Isle of Alaron

Overview

The Isle of Alaron is an island split into two; its northern half home to the Kingdom of Gnarhelm, its southern half home to the Kingdom of Callidyrr, both kingdoms are among the most powerful in the Moonshae Isles.

Timeline

  • 146 DR: Year of the Risen Towers: The Talffolk tribe fleeing the forces of Ebenfar arrive on the isles of Alaron and Snowdown.
  • 175 DR: Year of the Black Boats: Chieftain Alaron Ryugh dies from poison. The clans elect Callidyrr Hugh; a distant cousin of Alaron who lives on the Isle of Gwynneth, as Chieftain of the Talffolk.
  • 177 DR: Year of the Troublesome Vixen: Callidyrr pen Corlden of the MacHugh and Chief of the Talffolk is voted Chief of the Shyffolk by the clans. Callidyrr Hugh declares himself King of the Ffolk.
  • 193 DR: Year of the Raised Brow: Callidyrr Hugh, King of the Ffolk, Chief of the Shyffolk and Talffolk is slain by trolls touring the lands beyond the Fairheight Mountains. Cymrych Hugh is crowned King of the Ffolk and voted Chief of the Talffolk and Shyffolk by the clans.
  • 201 DR: Year of the Student: The War of Moon and Shadow: Kazgoroth and his drathak hordes launch coordinated assaults against Synnoria, High Home, and the Kingdom of Callidyrr.
  • Kazgoroth is defeated, slain by King Cymrych Hugh. The High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles is declared and Cymrych Hugh is declared High King.
  • Krystofir MacRyker is declared Chief of the Shyffolk by the clans.
  • High Queen Allisynn dies from wounds inflicted by Kazgoroth, she is interred on an elven tower on the floating island that now bears her name.
  • 250 DR: Year of the Storm Crown: High King Cymrych Hugh dies and is entombed within a barrow mound in the wild lands north of Cantrev Blackstone.
  • 275 DR: Year of the Wrath Sword: High King Carrig I grants the power of appointment to the Shyffolk of Gwynneth. Chorden Ryker is elected the first King of the Shyffolk and declares the Kingdom of Corwell, establishing his new capital far from the Kingdom of Callidyrr.
  • 289 DR: Year of the Walking Dreams: Construction of Caer Cymrych (the Castle of Skulls) is completed in Llyrath Forest. High King Gwylloch declares Caer Cymrych the new capital of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.
  • 299 DR: Year of the Vaasan Knot: Caer Cyrmrych vanishes along with the entire court of the High Kingdom of the Moonshaes, including High King Gwylloch and Crown Prince Ketheryll.
  • The capital of the High Kingdom of the Moonshaes is returned to Caer Callidyrr.
  • 467 DR: Year of the Four Winds: A large number of tethyrians migrate to the Moonshae Isles and settle among the ffolk. The migrants bring with them new religions, customs, and knowledge of modern advancements such as engineering.
  • 852 DR: Year of the Lost Smile: A massive fleet of illuskan longships from the Sword Coast arrive in the Moonshae Islands, ready for conquest. High King Dolan Cymrych is drowned when his coracle flotilla is destroyed crossing Whitefish Bay in a futile attempt to turn back the illuskan fleet. The Crown of the High King is lost to the watery depths. Dolan’s son Conn assumes the High Throne, but the loss of the crown becomes a severe blow to his position.
  • 924 DR: Year of the Cracked Turtle: Sahuagin begin raiding the western shore of Alaron.
  • 935 DR: Year of the Roaring Lion: Aeroth Silverhelm arrives in Callidyrr with his six sons seeking the patronage of High King Tanner.
  • 937 DR: Year of the Turning Wheel: King Torgred Helmudsson of Gnarhelm conquers the Isle of Oman.
  • 938 DR: Year of the Unhanged Man: Angus MacOdrum flees Callidyrr and makes his way to the undersea realm of Nindrol.
  • 944 DR: Year of the Animated Armour: Firbolgs overrun large portions of the Kingdom of Corwell.
  • High King Tanner Cymrych lands an army on Corwell, battling the firbolg invaders all the way back to the Myrloch Vale. High King Tanner is slain in an ambush and the Sword of Cymrych Hugh is lost, though the ffolk win the day and the firbolg menace is ended for a time.
  • Following the death of High King Tanner, King Torgred Helmudson forces the ffolk kings of Callidyrr, Corwell, Moray, and Snowdown to relinquish any claim to territory on the northern Moonshae Isles.
  • 947 DR: Year of the Advancing Wind: King Torgred Helmudsson is lost when his dragonship sinks during a storm. The islands of Gnarhelm, Norland, Norheim, and Oman break from the Lillemaron Alliance and each become self governing once again.
  • Aeroth Silverhelm leads an army of survivors from the High King’s army north to Gnarhelm where they establish the city of Vlan on its western shore.
  • 948 DR: Year of the Clarion Trumpet: Prince Yaleth of Vlan is slain by illuskan warriors, he is buried at sea in the bay now known as Prince’s Sound.
  • 1052 DR: Year of the Frozen Kingdoms: King Bayle Carrathal of the Kingdom of Callidyrr seeks to annex the islands of Jannath’s Tears.
  • Baldur’s Gate defends Jannath’s Tears and sinks the fleet of King Bayle.
  • 1211 DR: Year of the Crimson Crag: Callegh Blackstone and the mercenary band the Moray Leviathan’s conquer the northern end of Dolan’s Pass (renamed to Blackstone Pass).
  • 1240 DR: Year of the Bright Sun: King Cedric Carrathal grants the priests of Chauntea licence to establish the Church of the Great Mother.
  • 1262 DR: Year of the Black Wind: Mab the Magician, future High Mage of the Mage’s Council of Callidyrr is born.
  • 1292 DR: Year of Wandering Waves: Gwydion pen Dafwyd, future apprentice of Mab the Magician is born.
  • 1302 DR: Year of the Broken Helm: The Mage’s Council of Callidyrr is disbanded by King Alec IV after the discovery of correspondence between Mab the Magician and his sister, detailing the travelling plans of King Benjamin Carrathal (who was assassinated as a result). Mab the Magician is stripped of his spellbooks and exiled from the Moonshae Isles.
  • 1309 DR: Year of the Sunset Winds: The Cult of the Deathstalkers arrives on Alaron from Amn
  • 1310 DR: Year of Storms: King Alec IV Carrathal of Callidyrr invites magic users from Waterdeep to establish the Council Sorcere, a group of magical advisers to help protect the king from his enemies.
  • 1341 DR: Year of the Gate: King Sigurd Helmudsson “the Wise” of Gnarhelm and Sunderstaad dies and the crown passes to his named heir King Rolf Olafsson of Olafstaad, uniting the lands of Gnarhelm once more.
  • 1346 DR: The current year.

The War of Raging Leaves

Little is known about this ancient conflict that happened many millennia ago. Legends of the llewyrr speak of a being known as the Ravager (who some believe to be Kazgoroth in another guise), who could turn those he touched into raging monsters enslaved to his will.

The Ravager twisted many of the humanoid races into rampaging monsters that served his will. The firbolg, norl, and halflings all joined his banner, although the elves and dwarves remained curiously resistant to his touch.

Once the threat became apparent, the LeShay mobilised the remaining forces of good, fighting the Ravager’s forces on specific islands while the LeShay enchanted the Moonwells to prevent the Ravager and his minions from setting foot upon that island without suffering great pain. Gradually Kazgoroth was trapped upon the Isle of Oman and forced into a much diminished form.

The war was costly, the norl were all but eradicated on the Moonshae Isles, used as fodder by both sides in their armies, they left and did not return for several millennia. The dwarf and firbolg empires were shattered and swiftly collapsed (although they had been in decline long before that). The LeShay were seemingly banished from the Moonshae Isles, or fled to the safety of the Feywild. Only the halflings remained relatively unscathed, ignored by most for their lack of apparent military might.

The War of Moon and Shadow

The second war with Kazgoroth is well documented by the elves of Synnoria (the records in Caer Callidyrr were lost in 944 DR along with many other treasures).

The war had its beginnings in 176 DR when the ffolk and the Fidouyr began to explore the Isle of Oman and in so doing, accidentally released Kazgoroth the Devourer from his prison (which had been weakening since the first collapse of the Weave in -339 DR).

Kazgoroth took to wandering the Moonshae Isles, bringing the savage firbolg tribes (that were descended from his former slaves) under his influence. With these firbolg he attacked select targets and managed to kidnap the greatest dwarven runemaster of the age. The dwarf helped fashion an evil artefact known today as the Cauldron of Doom (originally the Cauldron of Dhuum), which allowed Kazgoroth to infuse corpses with a portion of his own essence – animating them for a time as creatures known known as drathak.

Kazgoroth spent over a decade building a drathak army, corrupting firbolgs, and even hunting down the few fomorians that had once served him in the War of Raging Leaves. By 201 DR Kazgoroth felt he was ready to slaughter the humanoids of the Moonshae Isles and launched simultaneous assaults on the nations of the islands.

Callidyrr, Synnoria, and High Home all suffered greatly under the relentless and ever growing attacks from the drathak hordes, for those that fell in battle soon joined the war against their still living brethren.

A chance encounter between the King of Callidyrr; Cymrych Hugh, and a noble elf maiden from Synnoria; Allisynn Reredine (who, like many llewyrr, was attempting to escape the conflict using the Alamtine Trail, journeying from Synnoria to other islands), resulted in a whirlwind romance as the King of the ffolk rode to the rescue of Allisynn and her entourage.

The pair were married, and Queen Allisynn helped cement an alliance between the ffolk and the llewyrr (overcoming the misunderstandings of the past century). The allies rode to the rescue of the dwarves of Alaron and secured further allies in their war. Together the goodly races fought Kazgoroth and his forces across each of the Moonshae Isles, ultimately cornering him in Myrloch Vale and the White Well (which Kazgoroth was attempting to corrupt).

The Moonlight Dancers used powerful musical instruments of ancient legend to weaken Kazgoroth, and then Cymrych Hugh strode forth with a magical sword (a gift from the elves and dwarves) to slay the beast. In that devastating battle one of the Moonlight Dancers was torn in half, and Queen Allisynn was wounded (and her instrument destroyed), but Cymrych Hugh was able to severe Kazgoroth’s Horn and drive the sword deep into the heart of the Devourer.

With Kazgoroth seemingly slain (having sunk to the bottom of the Darkwell – its name forever changed), the drathak hordes quickly disintegrated, and the firbolg fled back to their mountain homes. Cymrych Hugh and Allisynn Reredine established the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles in a great ceremony at Caer Callidyrr, where llewyrr, dwarves, halfings, and sea elves attended to present the High King and Queen with great gifts to forever secure the alliances between their peoples.

Life and Society

Callidyrr

Nobility

The Kingdom of Callidyrr is the largest and most powerful of the kingdoms of the ffolk, but its location as the easternmost of the Moonshae Isles has seen it exposed to Faerun’s influence far more than the other islands which has resulted in it losing much of its ffolk traditions.

Whereas the ffolk of Gwynneth and Moray remain true to the clan structured society of old, Callidyrr has all but abandoned it in favour of hereditary nobility as exists on the mainland. The clans still exist and they occupy the position of landed gentry among noble society, but they wield little or no power in Callidyrr beyond the amount of wealth and assets they possess.

Callidyrr is divided into five Shyrs; Bregonshyr, Talffolkshyr, Stagfordshyr, Stirgewycshyr, and Fareighshyr. Each of these Shyrs is governed by an Iyorl who reports directly to the King. A Shyr is further subdivided into Cantrevs, each governed by a Laird who collects taxes and enforces the law for all inhabitants within their territory.

Historically the Lairds (and later the Iyorls) would have been clan elders. As the centuries progressed, tethyrians arrived from the mainland and their industrious and material nature made them favourites among the High Kings who gradually bestowed more and more titles upon the migrants. In more recent centuries, as connections and merchant traffic with the mainland increased, a number of rich foreigners have gained noble titles in exchange for money and power.

In Callidyrr today, over half of all nobles are of tethyrian origin, with only a quarter of nobles having majority ffolk ancestry (and almost all those are located within Stagfordshyr). The remaining nobles are a mix of illuskan and calishite ancestry and they are centralised in Talffolkshyr in the lands closest to the King around Cantrev Callidyrr.

Iyorls: The Iyorls are the highest rank of nobility beneath the King, they control large areas of land (known as Shyrs) within the Kingdom of Callidyrr and have equal control over a number of Lairds and the Cantrevs within their territory..

The current number of Iyorls in Callidyrr stands at 4; the largest and most developed Shyrs are those on the east coast of Callidyrr with the closest links to mainland Faerun. The southern Shyr of Bregonshyr is more rural than Talffolkshyr and Stirgewycshyr but is benefiting from increased interest in trade with the Kingdom of Gwynneth. The western Shyr of Stagfordshyr is the most underdeveloped region, having been left to the traditional clans of the ffolk (although the last few kings have seen fit to appoint a number of tethyrian nobles to the title of Laird).

The last Shyr is known as Fareighshyr and once encompassed the western half of lands in what is now known as the Kingdom of Gnarhelm (the eastern shyr and the title of Iyorl has been unclaimed since 852 DR when the illuskans invaded). Over a century ago the title of Iyorl of Fareighshyr was given to the Laird of Cantrev Blackstone in return for efforts to secure the northern border against invasion from Gnarhelm, and as encouragement to reconquer territory from the illuskans (in direct contravention to the Treaty of Lillemaron – which the King of Callidyrr never actually signed).

Iyorls are responsible for setting taxes in their shyr in accordance with the king’s policies, and for ensuring their vassal Lairds collect those taxes. It is also the responsibility of the Iyorl to control the feuds between Lairds and provide an army for the King upon demand (usually consisting of conscripted militia and guardsmen from his own household or those of his Lairds).

Lairds: A Laird is the noble lord of a Cantrev, ruling over every ffolk and every settlement within the cantrev territory. The Lairds report directly into one of the Iyorls that control the shyr within which their cantrev is based.

A Laird is typically responsible for ensuring taxes are collected, that law and order is maintained, that bandits and monsters are dealt with, and that the militia is ready and available for the Iyorl should a muster be called. Lairds appoint shyrivs to assist with many of these tasks, giving the title to family and friends.

Banners: The flying of banners is common practice among the nobility of the ffolk (a practice imported by the tethyrian migrants of 467 DR), and any family of any importance will fly a flag on their estate bearing their family emblem. The nobility often employ a flag bearer to carry their emblem into battle.

The King and Caer Callidyrr fly a number of banners as follows, the first is the family emblem (a broken sword through a crown), the emblem of the Kingdom of Callidyrr (a single tower castle), and optionally although rarely used today, the emblem of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.

Clans

Once the clans formed the nobility of the Kingdom of Callidyrr, today that time has long since passed. The clans still hold a special place in society above that of the common folk, but they are no longer the major land holders (and thus the major military power) in Callidyrr.

The clans have suffered from the gradual degradation of power, as successive Kings removed lands and titles from existing clans and granted it to newer, more loyal courtiers (particularly those of tethyrian heritage).

Only in the northwest of Callidyrr (Stagfordshyr) do the clans still have any real presence or power, and that is still diminishing; especially under the rule of King Reginald Carrathal.

MacFuir: A long extinct clan of the Talffolk that used to claim lands south of Whitefish Bay.

MacLyrr: The MacLyrr claim the lands around Cantrev Warlsbry, being one of the last surviving clans of ancient Fareighshyr that managed to keep some of their holdings (Warlsbry) when the illuskans finished their conquest of Gnarhelm.

MacOghlarr: Once the claimants to almost all of cantrev Ogden, this clan now holds less than 10% of lands in that region, with a number of other estates spread across Stagfordshyr.

The MacOghlarr are one of the oldest and most loyal clans of the Talffolk, claiming distant kinship to Alaron Ryugh. They suffered great losses during the War of Moon and Shadow; as their sons volunteered to form a Blood Bond with King Cymrych Hugh becoming his honour guard.

The Oghlarr are believed to have formed the dissident group known as the Sons of Alaron, and for their crimes lost much of their lands and titles. The warriors of the MacOghlarr are fierce and prone to wild rages, there are rumours of a lingering taint carried by the survivors of the War of Moon and Shadow that was passed on to their descendants.

Commoners

The majority of commoners of Callidyrr are little different from the commoners of other ffolk kingdoms. However there is a marked difference between those living in rural and urban areas that is not found in anywhere else in the Moonshae Isles.

Rural folk spend much of their time farming, hunting, fishing, mining, crafting, etc, performing whatever tasks their skills allow to generate wealth or goods enough for barter to ensure their continued survival. These tasks are still performed with the balance of nature in mind; never taking young or pregnant animals, allowing fields to recover, replanting trees after logging. The Church of the Great Mother assists the folk in maintaining this balance, having taken over the role from the druids of the Ring of Callidyrr.

The folk generally work for themselves on their own lands and the fruits of these labours go directly towards ensuring the continued survival of their family (feeding, clothing, and sheltering them), or for barter at nearby cantrevs to acquire the goods to feed, clothe, and shelter them.

In the more urban areas, such as the cantrevs of Talffolkshyr, the common folk are starting to migrate towards the settlements where they are employed by other wealthy merchants, land owners, or nobles in a variety of employment (as farmers on large farms, as miners, as craftsmen, or as shopkeepers and any other variety of jobs in the service industry). Their labour results in monetary reimbursement that can be spent on goods and services to provide for their lifestyle.

