Mulhorand

Capital: Skuld

Population: 700,000 (99% Human – Mulan, 1% Planetouched), plus 500,000 slaves (95% Human – various, 5% Half Orc)

Government: Theocratic Dictatorship

Religion: Mulho-Untheric Pantheon

Overview

The Empire of Mulhorand is the oldest surviving human nation in Faerun. It is an empire built by heroes and gods, who destroyed the Imaskari Empire and claimed all the lands from Thay to the Lake of Azulduth.

The Gods of Mulhorand no longer walk among the people (or so they believe), but their kin rule the empire in their stead. Mulhorand is a sleeping giant, filled with wonders magical and divine, but content to stay behind their borders and preserve their empire as it has been for millennia.

Timeline

  • -4366 DR: Imaskari artificers open gates to another world and abduct thousands of humans to serve as slaves. The Imaskari then destroy the gates and erect a magical barrier around their lands which prevents all magical teleportation and planar travel (except that of the Imaskari).
  • -2489 DR: Arrival of the God Kings: Ancient heroes and kings of the mulan slaves arrive on Toril in the Teyla-Shan (Godswatch Mountains) after travelling for centuries through the Border Ethereal to rescue their people. Imaskari slaves in Raurin begin to revolt against their masters.
  • -2488 DR: Battle of the Whirling Sands: The god-kings and their flying citadels launch a surprise attack on Inupras in the heart of the Imaskari Empire. Horus slays the Lord Artificer Yuvaraj. Mulan slaves everywhere rise up in revolt, other slaves in far off provinces rebel once word reaches them of the destruction of Inupras.
  • -2135 DR: Founding of Skuld: The god-king Re founds Skuld; the City of Shadows on the eastern shore of the Alamber Sea.
  • -1967 to -1961 DR: First Mulhorandi-Untheri War: Unther and Mulhorand begin a series of clashes over territory around the River of Swords. Both sides make extensive use of coerced tribes from nearby lands in the 6 year skirmish. After other threats begin to surface both Empires agree the River of Swords as a common border.

The First Mulhorandi Empire

The nation of Mulhorand was not truly founded until united by the war against Unther, until that point the Mulhorandi were divided into loosely aligned settlements founded by individual god-kings. The threat of Unther united the godkings behind Re and the strongest city; Skuld, the threat from nearby dragons cemented the alliance into a true nation with Re as its ruler.

Mulhorand quickly expanded to conquer the nearby successor states of Imaskari; Semphar and Murghom, as well as more frontier territories such as the Priador (Modern: Thay). This period of expansion was ended along with the First Empire of Mulhorand when a rebellion in the Priador opened a portal to another world and unleashed a horde of orcs upon the unsuspecting Mulan. The cost to turn back the tide of orcs was too much and broke the Empire of Mulhorand apart.

  • -1922 DR: Mulhorand begins to skirmish with tribes of Durpari barbarians. A majority of the Durpari are wiped out over the next few centuries.
  • -1500 DR: Mulhorandi expansion results in the settlement of the Priador, Thesk, and the annexation of Murghôm, the Plains of Purple Dust, and the Raurin Desert. Untheric expansion results in the settlement of the Wizards’ Reach and much of the Eastern Shaar.
  • -1482 DR: Mulhorand conquers the eastern realm of Semphar.
  • -1200 DR: Pholzubbalt; the Boneyard, is founded by a secret cabal of Mulhorandi necromancers deep beneath modern day Thesk.
  • -1124 DR: The Mulhorandi outpost of Semkhrun is founded in Semphar
  • -1087 DR: The Theurgist Adept Thayd rebels, along with most of the wizards in Unther and Mulhorand.
  • -1081 DR: Thayd and his conspirators are defeated. Thay’d is executed, but prophesises that Mulhorand and Unther will never be as great again.
  • -1076 DR to -1069 DR: The Orcgate Wars: The Orcgate opens in what is now the Plateau of Thay; hundreds of thousands of orcs invade the northern shore of the Alamber Sea. Mulhorand loses control of the Precept of the Priador while Unther and Akanu lose the settlements in Altumbel and the Wizards’ Reach.
  • -1075 DR: Orcs overrun the Priador Plateau and  nearby colonies of Unther and Akanu.
  • -1071 DR: Battle of the Gods: The forces of Akanu, Mulhorand, and Unther; led by their godkings, launch a concerted attack on the orcs occupying their northern territories with help from native tribes in neighbouring lands. A series of grand battles begins that sees the orcs summon Avatars of their god’s and the deaths of many gods of the Old Empires; including Re, Amar-Du’uk, Sin-An’na, TiaMa’at. and many other Akanic and Untheric deities.
  • -1069 DR:  The Orcgate Wars are ended, the orcs are defeated and driven from the lands around the Priador Plateau.
  • -1050 DR to -1048 DR: War of the Gods: Mulhorand descends into civil war as the god-kings divide the nation behind their chosen successor. The war ends when Horus defeats Set and becomes Re’s successor.
  • Semphar declares independence from Mulhorand.
  • End of the First Mulhorandi Empire

The Empire Divided

This period is marked by division and the first collapse of the far flung territories of Mulhorand. Civil war splits the core of Mulhorand into pieces and although they are reunited by the Pharaoh Horus-Re, it takes many centuries for the people and the land to recover from the ravages of the Orcgate Wars and the civil war. During that time many of the frontier territories declare independence or are conquered by foreign powers.

Horus-Re spends all of his reign recapturing these territories and restoring the empire of Mulhorand, but in doing so he expends much of the power and enthusiasm of the Gods. When the summoned hordes of Narfell descend upon Mulhorand in -148 DR, the Gods muster for the final battle of their rule and turn back an endless tide of fiendish horrors.

With that final great act completed at great cost and loss of life, the Gods of Mulhorand resolve to leave their mortal lives forever and so leave the empire in the hands of their mortal kin, thus beginning the Second Empire of Mulhorand.

  • -623 DR: Year of Clipped Wings: Narfell attempts to invade Mulhorand with a massive flotilla of ships. The navy of Unther rescues the besieged ports of Mulhorand with a rear attack while Raumathar invades the now sparsely defended Narfell controlled Priador Plateau.
  • The land forces of Narfell face off against the Mulhorandi armies in the Thazalhar, Wendonai is summoned and subsequently banished by an incarnation of Horus-Re, unable to return until 1377 DR.
  • -423 DR: Year of Ancestral Voices: A military order dedicated to Osiris destroys the city of Sekras.
  • -202 DR: Year of the Purchased Princes: The Kalmyks of the Endless Wastes conquer Semphar in the name of the Kao Dynasty of the Shou Lung Empire.
  • -151 DR: Year of Roving Bands: Bands of refugees migrate from the Hordelands into the northern reaches of Mulhorand through Murghom, they bring with them the worship of many fey and beast cults
  • -150 DR: Year of Recompense: End of the Great Conflagration: Narfell and Raumathar destroy each other with the summoning of Eltab and Kossuth. Mulhorand and Unther soon send forces north to reclaim the Priador Plateau (Thay) and the Wizards’ Reach.
  • -148 DR: Year of the Black Marble: The God Kings’ Final Battle: A horde of summoned creatures is destroyed by the god kings of Muhorand and their soldiers at the Thazalhar.

The Second Mulhorandi Empire

The Second Empire of Mulhorand began with the rule of the mortal kin of Horus-Re for the first time. The human Pharaohs oversaw the expansion of the empire to its former glory while the Gods watched and advised their children but took little part in the affairs of mortals.

The rebellion of Priador and the founding of Thay ended the Second Empire of Mulhorand and shrank the empire to its current borders.

  • -147 DR: Year of the Candlemaker: The first mortal Pharaoh; Rehorusteb I is crowned ruler of Mulhorand while the Gods of Mulhorand retreat from mortal affairs.
  • -135 DR: Year of Old Beginnings: Founding of Bezantur. Other cities soon built on coastal areas of the Wizard’s Reach as Mulhorand and Unther once again expand northwards. Within a century Mulhorand restores its borders to their former height (even claiming the lands of Thesk, although in reality they do little more than extort taxes from the settlements.
  • -120 DR: Year of Confusion: The Suren march against the Kalmyks, conquering Khazari and Ra-Khati. Semphar declares independence and gradually comes under the sway of Mulhorand and is once again a protectorate of the Mulhorandi Empire within a decade.
  • -59 DR: Year of Whims: Shamans of feline beast cults are found slaughtered throughout northern Mulhorand prompting a decade of unrest from the refugee peoples. The murders were blamed upon Bast and her clergy and the entire priesthood (and it’s patron god king) were exiled from Mulhorand for this and past crimes.
  • -45 DR: Year of the Raging Brooks: Mulhorand attempts an invasion of Rashemen but its armies are turned back at the Gorge of Gauros.
  • -41 DR: Year of the Sphinx’s Riddle: The Havi are pushed out of the Ejen Horo and into Murghom by other tribes (displaced by the resurgence of the Kao Dynasty).
  • -39 DR: Year of the Fraudulent Truths: Semphar rebels while Mulhorand deals with the Havi invading Murghom.
  • 127 DR: Year of the Defiant Stone: Durpar, Var, and Veldorn establish formal trade relations with Mulhorand.
  • 194 DR: Year of Coiling Smoke: The legendary sword Hadryllis is bought from a market in Kensten (Modern: Bezantur) by a priest of Anhur and taken to the city of Sultim.
  • 202 DR: Year of the Fanged Gauntlet: Tribes of Arkaiun barbarians from the south (Eltabranar) invade southern Unther and Mulhorand, raiding settlements for the next two years.
  • 202 DR to 205 DR: The War of Claws: The Theocracy of Eltabranar invades southern Unther and Mulhorand with Eltab leading it’s armies deep into Mulhorand’s territory. The Mulhorandi deliberately lose ground drawing Eltab further north, while its armies regroup behind him. Eltab’s forces are ultimately routed and the demon lord is driven north and imprisoned beneath Thaymount by the magic of the sword Hadryllis.
  • 204 DR: Year of the Avarice: The forces of Mulhorand, led by an incarnation of Anhur, inflict a crushing defeat upon the invading forces of Eltabranar. The Demon Lord Eltab is defeated using the sword Hadryllis and marched north to the Citadel atop Thaymount. Mists descend upon the Thaymount and the entire Legion of the Sun vanishes, Eltab is not heard of again in Mulhorand until 700 years later when Thay is founded. Rescuers find only the abandoned sword Hadryllis on the chamber floor (they do not find the organic swelling – known today as a Demoncyst – in the depths of the Citadel).
  • 211 DR: Year of Spoiled Splendours: The armies of Unther and Mulhorand conquer the Theocracy of Eltabranar (in what is now the Eastern Shaar) and destroy the capital city of Shandaular. The surviving Arkaiuns flee to what will later become known as Dambrath.
  • 317 DR: Year of the Riven Shield: First Coin War A trade dispute sparks the first Mulhorandi-Durpari coin war.
  • 348 DR: Year of the Dagger: Outlaws from Muhorand settle and found Ulgarth.
  • 643 DR: Year of the Nesting Harpy: Nezram the Transmuter abandons his tower by the shores of Azulduth and enters a portal located in the depths of Azulduth. The plane wandering sarrukh (formerly of Okoth) are alerted to the use of the portal.
  • 681 DR: Year of the Zombie Lords: Nezram’s Tower is destroyed by the young green dragon Chathuulandroth who steals Nezram’s book of Unique Mageries and scatters or slays Nezram’s children still living in the tower.
  • 699 DR: Year of the Rampaging Raaserpents: The plane wandering sarrukh (formerly of Okoth) return to Faerun through the portal in the depths of Azulduth.
  • 707 DR: Year of the Perilous Portents: Nezras the Traitor battles the sarrukh that now inhabit Nezram’s Tower on the shores of Azulduth. The battle is inconclusive and Nezras is forced to leave the tower.
  • 857 DR: Year of Forgotten Fame: Huriot; the greatest Prince of Thieves Skuld has ever known, is convicted of graverobbing and sold into slavery.
  • 922 DR: Year of the Spouting Fish: The Red Wizards, led by Ythazz Buvaar, rebel against Mulhorandi rule (with assistance from the Alliance of the Cities of the Golden Way) and found the realm of Thay.
  • The Battle of Thazalhar: The forces of Mulhorand are defeated by the Red Wizards of Thay when the Demon Lord Eltab is summoned to fight on behalf of the Red Wizards.
  • End of the Second Mulhorandi Empire, all the current Oblaran of Horus-Re are slain during the conflict and none are available to become Pharaoh. The Oblaran of Thoth; Karathoth I is crowned Pharaoh for a period of 8 weeks while another is imbued with the essence of Horus-Re.

