Isle of Gwynneth

Overview

The Isle of Gwynneth is the largest of the Moonshae Isles, filled with swamps, valleys, forests, plains, mountains, and all the wondrous variety of the natural world. Gwynneth is home to nations of the ffolk, norl, llewyrr, dwarves, and even fey creatures from other realms, but it is a wild an enchanted land far from the civilised places of Faerun.

Timeline

  • c. -9800 DR: Illefarni elves from the Llewyrr Wood escape the ghettos of Aryvandaar, steal a flotilla of ships (known later as the Lost Fleet of Illefarn) and sail west searching for the fabled Green Isle of the Fair Folk.
  • Aryvandaar High Mages call forth a great storm in the Trackless Sea filled with monsters of the deep to sink the fleeing Illefarni fleet.
  • More than half the Lost Fleet of Illefarn is wrecked in the storm (mostly the ships held by the sunrise elves), and the remnants are scattered for hundreds of miles across the Trackless Sea. Surviving sunrise elves clinging to debris wash up on the shores of the Isle of Gwynneth.
  • c. -9000 DR: Homeless survivors of Aryvandaar fleeing reprisals from their conquerors land on the northeastern shores of Gwynneth and establish the realm of Loresstlar (Winter’s Garden).
  • 140 DR: Year of the Executioner: The Shyffolk tribe of talfir flee mainland Faerun and persecution at the hands of the Empire of Ebenfar and land on the Isle of Gwynneth on the shore of Kingsbay.
  • 144 DR: Year of the Fear and Flame: The Shyffolk of Gwynneth war with elves from the forest of Loresstlar, Chief Thailyr is slain in the hostilities.
  • 149 DR: Year of the Dwarf: Deric pen Thailyr is voted Chief of the Shyffolk.
  • 154 DR: Year of the Jealous Hag: Laran Kaminas of Synnoria and Chief Deric of the Shyffolk establish a peace agreement at the capital of Chysalis.
  • 161 DR: Year of the Hangman’s Noose: Laran Kaminas closes Synnoria using powerful magic.
  • 171 DR: Year of Unkind Weapons: Chief Deric dies, his chosen heir is disputed by the clans and civil war erupts among the Shyffolk.
  • 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: 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 Koart of the 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.
  • 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.
  • 295 DR: Year of the Wrathful Revenant: Crown Prince Ketheryll Cymrych hunts and captures King Durnall and Queen Morgan Ryker of the Kingdom of Corwell.
  • 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 Kingdom of Corwell is officially founded along with the settlement of Corwell atop Corlyth’s Hill.
  • 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.
  • 475 DR: Year of the Maiden’s Tears: Herene, princess of Synnoria is forced to marry Ridinlahr.
  • 531 DR: Year of the Lily: The Kingdom of Corwell formally announces settlement of the Isle of Shaina (Modern: Isle of Flamsterd).
  • 548 DR: Year of the Eloene Bridge: Laranla Herene of Synnoria vanishes in the Myrloch Vale and is finally pronounced dead after a decade of searching and scrying.
  • 561 DR: Year of the Three Setting Suns: Laran Kaminas of Synnoria departs for Evermeet. Ridinlahr is pronounced lord of Synnoria.
  • 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 Helmuddson forces the ffolk kings of Callidyrr, Corwell, and Moray to relinquish any claim to territory on the northern Moonshae Isles.
  • 964 DR: Year of the Pickled Privateer: Belshareen; a maiden of the ffolk, marries Ridinlahr; a lord of the llewyrr. Lord Ridinlahr crafts a harp for his new bride, which in time becomes known as the Lost Harp of Belshareen.
  • 970 DR: Year of the Child’s Trinket: Angus MacOdrum arrives in Cantrev Horstall with 12 infant children of unusual appearance (pointed ears and greenish-grey tinged skin).
  • 986 DR: Year of the Dusken Ride: Belshareen, lady of Synnoria dies of a wasting disease. Lord Ridinlahr of Synnoria journeys to Evermeet. Rule of Synnoria passes to the high priest of Corellon Larethian.
  • 1108 DR: Year of the Open Chest: The Witches of Wynders Moor locate the Castle of Skulls and discover the Cauldron of Dhuum in its dungeons. Drathak are seen wandering the wilds of Corwell in ever greater numbers.
  • 1109 DR: Year of the Lover’s Eyes: King Serdilln Kendrick hires a band of wandering mages now known as the Corwell Cabal to combat the Witches of Wynder’s Moor. The Corwell Cabal enter the Castle of Skulls and are never heard from again.
  • 1116 DR: Year of the Empty Scabbard: The drathak are destroyed as the Llyrath Forest comes alive and wipes out most of the horde.
  • 1137 DR: Year of the Falling Menhir: The elves of Loresstlar abandon the forest of Winter’s Glen and its settlements, including the port of Kadish.
  • 1266 DR: Year of the Leaping Frog: Flamsterd buys the largely deserted island that now bears his name from King Cerestann Hugh of Corwell.
  • 1304 DR: Year of the Stag: Cantrev Greystone is resettled by Martoil Moray, of the House of Kimball, with permission from the King of Corwell.

Life and Society

Corwell

Nobility

Like most traditional ffolk nations, the Kingdom of Corwell grants special place within society to the clans. These clans are the traditional tribal units that support (and choose) the chieftain of the tribe (in this case the Shyffolk tribe). With the introduction of a hereditary monarchy to the Shyffolk, the clans now provide their support to the king in return for their special status in society.

Unlike the Isle of Moray, Gwynneth has far more usable and useful lands than there are people, so it is not uncommon for normal citizens to hold lands and yet be unaffiliated with a clan. The clans however, hold the best lands available (usually around the settlements) and so the richest individuals are those who join one of the clans.

In Corwell, after a millennia of growth and stability, each clan owns much of the land in a single cantrev (with a few isolated holdings in other nearby cantrevs). The Kings of Corwell have long since rewarded loyal clans with the title of Laird to govern a settlement in his name, enforce the law, and collect the taxes. Those clans that have risen up against unpopular Kings may have their titles removed, but the lands belong to a clan (not the King) and the people are loyal to clan before King, so it is difficult to strip a clan of its power without resorting to warfare.

In the language of the ffolk the word for clan is Mac, members of a clan often use their clan name (with the Mac prefix) as a surname to distinguish themselves from others with the same name.

The clan itself is considered noble and granted special status, but only the clan elder and his immediate family gain the majority of the benefits; being allowed to attend the Clan Moot, access to all the resources of the clan, the power to enforce laws and collect taxes on behalf of the king. All other members of a clan are classed as commoners, but gain access to the protection of the clan, and the resources of the clan, and are able to work the best lands to provide for themselves and the clan.

MacDynnatt:

MacFeargus: Claims cantrev Kingsbay

MacKoart:

MacO’Malley:

MacSheahan:

MacOdrum: The MacOdrum are a clan of Talffolk descent, its founder having migrated to Gwynneth in the 10th Century Dalereckoning, fleeing enemies from Callidyrr. The MacOdrum have traces of aquatic elven ancestry which allows them to survive submerged in water for several hours, and has given them a trading advantage over other clans (they acquire many exotic goods from the elves of Tir faoi Thoinn).

The MacOdrum control Cantrev Horstall, attempting to grow a thriving trading port to rival Cantrev Kingsbay. The exotic goods from Tir faoi Thoinn have attracted much interest from passing ships of Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, and Amn, but now there is a problem of foreign criminal gangs competing with clan MacOdrum’s control over Baillen Horstall.

MacMartoil:

MacPontys: Clan MacPontys claims the lands of Cantrev Pontswain. They are a relatively recent clan, formed just prior to the founding of the Kingdom of Corwell in 296 DR. They are the last remnants of the MacRyker clan that fled the hunts of High Prince Ketheryll to the farthest reaches of Gwynneth and formed their own community apart from the rest of the Shyffolk (until the new kings of Corwell spread their lands further west).

The MacPontys are among the proudest and richest clans of Corwell, for they have a claim to royalty due to their descent from the Ryker Dynasty. The Lairds of Pontswain are always looking for an excuse to limit the power of the King and push their own claims to the throne.

MacRyker:

MacHugh:

Lairds: There are a total of 31 cantrevs in Corwell, each of which is ruled by a Laird, and in almost every case the title of Laird is awarded to a member of the clan that claims most territory in the town (clans being relatively stable, rarely changing over the centuries, and a major power and supporter of the Kings of Corwell.

Commoners

The Kingdom of Corwell has no concept of slavery, the clans occupy the position of nobility, everyone else is classed as common born. The commoners of Corwell cover the range of society from penniless, homeless beggars, to large landowners able to employ many people to work for him.

The common ffolk seek only to survive and prosper, they are not consumed by the greed of other peoples and so live in a comfortable dwelling (that they usually constructed themselves) that appears to blend into the surrounding geography. They work the fields or in another profession to acquire enough food for their family and to live a comfortable existence free of worry about future troubles.

Most ffolk spend their entire lives operating in this subsistence manner, hunting, farming, crafting, and trading. A common born ffolk of Corwell is permitted to claim and own any land that is not already owned by another. Generally a common born ffolk will choose land just outside clan territory to build upon, and over time these owners would be welcomed into a clan and the territory absorbed. This is a repeating cycle that has led to the growth of settlements (known as Baillen) all over Corwell in clusters of buildings along roads and coastline where trade is accessible.

Some common folk attempt to strike out on their own in the wilderness of Corwell, building a house and farm on isolated land to eke out a living. Still other common folk take up work in a large settlement providing a service to other inhabitants and relying upon the custom of others to pay for food and shelter, typically these ffolk rent their house and workplace from clans or royalty who own the land in these settlements.

Architecture

The ffolk of Corwell live simply within the bounty that nature provides, as they have done so with little change for a thousand years. Ffolk dwellins are typically constructed along and around banks, valleys, hills, riverbanks, and other natural avenues or geography that enhances shelter or travel.

The buildings are usually constructed using whatever natural resources are available in the surrounding area. Rocks and wood found on the floor or dug up during farming are used for to make a timber frame 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 Corwell is usually made from bundles of tightly wrapped straw and hay (in stark contrast to the slate and shingle roofs of Callidyrr).

Private dwellings are often constructed by individual families or as a clan collective. When a dwelling is abandoned a new family will often move in rather than construct a new home (although if it is on clan land then only members of the clan may inhabit it with clan permission). 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.

Customs

The ffolk of Corwell have many traditions and customs that derive from their own history (sometimes stretching back to a time before they came to the Moonshae Isles), and the collective histories of the dwarves, elves, firbolg, and halflings that occupied Gwynneth in eons past.

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 table of the clans or at the Lairds keep or even the King.

The bardic tradition stems from the legend of the Moonlight Dancers during the first war with Kazgoroth. These fabled musicians used their skill to weaken the Beast, when Kazgoroth reappeared the sacred instruments of the Moonlight Dancers reappeared and were used again, this time to help Cymrych Hugh slay Kazgoroth.

On the island of Alaron, Great Bards arose in homage to the warriors that fought Kazgoroth, these skilled musicians used their talents to retell the legends and epics of the ffolk in the courts of kings and nobles. These Great Bards were emulated throughout the growing ffolk kingdoms.

In the Kingdom of Corwell, the king appoints favoured bards named after the seasons; the Bard of Snows, the Bard of Sun, the Bard of Rains. There are many lesser bards throughout Corwell that ply the clan halls, the inns and taverns, and even the homes of ffolk with their talents in return for food, shelter and coin (if the talents warrant it).

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 Corwell 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.

Wayfires: Wherever the ffolk travel in the wilds, they light campfires during the night to warm and protect themselves from the darkness. While the campfire is lit anyone is welcome to join the wayfire without fear of attack from any of the other guests no matter their allegiance, race, or gender. At a wayfire all guests must share stories and food and it is traditional for any bards present to lead the wayfire in song.

To become a guest at a wayfire one must simply approach the camp speaking aloud his name with his hands held out with empty palms open and visible. It is highly taboo for any guest at the wayfire to attack another guest and almost all ffolk will obey this tradition (including the llewyrr and dwarves). The norl have no tradition of wayfires, but even they have learned over the centuries not to disrespect the tradition of the wayfire, for those who strike a fellow guest soon find themselves the victim of serious misfortune.

The ffolk of Corwell believe the tradition of the wayfire stems from King Durnhal and Queen Morgan’s meeting with the Guardian Corlyth, the wayfire supposedly kept Prince Ketheryll from harming the fleeing couple. Others believe that the harsh wilderness of the Moonshae Isles has led to the natural evolution of the wayfire pact to keep travellers safe in the wilds. However, there are too many instances of raiding norl Jarls disappearing on their return journey, or traitorous guests being devoured by a bear or being poisoned by spoiled fare shortly after betraying the wayfire pact, this leads many to believe that some hidden magic or creatures enforce the wayfire pact for their own agenda.

Economy

Corwell

The economy of Corwell is second only to the Kingdom of Callidyrr in the Moonshae Isles, but while Callidyrr relies upon trade from outside the Moonshae Isles (with merchant ships from Waterdeep, Amn, and Baldur’s Gate arriving regularly to trade), Corwell profits more from internal trade with the likes of Moray, Norland, Oman, Snowdown and Callidyrr.

Foreign merchants do sometimes visit Corwell, Calishites stopping at Moray sometimes stop at Caer Corwell hoping to acquire the exotic goods the Moonshae Isles are renowned for. Merchants from Amn, Waterdeep and (rarely) Baldur’s Gate sometimes stop at one of the Baillen on the Kingsbay on their way north or south.

Moray, Snowdown, and Callidyrr are major trading partners with Corwell, and the smaller trading companies of the ffolk stop almost every day for trade (thankfully the trade wars of the recent past have long since subsided). A few of the more established trading companies (like Greystone Trading) perform a circuit trade around the Sea of Moonshae stopping at each of the islands to trade goods and information.

Internally, Corwell’s economy relies upon the movement of goods between the eastern and western ends of the kingdom along the Corwell Road. Independent caravans move metal from east to west, food and furs in both directions, the common folk rely on these independent caravans, with isolated ffolk standing by the road to trade goods, and the Green Grove of each settlement is a thriving market at least once a week.

Exports

Metal: Corwell acquires enough iron, silver, and gold (through mining or trade with the dwarves of the Cambro Mountains) to meet internal needs with enough left over for a steady trade with other nearby islands or passing Calishite galleys.

Timber: The abundant and ancient pine forests of Corwell are one of the few reliable sources of ship masts, especially for the larger galleys of Calimshan and Amn. Amnian traders often stop at Cantrev Kingsbay to collect cut pine trees and deliver them to the shipyards of Orlumbor and Mintarn.

Furs: On Gwynneth the animals grow large and hairy (although not quite so large as the bjornyr of Norland or the beasts of Moray). The ffolk do a regular, but not excessive trade in furs with those interested parties (mostly the norl), making sure to only kill the oldest or sick animals (never cubs or mothers).

Weapons: Although not a warlike nation or people, the ffolk of Corwell are excellent weapon makers (a clan blacksmith is one of the most respected and valued members). Most weapons are made with the intention of trading them to other nations (or to replace those lost), but the ffolk are practical and will not trade weapons with the norl why they are at war or suffering persistent raids (usually during harsh winters).

Herbs: The Moonshae Isles, and Gwynneth in particular with its highly varied and strangely influenced ecosystem, is home to a number of plants and animals found nowhere else on Faerun. The most valuable of these is known as woodruff, grown on the moorlands of Gwynneth, which is used to fortify the uniquely flavoured springwine of the Thann family of Waterdeep.

Imports

Corwell is largely self sufficient, with the wealth of Gwynneth’s resources providing for the ffolk’s every need. Imports from the mainland usually take the form of exotic luxuries for the nobility to consume (the clans are the only ones with the resources enough to attract trade with foreign merchants).

Government

Corwell

Corwell is ruled by the Royal House of Kendrick as an independent monarchy.

In centuries past, before the kingdom of Corwell was founded, the Shyffolk were a collection of clans at times ruled by a single Cwyn (Chieftain). When Cymrych Hugh was declared High King of the Moonshae Isles, he jointly ruled the Talffolk and Shyffolk people, although he chose a chief to rule over the Shyffolk in his stead.

It wasn’t until 275 DR that the Shyffolk were allowed to appoint themselves a King, a power bestowed by High King Carrig I in return for considerable military support of the Shyffolk clans in his campaigns against the norl invading the northern Moonshae Islands.

The King of the Shyffolk was elected in the same manner as a Cwyn, at a gathering of the clans in Cantrev Kingsbay, and the office of King was treated the same as the Cwyn (the two title becoming synonymous for many years), but the Shyffolk now had additional powers as part of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.

The High King Gwylloch the Mad ended the Ryker Dynasty of the Royal House of Kendrick in 295 DR by capturing and slaying the reigning King Durnhal and Queen Morgan and almost every other family member of the MacRyker.

Following High King Gwylloch’s death in 299 DR, King Rhydian Hugh was crowned atop Corlyth’s Hill and founded the Kingdom of Corwell (although he immediately swore fealty to High King Mairkys). With the advent of the Hugh Dynasty, the title of King of Corwell has been a hereditary title passed down the paternal line (with a few necessary exceptions) into the current King Bryon Hugh.

Following the death of High King Tanner and the loss of the last of the Regalia of the High King, and the signing of the Treaty of Lillemaron, the Kingdom of Corwell informally seceded from the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles and has ruled itself completely independently ever since.

King: The King is the absolute ruler of the Kingdom of Corwell, he has ultimate ownership of all the land of Corwell, the power to make and unmake all laws, the power of appointment (allowing him to nominate his heir and grant titles to loyal retainers), and many more.

The Kings of Corwell have traditionally ruled with a light touch, ceding the power to collect taxes and enforce laws to the clans which hold the majority of military might in Corwell and thus need to be kept loyal and happy with power and titles.

Cwyn: The Chieftain of the Shyffolk is an antiquated titled rarely used in modern times, having been replaced by the more prestigious title of King. It is traditional for a Cwyn to be nominated as regent by the King (or if he is unable, by the gathering of clans) to rule in his stead while he is absent or incapacitated. This tradition stems from High King Cymrych Hugh naming Christoper Ryker as Cwyn to govern the Shyffolk while he ruled the Kingdom of Callidyrr and the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.

Clans: Like most Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Corwell is too large for the King to govern entirely by himself. As a result he appoints loyal clan elders as Lairds to deal with the daily running of the Cantrevs (collecting taxes, enforcing law and order, dealing with disputes, etc) so he can focus on matters affecting the entire Kingdom.

Law and Order

The ffolk society of Corwell is clan based with a semi-feudal nobility. The basis for Corwell’s laws is termed the “Natural Law” and roughly corresponds to the right of every living being to live in peace and freedom without fear of persecution from the lords of men.

Outside of the Natural Law is the King’s Law, which is derived from the more ancient High King’s Law.

King’s Law: The King’s Law deals with specific crimes against the Kingdom of Corwell. In all cases punishment is decided by the local Laird, clan elder, or the King (if such a case warrants it – usually being a crime against the King or clans – or the clans cannot decide).

  • No man shall be deprived of life, wealth, or property without an order from the King.
  • No man shall act against his leal lord, clan, or King without support from someone from the higher order (listed in order of superiority).
  • No man may claim the land of another without support from his leal lord, clan, or King (listed in order of superiority).
  • A King must be eligible according to his birth, age, and character. Where no eligible King is available a Gathering of Clans must reach consensus to appoint a new King.

The High King’s Law is similar to the King’s Law, except that it gives the High King ultimate power over other Kings, clans and leal lord’s.

Clan Law: Where disputes arise between individuals, it is up to the clans to maintain law and order within their territory, whether it involves clan members or not (where disputes exist outside of any clan territory then it is typically settled by some agreed upon contest or taken to the nearest clan to resolve).

Clan Law is not codified and each case is decided individually. Many such disputes are covered by the King’s Law, and the clans decide all punishments in any case (unless they wish to defer judgement to the King). All disputes are heard by a council (appointed by a Clan Elder), which listens to all the evidence and may call upon any individual to attend such a council.

Chieftains of the Shyffolk

The ffolk of the Isle of Gwynneth belonged to the Shyffolk tribe and fiercely defended the traditional ways of their tribe. Soon after arriving on the island, the gathering of clans elected Gwynneth Randol as the first Chieftain of the Shyffolk.

The title of Chieftain then passed to Gwynneth’s consort and then her son in turn until the timely death of the aged Chief Deric who failed to favour a successor. Old rivalries among the clans were reignited and soon the ffolk of Gwynneth were at war with one another.

The wars ended when Callidyrr Hugh; Chieftain of the Talffolk, marched from his steading in Cantrev Caervu with the full might of the MacHugh at his command (including many Talffolk warriors from Alaron), he defeated the MacRyker and the MacPontys (some of the largest clans of the Shyffolk) and was soon elected Chieftain of the Shyffolk as well.

The declaration of Callidyrr Hugh as King of the ffolk did not endear himself to his Shyffolk subjects on Gwynneth, many did not wish to see themselves ruled by a Chieftain from another island.

The rumbles of rebellion were calmed however when Cymrych Hugh led the warriors of Gwynneth and Alaron to victory against Kazgoroth and founded the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles. While High King Cymrych Hugh ruled from the Kingdom of Callidyrr (named in honour of his father), he appointed the well respected Christopher Ryker as Chieftain of the Shyffolk to rule Gwynneth as his regent.

While the clans were not pleased about having their Chieftain appointed without their say, they were happier that they were ruled directly by one of their own. The rule of the Chieftains of Gwynneth continued until 275 DR, when the High King of Callidyrr granted the Shyffolk the power to appoint their own King.

The Royal House of Kendrick

The Royal House of Kendrick began first with the appointment of King Chorden Ryker of Gwynneth. The Ryker Dynasty ruled over the Shyffolk of Gwynneth as King until 295 DR when the mad High King Gwylloch moved his court to Gwynneth and the newly constructed Caer Cymrych, before setting Prince Ketheryll to hunt down and capture King Durnal Ryker and the rest of the Ryker Dynasty, and then slaughtering them all in the fighting pits.

For 4 years the Shyffolk of Gwynneth were without a King, and ruled directly by the increasingly paranoid and cruel High King Gwylloch who inflicted untold misery upon his subjects. Then suddenly in 299 DR Caer Cymrych (now known as the Castle of Skulls), the High King, and his entire court all vanished without a trace.

The clans deliberated for three years over who to elect as King, and whether to elect a King (worrying about High King Markus, the son of the mad High King Gwylloch). Eventually it was decided that the elder of the MacHugh on Gwynneth would be elected King in a move to placate High King Markus, should he dislike the appointment of a new King of the Shyffolk.

King Rhydian Hugh spent the majority of 302 DR searching for a new capital for his kingdom, away from the east coast of Gwynneth which was feared for being too near to the coast of Callidyrr. Wandering west he found Corlyth’s Hill, where King Durnhal Ryker was said to have found sanctuary for a time from Prince Ketheryll.

King Rhydian Hugh established the capital of his new kingdom at the place now known as Cor’s Well and declared the Kingdom of Corwell. His first act as king was to change the title to a hereditary position (arguing to the clans that it would help prevent the High King’s from interfering) and to renew his oath of fealty, in person, to High King Markus and the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles.

Since that time the Kingdom of Corwell has been ruled by the Hugh Dynasty of the Royal House of Kendrick. Like all other kingdoms of the Moonshae Isles, Corwell declared itself independent of the rule of the High King of the Moonshae Isles in 944 DR following High King Tanner I death and King Torgred Helmuddson of Gnarhelm amassing an army and forcing all kings of the ffolk to cede any claim to the islands of the norl.

NameBirthReignNotes
Chieftains of the Shyffolk
Cwyn Gwynneth Randol109 DR140 – 141 DRSecond daughter of Archduke Markus Randol of Ebenfar; led refugees across the Sea of Swords establishing first human settlement on the Moonshae Islands; died of consumption.
Cwyn Thailyr Anbryl115 DR141 – 144 DRConsort of Gwynneth. Died in combat with llewyrr
Cwyn Deric pen Thailyr Randol130 DR149 – 171 DRSon of Thailyr and Gwynneth. Fell in love with princess Herene of Synnoria. Died childless of natural causes.
Cwyn Callidyrr Hugh?177 – 193 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
Cwyn Christoper Ryker174 DR201 – 250 DRChampion of Cymrych Hugh. Appointed Chieftain of the Shyffolk in 201 DR. Died of old age 256 DR.
Cwyn Cedric Ryker198 DR250 – 272 DRSon of Cwyn Christopher Ryker.
The Ryker Dynasty
King Chorden Ryker224 DR275 – 289 DRElected King of the Shyffolk by the gathering of the clans. Died in mysterious circumstances, High King Gwylloch moves the capital of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles to Gwynneth and blocks the appointment of a new King of the Shyffolk.
King Durnhal Ryker259 DR293 – 295 DRThe Shyffolk clans appoint King Durnhal Ryker in spite of High King Gwylloch. King Durnhal and Queen Morgan spent their entire reign on the run from Prince Ketheryll. Slain by Prince Ketheryll in the dungeons of Caer Cymrych.

Defence

Corwell

The Kingdom of Corwell is similar to most feudal kingdoms in that it does not have a standing army or other defence force. The King maintains a household of trained warriors to defend Caer Corwell and display his military prowess, but these few score warriors are not enough to defend the entire kingdom or even an entire Cantrev.

