Where's Akhlat?

Zen Ken

My players are on their way westward, and Akhlat looks like their next destination. But there's a discrepancy in the RoK. Akhlat is in Turan on the outer map and the map of Turan, but in the map of Shem, it's in the Red Waste. I.e. on the outer map and Turan, Akhlat, Shahpur and Zamboula are 150 miles apart and well to the center of Turan if you assume that the Red Waste is the defining border to Eastern Shem. However in the Shem map, Akhlat is on the west side of the Red Waste, well out of Turan and now JUST north of the River Styx. What gives?

I understand that Akhlat is a Shemite town and the description follows. So, by that reasoning, is Akhlat 1000 miles from Shahpur rather than 150? If that is correct, then they'll have to make for the Oasis of Akrel first. That should be another adventure in and of itself!
Akhlat is from the de Camp & Carter story "Black Tears", in Conan the Wanderer, so that's where to check. "Hyborian Names" (very useful resource published in Conan the Swordsman) calls it 'a Shemitish town in the Zuagir deserts'.
Akhlat is an oasis and former trading city found in the Shan-e-Sorkh, an area of red sands in the Eastern Desert west of the capital seaport city Aghrapur in Turan.

-info grabbed from http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/Cgaze.htm
IMHO opinion, the only correct answer here is : Akhlat is wherever you need it to be :)

Personally, I trust RoK's maps as much as I would trust Dark Ages maps of Europe to travel around : they are not accurate, and it is a very good thing. It allows you to introduce a sense of surprise when the players discover that the city on their map is much farther than they thought, or that there is a lake where they thought they would find a wasteland. The Black Kingdoms for instance, are much larger in my own version of the Hyborian Continent than on the classical maps (and anyway, REH never drew them himself), but Africa is rather tiny on ancient maps too.

This is why I really like the Hyborian Age : there are very few things that we can take for sure about it, and it leaves much place for imagination and interpretation, contarirly to most modern fantasy settings that are much more "scientific" (and much lesss mysterious).
That's a good point.

One of the problems with roleplaying in middle earth is that Tolkien completely detailed everything. There's no room for the players heroes or the gm's stories.

So discrepancies are not always bad.