The Third Mulhorandi Empire

  • 937 DR: Year of the Turning Wheel: Thesk is founded by the Alliance of the Cities of the Golden Way, officially ending Mulhorandi rule of the region.
  • 976 DR: Year of the Slaying Spells: Mulhorand invades Thay with a massive army of mercenaries from Chessenta but its forces are defeated at the River Thazarim.
  • 1043 DR: Year of the Dark Rider: Second Coin War: The second Mulhorandi-Durpari coin war erupts over tax rates. Outcast groups from Vaelen raid military supply caravans on both sides.
  • 1046 DR: Year of the Twilight Campaign: Mulhorand attacks and destroys the city of Vaelen in response to raids on their supply caravans. Outcast groups survive in the ruins and beneath the city, disrupting the trade routes between Mulhorand and Durpar by preying upon all caravan traffic passing by Vaelen.
  • 1098 DR: Year of the Rose: Thay invades Mulhorand but its forces are defeated outside Sultim.
  • 1152 DR: Year of the Portentous Waters: Durpar attempts to clear the ruins of Vaelen from outcasts and bandits. Monsters and renegades converge upon the city and destroy the Durpari forces.
  • 1248 DR: Year of the Cockatrice: Rehorusteb III becomes Pharaoh of Mulhorand.
  • 1280 DR: Year of the Manticore: Thay invades Mulhorand, its forces ravage the northern provinces; including much of Murghom, and besiege the city of Sultim. The Thayans are able to sack much of the city before reinforcements arrive to turn back the invaders. The Church of Anhur is blamed for the failings.
  • 1311 DR: Year of the Fist: Rezim becomes vizier of Mulhorand and begins persecuting the Church of Anhur.
  • 1320 DR: Year of the Watching Cold: Akonhorus II becomes Pharaoh of Mulhorand.
  • Seti undergoes the transformation to become an Incarnation of Set, this year signifies a resurgence in the Cult of Set.
  • 1327 DR: Year of the Blue Flame: Tholaunt, the Divine Precept of Thoth is consumed by a pillar of blue fire after suffering the magical backlash incurred from handling a magical artifact. The adventurer Valerios Theokillos; formerly of the Black Gauntlet adventuring band, is blamed for selling the artifact to Tholaunt and is sentenced to death for his crimes (he fled Mulhorand before Tholaunt’s death).
  • 1350 DR: Year of the Morningstar: Seti creates the Fangs of Set, an organisation of ruthless assassins.
  • The Cult of Set secretly gains control of the city of Sampranasz.

Life and Society

Nobility

The nobility of Muhorand are the kindred of the Gods of Mulhorand, they are divided into houses (prefixed with Ant’s, Ent’s, Unt’s or Ria’s depending upon tense and gender). Each of these houses was founded by one of the Laran (roughly translates as heavenly one) and unlike in Unther and other countries they are not immensely large and bloated covering all the spectrums of wealth.

All nobility in Mulhorand are wealthy land owners with many slaves attending them (although they do not own the slaves). Mulhorand is strongly patriarchal and only the two eldest sons inherit their father’s wealth (in a ratio of 2:1 in favour of the eldest) and are considered noble, all other children are commoners and left to their own devices. This policy has helped to control the size of the noble houses and concentrate the wealth and power.

The noble houses are often strong supporters of their aligned churches (for they are often kin), although this is not always true. Most often the common sons of nobles will join the priesthood as a means to preserve their status, all priests above rank of acolyte are automatically considered noble of the same house as the church, but such bestowed nobility is not hereditary.

Helcalliant: The House of Helcalli was founded by Horus Helcalli.

Tholaunt: The House of Thola was founded by Thoth.

Osriant: The House of Osri was founded by Osiris.

Ramathant: The House of Ramath was founded by Anhur Ramath.

Isharia: The House of Isha was founded by Isis.

Nesharia: The House of Nesha was founded by Nephthys.

Gebthant: The House of Gebth was founded by Geb

Hatharia: The House of Hathar was founded by Hathor.

Commoners

Unlike Unther, Mulhorand has a concept of the common born. They are those descended from the lesser sons of nobility (those beyond the first and second sons of a noble do not inherit the nobility and have thus formed the basis of the common folk since Mulhorand was founded.