In many ways the life of folk in urban areas Talffolkshyr and Bregonshyr resembles that of mainland Faerun, but less complex (albeit that complexity is growing with each decade).

Slavery

The Kingdom of Callidyrr does not allow slavery within its laws or territory. The law of the land believes that every man is free to live as he pleases providing he abides by the High King’s laws. Prisoners of war that are captured (only valuable prisoners are taken, commoners that surrender usually lose two fingers and are released) are ransomed back to their homeland for money or sold to Nelanther pirates or norl traders as slaves.

The concept of indentured serfdom is unknown in the Moonshae Isles, a ffolk is entitled to claim whatever free land is available and work it in anyway he desires. Some unscrupulous land owners that have moved to Callidyrr from mainland Faerun offer accommodation at low rates that quickly increase, and then offer them work to pay off the debt, but this practice is rare as the Kingdom of Callidyrr has no laws for debt management and collection and ffolk that owe money often move to another cantrev without repaying.

Population

The general population of Callidyrr is a mix of ffolk and tethyrian blood. In the eastern and southern shyrs there is a higher concentration of tethyrian blood, while in the western Stagfordshyr there is a higher concentration of ffolk blood, however the bloodlines have sufficiently mixed to the point that no-one can distinguish physically between a majority ffolk or majority tethyrian ancestry.

In Talffolkshyr, there is an increasing number of people with illuskan and calishite ancestry as wealthy merchants and those seeking to escape the Sword Coast try and establish themselves in the Moonshae Isles.

Customs

Alcohol: The majority of settlements in Callidyrr brew a thick black ale known locally as Callidyrr Soil. It is drunk widely by most ffolk every evening.

Architecture: The ffolk of Callidyrr long lived simply within the bounty that nature provides, as they have done so with little change for a thousand years. Ffolk dwellings were typically constructed along and around banks, valleys, hills, riverbanks, and other natural avenues or geography that enhanced shelter or travel. In the recent past this tradition has changed as foreign influences come to Callidyrr through trade and now the settlements (particularly in the east and south of the kingdom) are starting to show the urban sprawl common to settlements in mainland Faerun as houses begin to radiated outwards in all directions.

The buildings are constructed using rock and wood acquired on demand for building materials, a timber frame is constructed inside a dry stone wall covered with mud. The building is usually circular in shape and of varying sizes depending upon the number of inhabitants. The roofing on Callidyrr is usually made from slate and shingle.

Private dwellings are rarely constructed by families or clans (such a tradition only continues in the west of Callidyrr or in more rural regions), and instead land owners pay to have buildings constructed that are then rented out to families or workers. Larger buildings, such as watchtowers and other community centres are constructed from carved and shaped rocks, built according to engineering styles of ancient Tethyr – squat, stone walls in square shapes.

Bards: The ffolk have a long tradition of travelling musicians known as bards, who wander from settlement to settlement spreading news and messages while playing their songs in exchange for room and board. Those bards with enough skill and renown may ply their trade at the Lairds keep and curry favour with the rich and powerful.

The bardic traditions stems from ancient legends of Moonlight Dancers who used the power of song to defeat Kazgoroth in ages past. During the time of Cymrych Hugh the first Great Bards came to be known when the llewyrr appeared with powerful musical instruments (one used by Queen Allisynn herself) to weaken Kazgoroth enough for him to be slain by the High King.

Since the time of Cymrych Hugh, the Great Bards were the most prestigious musicians in the land, granted honorary titles to elevate among the ranks of nobility and give them the freedom to spread songs of the High King’s achievements far and wide, and carry his messages to distant vassals. At first only those carrying one of the three musical instruments of legend was named as a Great Bard, but over time these instruments were lost as the Moonshae Isles became more dangerous and Great Bards were ambushed.

Within a few decades others came to emulate the Great Bards, travelling to far flung island to play heroic ballads and deliver news, and thus the bardic tradition was born. In modern times anyone with enough skill and renown can be pronounced one of the Great bards by the King of Callidyrr (a title usually bestowed upon a court favourite that carries weight among other kingdoms).

Blood Bond: A Blood Bond is an oath of loyalty and service to another, that requires the Bonded (the one giving the oath) to perform any act required of by his Blood (the one receiving the oath), it is expected that the Bonded will give his life in service to his Blood.

A Blood Bond lasts a lifetime, and tradition dictates that should the Bonded survive his Blood, he will be exiled from the lands of the ffolk for failing to fulfil his duty of protection, a Bonded is often absolved of this duty if his Blood dies of old age or natural causes.

Typically a Blood Bond is usually made between the personal bodyguards and a King, but it is not unknown for a ffolk to give a Blood Bond to those of high reputation and personal integrity, especially in return for some life saving action.

The High King Cymrych Hugh created the tradition of a Blood Bond at the start of the war with Kazgoroth, when his Clan Fiern swore to protect him until their death, cutting their forearm with a blade to seal the bond, they were joined during the war by the sons of many other clan elders eager to prove themselves.

A Blood Bond is identified by a red sash tied around their left wrist, bearing the emblem or the name of their Blood. To carry such a sash makes such a ffolk worthy of the highest respect of their peers (especially among the clans, allowing them to claim fare from any clan). To falsely claim such a bond will often result in exile or execution should anyone find out.

A Blood Bond can only be ended by the Blood, never by the Bonded, the circumstances of the dissolution of the Bond determine whether the Bonded suffers dishonour or not.

Bondlaw: The ffolk term for marriage ties a man and woman together for the purposes of raising children is known as bondlaw. It is a joint undertaking between the man and woman (requiring consent of both parties) witnessed by any other person of good standing in the community.

A bondlaw ceremony historically used to be held at Green Groves in the nearby settlements (a practise still performed on other ffolk islands), however in recent centuries, with the rise of the Church of the Great Mother in Callidyrr, these ceremonies are now held at local shrines to Chauntea, presided over by a priest (whereas tradition would allow a Laird, druid, shyriv, clan elder, or bard to witness).

Bondlaw ties together two people into a family unit, sharing all wealth and assets equally. If part of a clan, entering into a bond will usually entitle a couple to a larger residence (provided by the clan). The bondlaw also links the family to the immediate family of both members, known as bondlaw brother, sister, father, mother, etc, and makes each member of the extended family able to request assistance from the other in times of need (it is dishonourable to refuse a reasonable request from a bondlaw or blood relative).

Fashion: The ffolk are not a people that enjoy such frivolous pursuits as fashion, the common folk wear very practical and often homemade woolen tunics and trousers (or sheepskin leggings) with leather boots and travelling cloaks (if they are travelling). City dwellers may dye their clothing in different colours for additional decoration.

Jewellery is not uncommon, and the ffolk of both genders are fond of earrings twisted into overlapping ringlets made out of the more common metals copper, iron, and silver.

Nobility and royalty, particularly in Callidyrr, are taking advantage of the clothing luxuries from trade with mainland Faerun, linen, cotton, and silk adorn the rich ffolk (although silk is less favoured by those with common sense in the colder islands), and golden torcs, rings, and bracelets decorated with gemstones and crystals are worn to show off their wealth

Hairstyles among the ffolk differ little between men and women, both genders grow their hair long, and male facial hair is left to grow in all directions (unlike the twisted and braided or short beards of the norl). Bonded women tie their hair back with a braided loop at the head or neck.

Festivals: The ffolk of the Kingdom of Callidyrr have an annual festival known as the Coronation Fayre which is held during the Spring Equinox. It is a day long festival where the ffolk congregate in the Green Grove and dance, drink, feast, and compete in competitions of all kinds.

Those near to Caer Callidyrr often travel to the kingdom’s capital where the entire city erupts in a huge celebration with a large carnival that parades through the streets of the Old Quarter with a giant wooden bipedal reptile (representing Kazgoroth) that is dumped into Whitefish Bay.

All the nation’s nobility travel to Callidyrr to celebrate the Coronation Fayre, to miss it is considered a great dishonour to the King and the memory of Cymrych Hugh.

Funerals: The traditional ffolk funeral involves wrapping the body in cloth and encasing the body in a woven basket in the foetal position. The basket is then lowered into the ground (usually a site of geographic interest – a tor or hill) amid a sombre ceremony with music and a reading of his remaining family members. Once the burial is complete there is usually a celebration at the clan hall or family home (if they are clanless).

Powerful nobles, successful warleaders, great rulers, legendary warriors, wise elders are given greater honour by burying them in a barrow (an oval hillock with a hole allowing entrance that is usually covered once the burial is complete), these barrows are often clustered near to ffolk settlements so that people can visit and pay their respects or seek peace and solace amid the deceased.

Gender Equality: The ffolk of the Moonshae Isles do not discriminate against gender (over much when compared to other regions of Toril). A woman can take up any profession they wish as long as they are capable, but once with child it is expected that the women look after the children and take up the honoured role of mother. It is not uncommon to find ffolk women as miners, hunters, men at arms, mercenaries, and even queens (women are considered equal in the lines of succession).

Literature: The ffolk are not a highly literate society among the commoners or the nobility, however the great poems and ballads of the Prynmar have been preserved for eternity in books held at the homes of the Royal Houses of the ffolk kingdoms and a few of the more educated nobles. The most famous written work in ffolk history is the Ballad of Cymrych Hugh, written by the Prynmar Dolsow who was one of the Great Bards present during the final battle between Cymrych Hugh and Kazgoroth.

Sailing: The ffolk are not natural sailors unlike the norl, however, on an archipelago it is impossible for the inhabitants to survive without sailing related industries such as fishing and trading.

Typically most ffolk living along the coast will own or part own a coracle made by the owners which they share to engage in fishing activities or to transport themselves, their goods, and the families when needed. The coracles are slow and unsteady, but very manoeuvrable. Coracles do not cope at all in storms or choppy seas, and are dragged onto land at the first sign.

Since the 7th century Dalereckoning, the ffolk have developed a ship known as a curragh, which is flat bottomed, with a square stern, a single deck, and a single sail. Those curragh used to carry goods generally have a deeper berth, most curragh are used for trading purposes and so are of this style, only the recently forming navy of Callidyrr has ships dedicated to troop transport.

The curragh are slower than the longships of the norl, but they are far more manoeuvrable, and can easily tack the strong currents around the Sea of Moonshae.

Taps Leuar: The Moonlight Dance is a festival held once a month in every cantrev, baillen, and farmstead in Corwell during the full moon. Every Celilas (translates as Green Grove and is a field set aside for communal use) in every settlement in Callidyrr is filled with dancers, bards, craft stalls and mead sellers.

During Taps Leuar the ffolk celebrate the legend of the Moonlight Dancers until High Moon, often drinking and dancing themselves into a stupor. The legend of the Moonlight Dancers is believed to derive from legends of the llewyrr and halflings, when 3 elf maidens (or halfling tricksters) used the power of the Earthmother and the music of the fey to drive (or trick) a great evil into a Moonwell before it was slain using a sharpened moonbeam.

The truth of the legend is lost to the mists of time, but many believe the ffolk (and llewyyr’s) reverence for music stems from this ancient battle, some even postulate that the 3 instruments of the Great Bards are derived from this legend.

The increasing mercantile nature of the ffolk of Callidyrr has seen this festival turn into a monthly trade gathering where farmers and craftsmen from all around the cantrev congregate on the nearest Green Grove to sell their wares, much of the drinking and dancing is lost from these trademeets apart from in Stagfordshyr where the clans stick to the old traditions of dancing into the night and drinking themselves unconscious.

Gnarhelm

The people of Gnarhelm are of majority illuskan stock, which bears a kinship with the norl people of the island of the Sea of Swords (norl warriors having once refounded Illusk in the distant past), but now has more in common with the tethyrians that have spread north and the two peoples have merged to form modern illuskan society.

Modern illuskans respect strength like the norl, but also have strong familial ties, not just to blood relatives but also to friends and associated groups. This has given rise to a highly factionalised society, wherein inter-group strife is fairly common. Guild wars and street gang violence is common in illuskan settlements on the Sword Coast (as each group strives to prove dominance over the other while fiercely protecting their own). In Gnarhelm this group warfare is organised secretly by the nobility, who use their own families and allies to strike at their opponents in an endless game to secure the throne of Gnarhelm and weaken their opponents.

The constant in-fighting among the people of Gnarhelm has kept that nation from achieving dominance in the Moonshae Islands for many centuries, but those that invade Gnarhelm soon find a fierce, warrior people united in defence of their homeland.

The illuskans respect power, be that physical, monetary, or political power. It is not uncommon to find the common-folk of Gnarhelm arm-wrestling, rock throwing, and other tests of strength to gain respect.from their peers. Among the nobility it is more about education, alliances, and the struggle for power that gains them respect from other nobles. Last of all are those blessed with magical powers, both respected and feared for the raw power they possess, these “runecasters” occupy a special position among society that is unusual among the norl and the ffolk (that of a neutral super-power available for all, but owned by none).

Nobility

Gnarhelm’s nobility is derived directly from the illuskan nobles that fled the collapse of Stornanter, driven from Illusk and Port Llast by the vicious infighting that began when the Witch-Queen of Stornanter departed in 841 DR.

The nobility of Gnarhelm is hereditary, like other illuskan settlements on the Sword Coast. There are a number of ancient and established noble houses that constantly vie for control of the regions and the nation of Gnarhelm, each has a claim to the throne and so powerful, shifting factions are common throughout Gnarhelm’s history.

Bladestroll – noble house

Tryshaln – noble house

Zelhund – noble house

Elsmyth – noble house

Rushfire – noble house

Argentouch – noble house

Phommor – minor noble

The Black Blades – Assassins

Commoners

The common folk of Gnarhelm are industrious and hard working like all northmen. Unlike the norl, the illuskans regard any manual labour as worthwhile, and are not afraid to work as fishermen, farmers, miners, labourers, etc, proving their value through their strength and size, and earning a fair reward for that in return.

All illuskans learn to fight from an early age, but fighting is not the sole reason for their existence (unlike the norl). Every illuskan male must possess an axe and shield (by law), and be capable of splitting a cut log the size of a human head with 3 blows (they are tested regularly and suffer a fine if they fail the test), most men can split the wood with a single blow.

Customs

Architecture: Unlike their norl cousins, the illuskans are perfectly capable craftsmen and stonemasons (although not quite so capable as the ffolk or others on the mainland). Their buildings tend to be single roomed (with portable wooden dividers for privacy), constructed of stone because of a lack of available wood, the walls are usually dry-stone with thatched straw roofs. These buildings are simple and functional, giving the illuskan commoners a place to sleep and shelter from the poor weather that almost constantly assails the region.

In prior centuries the nobility and royalty also dwelled in stone castles (left over from a time when the ffolk ruled this land). The illuskans found these caers too draughty to maintain, and lacked the skills necessary to maintain these large stone works.

In time the illuskan nobility and royalty abandoned the ffolk caers in favour of large, single story hunting lodges, but these structures proved less capable to defend and over time the endless factional warring and growing civil unrest has led to a rise in wooden lodges (previously used for hunting excursions) that are easier and cheaper to maintain.

Berserkers: The norl are famous for their berserk frenzy that drives many warriors to unparalleled heights of strength and allows them to shrug off almost fatal wounds. Sages believe this trait has largely been lost by the illuskans as they became more civilised and mingled with other human subraces, certainly the Uthgardt barbarians have retained this ability and they mix relatively little with outsiders.

The illuskans of Gnarhelm are rarely able to attain a berserker frenzy, although there are a few that pretend to do so in order to gain prestige or inspire fear among their peers and enemies. Among the commonfolk however there is a growing number of berserkers which is believed to be a result of mixing with the nearby norl (also shown in the degeneration of their society towards more traditional norl values).

Gender Equality: Unlike the norl or the ffolk, the illuskans of Gnarhelm have little concept of gender equality, with women being regarded only as wives and child bearers. Women are respected in their role as mothers, and a man who publicly disrespects or dishonours his wife will lose the respect of his peers, but women are rarely seen outside the home.

Funerals: The illuskans of Gnarhelm do not normally bother with a ceremony for the deceased who are usually burned atop whatever pile of wood can be gathered among the hills of Gnarhelm. Nobility, great warriors, and wealthy sea captains can expect to be placed in a burial knarr (a small ship sized for one person) with their prized possessions, cast out to sea and set alight.

Horned Helmets: Most warriors of Gnarhelm wear a helmet with two horns curving up from the base (unlike the norl who prefer to fight without a helmet, or just wear a steel cap). Historians believe the tradition of wearing horned helmets is in honour of Helmud, the fabled Warleader who carved nation of Gnarhelm out of northern Alaron.

Others believe the tradition of wearing horned helms dates back further to before ancient Stornanter and the Horn of Morgred, carved from the tusk of the great white mammoth 

Origin: The ffolk have few myths relating to their history before their arrival on the Moonshae Isles, most having fled the mainland as soon as they reached the Sword Coast. The Talffolk however, speak of settling for a time in the Land of the Arcane (Arcanus Lodi), known for the nearby remains of a fallen civilisation of powerful magic. After many decades the evils of Ebenfar caught up with the Talffolk tribe and forced them to leave their home in a hurry, losing many of their treasures in the process.

