Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links



The Unknown World Trail map

by Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 16


Part IV, The East: Ylaruam, Rockhome and the Northern Reaches



[Image: Ancient map]

A guide to the wilderlands of the Known World

This article follows previous installments detailing the south east of the Known World (Five Shires, Karameikos, Ierendi, Minrothad and Thyatis) in Threshold issue #13: http://pandius.com/Threshold_13.pdf, the Broken Lands and Shadowlands in Threshold issue #14 http://pandius.com/Threshold_14.pdf and the central nations (Darokin, Alfheim, Glantri and Ethengar) in Threshold issue #15 http://pandius.com/Threshold_15.pdf, to be completed with the north and the west in Threshold issues # 17 and #18. See the introduction of the first article of this series for a full explanation of the population maps and the purpose of these articles.

[Image: Known World Populations]
http://pandius.com/Known_world_populations.png

[Image: Map key Populations]

Known World Populations

Yellow: “Civilized” lands, high human (or halfling) density, average 75 humans (or halflings) per square mile.
Orange: Borderlands, low human or halfling population, average 25 people per square mile. May contain other races also, average 2.5 people per square mile.
Purple: Humanoids, giants and others, average 25 per square mile. May also contain small number of humans, average 1.2 per square miles.
Green: Elves, average 20 per square mile. May also contain small numbers of fairies, average 2.5 per square mile.
Dark green: Elven borderlands, average 10 elves per square miles. Should also contain fairies, average 10 per square mile.
Brown: Dwarves and/or gnomes, average 70 per square miles. Each hex should be inhabited by 4,000-5,000 dwarves with very low numbers of other creatures, if any.
Dark Brown: Dwarven borderlands, average 15 per square miles. Should contain also humanoids and other races, average 15 per square mile.
Blue: Lupins or Rakasta, average 40 per square mile.


Ylaruam

Populations and density

[Image: Ylaruam Populations]
http://pandius.com/Ylaruam_people.png

In Ylaruam I have depicted as yellow hexes only the regions of the main cities and oasis, as the rest of the country should be considered a true wilderland, being a sparsely inhabited desert. The yellow hexes should have a high population density, about 100 people per square mile, and very few wild animals if any, and virtually no monsters (unless hidden or underground). I have counted 77 yellow hexes that should have a population of about 500,000 inhabitants, mostly humans with some accepted minorities, that in Ylaruam will be principally dwarves, gnomes and lupins. The borderlands depicted in orange, about 240 hexes, should have a density of 20 people per square mile, and so about 300,000 inhabitants, most of them humans, and the rest, about 100,000 people, lupins, humanoids, giants or harpies. The region depicted in blue, about 33 hexes, is inhabited by about 20,000 Fennec lupins, with some humans and other races, with a population density of 10 people per square mile. The purple wilderlands hexes are almost 500 and should have a very low density, about 5 people per square mile, for a population of 160,000 intelligent creatures, mostly humanoids, giants, lupins, harpies and stranger creatures of the desert.
The territory of Ylaruam should be able to support at least 750 dragons.
My total estimation if of about 700,000 humans, 25,000 lupins, 30,000 dwarves and gnomes, 5,000 halflings, 30,000 orcs, 30,000 goblins, 20,000 kobolds, 30,000 gnolls, 20,000 hobgoblins, 10,000 bugbears, 10,000 giants, 5,000 trolls, 15,000 harpies, 15,000 lizardmen and troglodytes, 5,000 others including shapeshifters, werecreatures, undead, and faerie folk, for a total of 960,000 intelligent inhabitants. So my estimation is much higher than the 300,000 inhabitants supposed by Simone Neri in his Demografia Mystariana1 and the 230,000 inhabitants indicated in the Poor Wizard’s Almanac.

The Wilderlands of Ylaruam

[Image: Ylaruam Wilderlands]

http://pandius.com/Ylaruam_wilderlands.png


1 - Altan goblins

“Goblins live here and up into the mountains of Rockhome. The dwarves claim this territory, but they do not control it. The goblins have allies, like hill giants and harpies, so we leave them alone, if they do the same”
- Jhan, Makistani sheperd.

Area: 32 x 32 miles, or 830 square miles.
Days to cross2: 4 days east-west or 4 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 8 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 8,000 (goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, hill giants, harpies, and at least 12 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: View of a Makistani village]
Caption: View of a Makistani village

