enough to mark, or what? If that is the case, would you agree with marking it on more detailed maps of the coastline?
Forests - not on the 8-m map. I'd rather use Piedmont, however. Nevertheless, becouse as you suggest the name has likely a Thyatian origin, it could even be that currently it's disregarded in favor of a new, Alasiyan name, which roughly translates into "Nicostenian Uplands" (BTW, we should then explain why names like Dythestenia and Nicostenia kept their place... ).
Interesting. Do you think I should delete the parenthesised "(Nicostenian Uplands)" currently on the map?

I try not to think about the difference between map names and local names too much, because it's just too complicated to come up with the local names.
The Valley of Death - where exactly is it? The description is pretty vague - "west of Ylaruam". Does it come between Ylaruam and Sulba, or is it north or south of Sulba?
IMO it would have more sense if it was one of the two areas of rocky desert found north and south of Sulba; after all they're more or less "west of Ylaruam". Northern one seems more likely to me.
Me too, hence the caption's position. Do you think it would be better to make it even more explicit and rotate the caption so it is entirely in the rocky desert?
Overall, I use to divide Ylaruam into there cultural areas with references to RW cultures:

Abbashan = Iraq
Alasiya = Arabia proper (the whole peninsula, mostly the Saudi area)
Dythestenia & Nicostenia = Syria, Jordan, and south-eastern Turkey (former Thyatian = Byzanthine lands)
Makistan = northern Iran, west or east of Caspian Sea (areas influenced by Ethengarian = Mongol/steppe-peoples culture)
Nithia = Iran (becouse of former Alphatian = Persian dominion; Nithian culture has been annihilated, so it shouldn't have had any cultural leftover on following peoples)
Interesting...
However, almost all GAZ2's random village names are Arabic in origin (most are from Saudi Arabia, some others from United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Yemen), while a few are Iraqi (one has an Indian origin, Ghar). Thus it's impossible to place them according to their ethnic origin - unless one places all of them in Alasiya. Therefore I'd say there's not any preference about which village to place and where.
Thank you for doing this research! (Or can you tell without researching any??) This is precisely what I wanted to know. Unfortunately you confirmed my suspicion that the names are all Alasiyan-sounding. Ah well, I suppose randomly placing them on the map is okay. It is still nice to have official names to work with.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:53 pm

Andaire wrote:
Zendrolion wrote:Makistan = northern Iran, west or east of Caspian Sea (areas influenced by Ethengarian = Mongol/steppe-peoples culture)
Like the Timurid, and later Mughal?
If for Mughal you're referring more to the Mughal Empire in India than to the Mughal tribe, I'd say no; Timurids will do instead, even if I figure Makistani much less fierce and warlike. Indeed, for Makistan I'm thinking about the Turkmen tribes which settled in eastern Turkey (like the Black and White Sheep hordes) or of the more "classic" areas around Samarkand and Lake Aral.
Thorf wrote:Great idea for Ennaej, by the way. I wonder if it's similar to or even compatible with Simone's ideas... It seems like there's enough here already for Ennaej to get a page at the Vaults. ;)

The best thing about this idea is that it allows me to just place the caption as is, and people can decide for themselves what it refers to - your idea, Simone's, or a new idea of their own. It's the cartographer's dream situation. :D
I also like very much Geoff's idea about Ennaej! 8-)
I think it's fully compatible with the mini-gaz of the Darokin-Karameikos-Ylaruam border I wrote years ago (and which after all only details the western side of Ennaej). I'll have the mini-gaz translated as soon as possible, in order to see how to fit Geoff's ideas into it. ;)
Perhaps the best rule is this: if the lair is a major landmark, it should be marked on the master maps. If it's hidden or otherwise not obvious, it doesn't need to be marked. For settlements, if the population is large enough to constitute a major landmark, they should be marked.
I definitely agree. We should also consider that Xorg and the like orc settlements of the Orclands host thousands of humanoids, while things like goblin tribes of the Dymrak Forest only numer in hundreds. This, coupled with the scale of country maps (8m per hex) IMO shows the most practical choice, that is the one you're suggesting.
Zendrolion wrote:
The Coastal Plain - do we mark on the escarpment?
IMO no.
Why not? Do you think the height (200-500 feet) is not significant enough to mark, or what? If that is the case, would you agree with marking it on more detailed maps of the coastline?
I've always imagined that the "escarpment" described as the western border of the Coastal Plain was not so steep as those marked on 8-m maps with the "escarpment/cliff" symbol. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm seeing more a thing like a gradual rise in land altitude while one proceeds from the coast to the interior; say this rising begins at 1-5 miles from the coast itself and then reaches 200-500' more or less around the point where the "plains" hex leaves place to the "desert" hex.