Sailing: The norl are the true masters of the sea, living much of their life away from land on long voyages (raids or expeditions). The illuskans are descended from the norl and have lost some of the skills of their ancestors, but they have not lost their love of the sea and are expert sailors when compared to most other seafarers.

The illuskans have adopted the norl style longships since their formation of Gnarhelm, and like the norl they usually mount a figurehead at the prow, however, the illuskans favour scantily clad, nubile forms for their figureheads, often with wild hair (in homage to the ancient Witchqueen of Stornanter).

Transport: Unlike the norl kingdoms, the people of Gnarhelm have an excellent transport system that is comparable to that of the Kingdom of Callidyrr. The illuskans have maintained the ancient roads built by the ffolk during the rule of the High Kingdom over this land, the roads are now constructed of baked clay rather than paved stone slabs, but they link the major settlements of Gnarhelm, Sunderstaad, and Olafstaad and are well patrolled and travelled.

The illuskans brought a large stock of horses with them in 852 DR, this stock formed a stable breeding population. The Gnar Greys are known for their speed and stamina, are easily trained for battle, and can survive on the scrub grass that dominates the hills and cliffs of Gnarhelm. Using these horses the illuskans of the major settlements of Gnarhelm are only a days ride from each other, allowing them to stay in close communication.

Tranportation of goods and people takes a little longer (most commoners cannot afford a horse), but the roads are safe and in good condition, considerably speeding what would otherwise be a laborious trek through hills and valleys and lasting several weeks.

Economy

Callidyrr

The economy of Callidyrr is the largest in the Moonshae Isles and growing every day thanks to its connection to the mainland.

Callidyrr produces large surplus quantities of grain, ore, timber, and trade goods manufactured using those raw materials (such as weapons which are in high demand on the mainland due to the quality of the ore). Its nobility and growing merchant class have acquired a taste for the finer things in life and the bulk of those luxuries come from trade with mainland Faerun.

Internally, grain is moved from the south to the north and west, while fish, timber, and ore is moved from the north, west, and east to the south. This movement of goods takes place via caravans that travel the length of the country and back, or via a slow trickle of natural movement (farmers that their grain to the nearest cantrev, traders sell the surplus to the next cantrev and slowly it moves around the country in a pattern that repeats with other raw materials and trade goods). More recently a pattern emerges of the raw materials and trade goods moving to Callidyrr via caravans and then being distributed around the coast by merchant ships that make their way to Calimshan or Corwell.

The largest port in Callidyrr is that of Callidyrr itself, where the majority of merchant ships dock to buy the goods of the kingdom in bulk. Callidyrr’s major settlements are all ports of varying size, most of which are little more than fishing ports, Llewellyn and Kythyss are sizeable ports however, able to accommodate most ships and are benefiting from trade with other ffolk kingdoms and passing ships from Calimshan and Baldur’s Gate.

Currency

The Moonshae Isles has no formal currency, utilising instead the coins of other trading nations along the Sword Coast which are increasingly available as traders from the mainland flock to buy the rare commodities of these island nations.

The majority of people in Callidyrr; those living in rural areas and away from the larger port settlements, still use barter to buy and sell for things they need, coins are highly valuable and kept in secret caches (often buried under their house or near a site of personal significance).

Those in Callidyrr living in or around the port settlements that see regular merchant traffic from the Sword Coast accept currency from those cities or nations based upon the metal purity of those coins (the merchants of the Moonshae Isles are excellent valuers of foreign coinage and often act as mobile currency exchange in any port they visit (having ready supplies of many different currencies to hand).

It is believed that the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles once minted its own currency; known as Crowns (gold coins) and Swords (silver coins), with the Swords being more valuable, due to the prominence and power of the Sword of Cymrych Hugh, and the low purity of the gold ore available to the ffolk at the time.

These ancient currencies gradually fell out of favour following the migration of large numbers of tethyrians to the islands beginning in 467 DR. These tethyrians brought with them their own coins and connections to the mainland that allowed trade to flourish for a time and more foreign currency.

The Crowns and Swords were finally abandoned with the fall of the High Kingdom in 944 DR, but they had long since ceased common usage as the kingdoms drifted apart over the centuries and the respect for the High Kings diminished.

Since 1332 DR, King Reginald Carrathal has attempted to improve his prestige in preparation for an attempt to reform the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles. In 1335 DR, the Kingdom of Callidyrr began minting its own currency once more, the first of which is a large gold coin known as a Castle, for the symbol of a crenellated tower on one side (and his face on the other). Castles are worth 1 gold coin in Callidyrr and elsewhere on the Sword Coast because it is of high purity.

Exports

The Kingdom of Callidyrr has trading agreements with the likes of Baldur’s Gate, Calimshan, Mintarn, and Waterdeep. Those ports on the east coast (and the southern tip of Callidyrr), strongly favour trade with these major mainland trading partners. Ports on the west coast of the Kingdom of Callidyrr (those with strong clan traditions) still trade primarily with the ffolk of Corwell, Moray, and Snowdown, although the quantity of this trade traffic is minuscule when compared with the rest of Callidyrr..

Metal: The Fairheight Mountains provide copper, gold, iron, and silver in sizeable quantities and of exceptional purity to the ffolk of Callidyrr, almost all of which is mined in Cantrev Blackstone and smelted before being sent on to Callidyrr. The metal and its crafted products (mostly weapons) is mostly  bought by merchants and transported via ship to Baldur’s Gate, Calimshan, and Waterdeep (with some traded internally within the Kingdom of Callidyrr).

Timber: The Dernall Forest is a large pine forest, much like other forests of the Moonshae Isles. It is considerably less dangerous to log than the likes of Llyrath or Winterglen Forest on Gwynneth (but its pines are not quite so large as that primeval forest).

The logs from the Dernall Forest are transported to Callidyrr where they are sold to merchants (usually passing Calishite or Baldur’s Gate merchants) on their way to Mintarn or Calimshan. At Mintarn the logs are used for building the larger ships such as Calishite trading galleons.

Logs are also processed into planks and used for other crafts internal to the ffolk of Callidyrr, but these are rarely transported to the port of Callidyrr and instead remain within the cantrevs in which they are cut.

Food: Callidyrr has an excess of arable land (thanks to centuries of logging), which when combined with the warmer temperatures and increased growing seasons, has led to an excess of grain and vegetable foodstuffs. The surplus grain in particular is transported to Callidyrr and exported by ship to ports all along the Sword Coast. In times past this trade has always favoured the other ffolk kingdoms of Corwell, Moray, and Snowdown, but in recent centuries the exports of the port of Callidyrr are almost exclusively to the mainland.

Herbs and Spices: Calidyrr grows a number of unusual herbs and spices within its borders (although most of these come from trade with the Kingdom of Corwell). These unusual items are highly prized by the rich and powerful in Baldur’s Gate, Calimshan, and Waterdeep, and although the quantities are small the prices are high enough for a healthy trade.

Manufactured Goods: Callidyrr has a growing number of craftsmen in and around the port of Callidyrr and other port settlements. These craftsmen produce manufactured goods from raw materials, such as weapons, tools, locks, jewellery, etc. These goods are valued by other cities and nations for the unusual styling of the ffolk and the quality of the craftsmanship.

Imports

Callidyrr as a kingdom is largely self sufficient thanks to the bountiful nature of the Isle of Alaron. What few goods it imports are luxuries from the mainland that cater to the increasingly expensive tastes of the nobility of Callidyrr. These luxury goods come mostly from Baldur’s Gate, Calimshan, and Waterdeep.

From the other Moonshae Isles, Callidyrr imports weapons from Moray, horses and spices from Corwell, and whale oil from the norl islands.

Fabric: Silk and other fine woven cloths are in great demand among the Lairds and Iyorls of Callidyrr (being much more comfortable than the rough wool and heavy furs of typical Moonshae attire), and are quite well suited to Callidyrr’s warmer climate (when compared to the other Moonshae Isles). These fabrics are imported from 

Oil: Many fine and fragrant oils are available from the mainland that burn purer and smell infinitely better than the whale oil that the norl trade. Callidyrr imports these fine oils (as well as whale oil).

Alcohol: The ffolk are expert brewers of mead and ale, but the nobility have a taste for the finer beverages such as spring wine and other fine liquours from Waterdeep and Calimshan. 

Minerals: Callidyrr imports coal and iron ore from Moray because the ore of that island is even purer than that obtained from the mines of the Fairheight Mountains. This ore is smelted into excellent quality steel and manufactured into weapons that are the envy of any weaponsmith on the mainland and will fetch a high price for these simple, but quality weapons (mostly swords).

Gnarhelm

Gnarhelm has a stable economy, with agriculture, mining, and fishing in adequate provision. Gnarhelm is a land of rolling hills and steep cliffs, which means there is just enough food produced to provide for the current population, but there is an abundance of metal ore that is readily available that Gnarhelm trades with Callidyrr for gold (and food in harsh winters).

As one of the more civilised northern regions, Gnarhelm is a popular destination for those wishing to trade with the northmen but not wishing to become the victim of a raid or the northmen and their unusual laws regarding ownership. Ffolk traders that ply the waters of the Sea of Moonshae for a living will often stop at the major ports in Gnarhelm to trade for furs, whale oil, fish, and metal ore

The illuskans of Gnarhelm are seasoned traders themselves, and sail as far as Luskan, Port Llast, and Waterdeep to sell their wares

Currency

Gnarhelm uses a form of currency inherited from ancient Stornanter; the copper Dar, the silver Sten, the gold Zar. There are 72 Dar in a Sten and 13 Sten in a Zar (the original justification for such arbitrary conversions is long since lost).

The people of Gnarhelm will accept the coins of other lands, but not at the value from their place of origin, instead the illuskan will usually determine the price of the coin he is receiving (or attempting to trade) by threatening and intimidating those he is trading with so that he gets as favourable deal as he can, those who prove themselves intractable in their negotiations will eventually realise that the threats and intimidation are often nothing but bluster.

Imports

Gnarhelm’s population is at a peak for the level of food production its environment can sustain. Harsh winters, blight, or disease can often leave hundreds of illuskans starving, and usually results in civil unrest, as a result Gnarhelm’s major import is food from the ffolk kingdoms.

Exports

Gnarhelm mines large quantities of metal ore the majority of which it exports by land to Callidyrr through Cantrev Blackstone. Ore is also transported via ship by enterprising illuskan traders to Waterdeep, Luskan, and Port Llast. The people of Gnarhelm are not noted for their craftsmanship, so they prefer to export the raw ore and buy refined goods (especially weapons and armour).

Religion

Callidyrr

Like other ffolk kingdoms, the people of Callidyrr have trouble believing in a concept of extraplanar deities that dwell in another plane of existence, and which hold absolute power over the people of Toril. The ffolk believe in peace, freedom, and hard work, and those concepts do not marry well with another being controlling their existence in return for sacrifice.

Instead the ffolk believe in that which they can see, hear, and touch, the real and tangible world in which they live. They have come to humanise the powerful land in which they live and worship that land as a powerful being (for in many ways it seems to them that the land itself is alive). This being they have termed the Earthmother, and they offer thanks and respect to her in all they do.

The other ffolk kingdoms of the Moonshae Isles still worship the Earthmother as they have traditionally done for a thousand years, with druids attempting to understand the mysteries of the land and aiding the ffolk in living alongside the Earthmother.

On Callidyrr; as an increasing number of foreign people have integrated into the society, they have brought with them foreign religious practices. Thus far only one has been accepted by the ffolk; the worship of Chauntea, whose church dogma closely matches the druids of the Earthmother. Over the centuries the priests of Chauntea have integrated into the Ring of Alaron and slowly replaced the druids of the Earthmother within that organisation.

Gnarhelm

The illuskans of Gnarhelm pay homage to a variety of gods that were represented in ancient Stornanter. Typical illuskans, and ever practical, the people of Gnarhelm do not build great temples or found large churches, instead choosing to venerate the gods at shrines marked by unusual and natural stones (large stones with holes in the middle are preferred).

The illuskans of Gnarhelm worship only those gods that have proven most useful to them and so people often have crude carvings that represent Tempus the Foehammer, Umberlee, Beshaba, Valkur, Talos, etc.

Government

Callidyrr

Callidyrr, much like the other islands of the ffolk, is governed by a hereditary monarchy ruled by the Royal House of Cymrych.

Originally the Isle of Alaron was a tribal society with an elected chief much like Gwynneth. The Talffolk had traditionally elected a chief from the MacHugh, the first being chieftain Alaron Ryugh. Upon Alaron’s death, the clans favoured neither of his cruel and untrustworthy sons, instead appointing the distant cousin Callidyrr Hugh as chieftain (Callidyrr Hugh was at the time dwelling on Gwynneth after settling his family just south of Winterglen).

Callidyrr Hugh became chief of the Talffolk and Shyffolk and declared himself King, moving his court to Alaron and establishing his court amid the ruins of a great castle on the east coast of the island.

It was Callidyrr’s son; Cymrych Hugh, who first declared himself High King of the Moonshae Isles and ruler of all the ffolk and the islands in the aftermath of his victory over Kazgoroth the Devourer.

It was High King Cameron “The Wise” who first changed the law to make the title of King hereditary (up until that point it still required a vote of the clans, although they always voted for the King’s appointed heir out of tradition, or fear especially during the reigns of Gwylloch and Markus. The change in succession laws cost the crown much and allowed the clans to officially ennoble themselves as Lairds of the communities they protected.

Since the time of High King Cameron, the structure of Callidyrr’s government has remained relatively unchanged. The King rules the country, leaving the task of overseeing entire regions to the Earls who in turn command the loyalty of Lairds that manage individual Cantrevs and the settlements they contain.

The practice of appointing clan elders to the position of Laird rarely occurs nowadays, instead the Kings of Callidyrr have long taken to awarding titles to favoured courtiers and rich merchants, forcing the clans to the position of landed gentry and the owners of large farms (particularly on the west coast of Callidyrr).

The only major change to the government of Callidyrr since Cameron’s reign occurred in 944 DR when High King Tanner perished during an expedition to Gwynneth to quell a firbolg invasion, in the process the House of Cymrych lost the last of the Regalia of the High Kingdom and in the ensuing chaos lost any claim to the islands now inhabited by the norl, as well as the fealty of the other ffolk kingdoms (Corwell, Moray, Snowdown). 944 DR effectively ended the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles, and the Royal House of Cymrych passed from the Hugh Dynasty to the Carrathal Dynasty who now ruled only the Kingdom of Callidyrr.

Chieftains of the Talffolk

The ffolk of the Isle of Alaron had only one chieftain, the much respected elder Alaron Ryush of the MacHugh, who led the Talffolk to this new homeland which was named in his honour.

Chieftain Alaron Ryush lived until 175 DR, when he was died of poisoning. His ageing sons were not popular with the talffolk clans; many believed his own sons murdered him, and they suspected them of other crimes (indolence, gluttony, and some even whispered cooperation with the Empire of Ebenfar).

The clans were divided after Alaron’s death, unable to elect a chieftain for fear of suffering under the rule of a rival, but rather than risk war between the clans someone suggested a minor member of the MacHugh who had settled on the Isle of Gwynneth and so would hold little power on the Isle of Alaron to exert over the clans.

Unfortunately for the clans of the Talffolk, Chieftain Callidyrr Hugh also became Chieftain of the Shyffolk and became powerful enough to declare himself King.

The High Royal House of Cymrych

The High Royal House of Cymrych was officially founded with the reign of High King Cymyrch Hugh, although most scholars include his father; Callidyrr Hugh, within the dynasty as he was father of Cymrych Hugh and a King of Callidyrr and Corwell.

The Royal House of Cymrych survived for nearly 1,000 years, slowly losing power and influence as later High Kings lost the northern islands to invading norl and gradually lost the Regalia of the High Kingdom.

In 944 DR High King Tanner Hugh was slain in Gwynneth fighting firbolg that had invaded the Kingdom of Corwell. The death of High King Tanner also resulted in the loss of the last of the Regalia of the High Kingdom; the Sword of Cymrych Hugh, and with it went the last vestiges of influence over the other kingdoms of the ffolk.

As the nobles of Callidyrr fought among themselves and the scions of the House of Cymrych began to dwindle amid intrigue and rebellion, a King arose among the norl; Torgred Helmuddson, who used the ensuing chaos to his advantage and amassed a great army on the Isle of Oman which he used to threaten the Kings of Corwell, Moray, and Snowdown into relinquishing all claim to the northern islands.

The kings of the ffolk conceded all claims to norl territory and then forswore their fealty to the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles and declared independence. As the anarchy in Callidyrr subsided the newly crowned King Niall; bastard son of High King Tanner, declared the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles ended and founded the Carrathal Dynasty with himself as King of Callidyrr only.