In Canon products:
- In GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam, the region is part of the Emirate of Makistan, but is not described in details. The presence of goblins can be assumed by the facts that they are tagged in the nearby regions of Rockhome and Darokin.
- On page 55 of the Gazetteer, among the creatures present in the Emirates there are aerial servants, adaptors, dinosaurs, antelopes, goats, sheep, camels, mules, giant ants, giant beetles, bugbears, carrion crawlers, lions, djinn, dragons, great eagles, efreets, elementals, faeries, gargoyles, ghouls, hill and stone giants, cloud giants, goblins, griffons, sea hags, giant hawks, helions, hippogriffs, hobgoblins, horde, horses, hydrax, insect swarms, invisible stalkers, kobolds, living statues, giant lizards, undead lizardmen, magian fire worshippers, manscorpions, meks, metamorphs, mummies, orcs, pegasus, phoenix, plasm, purple worm, roc, flame salamanders, giant scorpions, snakes, sphinxes, giant spiders, thugs, trolls, undead, undines, yellow mold.
- Some of the Fabled Treasures of Ylaruam mentioned from page 58 could be appropriate for any region such as The Magic Lamps, The Golden Bridle, The Magic Tunic, The Yellow Kohl. One is hidden in this region, The Celestial Planisphere.
- In “The Tales for Ylari” adventurers from page 61, Aladdin’s Enchanted Cave could be set here, others, like A Bazaar Disturbance, The Lake of Many Colors, The City of Brass and The Dusky Lands and The Pilgrimage of Al-Kalim could be set at least partially in any region.
- Canon products about Nithia, in particular the Hollow World Boxed Set, HWR2 - Kingdom of Nithia and HWA2 - Nightrage are relevant for the past of Ylaruam.
- The Poor Wizard’s Almanacs I, II and III and Joshuan’s Almanac contain descriptions about Ylaruam but very few events set in it. Humanoids, chimeras, djinn, dragons, efreets, giant lizards, manscorpions, medusas, mummies, giant scorpions, skeletons, snakes, sphinxes and giant spiders are indicated as common monsters.
- The adventure X10: “Red Arrow Black Shield” has a part set in Ylaruam, at the Sultan’s court.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of Ylaruam by Thorfinn Tait is stored here: http://pandius.com/m_ylruam.html, and also contains explanations on the canon names encountered in the map.
- The Monstrous Atlas: The Emirates of Ylaruam by Sheldon Morris is here in the Vaults:
http://pandius.com/ma_ylar.html
- The City of Brass is supposed by Ripvanwormer here in the Vaults
http://pandius.com/ctybrass.html to have once been the capital of Nithia.
- See also the Ylaruam section in the Vaults of Pandius:
http://pandius.com/ylaruam.html for more fan resources about the nation.
- Mogreth, created by Geoff Gander and included in the 2300 BC setting by John Calvin:
http://pandius.com/mogreth.html and Nithia now in the Hollow World http://pandius.com/nith.html are also relevant for the past of Ylaruam, see also in Threshold issue #12 http://pandius.com/Threshold_12.pdf my article on The Past Ages of the Known World.
- Fan Almanacs from AC 1014 to 1019 in the Vaults of Pandius
http://pandius.com/alm.html include descriptions of Ylaruam and events, with the World Games of 1014 AC, the rise to power of the Kin faction, a fiend invasion from the Dead Place, a raid against Thyatis, an attempted coup in Tel Akbir, a war with Thyatis and a truce in Tameronikas and the building of canals in the desert.

2 - Northern Highlands and Valley of Death

“Gnolls are thick in the north and they do not like humans much. There are also harpies and other creatures, but the worse is some Evil which dwells here, under the earth. Monsters, evil cults, something terrible we have been unable to locate, so far”
- Mansour, soldier in Sulba.

Area: 100 x 40 miles, or 4,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 12 days east-west or 5 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 8 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 20,000 (gnolls, and up to 75 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Down the Highlands to the desert]
Caption: Down the Highlands to the desert

In Canon products:
- In GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam the region is part of the Emirates of Makistan and Alasya, but is not described in details, only briefly mentioned as a salt rocky basin on page 31. The area is indicated as the hideout of Barimoor in the Gazetteer map. Barimoor is said to have all manner of monsters and constructs in his underground complex.
- One of the Fabled Treasures of Ylaruam mentioned from page 58, The Brass Horsemen, is indicated in this region.
- Gnolls are indicated in this region near the border with Rockhome in Trail Map 2.
- Module B4: “The Lost City” with the ruins of Cynidicea and the evil inside it, is also set in this area.

In Fan productions:
- See area 1 above.
- See also the fan made Dungeon Master's Guide to Cynidicea
http://pandius.com/cynidgaz.html and Cynidicea/Nithia interactions by Geoff Gander (et al) in the Vaults of Pandius: http://pandius.com/cyndnith.html

3 - Southwestern Highlands and Ennaej

“Ancient ruins, humanoids, giants, the whole region is sparsely inhabited by the faithful and dangerous. But still many brave people live here, and we just try to go along with the other inhabitants, when it’s possible”
- Tarik, farmer in the Highlands.

Area: 120 x 60 miles, or 7,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 15 days east-west or 7 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 8 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 35,000 (orcs, ogres, hill giants, harpies, and at least 100 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Ruins in the desert]
Caption: Ruins in the desert

In Canon products:
- In GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam, the region is part of the Emirate of Alasiya, but is not described in details. Ennaej appears as a name tag in the cover of the Gazetteer, but could be just an homage of the artist Clyde Caldwell to a loved one, yet the DM may decide this is an ancient Nithian name.
- On page 55 of the Gazetteer, bugbears, hill and stone giants, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs and trolls are mentioned in the foothills of the Altan Tepes mountains.
- The village of Dar el-Tamyya, featured in the short promotional adventure The Jade Hare set explicitly in Ylaruam, could be placed here. The opponents are goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears and a warlock.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of Ylaruam http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/gaz2-ylaruam-8/ by Thorfinn Tait places Ennaej as a local ruin and Dar el-Tamyya in this region, see also area 1 above for more fan resources.
- Simone Neri’s Central Altan Tepes Mini Gazetteer, available at the Vaults:
http://pandius.com/altantps.html, describes the western part of this region in detail.

4 - The Great Salt Basin and Nithia

“A great jinn, Marudi, lives in the desert with his great court, and dominates all the region for many miles. Up in the hills of Nithia, there are only brigands, heathens and unholy wizards”
- Nasser, trader in Hedjazi.

