Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

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Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:27 am

Alfheim, 8 miles per hex by Thorf

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Last edited by Thorf on Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:37 am, edited 5 times in total.
Reason: Rewrote post completely.

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:46 am

Alheim is a problematic map - but, after all, is there any Mystaran map without problems? :D

First one personal suggestion (mostly centered on outlying areas):

Fenhold: While this issue has long be debated in the old forum, and while we know that the dominion from CM9 is found in the same area as GAZ11's Dolos - I think the position labeled "Fenhold" in the map should really be changed.
First of all, I think it's better to move Fenhold than Dolos. Second, the label "Fenhold" on your updated map is found in an area which, according to GAZ11, is Heartlands and NOT Borderlands (as it should be, given Fenhold is a feudal dominion).
I think the best position for Fenhold (also given the direction of the street passing through it according to CM9's map) is south of Glowtree good magic point in Alfheim.
That is, I'd have the uppermost hex of Fenhold right over the 8-m hex south-west of Glowtree, where the 'TH' of "Canolbarth Borderlands" label is found on the map.

Then, back on Alfheim proper:

EMERLAS
(Source: O2 - Lone Hero Expert Adventure "Blade of Vengeance" by Jim Bambra, TSR 9108, 1984)

This is a very problematic issue. Time ago, I overlaid a 24-m grid on the O2's map, and the results were these (labels in red are mine and in Italian):

http://www.gruppoludico.it/naga/Emerlas.bmp

You can see the 24-m grid overlaid over GAZ5's 8-m map there:

http://www.gruppoludico.it/naga/alfheim-8.png

Now, the main problem is that the description of the Emerlas matches that of a border region, where the humanoid warbands easily penetrate and where there are also some non-elven settlements. IF one wanted to keep the size of O2's Emerlas, he would also have to explain just HOW humanoid bands could penetrate so much near Ainsun without any help arriving from Alfheim's government.
Therefore, a solution could be to reduce the size of O2's map so that the Emerlas areas could fit into the uppermost 24-m hex of Alfheim - that is on the area north of Blackwater River on the 8-m map.

Anyway, interesting addition from this map are the lake of the Shining Isle (I'd connect it with the Blackwater River), the elven village of Dorneryll, the human village of Scrubton, the halfling village of Oakendale, and the dwarven stronghold of Granitgape.

Granitgape seems to be right outside Alfheim's borders, so it doesn't pose much of a problem. It could be one of the trading posts estabilished by the Rockhome dwarves' Longstrider Trading Company (see GAZ5, page 31, "The History of Trade") to trade with elves.
Scrubton and Oakendale are a little more difficult to explain. On the Italian MMB, we traced their origins back to AC 550, when the wizard Illodius tried to conquer the Canolbarth Forest (and also the Darokinians did catch the chance to try to invade the elven realm again); we thought that a company of adventurers (halflings and humans) with their small following could have behaved heroically in aiding the elves. After the war, these few peoples would have been granted the chance to live peacefully within Alfheim's borders (in a frontier area like the Emerlas).

CAPITAL CITY:
While all maps indicate Alfheim Town as the kingdom's capital city, it isn't. King Doriath has his palace in Elleromyr and the Council of Clans meets always in different locations, mostly shunning Alfheim Town (all these infos are found in GAZ5, page 35, "The Council of Clans"). So, if any, I think the "red" symbol should be used for Elleromyr. Alfheim Town is just the realm's largest town (and the only true one).

BTW, an idea comes to my mind: what about using the red colour to indicate the capital indipendently from the settlement's symbol? For example, if the capital was a town, paint the "town" symbol with red instead of using the "capital" red symbol. The "capital" symbol (not in red anymore) could be used to indicate larger cities (those, say, with 50,000 inhabitants or more).

BATTLEFIELDS:
The northernmost one could be the site of the battle between the elven army and the orcs happened in AC 390 (GAZ10). I have also this battle the one in which Sinan (the former lover of Balthac) sacrifies herself to defeat the human wizard Khazad, leader of the orc army (the tale of the battle is found in IM2).

The battlesite on the southern border, near Dragontree, could be the site where the elves turned back the Darokinians during the invasion of AC 550.