Individual Cantrevs are defended by a militia with variable levels of training and equipment as determined by the reigning Laird. Cantrev militia are almost exclusively volunteers with little actual combat experience who are looking to supplement their income with the meagre wages offered for joining.

The clans hold the true military power in Corwell, with each clan maintaining a solid core of well trained and equipped warriors (known as the Fiern), that are used to enforce the clan’s claim upon a territory and defend it from threats (such as wandering monsters or occasionally other clans or invading norl).

Each clan typically has between 10 and 100 fiern at its disposal, but in times of crisis that number can triple as every able-bodied adult is given a weapon and shield in defence of the clan or the Kingdom.

Geography

Kingdom of Corwell: The Kingdom of Corwell dominates the southern portion of Gwynneth. It is a traditionalist ffolk nation, largely unaffected by the foreign merchants that have transformed Callidyrr.

Corwell is marked by a series of small Baillen consisting of sunken mud huts and wooden houses that line the Corwell Road and the coastline. Fewer than a thousand people live in most of these settlements, except for a few of the larger coastal towns.

The Clyft: Confused by speakers of the Common tongue with the Roaring Cliffs to the south, the Clyft is the strip of grass land between Llyrath Forest and the mountains surrounding the Myrloch Vale as far east as Cantrev O’Malley and as far west as the Kimball Moor. It means wound in the language of the ffolk and is an ancient hint at the devastating events that occurred here long before the ffolk arrived in the Moonshae Isles.

Cantrev Corwell (City, 3,000): The capital of the Kingdom of Corwell is also called Corwell, named after the nearby hill and supposed Moonwell that once existed here. Corlyth is believed to be the Guardian of the Moonwell, as he was the sole inhabitant living here when the Shyffolk first arrived..

Corlyth has been described as as a diminutive (about the size of a halfling), mute, toothless beggar who was dwelling all alone in the wilderness around the lone hill. It is said that he offered sanctuary to King Durnhal and Queen Morgan while they were on the run. When King Rhydian Hugh arrived in 302 DR, it is said that Corlyth offered him a place to stay in his sacred grove (which is still yet to be rediscovered) and then impishly left him to look after the hill. Thus the settlement and Kingdom of Corwell was founded.

Within a few scant decades a wooden tower was built atop Corlyth’s Tor, within 2 centuries this was replaced with a stone castle known as Caer Corwell. Baillen Corwell has grown around the natural harbour at the mouth of the Firth of Corwell and spread along the trail toward Caer Corwell which lies a half days march to the south.

Baillen Corwell is home to some 3,000 ffolk, while Caer Corwell houses around 300 individuals. The surrounding countryside included, around 5,000 people consider themselves residents of Corwell’s capital.

Corwell Road: Known locally as the Clayth (Scar), this wide road made of huge white slabs looks misplaced among the wild countryside, as though it belongs to a more advanced and less rustic nation. It was constructed during the zenith of ffolk civilisation and the Regency of Cedrych Koart.

The road has lasted well through the ages, with the ffolk taking care to repair cracks in the great slabs (using a mortar mixed with ground seashells) so that it has degraded little during the past 1000 years. Only towards Cantrev Pontswain has the road turned into little more than a cobbled track; a legacy of the Witch Winters.

The Glenntir: The Glenntir marks the original lands of the ffolk in the Moonshaes, covering the eastern shore of Gwynneth from Cantrev Kingsbay to Cantrev Caervu.

The Glenntir is among the richest lands of the Kingdom of Corwell, profiting greatly from its proximity to the Kingdom of Callidyrr, and the merchant ships from great cities on the Sword Coast that occasionally stop at Kingsbay on their way south.

Cantrev Horstall: One of the richer eastern cantrevs of the Kingdom of Corwell, it profits greatly from trade with Callidyrr, Snowdown, and the traders from Amn, Baldur’s Gate, and Waterdeep that come to the Moonshae Isles. Cantrev Horstall competes with Cantrev Kingsbay to receive the lion’s share of trade that reaches Corwell, but as a consequence has a growing number of criminal gangs from mainland Faerun trying to profit from legitimate trade and run a blackmarket trade.

The Laird of Cantrev Horstall is the chief of the MacOdrum, a huge, flabby man (as are the rest of his kin) with pointed ears, a penchant for swimming naked in the sea, and the constitution of a rothe. The MacOdrum own most of the lands in Cantrev Horstall and the southeastern coast of Corwell.

Cantrev Kingsbay (Town, 2,000): Supposedly the original landing site of the Shyffolk on Gwynneth and the traditional location for the Gathering of Clans, Cantrev Kingsbay is second only to Cantrev Corwell in wealth.

Shunned by the Kings of Corwell after the actions of High King Gwylloch the Mad, Cantrev Kingsbay suffered some loss of prestige, but has benefited greatly in recent centuries from the increased trade coming from Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate via Caer Callidyrr.

Baillen Kingsbay is a trade and fishing town split into a northbay and southbay. The southbay is a number of residences clustered along the coast of a shallow inlet that houses several dozen privately owned coracles used by the locals to fish the waters of the Strait of Alaron. There are many smokehouses among the private residences, which add to the strong odour of the town.

South of the town the land quickly rises to a rocky bluff, but a mile northwards the coast opens onto a larger bay (the Kingsbay) where docks service the increasing number of merchant ships that stop here on their way to Waterdeep or Baldur’s Gate. The docks have grown rapidly in size in the last century and are now able to handle some of the larger trading vessels and around them the newer northbay has grown to cater to the merchants and the trade they bring.

Northbay is home to a number of caravan companies that trade with the merchant ships and then travel along the Corwell Road plying their wares. The northbay has several inns, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other craftsmen that try to benefit from the passing trade, it is also home to a number of illicit organisations common to mainland Faerun such as thieve’s guilds like the Broken Ring.

Cantrev Kingsbay is the gateway to the rest of Corwell for those seeking to establish a base of operations. Ffolk in the rest of Corwell mistrust foreigners and do not normally allow them to settle on their land, but in Cantrev Kingsbay the local Laird has been corrupted by the wealth and luxuries of the mainland and will happily sell steadings to anyone with the cash.

Cantrev Kingsbay is largely owned by the MacFeargus whose elder governs the town and is happily growing rich from the trade taxes he collects in the king’s name. The MacFeargus are slowly losing territory in northbay to these foreign traders while their elders spend away the clan fortune on luxuries.

Cantrev Thorndyke: A mountain cantrev that concentrates upon mining copper, iron, and coal. Claimed by the MacGalwin. Laird Galric rules here, he drinks too much but is otherwise a pleasant and congenial man.

Llyrath Forest: This forest once covered the entire southern coast of Gwynneth and was a home to many of the llewyrr (before their retreat to the Myrloch Vale). Today it stretches in a thin band 150 miles along the southern coast of Gwynneth from the Glenntir to the Tredorl.

Three thousand years ago Kazgoroth and his minions felled much of the forest to separate the llewyrr living here from the rest of Synnoria. Kazgoroth’s influence turned much of the forest’s denizens into rampaging beasts, including the trees themselves. Since that time it is believed that no humanoids (even the llewyrr) dare live beneath the boughs of the Llyrath Forest, only the druids may stay in this dangerous land for any length of time.

After Kazgoroth’s first defeat, the strip of land known as the Clyft was left between Llyrath Forest and Myrloch Vale, the forest never recovered its former boundaries even after millennia of careful tending by the llewyrr, and the ffolk were able to claim this land when they arrived.

Llyrath Forest in the west is home to a host of lethally vicious animals and fell creatures, even the normally harmless (to a human) weasel or hedgehog will attack a human on sight without fear of pain or death. Those woodsmen brave enough to venture into the forest speak of regions where even the trees seem to attack intruders, with roots tripping even the most careful of travellers and branches that fall or swing from nowhere to strike with force.

The eastern branch of Llyrath Forest; stretching from the ridge of Dafyd Heights, is much less hostile to intruders but still full of unusual and mysterious fey creatures that make travelling difficult.

Castle of Skulls: This mythical castle was at one time to be the new capital of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles when High King Gwylloch declared he would build a shining new castle; Caer Cymrych (in honour of the first High King) in the middle of Llyrath Forest on the Isle of Gwynneth.

It was apparent from early in High King Gwylloch’s reign that he was mentally unstable, when he chose to move the capital from Callidyrr to Gwynneth it alienated many of his courtiers, when he chose to build the castle using the skulls of slain norl it scared those in his service.

