Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

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Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:22 am

Maps

None as of yet. (But see Unofficial Sources below.)

Comments
This thread is for development of a chronological map of Nithia in 1000 BC. It was started at Chimpman's request. I will update this post with information periodically as the project progresses, and eventually the maps will be presented here.

Sources: GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam (1987), GAZ9 The Minrothad Guilds (1988), Dawn of the Emperors (1989), Hollow World Campaign Set (1990), HWA2 Nightrage (1991), HWR2 Kingdom of Nithia (1991).

Unofficial Sources: Nithia at the Vaults of Pandius, Ancient Nithian Empire (1998) by James Mishler.

Notes from GAZ5
  • Steppes - GAZ5 describes pre-Canolbarth Alfheim as a "forbidding place" of "wind-torn steppes" which "had rarely tasted rain before". It also mentions how the "water-starved steppes plants suddenly changed and adapted overnight." (All quotations from GAZ5, page 8.)
Notes from Hollow World Campaign Set
  • Nithia - "The Nithian Empire is at its peak; it features monumental architecture, large urban complexes in the delta region of the River Nithia, conquest of neighbouring states, establishment of more remote colonies, and the development of more sophisticated arts and culture." (Hollow World DM's Sourcebook page 14.)
To Do List
  1. Update sources list to include all products with references to Nithia.
  2. Research official sources for details of Nithia and write notes for creating a map.
  3. Develop historical map as far as possible based on official sources.
  4. Complete development using fan sources and personal judgement.
References
  1. [Ancient Civilizations] Extent of the Nithian Empire - discussion thread here at The Piazza.
Last edited by Thorf on Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Added references.

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:24 am

Thorf wrote:Maps
None as of yet. (But see Unofficial Sources below.)
What a tease !!! You had me excited when I saw the topic. No matter; I'm a patient person. So, please take that coment as the joke it is intended to be.

Thanks for all your work as the Royal Cartagrapher of Mystara.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:21 am

Thanks Thorf!

I have a very rough draft of a map for this time period that can be found here: Nithia and Surroundings 1000 BC. The coastal lines should be similar to the current day Known World, however there are some major differences:

1) The climate zones are different, with the major example being that Nithia becomes a lush temperate zone, and Alfheim a desert.
2) I think it's also likely that the course of rivers may have changed over 2000 years.
3) The original Atraughin plateau was destroyed circa 1700 BC. I'm not sure what it should be replaced with, but for now I'm postulating broken/rugged terrain.
4) It's roughly 700 years since a devastating explosion was triggered by a group of elves in the Broken Lands. I'm not sure how much damage that would have done to neighboring lands or how long it would take for nature to repair itself, but I've extended the desolation of the Broken Lands in this map.

I've also placed several (tentative) capitals on the map.
1) Ranak - According to HWR2 Ranak was the capital on the outer world as well as in the hollow world (for a time). Placement is uncertain.
2) Oenkmar - The humanoids found (and took) the city in 1190 according to Gaz10
3) Lost Valley - Although I don't really think that this would be the seat of Hutaakan power in the area, for now it's just a placeholder to remind me they are there.
4) Halag - I don't like the size of the swamp near Halag but haven't gotten around to changing it yet.
5) Dengar - The dwarves have been in Rockhome (in some form or fashion) for at least 1500 years at this point.
Last edited by Chimpman on Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Andaire » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:51 am

I thought you were aiming at finishing replicas and updated versions of the official maps first, but it's nice - and definitely exciting - to see you tackle historical maps. :P
Can't wait to see the result, and the discussion around them.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:36 am

Andaire wrote:I thought you were aiming at finishing replicas and updated versions of the official maps first, but it's nice - and definitely exciting - to see you tackle historical maps. :P
Can't wait to see the result, and the discussion around them.
You were quite correct - I am still working on finishing off my replicas and updated maps. But Chimpman sent me a PM about starting threads for these maps, which he's working on now. I'm very happy to have them here in the mapping forum, and I will definitely take part in the development here as much as I can. When I finally come to making my own version of these historical maps, I'll use whatever we come up with here plus my own research and ideas. But right now I think Chimpman's map is already looking very promising. :D
Chimpman wrote:1) The climate zones are different, with the major example being that Nithia becomes a lush temperate zone, and Alfheim a desert.
GAZ5 describes pre-Canolbarth Alfheim as a "forbidding place" of "wind-torn steppes" which "had rarely tasted rain before". It also mentions how the "water-starved steppes plants suddenly changed and adapted overnight." (All quotations from GAZ5, page 8.)