Area: 180 x 80 miles, or 14,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 22 days east-west or 10 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 8 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 70,000 (goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, hill giants, harpies, and at least 220 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Salt basin and Northern Highlands]
Caption: Salt basin and Northern Highlands

In Canon products:
- In GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam, the region is part of the Emirates of Alasiya and Nithia, but is not described in detail. Nithia is described as divided among local lords who do not follow Al-Kalim and often behave as brigands. The Magian Fire Worshippers are also hidden in this region.
- Some of the Fabled Treasures of Ylaruam mentioned from page 58 are hidden in this region, such as The Sparkling Spear, The Gold Seal Ring of Al-Kalim, and The Bead of Oblivion.
- In “The Tales for Ylari” adventurers from page 61, The Dead Place is set here, the site of the battle between Thanatos and the Immortal Guardians at the fall of Nithia.
- Gnolls and Kobolds are tagged in nearby Soderfjord in TM2 - The Eastern Countries Trail Map.
- In Who’s Who Among Dragons by Bruce Heard, published in Dragon Magazine #170 and reproduced in the Vaults
http://pandius.com/whoswho.html, the western rocky region of this area is Almaruddya, dominated by Marudi, a 14-HD blue dragon.
- The adventure “The Spindle of Heaven” in the game accessory AC7 “Master Player Screen”, is set in a desert with djinnis, manscorpions, hobgoblins, air drakes, cloud giants and sphinxes, so it could be appropriate here or in other regions of Ylaruam.
- The adventure “The Djinni’s Ring” in Dungeon Magazine #9, explicitly set in Ylaruam, could be easily placed in this region or in any desert with Nithian ruins.
- The AD&D series of adventure I3, I4, I5 and I9, compiled in “Desert of Desolation”, could be easily set among the Nithian ruins of Ylaruam.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of Ylaruam http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/gaz2-ylaruam-8/ by Thorfinn Tait mentions the Salt Basin and the Dead Place in Nithia.

5 - Southeastern Highlands and Fennec desert

“The desert is the land of lupins, who are mostly faithful in their own way. The hills however are inhabited by humanoids, and they do not follow the Nahmeh for sure”
- Radija, shopkeeper in Cubis.

Area: 180 x 50 miles, or 9,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 22 days east-west or 3-10 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 8 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 50,000 (lupins, humanoids, hill giants, harpies, and at least 130 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Desert oasis]
Caption: Desert oasis

In Canon products:
- In GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam, the region is part of the Emirates of Alasiya, Dythestenia and Nicostenia, but is not described in details.
- If Kirkuk is here (see Fan productions below) then the adventure ideas related to it from page 50 are appropriate for the region, where goblins, trolls and giants are mentioned.
- On page 55 of the Gazetteer bugbears, hill and stone giants, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs and trolls are mentioned in the foothills of the Altan Tepes mountains.
- Some of the Fabled Treasures of Ylaruam mentioned from page 58 are supposed to be near Kirkuk, such as The Carnelian Idol, The Lizardskin Bed, and near the coast, Dendan oil, The Magic Saddlebags, and in former Thyatian regions, the Ionian Gems.
- In “The Tales for Ylari” adventurers from page 61, The Valley of Diamonds and the Tournament of Three Crowns are set here.
- The adventure “The Object of Desire”, generically arabic, in Dungeon Magazine #50, could be set along the coast of Ylaruam.
- The fighting Fennec of Ylaruam is described in Dragon Magazine #237, page 77.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of Ylaruam http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/gaz2-ylaruam-8/ by Thorfinn Tait places Kirkuk, the exemplary village of GAZ2, in this region.

Rockhome

Populations and density

[Image: Rockhome Populations]
http://pandius.com/Rockhome_people.png

In Rockhome I have depicted as light brown hexes, the regions inhabited by dwarves and gnomes, which should have a population density of about 70 people per square mile. This means that in these 235 hexes should live about 1,060,000 dwarves and gnomes. If this number includes the inhabitants of the underground caverns, as it is likely in the case of dwarves, the surface anyway will not look very crowded and there will still be plenty of space for normal mountain animals and wild creatures. The dark brown hexes are borderlands, mostly mountains where dwarves and gnomes have villages and mines but not extensive settlements. These regions should have a density of about 15 dwarves and gnomes per square mile, with as much other intelligent inhabitants. There are about 145 such hexes with a population of 140,000 dwarves and gnomes and 150,000 other creatures. Then there are the purple hexes which are true wilderlands, claimed by the Kingdom of Rockhome in name only, and inhabited mostly by humanoids and other creatures. There are about 475 such hexes which should have a density of at least 18 inhabitants per square mile and so about 550,000 inhabitants.
The territory of Rockhome should also be able to support at least 600 dragons.
This time, my estimation is similar to the figure of 1 million recognized inhabitants (99% dwarves and 1% humans) given in the Poor Wizard’s Almanacs, but higher than the 771,400 inhabitants, including humanoids, estimated by Simone Neri in his Demografia Mystariana.
In total Rockhome (Dengar in dwarvish/gnomish) should be inhabited by 1,200,000 citizens, mostly dwarves with relevant minorities of gnomes and humans. The proportion between the two races was never detailed in canon sources, but if we suppose the dwarves are 990.000 and the humans 10,000 as given in the Poor Wizard’s Almanac, the gnomes could be as many as 200,000. A certain number of lupins and halflings could also live in Dengar, Simone Neri for example supposed about 2,000 and 1,000, and possibly also a small number of elves. Other races not recognized as citizens by the dwarves should number to about 700,000 intelligent creatures, including about 100,000 orcs, 100,000 goblins, 50,000 sasquatches, 20,000 giants, 100,000 kobolds, 50,000 ogres, 100,000 gnolls, 50,000 trolls, 50,000 hobgoblins, 50,000 bugbears, 15,000 faenare and 15,000 harpies


The Wilderlands of Rockhome

[Image: Rockhome Wilderlands]

http://pandius.com/Rockhome_wilderlands.png

1 - Eastern Gobliny

“It’s our land here. Dwarves say it’s theirs, they claim to have defeated us this time and this time, but it’s just blabbering. We rule the mountains since so many generations as the stars, and they haven’t driven us away yet. And they try. They always try”
- Gynk, goblin shaman.

