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Ylaruam, 8 miles per hexby Thorfinn Tait
Replica of GAZ2 poster map, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, replica map 1 February 2016; original colours map July 2008
The second Gazetteer series map began a strange trend in not showing any villages. The lack of a central river prevented the Egypt-Like treatment that later worked so well in HWR2’s Nithia. But it nevertheless did a decent job of making what the original 24 mile per hex map showed as an area of pure desert into a more interesting, varied landscape
Updated map of Ylaruam, 8 miles per hex by Thorf, March 2009
Note: PDF files are available of all my maps upon request.
Sources: B4 The Lost City (1982), Expert Rules Set (1983), GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam (1987), TM1 The Western Countries (1989), TM2 The Eastern Countries (1989), Rules Cyclopedia (1991), The Jade Hare (1992).
Notes on Updated map (B4)
- Cynidicea - B4 has the adventurers stumble upon Cynidicea several days after getting lost on a caravan trail and heading east. See notes for the 1983 Expert Set.
Notes on Updated map (Expert Set 1983)
- Alasiyan Desert - the only terrain feature given a name on the Known World map other than the capital is the desert itself.
- Cynidicea - the Known World map marks the location of module B4's lost city, Cynidicea, on the trail leading from Darokin to Ylaruam town. Combined with B4's information, we can deduce that Cynidicea is located a little east of the trail in the 24 mile hex it's marked on. It has therefore been marked one hex off the trail towards the east on the 8 mile per hex updated map.
Notes on Updated map (GAZ2)
- Alasiyan Basin - also referred to as the Great Alasiyan Basin (page 31), The Empty Quarter/Rub Al-Khali (also 31), and the Alasiyan Desert Basin (6), all of which are apparently synonyms for the Alasiyan Desert.
- Alasiyan Desert - GAZ2 sometimes (notably page 4) uses the capitalised phrase "Alasiyan Desert" as well as the more standard "Alasiyan desert". Both these terms seem to refer to the desert as a whole, including all the land from the Ust-Urt Valley in the west to the coastal plains in the east, and possibly also the highlands to the north and south. A regional label has been added to the map to show this.
- Altitude - the Gazetteer describes the lay of the land on page 6: "like a great scoop open to the eastern sea". The desert basin "dips down sharply" from the Altan Tepes in the west, "almost down to sea level in the salt flats west of Ylaruam, then sloping gently upwards again, becoming a high desert plain until it reaches the sea, where it drops several hundred feet in the last few miles before it reaches the coastline".
- Coastal Plain - page 6 describes this area in detail, but the map version is quite different from this description, which refers to the plain as a strip of land along the coast "from one to five miles wide", "bounded by an escarpment of 200 to 500 feet in elevation". The poster map's coastal strip is perhaps one to ten miles wide, but this doesn't seem significant enough to warrant revision. The escarpment dividing the desert and the plain could easily be marked, but is probably best kept for larger scale maps.
- Cubia - the GAZ2 map labels the northern coastal town in the Emirate of Nicostenia "Cubia". This was carried over to the Dawn of the Emperors Thyatis map, as well as TM2 and the Wrath of the Immortals 24 mile per hex map. However, the Gazetteer itself refers to this town as Cubis throughout (pages 11, 12, 31). The Atlas restores the spelling from the text.
- The Dead Place - the site of an Immortal battle during the fall of Nithia (i.e. c. BC 500), described on pages 63-64. It is said to be located "in a remote region of the Nithian highlands" and "in a rugged badlands swept by sand dunes". It takes the form of a vast glassy obsidian bowl, mostly covered with sand but sometimes partially revealed by storms. The most remote location would seem to be half way between Surra-Man-Raa and Cinsa-Men-Noo. Note that page 31's Ylari Region Chart refers to "The Dead Places (desolate areas of Nithia)". The plural could simply be due to the fact that the area is taboo, and the nature and exact location of the Dead Place remains unknown. This Atlas considers the singular form to be the correct name.
- Emirate capitals - the capital of each individual emirate has been marked on the map in a larger font size.
- Great Salt Basin - page 31 refers to this as a "vast desolate salt lake".
- Kirkuk - this village has no official location as it was designed to be dropped onto the map wherever was most convenient. GAZ2 pages 38-52 detail the village, and various possible locations are discussed, especially in the Staging Tips section on page 44: "Ideally it belongs on any caravan route or track in a wilderness or borderland region near the foothills of the Altan Tepes." The village map of Kirkuk places its major street and caravansary on an East-West route. Of course it's possible for the town to lie along a short East-West section of a North-South trade route, but taking things at face value it seems that the big road in the south is the most logical location. Considering the historical links to Thyatis, the Emirate of Dythestenia seems the most likely place.