So it seems that the area was steppes and grasslands rather than an actual desert. It also sounds like the surrounding lands are more fertile, since "the surrounding humans were immediately covetous of this newly fertile land" of the Canolbarth Forest. The area of modern Darokin is probably pretty similar to modern times.
2) I think it's also likely that the course of rivers may have changed over 2000 years.
That seems likely, indeed. Good thinking. Perhaps we can come up with some concepts like this that will be useful for all the historical maps. :)
3) The original Atraughin plateau was destroyed circa 1700 BC. I'm not sure what it should be replaced with, but for now I'm postulating broken/rugged terrain.
You seem to have done a pretty good job. But remember that the original plateau was much smaller. You could probably reduce the range of broken terrain to about half the size.
4) It's roughly 700 years since a devastating explosion was triggered by a group of elves in the Broken Lands. I'm not sure how much damage that would have done to neighboring lands or how long it would take for nature to repair itself, but I've extended the desolation of the Broken Lands in this map.
You extended it, but quite subtly, right? It looks fine to me. :)
1) Ranak - According to HWR2 Ranak was the capital on the outer world as well as in the hollow world (for a time). Placement is uncertain.
I would want to make it slightly more central, perhaps closer to modern-day Ylaruam. In fact it would be very fitting to have it on the exact same site - perhaps the Immortals wanted another settlement built on top of the scoured ruins of the old city just to make sure it all remained hidden.

There's also the interesting Hollow World Delta Kingdom/South Kingdom split to think about. It does seem like something that originated in the Hollow World, but it might be fitting to split the country east-west into two (competing) regions nonetheless.

More official stuff on Nithia at this time: "The Nithian Empire is at its peak; it features monumental architecture, large urban complexes in the delta region of the River Nithia, conquest of neighbouring states, establishment of more remote colonies, and the development of more sophisticated arts and culture." (Hollow World DM's Sourcebook page 14.)

You're off to a great start here. :D

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:43 am

One more thing: if you post page references, I will update the first post in the thread with any notes from official sources that we can use. These are my primary sources for mapmaking, so I'm really interested in collecting them all here.

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Andaire » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:20 pm

Thorf wrote: GAZ5 describes pre-Canolbarth Alfheim as a "forbidding place" of "wind-torn steppes" which "had rarely tasted rain before". It also mentions how the "water-starved steppes plants suddenly changed and adapted overnight." (All quotations from GAZ5, page 8.)

So it seems that the area was steppes and grasslands rather than an actual desert. It also sounds like the surrounding lands are more fertile, since "the surrounding humans were immediately covetous of this newly fertile land" of the Canolbarth Forest. The area of modern Darokin is probably pretty similar to modern times.
I always imagined, from that statement, that Alfheim was more similar to Ethengar.

Also, I always wondered why Darokin is called the Land of Leftovers, whereas it actually has very fertile lands, and is nowadays (alongside the Five Shires) the region's breadbasket. Would it be possible that it was originally more steppe-like, like pre-Alfheim, and changed into fertile grasslands as a byproduct of the elves' magics, while Alfheim was transformed into a luxuriant forest and Ylaruam into a desert?
It would explain why this region was not very populated. It might also have been a time of greater Ethengarian strength, as the tribes would have had more land to rove.

