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Northern Black Mountains, 24 miles per hex

by Matthew Fleet

A few notes about the map itself:

1. The map from the module X4 (Master of the Desert Nomads) and the one from the Champions of Mystara boxed set do not tie up with regards to the size of the Sind desert. I have gone with the map from X4, as it was the first map to detail this region, and is also the map that most people will be using when adventuring in this location (ie, when playing through the module X4).

2. I have gone with the river tributaries from the map in X4, unless contradicted by more than one map of Canon status (for example, if contradicted by both the Champions of Mystara map and that of X5).

3. According to X4 and X5, the great pass is a dangerous route, which is rarely travelled. I have therefore not drawn a trade route going through the Great Pass, which is shown in the Champions of Mystara map of the region. At the time of my map (AC1000), I have assumed that no regular trade route goes this way.

4. Fanon maps do not agree with each other with regards to the Northern area of my map. Some show the Borean Valley to be in this region, while others show the Ozungan Plateau to be in this area. I have gone with Christian Constantinís (CC) map, as he wrote some extensive notes on this area which can be found on Pandius. I would have the bottom of the Borean Valley finish just North of the Ozungan Plateau, and then have it run all the way up to the West of Frosthaven. I am currently working on another map which details the area to the North of this one.

5. Some towns were not given names in CCís map. I have given names to these towns, based on the Cultures that were used as resource for this region. These are as follows:

Dvinzina: (Albania)
Grouzhnia: (Georgia - the former Soviet republic in the Caucus),
Azardjian: (Azerbaijan)
Chengouch: (Northern Caucus's - Chechnya, Ossetia, Dagestan, etc.)
Kyurdukstan: (Kurdistan)
Sardjikjian: (Tajikistan)

The following changes have been made:

1 A new Hex guide has been added for user friendliness;
2 I've added borders for a more presentable look;
3 various trails and roads have been tweaked, as Laokong has now clarified to me what they are after revisiting his own previous fan material;
4 various changes to the North of the map have been made on the back of the Borean Valley project that me and Laokong worked on;
5 various formatting changes, such as on the labeling to make the map more legible;
6 Three new locations have been added on the back of the recent Sind Desert article that has been loaded up onto the Vaults of Pandius;
7 A few changes to River Tributaries to make the map tie up with canon material;
8 I've renamed some towns to tie up with the names on the Sardjikjian market file which is on the vaults of Pandius. I missed this article initially when doing my research.

Specifically, for point 7, I had one river tributary flowing towards the Gulf of Hule, and another towards Galannor, when both should have been flowing into the Borean Valley instead, according to canon material. This error was replicated from Laokong's original map of the region.

I've made a number of further updates to my Black Mountains map. The latest updates I've made are as follows:

1. I've added some forested hills on the eastern side of the Black Mountains, which is confirmed in module X4 (Master of the desert Nomads) as being present. Previous maps (including canon ones) have shown these hills to be bare of vegetation. My map should therefore now tie up with Robin's work in this area and her upcoming Great Pass Gazetteer;
2. I've added some glacier hexes in the Black Mountains, which is confirmed to be present in X4;
3. I've added Lake Ishi and amended the nearby river tributary to tie up more closely with Robin's map and article called "The Grouzhina Flood", which was published in the Threshold Magazine;
4. I've shifted the hexes on the bottom right to the South-West by one hex, to tie up with the Great Waste map published in the Champions of Mystara boxed set. This is also the approach taken by Thorf in his recent mapping project, the main reason being that the map in X4 does not tie up with the coastal areas shown on other sources, which in turn would cause further mapping issues. However, I have also knocked up a version which is compatible with the map shown in X4 for those who prefer the other approach.