The commoners form the middle and lower classes; paid labourers (when someone cannot afford to rent a slave), skilled craftsmen, soldiers, traders, scribes, even generals. Anyone that is not of noble birth and not a slave is classed as commonfolk. Commoners are allowed to own land (purchased from the churches or nobility), and can rent slaves (from the Church of Horus-Re) and have the same rights as any other citizen of Mulhorand. What distinguishes the commonfolk from nobility (apart from the wealth and power) is the familial connection to the church and government which bestows such favour and power to the nobles.

Slaves

All slaves are owned by the Church of Horus-Re, they are the property of the church and as a result the property of the Pharaoh and the god Horus-Re himself, anyone murdering or damaging a slave is committing a crime against the Pharaoh and the gods with severe punishments. Anyone wishing to have a slave must rent them from the Church of Horus-Re, the price is not cheap, and because of the cost and the special status of slaves, most slaves are treated very well (compared to slaves in other nations).

Slaves must work every day and perform whatever duties are demanded (discipline is delivered through the use of a pliable layer of reeds which deliver a stinging blow but inflict no lasting damage). In return for their service, slaves are adequately fed, educated (if required), housed in adequate accommodations, and allowed to marry and own property (although ultimately all such family and property belongs to the Church of Horus-Re.

Slaves perform a wide range of tasks in Mulhorand, some are assigned as household servants to middle class families, others are farmers to the large noble owned estates or miners in the mountains, the nobility rent the vast majority of slaves (sometimes at preferential rates for friends and family of the Church of Horus-Re) and are usually the most generous to their slaves (in terms of conditions and gifts).

Slaves are permitted to own property and have families as far as the Church of Horus-Re is concerned (although permission of their current masters is required – some do not wish to provide for entire families of slaves). Most owners comply with such permission to keep favour with the Church, and some even present their slaves with lavish gifts, especially when the terms of their service are due to end.

It is possible for slaves to gain their freedom. Most do so as a reward from the Church of Horus-Re for long or exemplary service (old slaves are less desired unless they are highly educated), many of these elderly slaves try to refuse their freedom, preferring the security that being a Mulhorandi slave provides.

It is possible for a slave to buy their freedom (the price is determined by the Church and is usually 30 times the annual rent the slave can currently fetch. Slaves are permitted to acquire wealth and possessions, however, the Church of Horus-Re confiscates any significant wealth when a slave’s term of service with an owner has ended (thus preventing them from accumulating enough wealth over a lifetime buy their freedom). It is not unknown for generous former masters to buy a slave’s freedom for him.

Customs

The Lost Legion: The Mulhorandi people often speak of the Lost Legion coming to rescue Mulhorand and its people in time of need. Whenever Mulhorand as a whole or just a single settlement is threatened people often pray for the Lost Legion to come and deliver them from the threat.

The legend has passed into folklore and been applied to historical events that occurred even before the time the legion was lost. Most Mulhorandi firmly believe that the Lost Legion rescued Mulhorand from the Narfell invasion, not the Untheric fleet, and similar tales are told of pivotal events such as the Orcgate Wars or the God Kings’ Final Battle with the Lost Legion appearing to rally Mulhorandi forces when all seemed lost.

Economy

Mulhorand’s economy is fairly self sufficient when compared to the other economies of the Old Empires region, which is precisely the result of careful policies and procedures over the last few centuries since the loss of the Precepture of the Priador. Mulhorand has spent a lot of time and planning ensuring that each of its provinces relies upon the others for a critical economic commodity so that no province can succeed without the other.

Mulhorand provides the bulk of critical commodities; arable crops, livestock, granite, gemstones, and gold. Murghom and Semphar provide wood, fish, copper, tin, and silk. The only commodities imported from outside of its empire are iron, silver, fine timber, and spices (most of which come from the Shaar), and slaves which mostly come from Thay.

Mulhorand trades surplus with other countries but does not deliberately attempt to outcompete the major trading nations of Thay, Sembia etc, instead relying upon its niche crafts to attract greater price and interest while waiting for slumps in commodities around the Inner Sea to sell other surplus produce.

Currency

The currency of Mulhorand is official two coins, the Precept and the Pharaoh, both coins are made of gold (but differ in size and value) and have demarcations around the edge to prevent further shaving. For those involved in the mammoth political machine of Mulhorandi government, the true currency of the land is information and favour.

Precept: The Precept is a small gold coin about the size of a thumb nail, engraved with the symbol of the Church of Nephthys on one side and the symbol of the precept in which it was minted. A Precept is worth 5 silver pieces in most nations around the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Pharaoh: This large coin is about the size of a palm (of a hand), it is engraved with the symbol of the Church of Horus-Re (or Re for really ancient coins) on one side, and the profile of the reigning pharaoh in the year it was minted. A Pharaoh is worth 2 gold pieces in most nations around the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Trade

Mulhorand controls one of the three ports of the Alamber Triangle (Sultim, Messemprar, and Bezantur). Through Sultim, Mulhorand has access to all the other trade goods of the Sea of Fallen Stars from the steady stream of merchant ships that sail between the ports of the Alamber Triangle.

Mulhorand exports many such curios as carved statuettes or effigies (from a variety of materials including wood and stone), fine jewellery, literature, togas, papyrus scrolls and other niche items that are often religious themed (depicting the Gods of Mulhorand). The culture of Mulhorand is it’s primary export as the wealthy in other Inner Sea nations will pay high prices for a piece of the exotic southern empire.

Imports coming into the port of Sultim includes slaves from Thay (or those that Thay wouldn’t buy for whatever reason). Mulhorand, thankfully, has little need to import the vast quantities of grain coming out of Thay, and most of its other imports come from lands south beyond Lake Azulduth.