The battlesite near the eastern border could instead be an older battle between the elves and the dwarves, in the first times after the founding of Alfheim.

SILVERMIST:
This addition comes from Dragonlord of Mystara by Thorarinn Gunnarson; it should be found near Shadowdown Magic Point. Below you can see the pass of the book (cited some time ago on the Italian MMB by LoZompatore) which has infos about Silvermist:

"We're making for the woods just this side of the region known as the Shadowdown," he explained to the others when they asked. "The place we seek is called Silvermist, which is fortunately only a few miles from the edge of the forest."

"Is Silvermist a village?" Solveig asked, ignoring the dwarf.
"No. It's a large home standing alone in the woods," Sir George said. "It's a sanctuary of Terra, and elven clerics of Terra dwell there."

"We'll only be going through the very edge of it," Sir George answered. "The part of the forest where we wilt be going is unpopulated and seldom visited out of respect for the special magic of that place and for the clerics who dwell there."

Silvermist had been built to accommodate more residents than it had presently, so there were guest rooms available for each of the travelers in the back wing on the second floor. In the evening the elves gathered on the wide patio behind the house, talking and singing and playing musical instruments.


SHADOWTREE:
This elven stronghold in the Selinar Lakes area is featured in "The Nithian Lich" adventure in GAZ5. It's said to have been founded around AC 700 by the Feadiels.

THE SUMP & THE WEIR
Is there any room to mark this location be marked on the map? It should be found where the "whirpool" symbol is put on the official map, south-east of Elleromyr.

KING ALEVAR'S MAUSOLEUM
Source: X10 - Expert Campaign Adventure "Red Arrow, Black Shield" by Michael S. Dobson, TSR 9160, 1985, pages 22-23.
This site is featured in X10, Alfheim diplomatic mission part, when the characters are asked by the elves to kill Balefire, the large red dragon which has taken over the mausoleum. It should be found somewhere in an area of the forest not-so-far from the eastern border (red dragons usually come here from the Dwarfgate Mountains).

Well, that's all. ;)
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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: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:20 pm

Thanks for another great and informative post, Zendrolion! :D
Zendrolion wrote:Fenhold: While this issue has long be debated in the old forum, and while we know that the dominion from CM9 is found in the same area as GAZ11's Dolos - I think the position labeled "Fenhold" in the map should really be changed.
This was actually resolved years ago, but I never updated the Alfheim map due to problems with my computer at the time. You can see the final solution on my Darokin map here (or here for a domestic-only version). I think the solution is basically the same as what you proposed here. :)

The rest of your post I will reply to when I come to revising the updated map. Sorry to keep putting off my replies, but it seems I still have a lot to work through in making replicas and working out the best basic version of the map before I come to adding new stuff. (The truth is that when I first made these maps back in early 2005 I hadn't come up with the idea of creating replicas of official maps - nor realised how much it could help with finding mistakes and such. So now I am going back and de-evolving my updated maps to recreate the originals. In doing so, I can then incorporate all the best parts of each version of each area.)

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:03 pm

Thorf wrote:Thanks for another great and informative post, Zendrolion! :D
Always happy to give a hand, sir! :D
This was actually resolved years ago, but I never updated the Alfheim map due to problems with my computer at the time.
Oh, I see. I remember that fix (becouse I took part in the discussions :) ), but seeing that label I thought you had thought again about it and changed that particular. So, no problem! ;)
The rest of your post I will reply to when I come to revising the updated map. Sorry to keep putting off my replies, but it seems I still have a lot to work through in making replicas and working out the best basic version of the map before I come to adding new stuff.
Don't worry about swift replies, I'm throwing in everything I can find in my homelists, so that everyone can take a look at the (eventual) additions and think about them. :)
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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: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:14 pm

Zendrolion wrote:Fenhold: While this issue has long be debated in the old forum, and while we know that the dominion from CM9 is found in the same area as GAZ11's Dolos - I think the position labeled "Fenhold" in the map should really be changed.
Personally, I think Dolos should be moved slightly myself. It only takes a very slight move of the town to fix the Fenhold/Dolos problems, as I've found in mapping the area.
EMERLAS

This is a very problematic issue. Time ago, I overlaid a 24-m grid on the O2's map, and the results were these (labels in red are mine and in Italian):
Agreed on the Emerlas problems. Your findings pretty well map with my own. I still haven't quite come up with a suitable solution to this one. I do think, though, that Misthaven works very well as that one magical spot in the module (can't recall what it was named offhand, but it's near to where Dorneryll is transported to the Shining Isles).

