Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Ethengar, 8 miles per hex

by Thorfinn Tait
Ethengar is a vast grassy plain, offering little protection from either the bitter winds of winter or the blistering sun of summer. This rough land tests the people who live on it every day, and those who survive that test grow strong and hardy. It is a land of warrior horsemen, as fierce and deadly as they are skilled.

from GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar, by Jim Bambra


GAZ12’s map has seen much criticism for the perception of its steppes as being far too small for the culture.  This of course originated in the X1/Expert Set map.  It introduced two new variations of the grasslands hex to make the blanket grasslands of the Khanates more interesting.  It also introduced the Post House symbol, which was often repurposed in later fan-created maps.

This map is significant also for the large chunk of Heldann it reveals, although unfortunately there was very little detail to speak of.

Replica of poster map from GAZ12, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, replica map 1 February 2016; original colours map March 2009

Updated map of Ethengar, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, 7 February 2016


The Ethengar steppes make for a rather boring hex map, due to the lack of variation. To solve this problem, the designers created two variants of the grassland hex: poor and choice grazing land. They also added in various depressions, along with rivers and small lakes. Then there’s the Land of Black Sand. Other than that, the land is largely a featureless plain; the nomadic nature of the Khanates means very few permanent settlements can be shown, resulting in a country with but three or four camps and no cities, towns or villages at all. It’s quite unique in the Known World.

Another problem is the elevations of the terrain. The text states it to be a plateau, above much of the surrounding terrain. However, Rockhome’s rivers flow downhill into the steppes, and there is no barrier marked between the steppes and the nearby coast.

But by far the biggest criticism of the steppes is their size: they have repeatedly been said to be far too small for the horsemen’s culture.


  1. GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar (1989), PDF at DriveThruRPG)
  2. GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome (1988) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)
  3. TM1 The Western Countries (1989)
  4. Rules Cyclopedia (1991) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)

Notes on GAZ12

Notes on Updated map (TM1)

Chronological Notes

Migration Notes

To Do List

  1. Expand updated map - I'm working on changing the format of all my maps to make them rectangular by including neighbouring countries.
  2. Check the rest of GAZ12 and other relevant sources for geographic details and write notes on the updated map.
  3. Create replicas of TM1 and TM2, and finish notes on this map.

About Replica Maps

Unlike Updated mapsReplica maps are exact (or sometimes colourised) replicas of primary source maps.  These source maps form the main source material of the Atlas of Mystara, from which all of the updated maps are made.  Put simply: