Tyr's Iron Mine Location?
By - Ra_Agiea
\#3. I remember spending ages researching this damn thing. The wording that says it's to the north is wrong. Stupid mines.
Agreed. Different editions give different locations. The deeper I work in the Dark Sun setting, the more I realize how often this happened.
I found a description in DSS1 City-State of Tyr (1993) by Walter M. Baas, that places the mines of Tyr in yet another location. 😒
"The iron mines of Tyr are the largest of their type in the Tablelands. The presence of the ore was one of the principal reasons Tyr was established only **two days travel** from the mine."
"The mine gouges the foothills of the Ringing Mountains **north and west** of Tyr like an open wound. A single narrow mountain road accesses the fortified site."
In the same book they describe Undertyr and the history of Tyr contradicting the idea that the city was established in that area because of the mine. Additionally in Dune Trader, they talk about the History of House Vordon (the primary Merchant House of Tyr, which controls the Iron trade). In that they say that House Vordon escaped from Kalidnay just before that City was destroyed fleeing to Tyr, then they go on to describe how the mine was discovered years after House Vordon relocated to Tyr.
The location is in the map featured in the first few pages of the original novel - The Verdant Passage.
It is below the scrub area that starts directly beneath 3.
I posted the pic of the map showing the location in another post.
A map is nice, thx.
Hey - sure! I’ll put up the others when I get the chance. Each novel had one, I believe.
So, going by the 2nd edition map and the movement rules there within...
We know from DSS1 as you copied below it's in the foothills, two days away from Tyr but also through a mountain pass.
Assuming they are using standard Human movement in scrub then that's 24 miles in two days however a mountain pass (despite being in the foothills) would probably cut a few miles off that, lets round it to 20 miles.
Going NW hits the Ringing Mountains within a days travel, then assuming a days hike through the mountains (which to be fair is a pass as noted) but still keeping it within the foothills I would probably put the entrance to the mines at the tail of either of the letter 'G' in RINGING on the map.
According to the books.....it depends.
The original books put it "at the foot of the ringing mountains, two days from Tyr". Which would put it around 4. The 4e books said it was north of Tyr. But 4e really mucked up some of the lore, so I ignore it for the most part.
I SWEAR there is an actual entry on the Fort that protects the mine, but I am away from my books at the moment...
DSS1 City-State of Tyr has an entire section of the mines, as well as its fortifications. Maybe this is what you were thinking of? (Pages 14-18)
I actually think it's in the Wanderers chronicle.
Well what do you know?
4e’s one is more realistic in the sense of Tyr establishing itself close to the mines. 1 Days travel seems more easy for Tyr to maintain control of it.
Though I wouldn’t find it difficult to believe that there are multiple mine shafts across the mountain that ship out from a centralized location.
RPG are notoriously bad with maps, travel time and population. It's honestly funny reading some older setting maps than comparing then to real world equivalents.
Except it's not more realistic is terms of the history.
Tyr was built in a time where iron wasn't a huge commodity. Mines run out of ore eventually, and certainly don't last 1000 years. Therefore, it had to be a relatively recent discovery.
Tyr was founded to exploit the mines. RPG writers have terrible senses of time as well as scale.
Lol. Awesome. But do you have a citation for that?
OP themselves found it in The City-State of Tyr, 1993.
Though it's credited to one author, I have a feeling that many hands touched these books both in the actual writing and the sketching out of background lore. In one notebook somewhere in the TSR offices it said that Tyr was founded to control the mine and somewhere else it said that Tyr predates it, and that's before the setting revision. Especially considering the state TSR proofreading and playtesting was in back in the 90s it's probably best to cobble together a preferred interpretation rather than try and find a "definitive" form of the setting.
>Though it's credited to one author, I have a feeling that many hands touched these books both in the actual writing and the sketching out of background lore
You are right. There WERE many different authors. In fact, towards the end of Darksun was when TSR was in major financial trouble and was desperate for income, they hired on a number of authors to work on Darksun products, but they were given very little insight into the lore.
TSR basically said, "We don't care what you write, just get us something."
Some of the later novels and books were....weird.
With that in mind, shouldn't we look at the EARLIER books, since those are closer to the original ideas?
Dune Trader and City State of Tyr, both of the books I referenced came out within 2 years of the release of the original Boxset.
I voted for #1 — but my real answer is: 1) as far away as possible for it to be a pill for Tyr / Kalak / Templars to manage, 2) as important as possible where slaves or laborers have a shred of rights and distance where they might pose a threat of uprising so as to provide an adventure hook for PCs that are miners, 3) as far as possible where it is easier for a merchant house to handle iron mining instead of kalak and the templars, and 4) as close as possible to Hamanu / Urik to the point where they would constantly plot to invade and take it over, or at least send spies.
Putting it south of Tyr, or having it too close to Tyr is only desirable if you want this to be a secure resource for Tyr. This is a powder keg setting where nothing is easy, after all. Just my opinion!
I chose 3 because any others would be open to easy invasion. It's the only choice that puts it within a couple days of Tyr for the average army platoon. It's still able to be assaulted by others and used as a plot hook of you really need one so specific on Athas.
Thank you everyone who voted or added to the discussion. There seems to be quite a bit of deviation in original Dark Sub publications as to where the Iron Mines of Tyr actually lie, as with so many other items of interest talked about here. I suppose the bottom line is that the mine shall be wherever it works the best for you and your campaign. I think the only thing we can all agree upon is that there is an iron mine somewhere near Try. This fact alone should allow for some continuity, regardless of its specific location.