- Middle Coast - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 provides this name for the Abbashani coastal plain.
- Nicostenian Uplands - according to page 12, the uplands of Nicostenia are "the only substantial source of timber, charcoal and firewood in the Emirates", suggesting that they are forested to some extent. Some forested hill hexes have therefore been added to this area.
- North Coast - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 provides this name for the Nithian coastal plain.
- Oases - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 refers to the oases around Abbashan and Ylaruam as the Abbashan Oasis and the Ylaruam Oasis. Though these oases share their names with their respective towns, separate labels have nonetheless been marked on the map for the sake of completeness.
- Piedmont - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 provides this alternate name for the Nicostenian Uplands. In the real world, this is a region in northern Italy, and the name means "at the base of the mountain". The name seems quite fitting as these hills are at the foot of the eastern spur of the Altan Tepes. Perhaps the name is of Thyatian origin. This name has been marked on the updated map rather than "Nicostenian Uplands".
- Southern Coast - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 provides this name for the Nicostenian coastal plain.
- Town/village names - the Ylari Region Chart on page 31 gives a list of town/village names which "may be scattered around on detailed topographical maps": Jauf, Taymor, Tayma, Wahj, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dubai, Doha, Salwaw, Jubayl, Qaysumah, Nuayriyah, Urayirah, Mubbaraz, Hofuf, Udayliyyah, Haradh, Mishab, Ras al Khafqi, Ras Tannurah, Abu Hadryah, Zilfi, Ghat, Ruywaydah, Shaqra, Diriyah, Dilam, Hillah, Layla, Hariq, Salamiyyah, Artawiyyah, Turayt, Hadithah, Ha'il, Unayzah, Dawadimi, Kasamin, Bishah, Baljurshi, Kahmis Mushayt, Abha, Dirs, Kiyat, Uzan, Lith, Afif, Ulah, Umm Lajj, Duba, Ras al Qasbah, and Haql.
- Ust-Urt Valley - the name for the fertile valley that makes up most of the Emirate of Makistan, referenced on pages 4, 6, 8, 11-12, 30-31, etc. Page 6 states that there are various minor rivers which irrigate the valley, all of which drain into the Alasiyan Desert Basin at the southern end of the valley. These rivers are likely too small to mark on anything but large scale maps of the valley, and therefore do not appear on the 8 mile per hex map.
- Valley of Death - page 31 refers to this as a "salt basin west of Ylaruam"; page 6 also mentions "salt flats west of Ylaruam", which are presumably one and the same. It has been assumed that this is the area of rocky desert north of Sulba.
- Wadis - according to page 6, these seasonal rivers are present in the areas surrounding the Alasiyan Basin, especially the semi-arid highlands. As with the rivers of the Ust-Urt Valley, they are likely too small to mark on the 8 mile per hex map, but may appear on more detailed maps.
Notes on Updated map (TM2)
- Coastal Waters – many Gazetteers didn’t show shallow and deep water. TM2 showed coastal waters for the first time for Thyatis, Ylaruam, the Northern Reaches, part of Heldann and the western Isle of Dawn. It also redrew Minrothad’s coastal waters, which were rather simplistic in GAZ9’s map.
- Spelling Error - Emirate of Alasiya – TM2 incorrectly spells this "Alasya". The Alasiya spelling is well attested and goes back to the original Known World map, so this is likely an error.
Notes on Updated map (The Jade Hare)
- Dar el-Tamyya - the village featured in the short adventure The Jade Hare. Given the presence of humanoid tribes (goblins and orcs mostly), the village is likely located in the highlands bordering the Altan Tepes mountains. It has been marked a few hexes northwest of Ctesiphon.
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 GAZ2 for geographic details and write notes on the updated map.
- Create replica of this map from Rules Cyclopedia and write notes.
- Create replicas of
TM1 andTM2 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.
Thanks to: Ashtagon, John Calvin (Chimpman), Håvard, Gecko, Geoff Gander (Seer of Yhog), JoeNotCharles, Sheldon Morris (Hugin), Hervé Musseau (Andaire), Simone Neri (Zendrolion), JTR (OldDawg), Troy Terrell (CmdrCorsiken), Andrew Theisen (Cthulhudrew)