As his reign progressed, Gwylloch began to exert his authority over the people of Gwynneth, clashing with the King of the Shyffolk over issues of sovereignty. Ultimately High King Gwylloch declared King Durnhal and Queen Morgan traitors and had his son; crown prince Ketheryll, hunt down every member of the Ryker Dynasty and prince them to the Castle of Skulls (as it became known among the ffolk), where they fought in the pits for the High King’s pleasure.

In 299 DR the Castle of Skulls, and all its inhabitants, vanished as mists descended upon the lands of the Shyffolk. It has been rediscovered many times over the centuries during the nights of the solstices, with most intruders slain by an unstoppable killer that wears the armour of crown prince Ketheryll.

Most recently the Castle of Skulls was discovered by the Witches of Wynders Moor, who discovered the fabled Cauldron of Dhuum in its depths and used it to unleash a horde of drathak upon the Kingdom of Corwell during the Witch Winters of 1108 DR to 1116 DR.

The Castle of Skulls, is as the name suggests a large castle built in the ancient ffolk style (low walls and squat towers all made of wood), that appears to be covered with the skulls of thousands of slain norl and ffolk.

The upper levels are home to all manner of strange beasts that wandered into the castle during one of its appearances on the Material Plane (attracted to the magic of the place) and became trapped within. These denizens include such horrors as a basilisk and a green dragon. It is rumoured that the castle has extensive dungeons which were used as a gladiator arena known as the Circus Bizarre. The Castle’s appears at various locations in the Llyrath Forest, but only during nights of the Winter and Summer Solstice when the moon is full.

Manann’s Scar: Named for the lost son of a long ago Laird of Cantrev Pontswain, this quagmire of shifting sandy soil is famous for the red quicksand bogs that sucks down those unlucky enough to stumble into them.

Manann is believed to have perished in the quicksand following the Witch Winters after he attempted to plunder the Castle of Skulls and fled that ruin with a chest full of treasure and 3 men at arms (he originally entered the castle with 14). Only one warrior returned to Cantrev Pontswain and he told of the chest and the Laird’s son being sucked into a bog.

Those attempting to search Manann’s Scar for the treasure have found a number of the bogs are home to creatures akin to mudmen that malevolently attack any who venture near and attempt to drag them into the quicksand.

Swynniet: This northern edge to Corwell’s territory, is north of the Glenntir (separated by a spur of the Cambro Mountains) abutting the Forest of Winterglen, its name means Mystical Gateway, for it is known to be one of the ways into the Myrloch Vale (and certainly the easiest to access).

This land is as separate from the rest of Corwell as the Tredorl, isolated from land travel by a spur of the Cambro Mountains, and its people have more in common with the talffolk of Alaron. This region is the ancestral home of Cymrych Hugh, his branch of the MacHugh having travelled here from Alaron early in the history of the ffolk.

The lands of Swynniet are very much frontier when compared to the rest of Corwell, they have to deal with regular excursions of creatures from the Myrloch Vale (including savage firbolg when they are marauding), and malicious fey from Winterglen.

Baillen Dultann: .

Cambro Mountains: The Cambro Mountains are the last remnant of the dwarven empire of Morrune (meaning High Home), the successor to the vast underground dwarven empire of Ahrrune (Dwarvenhome).

The dwarves of House Cambrent had long worked secured surface holds to rear sheep and goats while they worked the rich lodes of iron and mithril below. When Ahrrune was conquered by invading duergar, the dwarves of House Cambrent sealed all entrances to the Underdark and secured their surface lands. Over time these holds prospered to form their own empire centred on the mountains around the Myrloch Vale, until Kazgoroth returned and destroyed all but one dwarfhold (Highhome)

Compared to the other mountains of the Myrloch Vale, the Cambro Mountains are relatively safe to traverse, and are home to a variety of scrub grass, bushes, pines, and various animal species. This safety has been paid for by countless dwarven lives, and the dwarves do not take kindly to travellers that despoil their home or their herds. The dwarves of Highhome regularly patrol the mountains in groups of 20 (expecting marauding firbolg), and will attack aggressive or careless groups, but will hide from those who do not take more than a single animal (and don’t start fires or damage the land).

Highhome: This isolated dwarven hold is the last remaining stronghold of dwarven power on Gwynneth. The dwarves once had a vast empire spanning both the surface and Underdark of the Moonshae Isles, but wars with firbolg, duergar, and drathak have reduced the dwarves to this last settlement.

Clan Rustfire lives in Highhome.

Darkhorn Castle: The early ffolk that came to Gwynneth encountered a tower here inhabited by a powerful wizard named Melvair Darkhorn, known as Darkhorn in reference to the Horned Grove nearby.

Melvair quickly enslaved the nearby ffolk and used them to carve out a kingdom for himself, expanding his tower into a castle. In the process Melvair waged war with the Shyffolk to the south and then incurred the wrath of the elves of Loresstlar with his reckless expansion. The elves used ancient magics to call the forces of nature to grow in and around the castle in a matter of hours, entombing Melvair and his loyal subjects in the cellars where they were hiding.

Battles between the elves of Winterglen and the ffolk continued for several years, resulting in the death of Thailyr, Chief of the Shyffolk and hundreds of other ffolk.

The origins of Melvair Darkhorn are a mystery, the ffolk believe he was a druid turned to evil (despite history proving that impossible), others think he may have been a student of Flamsterd or an outcast of Ebenfar. His presence on the island prior to the ffolk is likely given his time to erect a tower, his knowledge of castle building far exceeded the engineering and magical skill of the ffolk and many other humans of that time. Clues to his origin may lie with the relics left behind and discovered centuries later, Netherese blast sceptres have been found amid the rubble and these are present nowhere else on the Moonshae Isles (except for the Korinn Archipelago).

The Horned Grove: This Greater Moonwell is marked by an unusual shrine in the centre of the well affixed with two large stone spurs atop it that resemble the horns of a rothe. The shrine and grove is often used by animals and creatures driven by primal instinct to finish their prey, dragging them from elsewhere to complete the kill.

Modern theologists (particularly those from Alaron and the mainland), attribute this shrine and its unusual activity to the god Malar. The llewyrr have a different explanation for the shrine, one of the faeree lords who chose not to retreat to the Feywild chose this site as his home, as he aged he became more bestial and primal in his urges and this influences the nature of those animals venturing within the confines of the grove. The ultimate fate of this faeree lord is unknown

Tredorl: The West Wold stretches west and south of Cantrev Pontswain from the Kimball Moor the Dwyvach Salt Flats. It is a land filled with boggy mires that until relatively recently; following the founding of Cantrev Corwell, prevented the exploration and settlement of this region.

The Tredorl is land claimed by the Kingdom of Corwell and its Lairds swear fealty to the Royal House of Kendrick, but the ffolk of Tredorl consider themselves apart from the kingdom, having relatively little interaction with others from Corwell. Those learned sages of the ffolk from Cantrev Wyngate suggest that their origins are those of a tribe distinct from the Shyffolk and Talffolk, and that they migrated to the Moonshae Isles before any other ffolk arrived.

Goewyn Wood: This woodland is relatively new to the isle of Gwynneth, having been originally planted by Cwyn Goewyn MacDernell of Cantrev Wyngate around 200 DR, around a copse of trees that housed one of the sacred Moonwells. The woodland has expanded massively in the 1,000 years since its planting (with careful tending from the locals and the Druids), now covering almost the entire eastern shore of the Tredorl.

Compared to the rest of Gwynneth, the Goewyn Wood is relatively tame, with few signs of the enhanced aggression of creatures in other woodlands, and smaller numbers of large predators here (like wolves and bear). It is however home to a tribe of feral humanoids that appear to have moved in some 3 centuries ago (refugees from the destruction of Baillen Greystone at the jaws of the Grimmulf Pack). These humanoids resemble human and halfling people, but they possess animal characteristics such as fur, claws, and fangs, as well as enhanced senses of smell and hearing. Some sages attribute these changes to the wounds the Grimmulf Pack inflicted upon its victims.

As the border of the Goewyn Wood nears the Llyrath Forest, some of the more feral denizens of Llyrath are migrating into the neighbouring woodland. The unnatural aggression of these intruders appears to be spreading among the native animals and is causing concern among the locals, the druids are considering culling populations in the north of this wood to stop the spread.

Glade of the Cat Lord: Originally a small glade in the moors and mires of the Tredorl, it is home to one of the Greater Moonwells at its centre, within which dwells a large panther known as Shantu to the locals.

Shantu is wary of intruders but does not slay humanoids unless provoked. In recent years however he appears to be exhibiting signs of aggression to intruders, growling at those who come to close to the glade, and stalking individuals for miles after the leave until they are safely out of the wood, some ffolk of Cantrev Wyngate even report seeing a large cat on the nearby moors.