Moreover, if you mark this escarpment on the 8-m map, you'll have to find also a graphic solution for the locations in which the "coastal escarpment-line" meets the "highland escarpment-line". On 8-m maps, I think it's better to avoid the marking of such an escarpment.

And yes, I'd think about placing the marking on detail maps, but keeping the idea that this escarpment is a gradual feature of the land, and thus it's only fully markable ad "escarpment" in a few locations, not as a continuous line going parallel to the coast.
Do you think I should delete the parenthesised "(Nicostenian Uplands)" currently on the map?
Oh, I had forgotten about that parenthesised tag... :oops:
Currently I think it's fine to have double name, but in general I'd keep only one if possible. That is, if we're going to place some village in that area, probably the double name takes too much room (yes, in this case I'd delete the parenthesised tag).
Me too, hence the caption's position. Do you think it would be better to make it even more explicit and rotate the caption so it is entirely in the rocky desert?
I'd say it's fine as it is. :)
Thank you for doing this research! (Or can you tell without researching any??)
Mr Google and Mrs Wikipedia helped me with this research... :D
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causes of their victories and defeats, so as to avoid the defeats and imitate the victories" N. Machiavelli, The Prince, XIV, 5

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Hugin » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:18 pm

Thorf wrote:I'm going to add a regional label to the map - a large one covering the whole desert. The question is, what label would be best? There are so many names for the region that I'm a bit confused. The possible candidates include:
  • Alasiyan Desert
  • Alasiyan Desert Basin
  • Great Alasiyan Basin
  • The Empty Quarter
  • Rub Al-Khali
Personally, I'd like to see "Great Alasiyan Basin" with "Rub Al-Khali" under it in brackets.

Sorry for the short answers; there's so much more I'd like to discuss with you guys but it is just too busy at work right now. The other day I opened The Piazza in the morning and didn't get to do anything with it until late afternoon!

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:24 pm

Zendrolion wrote:
Thorf wrote:Great idea for Ennaej, by the way. I wonder if it's similar to or even compatible with Simone's ideas... It seems like there's enough here already for Ennaej to get a page at the Vaults. ;)
I also like very much Geoff's idea about Ennaej! 8-)
I think it's fully compatible with the mini-gaz of the Darokin-Karameikos-Ylaruam border I wrote years ago (and which after all only details the western side of Ennaej). I'll have the mini-gaz translated as soon as possible, in order to see how to fit Geoff's ideas into it. ;)
I'm glad people like the idea, and I'd be interested in seeing what we can produce.
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:46 am

Hugin wrote:Personally, I'd like to see "Great Alasiyan Basin" with "Rub Al-Khali" under it in brackets.

Sorry for the short answers; there's so much more I'd like to discuss with you guys but it is just too busy at work right now. The other day I opened The Piazza in the morning and didn't get to do anything with it until late afternoon!
Always good to have you contribute, Sheldon. :D

Your suggestion is exactly what I wanted to do at first - making use of most of the official names - but when I tried actually putting the caption on the map it was just too much. Obviously I could shrink the caption, but I think it looks really good as it stands.

Going with "Alasiyan Desert" doesn't mean throwing out the other captions, but it does mean relegating them to the notes, and eventually to the geographical section linked with this map.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:14 pm

Update: I just uploaded a new version of the updated map:
  • added Cynidicea
  • added Dar el-Tamyya
  • added Ennaej label
  • moved and slightly resized Alasiyan Desert caption
  • removed the bracketed Nicostenian Uplands label after Piedmont
  • fiddled with captions quite a bit
I'm not sure about the location of the Ennaej label - it seems roughly right, but I'm wondering if it should be in the desert or the highlands, or possibly straddling both. The cover's location is probably in the highlands, but for some reason I want to put it in the desert.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:09 pm

Here I am! I've finished the translation of my mini-gaz of the Central Altan Tepes, ad I promised. You'll find the download link in this thread.