NameBirthReignNotes
Chieftains of the Talffolk
Cwyn Alaron Ryugh?146 DR – 175 DRLed the Talffolk from mainland Faerun to the Isle of Alaron. Slain by poison
Cwyn Callidyrr Hugh?175 DR – 177 DRSon of Llorlden Hugh. Appointed Chieftain of the Talffolk in 175 DR. Appointed Chieftain of the Shyffolk in 177 DR. Declared himself King of the ffolk in 177 DR. Slain by trolls
The Hugh Dynasty
King Callidyrr Hugh?177 – 193 DR Son of Llorlden Hugh. Appointed Chieftain of the Talffolk in 175 DR. Appointed Chieftain of the Shyffolk in 177 DR. Declared himself King of the ffolk in 177 DR. Slain by trolls
HK Cymrych Hugh171 DR193 – 250 DRFirst son of Callidyrr Hugh. Defeated Kazgoroth the Devourer in single combat. Founder of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles. Perished of wounds inflicted by Kazgoroth.
HK Warren Hugh I237 DR250 – 259 DRFirst son of Cymrych Hugh. Died of illness
HQ Tamara Hugh238 DR259 – 263 DRFirst daughter of Cymrych Hugh. Died of poison.
HK Carrig Hugh I244 DR263 – 287 DRSecond son of Cymrych Hugh. Slain in combat with norl warriors.
HK Gwylloch Hugh265 DR287 – 299 DRFirst son of Carrig I. Led many campaigns against the norl. Moved the capital of the High Kingdom to Gwynneth. Vanished along with the entire Court in Caer Cymrych (the Castle of Skulls)
HK Gorham Hugh270 DR299 – 322 DRSecond son of Carrig I. Slain by Markus Hugh.
HK Markus Hugh288 DR322 – 333 DRSecond son of Gwylloch. Died in combat.
HK Cameron Hugh “The Wise”291 DR333 – 370 DRGrandson of Warren I. Negotiated change of succession law to make the High King a hereditary title passed to the eldest child in the bloodline of Cymrych Hugh. Died of natural causes.
HK Bran Hugh319 DR370 – 378 DRSecond son of Cameron. Died of illness.
HK Conall Hugh340 DR378 – 389 DRFirst son of Bran. Accidentally slain by a crossbow.
HK Lann Hugh358 DR398 – 420 DRFirst son of Conall. Drowned when ship sank off the coast of Snowdown.
HK Carrig Hugh II378 DR420 – 431 DRFirst son of Lann. Died of plague.
HK Kemble Hugh “The Great Father”400 DR430 – 482 DRFirst son of Carrig II. Welcomed tethyrian migrants to the Moonshae Isles in 467 DR. Died of natural causes.
HK Tristram Hugh423 DR482 – 483 DRFirst son of Kemble. Died of illness.
HK Tuathal Hugh444 DR483 – 499 DRFirst son of Tristram. Assassinated.
HK Carrig Hugh III470 DR499 – 500 DRSon of Tuathal. Assassinated.
Regent Edmund Kincaid469 DR500 – 507 DRKing of Snowdown. Named regent by Queen Abigail, wife of Carrig I.
HK Colin Hugh491 DR507 – 549 DRSon of Carrig III. Cleared Torriage Wood of werewolves. Contracted lycanthropy. Slain by son Gordon Hugh.
HK Gordon Hugh514 DR549 – 569 DRFirst son of Colin. Died of illness.
HQ Miranda Hugh “The Fair”543 DR569 – 609 DRDaughter of Gordon. Died of illness.
HK Embro Hugh I559 DR609 – 614 DRFirst son of Miranda. Died from injuries suffered in horse riding accident.
HK Embro Hugh II577 DR614 – 632 DRSon of Embro I. Established peace treaty with Norland. Slain in combat with Konungr Stromm of Norland.
HK Alec Hugh I597 DR623 – 640 DRFirst son of Embro II. Mauled by a bear while hunting.
HK Rowland Hugh626 DR640 – 642 DRSon of Alec I. Died of illness.
HK Samuel Hugh601 DR642 – 651 DRSecond son of Embro II. Died of heartstop.
HK Warren Hugh II618 DR651 – 674 DRFirst son of Samuel. Died of natural causes
HK Tobert Hugh640 DR674 – 679 DRFirst son of Warren II. Slain by firbolgs.
HK Ernest Hugh664 DR679 – 731First son of Tobert. Died of natural causes.
HK Carthus Hugh684 DR731 DRFirst son of Ernest. Abdicated throne to Alec II. Died of natural causes in Tethyr in 745 DR.
HK Alec Hugh II685 DR731 – 738 DRSecond son of Ernest. Died of plague.
HK Pendar Hugh708 DR738 – 749 DRSon of Alec II. Slain by wolves.
HK Declan Hugh725 DR749 – 762 DRFirst son of Pendar. Poisoned by son Ciaran Hugh.
HK Ciaran Hugh744 DR762 – 773 DRSon of Declan. Slain by angry mob during Festival of the Spring Equinox.
HK Ardan Hugh748 DR773 – 796 DRNephew of Declan. Died of natural causes.
HK Byron Hugh I770 DR796 – 826 DRSon of Ardan. Died of natural causes.
HK Kevan Hugh789 DR818 – 819 DR
826 – 850 DR
First son of Byron I. Died of natural causes. Ruled briefly in 818 – 819 DR when HK Byron I fell into a magical slumber.
HK Dolan Hugh821 DR850 – 852 DRSecond son of Kevan. Died at sea, reported slain in battle with Illuskan invaders. Lost the Crown of the Isles
HK Conn Hugh837 DR852 – 885 DRFirst son of Dolan. Died in combat against Illuskan invaders.
HK Byron Hugh II855 DR885 – 902 DRFirst son of Conn. Died of illness. Original name Merrick.
HK Tanner Hugh879 DR902 – 944 DRSecond son of Byron II. Slain by firbolg chief on the Isle of Gwynneth. End of the Cymrych Dynasty and the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.
The Carrathal Dynasty
Niall Carrathal901 DR944 – 954 DRBastard son of High King Tanner Hugh. Died of illness.
Erfle Carrathal “The Venerable One”921 DR954 – 1012 DRFirst son of Niall. Died of natural causes.
Alec Carrathal III982 DR1012 – 1030 DRGrandson of Erfle. Died in a fire.
Bayle Carrathal1005 DR1030 – 1052 DRSon and sole heir of Alec III. Deposed following failed attempt to annex the island chain of Jannath’s Tears.
Queen Yolanda Carrathal1029 DR1052 – 1089 DRGrand niece of Alec III. Died of illness.
Bertrand Carrathal1026 DR1089 – 1095 DRHusband of Yolanda. Died of natural causes.
Edwin Carrathal I1055 DR1095 – 1127 DRThird son of Yolanda and Bertrand Carrathal. Died of natural causes.
Queen Bethany Carrathal1084 DR1127 – 1133 DRFirst daughter of Edwin I. Died of illness.
Edwin Carrathal II1103 DR1133 – 1135 DRFirst son of Bethany. Died during tour of iron mine in Cantrev Whiterock.
Regent Adom Moray1096 DR1135 – 1141 DRKing of Moray. Named regent by Queen Eleanor, wife of Edwin II.
Adrian Carrathal “The Twinblade”1125 DR1141 – 1207 DRSon and sole heir of Edwin II. Died of natural causes.
Cedric Carrathal1176 DR1207 – 1243 DRGrandson of Adrian. Died of natural causes.
Vance Carrathal1193 DR1243 – 1266 DRFirst son of Cedric. Died of natural causes.
Teldin Carrathal1216 DR1266 – 1271 DRSon of Vance. Died of heartstop.
Rieger Carrathal1238 DR1271 – 1273 DRSecond son of Teldin. Disappeared in 1273 DR, fate unknown.
Benjamin Carrathal1257 DR1273 – 1296 DRFirst son of Rieger. Assassinated by nobles from Cantrev Ogden.
Alec Carrathal IV1274 DR1296 – 1332 DRFirst son of Benjamin. Died of natural causes.
Reginald Carrathal1312 DR1332 DR – presentThird son of Alec IV.

Gnarhelm

Gnarhelm is only slightly more stable as a kingdom than the likes of Norland and Norheim. It is comprised of three independent regions; Gnarhelm, Olafstaad, and Sunderstaad, each of which is governed by one of the three major noble houses (all who claim descent from Helmud, the legendary war leader that conquered the north of Alaron).

On the occasions that Gnarhelm has been united into a single kingdom, the King changes his patronym to Helmudsson. In the past this united kingdom has never lasted longer than two generations of the same family, always falling to infighting among powerful factions of the nobility that perceive the current family as weak and unfit to rule.

Claimants

The three most powerful families govern the three largest settlements in Gnarhelm and all claim descent from the supposed founder of Gnarhelm, a warleader known as Helmud, who is said to have smashed down the gates of the caer at Helmsgate Firth with a single blow of his mighty hammer.

These noble families maintain a stranglehold on the power of Gnarhelm, working together to ensure rising nobility are unable to challenge them, and forming factions of noble families to keep the other powerful families from gaining the throne (or claiming it for too long). Political infighting is rife amongst the nobility of Gnarhelm, which has kept this nation from dominating the other kingdoms of the Moonshae Isles (as it did under Torgred the Gnarled.

Trichar: This powerful noble family rules the settlement of Gnarhelm itself, claiming direct kinship from Helmud “”Stonebreaker”, and providing ownership of his mighty hammer “Breach” as proof of their claim.

Zhunder: Another of the powerful noble families that fled to the Moonshae Isles from the collapse of Stornanter. This family rules the settlement of Sunderstaad and claims kinship with Helmud “the Unbreakable”, using their ownership of “The Wall”; a large metal shield supposedly once belonging to Helmud, as proof of their claim.

Giantar: This ancient noble family is thought to have been former nobility from fallen Stornanter. They rule the settlement of Olafstaad and claim that Helmud “the Titan” was their forebear and he gave to his third son the legendary Gnarled Helm as proof of their claim. The Giantar are large, even for illuskans, and also claim that Helmud had the blood of giants in his veins.

Law and Order

The illuskans of Gnarhelm have an established code of laws derived from the laws of the Witch Queen of Stornanter, which like most codified set of laws forbids damage to people or property.

The dominance of a few noble families over the wealth and power in Gnarhelm has meant that the laws serve only the elite, the common folk can expect no defence or assistance in matters of law and so (since they often contain more norl blood than the nobility) they resort to the ancient rights of the northmen to enact a rough justice for themselves.

The Right of Vengeance is employed most often in Gnarhelm among the commonfolk, where the victims inflict similar pains upon the transgressor which is enough to ensure problems in Gnarhelm do not occur very often.

Test of Strength: Among the nobility, where martial strength is not the only measure of a man’s power, it is not uncommon for the Test of Strength to be invoked to allow the rich and powerful to settle their differences by appointing a champion to battle in their stead in a contest of their choosing (usually a wrestling bout or other non-lethal combat between their most accomplished soldiers).

Defence

Callidyrr

The Kingdom of Callidyrr exists as a feudal kingdom and so the defence of the nation is dependent upon the loyalty of its nobles to the King.

Each Iyorl is required by law to provide 200 suitably equipped men at arms (each with weapon, shield, and leather doublet), 50 mounted men at arms, and 1,000 militia in defence of the realm when called upon by the King. The Iyorl may provide these men however they see fit, most would rely upon their vassal Lairds to provide men at arms from their own households and militia from their cantrevs (plus conscripted extras) to meet the requirements.

The Iyorl depend upon the loyalty of their Lairds to provide soldiers for the muster. Lairds that dislike or do not respect their Iyorl may not provide many (or any men) making excuses for the lack of numbers. Any shortfall in the must will require the Iyorl to supplement the numbers from his own household or even by hiring mercenaries. For an Iyorl to fail to meet the required numbers risks the displeasure of the King and potentially the loss of his lands and title (and potentially a war if the Iyorl fails to relinquish those lands and titles).

In total the Kingdom of Callidyrr can easily field 1,000 men at arms, 250 mounted warriors, and 5,000 militia. The number of militia can double with the necessary impetus (in the event of an invasion for instance) as more commoners are conscripted into the army.

At a local level a cantrev Laird often maintains a militia of varying size (according to the size and wealth of the cantrev, and the vigilance of the lord). These militia are usually volunteer forces, sometimes with a meagre payment to cover maintenance of their equipment.

The Scarlet Guard: A recently formed unit of elite bodyguards, hired on suggestion of the Council Sorcere to protect King Reginald Carrathal (from his perceived enemies). The Scarlet Guard is currently 700 strong, with 100 ogres among its number (hired from The Chill mercenary company active in the Sword Coast region), they are named in homage to the Blooded that once guarded the High King in ages past.

The majority of the human warriors of this unit were hired on the suggestion of Cyndre through Jalboun of the Two Blades from Luskan. They are greedy and cutthroat to a man, doing anything for sufficient coin

The Scarlet Guard are armed and armoured with the best equipment that money can buy, plate armour and heavy swords that are beyond the ffolk’s current level of craftmanship (purchased instead from the markets of Waterdeep). The ogres carry stout, metal shod clubs and reinforced leather armour with metal helms.

Navy: As part of King Reginald Carrathal’s attempt to claim the title of High King, he has commissioned the construction of a great navy (which will allow him to enforce his claim upon the other islands should they reject him as their High King).

The first vessel of the navy is complete, a large curragh style ship elongated like a longship, and whispered to be the greatest vessel in the ffolk kingdoms. The ship is captained by Danis pen Foryth a taciturn sailor of many years experience (mostly fighting off norl raiders and Nelanther pirates) who is soon to become the admiral of Callidyrr’s navy.

Gnarhelm

Like most of the Moonshae isles, the land of Gnarhelm does not maintain a standing army as the nobility would not tolerate a King having a powerful army at his disposal for fear of restricting their own power. Instead each noble house maintains its own household of guards and warriors which in times of need can be used in defence of the realm, and if a King rules all of Gnarhelm then these men may be called upon to fight for their King.

Each of the three major noble houses; Trichar, Zhunder, Giantar, are able to field 400 warriors and another 100 mounted warriors. Minor noble houses can each field 50 warriors and 10 mounted warriors. Due to the near constant infighting, and the usually independent 3 regions of Gnarhelm, the full complement of Gnarhelm’s military are only deployed in the event of an invasion. It would take a very powerful King with the full respect of all his nobility to muster all the nation’s warriors in any other circumstances.

Geography

The Kingdom of Callidyrr: The Kingdom of Callidyrr once dominated the entire Isle of Alaron, but has since been reduced to the southern half of the island. The ffolk that live here have embraced their connections with the mainland, and are building a society that will one day emulate many along the Sword Coast

Bregonshyr: The southern most region of Callidyrr is more rural than Talffolkshyr, but still heavily influenced by Tethyrian culture as it is here that they settled in the greatest numbers during the migration to the Moonshae Isles.

Cantrev Graedu: Cantrev Graedu is a large trading hub in southern Callidyrr, the meeting point between Bregonshyr, Stagfordshyr, and Stirgewycshyr, almost every caravan that caters to the internal trade of Callidyrr passes through this cantrev.

Baillen Grady (Town, 3,000): Grady is a town built primarily for caravan trade, it is full of wheelwrights, carpenters, joiners, inns, merchant houses, shops, and the like that offer many services to the caravan masters that stop here on their way from or too the South Great Head.

Like much of tethyrian influenced Callidyrr, Grady is a place of factions and intrigue, as family plots against family to improve their fortunes amid the growing opportunities of Callidyrr.

Grady is home to a temple of Chauntea which lies on the outskirts of the town, led by Spioltafiorch Trefor, who despite belonging to the Church of the Great Mother, was originally trained as a Druid of the Fidouyr and greatly respects the old ways of the ffolk.

Cantrev Llewellyn: Cantrev Llewellyn is a last bastion of traditional ffolk values in the south of Callidyrr (the only bastion outside of Stagfordshyr), with the remaining ffolk families clustering here around the central settlement of Llewe’s End. The ffolk of Cantrev Llewellyn are not necessarily of primary ffolk ancestry, but is home to those inhabitants of Callidyrr who wish to live closer to nature and reject the urban sprawl that is engulfing the rest of the kingdom.

The ffolk here are insular and mistrustful of outsiders, and with good reason; the King and the neighbouring Laird of Kythyss are attempting to oust these naturalists and take control of the valuable natural deep harbour here.

Cantrev Llewellyn’s lord is appointed by King Reginald but is almost entirely ignored by the inhabitants and has become withdrawn and defeatist.

Bailen Llewe’s End (City, 5,000): This rural settlement sprawls much larger than most as it adheres to more traditional ffolk architecture, with each house tending its own field to grow food, creating a patchwork of small, neatly bordered fields that spreads out for miles to contain 5000 people.

The ffolk here are largely fishermen and farmers, and work hard to provide for themselves and their family. The centre of the settlement is a long road leading from a nearby keep down to the docks. This road is home to the Laird’s favourites who have established shops and services in a manner akin to tethyrian influenced settlements of Callidyrr.

The ffolk and the Laird’s men do not mix except for the alehouses along the Dock Road (leading from the keep to the docks), and the atmosphere in many of these establishments is always tense, bordering on volatile. The Diving Dolphin is an inn that caters to the Laird’s men only, while the Old Sailor serves anyone but is a poor quality establishment where brawls and pick-pocketing are common.

The houses of Llewe’s End are built from wood, plastered inside and out with a mud and chalk mixture to give them a white appearance.

Llewellyn Harbour: This deep natural harbour is capable of handling almost any size of ship (although the docks are woefully underdeveloped to handle anything bigger than a ffolk curragh). The ffolk of Llewe’s End use the harbour for their small fishing coracles to supplement their crops.

The local laird is in the progress of constructing a large, stone breakwater to supposedly protect the docks from norl raiders and the occasional storm fronts that swamp the harbour. In truth the breakwater is funded by the crown and is part of King Reginald’s plan to develop the harbours of Callidyrr to improve trade and also limit the traditional lifestyle of those dissidents (the traditional ffolk).