Area: 176 x 32 miles, or 5,500 square miles.
Days to cross3: 40 days east-west or 8 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 150,000 (goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, giants, harpies, faenare and at least 80 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Goat antelope]
Caption: A goat antelope, typical animal of the mountains

In Canon products:
- In GAZ6, The Dwarves of Rockhome, the mountains are described briefly and no height is given, but considering the height of the Altan Tepes in Thyatis and the height of the Broken Lands, it could be assumed this region could have mountains as high as 10,000 feet. The Darokin tunnel is described on page 47 as a difficult and wild trail.
- On page 47 of the Gazetteer the Rockhome lizards , mountain lions, wolves and other mountains animals are mentioned. On page 71 the monsters are described, saying that the dwarves train giant ants and other details. Hill and stone giants may be present in this region, as they are mentioned in the Altan Tepes of Karameikos and Ylaruam.
- The adventure “Race for the City” on page 80 of the Gazetteer features an orcish invasion from the Darokin tunnel.
- The Poor Wizard’s Almanacs I, II and III and Joshuan’s Almanac contain descriptions about Rockhome and several events regarding the dwarves, including a civil war and a war with the Shadow Elves and humanoids for the control of Oenkmar in the Broken Lands. White apes, beholders, black puddings, dragons, hill, stone and frost giants, goblins, gray oozes, hobgoblins, kobolds, ogres, orcs, trolls, vampires and yetis are indicated as common monsters, giant ants, horses, deer, bears, mountain lions, rats, giant toads and wolves as common animals.
- Adventure XS2 “Thunderdelve Mountain” could be set near Rockhome or in the Cruth Mountains, see also The Dwarves of Thunderdelve by Demos Sachlas in Threshold Magazine issue 2
http://pandius.com/Threshold_2.pdf.
- The AD&D Tomes Series adventure “Axe of the Dwarvish Lords” (TSR111347), featuring an evil wizard who mobilizes goblins against dwarves, could work well in this area. Details on a Rockhome placement are included on page 188 of the adventure.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of Rockhome http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/rockhome-8/ by Thorfinn Tait also contains explanations on the canon names encountered in the map.
- Robin recently made a Darokin Tunnel Map in 1 Mile Hexes stored in the Vaults of Pandius:
http://pandius.com/m_drtnl2.html
- The Monstrous Atlas: The Kingdom of Rockhome by Sheldon Morris is here in the Vaults:
http://pandius.com/ma_rock.html.
- See also the Rockhome section in the Vaults of Pandius:
http://pandius.com/rockhome.htm for more fan resources about the nation.
- The Shimmering Lands in the 2300 BC setting by John Calvin:
http://pandius.com/shimland.html and Kogolor dwarves now in the Hollow World http://pandius.com/kogolorl.html are also relevant for the past of Rockhome, see also in Threshold issue #12 my article on The Past Ages of the Known World http://pandius.com/Threshold_12.pdf, the Glittering Lands by Robert J. Nuttman, Jr: http://pandius.com/tc_eglit.html, the Modrigswerg timeline by John Calvin: http://pandius.com/mdrgtime.html, the Genealogy of the Dwarves by Jesper Andersen: http://pandius.com/dwrgnlgy.html the Modrigswerg: Clans, Houses and Families by Giulio Caroletti http://pandius.com/modrig3.html and the ongoing The (Not So) Young Races, a guide to gnomes and dwarves of Eastern Brun by Giulio Caroletti in Threshold issue #14 http://pandius.com/Threshold_14.pdf and this issue of Threshold magazine.
- Fan Almanacs from AC 1014 to 1019, stored in the Vaults of Pandius
http://pandius.com/alm.html include descriptions of Rockhome and events, with the alliance of Modrigswerg dwarves with Thar’s Orcs and Psa’gh’s Kobolds against Rockhome and later a widening war with the Modrigswerg involving also the Northern Reaches.

2 - Amburyr

“Hobgoblins, orcs and sasquatches, some giants. The hobgoblins are stubborn and have hideouts underground. We have cooperated with the Ethengarians to defeat them, but so far without great success. The orcs are raiders from the Orclands in Darokin, so it’s hard to catch them. The sasquatches and the giants normally are not very hostile, so we can even trade with them from time to time”
- Boric, city guard in Stahl.