As soon as you've read it and you've got some comments, we can see if and how to integrate Geoff's idea about Ennaej.
Thorf wrote:Update: I just uploaded a new version of the updated map:
Looks great! I approve all changes and improvements you did. 8-)
I'm not sure about the location of the Ennaej label - it seems roughly right, but I'm wondering if it should be in the desert or the highlands, or possibly straddling both. The cover's location is probably in the highlands, but for some reason I want to put it in the desert.
I'd prefer the highlands instead ( :P ), but let's see what we can come up with Geoff's idea before deciding. ;)
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:35 pm

Very cool!

Now then, how big do we think Ennaej was? Personally, I think the town sat in an oasis of one 8-mile hex, and the underground lake may have had enough water in it to irrigate another one or two hexes. The town may have controlled one of two villages, as well. What do people think?
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Gecko » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:07 am

note: I had this saved as a draft for a while. The first paragraph of this message is now outdated with the release of the Altan Tepes Mini-Gaz :|

Thorf-

I believe Zendrolion or someone else from the Italian community had a nice map, in the thread Sulla Strada di Ylaruam, showing smaller communities in Western Ylaruam near the Darokinian-Ylaruam-Karameikos tripoint. Unfortunately when I went looking at the italian forums under Sulla Strada di Ylaruam, I could only find a version without locations.

As for Rub al Khali, unless there's something in cannon indicating otherwise, I would rather have it applied to a largish sub-region of the desert, rather than the entire desert. Perhaps the vast empty area between Abbashan Oasis, Hedjazi, Ylaruam Oasis, and the Northern Highlands currently labeled as Great Salt Basin (again, unless there's something in cannon that conflicts with this).

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:04 am

Ok, back on the Ennaej issue:
Seer of Yhog wrote:Now then, how big do we think Ennaej was? Personally, I think the town sat in an oasis of one 8-mile hex, and the underground lake may have had enough water in it to irrigate another one or two hexes. The town may have controlled one of two villages, as well. What do people think?
As I think you saw on my mini-gaz, I put the "Ennaej" label on the highlands almost south of Parsa - but mine was just a way to give that area a name, so we're not absolutely bound by that placement. Moreover, as we agreed some posts before, the area labeled "Ennaej" should instead be more south of Sulba.

Geoff, about your fascinating idea of Ennaej being a lost city, where do you think to place its oasis? On the highlands area, or down from it, in the rocky desert area (where Thorf put it on the updated map)?
I think on the 8-m per hex map the oasis could have covered no less than three hexes (as it seems normal for all AC1000 Ylaruam towns). Lastly, do you think it'd be useful to mark Ennaej location with a "ruins" symbol (like Cynidicea)?
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:24 am

I don't see why Ennaej couldn't have been in the highlands - or possibly on the edge of the escarpment itself. Perhaps to make it even more dramatic, the land on which the city stood could have collapsed so completely that the line of the escarpment actually moved south. This wouldn't show up on an 8-mile scale (you'd need a 1-mile scale for that), but this would mean the ruins marker (I think it should be added) would be in the basin, but the old emirate would have straddled the line of the escarpment, with the oasis having 1-2 hexes in the basin, and perhaps one in the uplands (not including the one the city occupied).
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:08 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:I don't see why Ennaej couldn't have been in the highlands - or possibly on the edge of the escarpment itself. Perhaps to make it even more dramatic, the land on which the city stood could have collapsed so completely that the line of the escarpment actually moved south. This wouldn't show up on an 8-mile scale (you'd need a 1-mile scale for that), but this would mean the ruins marker (I think it should be added) would be in the basin, but the old emirate would have straddled the line of the escarpment, with the oasis having 1-2 hexes in the basin, and perhaps one in the uplands (not including the one the city occupied).
Oohhh, I like the idea of the escarpment collapsing. This would place the Ennaej ruins about a hex north of the current escarpment, right? Perhaps the ruins could go in the hex above the "nn" of Ennaej on the current version of the updated map...?
Gecko wrote:As for Rub al Khali, unless there's something in cannon indicating otherwise, I would rather have it applied to a largish sub-region of the desert, rather than the entire desert. Perhaps the vast empty area between Abbashan Oasis, Hedjazi, Ylaruam Oasis, and the Northern Highlands currently labeled as Great Salt Basin (again, unless there's something in cannon that conflicts with this).
My conclusion regarding all the variations of Alasiyan Desert, including Rub al-Khali/The Empty Quarter, was that they are all just names for the desert in general. The Gazetteer seems to use them pretty interchangeably. I agree it would be nice to have it marked on the map, but the name "Alasiyan Desert" dates back to the very first Mystara map, so I think we should definitely have it on there.