Interesting thoughts on Sinan- myself, I simply combined her legend with that of Illodius, and made her last stand against him be the selfsame one that destroyed a big swath of the Canolbarth that eventually became Alfheim Town.
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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:37 am

Update: I added lots of things to the To Do List in the first post of this thread. Alfheim may be a small map, but it sure has a lot of extra sources!

I have also made a new Darokin thread and copied our discussions about Fenhold and Dolos there. So let's continue those discussions over in that thread, since they apply more to Darokin than Alfheim.
Zendrolion wrote:CAPITAL CITY:
While all maps indicate Alfheim Town as the kingdom's capital city, it isn't. King Doriath has his palace in Elleromyr and the Council of Clans meets always in different locations, mostly shunning Alfheim Town (all these infos are found in GAZ5, page 35, "The Council of Clans"). So, if any, I think the "red" symbol should be used for Elleromyr. Alfheim Town is just the realm's largest town (and the only true one).
The Gazetteer itself sort of explains this by saying in various places that the rest of the world generally views Alfheim Town as the capital city. In many respects I think this is true, because Alfheim Town has representatives of all the clans, and it's basically neutral territory, not belonging to any one clan. Not to mention the fact that all the foreign embassies are there. And of course all the official maps mark it as such.

In any case, even if we agree that Alfheim Town is not the capital, that doesn't mean we can then make Elleromyr the capital, as that is just as false, if not more so. Elleromyr is merely the location of Doriath's stronghold. Although the Clan Council does often meet there, there is no other indication that it's any sort of capital. And given that the Gazetteer stresses that the King is not the ruler of Alfheim but rather a single voice in the Council - who also has the job of carrying out the will of the Council - and that Doriath has given up all ties to his clan, I think all the Clanmasters would strongly disagree that Elleromyr was the capital.

When it comes down to it, I feel that Alfheim Town fulfils more of the functions of being a capital than any other settlement. The official take on things was very fuzzy, but they still marked Alfheim Town as the capital; consequently perhaps we should leave things as they are.
BTW, an idea comes to my mind: what about using the red colour to indicate the capital indipendently from the settlement's symbol? For example, if the capital was a town, paint the "town" symbol with red instead of using the "capital" red symbol. The "capital" symbol (not in red anymore) could be used to indicate larger cities (those, say, with 50,000 inhabitants or more).
This has been proposed many times before (in threads on the MMB as well as in private messages to me ;) ), but for now I am sticking to my original policy. My main reasons are that changing the capital symbol radically changes the overall "feeling" of the maps, and also that we don't have enough information on all marked settlements to support a reform to the symbols. Also, even if we did introduce this change, I would like to have the current town and city as small town and large town, and make the current capital symbol city, rather than moving the capital symbol up to metropolis.
THE SUMP & THE WEIR
Is there any room to mark this location be marked on the map? It should be found where the "whirpool" symbol is put on the official map, south-east of Elleromyr.
I believe we can add this, yes. In fact I have already got the detail maps from GAZ5 on my list. (I just added them to the list in this thread too.) :D

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Zendrolion » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:09 pm

Thorf wrote:When it comes down to it, I feel that Alfheim Town fulfils more of the functions of being a capital than any other settlement. The official take on things was very fuzzy, but they still marked Alfheim Town as the capital; consequently perhaps we should leave things as they are.
I agree with your explanation, it seems perfectly reasonable to leave the "capital" symbol for Alfheim Town. :)
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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: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:59 am

So did no one notice that I revised the art for Good and Bad Magic Points in the latest maps I posted? To see the difference, compare the updated map with either of the replicas. :D

I'm slowly working towards revising all the little things that have been bothering me with my mapping tools over the past three years. Lately I have drawn a new hills hex that fits better with the mountains; changed the palette of the broken lands hex; made some variant forested hills hexes that appear in official maps; and so on. Keep an eye out and perhaps you can spot some other little changes.