Area: 120 x 80 miles, or 10,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 20 days east-west or 30 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 200,000 (orcs, hobgoblins, sasquatches, giants, harpies, faenare and at least 150 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Glacier in Sasquatch territory]
Caption: Glacier in Sasquatch territory

In Canon products:
- In GAZ6, The Dwarves of Rockhome, Jhyrrad is described on page 55 as a village destroyed by orc raiders in 400 BC. Considering the height of the nearby lands, mountains in this region could be about 6,000 feet high or less. On page 72 Sasquatches are mentioned as inhabitants of this region, and they are also tagged in the map in the territory around the volcano of this region.
- The adventure “The Lost Caverns” on page 83 of the Gazetteer is set in this region against sasquatches or hill giants and a beholder.
- In the adventure “Dragonlair” on page 94 a family of red dragons settles near Dengar city.
- In Who’s Who Among Dragons by Bruce Heard, published in Dragon Magazine #170 and reproduced in the Vaults
http://pandius.com/whoswho.html, Jhyrrad is the seat of the red dragon Ambur and his hobgoblin minions. Ambur is an ally of Jargnir (see below) against Druuwor. It is possible he may have some degree of control also over the local orcs, giants and sasquatches.

In Fan productions:
- See area 1 above.


3 - Southern Makkres and Western Jargnara

“The ogres say they rule here. The gnolls say they rule here. The giants say they rule here. The dragons say they rule here. One thing is certain, we do not rule these mountains”
- Gilfin, cleric of Kagyar in Smaggeft.

Area: 176 x 48 miles, or 9,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 40 days east-west or 8 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 160,000 (gnolls, ogres, trolls, giants, harpies, faenare and at least 140 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Rocky peaks in the Three Volcanoes land]
Caption: Rocky peaks in the Three Volcanoes land

In Canon products:
- In GAZ6, The Dwarves of Rockhome, this region is only briefly described. Considering the height of nearby mountain indicated in the TM2 - The Eastern Countries Trail Map, the Makkres could be over 10,000 feet high. The Denwarf Spur to the north has the highest mountain in Rockhome, Point Everast. On page 71 of the Gazetteer ogres are mentioned in the eastern reaches of the Makkres and it is said the mountains teem with hill, stone and frost giants, and cloud giants may be present too. The dwarves could have cordial relations with stone giants, less so with the other breeds.
- In the The Eastern Countries Trail Map TM2, gnolls are tagged here, see also area 2 of Ylaruam above.
- In “Who’s Who Among Dragons”
http://pandius.com/whoswho.html by Bruce Heard (originally in Dragon Magazine #170), Jargnir, the black dragon who rules over the Great Marsh in Soderfjord, extends her domain in the eastern part of this region, contending for the three volcanoes area with her rival Druuwor. Jargnir could have some control over the local ogres and gnolls.
- Lake Klintest is inhabited by aquatic dinosaurs. The rival dragons of Rockhome could develop an interest in such creatures. The adventure on page 95 of the Gazetteer also includes a dragon turtle.

In Fan productions:
- See area 1 above.


4 - Troll hills

“Trolls come from the hills of Vestland and raid often here. We suspect there are ogres and giants maneuvering them, as their attacks are a bit too specific, considering their average intelligence”
- Duric, soldier in Fort Evekarr.

Area: 56 x 56 miles, or 3,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 13 days east-west or north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 60,000 (trolls, ogres, giants, harpies, faenare and at least 50 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Mountains over Lake Klintest]
Caption: Mountains over Lake Klintest

In Canon products:
- In the Eastern Countries Trail Map TM2, trolls are tagged here and it is likely giants may be present in the region too. On page 71 of the Gazetteer they are said to wander the eastern reaches of the Makkres mountains.

In Fan productions:
- See area 1 above.


5 - Druuwmet

“We certainly mine the mountains but we do try to stay below ground as much as possible. Thing is, the surface teems with kobolds, snow apes, white apes, dire wolves and frost giants. And white dragons. Yes the kobolds also come underground quite often, the little pests. Pesky for sure, but still easier than giants and dragons ”
- Faria, miner from Kurdal.

Area: 160 x 56 miles, or 9,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 15 days east-west or 40 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 160,000 (kobolds, giants, ogres, trolls, gnolls, harpies, faenare and at least 150 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Perennial snow in the High Makkres]
Caption: Perennial snow in the High Makkres

In Canon products:
- In GAZ6 - The Dwarves of Rockhome, ogres and giants are mentioned in the Makkres on page 71. Snow Apes are mentioned too in this region, and beholders in the deepest caverns.
- Kobolds are tagged in this region in ™” (The Eastern Countries Trail map) and present in nearby Vestland and Soderfjord.
- In the adventure on page 95 of the Gazetteer, “Raid on Jotunheim”, frost giants build a city in the central Makkres mountains.

- In Who’s Who Among Dragons http://pandius.com/whoswho.html by Bruce Heard (originally in Dragon Magazine #170), this region is Druuwmet, domain of the white dragon Druuwor, which has a lair 24 miles south of Rhoona, in an ancient fortress built millennia ago by a forgotten civilisation. Druuwor has frost giant servants.
- In the moduleX10: “Red Arrow Black Shield”, the King of Rockhome asks for help against frost giant raiders. The adventure could be placed here or in area 5 below. Jargnir or Druuwor could be the real power behind the frost giants.
- In the Dragonlord trilogy, Darmouk, ruins of the last surviving city of the dwarves after the fall of Blackmoor, is described in the eastern mountains of Rockhome, just above the cool, wet lowlands of the Northern Reaches. The description could fit with Druuwor’s fortress, but the location would fit more with area 3. Darmouk in the books was occupied by the red dragon Kardyer, who was killed. Now it could be controlled by Druuwoor or Jargnir, or the object of their rivalry in the three volcanoes area. For more about Darmouk, see the article dedicated to it in this issue of Threshold.

