Mulhorand

Capital: Skuld

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

Government: Theocratic Dictatorship

Religion: Mulho-Untheric Pantheon (The Church of Horus-Re, the Church of Anhur, the Church of Osiris, the Church of Isis, the Church of Nephthys, the Church of Geb, the Church of Thoth, the Cult of Set)

 

Overview

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

The godkings of Mulhorand no longer walk among their people (or so it is believed), but their descendants rule the empire in their stead. Mulhorand is a sleeping giant, filled with wonders both magical and divine, but its people are 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 close the gates and erect a magical barrier around their lands which prevents all magical teleportation and planar travel in or out (except that of the Imaskari).
  • c. -4000 DR: The Lake Azulduth is first documented as existing south of the Alamber Sea (the Grand Disjunction).
  • -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 godkings 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 godking Ra 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 during 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 it was united by the war against Unther, until that point the Mulan of Mulhorand were divided into loosely aligned settlements founded and led by individual godkings. The threat of Unther united the godkings behind Ra and the strongest city; Skuld, then the threat from nearby dragons cemented that alliance into a true nation with Ra as its ruler.

Mulhorand quickly expanded to conquer the nearby successor states of Imaskar; Semphar and Murghom, as well as more frontier territories such as the Netarand; meaning “the Wildlands” (Modern: Thay). This period of expansion was ended along with the First Empire of Mulhorand when a rebellion in the Netarand opened a gate 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 the death of Ra 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.
  • c-1500 DR: Mulhorandi expansion results in the settlement of the Netarand (Modern: Thay), 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.
  • c-1480 DR: Mulhorand conquers the eastern realm of Semphar.
  • c-1460 DR: Mulhorand conquers the realm of Murghom.
  • c-1450 DR: Mulhorand settles the Netarand (Modern: Thay).
  • c-1400 DR: Mulhorand settles the land of Thesgaba (Modern: Thesk).
  • Mulhorand drives the dwarves from the Mountains of Copper after they resist Mulhorandi attempts to seize their mines.
  • c-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 Netarand while Unther and Akanu lose the settlements in Altumbel and the Wizards’ Reach.
  • -1075 DR: Orcs overrun the Netarand and nearby colonies of Unther and Akanu.
  • -1073 DR: The Statues that Walk activate and demolish a number of sacred monuments in Mulhorand, particularly in the City of the Dead. Sampranasz is also heavily damaged by the stone colossi and the settlement is abandoned for a century.
  • -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 their warlords and the deaths of many godkings of the Old Empires; including Ra, Amar-Du’uk, Sin-An’na, TiaMa’at. and many other Akanic, Mulhorandi, and Untheric deities.
  • -1069 DR:  The Orcgate Wars are ended, the orcs are defeated and driven from the lands around the Netarand (Modern: Thay).
  • -1068 DR: The Scattering of the Tusks: Defeated by the forces of Mulhorand, the surviving grey orcs summoned during the Orcgate Wars flee northward into surrounding lands, coming into conflict with the elves of Lethyr. Felling trees and dying by the thousands under a storm of elvish arrows, the orcs construct crude boats and cross the Easting Reach.
  • -1064 DR: A portal opens in the Shaar which disgorges thousands of Nar from the Kingdom of Ashanath. The city of Shaundaular is erected within a year and the expansion of this new power displaces the Untheric presence in the Shaar.
  • -1050 DR to -1048 DR: War of the Gods: Mulhorand descends into civil war as the godkings divide the nation behind their chosen successor. The war ends when Horus defeats Set and becomes Ra’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 their new Divine 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.

The territory of the Netarand remains mostly abandoned by Mulhorand (until later invaded by Narfell) and becomes known during this time as the Kamut Newefar, the Land Without Shadow. The lowland areas by the Alamber Sea were resettled by independent groups of Mulan, but the plateau remained both a sacred and cursed place filled with undead, evil spirits, and much worse.

Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re spends almost 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 godkings in a millennia of constant toil and strife. When the summoned hordes of Narfell descend upon Mulhorand in -148 DR, the godkings muster for the final battle of their rule and turn back an endless tide of fiendish horrors.