The King hopes that an enclosing breakwater will allow the laird to control who enters and leaves the bay, forcing the ffolk to use elsewhere for their fishing, however, this might further inflame the ancient feud between the people of Cantrev Llewellyn and Kythyss over fishing rights in Strait of Alaron.

Rushdown Wood: This isolated woodland is the last stretch of trees in Bregonshyr, the rest having been logged long ago during the expansion of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles. It is named after the Rush Downs, a series of barrows on the edge of the woodland that supposed hold the tomb of some long lost king of the llewyrr. Ffolk have avoided logging this woodland for fear of disturbing the tomb and its inhabitants.

Rush Downs: On the southern edge of the Rushdown Wood is a series of raised barrows, these ancient tomb mounds are supposedly home to a long forgotten chief of the ffolk who was interred in this barrow along with his dead kin. The war with Kazgoroth saw this chieftain rise again; animated by the power of the Beast, to terrorise the ffolk of Callidyrr.

When Kazgoroth was slain, this ffolk lord did not decay into nothingness, consumed by rage, instead he found a way to sustain himself with the life force of others. For centuries this vampiric creature preyed upon the people of nearby Cantrevs until he was sealed in his barrow with the aid of the druids.

Rumours still persist of a dark stalker that sneaks into people’s homes during the night of a full moon and feeds off their nightmares, but the people have completely forgotten about Ryush Down, the location of the barrow tombs of the first chiefs of the ffolk. Doom will surely befall any who disturb this place.

Dernall Forest: This ancient forest once dominated the entire interior of southern Alaron, from the Fairheight Mountains right to the tip of the South Great Head. The Dernall Forest is a land of towering oak trees and white aspen that reach staggering heights in the internal regions, while the outer reaches of the forest are tamed and controlled by the ffolk and have younger growths.

Doncastle: Hidden in the depths of the Dernall Forest, somewhere along the length of the Swanmay River is supposed to be an ancient city of unknown origin, lost since before the coming of the ffolk, but whispered about in ancient interactions between the ffolk and the llewyrr.

Doncastle does exist; hidden in a deeply forested depression that is easily missed due to the surrounding ridges and dense forest that obscures the view, it is an ancient ruined settlement, although it does not look much more than a collection of sunken trees and arranged hillocks with four archways located at the compass points leading in and out of the depression.

Doncastle was once known as Downcastle to the llewyyr, and was home to a settlement of halflings. The War of Raging Leaves saw the Ravager turn many creatures to evil, including the halflings, who were twisted into misshapen little monsters known as goibhluin.

Most of the goibhluin were slain during the War of Raging Leaves, but a few escaped back into the Dernall Forest and were never seen from again. There are those who claim to have found Doncastle; outcasts and exiles from King Reginald’s misguided rule, and are living in the hidden refuge. These outcasts however speak of small, squat creatures with black skin and red eyes that haunt the darkness, steal their possessions, and murder the defenceless.

Drowned Forest: This south western portion of the Dernall Forest in Cantrev Hickorydale is filled with dead and rotting trees, the result of some great tidal influx that has repeated itself many times over the centuries, and the salt water has turned the forest into a salt marsh and killed all the trees.

Kingswood: The Kingswood covers nearly 5 square miles of the Dernall Forest that are within the borders of Cantrev Callidyrr and claimed by the King of Callidyrr himself as his personal hunting grounds.

The Kingswood is carefully tended, with little of the wild undergrowth and dangerous denizens that plagues the deep interior of the Dernall Forest. It is home to stags, boars, pheasants, rabbits, foxes, and other hunted animals, but the wolves and bears have long learned to avoid these boughs.

Swanmay River: Beginning high up in the Fairheight Mountains, and winding south and east, opening onto the Sea of Swords at Tearglade Marsh, much of this river is hidden deep in the midst of the Dernall Forest.

The river is named for the beautiful swan maidens that used to swim the length of this river in ages past, but now are curiously absent in the unforested parts of the river (and few ever attempt to navigate the river inside the Dernall Forest).

Wildwood: The eastern edge of the Dernall Forest is carefully tended and tamed by the ffolk, with no low hanging branches, little forest litter, and few dangerous animals, this allows the High King’s Road to run through the forest and for travellers to use this road with little fear of natural hazards.

The central and western portions of the forest are known as the Wildwood, for they are much more primeval and wild in nature.

The Trail Road: Running through the Dernall Forest from east to west is a trail that takes 6 days to travel as it connects various sacred groves along the way, all marked by secret signs (two circles, one atop the other).

The Harpers make use of this trail to aid in the fast spreading of false news throughout the Moonshae Isles, but they did not create the trail or its marks. The Ring of Alaron certainly know about the trail but its exact location and markings have been lost as priests of Chauntea take over the organisation. It is believed that the llewyrr created the trail and still use it to today to travel secretly between Gwynneth and Alaron (for the ffolk of Alaron regularly claim to spy elves in the forest), which indicates there may be secrets of the trail unknown even to the Harpers.

Atalantar’s Grove:

Thithero’s Grove: Named by the ffolk for a long dead druid who tended the grove, this ring of duskwood trees with a curious black stone boulder at its centre is one of several groves along a route known to the ffolk as the Trail Road, but to the llewyrr it is called the Alamtine Trail. Ffolk have not visited this grove or any of the groves along the trail in many centuries, the knowledge of their location lost as the druids of the Ring of Alaron were replaced by priests of Chauntea.

Recently (within the last year) the grove has become occupied by cultists of Bane that were sent to the Moonshae Isles to destabilise the region and insinuate themselves into government or establish a new one with a tyrant favourable to Bane in charge. 

The cultists have desecrated the grove, sculpting the boulder into the likeness of a clenched fist, and sacrificing many captured individuals within its boundaries. As a result of this desecration this grove is now known as the Dark Grove by its new inhabitants.

Stagfordshyr: The west coast of the Kingdom of Callidyrr is a thin strip of land between the sea and the Dernall Forest that is much poorer and more traditional than the rest of Callidyrr, with the clans having claimed this land as their own while the foreigners moved into Talffolkshyr.

This region is so named for the great stag and leader of the Shadowhunt that is believed to stalk this forest as his home territory.

Cantrev Aithelar: Cantrev Aithelar is one of a number of cantrevs in western Callidyrr that has had its laird replaced by a tethyrian loyal to the Carrathal dynasty. Forty years ago the ffolk laird was replaced by the brute Elmar Cauldyth, thankfully the Cauldyth family have thus far proved fair lords.

Aithe (Town, 800): This small fishing regionis centred around a small harbour with a poorly constructed docks that is home to a number of coracles used to fish the Moonshae Sea. 

The round houses of the ffolk circle around the bay in rings as well as lining a road that leads south up a steadily climbing slope towards Aithe Keep.

Aithe suffers; like most settlements in Callidyrr, from an infestation of mainland criminals that have arrived in recent decades and are exploiting the normally trusting nature of the ffolk (trusting towards other ffolk).

The Broken Ring is one such criminal organisation that uses thieves and smugglers to trade valuable and illegal items between pirates, ffolk, and norl, as well as hired thugs when necessary to protect their interests. The Broken Ring currently have a crippled beggar and a fisherman acting as spies and opportunistic thieves.

Aithe Keep: The dwelling of the Cauldyth family lies atop a hill overlooking the small bay around which Baillen Aithe is built.

The Sewers: Cantrev Aithelar sits atop a number of undersea caves and tunnels that extend far enough inland to reach Aithe Keep, carved by the power of the sea and water from creeks in the Dernall Forest that descend underground and pass beneath Baillen Aithe.

The towns inhabitants discovered the caves long ago and repurposed them as sewers by opening deep pits into the caverns for waste to be emptied.

The Sea Caves are largely ignored by the local populace, and few are daring or foolish enough to venture into them, for there are rumours of rats as large as a man that stalk the tunnels and other horrors that would scare even the stoutest ffolk warrior.

Sea water carried in by the tides floods many of the caves and tunnels, emptying the waste and inhabitants into the Sea of Moonshae, but the monsters in the sewers persist, presumably clever enough to avoid the timed flooding.

Cantrev Wyndgrove: This small cantrev is one of many fishing cantrevs that line the western coast of Callidyrr. Due west of Regent’s Field, this cantrev is the largest in Stagfordshyr, and the most prosperous as it is a gateway between the traditional ffolk Stagfordshyr, and the modern tethyrian Stirgewycshyr.

Cantrev Wyndgrove is ruled by Laird Hugh O’Roarke from Tusk Keep that sits beside the small (but only) road leading from Graedu along the coast to Cantrev Hickorydale. The banner of a large boar upon a red battlefield flies from the tall towers of Tusk Keep, which is home to 3 towers and an outer wall with a gatehouse that allows the Laird to collect a toll for caravans passing through his land.

Hugh O’Roarke is one of the last ffolk lairds in Stagfordshyr and Callidyrr, he has done his best to ingratiate himself with the king at court, but he is battling against the intrigues of a hundred other tethyrian courtiers that wish to see him replaced.

Moonfall Ridge:

Southflow:

Southflow Marsh:

Three Tors:

Stirgewycshyr:

Talffolkshyr:

Bare Crown Grove: This ring of tree stumps atop a small hill a mile south of Caer Callidyrr marks the start of the Alamtine Trail on the island of Alaron where llewyrr used to travel through a series of groves to activate a portal that would transport them instantly to another island in the Moonshae Isles.

The Bare Crown Grove has not been used by llewyrr in many centuries and is now claimed by the Church of the Great Mother as a sacred site of significance where the ffolk can come to venerate the goddess.

Cantrev Borune: Cantrev Borune (meaning Bounty) is an idyllic settlement situated on the High King’s Road on the edge of the Dernall Forest.

Cantrev Borune has a strong tradition of archery, the master archer is Tairn “Keen Eye”.

Hommlech Lammarach: A small farming community, five miles north-east of Cantrev Ogden on the very edge of the Dernall Forest. Home to the Two Headed Bull tavern, so named for a High King who famously mistook two bulls standing next to each other outside the tavern and proclaimed it the Two Headed Bull tavern.

Whitefish Bay: This large, natural harbour is home to the wonders of Caer Callidyrr and the ruin of MacFuirmidh College along its shoreline.

Cantrev Callidyrr: Cantrev Callidyrr is among the largest in the Kingdom of Callidyrr, covering 10 square miles and including such landmarks as Caer Callidyrr and the MacFuirmidh College.

Callidyrr Town: A vibrant port settlement in the shadow of the magnificent white walls of Caer Callidyrr. Callidyrr Town is split into two, with the Old Quarter abutting the walls of Caer Callidyrr and leading down the hill.

The Old Quarter is full of large stone buildings (most of ancient construction – nearly 1000 years old) that resemble miniature castles in the typical quadrangle style. These are the homes of the nobility and are closest to Caer Callidyrr.

The streets are paved granite, and either side of them are the stone houses with overhanging awnings that are home to merchants and their agents that deal in gems, gold, iron, wool, and coal for sale on the mainland. The paved road leads to a large stone square that serves as the home of a vibrant market at the foot of the hill where vendors of all kinds engage in frantic buying and selling on a daily basis.

From the market square lead numerous other dirt tracks and muddy alleys that spread out towards the docks and south and east along Whitefish Bay. The Dock Quarter stretches along the shoreline with a network of docks and breakwaters and beside them a series of long wooden warehouses or inns with narrow, twisting alleys between them and shoddy huts where whores, alchemists, smugglers, and other criminals ply their trade.

Further inland is the New Quarter which is home to the vast majority of housing (round wooden buildings with shale roofing) for the common folk that work on the docks and in the warehouses and shops in the Old or Dock Quarter. There are a number of shops and other services in this section that cater to the inhabitants

Inn of the Dancing Dolphin: An inn with a stunning view of Whitefish Bay, ideally placed to see the dolphins that play in the wake of ships entering and leaving the harbour.

The quality is middling, the fare similar (except for the cheese) and the prices are high.

Caer Callidyrr: Caer Callidyrr is a magnificent fortress of incredible size and construction when compared to other ffolk fortifications. The white marble walls of the castle are ancient and beginning to colour from the sea spray and lack of maintenance.

The truth is that Caer Callidyrr was already here when the ffolk arrived on Alaron, an old fortress built by the firbolg, cleared of inhabitants during the reign of Cymrych Hugh, and capital of the Kingdom of Callidyrr ever since.

MacFuirmidh College: Centuries ago the MacFuirmidh College was the foremost school of bardic arts in the Moonshae Isles (and wider Faerun). The prestige of the school was such that the tutors here had greater say in the selection of the Great Bards than the High King. Norl raiders put and end to the splendour of the MacFuirmidh school, by slaughtering many students, burning it to the ground, and stealing many of its treasures, but this merely spread the wonders of the bardic arts across the Sword Coast and Savage Frontier.

Fairheight Mountains: This mountain range rarely reaches above 2,000 ft, but the terrain is rugged, filled with deep ravines and gullys, steep jagged peaks, narrow ridges, and rocky paths that make the terrain highly inhospitable to unseasoned travellers.

The Fairheight Mountains are infested with large tribes of trolls, orcs, goblins, firbolg, and a variety of unusual and fierce monsters. These monsters repeatedly maraud down into the lowlands of Gnarhelm and Cantrev Blackstone, only making into the rest of Callidyrr through those places where the mountains lead directly into the Dernall Forest (hiding the monsters from the wary ffolk).

The Fairheight Mountains are full of rich ore veins of iron, gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals. The monsters make it difficult to mine much of the lodes, but the ffolk have extensive mining operations along the southern coast and well guarded mines in Cantrev Blackstone, while the illuskans of Gnarhelm rely more upon exposed surface lodes that are easily exploited.

Fareighshyr: While the Kingdom of Callidyrr claims the entirety of the Fairheight Mountains as part of its territory and the region of Fareighshyr, the reality is that Fareighshyr encompasses only the Blackstone Pass and two smaller mountain cantrevs of Whiterock and Warlsbry.

Fareighshyr is ruled by Iyorl Angus Blackstone, who delegates the task of laird of Cantrev Blackstone to Gorman McDonnell. The Blackstone family have ruled as the Iyorl’s of Fareighshyr for over a century as a reward for securing Blackstone Pass from the invading illuskans of Gnarhelm.

Cantrev Blackstone: This small cantrev occupies the entirety of Blackstone Pass, with the whole population and only settlement existing within the pass in what has become known as Blackstone Town.

Blackstone Pass is a deep cleft that runs through the Fairheight Mountains, dividing it in two with a slightly sloping flat over a mile in width. At either ends of the Pass are log palisade walls and stout towers that prevent easy access for the illuskans of Gnarhelm and give ample warning (using illuskan style hunting horns) to those living in Cantrev Blackstone.

Either side of the Blackstone Pass is heavily mined by the ffolk inhabitants, with steady quantities of iron, silver, and copper ore reaching the smelters and smiths of Blackstone Town.

In the centre of Blackstone Pass is the large fortified building known as Blackstone Manor which serves as the house of the Blackstone family.

Blackstone Manor: This large building is a small fortified keep  with 2 towers, a palisade wall, a gatehouse, stables, kennels, and barracks to house 30 men at arms. Atop the towers flies the banner of the Blackstone family; two crossed swords over a square shield on a midnight black background bordered in gold.

The inner quarters of the keep are home to an impressively adorned Great Hall with a large fireplace and mantle atop which is kept the family heirloom; a great double headed axe known as Horncleaver (rumoured to bestowed great strength and anger upon the wielder). There are numerous heads mounted atop the wall of the Great Hall, included the head of the green dragon Skormangorlous.

Beneath Blackstone Manor are a network of tunnels and catacombs dug by the original Iyorl Blackstone that lead far under the Fairheight Mountains, and are rumoured to have been an attempt by the first Iyorl to connect to ancient dwarven tunnels, now the tunnels and chambers are used by the Blackstones to enter and leave the manor in secret and to torture and execute their enemies or anyone that might not be missed.

Cantrev Ironsmith: Situated east of Cantrev Blackstone roughly north of Caer Callidyrr across Whitefish Bay is the settlement of Whiterock, ruled by Laird Ironsmith who is a vassal of Iyorl Blackstone. 

Cantrev Ironsmith is another mining cantrev working out old and abandoned dwarven mines on the southern side of the Fairheight Mountains.

Cantrev Umberland: This cantrev occupies the far western edge of the Fairheight Mountains near the coast. It is a mining cantrev situated among the surrounding hillocks, bordered on the north by the Hardand River and the Hughloch (rumoured to be the resting place of Cymrych Hugh or his sword – the legends do not agree which). To the west lies the Strait of Alaron, and to the south and east lie the hills leading to the Fairheight Mountains, in the centre of this is the settlement of Warlsbry.

Cantrev Umberland is ruled by Laird Umberland, a vassal of Iyorl Blackstone.

Warlsbry (Village, 280): Warlsbry is a small village that straddles the territory of Callidyrr and Gnarhelm, situated around the mouth of the Hughloch as it plunges into the Sea of Moonshae below.

To the north of Warlsbry are the rolling hills of Olafstaad, to the east are the Fairheight Mountains, to the south lies the Dernall Forest, and to the west is the Sea of Moonshae. Surrounded by these great landscapes is the rocky cove that Warlsbry rests in, forgotten by most of the rest of the world.

