1985’s Earthshaker! provided another close-up example of a Companion Set-style dominion. It’s a peculiar map, with no border and no clear indication of where it begins and ends.
Replica Map (27th March 2019)
- CM4 Earthshaker! (1985) (PDF at DriveThruRPG)
- “Dominion of Vyolstagrad”, page I3
The Atlas of Mystara includes a few fundamentally different types of maps. These are differentiated by the colour of the castle wall border on each map.
- Replica maps (white castle border) are exact replicas of primary source maps. They 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. As far as possible, replica maps use the same art as the original maps, though in many cases they are colourised. Replica maps are always marked as such on this site. These maps are the main source material of the Atlas of Mystara, from which all of the updated maps are made.
- Updated maps (green castle border) present the Atlas of Mystara‘s consistent view of the world, with all errors, alignment issues, and so on fixed. They use standardised hex art and fonts. Anything not marked as a replica map is an updated map.
- Chronological maps (yellow castle border) provide snapshots of Mystara at the end of a certain year in its publication history. In effect, they are updated maps created from a limited list of sources. The years in question are always noted at the top of each map.
This is Map 32. It was published in 1985. The updated version of this map has not yet been released. See also Appendix C for annual chronological snapshots of the area. For the full context of this map in Mystara’s publication history, see Let’s Map Mystara 1985.
The following lists are drawn from the Let’s Map Mystara project. Additions are new features, introduced in this map; Revisions are changes to previously-introduced features; Hex Art & Fonts track design elements; and finally Textual Additions are potential features found in the related text. In most cases, the Atlas adopts these textual additions into updated and chronological maps.
- Borders— A border is only shown on the north and east sides of the dominion. The inference seems to be that the river forms a natural border to the south and west.
- Dominions— The Dominion of Vyolstagrad. A label “Stamtral” on the western edge of the map could be interpreted as the name of a neighbouring dominion. The eastern and northeastern edges are both marked as “Wild Lands”, presumably unsettled.
- Fords — A number of unnamed fords are marked.
- Islands — One tiny island in the equally tiny lake south of Selchnogorsky.
- Lakes — Vyolstagrad town sits on the northeastern shore of a small lake. There also appears to be a small lake with an island in its centre just south of Selchnogorsky.
- Military — Unusually, the map itself lists a militia of 500 in peacetime, including garrisons and patrols, with 2,500 when mobilised for war. It’s not clear if these figures are included in or in addition to civilian population.
- Rivers — A rather extensive river network, but with no names.
- Settlements — Vyolstagrad, Bityansk, Deposkna, Obechek, Selchnogorsky, Stryna, Sumarokoyva, Vyzama — all “towns”. The map lists dominion population at 10,000, suggesting an average population of 1,250.
- Terrain — The most peculiar feature of the map is the way the terrain simply stops at the apparent edges of the dominion. The map largely uses terrain (hills and rivers) to define the extent of the dominion, with everything outside that being blank hexes — which are also used to show “farmland/meadows”, thus leaving the edges of the map ambiguous. Within Vyolstagrad, there are extensive unnamed forests dotting the farmlands. The only named terrain feature is the North Hills, the only major part of the surrounding hills located within the dominion’s borders.
- Trails & Roads — No roads, but an extensive network of “tracks” links the settlements. The trail leading into the unknown northeastern corner of the map ends in the label “Wild Lands to the Coast”, suggesting that the nearest coast is in that direction.
Hex Art & Fonts
- Fonts— Baskerville throughout.
- New Symbols— Hills symbol is more pointy than usual, with only two peaks. Ford (six lines leading away from a river crossing point, three on each side).
Textual Additions (CM4 1985)
- Dominions— The western map label is confirmed to be the Dominion of Stamtral(p. 5-6).
- Placement— Vyolstagrad is said to be “somewhere near the Wyrmsteeth Range” (p. 2).
- Races— The depiction of gnomes in CM4 suggests that they are demi-humans just like elves, dwarves and halflings, complete with Clanmaster, Keeper, and indeed Relic (p. 3).
- Rulers— Vyolstagrad is lead by Duke Nevik(p. 2). Stamtral is lead by Duke Stamtral(p. 23).
- Settlements— Styrna is noted to be a village rather than a town (p. 5-6).