Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

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Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Bonetti » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:24 pm

Because there can never be too much mapping, I've zoomed in on Marstrich Moor (an unofficial name for the tiny marsh across the hills, southeast from Elstrich, named in the Malpheggi Swamp mapping thread).

ImageImageImageImage

I've put together notes on the new sections, below.

Todo:
  • Adjust river widths to be reasonable and match other texts
  • Add more locations
  • Finalize names/backgrounds of new sites
  • Update local monstrous inhabitant labels
  • Adventure seeds (note: seeds from 2 2/3 mile/hex post are already referenced)
  • Add some NPC detail

As I've zoomed in, I'm not sure I've placed Elstrich particularly well. I've been going back and forth on whether to put it directly at the nook (which is compatible with the 8 mile per hex map), or whether to have it set back/off a little, as it is now. The latter suggests that the river has shifted a few times, and there would likely be a small camp at the water's edge now but the town itself would be relatively fixed to its historic location.
Last edited by Bonetti on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor

Postby Bonetti » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:25 pm

Lumber Camps

Woodhaven's primary export, as noted in the 2 2/3 miles per hex map of Malpheggi Swamp, is lumber. These (and other, unmarked) lumber camps are the backbone of the logging efforts in this region.

Abandoned Lumber Camp: Although once a productive lumber camp, an assault from humanoids living in the hills to the north drove the surviving loggers back to Woodhaven. It may be reopened if there is enough demand for lumber -- and guards for the camp can be found.

Birl Yard: This camp does some logging, but it is also the primary launching point for the log drivers who ship the logs downstream to Hellwych (log driving, or birling).

The North Camp: This is the northernmost of the three Woodhaven lumber camps. It was recently relocated further north, out of the hills.

Ruan's Lumber Camp: Ruan Carramack has run this southern camp for enough seasons that his name has become heavily associated with it. He has discouraged clear-cutting, which means the trees near camp are still excellent, and his loggers range further from camp in the normal course of logging to keep production up. Although occasionally troubled by humanoids from the swamp or the nearby hills, the camp's days are usually fairly uneventful.

Keeps and Towers

Hellwatch: This small garrison, rarely populated by more than 20 soldiers on light duty, keeps watch on the swamp. Although they would be the first line of defense for swamp dwellers becoming feisty, their primary purpose is to warn the two via signal fire and runner in case of a serious incursion.

[Moor Tower]: ... ghostly lights? mage tower? ruined keep? watch tower for Woodhaven? living quarters for an obscure sage?

Places of Interest

Dragon's Birth: This lake in the north of the swamp is held in local superstition as the breeding ground for the dragons known to be living in the swamp. While it may be nothing more than local fancy, more than a few lives have been lost to the enterprise of securing dragon's eggs. Although a number of adventurers have sought such treasures and returned to tell the tale, none of them ever came back bearing eggs...

Duskgrove: This heavily forested valley serves as a small, druidic grove for those who wish to commune with nature. Although they do not have a real settlement, a handful of elves, druids, and foresters have retired here for the seclusion, rustic appeal, and yet accessible trade through nearby Elstrich.

Elstrich Bog: This marsh, southeast of Elstrich, is remote enough to rarely attract more vicious inhabitants, and it provides an additional barrier against some of the humanoids who infest the nearby hills. Still, explorers are occasionally lost to natural dangers.

Lizardman Caves: Hidden with rocky crags, these caves are actually the remnants of a once-fine Malpheggi lizardman city. When disaster struck around 1700BC, this city, once near the edge of the swamp, was thrust upward out of the swamp and quickly abandoned. A few rockslides later from aftershocks, and the only mark left is a still-visible entrance where rocks piled up around the city gates. Should this ever see the light of day, it would likely add much to scholarly knowledge of that time period and culture -- assuming that other denizens haven't since stolen or destroyed what was buried with the city.

[Moor Ruins]: These ancient ruins, marked only by half-buried, moss-laden worn stones, predate the history known to Darokinian scholars. (Possibilities: a Nithian outpost once marking the border of the empire, a Taymoran outpost or settlement, an ancient Oltec or Azcan monument, a stronghold from humanoid hordes of Loark, or (if one incorporates the proposed Tiefling empire) one of the cities of Bael Turath.)

Overlook Palace: This ruined palace perches atop cliffs overlooking the Arbandrine as it drifts past. The history is not known to current scholars, but the construction appears to be human. In all likelihood, it was built as a combination garrison and estate by pre-Desolation nobility, and destroyed in that terrible time. Occasionally, daring bandits or humanoid tribes take up residence, using the vantage point to scout targets along the river.