In Fan productions:
- See area 1 above.



The Northern Reaches

Populations and density

[Image: Northern Reaches Populations]

http://pandius.com/Northern_reaches_people.png

Only the more settled areas are depicted with yellow hexes, indicating the civilized regions near the coast and the major trade routes. There are 15 in Ostland, 35 in Vestland and 15 in Soderfjord, which should be able to support about 80 people per square miles, meaning 335,000 inhabitants, mostly humans with relevant minorities of dwarves and lupins.
The borderlands depicted in orange have a lower density of 25 people per square miles, with relevant numbers of normal animals, some monsters and probably small numbers of other intelligent races. In Ostland there are 120 hexes of borderlands, 135 in Vestland and 215 in Soderfjord for a population of about 700,000 humans and maybe 100,000 other intelligent creatures. The 18 blue hexes in Ostland and the 6 in Vestland should be inhabited by lupins, for a population of about 60,000. The purple wilderlands are just 7 hexes in Ostland, 180 in Vestland and almost 300 in Soderfjord, for a population of about 800,000 intelligent creatures. Such creatures are quite different in the three nations, as Ostland should be inhabited only by humans with some lupins, Modrigswerg dwarves, some wereseals and maybe some storm and cloud giants. Vestland instead has a relevant number of kobolds, giants and trolls in its territory, with also some Modrigswerg dwarves, orcs, ogres and bugbears. Soderfjord has an even more numerous humanoid population, with many gnolls, giants, kobolds, lizardmen, troglodytes, harpies and Modrigwerg dwarves. Ostland should also be able to support at least 100 dragons, Vestland 300 and Soderfjord 500.
The total population in Ostland should be 270,000 humans, 45,000 lupins, 20,000 Modrigswerg dwarves and 15,000 giants, harpies and wereseals.
In Vestland it should be 400,000 humans, 20,000 Dengar dwarves, 15,000 lupins, 50,000 Modrigswerg dwarves, 25,000 giants, 50,000 trolls, 100,000 kobolds, 20,000 orcs, 10,000 ogres, 10,000 bugbears, 5,000 other creatures (harpies, troglodytes, werecreatures).
In Soderfjord should be present 420,000 humans, 5,000 Dengar dwarves, 5,000 lupins, 50,000 Modrigswerg dwarves, 150,000 gnolls, 150,000 kobolds, 25,000 giants, 50,000 lizardmen, 25,000 troglodytes, 25,000 trolls, 25,000 other creatures (harpies, werecreatures).
My estimations are as usual higher than the about 220,000 inhabitants of Ostland (including lupins), 235,000 of Vestland (including humanoids) and 283,000 in Soderfjord (including all) supposed by Simone Neri in his Demografia Mystariana and higher than the 130,000 (in Ostland) and 161,000 (in Vestland and Soderfjord) humans indicated by the Poor’s Wizard Almanacs.

The Wilderlands of The Northern Reaches


[Image: Northern Reaches Wilderlands]
http://pandius.com/Northern_reaches_wilderlands.png


1 - Thorholm mountains and Storm Bay

“Giants and dwarves live in the mountains, and often are visited by the giants from the sea. Humans should stay away from the business of dwarves and giants, or be caught in their plots”
- Bjarni, fisherman from Storm Bay.

Area: 45 x 12 miles, or 550 square miles.
Days to cross: 11 days east-west or 3 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 15,000 (Cloud and storm giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, harpies, wereseals and up to 9 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Beach near Storm Bay]
Caption: Beach near Storm Bay

In Canon products:
- In GAZ7, The Northern Reaches, there is an initial geographical description on pages 7 and 8, with kraken and sea serpents described as inhabitants of the seas, bears, wildcats and wolves in the forests, and cold drakes in the mountains.
- The Modrigswerg dwarves are described in the Gazetteer on page 24.
- The Great Dogge or Ostland Stövare lupin is described on page 81 of Dragon Magazine #237.
- The wizard and raider Oberack, with a flying ship pulled by white dragons, is described in Champions of Mystara, and could have his lair here or in area 2 or 3.
- In the Creature Crucible Accesspry PC4: “Night Howlers”, wereseals are indicated in the coastal waters, while werebears, wereboars and werewolves in the hills and the forests.
- A section of the adventure module X13: “Crown of Ancient Glory” (see below) is set in a minor Ostland island against a sea witch.
- The Poor Wizard’s Almanacs contain descriptions of the Northern Reaches and several events set in them, including the orc king Thar uniting Vestland’s humanoids under his rule, Ragnar becoming king of Soderfjord and his war against the kobolds, and slavery abolished in Ostland under the new king Finn.