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

  • -1045 DR: Horusret I becomes the first incarnation of Horus-Re and is named Pharaoh of Mulhorand, jointly ruling with Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re.
  • -1043 DR: The Time of Broken Staves: The priesthood of Thoth establishes its control over all wizardry in Mulhorand.
  • -658 DR: Year of Friends Rejoicing: Nentyarch Belevan orders a series of military expeditions into the lands south of Narfell led by his chief military commander, Ayarch Pria. Within twenty years her forces conquer most of the region known as Erilath’s Steps and she founds the settlement known as Prianar (modern: Bezantur) on the northern shores of the Alamber Sea.
  • -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 Netarand.
  • 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 for a thousand years.
  • -425 DR: Year of Ancestral Voices: The Legion of Dawn 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 of the Hormae tribe migrate from the Endless Wastes 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 Netarand (Modern: Thay) and the Wizards’ Reach.
  • -148 DR: Year of the Black Marble: The Shining Clashes: Hordes of summoned creatures that survived the Great Conflagration plague the northern territories of Mulhorand.
  • The God Kings’ Final Battle: The final horde of summoned creatures is destroyed by the godkings of Mulhorand 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 independent of the godkings of Mulhorand (who retreated into their towers and never again emerged). The mortal Pharaoh oversaw the expansion of the empire to its former glory (including the Netarand as the new precept of Shamulrand) while the godkings supposedly watched and advised their children, but took no part in the affairs of mortals.

The rebellion of Shamulrand and the founding of Thay ended the Second Empire of Mulhorand and caused the empire to shrink to its current borders.

  • -147 DR: Year of the Candlemaker: Horuseres I is again re-crowned Pharaoh and sole ruler of Mulhorand (he had already reigned jointly with Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re for 192 years) as the Laren of Mulhorand retreat from mortal affairs.
  • -135 DR: Year of Old Beginnings: Founding of Kensten (Modern: Bezantur) at the ruined site of Prianar and the establishment of the precept of Shamulrand (Modern: Thay). Other settlement are 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 reclaiming the lands of Thesk, although in reality they do little more than extort taxes from the settlements there).
  • -120 DR: Year of Confusion: The Suren march against the Kalmyk, conquering Khazari and Ra-Khati. Semphar declares independence from the Kalmyk and gradually comes under the sway of Mulhorand and is once again a protectorate of the Mulhorandi Empire within a decade.
  • -97 DR: Year of Amulets: Delhumide is founded on the banks of Lake Ghagat (Modern: Lake Thaylambar).
  • -75 DR: Year of Leather Shields: Mulhorand launches an attempted invasion of Rashemen from Delhumide. Its forces are driven back by the warriors and witches of that land.
  • -59 DR: Year of Whims: Delhumide is named capital of Shamulrand.
  • Shamans of beast cults of the Hormae tribe are found slaughtered throughout northern Mulhorand prompting a decade of unrest from the refugee Hormae peoples. The murders are blamed upon Bast and her clergy and the majority of the priesthood (and it’s patron godking) are 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). The Havi tribe deplete the Legion of Dawn stationed in Murghom over the next few years.
  • -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 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 the Thaymount by the incarnations of Mulhorand.
  • 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.
  • 204 DR: Year of the Avarice: Priests of the godkings lead by Kesanhur; incarnation of Anhur, defeat the demonlord Eltab and imprison him beneath the present-day Thaymount. The entire Legion of the Sun is lost along with Kesanhur, only Hadryllis is retrieved from the Thaymount by scouts and returned to Sultim.
  • 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 Mulhorand 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 their former 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.
  • 860 DR: Year of the Tired Horsemen: Rise of the tharchions, regional warlords who give lip service to the rule of the Sepatab of Shamulrand.
  • 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 city of Delhumide is sacked by a horde of fiends and left a smoking ruin.
  • Sahuagin sneak into Skuld and plunder the Solarium at the same time as the blue dragon Gestaniius flies into Skuld and rips open the top of the Solarium. Many sacred artefacts of Ra and Horus-Re are stolen before the Guardians of Skuld can drive them away.
  • 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.
  • Semphar and the Masters of the Temple declare the Oracle of Fazhakhum to have revealed a cousin of Ramenhorus II to be the true Pharaoh chosen by Horus-Re.
  • End of the Second Mulhorandi Empire, three Pharaoh are slain during the conflict and all prospective candidates to take the Elixir of Horus-Re are under-age. Thothibistep I is crowned Pharaoh and the reign of the Ire Pharaoh (Watchful Kings) begins.