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:20 pm

Update: Minor tweak to the main replica map (PNG and PDF) to bring the forested hills hex art into line with the original map.

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:37 am

I'm late posting this notice. Last week I added the following notes to the first post:

Chronological Notes
  • 800 BC - the area's pre-Canolbarth state is described as "the wind-torn steppes of what is now Alfheim." (GAZ5 page 8a) "The surrounding human tribes let them stay, certain that the elves would starve and wither in that forbidding place." (ibid) We can deduce that the steppes area was poor land, and largely unsettled by humans.
  • 800 BC - c. 500 BC - "Earth which had rarely tasted rain before was suddenly filled to excess and the plants bloomed. ... Scrub oak grew and flourished. Water-starved steppes plants suddenly changed and adapted almost overnight. In a few centuries' time, the steppes became a forest... the Canolbarth. At the same time, elven adventurers stole through human lands to bring back forest animals to the Canolbarth." (GAZ5 page 8a) This description seems to imply that the evolution of the Canolbarth Forest was quite rapid at first, but nevertheless took hundreds of years to reach its 1000 AC extent and condition.
  • c. 500 BC - "This time was also the start of the decline of the Nithian empire. Ilsundal knew of the Immortals' curse on that unhappy land ... and his part of the curse diverted much of what had made the Nithians great towards his children, the elves." (GAZ5 page 8a) The phrase "this time" is ambiguous, but it likely means 500 BC, since this was the date of the Nithians' destruction. Ilsundal's part of the curse likely involved diverting rainfall away from Ylaruam and onto Alfheim. The Weatherchange section on pages 16c and 17a of GAZ5 makes this clearer: "...through the intervention of the Immortal Ilsundal. Climatic changes were willed upon the continent, taking water from naturally wet lands with direct access to the sea and lofting it over the barrier mountains to provide rain for Alfheim. Actually, most of the moisture falling upon Alfheim is gathered over the oceans surrounding the continent, but there is an overlap which affects the continental climate (some speculate that it was deliberate, calculated to insure that certain neighbours of Alfheim would be weakened)." (GAZ5 pages 16c and 17a)
Migration Notes
  • Migrations 800 BC - "Several thousand elves took the Rainbow Path to a relatively unsettled area, what is now Thyatis, 800 years prior to the crowning of the first emperor in Thyatis. ... Harrassed and deceived at every turn, the elves fled northward. Some stopped in what is now Karameikos and became the Calarii elven clan ... but most stopped in the wind-torn steppes of what is now Alfheim." (GAZ5 pages 7c-8a)

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:06 pm

Thorf wrote: Migration Notes
  • Migrations 800 BC - "Several thousand elves took the Rainbow Path to a relatively unsettled area, what is now Thyatis, 800 years prior to the crowning of the first emperor in Thyatis. ... Harrassed and deceived at every turn, the elves fled northward. Some stopped in what is now Karameikos and became the Calarii elven clan ... but most stopped in the wind-torn steppes of what is now Alfheim." (GAZ5 pages 7c-8a)
Hmmm... this I find very interesting. Harassed and deceived at every turn... by whom I wonder? By the Nithians? It seems likely. This might provide the elves with some amount of motivation to seek revenge upon the Nithians (by stealing their water), which ties in nicely with your chronological notes.
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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:37 am

The original quotation includes this phrase: "Even then, the philosophies that would eventually make an empire were in place." Clearly the intent was that they were harassed by the proto-Thyatians. Unfortunately Dawn of the Emperors later set the date for their arrival at 600 BC, 200 years after this event.

So you are likely correct, it presumably must have been the Nithians.

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Re: Outer World: Alfheim, 8 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:52 am

Thorf wrote:The original quotation includes this phrase: "Even then, the philosophies that would eventually make an empire were in place." Clearly the intent was that they were harassed by the proto-Thyatians. Unfortunately Dawn of the Emperors later set the date for their arrival at 600 BC, 200 years after this event.

So you are likely correct, it presumably must have been the Nithians.
;) The quote's author was obviously effected by the Spell of Oblivion.

Seriously though, I expected that the quote referred to the Thyatians/proto-Thyatians, but it's nice that we can make it fit for the Nithians just as well (if not better), and tie it into other events in the region.
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