I'm very much open for discussion on this matter, though. :) If we can find a way to mark it on the map, that would be great.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:44 am

Thorf wrote:Oohhh, I like the idea of the escarpment collapsing. This would place the Ennaej ruins about a hex north of the current escarpment, right? Perhaps the ruins could go in the hex above the "nn" of Ennaej on the current version of the updated map...?
I think that would be a great place for it!
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by OldDawg » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:31 am

My conclusion regarding all the variations of Alasiyan Desert, including Rub al-Khali/The Empty Quarter, was that they are all just names for the desert in general. The Gazetteer seems to use them pretty interchangeably. I agree it would be nice to have it marked on the map, but the name "Alasiyan Desert" dates back to the very first Mystara map, so I think we should definitely have it on there.
While there was one instance of The Empty Quarter seemingly used as equivalent to the whole of the Desert, it was also listed as region within it. I think it would be better to have it a proper subset of "The Great Alasiyan Desert", roughly equal to the triangle formed by Ylaruam, Cubia, and Surra-Man-Ra (minus areas otherwise designated.)

Other remarks:

1. I would move "The Great Salt Basin" back up closer to the plateau rim as it is in the replica maps.
2. "The Dead Place" is plural not singular - its a region not a locale. One particular spot corresponds to the fall of Thanatos, but not all. Since the description is in and around the highlands, the label should probably be brought closer to the rim.
3. I would vote no on drawing an escarpment to signify the run up of the desert before hitting the coastal plain. You wouldn't be wrong to do so, per se, but as others have said, it's more gradual than shifts in altitude re: the Uplands.

-OD

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:39 am

First of all, thanks for the input! :D
OldDawg wrote:While there was one instance of The Empty Quarter seemingly used as equivalent to the whole of the Desert, it was also listed as region within it. I think it would be better to have it a proper subset of "The Great Alasiyan Desert", roughly equal to the triangle formed by Ylaruam, Cubia, and Surra-Man-Ra (minus areas otherwise designated.)
I could only find one reference to The Empty Quarter in the whole Gazetter: the one you noted on page 31. Since it's noted as "Great Alasiyan Basin (The Empty Quarter - Rub Al-Khali)", and since "Rub Al-Khali" is Arabic for "The Empty Quarter", it seems pretty clear that it is a synonym for the Great Alasiyan Basin.

Now, whether Great Alasiyan Basin equals Alasiyan Desert or not is another matter - one that I was not able to find an explicit answer to in the Gazetteer. The best I can deduce is that since the whole desert forms a basin the names are all variations on "Alasiyan Desert".

While we could certainly go with your recommendation, I don't think it's supportable by official sources.
1. I would move "The Great Salt Basin" back up closer to the plateau rim as it is in the replica maps.
The current location of this caption is the same as it is on TM2 and in the Rules Cyclopedia maps. (Which is probably because my original updated maps were based largely on the trail maps.) Depending on which source we take as the most reliable, we have three options: GAZ2 position, TM2 position, or an average of the two. Any of these three options is acceptable to me. The movement of the caption southwards gives us some information as to the extent of the Great Salt Basin.
2. "The Dead Place" is plural not singular - its a region not a locale. One particular spot corresponds to the fall of Thanatos, but not all. Since the description is in and around the highlands, the label should probably be brought closer to the rim.
There are two references (that I could find) to the Dead Place in GAZ2: the first is to "The Dead Places (desolate areas of Nithia)" in the Ylari Region Chart on page 31. That's all it says about it there. The second is far more expanded - an adventure outline that takes up a third of a page on pages 63-64, and indeed goes into detail on the nature of the area.

