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Blackmoor and Pre-Cataclysmic Mystara

by LoZompatore.

Starting with Mystaran landmasses PRE Cataclysm and the placement of the current nations by that time:

Then you've got Mystara Pre Cataclysm with nearly all the races that dwelt there:

This is a VERY GOOD close-up of the Blackmoor region:

And here's the best of them, the world during Blackmoor's Imperial era and Blackmoor's boundaries, which shows that Blackmoor spread also into Brun.

A wonderful theory of Zompatore also explains why there was still a working Blackmoor artifact in the Broken Lands.
Suppose that the Blackmoorians pushed their crusade against the beastmen up to the point of building a line of fortresses to contain the hideous beastmen in the arctic zone and that one of these settlements was heated and powered by one of the so called Blackmoorian artifacts, as there were many others in the world where Blackmoor had colonies or cities (or maybe it was a flying ship).
What caused the GRoF? Probably the interaction of Mystara's magic with Blackmoor's tech reached a critical point where magic corrupted the Blackmoorian tech and caused a short-circuit or some kind of malfunctioning in one of the artifacts. This artifact exploded and the explosion travelled through Mystara's magic field like a colossal tide, that swept upon the technological devices like a storm, making all of them explode at the same time. This caused the GRoF. BUT the artifact near the Broken Lands was in an anti-magic zone at that time (since it was near the north pole), so it was preserved from the magical storm that spread across Mystara, and survived, although the Blackmoorians who lived nearby, perished in the ensuing shift of the planet's axis and due to the earthquakes or similar natural catastrophes.
This left the device off and untouched for centuries, until the elves came. When they discovered it, probably some of those who remembered ancient Blackmoorian devices wanted to use it to heat their lands, but since it was already unstable, their triggering cause it to explode and it gave way to the Glantrian catastrophe. That shows why tinkering with tech on Mystara is highly discouraged by Immortals (and therefore even the gnomes have learnt that's better to use magic or technomancy than technology).

This map finally shows how far could have gone the explosion of the nuclear devices in Blackmoor (and by comparison we can judge the extension of the Broken Lands explosion):

I think you would also like these two maps, left from the selection DM posted before:

The first is a map showing the modifications of coastline and continents after the Great Rain of Fire. I draw this map comparing the coastlines showed in the HW pre-cataclysmic map with the modern coastlines; then I added these modifications to the map of 'rotated' Mystara (which is based on the modern shape of continents) I calculated.

The second is a detail of supposed Blackmoor region (i.e. the modern southern coast of Nentsun Peninsula), adding some other details caught from HW pre- cataclysmic map and DA modules series, in order give this area a more similar look to DA maps.

By the way, why I think Blackmoor should be near Nentsun Peninsula? Here is some facts about Blackmoor position coming from official manuals:

- Blackmoor is on the southern shore of an inner continental sea. East of this there is a larger sea, extending south (from DA1 maps, and from the fact - in DA1 - that Thonia galleys patrol eastern sea - and Thonia is south of Blackmoor);
- Blackmoor should have a subtropical climate, but, due to the influx of cold water from Firefrost channel, the climate of the whole region is temperate (DA1, page44);
- North of Blackmoor there are lands with colder and colder climate, inhabited by Skandaharians (DA modules) and Beastmen (HW, DM manual, page 9: the Borean Valley is a frozen land north of Blackmoor); moreover, north of Blackmoor there is at least another sea (Skandaharian sea, with fjords, from DA1);
- South-South-west of Blackmoor there are broad lands occupied by Thonian Empire. The Thonian Empire area should be about ten times the Blackmoor area (from DA1 we know that Thonia has 10 military provinces, and that if the Iron Duke manages to conquer Blackmoor region he will be the leader of 'a strong province' - DA1, description of the Iron Duke in the NPC section);
- Elves of Evergrun live at the opposite side of the world with respect to Blackmoor kingdom (see, for example, HW, DM manual, page 10). We know, also, that Evergrun became a frozen land after the Great Rain of Fire, and that Evergrun is a 'continent' (a big island, to be honest) offshore Davania southern tip (see, for example, the elven migration map in GAZ6)

So, given the fact that if you rotate AC1000 Mystara map the previous polar regions will shrink to a little area (remember that on a Eckert IV projection the polar regions are extremely stretched in E-W direction), the possible position of Evergrun is limited to the little circle I draw on my pre-cataclysmic maps.

This circle is also centred, approximately, on 10W, 37S coordinates.
Let's see what we find 'on the opposite side of the world' with respect to this point (which means 170E, 37N):
We find a tropical coastal region with two-three internal seas, a broad extension of land south and southwest of it, a lot of land north of it (moreover, the Borean Valley is near the North Pole). Adding a couple of details (showed also in the HW pre cataclysmic map), such as the Firefrost channel and the Shallows, you will have your land of Blackmoor.
It fits all the required features described in the official manuals.

Blackmoor was surely NOT in the actual position of Glantri City because the Nucleus of the Spheres was moved from its original place by an Old One and placed in the actual position beneath Glantri (see WotI, Immortal's Fury book, page 7).
Moreover, the position of the Comeback Inn is not important for determining Blackmoor position. In DA1 it is written that the Comeback Inn is able to move people (and itself) in time and SPACE. So, the Broken Lands are simply the place where this artifact 'decided' to stay in AC1000. In other times we should expect that the Comeback Inn had a different location.

In conclusion, the famous sentence about "Blackmoor being the Broken Lands we know today" of DA1 should be intended without capital letters on 'Broken Lands'. Blackmoor has been shattered and scorched by the cataclysm, simply becoming a patch of 'common broken lands'.