The Third Mulhorandi Empire

The loss of Thay was a grievous blow to the Empire of Mulhorand, causing the death of tens of thousands of soldiers and citizens in the fighting, the depletion of its armies, the loss of much of its priesthood and wizards, and the collapse in Mulhorand’s economy.

Mulhorand slowly rebuilt its economy, military, and society, ensuring that each province relied upon the other for resources and strength, and retreating within itself eschewing the influence of foreigners upon the eternal empire.

Politics and infighting are rife during this period, without expansion and growth to drive them, the rich and powerful of Mulhorand’s society turn upon one another for advancement. The Church of Anhur is the primary casualty of this age, repeatedly losing power and influence for failures it could not foresee or prevent.

  • 923 DR: Year of the Bloodied Soldier: Mulhorand hastily musters the remnants of its army and bolsters it with mercenaries from Chessenta before marching on Semkhrun and leaving it a smoking ruin. Mulhorand is unable to complete the conquest of Semphar and abandons the campaign after slaughtering the Masters of the Temple and drowning the pretender Pharaoh Ramenhorus III in the Gbor Nor.
  • 925 DR: Year of the Enchanted Trail: The Spelldoom: Nezrak and his followers begin a guerilla war against the Church of Thoth and Mulhorand. Hundreds of priests are slain and Pharaoh Thothibistep I is assassinated by Nezrak himself and the only known casting of the Spelldoom spell, the remaining partisan wizards are slain or exiled from Mulhorand into the Raurin Desert.
  • 927 DR: Year of the Red Rain: The Death of Truth: Pharaoh Thothibistep II declares an inquisition of all wizards in Mulhorand, unveiling the six swords known as Traitor’s Bane. The inquisition interrogates all wizards before expanding the scope to cover the churches of Mulhorand and normal citizenry. Fully 30% of the wizards in Mulhorand are executed along with over 14,000 other individuals before the High Magistrates of Osiris call an inquiry and halt the inquisition.
  • 929 DR: Year of Flashing Eyes: End of the Ire Pharaoh. Akonhorus I is crowned Pharaoh.
  • 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.
  • 957 DR: Year of the Entombed Poet: The Ship of the Gods erupts, destroying an ancient Untheric fortress built during the First Empire of Unther. A tsunami spreads south and swamps the settlement of Sampranasz.
  • 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.
  • 1183 DR: Year of the Grisly Ghosts: A military order dedicated to Osiris clears the ruins of Sekras of followers of Sebek.
  • 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.
  • Pirates attack Skuld and occupy the Bay of Shadows. Before the Sun Tridents (navy) and the Guardians of Skuld can drive them away the pirates manage to steal the Beacon of Light.
  • 1311 DR: Year of the Fist: Rezim becomes vizier of Mulhorand and continues the persecution 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: Amathoth 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 Amathoth and is sentenced to death for his crimes (he fled Mulhorand before Amathoth’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.

The Spelldoom

The Spelldoom (named after the unique spell that signaled the end of the conflict) began shortly after 922 DR and the rebellion of Thay. The Ire Pharaoh Thothibistep I sought to ensure once and for all that the wizards of Mulhorand would remain firmly under the control of the Church of Thoth (and thus reduce the shame that had fallen on his church and family).

The first action of Thothibistep I was to demand all magic users in Mulhorand (except priests) to renew their registration at the nearest temple of Thoth, this registration included a lengthy assessment (although some used the word interrogation to describe it).

At around the same time a pretender Pharaoh was declared in Semphar by the Masters of the Temple in Semkhrun; an order of “priests” that served an oracle who had predicted the rebellion of Thay and who now declared the pretender to be the one true Pharaoh. The Legion of Dawn was sent to put and end to the Nef Pharaoh (False King), which it did, and ruined Semkhrun in the process.

The fallout from the Nef Pharaoh was the discovery of Setite worshippers among the Masters of the Temple and other inhabitants of Semkhrun (given away by oddly similar jewellery they possessed with snake symbology). This revelation puzzled and worried Thothibistep I greatly and would have much greater ramifications later.