According to the adventure outline, the Dead Place is very much singular, being the site of an Immortal battle - hence the battlefield symbol. The actual place is indeed a battlefield, albeit a pretty strange one. "The Dead Place itself is in a rugged badlands swept by sand dunes." It seems pretty conclusive to me.

On the other hand, it is not a well known area (the outline says that even mentioning its name is taboo and thought to bring down the wrath of the Immortals). In fact it seems that the nature of the place remains undiscovered. So perhaps it wouldn't be surprising if it was also referred to in a general way in the plural - especially on players' maps.

Nevertheless the Atlas aims for maximum (DM-level) accuracy, which is why I chose to display the battlefield with its name attached.
3. I would vote no on drawing an escarpment to signify the run up of the desert before hitting the coastal plain. You wouldn't be wrong to do so, per se, but as others have said, it's more gradual than shifts in altitude re: the Uplands.
No one seems to like the idea of drawing on an escarpment, but the fact that it's there is indisputable: "The Sub-Humid Coastal Plain: Along the eastern coast is a narrow strip of coastal plain varying from one to five miles wide. To the west it is bounded by an escarpment of 200 to 500 feet in elevation." (GAZ2 page 6c) I still think it would be easily marked with an intermittent line up the coast, and it would make a neat divide between the desert and the coast.

I guess if I'm going to convince anyone of this I'd better just make a variant so we can all see what it would look like. It's about time we had another variant map, anyway. :D Variants are a great solution to this kind of problem, because they allow us to have the best of both worlds, so that people can choose whether to accept something slightly controversial or not.
[PS: Technical illustrator question - how are you adding the back-shadow/outline of color to text?]
It's very simple: just add an extra 2 point stroke to the text using the Appearance panel. Then drag it down so that it's below the fill of the text, and you're done. If you're using an older version of Illustrator before the introduction of the Appearance panel, it should still be possible, but you'd need to duplicate the text in order to do it. (Select the text, hit CTRL C to copy then CTRL B to paste behind. Set the stroke and the colour and you're done.)

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Gecko » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:31 pm

Thorf wrote:First of all, thanks for the input! :D
Gecko wrote:As for Rub al Khali, unless there's something in cannon indicating otherwise, I would rather have it applied to a largish sub-region of the desert, rather than the entire desert. Perhaps the vast empty area between Abbashan Oasis, Hedjazi, Ylaruam Oasis, and the Northern Highlands currently labeled as Great Salt Basin (again, unless there's something in cannon that conflicts with this).
My conclusion regarding all the variations of Alasiyan Desert, including Rub al-Khali/The Empty Quarter, was that they are all just names for the desert in general. The Gazetteer seems to use them pretty interchangeably. I agree it would be nice to have it marked on the map, but the name "Alasiyan Desert" dates back to the very first Mystara map, so I think we should definitely have it on there.

I'm very much open for discussion on this matter, though. :) If we can find a way to mark it on the map, that would be great.
OldDawg wrote:While there was one instance of The Empty Quarter seemingly used as equivalent to the whole of the Desert, it was also listed as region within it. I think it would be better to have it a proper subset of "The Great Alasiyan Desert", roughly equal to the triangle formed by Ylaruam, Cubia, and Surra-Man-Ra (minus areas otherwise designated.)
I could only find one reference to The Empty Quarter in the whole Gazetter: the one you noted on page 31. Since it's noted as "Great Alasiyan Basin (The Empty Quarter - Rub Al-Khali)", and since "Rub Al-Khali" is Arabic for "The Empty Quarter", it seems pretty clear that it is a synonym for the Great Alasiyan Basin.

Now, whether Great Alasiyan Basin equals Alasiyan Desert or not is another matter - one that I was not able to find an explicit answer to in the Gazetteer. The best I can deduce is that since the whole desert forms a basin the names are all variations on "Alasiyan Desert".