Government

The Third Empire of Mulhorand is ruled by a titular head of state known as the Pharaoh, the holder of this office has for a long time been held by the incarnation of Horus-Re and is usually a hereditary title kept within the House of Helcalliant (except for one instance following the rebellion of Thay when the Divine Precept of Thoth held the title of Pharaoh while a new member of House Helcalliant underwent the Ritual of Oblaran).

Pharaoh: The Pharaoh is the ruler of Mulhorand. It is derived from the ancient Imaskari title of Empheroar (meaning Lord Artificer), which the Mulan inherited during their time of enslavement to that empire. The office of Pharaoh has been held by the Gods Ra and Horus-Re and then by the mortal descendants of Horus-Re who have been imbued with his divine power (using the Ritual of Oblaran).

The Pharaoh today is the titular ruler of Mulhorand with the power to determine policy and veto the decisions of any Divine Precept or Precept. The office of Pharaoh is also held by the Divine Precept of Horus-Re with all the powers inherent as titular head of the Church of Horus-Re. This makes the Pharaoh the most powerful man in Mulhorand but in practice the decisions are almost always delegated to the Vizier.

Vizier: The true power of Mulhorand is held by the Pharaoh’s most senior advisor known as the Vizier, with the power to issue commands with all the authority of the Pharaoh. The title of Vizier is synonymous with the most senior priest of Horus-Re in Mulhorand and the Church of Horus-Re administers to the government at the command of the Vizier. As a result the Vizier has the authority of the Pharaoh and the backing of the Church of Horus-Re and the central government administration behind him, so his word is law and can only be overruled by the Pharaoh and the Divine Precept of Osiris.

Ministry

The various ministries of government are divided among the various churches of Mulhorand, each office held by the most senior priest of the church in question. That church has total responsibility for the policy and implementation of that policy within their ministry, although they can be overruled by the Vizier.

Faramut Osemi: The Ministry of Defence is under the control of the Church of Anhur. It is responsible for maintaining the fortifications of Mulhorand and the combat readiness of its standing army.

Faramut Jabat: The Ministry of Mountains is under the control of the Church of Geb. It is responsible for the mining concerns of Mulhorand, ensuring that enough raw materials are gathered to meet the country’s needs.

Faramut Kahnun: The Ministry of Law is under the control of the Church of Osiris. It is responsible for mediating all disputes, civil or law, and for determining the laws and sentencing of Mulhorand.

Faramut Kamut: The Ministry of the Realm is under the control of the Church of Horus-Re. It is responsible for the appointment of Precepts, the administration of central government, it is also the owner of and responsible for all slaves in Mulhorand.

Faramut Sawen: The Ministry of Roads is under the control of the Church of Nephthys. It is responsible for the maintenance of roads, and the setting and collection of trade tariffs.

Faramut Saret: The Ministry of Wisdom is under the control of the Church of Thoth. It is responsible for registering all practitioners of the magical arts and cataloguing all known spells in the magical language of Mulhorand.

Divine Precepts

The gods of Mulhorand can supposedly bequeath their power upon chosen mortals, greatly enhancing their abilities and lifespan far beyond normal limits. These chosen ones are referred to as Divine Precepts and as the titular heads of their church wield significant power within Mulhorand (although true power in the church is often held by the most senior priest), as a result they are often given honorary titles that grant them some administrative power and responsibility, they also have the power; as head of a church, to overrule their subordinates and that includes those who are Precepts and members of the ministry.

Historically the gods of Mulhorand were given regions to rule over in a manner similar to the Precepts of modern Mulhorand, they were the origins of the Divine Precept title and it is from this that the title and responsibilities of modern Precepts have been derived.

Divine Precept of Anhur: The Divine Precepture of Anhur is currently held by Hethab. The Divine Precept of Anhur is the titular head of the Legions of Dawn, but in practice the Divine Precept of Anhur has had no direct power over the legions for nearly 50 years (each legion is commanded by someone loyal to the Vizier Rezim and the Church of Horus-Re).

Hethab has been given the honorable title Defender of the Eastern Way, and for the last 3 years has been operating in secret out of Buldamar along the Eastern Way (through Veldorn to Durpar). The Eastern Way is little used in modern times because of the huge monster presence and the attrition rate for patrols on this route is incredibly high. It is clear to the Church of Anhur that the Vizier is trying to weaken its main rival (the Church of Anhur) but Hethab has no choice but to accept the honorary title and attempt to succeed.

Divine Precept of Geb:

Divine Precept of Hathor:

Divine Precept of Horus-Re: The Divine Precepture of Horus-Re is currently held by the Pharaoh himself Akonhorus II of the House of Helcalliant, it is the only hereditary office in Mulhorand, always held by the direct descendants of Horus-Re himself, and currently held by Akonhorus II. The heir to this Divine Precepture is Horustep Helcalliant (due to be Horustep III), but the child has shown reluctance to learn the ways of Horus-Re and take part in the ritual of Oblaran.

Divine Precept of Isis:

Divine Precept of Nephthys:

Divine Precept of Osiris:

Divine Precept of Set: The office of Divine Precept of Set was discarded over two millennia ago when the gods of Mulhorand warred amongst themselves for control of the nation in the aftermath of the Orcgate Wars and the death of Re. At the time Set was the Divine Precept of the Priador and he kept himself apart from the conflict until Osiris finally rose to claim the title of Pharaoh. Set poisoned Osiris and ignited a second and much bloodier civil conflict between Set and his allies against Horus and his allies. Ultimately Horus prevailed and Set fled into exile.

