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WotES - Location of Barrik's Castle

by Giampaolo Agosta

I'm wondering where Barrik's Castle is located, both in Outer and Hollow World.

Outer World
There's some evidence in favor of Thunder Rift -- chiefly, the use of the name Barrik in Quest for the Silver Sword.
Also, many aspects of Barrik's and his people culture hardly fit in other areas of Mystara -- for example, the main NPC priestess worships Ka, a rather unusual Immortal in the Outer World (where he is worshiped mostly by Stone Giants, Tortles, some Rakasta, the Wallara, and some Lizard-kin).
However, this is not definite as he is mentioned in the Codex as being worshiped in Alphatia and Darokin, so at least some options are available.

On the other hand, the sage Marmillian appears to be familiar with Azcan and Oltec cultures, and identifies them as being part of the past -- something that clashes with Thunder Rift, unless Thunder Rift itself is somewhere near the Known World. While the Oltec Man was quite widespread, the specific Azcan and Oltec cultures are reasonably limited to the territory between the Atruaghin Clans and the Savage Baronies -- a large area, but it is unlikely that a sage from southern Davania, Skothar or Northwestern Brun would have heard about them, especially if he himself comes from an insular community or region.

Currently, I'm leaning towards northern Darokin -- has some Ka worshipers, has enough nearby goblinoids as well as sufficiently near Halfling, Dwarf and Elf communities, and it is near enough Atruaghin that a competent scholar from Darokin could reasonably be able to recognize Azcan artifacts.
The primary drawback is that Hector Barrik is a Duke, and Darokin is a republic. However, there are the Magistrates of the Borderlands, who are basically hereditary nobles, vassals of the Republic itself. While AFAIR they don't normally have other titles except that of Lord, and are typically equivalent to barons rather than dukes. However, it is conceivable that a Border Magistrate may have a local, traditional title, since Darokin has a complex history and was once a feudal kingdom.

Hollow World
This is tricky. We know that the Hidden Valley where Barrik's castle appears in the Hollow World is circled by tall mountains, and has underground passages leading north to the Malpheggi Swamp and to the southern border of the Azcan Empire, and south-east to the Shattenalfen Realm.
An "Oltec Tradeway" is found to the west (north-west, really).

This makes it like the valley is somewhere in the vicinity of Teptitlan mines... still it is not easy to provide a reasonable placement, especially as the game makes all these locations quite nearer than they actually are.