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Thoughts on the Jungle Coast—Aryptian Savannah

by Geoff Gander

Another thought that occurs to me - and this probably would only be truly visible on a 24-mile hex map - is that traces of the inland sea that covered much of what is now the Aryptian Desert in Lhomarrian times would still be visible in altered topography. Sand and other debris has filled a lot, but there would still be depressions, and odd rises that might have been islands at one time.

The map showing the inland sea can be seen on page 33 of Issue 5 of Threshold Magazine, which was itself based on a map I posted to the Piazza in 2011.

This region was pretty much left as a blank slate. Vanya’s Rest, which was mentioned in Bruce Heard's “Voyages of the Princess Ark” is the one official detail, however.

The episodes had regional maps tracking Haldemar’s progress, and I believe the Varellyan ruins and the ruins to the far north may have been on those - I will have to check. I did add the large lake to the north, mainly because I don’t like huge expanses of one terrain type. The real world isn’t monotonous (the Sahara Desert, for example, has different regions and terrain types, rather than an endless expanse of sand dunes), so why should Mystara be?

Thinking about this map a bit more, and looking at some of the things I've written over the years, here are some added details that may be of interest:

From my 1999 article on Cestia, the Cestian nation of Ambiroa has the most advanced shipbuilding capacity (their larger vessels are comparable with those in the Known World in terms of size and hull strength), and by extension they would be more likely than their neighbours to have explored the surrounding seas. While the Ambiroans raid their neighbours' ports when they can, it's not inconceivable that they would visit the facing shore of the mainland, on the other side of the Pass of Cestia, as well as the shore of the Bellissarian Sea. Ambiroa is described a (relatively) resource-poor (although still lush by Known World standards), so most of their explorations would be to locate resources, as well as slaves. They might have a couple of sites they visit regularly, and may even have a semi-permanent camp or two if the area is rich enough.

Manakara, the kingdom that made contact with Haldemar in the Princess Ark series, has become more open to trade with mainlanders since the Alphatians' visit. The port of Ambastalasha is where most of the trade passes through, and it is also possible that the Manakarans might have established a trading post on the mainland, probably at the mouth of one of the rivers.

The ruins of Yath-Khe would also be on this map, below the "Aryptian Desert" label.