Warlsbry is home to the Once Dry Toad Inn.

Granite Crest: This region of the Fairheight Mountains encompasses the highest ridges of the eastern arm of this range, it is poorly accessible with few trails leading up to this relatively unexplored region which has become home to the secret location of the Ring of Alaron. Hidden among the valleys and vales is rumoured to be an ancient Moonwell accessed by a natural arch and fed by two waterfalls..

Highrock: The dwarves of Clan Rookoath have dwelt in this secret mountain fortress since the collapse of Ahhrune millennia ago. Over the ages their society has changed into a matriarchy since the intrigue and feuding of male elders saw them slain in a battle over wealth and political power.

Clan Rookoath now quietly delves the rich ores of the Fairheight Mountain, battling orcs, goblins, and trolls, and avoiding all contact with outsiders (not even emerging during the War of Moon and Shadow).

The Kingdom of Gnarhelm: The nation of Gnarhelm was established in 852 DR when illuskans from Stornanter arrived in the Moonshae Isles and swiftly attempted to make a homeland for themselves from the lands belonging to the native ffolk.

The Kingdom of Gnarhelm is rarely a kingdom, often divided between three powerful duchies, the rulers of each styling themselves as King. Gnarhelm, Olafstaad, and Sunderstaad form the nation of Gnarhelm, and are only united when a powerful King can establish his dominance over the other two in the endless power struggles that have plagued the nation for so long.

Gnarhelm: Gnarhelm is one of the three major regions of the Kingdom of Gnarhelm. It is among the richest because it acts as a bridge between the three region and has excellent access to the mineral rich Fairheight Mountains.

Gnarhelmstaad: The capital of Gnarhelm is called a city by its people but in reality it is little more than an expansive set of docks along the east coast of the Helmsgate Firth with a hundred or more wooden lodges belonging to the local seacaptains. At any one time the docks are filled with at least 20 longships and hundreds of knarr (small fishing boats)

Roads made of hard-baked mud lead further inland towards the hovels of the commonfolk. The major road in Gnarhelmstaad leads north to the King’s Lodge and the lodges and services that cluster around the longhall of the king such as a blacksmith and wainwright.

Around the outskirts of the settlement are sparse pastures of scrub grass filled with sheep, goats, horses, and rothe. It is quite common to see animals driven through the city for slaughter or to new pastures.

Helmsgate Firth: Also known locally as Salmon Bay, this large inlet divides the land of Gnarhelm completely in two, separating the duchy of Olafstaad almost completely from Gnarhelm and Sunderstaad. The ffolk constructed a wide bridge that crosses the firth (built atop a man-made land bridge that forms the bridge’s foundations but is swamped at high tide) and this has been carefully maintained by the illuskans to ensure their lands remain connected for trade and defence.

The Helmsgate Firth is supposedly where the legendary Warleader Helmud landed his forces and shattered the gates of Caer Staelar with a single stroke of his hammer. Legends say that Helmud vanished following the victory over the ffolk that allowed the illuskans to establish a holding upon the region (from which they could continue the conquest of the north of Alaron), some maintain Helmud was taken by Tempus to serve him, while others say Helmud must have been slain in the attack and earned a warriors death, there are a few however that claim Helmud never existed or that he is an amalgam of several people and their actions.

The firth and the ruins of Caer Staelar are the reason that the Trichar noble family have maintained such dominance in the region. With a single command they can close off the bridge and isolate Olafstaad from the rest of Gnarhelm. 

Kings Lodge: The King’s Lodge is built atop a hill known as Valkur’s Rock which are the covered remains of Caer Staelar; a ffolk castle that was destroyed by the illuskan invasion of 852 DR and which fell into ruin and was quickly eroded by the stormy weather and driving winds of Gnarhelm. The only intact ruins of Caer Staelar are the bridge and gatehouse across Helmsgate Firth.

This modest wooden lodge with shingle roof is impressive when compared to the modern constructions of Gnarhelm (the illuskans having lost much of their skill in construction over the centuries since their arrival). It is a single story hall spread out over 500 feet in length and over 10 ft tall, with fully half of the lodge dedicated to the great hall where the king spends much of his time surrounded by his trophies and treasured possessions (usually weapons and armour).

The King’s trusted guards dwell in their own long houses around the King’s Lodge, turning the land north of Gnarhelm’s capital into its own miniature settlement overlooking Salmon Bay.

There are rumours of lights and moans about the hill of Valkur’s Rock, and it is forbidden to dig on the hill lest they wake the dead defenders of Caer Staelar.

Important NPCs

Alexei (Evil, Human – Rashemmi, Magic User 4): Alexei is an apprentice sorcerer on the Council Sorcere, apprenticed to Second Sorcerer Cyndre, whom he has served since long before he arrived in Callidyrr. Alexei is helping Cyndre gain support among the apprentices of the Council Sorcere to overthrow Curmanvyss.

Angthrul (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 5): Angthrul is part of a group of cultists that revere Bane and moved to the Moonshae Isles to try and establish a new church among the ffolk kingdoms. Angthrul and his brethren are part of the priesthood and have moved into the Dernall Forest (corrupting one of the sacred groves of the Trail Road) where they are spreading fear (through undead servitors) and corruption throughout the land.

Iyorl Angus Blackstone (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 3): Angus Blackstone is the sixth Iyorl (Earl) of Fareighshyr, a powerfully built man with dark hair and well trimmed beard, possessed of an intense stare and iron self control when in public, but that reveals an uncontrollable rage when angered. He is a stern but fair ruler and is well thought of by the citizens of Fareighshyr.

Annuwyn (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 3): Annuwyn is the court mage at Tusk Keep, a former hedge-wizard that impressed Hugh O’Roarke with his skill at pyrotechnics, although in truth it was more Annuwyn’s skill with charm magics that so impressed Hugh.

Antola Pilark (Neutral, Halfling – Lightfoot, Magic User 5): Antola Pilark is the Great Druid for the Ring of Alaron. He has seen the Ring of Alaron continually diminish as it is infiltrated by priests from the Church of the Great Mother, while his loyal Druid have disappeared or died in accidents. Antola has withdrawn the Ring of Alaron to the depths of the Fairheight Mountains where he waits for better times.

Backar (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 1): Man at Arms in service to Iyorl Angus Blackstone

Belistar (Evil, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 5): Belistar is a former apprentice of Flamsterd who, like many of his fellows, was corrupted by the influence of Kazgoroth, and fought for the possession of Flamsterd’s treasures and knowledge during one of his many research expeditions.

Belistar was the apprentice that won possession of a great prize; the Skin of Kazgoroth. When a magical explosion tore through the foundations of Flamsterd’s Tower and changed the warring apprentices into all manner of twisted creatures, Belistar was bonding with the parasitic Skin of Kazgoroth and as a result gained powerful shape-changing abilities, he was quickly able to master control of his form and return himself to his previous human appearance.

Belistar gathered up as many magical treasures he could find and fled the Isle of Flamsterd by stealing a coracle and sailing out into the Sea of Moonshae. Hit by a sudden storm, Belistar lost most of these treasures (except for a magical wand of paralysation) and became hopelessly lost, he finally made land on the western shore of the Isle of Alaron.

Belistar has wandered Callidyrr for 50 years now, made seemingly immortal by the Skin of Kazgoroth, he has greatly advanced his mastery of magic, although he focuses mostly on combat magic and inflicting as much pain and death as he can, as influenced and augmented by his parasitic companion.

Belistar has terrorised the ffolk of Callidyrr, stealing whatever magic and wealth he can acquire by slaying its previous owners. He has worked with various dark cults (including the Cult of the Deathstalkers and the Cult of the Grasped Talon), although he owes now loyalty to any group and will not be commanded by others for very long. Belistar has now become aware of evil growing within the Council Sorcere and has set his sights upon becoming a member and then master of that group of wizards.

Belistar’s prolonged bonding with the Skin of Kazgoroth has wrought many changes upon him as he uses its powers with increasing frequency and potency. He can cast more spells than a wizard of his ability would normally be able, and has access to a number of spell like abilities that augment his physical capabilities as well as the ability to permanently transform large animals (rothe, deer, horses, etc) into flying reptiles that are harmed by the sunlight but are vicious carnivores and totally obedient to Belistar’s commands. Belistar’s back is now completely covered with tiny scales and has a sickly green-brown hue like a lizard, he craves the consumption of raw flesh and blood on a daily basis, and is driven by a desire to dominate and to slay humanoids.

Brandon Olafsson (Good, Human – Illuskan, Expert 2): Brandon Olafsson is the son of Svenyird Olafsson and grandson of King Rolf Olafsson, and like both his relative he is an accomplished sailor and brave warrior.

Despite being only 14 years of age, Brandon Olafsson is already taller and broader than most of his peers, and he has listened to his grandfather’s tales and instruction about sailing as well as accompanying his father on many raids and expeditions. To gain a name for himself on his name day he intends to stalk and slay one of the great white bjornyr of Sunderstaads northern coastline, single-handed.

Brandon values the traits of loyalty and trust above all else, taking to heart the illuskan proverb “Either a man can be trusted to watch your back, or he is a threat to it”. Like many young noblemen he is frustrated by the intrigue and treachery among the nobility of Gnarhelm and has fallen under the sway of his friends that are part of the Storm Knight’s plans to attack noble households and destabilise the country.

Curmanvyss (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 10): Curmanvyss is the Sorcerer Majir of the Council Sorcere (head of the magical council advising the king of Callidyrr). He likes nothing better than researching magical curiosities of the Moonshae Isles, allowing himself to be pestered only by the king (who he hides an intense dislike for).

Cyndre (Evil, Human – Mulan, Magic User 8): Cyndre is the Second Sorcerer of the Council Sorcere, and a far off native from the land of Thay. Cyndre is an ambitious mage who has a plan in motion to become the leader of the Council Sorcere and eventually replace the king and establish a magocracy in Callidyrr.

King Dagus Grawsson (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 2): Dagus is the lord of Olafstaad, entitled king but in reality a vassal of King Rolf Helmudsson of Gnarhelm. A member of the Trichar noble family, he supports King Rolf in order to maintain the power of his kin and their control of Gnarhelm.

Captain Danis pen Foryth (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 3): Captain Dansforth as he is more commonly known, is the sailor in command of the greatest ship in the ffolk kingdoms; the Defiant, and soon to become the admiral of Callidyrr’s navy.

Devin (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 1): Devin is the Captain of the Guard at Tusk Keep, in service to Laird Hugh O’Roarke of Cantrev Wyndgrove. Devin is skilled in a variety of expertise; stealing, intimidation, impersonation, whatever his lord asks him to do.

Dornthwait (Evil, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Dornthwait is the commander of the Scarlet Guard, a former pirate captain who found luck and signed his entire crew as mercenaries in service to the Kingdom of Callidyrr. Completely without morals or scruples, and will commit any act for money.

Doryc (Evil, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 1): Doryc is an apprentice in the Council Sorcere. Skeletally thin, she has a fascination with fire and a wild talent to conjure flames from nowhere. Doryc is involved with Alexei and he is indoctrinating her into the plot of his master Cyndre.

Douglar Hyuukhaun “o’ The Rivers” (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 4): Douglar Hyuukhaun is part of a trio of native woodsmen recruit by Bran Skorlsun to combat the rise of false and renegade Harpers in the Moonshae Isles.

Douglar patrols the Stagfordshire region of Callidyrr.

Elryn Tharr (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 4): Elryn Tharr is one of a trio of native woodsmen recruited by Bran Skorlsun to combat the rise of false and renegade Harpers in the Moonshae Isles.

Elryn and his fellow true Harpers are to follow bards and travellers looking for signs of those meeting with nefarious characters (particularly cultists of Bane). Those suspected of misdeeds or spreading misinformation have their identities passed onto Bran by means of ravens that are trained to find him (each of the trio has such a raven). Once false Harpers are identified it does not take long for them to disappear.

Aside from identifying false Harpers, Elryn and his sometime companions are also tasked with helping locals and travellers, and spreading the good name of the Harpers to counter the fell reputation spread by the false Harpers. Elryn often patrols the region of Stirgewycshyr in Callidyrr.

Finola Claun (Good, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 3): Finola is one of the loyal retainers of O’Roarke, formerly the Mistress of Hounds, with years of experience exploring the Dernall Forest hunting both animals and bandits.

Great Gark the Goblin King (Evil, Goblinoid – Goblin, Expert 5): Tales of the War of Raging Leaves speak of a great hero and spy hidden among the forces of Kazgoroth known as Garek. He warned the LeShay and their allies of countless dangers of the movements of Kazgoroth’s forces at great peril to his own life. Garek vanishes from the tales of the War of Raging Leaves and his fate is unknown.

In truth, Garek was discovered and was forced to ingest Kazgoroth’s blood, changing him into some huge, grotesquely malformed, goblin like creature, burning with a desire to murder his former allies. Great Gark as he was known is said to have corrupted thousands of halflings into the monsters called goibhluin.

Great Gark survived the War of Raging Leaves, retreating into a rift between the Material Plane and a border of the Faeree and Shadow Plane (the Shadowfell), known as Nachtur – meaning night side. Great Gark sends out his minions to gather the evil and the wicked that trespass into their domain (portions of the Dernall Forest in and around Doncastle), and bring them back to Nachtur where they are transformed into the goibhluin.

Haembar “Hawkenhound” Cauldyth (Good, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 3): Haembar Cauldyth is the current Laird of Aithe Keep and Cantrev Aithelar, a stout man of 40+ years and a famous warrior in the region, renowned for his sorties against bandits and norl raiders, unlike his father who was known only for frequenting the local tavern; the Hawk and Hound.

Haembar is fiercely patriotic and passionate in the execution of his duties as lord, he also possesses a keen intellect that has served him well in collecting taxes and enforcing the rule of law in Cantrev Aithelar. Haembar knows every hunting, fishing, and place of natural beauty as well as every former bandit and pirate hideout within 10 miles, but nowadays is more concerned with securing the future for his heir and marriages for his daughters while teaching them everything he knows.

Haembar, like most ffolk in Callidyrr, is a devout follower of Chauntea, and he is generous with his donations to the local shrine, and even has one of the priests visit the keep every day for morning blessings.

Halardas Murr (Evil, Human – Ffolk, Warrior 3): A bandit leader operating out of the Dernall Forest, Halardas Murr is notable for being one of the few permanent denizens of the forest, his ancestors being outcasts that chose to retreat into the forest for various reasons, some were survivors of High King Tanner’s ill fated expedition to Gwynneth who returned home and found themselves political scapegoats.

High Harvestmaster Haern Drule (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 6): Haern Drule is the leading priest of the Church of the Great Mother in the Moonshae Isles, responsible for all the temples and shrines on Alaron, Gwynneth, and Snowdown as well as the priests that minister to them.

Haern spends most of his time in Caer Callidyrr at court with the king, but he occasionally tours the islands and temples to check up on his vassals. Haern is a careful and methodical man, ensuring he is prepared for any foreseeable eventuality.

Hanrald Blackstone: Son of the Iyorl of Fareighshyr, trained to be honourable and chivalrous and worthy of forming a Bloodbond with the King when he is of age.

Hobarth (Evil, Human – Calishite, Magic User 6, Expert 2): Hobarth is a monstrously fat, flabby man, with rolls of dusky, wart covered skin, and dark piggy eyes who originally hails from mainland Faerun. He is the leader of the Cult of the Deathstalkers and colludes with other mainland cults to destroy the Fidouyr and take control of the kingdoms of the ffolk.

Horac (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 1): Warrior of Gnarhelm in service to Rolf Helmudsson.

Hugh O’Roarke (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 4): Hugh O’Roarke is Laird of Cantrev Wyndgrove, a small fishing and trading cantrev that lies along the Salmon Trail nearest to the border of Stagfordshyr and Stirgewycshyr, acting as a trade hub between the two regions.

Kaffa Greigsson (Evil, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Kaffa is a minor relative of the noble house of Hommurg who has recently suffered the loss of station when his father lost his holdings during one of the many intrigues between the noble houses of Gnarhelm.

Kaffa’s father is now serving (as a warrior) one of the senior members of House Hommurg in return for money, while Kaffa himself has fallen in with the Storm Knight and is now raiding the holdings of House Trichar (who caused his father’s downfall).

Kaffa is a large barrel chested young man with thick arms and almost no visible neck, he refuses to wear a helmet (unlike most warriors of Gnarhelm).

Keren pen Donnell (Good, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 2): Keren is one of the Prynmar (Great Bards of the ffolk), he is welcomed at every royal court in the island chain and spends much of his time travelling between Callidyrr, Corwell, Moray, and Snowdown, delivering news and messages and entertaining the kings and queens of the ffolk.

Knaff the Elder (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Knaff the Elder is the battle brother and protector to Svenyird Olafsson, sworn to fight by his side no matter the odds. Knaff is typical of illuskan nobility, he is an accomplished sailor and skilled warrior, Knaff however, is equally skilled with most weapons, not just the sword and axe favoured by illuskans.

Knaff the Elder has offered his only son, Knaff the Younger, to serve as battle brother of Brandon Olafsson, a service that the young lad chafes against.

Knaff the Younger (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 1):  Knaff the Younger is the only son of Knaff the Elder, and has been offered by his father to serve as battle brother of the third in line to the throne of Gnarhelm. Knaff the Younger dislikes being forced into service to another, especially someone younger than himself, but despite his urge to fight against his father’s decision he cannot help but like the young prince.