Just ideas; I don't know if it's backed up (or at least compatible) with official material.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Ashtagon » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:39 pm

It seems to make sense to me that Darokin would be very arid, perhaps even desert. This in no way means unpopulated after all (consider modern Ylaruam). And any population greater than zero would allow the GAZ5 comment about the humans coveting the newly-fertile Canolbarth region.

The only issue with making pre-Canolbarth Darokin too dry is that there would then be an implication that the elf magic was responsible for making the entire region fertile, which is proven false by the shadow elf magic in AC 1005. Of course, it could be that, left un-reversed, the shadow elf magic will eventually destroy the fertility of the Streel Valley over a period of decades, which is entirely in-keeping with having the region be near-desert initially.

I think mostly steppe with patches of rocky desert is the way to go.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Hugin » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:18 pm

I did an expansion of Darokin history done by Aaron Nowack and Geoff Gander that can be found here on Pandius. It has the region consisting mostly of hardy grasslands and shrub trees. Geographically, there is no reason to believe this area to be desert-like but rather prairie-like.

This time period has the region inhabited mainly by nomadic herders, refugees from the Cruth Mountains, and a burgeoning orc population.

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Havard » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:27 pm

Andaire wrote:I always imagined, from that statement, that Alfheim was more similar to Ethengar.
That was my impression as well.

Im taking great interest in this discussion/project :)

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Havard » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:30 pm

Also, wouldn't it make sense if most locations on the HWR2 map had equivalents on the surface?

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:13 pm

Wow, some great discussions here folks. There were previous issues that I wanted to talk about, but this one was last (and seemed easiest) so I'm going to address first and then work my way up.
Havard wrote:Also, wouldn't it make sense if most locations on the HWR2 map had equivalents on the surface?
I was looking over HWR2 just the other day and Ranak is mentioned as being the only settlement that is moved directly from the OW to the HW. That doesn't mean that we can't re-use names that appear in the HW. I think it makes perfect sense that the newly transplanted Nithinas might try to hold onto their past by "re-creating" cities that previously existed on the OW. Names like Nithys, and Tothys I think are a must.

As far as physical features go I also agree, but to a lesser extent. The HW Nithia I see as a late age Nithia - after the elven magic has begun to work and change the climate of the region. So while some HW features could be represented on the surface (the river Nithia being the most prominent in my mind), I don't think we should take the idea too far. OW 1000 BC Nithia should be wet, green, and fertile land (not to say that the river region wouldn't be anyway).
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:31 pm

Thorf wrote:GAZ5 describes pre-Canolbarth Alfheim as a "forbidding place" of "wind-torn steppes" which "had rarely tasted rain before". It also mentions how the "water-starved steppes plants suddenly changed and adapted overnight." (All quotations from GAZ5, page 8.)

So it seems that the area was steppes and grasslands rather than an actual desert. It also sounds like the surrounding lands are more fertile, since "the surrounding humans were immediately covetous of this newly fertile land" of the Canolbarth Forest. The area of modern Darokin is probably pretty similar to modern times.
A point well taken (and one that others have made as well). What do folks think of this picture of a semi-arid desert (about the center of the page)? Perhaps a smaller portion of semi-arid desert near the mountain ranges, and a more extensive grassland area extending out from the river and into central Alfheim lands?
Ashtagon wrote:The only issue with making pre-Canolbarth Darokin too dry is that there would then be an implication that the elf magic was responsible for making the entire region fertile, which is proven false by the shadow elf magic in AC 1005. Of course, it could be that, left un-reversed, the shadow elf magic will eventually destroy the fertility of the Streel Valley over a period of decades, which is entirely in-keeping with having the region be near-desert initially.
I actually think that this is very likely.
Thorf wrote:
2) I think it's also likely that the course of rivers may have changed over 2000 years.
That seems likely, indeed. Good thinking. Perhaps we can come up with some concepts like this that will be useful for all the historical maps. :)
I'm thinking especially in this case that changing the course of rivers was a major part of the magic that altered the climate of the region.
Thorf wrote:
3) The original Atraughin plateau was destroyed circa 1700 BC. I'm not sure what it should be replaced with, but for now I'm postulating broken/rugged terrain.
You seem to have done a pretty good job. But remember that the original plateau was much smaller. You could probably reduce the range of broken terrain to about half the size.
I think you're right. I'll reduce the amount of broken terrain. What would the coastal area of this region be like? It fell into the sea roughly 700 years ago (amidst volcanic activity - possibly triggered or exacerbated by the broken lands catastrophe, although there is evidence that the volcanic activity preceded that event).