In Fan productions:
- The replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait (at the Atlas of Mystara website http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/ ) also contains explanations on the canon names encountered in the map.
- See also in the Vaults the sections about Ostland
http://pandius.com/ostland.html, Vestland http://pandius.com/vestland.html and Soderfjord http://pandius.com/soderfjo.html, including the Monstrous Atlas http://pandius.com/ma_anywh.html for each nation by Sheldon Morris.
- About the Modrigswerg see also area 1 of Rockhome, in particular the work about The Shimmering Lands in the 2300 BC setting by John Calvin and the History of Dwarves and Gnomes by Giulio Caroletti in this and previous issue of Threshold magazine.
- The Dark Elf inhabitants of Svartalfheim mentioned in the Gazetteer are mysterious creatures, see a theory by Joaquin Menchaca here in the Vaults
http://pandius.com/darkelvs.html and Svartalven by Andrew Theisen http://pandius.com/svartalf.html. They could be some kind of dark fairies, or a branch of the Shattenalfen, or both.
- In the “History of the Lupins” by by Átila Pires dos Santos published in Threshold Magazine #2
http://pandius.com/Threshold_2.pdf#page=61 the breeds which appear in the Northern Reaches are the Gnomish Snoutzer (Soderfjord), Great Dogge (Ostland) and Heldann Shepherd (Vestland and Ostland)
- Fan Almanacs from AC 1014 to 1019, stored in the Vaults of Pandius
http://pandius.com/alm.html include descriptions of Rockhome and events, with the alliance of Modrigswerg dwarves with Thar’s Orcs and Psa’gh’s Kobolds against Rockhome and later a widening war with the Modrigswerg involving also the Northern Reaches. Eventually gnomes return to the Falun caverns, but the Modrigswerg turn King Ragnar of Soderfjord into an amber statue, sending the nation into chaos, while menacing Vestland and Rockhome.


2 - The Gotland - Sumarland hills

“The Great Dogge lupins live here, and they are not a problem, more a resource, if you can get one on your ship. The giants, the dwarves, the werewolves on the other hand, they are a threat, so better to have a lupin guide to walk in those hills”
- Thora, cleric of Freya in Port Swenson.

Area: 40 x 40 miles, or 1,600 square miles.
Days to cross: 6 days east-west or north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 7 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 80,000 (Lupins, Cloud and storm giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, harpies, wereseals and up to 20 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Griffon attacking a prey in the hills]
Caption: Griffon attacking a prey in the hills

In Canon products:
- See area 1 above.

In Fan productions:
- See the replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait and area 1 above.

3 - The Oland hills

“Some good Shepherd lupins, fine warriors but normally peaceful, and a bunch of monsters, giants, undead, werebeasts and others. Good place for a warrior who does not fear the shadow of Hel”
- Ingald the Tall, warrior of Ostmanhaven.

Area: 56 x 20 miles, or 1,100 square miles.
Days to cross: 3 days east-west or 8 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 7 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 50,000 (Lupins, Cloud and storm giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, harpies, wereseals and up to 15 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Ruins in the island]
Caption: Ruins in the island

In Canon products:
- In GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches, on page 12 Kalslo island is described as having several monasteries dedicated to Frey and Freya, burial grounds of the earlier Ostland Kings and some spirits of the restless dead.
- The adventure “The Arena of Gerald the Blue” in the D&D Companion Set takes place on a rocky island between Vestland and Ostland.

In Fan productions:
- See also the replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait and area 1 above.

4 - Trollheim

“Stupid they are the trolls, so it is normally easier to avoid, escape or trick them than fight them. They are learning human ways however, and getting a bit smarter. Also the other creatures that live in the hills, giants, harpies, dragons. They are not stupid at all.”
- Hallveig, scout of the hills.

Area: 160 x 50 miles, or 8,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 12 days east-west or 40 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 200,000 (Trolls, giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, lupins, harpies, werecreatures and up to 120 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image:Entering Vestfjord]
Caption: Entering Vestfjord

In Canon products:
- In GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches, there is an initial geographical description on pages 7 and 8, with bears, wildcats and wolves in the forests, and cold drakes, mountain lions and great eagles in the mountains. A troll is depicted fighting with a lion on page 29, where Trolls are described.
- On page 16, Vestland’s attempt to colonize the region and destroy the trolls is described, partially unsuccessful so far.
- The module X3: “The Curse of Xanathon”, is set in the nearby city of Rhoona.
- The module X13: “Crown of Ancient Glory”, is set in Vestland. GAZ7 says on page 6 that the module should be set in the year 1150, when the Trollheim hills have been pacified and colonized.

In Fan productions:
- See also the replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait and area 1 above.

5 - Jotunheim

“Nothing is like to fight a giant with a sword in your hand. Well, maybe only a dragon could be as bad. I have seen proud warriors run away from the charge of a giant. And I cannot blame them. I stood, and I still do not remember how I survived it”
- Thorgils, soldier of Norrvik.

Area: 112 x 32 miles, or 3,500 square miles.
Days to cross: 2-15 days east-west or 28 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 90,000 (Giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, trolls, ogres, orcs, bugbear, lupins, harpies, werecreatures and up to 60 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: Lakes in the mountains]
Caption: Lakes in the mountains

In Canon products:
- See area 1 above and area 5 in Rockhome.
- In “Who’s Who Among Dragons”
http://pandius.com/whoswho.html by Bruce Heard (which oriinally appeared in Dragon #170), this region is Druuwmet, domain of the white dragon Druuwor, which has a lair 24 miles south of Rhoona, in an ancient fortress built millennia ago by a forgotten civilisation. Druuwor has frost giant servants.

In Fan productions:
- See also the replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait and area 1 above.

6 - The Great Marsh, Gnollheim and the Hardanger range

“Do not leave the road. No matter what. We will not come searching for you if you leave the road. Outside the road, there is only death and the bones of the adventurers who did not believe in warnings”
- Valgard, caravan guard in Castellan.

Area: 240 x 80 miles, or 20,000 square miles.
Days to cross: 60 days east-west or 20 days north-south, normally it is possible to cover only 4 miles per day due to the difficult terrain.
Intelligent inhabitants: probably up to 500,000 (Gnolls, kobolds, giants, Modrigswerg dwarves, trolls, orcs, ogres, bugbear, lizardmen, troglodytes, harpies, werecreatures and up to 300 dragons), with extensive underground areas.

