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The Five Shires, 8 miles per hexby Thorfinn Tait
Replica of poster map from GAZ8, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, replica map, 2 February 2016; original colours map, July 2008
GAZ8’s was arguably the first in the series to be crammed full of detail. The Shires occupy a small area already, of course, but the map seems full of settlements, labels, and so on, to an extent that had not yet been seen in Known World maps.
Updated map of The Five Shires, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, 1 February 2016The Five Shires are green and pleasant with rolling fields, dark woods, and little wasteland. This is due in part to the position of the Shires between mountains and sea. Moist air blowing inland cools and must leave its moisture behind as it rises over the peaks, making the Shires often wet and misty.
from GAZ8 The Five Shires, by Ed Greenwood
- GAZ4 The Kingdom of Ierendi (1987) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)
- GAZ8 The Five Shires (1988) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)
- TM1 The Western Countries (1989)
- PC3 The Sea People (1990)
- Rules Cyclopedia (1991) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)
- Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure
This map was already very dense in its first instance in GAZ8. Most of the updates are to bring the map in line with the text, as the two had a number of inconsistencies.
Notes on Updated map
- Adrian Peak — this named peak was added for TM1.
- Aercruth — a village in the Cruth Lowlands. The GAZ8 DM’s Booklet has “Aercruth” no less than seven times (pages 37-39). However, the poster map labels the village “Aergruth”. TM1 keeps the map spelling, as does the Rules Cyclopedia map. The updated map goes with the text spelling.
- Burny Cliffs — “The promontory between Burny and the Hingulf rises into high, windswept hills that drop to the sea in sheer rock cliffs of up to five hundred feet in height.” (GAZ8 DM’s Booklet, page 42. The name comes from the same page.) These have been added to the updated map.
- Coastal Waters — many Gazetteers didn’t show shallow and deep water, including GAZ8. TM1 showed coastal waters for the first time for the Five Shires.
- Darkwood — the GAZ8 DM’s Booklet (page 37) refers to this wood in Highshire, into the depths of which no hin normally goes “for any reason”. It’s hard to see which stretch of woods this refers to, although page 39 rules out the “nameless woods” east of Waymeet. This feature could be marked on a larger scale map, but there isn’t space at this scale to mark it on.
- Deepmoss Road — the road from Deepmoss to Thantabbar is named the Deepmoss Road; GAZ8’s DM’s Booklet refers to it by this name (capitalised) on page 42. However, see also Deeps Road.
- Deeps Road — GAZ8 says that this road runs “from Thantabbar into the interior of the Shires” through Deepmoss and Leafkindle (DM’s Booklet page 43). Confusingly, Deepmoss supposedly lies at the crossroads of the Coastfollow Road and this road, but since the Coastfollow Road also goes through Thantabbar, this would make them in fact the same road. More likely the Deeps Road (which is also referred to as the Deepmoss Road, page 42) runs from the junction northwest of Thantabbar. Also, which way the road turns after Leafkindle is not at all clear.
- Forested Hills — the easternmost hex, bordering on Karameikos, was changed to forested hills in Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure. This change seems in line with the Karameikos forested hills change, so the Atlas has adopted it.
- Islands — the labels for the small islands of the Shire Coast, present on GAZ8’s map, were missing from TM1.
- Lake Hindim — this small lake, formed by a widening of the Wardle River, is referred to as “Lake Hindim” on page 37 of GAZ8’s DM’s Booklet, but “Lake Hiadim” on the poster map. “Hiadim” seems likely to be a typo, although it appears again on TM1 and the Rules Cyclopedia map. The updated map considers “Hindim” to be the correct form.
- Mistmyr Falls — GAZ8 has “Mistmyr” twice in the text (DM’s Booklet, pages 9 and 55). Page 9: “the awesome Mistmyr Falls (a fall so long and violent that spray always enshrouds the foot of the plunge in roiling mists)”. However, the poster map has “Miskmyr”. TM1 uses the spelling “Myskmyr”, and this change was carried through onto the Rules Cyclopedia map. The updated map goes with “Mistmyr”.
- Moon Hill Road — described on pages 44-45 of GAZ8’s DM’s Booklet, this road doesn’t seem to be marked on the map at all. It apparently runs from somewhere between Fishtickle Bridge and Leafkindle down through Moon Hill, southeast to join up with the Coastfollow Road. The updated map includes it as a short road following the Ithypool River.
- Shadowgate — GAZ8’s DM’s Booklet (pages 46-47) refers to this village as “Shadowgate” nine times. Not once is the “Shadowgates” of the poster map used, despite it appearing on the black and white reproduction of the map on the same page. The updated map goes with the text’s “Shadowgate”.
- Waymeet — the label for this crossroads on GAZ8’s poster map was missing from TM1.
To Do List
Expand updated map - I'm working on changing the format of all my maps to make them rectangular by including neighbouring countries.
- Check GAZ8 and other relevant sources for geographic details and write notes on the updated map. (GAZ8 seems to have a lot of contradictions between the text and the map, as well as quite a few extra details. As you can see from the notes above, I have checked up to about page 47.)
- Create replica of Rules Cyclopedia maps and write notes.
- Create replica of TM1 and finish notes on this map.
About Replica Maps
Unlike Updated maps, Replica 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:
- Replica maps present the world of Mystara as the original source materials depict it, warts and all. No attempt has been made to fix errors of any kind — even typos. Replica maps are always marked as such on this site.
- Updated maps present the Atlas of Mystara‘s consistent view of the world, with all errors, alignment issues, and so on fixed. Anything not marked as a replica map is an updated map.
- The Five Shires at the Vaults of Pandius
- The Five Shires map thread at The Piazza
Michele Carpita (LoZompatore), JoeNotCharles, Andrew Theisen (Cthulhudrew)