The Rooky Wood: This heavy forest, nestled in the valleys between hills, has an abundance of ravens -- thus the name. It has occasionally served as a home for small families of elves or druids, but is currently unoccupied due to humanoid activity along the edges of the swamp. (This is just begging for an adventure: Light Thickens...)

[Sunken Ruins]: These ruins at the edge of the swamp may well be a lost human settlement, a once-great lizardman town, or any of a number of other possibilities.

Organizations

The Woodhaven Conglomerate

Notable NPCs
Malcom Garuthos: (Woodhaven) Malcom is a logger, and the head of the Woodhaven Conglomerate. He founded the Conglomerate to protect himself and the other loggers in the region. Grey-haired and pushing 60, he is expected to retire soon but has made no moves to do so. Since there is no mayor or other formal leader of Woodhaven, Malcom's influence makes him the de facto town spokesman.

Mortimyr Garuthos: (Hellwych) Mortimyr is the only son of Malcom Garuthos, and he took up the life of a merchant. Now in his mid-30s, he has established a modest business in wood products. Given his affable nature, his success is often attributed more to his father's standing than his own business acumen, and some members of the Woodhaven Conglomerate are hoping that Malcom's position will not be passed to his son out of fear that Mortimyr will not be as strong in negotiations.

Ruan Carramack: (Ruan's Lumber Camp) Although he is usually found in the logging camp bearing his name, he periodically heads to Woodhaven to pick up supplies. A large, balding man with a great, bushy beard, his outgoing nature and devotion to the woods as a resource to be tended rather than exploited has led to a productive, nearly permanent camp which has not had to be relocated due to lack of trees to harvest. The rumor is that his desire to protect the trees while harvesting them derives from time spent with druids as a child, but he has never alluded to any such rearing.

Yevgenniy Kalinov: (Woodhaven) Yevgenniy is a part-time smith, part-time provisioner, and occasionally cooks for the lumberjacks of Woodhaven. He is quiet, rarely volunteers information, and rarely socializes. However, he has told the tale of leaving Karameikos after his family was murdered -- by goblins, according to him.

Bernard Woodridge: (Woodhaven) An elderly halfling, Bernard came to Woodhaven more than a decade ago to retire to a quiet, woodland area. He tends a small cottage on the outskirts of the camp, a building so pastoral it is almost out of place near the rougher and more temporary structures that make up Woodhaven proper. He enjoys a good drink (tea or otherwise), and, when not gardening, researches local folklore. If something is going on in the area of Marstrich Moor, he has probably heard of it -- and if it's connected to local history, he probably knows it. (Effectively, he is a sage specializing in the recent history of the moor and environs, with his sources being the local tales.)

Calum MacDavies: (Woodhaven) He is the father of the father-son pair operating the MacDavies and Son distillery. Periodically, he explores the moor while looking for the best peat to use in their whiskey efforts.

Angus MacDavies: (Woodhaven) Angus is the son of the father-son pair operating the MacDavies and Son distillery. He tends to the distillery, and he is usually the one who takes shipments of their product to Hellwych for trade.

Adventure Seeds

Hellwych: (From 2 2/3 miles per hex map) The party is hired to secure a large supply of wood for an Athenos shipbuilder, but the current and near future timber production is already promised. It's up to the party to negotiate to serve their builder's interests. This could well go political, as the builder claims he's constructing a luxury ship (could be a front, could be for real), while the Darokin navy may have serious need of the same wood for their own purposes (pirates off the coast? preparing for war?)...

Ruan's Lumber Camp: Ruan Carramack has returned to Woodhaven only two days after picking up supplies. He is seeking help, as his camp was attacked in his absence.

Woodhaven: (Modified from 2 2/3 miles per hex map) The MacDavies, a father-son team originally from Klantyre, set up a distillery at the edge of Woodhaven just over ten years ago. They've been selling 5-year whiskey, and have just bottled the first bottles of their 10-year whiskey. The father disappeared while gathering materials (a daring act, given the reputation of the Moor as haunted). The distraught son hires the party to find out what, exactly, happened...
Last edited by Bonetti on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Havard » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:37 pm

Looks good Bonetti! :)

You should really get the Solemnity font (or better Feinen Bold ofcourse) for your maps though.

I once ran a short campaign based in Elstrich, but we never made it to the moor...

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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Bonetti » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:43 am

I did the title on the (final) swamp map in an appropriate font, and I may eventually re-do the map similarly. However, during play I find that the cleaner font is easier to read, and the maps do tend to get very busy as detail is added :-) So, my personal copies will likely continue to be less stylized and more functional.