Kimball Moor: This stretch of moor covers 25 square miles along the western coast of the Tredorl, extending right up to the far western borders of Llyrath forest (thus preventing easy access to the rest of the Tredorl without crossing the moor or venturing through the equally dangerous Llyrath forest.

Kimball Moor was once known as Wynders Moor, so named for the harsh, windswept environment. It was renamed following the arrival of Martoil Moray of the Kimball Dynasty who refounded Cantrev Greystone. 

Kimball Moor has long had a fell reputation, being home to all manner of wild beasts and strange phenomena. It has been home to a coven of witches who terrorised the Kingdom of Corwell for a decade with a horde of unliving monsters in the 12th century Dalereckoning. The moor was also home to a pack of exceptionally large and aggressive moorhounds; known as the Grimmulf Pack, that appeared in the 10th century Dalereckoning and decimated the surrounding region (preventing the moors from being used to rear sheep), eventually the Grimmulf Pack grew to such size that it all but destroyed Baillen Greystone before it was likewise slaughtered by the Laird of Greystone and the survivors of the town.

Today the Grimmulf Pack is thought to be destroyed, as are the witches of Wynders Moor and their drathak horde. The ffolk of Cantrev Greystone are using the moor once again for sheep grazing, but repeated disappearances of livestock and shepherds points to something malevolent on the moor.

Myrloch Vale: This mystical vale is surrounded on all sides by steep mountains and is thought by the ffolk, norl, and halflings to be almost mythical in nature, with many scarcely believing it actually exists and the rest are too afraid of the magic within the vale to venture in search of it.

The Myrloch Vale is said to be home to a mystical city of the elves that rests upon an island in the middle of the Myrloch (a great lake in the centre of the vale) that can only be found when the moon is full..

As well as the llewyrr elves, the Myrloch Vale is home to many other wondrous creatures, the Avalorne horses; a breed of swift and strong white horses found nowhere else in Faerun, a powerful unicorn known as Kamerynn, tiny winged serpents known as Faeree Dragons, and many others. Most famously the Myrloch Vale is said to be home to the largest and most sacred Moonwell on the Moonshae Isles.

Cloven Stone Grove: This sacred grove holds no Moonwell but is no less sacred to the llewyrr for it marks the entrance to Synnoria through hidden mountain passes veiled by magic. The Grove contains a large monolith stone cracked down the middle through some unknown force and moved apart by the passage of time until a person can stand between the two upright halves.

The Cloven Stone Grove is part of the portal network known as the Alamtine Trail, and all trails on other islands lead to this terminus which remains outside the borders of Synnoria and so does not grant users of the portal access to the hidden realm of the llewyrr.

After a millennia, the magic of the portals are beginning to fail and those walking backwards through the Cloven Stone will be transported to the Bald Crown; a grove just south of Caer Callidyrr that formed the start of the Alamtine Trail on the Isle of Alaron.

Fens of the Fallon: This swampland surrounds the Darkwell and has been slowly growing for millennia since the Darkwell’s formation, limited only by the druids and the llewyrr. Everything within the Fens grows at an accelerated rate and seems unnaturally aggressive; animals stalk intruders and even the plant life seems to actively choke the life out of other plants as it grows.

The Fens are avoided by the druids and the elves who find themselves suffering from a strange illness that saps the strength and causes extended bouts of lethargy that eventually lead to those remaining here long term becoming comatose.

The Big Cave: This large stone fortification is built into the northern side of the Highlands directly abutting the mountains. It is an ancient, if unimaginative building of giant sized proportions that is reminiscent of the simple but sturdy construction common to the lost empire of firbolg on the Moonshae Isles.

Legends say that this fortress was built by the firbolg of the Myrloch Vale to guard against a lingering evil trapped in the mountains. Some sages speculate that the Beast Kazgoroth and the Darkwell are the evil spoken of in legend, but others dispute this claim saying that Kazgoroth was not slain during the first conflict and the Darkwell is not located in the mountains, furthermore the fortress does not appear to be as old as the structures on Oman and Moray (nor as grand) and so may be less than a thousand years old. There are elvish accounts of dragons battling many times in this region and of one mountain collapse that revealed a previously hidden treasure hoard.

The Big Cave has repeatedly been occupied by gangs of savage firbolg who are evicted time and again by dwarves, elves, other firbolg and occasionally even the ffolk. Recently a large band savage firbolg have moved in and are using it as a base to mine the Highlands for a strange blue-black mineral that they are dumping into the Darkwell to accelerate its pollution of the surrounding area.

The Darkwell: Since long before humans ever arrived on the Moonshae Isles, this Moonwell was the largest and wildest of the Moonwells. It is said that in the long distant past the dwarves, elves, fey, giants, and halflings all banded together to defeat Kazgoroth. The final battle of that conflict was fought in the Myrloch Vale, and as the lunar-harpists and their defenders gather around to destroy the Beast he leapt into the White Well and forever corrupted it into the Darkwell.

The Darkwell is, as its name suggests, a Corrupted Moonwell with a pool of water as black as midnight. Everything around the Darkwell is thickly overgrown with vines, fungi, algae, and weeds, while the pool itself is alive with insect and amphibian life, this combination gives it a foul aroma and slimy appearance.

Those few creatures that dare to dwell near the Darkwell are particularly ferocious, and the druids of the Moonshaes (as well as the llewyrr) have long given up on trying to tame this region, known as the Fens of the Fallon.

Myrloch: The largest lake, for which the vale is named, dominates the southern half of this region. It is a large freshwater lake whose waters remain cold and crystal clear all year round.

Floating on the lake are small manufactured islands (known as crannogs) that are home to shrines dedicated to a fey spirit known only as the Water Spirit (and which mainland theologists claim represents Eldath). The architecture and construction of these crannogs suggest that they were made by the norl many thousands of years ago (predating their most recent arrival on the Moonshae Isles around 200 DR).

The Shrouded Lands: This band of shoreline covers the western edge of the Myrloch Vale beyond the mountains that form its border. They are covered in dense fog most of the year round as mist rolls in from the Trackless Sea and settles among the beaches and bogs that cover this region.

Elyssyrr: Elyssyrr is one of the ghost towns of the Shrouded Lands, always seemingly abandoned or filled with corpses, yet the buildings remain well maintained through the centuries. Visitors are unwelcome and quickly vanish never to be seen again.

Fenton: Fenton is one of the ghost towns of the Shrouded Lands, passing sailors report the likes of Fenton and Elyssyrr are completely deserted and rotting corpses dot the shore near these settlements. Those who attempt to despoil or claim the land for themselves soon disappear.

Despite the absence of inhabitants, these settlements seem well maintained and have persisted for centuries. Rumours imply that there are people who live in the settlements and they do not like visitors, certain traders seem to have a rapport with these isolationists and anchor off shore occasionally.

Meirig Peatlands: This peat bog covers a large swathe of the Shrouded Lands making all but the shoreline uninhabitable for fear of the creeping vines that choke the life out of the unwary and the highly acidic marsh that dissolves a travellers boots if they venture too far inland.

The Highlands: This mountain range rises almost ten thousand feet above sea level, bordering the southern edge of the Myrloch Vale and the northern border of the Kingdom of Corwell, it stands as a defence for the Myrloch Vale against winds from the Trackless Sea.

There are large numbers of trolls in this mountain region, leading experts to suggest a link to the Underdark (perhaps an old dwarfhold of Highhome) may exist here. The trolls are a nuisance to the Kingdom of Corwell and the fey of the Myrloch Vale, but their numbers are kept from becoming overwhelming by the Banshrae and the firbolg of the Wild Hunt.

The far western end of the Highlands is separated from the Aspenheights by a valley known as Aspenheight Gap. This valley and the surrounding mountains are home to a large tribe of noble firbolg known as the Wild Hunt; who have long studied the ways of the druids and have embraced the primal aspect of nature. The Wild Hunt claim the Aspenheight Gap as their territory, and keep it safe from trespassers (although they will permit travellers to pass through for a tithe).

Bukkara Spires: This ancient and majestic tower is visible from the Isles of Moray and Norland (on the rare days that mists do not cloak the Sea of Moonshae), for its brilliant white walls gleam atop the Highlands.

The Bukkara Spires have been around longer than the living memory of even the most ancient elves of Synnoria, and the oldest carvings on the trilithions around the Moonwells suggest that these towers were erected thousands of years before the War of Raging Leaves.

The architecture of the Bukkara Spires is similar to that of ancient towers in the Raurin Desert, and the fact that they are still in perfect condition lead may to believe the ancient Imaskari constructed this towering edifice to form an alliance with the powerful LeShay (although it is far more likely a single Imaskari artificer erected the towers to protect a portal to his homeland while he traded with the LeShay for rare reagents).