The office of Divine Precept of Set has remained vacant ever since. There have however been subsequent Oblaran (the Mulhorandi title given to those invested with the divine power of the gods) of Set, and these are said to dwell in the Tower of Set hidden somewhere in the Raurin region. The current Oblaran of Set is Seti, although this is a secret known only to the few faithful of Set deemed worthy enough to know.

Divine Precept of Thoth: The Divine Precepture of Thoth is currently held by Tholaunt (although the Divine Precepts of Thoth always change their name to Tholaunt upon successfully undergoing the Ritual of Oblaran). The Divine Precepture of Thoth has the honour of being the only Divine Precepture (outside of Horus-Re) to hold the office of Pharaoh, although only for 8 weeks while a new Divine Precept of Horus-Re was selected. This honour makes the Divine Precept of Thoth among the most respected offices in Mulhorand outside of Horus-Re, although the commoners will always respect the Divine Precept of Osiris more).

The Divine Precept Tholaunt most often resides in Gheldaneth in the Arcanum of Magic, the high temple of Thoth and centre of his worship.

Divine Precept of Sebek: The Divine Precepture of Sebek has remained vacant since the time of the Empire Divided when Sebek sided with Set against Horus and his allies during Mulhorand’s period of civil war. The Divine Precept of Sebek was traditionally in charge of the Sekkar region (the lands between Sekras and the River of Spears) which is now largely defunct, the region long since abandoned by Mulhorand and the people there left to govern themselves autonomously.

After the civil war ended and Set fled into exile, Sebek began to prepare himself for the inevitable retaliation of the other gods of Mulhorand. It would take several centuries before Mulhorand managed to rebuild itself and turn its attention towards Sekras; the centre of Sebek’s power. By the time of the attack in -423 DR, Sebek had long since fled east to the land of Akanu with the bulk of his House and power.

Precepts

Mulhorand is divided into a number of local government regions called Precepts. The Precepts have responsibility for governing and implementing government policy at a regional level, relying upon the local churches for assistance in this regard.

The office of Precept can be held by anyone, although it is almost always held by senior priests of the various churches of Mulhorand. The Precepts can command the temples of Mulhorand within their region, but those commands can be overruled by the various ministers and the churches wield significant power in Mulhorand so polite requests are usually made by the Precepts to local temples for assistance when needed.

Defence

The Legion of Dawn: The Alshahaf Fassar, otherwise known as the Legion of Dawn, are the central armed forces of Mulhorand. It is raised and equipped by the Church of Anhur and during times of peace is firmly under command of Anhur’s priests where it’s duties include maintaining the borders, defending major cities, assisting regional militias in dealing with bandits and monsters, etc.

A Legion of Dawn is organized into units of 27 soldiers, supposedly for the 27 heroes of Mulhorand who came to Toril to rescue the Mulan from the Imaskari (it is unknown if this number includes any of the godkings of Akanu and Unther). 27 of these units can be organized into a legion (containing 729 soldiers) which are usually deployed to a major precept. In times of peace there are usually no more than 5 Legions of Dawn (with one legion each always stationed in the Precepts of Ganath, Mishtan, and Sultim).

In times of war the Legions of Dawn can swell to as many legions as the nation can afford. Typically the Legions are commanded by nominated priests of Anhur, but during war time the Pharaoh/Vizier often takes it upon himself to appoint commanders personally.

Historically (during the First Empire of Mulhorand) each Divine Precept had its own legion, named for one of the responsibilities of the gods of Mulhorand. This military organization lasted up until the period of the Empire Divided, when Horus-Re claimed the throne of Mulhorand he disbanded all the Divine Precept legions and established the current model whereby the Church of Anhur raised the legions but they were commanded by appointed generals during war time. All these legions were named after Horus’ own; the Legion of Dawn, except for the premier legion known as the Legion of the Sun in homage to Re. The Legion of the Sun was lost in 204 DR, escorting Eltab to the Thaymount, and it has never been replaced.

Pehtemi: The Shields of the People are regional forces raised by individual Precepts. Their organization and armament is up to the holder of the Precept, but most typically rely upon the Church of Anhur to do the recruiting and armament of these militia forces. Many of these militias are equipped with little more than a spear, helmet and a coloured toga. Their duties are to maintain law and order and are generally under direct command of the Precept (who normally appoints a commander in his stead).

Navy: Mulhorand’s navy is almost non-existent in modern times, it is rumoured to have 20 or so ancient and rotting galleys in the Pharaoh’s Harbour, but these ships never leave the Bay of Shadows and are used only for the defence of Skuld (they seem permanently moored and haven’t been afloat in over 3 decades).

Mulhorand’s navy has never been strong, in the past it has relied on allies such as Unther in times when naval power was required, and on foreign or commercial merchants to ferry things across the Inner Sea when needed. In modern times with Mulhorand’s policy of isolation, a navy is no longer required and is being left to ruin. Others (notably the Church of Anhur) however disagree with this policy and are secretly constructing ships in cities away from the centre of government power.

Religion

Mulhorand is dominated by a number of religions that have existed largely unchanged since the nation was founded (except for a few deaths around the time of the Orcgate Wars). The various churches are responsible for individual ministries of government.

The Ritual of Oblaran: Oblaran is the Mulhorand word for what foreigners term the “incarnations” of the gods, it means servant of the divine. Most believe that becoming an incarnation is a divine act and that the next incarnation is chosen by the God himself from among his mortal descendants.

True experts in Mulhorandi culture are aware of the mysterious Ritual of Oblaran which is usually performed whenever the current incarnation perishes. The prospective incarnation presents himself at the high temple and undergoes the ritual in secret over a period lasting up to six weeks. If successful the incarnation is imbued with youthful vigour, enhanced physique, and sometimes magical powers.