A couple updates:
  • Added a pond to Duskgrove and a stream feeding into the Arbandrine north of Arthor's Fall
  • Added ruins/adventure locales: Overlook Palace, Sunken Ruins, Lizardman Caves, Dragon's Birth
  • Added labels for the Moor Tower and Moor Ruins.
  • Added humanoid labels

...and one that's not very visible. I've been breaking the region up into a series of 1 mile per hex maps, and keeping everything compatible was becoming a nightmare because my original expansion to one mile per hex did not scale from the 8 mph maps. So, I've re-scaled up from 8 to 1, then found where the 2 2/3 map fits. This has very slightly shifted a few things, but overall it will make future maps at this scale much easier to create.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Ashtagon » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:09 am

The river is much too wide...

wikipedia wrote:The widest point of the Mississippi River is Lake Winnibigoshish, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, at over 7 miles (11 km) across. Also of note is Lake Onalaska, near La Crosse, Wisconsin, where the river is over 4 miles (6.4 km) wide (created by Lock and Dam No. 7) and Lake Pepin at more than 2 miles (3.2 km) wide.[8] However, the first two areas are lakes or reservoirs rather than free flowing water. In other areas where the Mississippi is a flowing river (other than Lake Pepin), it exceeds 1 mile (1.6 km) in width in several places in its lower course.


Of course, that is one of the world's largest rivers. Let's take the Thames...

wikipedia (Thames barrier) wrote:Built across a 572 yard (523 m) wide stretch of the river, the barrier divides the river into four 200 feet (60 m) and two 34 yd (33 m) navigable spans and four smaller non-navigable channels between nine concrete piers and two abutments.


wp (rhine) wrote:It approaches the Dutch border and the Rhine has an annual mean discharge of 2,290 m3/s (81,000 cu ft/s) and an average width of 400 m (1,300 ft).


This varies depending on where you take the measurement. However at the Lower Basin that is formed by the Romanian-Bulgarian lowland and its upland plateaus and mountains, the Danube is about 800 metres wide.


For a large continent-draining river, a width of 2 miles is reasonable in the free-flowing areas, rising in wetlands regions. For island-draining rivers, 500 yards is a reasonable upper limit. Smaller continental rivers range up to about half a mile wide.

One mile is crazy wide for the rivers in this region of darokin.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Bonetti » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:36 am

You're absolutely right :-) I haven't slimmed it down yet. (I had to do the same thing from 8 miles per hex to 2 2/3 miles per hex.) I assume they're not as wide as drawn in the source maps because, well, that would just be crazy. The current width is just a straight scaleup from the 2 2/3 mile per hex map (which started out as a scaleup from the 8 mile per hex map, and was later slimmed down a tad).

Also:
GAZ11 wrote:(p.8) The Streel is one of the mightiest rivers in all the Known World ranging to over half a mile in width and running as deep as 70 feet in many places. The Streel runs very strong and fast for a river of its size but is navigable from Corunglain all the way to Athenos.


The original poster map shows it as 1 1/2 to 2 miles wide, and Thorf's replica is actually over 2. Based on other scaled maps, it's always struck me that all the rivers are wide enough to be visible. (If you look at the Dreamland map from PC1, for instance, the difference between the representation in GAZ5 is quite a bit different from that in PC1 -- PC1 shaves it to easily 1/5 the original width (and changes the course).) I took a straight scaleup for now, and will come back and adjust it on a future waterway pass.

Thanks!

So, yeah, thanks for the reminder. I'll update my notes to remind myself later :-)
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Seer of Yhog » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:53 pm

Bonetti wrote:[Moor Tower]: ... ghostly lights? mage tower? ruined keep? watch tower for Woodhaven?


Given the hotly contested nature of the region, the tower could have been built by just about anyone. However, I think it more likely that some would-be lord (possibly some doomed soul who just reached Name-level) received a land grant from one of the last Darokinian kings and tried to carve out a dominion. He (or she) ultimately failed, but when it happened, and by what agency (rival baron, monsters, Nithian lich, dragon, ghostly horde of Molharran, Malpheggi assassins) would need to be worked out. Or, the players could discover it.

Wouldn't it be a nice little twist if a prominent and ambitious merchant (possibly from a Great House) was descended from a nasty bandit king who rampaged through the swamps in the AC 700-800 era, cutting down anyone who tried to spread civilisation into the area? Needless to say, it's a well-kept family secret, and if the tower contained some clues he or she would want them hidden away or destroyed. Wouldn't his or her political rivals love to dig up this detail? I could see the merchant sending the PCs to the tower to make sure nothing incriminating is left behind, while the rivals send parties of their own to dig up the dirt first (literally), and/or ensure the PCs never make it out again. :twisted:
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor

Postby Seer of Yhog » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:36 pm

Bonetti wrote:[Moor Ruins]: These ancient ruins, marked only by half-buried, moss-laden worn stones, predate the history known to Darokinian scholars. (Possibilities: a Nithian outpost once marking the border of the empire, a Taymoran outpost or settlement, an ancient Oltec or Azcan monument, a stronghold from humanoid hordes of Loark, or (if one incorporates the proposed Tiefling empire) one of the cities of Bael Turath.)