Access to Bukkara Spires is via a narrow trail into the mountains, although it is believed there are many tunnels within the tower that drop intruders into underground caves that lead to the Sea of Moonshae. It is unknown what happened to the Imaskari artificer that build these towers, but the current resident is known as the Lady in Silver, a human woman of southern origin who likes to use her magic to benefit and bedevil the nearby ffolk of Corwell (although she is careful to leave the Banshrae alone).

The Rocky Shore: The northern coastline of the island of Gwynneth is rather unimaginatively named by its norl inhabitants (the ffolk now all slain or enslaved) for its most distinguishing feature. The Rocky Shore stretches from the settlement of Storaad, all the way to Grimstaad, with the Black Mountains and Winterglen Forest acting as its southern border.

Black Mountains: The Black Mountains are so named for the exposed black, obsidian rock along its steep ridges and craggy ravines. The winds coming up the Strait of Leviathan have weathered these rugged mountains for millennia, and the savage firbolg that inhabit these mountains have stripped it bare of vegetation and animal life.

The Black Mountains form the border between the Rocky Shore and the Myrloch Vale. The foothills on the northern side are home to the sheep and goat herds of the norl which frequently fall victim to the raids of the firbolg tribes. The foothills on the south in the Myrloch Vale are strongholds to the largest firbolg tribes which have grown increasingly active and bold in recent centuries, forming settlements like Blackhoof Totem.

Apart from the savage firbolg, the Black Mountains are home only to the most dangerous and hardy of creatures (that can resist the depredations of the firbolg), such as twisted creatures cursed by magic, mighty griffons, and the occasional roc. 

Codsbay: This wide, sunken bay is situated on the far northern shore of Gwynneth and has become home to the latest target of norl invasion as warriors from Oman attempt to establish a new home on the Isle of Gwynneth.

In Codsbay the norl have established a number of settlements in the swampy marshland of the north, while they try to fend of the attacks of wood elves from fallen Loresstlar, and try to gain access to the rich lands of the Myrloch Vale.

Codscove (Fortified Village, 500): Once the ffolk settlement of Cuardin, this isolated northern Baillen was often the target of norl raids and invasions. In 651 DR the outnumbered and fleeing ffolk defeated a much larger raiding party as it pursued them into the Myrloch Vale using only farming implements.

Cuardin was finally conquered in 1292 DR as King Thelgaar sought to cement his rule and expand his kingdom. Since that day it has been a fortified settlement of Oman, home to some of the strongest warriors (and their ffolk slaves), who have been charged with holding this land at all cost.

Winterglen: The forest of Winterglen dominates northeastern coastline of Gwynneth, stretching as far as the mountains that border the Myrloch Vale will allow. It is a densely packed forest of pine trees and thorny bushes, filled with strange beasts and fey that are none to friendly to trespassers.

Winterglen is known as Loresstlar (Winter’s Garden) to the elves and was the secret home of tribes of wood elves since the end of the Crown Wars 10 millennia ago. These elves were the orphaned children of the last survivors of Aryvandaar, who sought to escape the shame and persecution they suffered for the sins of their fathers. They came to the Moonshaes in secrecy and carved out a home, avoiding the llewyrr out of shame of their heritage and fear of reprisal attacks.

Two centuries ago a cabal of wizards came to Winterglen and destroyed the meeting place of Augilanvur by freezing the great trees with the elders and their families inside. Since then these wizards have crafted a great fortress of black rock atop a Planar Crossroad that links to the Shadowfell (the conjoining place between the Planes of Faerie and Shadow). Following the destruction of Augilanvur and the collapse of Loresstlar, Winterglen has become a much darker forest, the elves mostly abandoned their home (migrating to Synnoria and Evermeet) and were no longer around to tend the trees and animals, in their absence the inhabitants have changed from unfriendly to hostile.

Aurilandur’s Icy Copse: Few dare venture this far inside Winterglen, but those who do tell of a ring of tall trees with trunks the width of a giant, every tree in this ring is completely encased in ice. Peering into the ice, one can see frozen figures within who seem to move in the dancing shadows of the forest light. Foreign adventurers (for most ffolk are not stupid enough to venture into such a dangerous forest) and their allied sages are convinced the copse is a holy place to Auril.

The elves of Winterglen harry any who disturb this place, and this should provide a clue that this site was in reality the home of the elders of the tribes of Loresstlar.

Citadel Umbra: This black rock fortress is the home of the remnants of the Corwell Cabal, a hired gang of wizards who came to the Moonshaes fleeing the destruction of Ulcaster’s School.

The former senior apprentices of Ulcaster failed in their task to destroy the Witches of Wynder’s Moor (although they were secretly trying to lay their hands on the fabled Cauldron of Dhuum) and fled to far flung corners of the Moonshae Isles before hearing about Winterglen and its shadowy denizens (suggesting a link to the Plane of Shadow).

The wizards have since magically erected a home and bound a number of fey creatures into the castle and its confines. The greatest secret of Citadel Umbra is a powerful hag sorceress known as Urphania who has allowed the wizards to believe they have summoned and bound her to their will.

Important NPCs

Andabbar Meihklann (Good, Human – Ffolk, Expert 3): The resident bard of Corwell is known to all as the Bard of the Snows for his penchant to write songs and portents of doom (although always with the caveat that heroes will arise to defeat evil once more).

In the year of Crown Prince Tristan Kendrick’s birth the Bard of the Snows penned a ballad warning of a great evil arising even as the Earthmother and the ffolk prosper like never before, but heroes would arise once more to defeat evil for a time. There were some who believed Tristan to be the hero foretold in the ballad, but thus far the prince seems to be a wastrel, interested only in hawking, hunting, drinking, and wenching.

Andabbar Meihklann is a favoured bard by the King of Corwell, and is entitled after one of the seasons according to the fashion of the Kingdom of Corwell. He is not one of the Prynmar (Great Bards), but is well known among the ffolk kingdoms and welcome at the table of clan and king alike.

Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr (Neutral, Elf – Sunrise, Warrior 8): Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr is the legendary first captain of the Sisters of Synnoria who fought alongside Cymrych Hugh against Kazgoroth the Beast. She was slain centuries ago fighting the firbolg and rose again as one of the Bansidhe. Anhaern now leads the elven Bansidhe in her continued fight against the firbolg and the forces of Kazgoroth.

Gordeirn Mathchan (Evil, Human – Tethyrian, Warrior 3): Gordeirn Mathchan is one of a hundred bandit chiefs operating out of the wilderness areas around the Kingdom of Corwell.

Gordeirn and his bandits have chosen a cave network in the southern Cambro Mountains as their hideout, from their they launch raids upon nearby ffolk settlements and caravans, as well as fending off attacks from firbolg, orcs and other monsters.

Newateroon (Neutral, Faerie Dragon, Faerie Dragon 7): Newt was first encountered by the Fidouyr in 561 DR, frolicking amid the ever expanding Fens of the Fallon. Apparently fascinated by the diverse wildlife in the region, he was persuaded to act as Guardian for the corrupt Moonwell known as the Darkwell, to replace the great bear now horribly twisted by the corruption of Kazgoroth.

Newt is a paragon of his kind, possessing powers and intellect far in excess of his talented kin. He claims to have been born into Toril in 561 DR, but his knowledge of past events suggests he may be even older, and Faerie Dragons are not known for telling the truth.

Yazilliclik (Neutral, Sprite, Sprite 3): Yazilliclik is known as the green man of the forest, manifesting most often as a face in the trees of the grove around the waters of the Moonwell Mal Tarbat. Like most nymphia, Yaz is able to manifest directly on the Material Plane (without possessing another living creature) in the form of a small fairy like being known as a sprite.

Yaz is likely a being of some import in the Feywild, because he has been known to call upon a small army of nymphia to harry foes that threaten the Moonwell that he guards.

Important Organisations

The Bansidhe: The Bansidhe are a loose collection of similarly affected individuals that haunt the Shrouded Lands, keeping all intruders away. At times they are seen across the Isle of Gwynneth hunting the savage firbolg in particular and other evil doers. The most famous member of this group is the Banshee Rider whose keening howl strikes fear into the hearts of those who betray the Wayfire Pact.

The Cult of the Dragon:

The Harpers:

The Heralds of the High King:

The Wild Hunt: This tribe of noble firbolg dominate the western edge of the Highlands, centred on Aspenheight Gap. These noble firbolg have been allies of the llewyrr since the War of Raging Leaves, and with the Fidouyr since the War of Moon and Shadow. They have adopted many of the ways of the druids and have particularly embraced the primal aspects of nature, merging the history of Hiatea and Grond Peaksmasher with the Eartmother in the role of Hiatea.