As a form of rebellion, Knaff the Younger has fallen in with the Storm Knight, and is secretly attacking the lodges of other noble houses, causing damage and taking his share of their wealth. Knaff has heard of some of the Storm Knight’s followers murdering nobles and burning lodges, but he has seen no evidence of this himself and has not been asked to yet, he is always careful to only disable those he is forced to fight during his midnight ventures.

Kryphon (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 1): Kryphon is an apprentice in the Council Sorcere, possessed of middling skill in the Art but with much ambition, he is growing increasingly angry at his lack of progress which he attributes to his master withholding crucial information from his training.

Laric (Evil, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Laric is the commander of a mercenary cavalry company from Gnarhelm known as the Bloodriders. He is a vicious and bloodthirsty warrior that will take just about any contract, currently he is contracted to Grunnarch the Red of Norland to raid the Sword Coast.

Larth (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 1): Larth is a petty criminal with a gift for sadism, and some skill with a blade. Larth is wanted in a number of cantrevs throughout Callidyrr for brawling, injuring people, and robbing them, when Shyrrifs attempted to detain him, he slew one and stole his sword and shield before fleeing into the Dernall Forest and making his way to the ruins of Doncastle where he has taken in with a group of bandits.

Lhoreth (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 2): Lhoreth is the eldest priest of Chauntea in Cantrev Aithelar, he leads 2 junior clerics in providing assistance to the farmers in the settlement and providing religious instruction and education to Laird Haembar Cauldyth and his children.

Mairie Ulzander “o’ The Winters” (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 6): Elryn Tharr is one of a trio of native woodsmen recruited by Bran Skorlsun to combat the rise of false and renegade Harpers in the Moonshae Isles.

Mairie often patrols the Talffolkshyr region of Callidyrr.

Malawar the Storm Herald (Evil, Varies, Magic User 10): Malawar is the secret leader of the Cult of the Raging One. A man of varying appearance (descriptions from each cell leader are entirely different, to some he is an old man, to others a mature woman, and to others he appears as a half orc with large jaw tusks), he travels between the islands visiting each of the cult cells and supplying them with funds and orders.

Laird Peroe McDonnell (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 1): Laird McDonnell is the lord of Cantrev Blackstone in name, but in truth he is little more than an errand runner for his liege-lord Iyorl Angus Blackstone. He spends his days at Blackstone Manor or collecting taxes or delivering messages for the Iyorl. Laird McDonnell hates being subservient to Iyorl Blackstone, but enjoys the privileges that nobility brings and so will do nothing to displease the Iyorl.

The Prophet (Neutral, Varies, Magic User 10): The Prophet is a rumour among the ffolk, of a bedraggled, frail, and ancient old man that appears during times of great peril (to the Moonshae Isles as a whole) imparting wisdom and influencing events in favour of the Earthmother, however, the Prophet is also entirely insane and so his advice and actions are often misunderstood by those who are party to them until after the danger has passed.

The Prophet is secretly multiple separate beings, each of them directly linked to the Earthmother.

The first Prophet is one of the Dervynddur from ancient ffolk history that attempted to call upon the power of the Earthmother to stop Kazgoroth the Devourer, his actions were partially successful and awoke the Children who did much to curb the forces of Kazgoroth, but the price was the petrification of all the Dervynddur present except for the Grand Druid whose mind was linked to the Earthmother and has spent the past millennia wandering the Moonshae Isles and the Feywild in his insane delusions.

The second Prophet is none other than Coss-Axell-Sinioth, but the opposite, nerra version of Sinioth who is dedicated to destroying his original counterpart but also to preserving the Moonshae Isles that his counterpart seems dedicated to destroying. The second Prophet was created at some point during the last century when Coss-Axell-Sinioth obtained the Deepglass and attempted to use it, and in so doing was trapped for a time in the Demiplane of Mirrors. Sinioth escaped using his considerable magical abilities, but his nerra opposite was also released and is constantly working to thwart the activities of his original.

King Rolf Helmudsson (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Expert 2): Rolf Olafsson is approaching his twilight years (48 years old) but is still a proud, tall, and strong illuskan despite his increasing forgetfulness.

Rolf Olafsson was King of Olafstaad and held the last independent region of Gnarhelm (King Sigurd of Gnarhelm conquered Sunderstaad in 1335 DR). Rolf feared that King Sigurd would complete his conquest but was shocked when he named Rolf his heir in a moved that earned him the moniker “the Wise” and saw him given the appellation of Helmudsson in honour of his peaceful vision to unite the three lands into the Kingdom of Gnarhelm.

King Rolf Helmudsson is now the ruler of Gnarhelm, Olafstaad, and Sunderstaad, and has ably administered to the three kingdoms for 5 years. He is widely regarded as the best sailor in Gnarhelm (although he hasnt left the land in 4 years) and is also known as the Proud Master of the Surrounding Seas for his feats of sailing.

Svenyird Olafsson (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Svenyird Olafsson is the son of Rolf Olafsson, and a strapping bear of a man in his mid 30s famous for terrorising the west coast of Callidyrr during the Bleak Winter and the preceding decade of winter blizzards.

Svenyird’s greatest feat is the slaying of one of the legendary sea serpents of illuskan legends known as the Jormunmogr (spawn of the Leviathan), which are believed by the illuskans to be spawned by the great serpent that dwells off the coast of the Korinn Archipelago, and which if it awakens will destroy the world (the norl refer to this monster as niddhog and its children as the niddmogr). These Jormunmogr are often confused with the maelstrom fish that infest the waters around Gwynneth because of their similar appearance and habit of destroying boats.

The head of the Jormunmogr is mounted in Svenyird’s Lodge, along with a number of his other kills. Svenyird is a great warrior, and is one of the few illuskans possessed of the berserker battle fury (inherited from their mixing with norl bloodlines in the past few centuries), and as a result his body is covered in the scars of wounds he has sustained in his great rage. Secretly however Svenyird, like most nobility is nearly pure illuskan and is pretending to enter berserker fury when in battle, many of his scars are a result of ritual scarification.

Talraw (Evil, Human – Illuskan, Expert 2): This tall, lean, bookish man is one of the apprentices of the Council Sorcere, he is immature and unworldly, prone to making rash decisions. Talraw’s skill with magic is unexceptional, he prefers study tomes and magical theory than performing actual, practical magic.

Tavish (Neutral, Human – Ffolk, Expert 3): Tavish is one of the Great Bards of the ffolk; a middle-aged woman who has spent a decade touring Moray, and sampling the food and drink of every noble laird across the Moonshae Isles.

Thendulryn Dhraun (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 2): A native of Tethyr and ex-adventurer, Thendulryn has retired to Cantrev Aithelar to run the Silver Boar inn. Thendulryn appears pleasant but tight-lipped in his dealings with everyone, however, he secretly passes information on his patrons to anyone wishing to pay, including the likes of the Broken Ring.

Traw “the Wind” (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 1): Traw is a young, barrel chested nobleman of Gnarhelm that has been given the great honour of bearing the Horn of Morgred. Traw is widely regarded as having the biggest set of lungs in Gnarhelm (he was selected after he was told to run to Gnarhelm by his father, and the boy did so without question despite living near Sunderstaad at the time – he may not be bright but he has great lungs).

Traw attends the King of Gnarhelm at all times (acting as his squire), and always has the great horn at hand ready to blow to alert others to danger. On occasion Traw is sent to accompany war parties (usually led by the King’s son).

Vaughyn Byrne (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 3): Vaughyn Byrne is the Frewwrd (Watchful Brother) of Chauntea in service to Laird Hugh O’Roarke at Cantrev Wyndgrove. Vaughyn Byrne has served O’Roarke for over a decade and his opinion and services are highly valued by his lord.

Captain Veldyrina Flaenitarr (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 3): Veldyrina Flaenitarr was born in Neverwinter but soon fled her life on the streets and fled to the seas aboard whatever ships would take her. Veldyrina soon took up with pirates and in time became a pirate captain herself, preying upon the merchants of the Sword Coast.

Veldyrina was feared around the Moonshae Isles by both norl and ffolk vessels. In time King Reginald Carrathal took drastic action to reduce the pirate menace and offered Veldyrina a pardon and a new vessel to become a merchant and protector of the Kingdom of Callidyrr.

Veldyrina now captains the Mermaid Sword, a newly commissioned 2 deck caravel with a crew of 30 sailors and 2 ballistae mounted atop it for defensive purposes. Veldyrina officially takes priority commissions from the King to source and or transport priority cargo, but will also take private commissions when able. She is instructed by the king to use her resources to combat the pirates from Nelanther and the norl raiders whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Pryat Wentfield (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 3): Wentfield is a priest of Helm from Baldur’s Gate (title of Pryat) sent to establish a presence to Helm in Callidyrr. He has erected a shrine in the frontier settlement of Cantrev Blackstone and administers to the spiritual and defensive needs of the people who live in constant danger of attack from Gnarhelm and wandering monsters (trolls, orcs, goblins).

Wertam (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Expert 1): Wertam is a dusky skinned wizard from Waterdeep, apprenticed to one of the many sorcerers of the Council Sorcere. His magical skills have been woefully overestimated and he knows it is only a matter of time before he is left without home or work. Wertam is easily led and will happily follow and obey anyone of sufficient authority, no matter the orders.

Wultha (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 2): Warrior in service to Rolf Helmudsson

Important Organisations

The Church of the Great Mother: In the towns of Callidyrr the Church of the Great Mother is strong, with temples and priests available to oversee the ministrations of locals who wish to venerate Chauntea in her guise as the Earthmother.

In more rural villages the Church is manning ancient groves and establishing new shrines which priests regularly man to oversee the tending of farmland, logging of woodlands, etc.

Council Sorcere: The Kings of Callidyrr have oft been aided by a council of wizards to support his rule and advise on mystical matters. The Council Sorcere was formed in 1310 DR by King Alec IV, who desired magical assistance against many imagined threats due to his mounting paranoia over the assassination of his father.

It was Alec IV who disbanded the previous incarnation of the Council Sorcere following the assassination of his father King Benjamin in 1302 DR. It was discovered that a member of the council was responsible for the accidental leak of information that helped the King’s assassins locate their target. The Council was disbanded and the mage in question was exiled (taking his apprentice with him to mainland Faerun).

The latest incarnation of this council is known as the Council Sorcere. It traditionally comprises 11 members, although membership is known to vary due to the machinations and intrigues of its membership. Each Sorcerer (as council members are known) may have up to 2 apprentices in training that attend him as needed.

The current head of the Council Sorcere is Curmanvyss (Neutral, Human – Tethyrian, Magic User 10), an old man but with a sharp mind and suspicious nature. The Council, and in particular its head Sorcerer, often pursue magical research for their own needs, offering only perceived control of the council to the King.

Cult of the Deathstalkers: This cult is a group of highly trained assassins that were driven out of Amn by the Shadowthieves which had established firm control of much of the criminal activity in that country. Those who did not wish to join the Shadowthieves had to flee or face the consequences (death), Hobarth and his band of hired killers chose the former.

Since their arrival in 1309 DR, Hobarth and his crew setup their base of operations in the shadows and catacombs of Caer Callidyrr (which is rumoured to have tunnels that stretch deep underground). They take contracts from anyone with enough coin to meet their price, and are currently negotiating with Cyndre of the Council Sorcere for a number of high profile targets.

Hobarth has cultivated contacts with a number of other cults and shadowy organisations, including the Cult of the Grasped Talon, and the Cult of the Raging One. Together these cults have taken it upon themselves to eliminate the Druid of the Fidouyr so that they may manipulate the rulers of the ffolk without resistance. The Cult of the Deathstalkers have been steadily murdering whatever Druid they can find on Alaron, causing the remaining Druid to retreat into hiding.

Cult of the Grasped Talon: This cult was established by an enigmatic, wandering priest of Chauntea known as Thandalos “The Falcon” who claimed to be from the mainland.

Thandalos spent several years travelling the Kingdom of Callidyrr preaching about the rising evil and how worship of Chauntea would combat it. Over time the evil Thandalos spoke about did appear in the form of undead and bandits, so Thandalos offered a new way to combat the evil, by joining the Cult of the Grasped Talon. Together the people of Callidyrr could fight against the evil where the church and the king had failed.

Thandalos was secretly a priest of Bane sent by Fzoul Chembryl to establish a new branch of the church on the Moonshae Isles. Thandalos is to recruit nefarious individuals using his cult and use them to spread evil through his magic and the bandits he was also recruiting. Thandalos could then ensure neither the evil forces nor the ffolk had too much success in combating the other.

Eventually Thandalos intends to use his rising influence among the people to gain contacts among the nobility and hopefully influence the Council Sorcere to his side with the lure of powerful magics known to the followers of Bane. The plan is proceeding perfectly and Thandalos now has an agent among the Council Sorcere, a wizard known only as Cyndre.

Cult of the Raging One: The worship of Talos is present among the norl as the god Talas the Raging One, but no such cult exists among the northern isles as the norl are not particularly fervent worshippers of any god (offering veneration only when needed). The Cult of the Raging One has existed in many incarnations during the human history of the Moonshae Isles, appearing first during the Tethyrian Migration and most recently having arrived from mainland Faerun during the illuskan invasion of northern Alaron (and the formation of Gnarhelm). The cult seems to spread out across the isles and repeatedly call forth a terrible storm before being smashed and forced to rebuild.

In its current incarnation the Cult of the Raging One has since spread to all the ffolk kingdoms from Gnarhelm. Gatherings of storm worshippers have been seen in the wilderness of the isles (particularly during violent storms), chanting and dancing, they appear to be gaining in strength and preparing once again to perform their secret rituals.

Each cell of the Cult of the Raging One is secretly led by Malawar the Storm Herald, who spends his time travelling between the islands and issuing his commands to their leaders.

Lodge of the Sphinx: A recently arrived group of explorers from Sembia; led by Bertin “Teller” Clanin have established a base in  Caer Callidyrr. This base serves as a destination point for bored Sembians nobles that join the lodge looking for adventure, and a base of operations from which to launch forays into the wider Moonshae Isles, searching ancient ruins, locating mythical beasts, etc.

Panthras Procuring: This independent trading company operates out of Cantrev Callidyrr and specialises in the swift transport of goods between Callidyrr, Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate (where it has warehouses and merchants in each settlement).

The company is run by Panthras Shailuth, a shrewd native of Cantrev Callidyrr that benefited greatly from a friendship with King Reginald Carrathal before he was crowned (when he was just the roguish son of King Alec IV and 2nd in line to the throne after his brother).

Panthrus Procuring has contacts among many of the independent merchant ships of the Moonshae Isles, believing in helping local business (at cheap prices) rather than using the larger and more expensive trading costers and merchant houses of Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate.

Storm Knights: This faction of bored young nobles in Gnarhelm is seeking to earn fame and fortune for its members by raiding the estates of the established nobility that have a firm control on the power in this warrior nation.

The Blood Riders: The time of Gnarhelm as a conquering nation has long since passed, the established nobility being happy to feud amongst themselves and the commoners happy to toil in the farms, mines, and at sea. Where the rest of Gnarhelm has embraced the peaceful life, the noble youths have taken to the mercenary lifestyle, selling their services as cavalry units to the norl (something the norl lack) or are waging guerilla warfare against their elders.

The Blood Riders are one such mercenary cavalry unit, with over 200 members (100 active at any one time), led by a ruthless warrior known as Laric. They are among the most accomplished and well known of the mercenaries, with the entire company currently on contract to King Grunnarch the Red of Norland.

The Fidouyr: The Great Grove of the Earth is the name of the druidic organisation that facilitates worship of the Earthmother in the kingdoms of the ffolk. In the Kingdom of Callidyrr, that organisation is represented by the Ring of Alaron, but the druids of that Ring are in sharp decline, and much of its membership is now made up of priests of Chauntea who are also members of the Church of the Great Mother.

The Harpers: The Harpers are much maligned and reviled in the Moonshae Isles, largely due to the acts of the Cult of the Grasped Talon, which is using loyal and evil agents in the guise of bards (claiming to be Harpers) to spread misinformation among the ffolk kingdoms and steal valuable items. When travelling the road, these false Harpers engage in brigandage and banditry, as well as kidnap and murder whenever the opportunity arises.

There are those working to restore the good name of the Harpers among the ffolk; most of whom are renegade Harpers, seeking to escape the increasingly autocratic rule of the Master Harpers of Berdusk or who have committed crimes (no matter how minor) against the code of the Harpers and are now considered outcast. These renegade Harpers do good in the name of the Harpers, but have no affiliation or loyalty to that organisation and often engage in activities that no true Harper would perform.

Lastly there are the true Harpers sent to the Moonshae Isles over a decade ago by the Master Harpers of Berdusk to combat the rise in renegade and false Harpers. These true Harpers are led by Bran Skorlsun and are ruthlessly tracking and slaying those who sully who falsely use the Harper name.

The Mermaid Sword: This merchant caravel is one of a number of newer ships purchased from the shipyards of Orlumbor by the rising wealth of the merchant and noble class of Callidyrr. The Mermaid Sword is sponsored by the Kingdom of Callidyrr and so is able to fly the single towered keep banner of the kingdom.

