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Thoughts on the location of the Midlands

by Simone Neri

I resurrected this thread due to discussions going on with Carillion and Sturm in another more recent topic about Galannor’s (from Mishler’s Midlands articles) location on the map. This of course doesn’t affect only Galannor, but also the Seven Duchies and the Five Tribes coming from the same article.

Just to clarify ideas to myself about Mishler’s Midlands various locations, I made a quick-and-dirty superimposition of labels taken from Mishler's description over a map of Brun in the latest version released by Thorf. I've used only material from Mishler's Midlands here, not anything from Constantin’s, OldDawg’s, Robin’s, Carillion's, or Sturm's maps.

The outlying blue circle should represent the whole Midlands region; the red dashed line represents more or less the "Lands of Law" (including Galannor, the Seven Duchies, and most of the Five Tribes) according to Mishler's geographical references; the pink dashed line represents instead the approximate area inside which the Kingdom of Galannor should lay. Galandar (old Urzud according to Mishler) has been located "near the headwaters of the Borean River" (as Mishler has it), even if that is not the canonic location of Urzud from GAZ10 (which should be found at the fork of the Borean River, just north of the larger Midlands area. I’ve not placed uncertain locations for which no indication is given by Mishler, such as the dwarven thanedom of Radrast, the Great Pit, or the major elven clans.

All this area, if compared to Constantin’s material about Hule and lands north of it, should be found north of the Kavkaz region, but irrimediably overlaps with Douzbakjian and Sardjikjian. Also, the presence of the massive Ozungan Plateau in Constantin’s version limits the room available for Galannor – which, in the present version of Sturm and Carillion, is found quite isolated on the eastern side of the Plateau itself.

So, instead of pushing the whole setting of Mishler north of that of Constantin, displacing as a consequence most of Mishler’s locations in regard to one another, in my opinion we could attempt to interweave the two settings; this is also possible due to the common inspiration of both – i.e. a “Kingdom/Land of Law” north of Hule which counterbalanced the power of the Temple of Chaos in the hagiarchy. In the future, this will need some work to make Constantin’s and Mishler’s backrgound story of this area fit together, in order to avoid useless duplications or redundant characters or events.

I’ll have a clearer idea of how to do this when Thorf’s updated map of Brun at 72mph will be released. In the meantime, the changes I’m thinking about in regard to the Sturm/Carillion map are substantially four:

1) moving (or expanding) Galannor from the present location to the north-west, south of the High Borean Valley and north of the Ozungan Plateau; this will be more in line with Mishler’s location of Galannor in the “north and east” of the Midlands area.

2) moving the Seven Duchies to the south-west, into the area of the Guinach River, the Bazdayan Hills, and toward the Great Zdredanyan Forest. The duchies don’t need to border with one another, so they can be freely spread into this area, with existing semi-nomadic tribes (not only Mishler’s Ausdran, but also Constantin’s Balitan and Kazmen tribes – besides, Mishler’s article says in addition to the Five Tribes of Law [Ausdran, Andar, Roanna, Shonak, Uimach], there are also another five tribes of Chaos and seven tribes of Balance living in the Midlands) living between them. Also, there should be a number of minor baronies attached to each duchy, so maybe part of their hexes is actually made up of those baronies; as a side note, since apparently nothing is known about the settlements of Darathul, Uzdahl, and Koyshyi (located between Douzbakjian and Sardjikjian), they could be considered part of some of the duchies or baronies from Mishler’s article.

3) the Roanna tribe, described by Mishler as a culture similar to the Children of the Elk in Atruaghin, should live in a forested area, and found in the south-east area of the Midlands. Then I’d move them into one of the forest, even on the Ozungan Plateau could work – there’s plenty of room for both them and the elves.

4) due to the different sources of the material, “syncretic” maps like Sturm’s and Carillion’s have some labels which, in my opinion, could be associated one another in order to reduce the number of different peoples on the map – which often are mostly undetailed, so not much useful besides occupying some hexes on the map.
For example, the “Savage elves” (from LoZompatore’s map) could be tied with any one existing group of elves in the area, since their source is the Dragonlord Trilogy set around 500 AC; the same can be said of the “kingdom” of Taneilim (from the Book of Wondrous Inventions).
Also, Mishler mentions “three major elven clans and a dozen minor” ones: at least some of them could be the same clans which according to Constantin dwell on the Ozungan Plateau – and the plateau’s forest could be the same “Wildwood” mentioned in AC1 and included both by LoZompatore and Carillion in their maps.