The Wild Hunt believe in the Balance and ensure that it is maintained by hunting those creatures that grow to upset the Balance. They spend much of their time hunting trolls and savage firbolg, but have also hunted enormous elk or bear that are too big to exist and unbalance the local ecology with their sheer size, or magical creatures like basilisk or chimera that cannot fit into any ecology..

The Wild Hunt will permit anyone to their membership, but all prospective members must prove themselves as expert hunters and trackers, and their first task is to hunt one of these unnatural creatures. The greatest hunter; the one who has hunted the most dangerous beast, is named Master (or Mistress) of the Hunt and carries with them the Yoke of the Beast.

Important Items

Cauldron of Doom: This fabled artefact was constructed by the great runesmith Khagen Dhuum under the watchful gaze of Kazgoroth. Since its creation the cauldron has been used to fashion hordes of reanimated dead that have plagued the ffolk, and has turned more than a few owners due to the fell influence of Kazgoroth’s lingering taint.

Gwynneth’s Amulet: This odd shaped amulet looks to be of elven make; the metal appears to be almost woven and is too fine to be smithed using traditional methods. The amulet appears to be a web-like nest of metal fibres in a concave shape, at the centre is a jewelled needle that spins about the central point appearing to point in seemingly random directions (pointing towards safety).

The amulet is rumoured to have once belonged to Gwynneth; the first chief of the Shyffolk, it was passed down from chieftain to king until the rule of King Durnhal (where it was lost for a time). It was discovered buried in a cache atop Corlyth’s Hill and returned to the possession of the King’s of Corwell.

Regent’s Crown: The Regent’s Crown is a simply golden circlet that was fashioned for King Callidyrr Hugh on his coronation. It was replaced when Cymrych Hugh was crowned High King of the Moonshae Isles, and the High King gifted it to Regent Christopher Ryker to govern the Shyffolk of Gwynneth in his stead.

When the Shyffolk were given the power of Appointment, and elected Chorden Ryker as King, he chose the Regent’s Crown for his coronation piece and since then it has formed part of the Regalia of the Kingdom of Corwell. It was lost when King Durnhal was captured by Prince Ketheryl (although there is no indication Prince Ketheryl recovered the crown). 

Many believe the Regent’s Crown now lies trapped within the Castle of Skulls, although others suggest that King Durnhal may have sequestered it away somewhere on his flight across western Gwynneth (with the Prince in hot pursuit), or perhaps traded the crown for shelter.

The Regent’s Crown is enchanted to grant the wearer a +1 bonus to all Charisma based skills and checks.

Staff of the White Well: Fashioned long ago from the arm of the petrified Luirrana Moonsong, one of the lunar-harpists that helped seal Kazgoroth’s fate many millennia ago, and was slain in the process.

The Staff of the White Well resembles a pole of ashen, white wood fashioned to be smooth but with many knots still visible along its length and with the head sprouting stout twigs that twist together to form a triangular knot made of circles and spirals.

The Staff of the White Well is charged with magical power able to augment the spells and abilities of anyone wishing to use powers of earth, air, fire, or water, granting them much greater effect and range than they would otherwise normally be capable of. After expending its charges the staff slowly regenerates at a rate of 1 per day.

Sword of Cymrych Hugh: This silver longsword was forged over a millennia ago by the dwarves of Highome and enchanted to slay Kazgoroth the Beast. The Sword of Cymrych Hugh is part of the regalia of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles but was lost in the Myrloch Vale when High King Tanner was slain by firbolg.

Yoke of the Beast: The firbolg of the ancient past were great workers of rune magic, erecting enormous fortresses and crafting great weapons of war. The rulers of the firbolg were also fond of keeping the great birds known as Roc as pets, and rode them between the islands or into battle.

Roc are not easily tamed, and so the firbolg crafted harnesses that would allow them to command and ride any creature; including the ferocious Roc. The Yoke of the Beast automatically resizes to fit any creature it is placed upon (although attaching the harness is often the hardest part), once attached the animal responds to verbal and non-verbal commands of the rider (or in the case of draft animals, the guide).

A number of these magical items were crafted for the paramount family of the firbolg empire (at least 5), but these have been lost over the millennia. There are rumours of one on the Isle of Norland, and another among the firbolg of the Wild Hunt on the Isle of Gwynneth. Many sages wrongly associated these harnesses with the Fidouyr because of the animal connection and also because the druids cooperate with the Wild Hunt to maintain the Balance of the Myrloch Vale.

Fauna

Amarok the Dire Wolf: The Pack is among the most infamous of the Earthmorther’s Children; known to scour entire settlements clean of life. The first pack was led by an enormous brown wolf known as Amarok, every so often another of his likeness will appear among a wolf pack as if from nowhere and unite all the wolves on the island into The Pack once more.

Avalorne Horses: This breed of horse is unique to the Moonshae isles and is bred only within the Myrloch Vale on the Isle of Gwynneth. These horses appear as pure white in colour, both muscled and slender, able to carry heavy loads like a warhorse and reach speeds beyond most racing horses.

It is believe the Avalorne are descended from Kamerynn the unicorn, bred by the llewyrr in Synnoria. They serve as steeds for the Sisters of Synnoria who are dedicated to protecting the llewyrr from the scourge of Kazgoroth. If the Avalorne are taken beyond the borders of the Myrloch vale for longer than a month they begin to lose their dazzling white colour and much of their strength and speed.

Faerie Dragons: These curious creatures resemble a seahorse with butterfly like wings that is often no larger than a human hand. Faerie dragons are known to haunt ancient forests like those found in the Myrloch Vale, and are fierce protectors of their homes and the creatures that live there.

Faerie dragons are believed to be fey in origin, and like most fey creatures they exist on both the Plane of Faeree and the Material Plane at the same time. On the Plane of Faeree they have a very different appearance, that of an enormous, luminous, multi-hued dragon like creature. A Faerie dragon can, like most fey, manifest through to the Material Plane in places where both planes co-exist (usually ancient forested regions or places of natural beauty and or significance), and when manifested they are still able to use their significant magical abilities.

The ffolk, the druids, and the llewyrr believe that faerie dragons serve the Earthmother and help to maintain the Balance, although it is difficult to persuade these unpredictable creatures to cooperate for any length of time, and they have an irritating habit of protecting all creatures within their forest, including the dangerous firbolg.

Grimmulf: Kimball Moor is home to a particularly large and aggressive breed of moorhound that more closely resembles a black wolf crossbreed than the grey moorhounds. The moor has long been home to a pack of moorhounds (since their introduction by tethyrian migrants in the 5th century Dalereckoning), but it wasnt until the 10th century that the Grimmulf emerged as a breed distinctive from the moorhounds.

The grimmulf are about 4 ft in height, with thick black fur, an elongated jaw (unlike the shorter jaw of the moorhound), and red eyes. They are far larger and more muscly than most moorhounds (and even most wolves). The name grimmulf was given to the creatures and the pack by Lair Greystone after his battle with the Grimmulf Pack in 946 DR, it is believed this name is derived from the Talffolk myth of the Grim which Laird Greystone somehow associated with the pack of wolfhounds.

Maelstrom Fish: This elongated fish varies in size from as small as a hand to as large as a Calishite galley. It spends most of its life in the straits around the Isle of Gwynneth, where it swims in tight circles causing miniature whirlpools to stun and catch its prey (smaller fish). During the summer months it swims upriver to spawn in the pools and lakes of the Myrloch Vale.

If allowed, the maelstrom fish can grow to sufficient size that it’s whirlpools can capsize a boat (especially the coracles of the ffolk), but thankfully the ffolk and northmen catch a significant number of these fish each year as it’s flesh is quite palatable once smoked. The largest maelstrom fish that sink ships are often thought (wrongly) to be the Leviathan awakening once more.

Weredogs: This breed of lycanthrope is more common on the Moonshae Isles than any other type (although werewolves are becoming more common once again), but there are very few wild weredogs, most belong in secret to the Greystone family and the Greystone Trading Coster.

Wereseals: These shapeshifting humanoids are often seen along the south coast of Gwynneth, basking in the sun on rocky outcroppings along the shore. Most wereseals are believed to be elven in nature for the wereseals and aquatic elves are often seen together.

In truth the MacOdrum of Cantrev Horstall have familial ties to the aquatic elves of Nindrol (and thus Tir faoi Thoinn), the  MacOdrum and their half elven kin often meet in the safety of the waters of the south coast of Gwynneth.

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