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Adapting CM6 locations to Mystara

by LoZompatore

What if the "parallel world" of Aelos described in CM6 module "where Chaos Reigns" was actually a true parallel Mystara? It would enable to include Aelos' locations and descriptions into Mystara's history, especially detailing is most ancient past.

Here is an attempt of mine to harmonize Aelos info with canon Mystara. See if you like it

First of all, I moved all CM6 events in pre-Cataclysmic Mystara, mostly because the earlier episodes of the module are set at the time of dwarves' and halflings' creations. On a secondary note, the area described in the first CM6 episodes should not be very far from each other as the events are someway connected through legends and interactions among the various races.

Here is an old pre-Cataclysmic map of mine with suggested locations and populations' migrations before the Great Rain of Fire. Most of this map likely needs to be updated, but I suppose it could be used as a basis to start this discussion:

As you see, garls and dwarves are placed north of Blackmoor, that is, in present-day Orol Archipelago and on the Ice Peaks mountain range respectively. So I placed most of the CM6 locations around this area.
By using a 180 rotated version of the pre-Cataclysmic map above in order to center it on the Blackmoor region, here are the suggested locations for the most important places described in CM6:

Such placements would fit CM6 maps and also merge with ease in pre-Cataclysmic Mystara. The only exception are the halflings, which are said to originate in Arqwen, while from other canon sources it seems that halflings actually were born on Davania. A possible explaination may arise from this sentence of CM6:

The halflings live secretly in the woodlands, and have no settlements or leaders. As yet, they have no Crucible of Blackflame.
They are rarely, if ever, seen by most of the human population, but are on good terms with the druids and elves. They have no legends concerning the adventurers and will cooperate with the party for the sake of their love of Arqwen and friendship with the druids.

We may assume that after the CM6 episode of Arqwen the (still small number of) halfings do not feel safe anymore in their ancestral lands and mass-migrate to Davania thanks to the help of the druids (think about the use of some sort of "Mass Pass plant" spell), who are the dominant power at that era. (Please notice also that DA1 module introduced halflings in the Blackmoor area around BC4000, so the issue of having halflings outside of Davania would exists anyway ).

Notice also that the elves described in CM6 should be intended as the Blackmoorish "high elves" introduced in DA1 module, which live in the Blackmoor area as of BC 4000. They would come from a separate breed of elves with respect to the Evergrun/Davanian groups (elvish origins could be related to the Eldars' downfall, as described in the Dragonlord Trilogy: being such the case, Davanian elves would be just a part of the total elvish population - actually, the part that was supported by Ordana).

Now let's set a suitable Mystaran timeline for the events of CM6. Here is what I suggest:

10000 BC "In the Beginning" episode: end of the glacial era, neanderthals and garls dwindling and first conflicts with fledgling human and elvish communities (there is a canon reference about neanderthal decline following BC 10000 in PWA entry about the brute-men territory).
7000 BC "Forge of Power" episode (in CM6 it is set 3000 years after the previous one): ancient dwarves appearance on Mystara (they are described as farmer and herders in BC6000 in HW supplement).
6500 BC "Bronze and Iron" episode (in CM6 it is set 500 years after the previous one): the Kolmedians would be a group of mixed human stocks (mostly Neathar: their melting-pot culture would allow for a lesser influence from the druids, as described in CM6) who managed to build a powerful but ephemeral empire (due to PCs actions in CM6) thanks to the knowledge of iron metallurgy taught them by the Oards.
3500 BC "Island of Sorceres" episode (accordingly to CM6 it is set many millennia after the war of "Bronze and Iron"). The island of Talah is a world-famous magical school; it hosts a library of magical knowledge where powerful human magic-users and elves go to improve their abilities. The most powerful mages of the era can be found here, as well. I believe a good setting for this episode would be around BC3500, when Blackmoor and the southern elvish culture meet and start exchanging knowledge, thus creating the first world-wide civilization (notice BC3500 is set before Blackmoor technology led Evergrun elves to abandon most of their magic and their ancient traditions). The island could be conveniently located hafway in the ocean between Blackmoor and Evergrun.

Further insights:

- Adapting CM6 module to Mystara would also lead to other interesting assumptions: what if the Oards made further attempts to divert Mystaran magical bias toward technology? An obvious effort would be the Beagle disaster and the subsequent influence on Blackmoor civilization, another attempt by the Oards would have indirectly caused the Glantrian Catastrophe; more subtle interventions would have involved gnomes (especially the Snartans) and the earthshakers, who knows. A future attempt to technology-bias Mystara would be the foretold reappearance of Blackmoor in the Outer World.

- A Kolmedian commander in the attempted invasion of Arqwen is called "Stengar", which to me sounds very like "Ethengar". I was playing with the idea of having the Backmoor-era Ethengars as descendants of Stengar's Kolmedian army who disbanded after its route against the allied people of Arqwen.

- New locations would add some interesting ruins and places of power to present-day northern Brun adn Hyborea: the sacred places of origin of halflings and ancient dwarves, the ruins of the Kolmedian empire (its remnants conquered millennia later by hi-tech Blackmoor during its crusade against beastmen in northern Brun). Last but not least there is the island of Talah in the present-day Sea of Brun with its lure of ancient magical knowledge: what if Ilsundal himself made a pilgrimage here around BC 2800 in order to recover ancient elvish magic lore? What if the Nithians travelled east to the Tangor Peninsula (see HW:KoN supplement introduction) searching for this fabulous island of magical knowledge?

Let me know what you think about the whole idea: anyway I hope these speculations will provide you with expanded adventuring opportunities!