Like many of the ffolk merchant ships it spends its time travelling between the other islands of the Moonshae Isles or stopping at the smaller ports along the Sword Coast like Daggerford, but is occasionally seen in the docks at Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate when on royal orders.

Important Items

Chariot of the High King: This ornate chariot of ancient design is a solid black ash frame with a holly wood basket for two riders to stand in. The chariot is edged in gold gilding and features a large and elaborate harness covered with unusual runes (not of ffolk design).

The chariot was a gift to the High King and Queen from the faeree creatures that inhabit Alaron, for in Cymrych Hugh ran the blood of the fey and he was seen as a king to them and a potential summer rival to High Lady Ordalf, The chariot itself is unusual only because the wood is still alive and capable of repairing itself if left to rest in soil and sunlight. The harness however is one of the Yokes of the Beast (an addition made by the Fidouyr) that allows the rider to completely command whatever beast is harnessed to pull the chariot.

Cymrych Hugh used the chariot sparingly to carry him to destinations when his position required his attendance somewhere (the injuries inflicted by Kazgoroth left him lame and breathless). The chariot was used during his funeral procession which saw the body of the High King tour the isles in his chariot before being laid to rest in some unknown barrow.

Circle of Transportation: A pair of golden rings about a foot in diameter, allows instant transportation between the two circles. 

Crown of the Isles: This ornate crown is made of gold and silver, with the silver metal swirling about the base to form a distinctive wave pattern. Each of the seven spires atop the crown is adorned with a large pearl.

When Cymrych Hugh was crowned High King of the Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles following the defeat of Kazgoroth, a great host of representatives from all the races of the Moonshae Isles gathered at Caer Callidyrr to bear witness to the shining future of the islands. Among that great host were the aquatic elves of Nindrol, who brought as a gift the newly forged Crown of the Isles to cement an alliance between the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles and Nindrol.

The Crown of the Isles, also known as the Crown of the High King, served as part of the regalia of the High Kingdom for almost a millennia, until the year 852 DR when an Illuskan armada invaded the northern shores of Callidyrr and High King Dolan Cymrych set sail across Whitefish Bay with his finest warriors to counter attack the invaders from behind.

It was by chance that the High King sailed across the bay while a force of sahuagin passed underneath (drawn by the turbulence of the illuskan armada and eager for potential plunder and captives). The sahuagin called forth a storm that sank much of the coracle flotilla, they slew or captured those sinking into the watery depths. Among their prizes was the Crown of the Isles where it became part of the sahuagin regalia of Kressilacc, a prize for the prince and heir (who traditionally leads the armies and raiding parties of that nation).

It remained among the sahuagin, passing from prince to prince as a sentimental bauble (for its powers did nothing to enhance the sea devils), until one sahuagin raiding party launched an attack against the western shore of Callidyrr and the holdings of the MacOdrum. By chance, the prince of Kressilacc was slain and the Crown passed to the clan elder. Eager to avenge the death of their prince and the loss of the Prince’s Crown, the sahuagin launched raids against the entire western shore.

The MacOdrum fled Callidyrr, and its elder took the crown with him to the island furthest south; Toaridge at the Sun’s Setting. Angus MacOdrum discovered the crown’s primary power; to grant him the ability to live underwater indefinitely and when the aquatic elves of Nindrol found him with the Crown of the Isles they brought him to their palace as an honoured guest.

Angus MacOdrum remained with the aquatic elves for a time, partaking of all their generosity until he had sated his human lusts and outstayed his welcome. Banished from Nindrol for despoiling the princess of that nation, he was sent away with his offspring (12 half aquatic elven children) and the Crown of the Isles; now cursed to prevent him from using it again (only the blood of Cymrych Hugh can ever wear the crown again.

Angus MacOdrum moved to various islands, selling the cursed crown to a passing Calishite trader before using his fortune to purchase most of the lands around Cantrev Horstall in the Kingdom of Corwell and signal the wandering remnants of the MadOdrum to join him in their new home.

The Calishite trader did not get a chance to suffer the curse of the Crown of the Isles or sell it on for greater wealth, his galleon was captured by illuskan raiders out of Ruathym and the pirate captain foolishly donned the crown immediately. The curse prevented the pirate captain from gaining any satisfaction from his lusts, wasting away as he lost all desire for food, treasure, and flesh. The entire crew were similarly afflicted and when they perished from the curse (unable to remove or abandon the crown), they rose again as ghostly undead, unable to satisfy their desires for all eternity, and venting their anger on any who plundered their Ghost Ship and did not break the curse (only the High King and blood of Cymrych Hugh can claim the crown and break the curse).

The Crown of the Isle grants the ability to survive underwater indefinitely, including water breathing, salt and fresh water tolerance, and communication. Since the actions of Angus MacOdrum any that don the crown who are not of the blood of Cymrych Hugh suffer a curse that means the can feel no satisfaction from any action, eating, sleeping, drinking, battle, intercourse, etc. The wearer also cannot remove the crown and quickly wastes away as he forgets to eat, drink, sleep, or do anything. The curse also extends to those nearby family members who were present when the crown was donned, however the notion of family seems to be loosely defined and could include any group of friends or comrades.

Cymrych Hugh’s Longbow: 

Cymrych Hugh’s Spear:

Cymrych Hugh’s Greatsword:

Cymrych Hugh’s Shield: Made of bronze

Cymrych Hugh’s Crossbow: Light crossbow crafted of ebony

Cymrych Hugh’s Harp: Ungilded, with a board of black ebony, silver strings, ivory tuning keys (carved with runes of an unknown language)

Cymrych Hugh’s Ring: Plain brass ring that provides fire resistance

Cymrych Hugh’s Torque: Neck ring, plain gold, possesses an inner strength.

Cymrych Hugh’s Bracers: A bracelet made of three interlinked silver rings each resembling a coiled snake.

The Eye of the Storm: This large steel talisman resembles an ornate disc roughly a foot in diameter is designed to be affixed to a ship or building or other structure in order to bestow its powers, although it has in the past been carried as a shield into battle (it is a bit too heavy and unbalanced for this purpose).

The Eye of the Storm first appears in history during the illuskan invasion of northern Alaron in 852 DR where it was fixed to the lead ship of the illuskan fleet and legend has it carried into battle by Helmud the legendary warleader where it deflected the magic of the defending ffolk and was later used to disable magical defences by affixing the talisman to defensive structures.

Like many of the treasures of the norl and illuskan, eventually the Eye of the Storm was buried at sea with some noted nobleman, and sunk to the depths of the Sea of Moonshae where it was found by the sahuagin of Kressilacc and is still venerated by a number of religious zealots to this day.

The primary power of the Eye of the Storm is to call forth a lightning strike on the position of the holder of the talisman, while making the bearer of the talisman immune to the effects of the lightning strike (where it is affixed to an item or structure, that item or structure and everyone in contact with it is also immune to the effects of the lightning strike. The Eye of the Storm also reflects all magic cast at the talisman (or its bearer, or anything it is affixed to) back at the source.

It is believed the Eye of the Storm was crafted during the time of Stornanter to assist in a coup to remove Laeral the Witch Queen by disabling the immense magical powers of Laeral and her court wizard Marek Aldhanek. Unfortunately the plot was discovered before the Eye of the Storm was ready and the plotters were forced to spring their plan early (it resulted in Marek’s death but failed to slay Laeral).

The False Crown of the Isles: King Reginal Carrathal has delusions of restoring the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles and being crowned High King. In order to legitimise his claim he has ordered an imitation Crown of the Isles be crafted by Curmanvyss; the head of the Council Sorcere (a task he has shared with few others).

The False Crown of the Isles is a near exact physical replica of the original (recreated from paintings and tapestries), except that the swirling pattern is slightly off and the pearls are much smaller in size. The False Crown has none of the powers of the original, but instead it radiates anti magic in a 50 ft radius, this anti magic can be moved to a different point of origin with a command.

The Gnarled Helm: This horned helmet was said to have been worn by the illuskan invaders that seized the northern lands of Alaron, specifically it is claimed that Helmud; the general that led the illuskans of Stornanter to victory and helped carve the realm of Gnarhelm out of northern Alaron, personally wore this helm into battle.

The Horn of Morgred: This gigantic curved horn is the hollowed tusk of one of the great, white, snow elephants that once wandered the Savage Frontier before the northmen hunted them to near extinction. It is said to have been cut from its owner by Morgred Gardolfsson shortly after the sacking of ancient Illusk in 95 DR.

The Horn of Morgred emits a low resonance sound that is barely audible over hundreds of miles, but which all the warriors of Gnarhelm seem to be able to hear as clear as a thunderclap. Some believe the horn has been enchanted so that only the blood of Morgred can hear the blast of this horn (an odd claim since Morgred and his kin ventured further east into the Savage Frontier), however, those wearing horned helms of Gnarhelm make soon discover the horns on the helm are perfectly designed to focus low frequency sounds (they also amplify the roars of bjornyr and cave lions quite well).

Skarda’s Shards: The Shards of Skarda are pieces of an ancient artefact once known as Skarda’s Crystal Gateway after a Netherese Archmage who attempted to create an open destination Gate but unfortunately for Skarda, his gate opened only onto a Plane of Mirrors and he became trapped within and replaced on the Material Plane by his mirror opposite (known as a nerra) who immediately set about sabotaging his research to prevent others using it (while also tricking unsuspecting victims into using the gate and being replaced by other nerra).

Ultimately the nerra Skarda was slain when other Archmages became aware of a potential invasion of nerra, and the Crystal Gateway was shattered into smaller fragments, one of which fell into the hands of Raanaghaun Cormael of Myth Drannor, while several other pieces were collected by Renduuryk the Wizard King of the Kingdom of Seven Scryings (a short lived kingdom in the Fallen Lands).

Secreted away from the Kingdom of Seven Scryings during its collapse in -297 DR, three of the Shards of Skarda came into possession of Flamsterd (one during his acquisition of the Wizard’s Workbook, another held in Caer Callidyrr brought by the ffolk centuries before, and the last arriving during the tethyrian migration of 467 DR).

Recognising a connection between the items, and utilising the remnants of Skarda’s enchantments, Flamsterd crafted three items; a dress mirror, a hand mirror, and a crystal globe out of the opaque crystalline material. With a command word each mirror could be made to focus upon a named place, person, or item anywhere in Faerun, with the picture moved in any direction by the command of the viewer.

The Dress Mirror of Cymrych Hugh is the largest of the shards, crafted as a gift for the coronation of the first High King by his court wizard Flamsterd. It was stolen during the chaos of 944 DR and taken to Snowdown where it became known after the most vain of its kings (who mysteriously vanished).

The Hand Mirror was a gift to King Rhydian Hugh as the first King of Corwell, and as an apology for the unchecked madness of High King Gwylloch and his heir. It has remained in Caer Corwell for many centuries, forgotten long ago and gathering dust.

The last item is the Deepglass of Flamsterd, otherwise known as the Deepglass of Kressilacc. It was crafted by Flamsterd for himself so that he could scry upon far off places while remaining in seclusion on his island. In 1291 DR a number of Flamsterd’s apprentices came under the chaotic influence of outside forces and one of them stole the Deepglass as he attempted to flee. The apprentice known as Belistar survived, but lost the Deepglass in one of many storms that year as he fled from the island, it was recovered by one of the sahuagin and taken to Kressilacc.

Unknown to Flamsterd, if the viewer knows the true name of an individual being viewed in the mirror, then that person is drawn into the mirror and becomes trapped in a demiplane linking the Dress Mirror of Cymrych Hugh (or Dewych Kincaid depending upon who you ask), the Hand Mirror of Rhydian Kendrick, or the Deepglass of Flamsterd. Furthermore the plane becomes home to a doppelganger; known as a nerra, that looks like an exact mirror image of the trapped individual whose personality is likewise in opposition to the original. The nerra seeks to slay the original by any means necessary, allowing it to then escape from the Plane of Mirrors.

It is possible to escape from the Plane of Mirrors if someone else using one of the three mirrors requests to view the person by name, thus expelling the original and the doppelganger out through whatever mirror gate they are nearest.

The three shards resemble a full length dress mirror, a smaller hand mirror, and a crystal ball, each crafted from a piece of opaque crystal that is hazy and poor at reflecting images unless the command word is spoken, at which point it becomes able to scry distant places with perfect clarity. The crystal it is fashioned from is known as Damasdreir crystal, coming from a cavern beneath the Dalelands (accessible only via a tunnel near drow controlled territory under Shadowdale).

Fauna

Ceirmac the Stone Stag: The great skeletal stag of the Moonshae Isles is one of the lesser known of the Earthmother’s Children, for it is rarely seen in the isles except when the humanoid population grows out of control. Ceirmac leads the Shadowhunt and charms onlookers into joining the Dance of the Shadowhunt whereupon they vanish into the forest.

Goibhluin: Millennia ago Kazgoroth the Ravager came to the Moonshae Isles and turned many of its inhabitants against one another. Many firbolg, norl, and halflings joined the rampaging ranks of the Ravager’s armies, but all twisted beyond recognition.

While the firbolg became hulking brutes that indulged desire for violence, the halflings were turned into smaller creatures (about 2 ft tall), with black, horned skin, and pupil-less red eyes with an endless appetite for greed. These monsters wrought havoc among the allied forces, stealing equipment, gorging themselves on allied supplies, and stealing the lives of the defenceless.

The goibhluin were advanced scouts and saboteurs and were slaughtered whenever they were found, few of them survived the War of Raging Leaves, but those that did fled into the Dernall Forest and other primeval locations.

The goibhluin are spoken of only in hushed whispers, like the bogeymen of ffolk folklore, tales told to children to scare them so that they do not steal from others, for those who steal are taken by the goibhluin to their realm of Nachtur, and there are changed to join their ranks.

Those foreigners who visit the Moonshae Isles often confuse the goibhluin with goblins due to the similar sounding names and comparable physical characteristics. It is possible that some of the tales about the goibhluin are true, in that those who trespass onto their territory often disappear never to be seen again, it is possible that they are taken to Nachtur (ruined to exist in the Shadowfell) and changed into goibhluin by the energies of that place.

The Shapeless: The Isle of Alaron is home to a particular type of fey creature known locally as the Siallie (the Shapeless). These usually benign creatures take great delight in imitating whomever they meet, able to change size, shape, mass, and any other physical characteristic to mimic another.

Over the centuries, with the rapid expansion of Callidyrr in recent years, the Siallie have become more hostile, even malicious, in their encounters with humanoid life. The Siallie; particularly those in Bregonshyr, mimic traders and woodsmen and then increase their size to attack and slay their opposites. There are rumours of traders and woodsmen suddenly changing personality and then vanishing without trace after causing much mischief and mayhem.

Local Lore

The Beast of Dernall Forest: Beneath the pines of Dernall Forest, there stalks a great beast that is possibly immortal (having first been sighted around 300 DR according to records of the High Kingdom). This beast is said to be almost 10 ft tall, have jet black skin, enlarged teeth and claws, and limbs as thick as tree trunks.

The appearances of the beast have no apparent pattern to them, striking randomly through the years at caravans, hunters, wood cutters, that venture into the forest, and occasionally striking into the nearby settlements to slaughter victims in their homes. The beast mostly appears at night, and seems to specifically target those of tethyrian heritage and more recently targeting supporters of the King.

The Ghost Ship: The waters between Ruathym and Nelanther, particularly around the coast of Alaron, are haunted by a a large mist cloaked vessel that resembles one of the Calishite galleons. The ghost ship sails; seemingly aimless, for no-one is ever visible on its deck. Those who board the vessel report it is always well stocked with goods and treasure; including an ornate golden and silver crown adorned with pearls, but any who plunder the ship are slain within the year.

There are those among the norl who speak of raiders several centuries ago operating out of the fabled Umberlee’s Blindfold. These raiders struck at one of the passing Calishite galleons and retrieved vast riches from its hold, including a magical crown that cursed the entire crew and turned them to sail the waters forever until the true owner of the crown came to find it.

The Ginyak Habit: As trade between Callidyrr and mainland Faerun increases, so too does the risk of negative influences from those societies also coming to the ffolk. Ginyak Weed is one such negative influence, a herb from Calimshan that when smoked or chewed causes euphoric feelings in the consumer, once the effects of the drug have worn off it also increases the consumers appetites for food and lust.

Ginyak Dens (empty shacks usually located along the docks, have begun to appear in every port in Callidyrr, and at least 5% of the population in those settlements is addicted to the weed.

The Shadow Hunt: A great skeletal stag has been seen in the Wildwoods region of the Dernall Forest, many attribute these sightings to a rise in undead and evil cults that have struck the Island of Alaron.

The most learned of sages have linked these sightings with legends of the early ffolk that speak of a phenomenon known as the Shadowhunt. This macabre procession of ghostly animals led by a gaunt stag wind their way around the edges of the woodlands, all who gaze upon them are compelled to join the Dance of the Shadowhunt, those who do follow the Shadowhunt until it disappears beneath the boughs of the trees and then vanish forever.

Locals believe the Shadowhunt feast upon the flesh of those joining the dance, for pieces of skin of the victims have been found in the forests. Druids and the llewyrr pose an alternate ending for the dancers, that they transform into the animals of the Shadowhunt, bursting in new form out of their skin. The animals of the Shadowhunt seem to gradually fade into nothingness over the years, for each sighting of the Shadowhunt always identifies new creatures.

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