While we could certainly go with your recommendation, I don't think it's supportable by official sources.
so It sounds like the cannon version has Rub al-Khali as a synonym for the whole desert, but many of us use it as a subset.

(I don't have the Gaz, so I never knew how it was mentioned, I just related it to the real "empty quarter" in Saudi Arabia)

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:27 am

Gecko wrote:so It sounds like the cannon version has Rub al-Khali as a synonym for the whole desert, but many of us use it as a subset.
I don't know that anyone uses it at all, really - after all it only appears in that one table in GAZ2. A search at the Vaults confirms this: the only thing it found is the list of references OldDawg (JTR) wrote above.

So I don't think there's much precedent for people using these names already.
(I don't have the Gaz, so I never knew how it was mentioned, I just related it to the real "empty quarter" in Saudi Arabia)
That's another thing to consider. From what I've read, the real Rub' al-Khali is the name for a whole desert, not just part of one.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:33 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:
Thorf wrote:Oohhh, I like the idea of the escarpment collapsing. This would place the Ennaej ruins about a hex north of the current escarpment, right? Perhaps the ruins could go in the hex above the "nn" of Ennaej on the current version of the updated map...?
I think that would be a great place for it!
I agree and I'm looking forward to see the updated map. ;)

Also about the updated map, Thorf, are you sure about adding forested hill hexes in Piedmont region? I mean, we know that some woods grow in that area, and that they're Ylaruam major timber source, but couldn't they be limited to areas not large enough to appear on the 8-m per hex map?
Just to preserve canon maps as far as possible, you know. ;)
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:46 am

Zendrolion wrote:Also about the updated map, Thorf, are you sure about adding forested hill hexes in Piedmont region? I mean, we know that some woods grow in that area, and that they're Ylaruam major timber source, but couldn't they be limited to areas not large enough to appear on the 8-m per hex map?
Just to preserve canon maps as far as possible, you know. ;)
I will admit I'm divided on this sort of issue. :) On the one hand, I want the maps to be as detailed as possible, but like you I also want to keep things as official as possible to make these maps usable by as many people as possible. That said, I think that if the info comes from an official source it is often better than the map itself, simply because we know from experience that TSR did not mark all possible things on each map.

In this particular case, I think that these forests being Ylaruam's major source of timber means they must be big enough to show up on this large scale map. Even if the entire hex is not forested hills, I think it's still worth marking simply to indicate that those hills have some forests. In fact the hex could have very few trees, but in this case they are still a landmark, wouldn't you say? If we don't mark it at all, only those reading that offhand reference in GAZ2 will even suspect their existence.

On the other hand, we could certainly reduce the number of hexes. I initially intended to make it just two or three.

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Update: I just posted a variant map with the following changes:
  • added a ruin symbol for Ennaej.
  • moved the Great Salt Basin caption up half a hex.
  • reduced the number of forested hills in Piedmont to just four hexes.
  • added an escarpment to the coast.
Image Image Image

Depending on how these go down (especially the latter two changes), I will incorporate some or all into the main updated map. For now it is the same as before, so you can compare.

The escarpment is slightly smaller than the main plateaus (0.75 point compared to 1 point). I originally made it 0.5 point, but at that size it's not very easy to make out. So for now I made it slightly easier to see while still being visibly smaller. Look carefully and you'll see there are gaps in the escarpment - most notably the gaps are all close to the coastal towns.

Let me know what you think!

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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:43 pm

