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Consideration for the Placement of Thunder Rift

by Travis Henry

Some considerations:

1) TSR Editor Andrew Steven Harris' statements on placement. As far as I know, this is the only word we have from a TSR employee about the placement of TR. Harris personally favoured placing TR "on one of Mystara's other continents" because this "would, to some extent, solve the size issue" and "would make the gateway to Karameikos that much more important."

2) Davania or Skothar? Between the choice of Davania and Skothar, I favour Davania because: The Jurassic supercontinent of Gondwanaland upon which Davania is based, is supposed to have split apart via rift valleys. Eurasia (=Skothar) didn't split asunder like this, and so isn't as associated with rifts as Gondwanaland/Davania is. I imagine Thunder Rift being along one of the major rift lines of Gondwanaland.

3) What quadrant of Davania? No word of TR in Davania has reached the Known World powers yet. Therefore I favour it being in a wholly unexplored quadrant of Davania. Northern Davania and eastern Davania have already been semi-explored. The canonical areas of eastern Davania are displayed in LoZompatore's Vulcania map. Though TR could be magically hidden in northern or eastern Davania or simply overlooked (the Princess Ark barely explored the region), I favour central or western Davania for this reason.

4) TR is in a mountainous area. Since TR is located in mountains, I favour placing it in one of the mountainous areas of central or western Davania, depicted in the the Master Rules map.

5) Which Gondwana rift? If a rift is to be chosen, I favour selecting the most prominent rift -- the rift that would later separate South America and Africa. The rift lines are visible in these maps: ... /Fig27.jpg ... es/6.1.JPG

6) Matching the rift with mountains. Overlaying the Gondwana rift maps with the Master map's mountain areas, narrows down the possible placement. Namely, somewhere along the "eastern shore of South America":
a) in the mountains south of Brasol, or
b) in the westernmost areas of the "Ice Peaks" massif (the eastern areas are visible in LoZompatore's map).

7) Pinpointing TR: its River and Valley. The largest topographic features of TR are its river and the valley/rift itself. (For reference, the official map of TR.) Of course these could be fit into almost anywhere within the two above-mentioned areas of Davania. However, it might be fitting to try to place TR so that:
a) The river is in the mountainous headwaters of one of the two rivers visible south of Brasol in the Masters map, and/or
b) TR is located in one of the tiny blank spots (apparently representing valleys) which are interspersed within the mountain areas of the Masters map.

Though I don't have the mapmaking tools to depict it and figure it all out, I think this method would result in a Davanian location for TR that takes into account as much of the official geographic data as feasible.

Postscript. If I owned the Mystara IP, I would eventually release a new KW/SC-sized sub-setting that surrounded Thunder Rift, with TR simply the "Threshold and Karameikos" of that setting. The gate from Karameikos would be a convenient way to bring PCs to the new setting.