Another feature I think we should take a look at is the Land of Black Sands in Ethengar. This was created during the GRoF (I'll try to get some page references this weekend). I wonder if this area has undergone any expansion or contraction over the millenia?
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:53 pm

Here are some other ideas that have been floating around my head concerning the inhabitants at this time:
Timelines wrote:BC 1257
Wogar Tribe ravages Atruaghin. Capital is ransacked.
Gaz 10, pg 4 DM's Book.

BC 1254
Wogar Tribe splits into three nations. One settles south of Atruaghin, another in the Five Shires. The last goes north, torches a trading post called Akorros. Moves to central Broken Lands.
Gaz 10, pg 4 DM's Book.

BC 1190
Descendants of the Great Horde surface in Broken Lands. The Tribes meet again and discover the Rock of Oenkmar. End of the Quest for a Blue Knife. Truce proclaimed.
Gaz 10, pg 4 DM's Book.

BC 1050
Odious experiments in Nithia turn Black Moon trolls into Gnolls. Gnolls rebel; they escape and later invade Karameikos. Nithian priests visit the Shamans of Oenkmar. Atzanteotl is increasingly offended.
Gaz 10, pg 4 DM's Book.

BC 1000
Gnolls cross southern Darokin and invade Karameikos. Most of the Darokin humans flee north, right into orc territory, where few survive.
Gaz 11, pg 6

Broken Lands overpopulated. All forces join and raid Rockhome; defeated by dwarven King Blystar III. Minor raids go on for 500 years. Tribes migrate south.
Gaz 10, pg 4 DM's Book.

Elves disappear. Orcs invade the land and enslave the hin. The Realm of Othrong is founded. To the east, gnoll tribes invade Traldar territory and a great war begins (perhaps displacing the orcs who came to the halfling lands).
Gaz 8, pg 8

BC 1000
In the time of the eleventh dwarven king, Blystar III, nonhuman tribal movements put marauding tribes of orcs and goblins against the dwarves. This is the same tribal movement wave that sends the gnolls into ancient Traldar lands in what is now modern Karameikis.
Gaz 6, pg 45

Western gnollish tribes invade Traldar territory. The Hutaakans retreate to their vally while the Traldar and gnolls practically annihilate one another. By the time the gnolls retreat, the Traldar population is 20% of its pre-invasion amount. The Traldar Golden Age has ended and its Dark Age has begun. Elsewhere, Alphatians quietly arrive from their homeworld and settle on a remote area, east of the D&D world (see module M1 for more detail). They progressively build a mighty empire based on magic. The Nithian empire is at its peak.
Gaz1, pg 15
I'm sure I've missed a few references, but it is also pretty clear that humanoids abound at this time period. I'm postulating that their increase in prosperity (and numbers) is largely due to the 1700 BC catastrophe and the fallout from that event. I think Humanoids have already hit their peak at this point, probably reaching the height of their power around 1300 BC. At this point the fallout lessens and the region begins to recover, however the humanoids have already established their presence. By 1000 BC they should be entering their downward phase, and after this point the other races seem to be able to reclaim territory from them.

So based on this, what do people think the extent of humanoid territory is in 1000 BC? It sounds like they range all the way from southern Ethengar (possibly loosing territory there at this point), probably throughout Glantri, the Broken Lands, much of Darokin, and also throughout Atraughin and much of the Shires.

