Scout gazetteer descriptions vs map error

I am going to be running a game in the Westermarck inspired by the french film Brotherhood of the Wolf and want to make battle/maps.

Looking at the Aquilonia map in the Scout sourcebook and reading “Bordered on either side by the Thunder River and the Bossonian Marches, the provinces of the Westermarck…” just doesn’t make any sense to me.
I think someone made an oof and put “bossonian marches” text where “westermarck” text should have gone on the Aquilonian map, which puts the bossonian marches where, exactly, on that map?

Comparing the Scout book Aquilonia map to the Core book world map causes even more problems.

The Pictish Wilderness lies west of the Black River - simple.

According to “untitled notes” by REH himself, the Westermarck is located between the Bossonian Marches and the Pictish Wilderness.

edit: If someone were to say that the Westermarck lies south of Tauran within the whole of the Bossonian Marches, meaning that the Bossonian Marches encapsulates Gunderland, Tauran and the Westermarck, that might make sense, but then the two maps don’t align at all because in Scout book map, the Westermarck goes all the way up to the beginnings of the Cimmerian mntn ranges.

Core p.256

East of the Thunder River lies the frontier province of the Westermarck, and between that river and the Black River are the Bossonian Marches, where skilled archers stand vigil against savage tribes of Picts that raid incessantly along the border. Gunderland lies far beyond these wild forests, but is nonetheless part of Aquilonia, its people understandably provincial and unsophisticated. West of the Shirki River lies Tauran, a pastoral land of herdsmen and noble hunters. Together these counties and provinces constitute Aquilonia, the Flower of the West…

I hate to say that cartographers of the age weren’t very accurate, but I must.

The map was adapted from REH’s original, in the Core book too, I believe.

Bodies of water such as rivers, as well as mntn ranges, have long been boundaries in one way or another. I should’ve gone with my gut.

Here is even further evidence of location of Westermarck found in the Scout book text for the Westermarck’s provinces (p.29):

Now abandoned entirely to the Picts, Conajahara was once the most primitive of the provinces, thinly inhabited, bordered by the Black River to the west and the Thunder River to the east.

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This helps me! My next adventure is going to be staged in a fort on the Black River, and I, too, was looking for the location of the Westermarck.

i truly am glad my tangent helped someone else as well as myself!

I’ve just encountered the same issues, having found many contradictions in the books. It makes it hard to properly envision the area and run a game in it.

How have you resolved the issue for your game? Any insight/assistance would be greatly appreciated.

My findings and thoughts so far:

Adventures in an age undreamed of:

Stretching along the western and northern frontier are the Bossonian Marches, … Beyond the Bossonian Marches is the Westermarck, a series of settlements that is an attempt by the Aquilonians to push into the Pictish Wilderness and colonize the area…

It is stated that the Bossonian Marches are along the western an northern edges of Aquilonia, and that beyond it (implying to the west) is the Westermarck.

The map seems to support that the Bossonian Marches are west of Aquilonia, but it doesn’t show where The Westermarck is.

The Westermarck is broken into various provinces: Conawaga, Oriskonie, and Schohira, …

The Westermarck is not the same place as the Bossonian Marches, and it is stated that it (Westermarck) is separated into those provinces, and yet the map on p.25 of Conan the Scout denotes the borders of these provinces as going all the way through the Bossonian Marches and (if the Core Book map is correct) through both Tauran and Gunderland. This really confuses me.

… The Picts, though the source of much unfair comparison, are but one of the dangers besetting those that settle the westernmost reaches of the Westermarck…

This further implies that the Westermarck is to the west of the Bossonian Marches.

East of the Thunder River lays the frontier province of the Westermarck, and between that river and the Black River are the Bossonian Marches, …

Here, it claims that the Westermark is to the east of the Thunder River, which would mean (judging from the previous quotes) that the Bossonian Marches would also be east of this river, as they are to the east of the Westermarck.

However, the book contradict’s itself by now saying that the Bossonian Marches are between the Thunder River and the Black River. Since the Black river is to the west of the Thunder River, that would put the Bossonian Marches to the west of the Thunder River…

Conan the Scout:

The Bossonian Marches stretch from the fork of the Thunder and Shirki Rivers in the south to the east-most limit of the Border Kingdom, encompassing the Tauran and Gunderland (and the Westermarck).

Again, if the Bossonian Marches stretch from that fork, it would put it to the east of the Thunder River, not to its west.

Also, if it stretches from that fork, wouldn’t that overlap it on top of Westermarck?

Bordered on either side by the Thunder River and the Bossonian Marches, the provinces of the Westermarck are …

We are again told that Westermarck is between the Thunder River and the Bossonian Marches, meaning the Bossonian Marches could, in fact, NOT be to the west of the Thunder River…

… The Westermarck encompasses four smaller provinces: Conawaga, Oriskonie, Schohira, and Thandara. A fifth, Conajohara, has been lost to the Picts.

Also reiterated is that it is Westermarck, not the Bossonian Marches that is divided into these provinces, and yet… the map seems to contradict that.

p.28. From Untitled Notes:
The Westermarck: Located between the Bossonian Marches and the Pictish Wilderness.

Once more, the Westermarck is described as being to the West of the Bossonian Marches.

Though the territory between the Black and Thunder Rivers is inhabited by Picts and increasingly by settlers, that narrow band of land is a contested one, and claim to it have gone back and forth from the Picts and the Aquilonian barons…

This (and another passage I read and can’t seem to find again) seems to imply that the land between cannot be the Bossonian Marches, or even the Westermarck.

Adding to the confusion are multiple passages that state that the Bossonian Marches, Westermarck, Gunderland, and Tauran are separate western frontier provinces of Aquilonia, only to be contradicted by other passages claiming things such as, but not limited to:

  • The Bossonian Marches are divided into to provinces: Gunderland and Tauran
  • Westermark is a territory within Gunderland
  • Tauran is part of Gunderland

Not sure if this will help or ad a little more confusion but you can see some other maps that were done of the Hyperborean age by others to see where they had things.

Yeah, the map in Scout is all kinds of wrong (an issue I hope gets corrected before the book goes to print). The muddled descriptions in the Core book and Scout don’t help much either (I’m looking at you p. 256 and p. 26!). Here’s a map I have in my files which, I think, gives a much clearer picture of things in that area (I believe this map was made by Vincent Darlage, creator of many of the maps linked to by Jay_NOLA above):

from what i read, here is my hex shohira province. (disregaurd meadow in lower left.)


Haven’t gone through the books, but surely “Western March” is a hint?

So perhaps it’s better to think of it as a general descriptor of the very edge of the border where the marches blends into the wilderness rather than a specific socio-political area?

Basically: don’t think of it as a hard border but rather that area of the Marches either side of the Thunder River marked by very new settlement and conflict/trade with the Picts. This sort of multiple descriptors / names for the same geographic area is fairly common before the Enlightenment’s desire to strictly categorise everything.

That being said, I’ve just had a side conversation in my Conan game where I explained that don’t apply rational geographical assumptions to REH’s world building, so…


I think that’s the only sensible approach. It’s what ‘March’ means, after all.