The Ritual of Oblaran is a highly protected secret of the churches of Mulhorand. Should someone (or something) acquire the workings of such a ritual then it is likely the church would stop at nothing to recover the secret and eliminate the thief.

Magic Users: In Mulhorand all magic is borne of the gods and is thus holy and owned by the churches, they make no distinction between the different titles magic users use to distinguish their own brand of magic; wizards, magi, priests, artificers, psionicists, etc, anyone who manifests magical powers must submit themselves to control of the churches of Mulhorand.

The Church of Thoth has responsibility over all magic and any magic users in Mulhorand (even those foreigners entering the country) must present themselves to the Church of Thoth and be registered and enrolled as acolytes or have their magical works bound and sealed (with magic). To practice magic in Mulhorand without being registered is to commit a crime and the punishment is maiming (the loss of hands and tongue) and enslavement. This strict control of all magic use is the primary reason for the rebellion of Thay.

The Church of Anhur: The Church of Anhur directly controls the central military armed forces of Mulhorand. As holder of the Ministry of Defence (Faramut Osemi), the Church of Anhur is responsible for recruitment, training, and armament of these military forces, all of which are considered a part of the Church of Anhur (although in reality it is a separate military order over which the Church of Anhur has responsibility for maintenance but not always direct command).

The Church of Bes: The Church of Bes is a relatively obscure organization, even within Mulhorand. Bes was last seen during the Orcgate Wars and believed slain by the other Mulhorandi gods; although no one saw him perish and no body was ever found. His church dwindled over the centuries, until a sudden revival occurred after a number of diminutive humanoids reappeared in the foothills of the Sunrise Mountains.

The Gods of Mulhorand had long since driven the dwarves out of the region and the new human Pharaoh’s had never even heard of these creatures. They were welcomed by the people as the children of Bes for their trade and skill with metal. The Church of Bes was reinvigorated and now has temples (outposts of the dwarves) spread along the Dragonsword Mountains and Sunrise Mountains and even in the Mountains of Copper in Murghom territory.

The Church of Bes speaks of their god as the god of luck and chance, his temples often have attached gambling dens, and markets (and thieves’ guilds), but the true power of the church lies in the dwarven outposts in the mountains nearby which bring goods to trade with the humans.

Magic

Magic in Mulhorand is strictly controlled by the Church of Thoth which has responsibility over all magic within the country.

All magic users (no matter what they call themselves, be it wizard, priest, magi, psionicist, etc), must present themselves to the Church of Thoth to be interviewed, assessed, registered, licensed and enrolled in the church as acolytes. This process must be repeated every year and involves the magic user providing details of all their activities and research (failure to disclose anything results in The Binding), and provide a copy of any new spells to the church (those spells deemed too dangerous or too useful to Mulhorand are entirely confiscated from the individual and attempts are made to track down others who may have access to these spells).

Those that do not wish to become enrolled in the church must undergo The Binding, this involves the priests performing a ritual upon the subject that will alert it to any magic use the subject attempt to invokes (this includes the activation of spell trigger magic items).

The control of magic use in Mulhorand is so absolute that all spells catalogued by the Church of Thoth (and thus available to all other priests of the Mulhorandi Gods – with a few exceptions) are written in a different alphabet. This alphabet is distinct from the script used by all other magic users in Faerun (which is modeled on the script found in the Nether Scrolls and uses what is termed the Draconic Alphabet (although dragons are known to have studied the scrolls as well), it is believed by scholars of ancient history to be based upon the now extinct Imaskari alphabet and language and as such is nearly impossible to be translated by those not part of the Church of Thoth or those with access to all of the Imaskarcana.

Geography

Asanabis: The Great Vale is a land of hills and plains that lie between the River of Shadows and the River of Swords, east of the Menesankh and west of the Dragonsword Mountains.

The Great Vale is the lush agricultural centre of Mulhorand, a wide variety of arable crops and fruit (including emmer a variety of wheat, hay, barley, grapes, dates, figs, oranges) are grown on the huge slave farms owned by the nobility and temples.

The Great Value has the River of Spears running through it, and the overflow from this river helps keep the land fertile while its waters irrigate the crops. The Mulhorandi in ages past built dams and pumps that still operate today (although are in sore need of replacement) using knowledge that has long since been lost and only recently rediscovered. Scholars claim similarities exist between the technologies used here and ancient artifacts found along the shore of Lake Azulduth (which are dated from many millennia before the Mulan ever came to Toril).

Land of the Dead: On the eastern edge of the Great Vale, in the shadow of the Dragonsword Mountains, lies the Land of the Dead. It is here that the Pharaohs of Mulhorand have chosen to be buried, and the landscape is littered with huge steppe pyramids and towering needle monuments.

Most of the pyramids and monuments are now built amid the famous City of the Dead, but outside its walls are the most ancient pyramids, which some sages claim to be well over 15,000 years old. Numerous lootings and defacements have struck other pyramids but the most ancient examples are routinely repaired by the Statues That Walk.

City of the Dead: The City of the Dead is the final resting place of all the Pharaohs of Mulhorand. It is a grand and ornate city filled with huge monuments to legendary leaders of the past, but apart from the few Divine Minions of Osiris that patrol the city and keep it clean of all kinds of filth, the city is entirely deserted.

Furitep: The Furitep is the far eastern edge of Mulhorand extending from the southern tip of the Dragonsword Mountains all the way up to the southern tip of the Sunrise Mountains as far as the River of Dawn.