There should also probably be a few remnant lizardman city states, possibly near the Shires or in Karameikos, and on some of the Ierendi or Minrothad Isles. The elves probably occupy Alfeisle at this point, while Nithia controls Trader's Isle. Hin and the Atraughin probably exist mostly as slaves at this point. I'm not sure about Ethengarian culture at this time, but it may be very similar to present day culture. Any other ideas?
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:55 pm

I've updated my map Nithia and Surroundings 1000 BC-2, making the following changes:

- Made Atraughin plateau remains smaller. Added volcanic terrain on the southern shore of Atraughin and Ierendi isles.
- Removed most of the desert from Alfheim and replaced with grasslands. A smaller desert still remains near the Altan Tepes.
- Enlarged the area of the Land of Black Sands.
- Moved Ranak to occupy the same hex as Ylaruam City.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:46 pm

Wow. I have to say I am amazed at the depth of knowledge in the Mystara community. Your ability to recount and reference details from so many different sources is astounding.

In place of a completed map, I get a couple preliminary maps and an extensive discusion of the peoples and history of the region. Very enlightening. I raise my tankard to you all and will continue reading with interest.
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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Thorf » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:07 am

CmdrCorsiken wrote:In place of a completed map, I get a couple preliminary maps and an extensive discusion of the peoples and history of the region. Very enlightening. I raise my tankard to you all and will continue reading with interest.
This is pretty much what you can expect from each and every one of the historical maps. :D It should be a lot of fun developing them, and it's definitely going to be a community thing - each and every map is effectively a project in its own right.

Personally, I have two aims in developing these maps: first to develop a basic map showing all the facts as we know (or interpret) them from official sources; second to present my own take on the location in that particular era. I'm really interested in seeing other people's takes too, which is why I place such importance on the basic, "official" map.
Chimpman wrote:I've updated my map Nithia and Surroundings 1000 BC-2, making the following changes:

- Made Atraughin plateau remains smaller. Added volcanic terrain on the southern shore of Atraughin and Ierendi isles.
- Enlarged the area of the Land of Black Sands.
Looking good! Seeing the volcanic terrain symbols down there was a shock, but your reasoning seems very sound. That said, shouldn't the mountains and hills on the Ierendi and Minrothad islands be present? In fact, isn't it likely that they are leftovers from the Taymora era?

I'm not sure about the Land of Black Sand. Should it be getting bigger or smaller over time, or should it stay the same? I guess the logic for it getting smaller is that the scorched grounds recover over time...?

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Re: Outer World: Nithia 1000 BC, 24 miles per hex

Post by Chimpman » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:23 pm

Was just going through Gaz 12 and thought I'd post these references to the Land of Black Sands while they're still fresh in my head.
Gaz12 wrote:BC 3000
The Great Rain of Fire obliterates Blackmoor; the planet shifts and the ice caps recede from the steppes. Spirits are drawn in to merge with the world.
Gaz 12, DM pg 5

BC 1700
Elves in Glantri trigger a cataclysm that has a profound affect on the lands of the steppes. The Land of Black Sand is formed.
Gaz 12, DM pg 5

Ever since the disaster in Glantri, it has been a land of death and decay - a place in which nothing grows.
...
To one who knows the way, the Land of Black Sand contains a gate to the Spirit World
Gaz 12, DM pg 7

The spirits are from the Spirit World, an outer plane that was brought into contact with the Known World following the Great Rain of Fire that destroyed Blackmoor.
...
The catastrophe that destroyed the elves in Glantri brought the Spirit World into even closer contact with the Known World, opening a gate in what was later to be known as the Land of Black Sand.
...
The Land of Black Sand, fed directly by Entropy, began to grow swallowing up areas of steppeland and spawning undead abominations.
Gaz 12, DM pg 37
So it's becoming more clear to me that the Land of Black Sand is growing (and not shrinking as my previous map might have suggested). It's very likely that the area fluctuates (both growing and shrinking as the battle against Entropy looses or gains ground), but now I'm thinking that it was most probably smaller in 1000 BC than it is in 1000 AC. My map will have to change to reflect this.
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