Thorf wrote:In this particular case, I think that these forests being Ylaruam's major source of timber means they must be big enough to show up on this large scale map. Even if the entire hex is not forested hills, I think it's still worth marking simply to indicate that those hills have some forests. In fact the hex could have very few trees, but in this case they are still a landmark, wouldn't you say? If we don't mark it at all, only those reading that offhand reference in GAZ2 will even suspect their existence.
I see your point, but we should remember this is an 8-m per hex map, and realize that some details are bound to disappear on this scale. Just to stay on Ylaruam, the Emirates' map doesn't give us any clue about the Nithian highlands being mor arid than those of Nicostenia. And we've also no way (if we look at the map alone) to see what's the difference between Nithian highlands in general and, say, hills around Lake Amsorak (likely less arid). So, unless you plan to add some badlands or broken lands hexes around in Nithia, that's the situation.
The same is true for Piedmont; IMO thus there's no need at all to have forested hills there. ;)
Thorf wrote:Update: I just posted a variant map with the following changes:
Great. About Ennaej, what about moving it in the hex immediately to the south of its current position? This way it'll be found exactly in the hex crossed by the plateau's border and we would have no difficulty in explaining Geoff's idea about the "shifting" of the city from the plateau to the desert.
The escarpment is slightly smaller than the main plateaus (0.75 point compared to 1 point). I originally made it 0.5 point, but at that size it's not very easy to make out. So for now I made it slightly easier to see while still being visibly smaller. Look carefully and you'll see there are gaps in the escarpment - most notably the gaps are all close to the coastal towns.
The escarpment looks very nice, you've done a precision work! 8-)
I admit I'm rethinking about not marking it on the map - this way it seems to cause almost no problem. :)
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:31 pm

Zendrolion wrote:
Thorf wrote:In this particular case, I think that these forests being Ylaruam's major source of timber means they must be big enough to show up on this large scale map. Even if the entire hex is not forested hills, I think it's still worth marking simply to indicate that those hills have some forests. In fact the hex could have very few trees, but in this case they are still a landmark, wouldn't you say? If we don't mark it at all, only those reading that offhand reference in GAZ2 will even suspect their existence.
I see your point, but we should remember this is an 8-m per hex map, and realize that some details are bound to disappear on this scale. Just to stay on Ylaruam, the Emirates' map doesn't give us any clue about the Nithian highlands being mor arid than those of Nicostenia. And we've also no way (if we look at the map alone) to see what's the difference between Nithian highlands in general and, say, hills around Lake Amsorak (likely less arid). So, unless you plan to add some badlands or broken lands hexes around in Nithia, that's the situation.
The same is true for Piedmont; IMO thus there's no need at all to have forested hills there. ;)
I'll throw my 2 coppers in at this point, but first let me say to everyone that the people here are all doing a great job in creating these maps! I know that the amount of time put into researching these maps is at least as much (or more) than the time it takes to actually place the hexes. Kudos to everyone involved (and especially thanks to Thorf for organizing everything here)!

I'd prefer to add as much detail as possible to an Updated map (without overloading it), regardless of whether or not that detail was on the original. Thorf has created Originals as well Updated versions so I don't feel like we are loosing anything by modifying the updated version. As long as there are references that support those changes, the map should still be considered "official". The thing to keep in mind is that when these were originally done, they were created on a timeline and strict budget. The original authors didn't have time to get it perfect... just enough time to get it to be "good enough." Details will suffer for this. But as a community we can spend all the time and effort that we want on these projects, so I don't see adding more details as taking anything away from the map's officialness. ...And I know you said this half in jest, but I wouldn't be averse to adding badlands or broken lands hexes around Nithia either... ;)

Taking the Piedmont region as an example, to be honest I never realized it was Ylaruam's only source of lumber until I read these discussions! Sure I could have figured that out by scouring the Gaz, but would I have ever done this? No. So having these details on the map really helps someone like me, who may just be a casual user of the Gaz, to bring Ylaruam to life. Having said that I do see Zendrolion's point - we don't want it to look like there is a real lush forest in the area. It should look sparse. I agree that not all of the area in those hexes would be covered by forest, but by grouping them together it really does look like a more densely forested area. How would it look if we had 4 or 5 forested hill hexes interspersed with the normal hill hex. That would still give the visual cue that there are trees here, but may also imply that they are sparsely populated? I'm trying to think "what would I do if I were going to take that area and create a 1mi/hex map?" If I saw all those forested hills hexes together I would probably just create one big lump of forested hexes. However if I saw forested hills hexes interspersed with normal hills I might start to think, "Hey, why did they do that? This must not be a single large area covered by forested hills."
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Re: Outer World: Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex

Post by Andaire » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:39 pm

Thorf wrote:
  • added a ruin symbol for Ennaej.
That's better IMO; without a symbol, this name looked "lost" to me.
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