Dragonsword Mountains: Once known as the Sword Mountains, these peaks have long since been renamed for the creature that makes it’s lair amid them and preys upon the Mulhorandi that dwell nearby. Gestaniius, the great blue wyrm has lived here and plagued Mulhorand (and Raurin) for the past 600 years, despite numerous attempts to stop him and several dragon hunters hired to kill the beast.

Fuirgar: Deep in the Dragonsword mountain range lies a realm spoken of in myth and legend which translates literally in an old dialect of Mulhorandi to the land of the Great (size) Mountain or possibly Great Man. These legends are some of the earliest stories of Mulhorand and speak of the godkings Re, E-Anu, and E-Nlil ascending the mountains to meet with the Stone Giants in their great pyramids and from whom they claimed the gifts of knowledge and eternal life.

Those few who enter the twinned towers of Re or Horus-Re (one is all but impossible in modern times as it is sealed and guarded by powerful magic) can use one of the rare Relairet (star eyes) to look towards the Dragonsword Mountains and see the huge steppe pyramids with their immobile sentinels standing guard beside them.

None have ventured to Fuirgar since that time and returned and the godkings of Mulhorand and Unther have not dared venture there again. Any that do make the perilous journey awaken the colossal guardians and find them made of solid stone and impervious to harm. These colossi are the same as those found elsewhere throughout Mulhorand, Thay, Unther and even Raurin but they remain more active and functional than the rest, attending their targets with proper care and attacking intruders without mercy.

The true inhabitants of Fuirgar are long since departed, they appear to have once dwelled in great steppe pyramids littered around the Old Empires region of which only those in Fuirgar now remain, and which certainly influenced Mulhorandi and Untheric architecture. If someone were to somehow make it past the guardians they would find the pyramids filled with chambers, each home to a single metallic pod that looks more like a cocoon and inside would be filled with star shaped gem as black as midnight.

Many sages have long debated the nature and stories of Fuirgar, some translate the name and espy the pyramids and colossi and decide it is a realm of giants (of the stone sub-race), others claim it is a fortified settlement of the long lost realm of Okoth, the most learned however recognise the unique architecture and magics and have concluded that Fuirgar is a last remnant of what is probably the first race to inhabit the Old Empires region before even the sarrukh arrived, and these beings warred with the sarrukh before retreating to Fuirgar and disappearing completely from Faerun.

Menesankh: Known as the Plains of Life to the Mulhorandi, this region is home to the largest cities of Mulhorand and the majority of its population. It is a land of flat plains (with occasional marshland) that covers the western edge of Mulhorand skirting the Alamber Sea from the River of Shadows to the River of Swords (extending as far east as the Asanabis).

Taranoth: Known to the Mulhorandi as the Highlands, this set of high plains between the River of Shadows and the River of Dawn is characterized by its spectacular cliffs that borders the western edge of this region.

The Highlands are primarily devoted to the rearing of livestock, again by huge noble or temple owned slave farms. To the north (towards the Thazalhar), and the east (towards the Ganathwood), the region becomes dotted with small farmsteads populated by groups of families that try to make a living out of the poor soil in the regions plagued by raiders, pirates, and monsters (which deter the large land owners from establishing farms here).

Important NPCs

Derlaunt (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 5, Magic User 4): Derlaunt is Precept of Gheldaneth, cousin to Tholaunt; the Divine Precept of Thoth, and a powerful and ambitious man. Derlaunt is often at odds with his cousin Tholaunt, and has been searching for a means to advance the power of the Church of Thoth and by association his own station.

Important Items

Karathoth’s Jewel: Crafted by the former Pharaoh Karathoth I (the only mortal Pharaoh that was not an incarnation of Horus-Re) in 921 DR, this gem allows whoever rubs a facet of the jewel to create a simulacrum. It has been used many times over the centuries to protect Pharaoh’s from assassination and accidents. Many replicas have been made since its construction, although none are as powerful as the original.

Precept’s Charm: Made for the Divine Precept’s by Ra (actually crafted by Set at Ra’s request), these necklace charms were meant to protect the wearer against baleful influences (such as charm effects). Many more charms have been made over the millennia and these are now in the possession of the Pharaoh, Vizier, Divine Precepts, and the Precepts.

Tomes of Thoth: The Tomes of Thoth are the most sacred of holy texts held in the Arcanum of Magic, the high temple of Thoth. There are 3 known tomes held deep in the most secure vaults beneath the Arcanum of Magic, there are numerous lesser copies held by other temples and travelling priests of Thoth. The contents of the original tomes of Thoth are uncertain but the lesser copies details the history and learning of Mulhorand and some of the sacred spells of the Church of Thoth.

Local Lore

The Statues That Walk: Mulhorand’s landscape is sprinkled with enormous statues that dot the landscape like massive, immobile juggernauts. The status have never moved in living memory but stories of Mulhorand speak of times when the statues come to life, stomp across the land and any people or buildings that stand in their way, smash prominent monuments to pieces and then begin reconstructing the rubble into the base of makeshift pyramid structures, before becoming immobile once more.

None know who built the statues or why they perform the same activities over and over again through the centuries. The statues are depicted in the earliest carvings from when Mulhorand was first founded so they have been present for many thousands of years. They appear to be completely invulnerable to most forms of damage, and quickly repair whatever damage they do sustain no matter how much is inflicted. Their towering 50 ft tall bodies are covered in a variety of magical symbols that few in Mulhorand recognise, but which scholars in other parts of Faerun would say is closely related to the magical alphabet.

Some ancient and secret documents in Skuld speak of similar statues being present high in the Dragonsword Mountains in the land known as Fuirgar, although these statues are not immobile and crush intruders without mercy.

Recently these stone colossi have begun to come to life once more, first it was a single statue, but then the nearest statues began to animate and this trend will continue until all 1000 or so statues are rampaging across the country.

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