I think a strong case could be made for:

1. A Taymoran settlement (possibly founded by those seeking to escape their vampiric overlords during the early post-GRoF period, or by newly-exiled vampires themselves – assuming you’re using the thinking we’ve been developing on the BC 2300 threads); or

2. An outpost of Meruvar that somehow survived the fall of the nation, which may have played a role in the destruction of the Moor Tower; or

3. An Inti settlement (the Azcan nation of the BC 2300 period), or fortress dating from the time of its numerous wars with Taymor.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex)

Postby Bonetti » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:36 pm

As always, Geoff, thanks for the thoughts :-) Always interesting!

I'm a little tempted to stay sort of vague, though. One of the things I was noting, looking at the two maps zooming in on Threshold, is just how much of the detail actually comes from adventures being fleshed out. I find that if I do start filling deliberate adventure spots in, they become sufficiently fixed that it becomes hard to break them again.

That being said, I think everything proposed so far is a suitable adventure possibility -- and there's no reason they're not all true! Come to think of it -- there are some possibilities right there for anyone looking to create a One Page Dungeon :-)

(I'll probably back myself into a corner at some point and make a decision, though... especially since I'm going to be laying out at least one if not two hooks for the party as they pass through Ameron on the way to Athenos... :-) )
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Bonetti » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:51 pm

Updated the map and notes:

  • (map) Adjusted river widths to be more reasonable
  • (map) Adjusted internal borders to match the river changes
  • (notes) Added some NPCs
  • (notes) Imported adventure seeds

I've been meaning to get around to this for a while, if only to share (and thus archive) some additional bits developed in the course of running an adventure here.

In my game, I left the ruins as mostly unremarkable (foundation stones, mostly), with no notable inhabitants. However, a rift from the Shadowfell had come through here (4e cosmology), and some shadar-kai were attempting to exploit it -- and it attracted some Shadow-attuned bullywugs along the way. The party freed Calum MacDavies from the rift (which had trapped him).

I also ended up needing to develop something for the tower, and settled on Allistyr, a sage (and powerful wizard) from Alphatia who had set up a tower to live in while he observed local events. His particular specialty (and the only thing which holds his interest for any length of time) is the draconic kingdoms, and he is here to observe what appears to be a long game between Thalkor and Azem.

They also met up with Bernard Woodridge (some notes, above), and were directed to archaeologists from an as-yet-unnamed university in Darokin city if they had further questions about the ruins' history. (The archaeologists had come through on a survey, and Bernard is more interested in recent history than ancient history...)
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Havard » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:38 am

Looks good Bonetti!

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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Hugin » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:35 pm

It still amazes me that folks can make these hex maps look as if they came right out of one of my TSR books. Well done Bonetti!
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Seer of Yhog » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:44 pm

Excellent update! I hope to see more sometime.
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Bonetti » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:19 am

At some point... Right now, I'm absolutely swamped and have barely managed just-in-time work for the game. I'm so glad I did so much development of the region before this all started, since I haven't had time for a year or so. I found a little bit of time to bring a few hand-written notes over (and do a couple map updates) and post here :-)

If nothing else, The Piazza is handy for me to archive my notes ;-)
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Bonetti » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:07 am

Oh, and one tiny piece of insanity: a patched-together 1 mile-per-hex map from Elstrich Valley through Athenos (only Athenos/Marstrich are anywhere close to final, and not all areas have been expanded).
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Seer of Yhog » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:16 am

:shock:

Cripes, you ARE insane!

But that's so, so cool. If all it takes to get this wonderful mappy goodness is your sanity, well, then it was well spent. ;)
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:18 am

One thing you might consider adding in, time and interest permitting: the Trade Map from the Player's Guide of Gaz11 shows a trade trail between Akesoli, Akorros, and the Atruaghin Plateau (there listed as "Atruaghin," but presumably the World Elevator and parts atop the plateau), and says it is under construction as of 1000 AC; it would probably be completed by 1010 and beyond (although the war with the Desert Nomads may certainly have hindered its progress, if it wasn't yet completed, or aided the Master's invasion ironically if it were). I'd say that it would certainly be visible in this new 1 mi map up by around Stoneford, and may in fact go through there (making Stoneford a more viable economic outpost/village than it otherwise would have been).
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Re: Mapping Marstrich Moor (Darokin, Outer World, 1 mile/hex

Postby Bonetti » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:47 am

Although I haven't marked the trail yet (I'll need to work it out :-) ), I did incorporate that into the description of Stoneford. Oddly, I had never written a blurb for that village, so that filled a need. Thanks!
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