[Image: The Marsh]
Caption: The Marsh

In Canon products:
- In GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches, there is an initial geographical description on page 7 and 8, with mountain sheeps and great bisons described as favourite herds of the gnolls, and mountain lions quite numerous.
- On page 20 of GAZ7, Castellan and Snowvale are described as near the fabulous subterranean kingdoms of the gnomes, but surrounded by kobold territories, fierce giants and Modrigswerg dwarves. The same people are indicated as a threat on Jotunvalk pass. The Great Marsh is supposedly infested by witches, demons and horrible beasts.
- On page 21, the Hardanger are described as the location of the ancient gnomish cities now occupied by kobolds. The Gnollheim hills are described as a plateau inhabited by nomadic gnolls in a struggle with human settlers. Ancient Nithian hieroglyphs are engraved on the cliffs in the Ostfold Scarp.
- On page 22, there is a description of Carrah, the Witch-Queen, an ever-living servant of the Queen of Hel in the Great Marsh. Two other adventures on the same page feature kobolds and gnolls.
- The Hill Gnolls are further described on page 30 as the first humanoid race to settle in the region, nomadic herders who will occasionally ally with kobolds against humans.
- The adventure Falun Caverns from page 37 deals with the kobolds who have occupied the former gnomish home.
- In “Who’s Who Among Dragons”
http://pandius.com/whoswho.html by Bruce Heard (from Dragon #170), Jargnir, the black dragon rules over the Great Marsh and could also have some control beyond the marsh over the nearby kobolds and gnolls.
- The adventure “The Vineyard Vales” in Dungeon Magazine #23 is set in Soderfjord near the Great Marsh, featuring lizardmen and a wizard able to turn into a black dragon.

In Fan productions:
- See also the replica map of The Northern Reaches http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/northern-reaches-8/ by Thorfinn Tait and other links of area 1.



Appendix: Images




[Image: Ancient map]
Part of Tabula Peutingeriana, konrad miller´s facsimile from 1887, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Known World Populations]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22alVTYUNxZUhlLXM


[Image: Map key Populations]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22ZFMwX2pMZEhuaEk


[Image: Ylaruam Populations]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22ZEMzTVVYSWxIdWc


[Image: Wilderlands of Ylaruam]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22T00wOV9nVjZuT1k


[Image: View of a Makistani village]
Iran, donkey and houses in the desert, mountain
photo by Jeanne Menj via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Down the Highlands to the desert]
Algerian desert - Tassili National Park by author magharebia via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Ruins in the desert]
Temple of Bel complex in the background and the agora on left center in Palmyra, Syria by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Salt basin and Northern Highlands]
Bonneville Salt Flats as seen from Interstate 80 in Utah, USA by Hermann Luyken via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Desert oasis]
Ubari Oasis in southwestern Libya by Svifat via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Rockhome Populations]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22Q1FHUzNhZzY1SzA


[Image: Rockhome Wilderlands]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22SzhEeGEybmxPQ3M


[Image: Goat antelope]
Rupicapra rupicapra; chamois in Kleinwalsertal, Austria by Andreas Tille via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Goat antelope]
Rupicapra rupicapra; chamois in Kleinwalsertal, Austria by Andreas Tille via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Glacier in Sasquatch territory]
The Great Aletsch Glacier (Grosser Aletschgletscher), Valais, Switzerland, by Jo in Riederalp, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Rocky peaks in the Three Volcanoes land]
Martinsloch, Tschingelhörner (Glarus Alps), Switzerland, by Sunna, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Mountains over Lake Klintest]
Lake Oeschinen, Kandersteg, Switzerland, by TonnyB, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Perennial snow in the High Makkres]
Konkordia west view., Switzerland, by Jo in Riederalp, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Northern Reaches Populations]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22dnh0NHJEMEZ3VEU


[Image: Northern Reaches Wilderlands]
Original work by author

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4FkxRFtCZ22c29mb09XREFjNW8


[Image: Beach near Storm Bay]
Lofoten cliffs near Sand, Norway, by Paul Berzinn, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Griffon attacking a prey in the hills]
"Heliesund, a Pass between the Rocks" by John William Edy, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Ruins in the island]
Hvalsey Church, by Number 57, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image:Entering Vestfjord]
A summer evening view from Sande over Lovatnet in Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway, by Ximonic (Simo Räsänen), via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: Lakes in the mountains]
View from Knutshøi towards central Jotunheimen, by Jack R. Johanson, via Wikimedia commons

Source


[Image: The Marsh]
Čepkeliai Marsh near Marcinkonys, Lithuania, by Wojsyl, via Wikimedia commons

Source



1Available here: http://www.kofn.net/download/ambientazioni/demografiaMystariana.pdf in Italian only, but part of it was updated and translated in English in Threshold issue #1 http://pandius.com/Threshold_1.pdf and #3 http://pandius.com/Threshold_3.pdf.

2By foot with light encumbrance. However as this refers to difficult wilderlands, often without trails, the movement rate on horses should not be much different. Note also that the chance of getting lost in these areas, unless the PCs have a good map or a good guide, should be very high, so the actual travel time could easily double.

3By foot with light encumbrance. However as this refers to difficult wilderlands, often without trails, the movement rate on horses should not be much different. Note also that the chance of getting lost in these areas, unless the PCs have a good map or a good guide, should be very high, so the actual travel time could easily double.