Meanwhile back in Mulhorand further sanctions were introduced against magic users. Thothibistep I decreed that all magic users must endure a tithe upon their magical works each year in the form of spell or item, the value dependent upon the accomplishment of the wizard that year (wizards who achieved more for themselves were expected to deliver more valuable spells or items).

This tithe did not go down well, nor did the inspections that accompanied them to determine the accomplishments of each wizard that year. There were a few outspoken opponents among the magic using community, but they were silenced by savage beatings and the even more savage punishments that accompanied non-compliance with the new restrictions (maiming, slavery, exile, or death to name a few).

Finally in 925 DR, Thothibistep I declared a new magical script was to be made mandatory for all magic users in Mulhorand (priests and wizards alike). This magical alphabet was supposedly created long ago by Thoth himself and all existing magical works were to be submitted to the Church of Thoth for copying (and education of the owners in this new alphabet and magical language). Those loyal magicians who submitted their spellbooks immediately found many of their most powerful spells missing from the translated version with no explanation, recourse, or recompense to follow.

Typically, those who did not comply (for the justified fear of losing their most prized spells) were branded criminals and were suitably punished – usually with the loss of at least one hand. The first death occurred on Alturiak 2 when the priests of Thoth attempted to seize the spellbooks of one Mumed of Rauthil; a minor mage with a number of noble relatives in Murghom. Mumed initially cooperated until the priests discovered spells hidden in a secret cache in a false wall, Mumed was unwilling to part with his treasure and unleashed a wind that blew the priests through his door and window, unfortunately one of them opened his own throat on a broken fence post outside and died within seconds. The following day Pehtemi returned and dragged the now repentant Mumed to Skuld where he was judged by Thothibistep I himself; the punishment was a most hideous death being devoured alive by scarabs.

Mumed’s death was the spark for many other wizards to rise up against their vicious masters. Spellbooks were trapped and when priests came to claim them they were immolated, eviscerated, driven insane, and slain in other hideous ways. Cursed items of magical power were also created and delivered to the Church of Thoth as part of their tithe. Within 2 months of Mumed’s death there was open war among the magic users of Mulhorand and the Church of Thoth (which was tasked with enforcing Thothibistep I’s new edicts). What at first started as a disorganized resistance of individuals against an ever oppressive state soon turned into a guerilla war when the wizard Nezrak and his family (all descendants of the famed Nezram). Nezrak and 5 other wizards slaughtered a gang of 14 priests (and attending Pehtemi) when they came to claim the property of an unrelated wizard in Azun, this show of strength and willingness to assist their fellow wizard began to unite other wizards behind the banner of Nezrak.

Nezrak and his band of wizards attacked priests of Thoth and the state of Mulhorand across the nation, but ultimately were fighting a losing battle (there were now so few wizards in Mulhorand after Thay’s rebellion that they couldn’t hope to defeat the combined might of Mulhorand even after it’s recent defeat in Thay’s rebellion). After many of Nezrak’s followers were slain, all descendants of Nezram were rounded up and exiled into the Raurin Desert through the perilous Rolling Stone Gap.

Ultimately Nezrak ended the Spelldoom personally by surrendering, and when brought before Thothibistep I he sacrificed himself with a spell of his own devising (which he named Spelldoom and is the name given to the troubles it ended) cast prior to his surrender that seems to have absorbed all nearby magic building up to a terrifying explosion that nearly destroyed the Speaker’s Gate and presumably slew Thothibistep I and Nezrak (for no trace of either was ever found).

The Death of Truth

Thothibistep II was appointed rather unexpectedly and unpreparedly, Thothibistep I was supposed to hold the office of Pharaoh until 933 DR when the next Pharaoh could undergo the Ritual of Oblaran (he was born 919 DR and would not be able to safely become an Oblaran until 933 DR when he was of age).

Thothibistep II instead found himself invested rather hurriedly, and had to immediately deal with the aftermath of the Spelldoom. A lengthy investigation with every High Magistrate of Osiris involved in the interrogation of surviving wizards and priests, the investigation tracked events back to the rebellion of Thay and linked it to the Setites who had infiltrated the Masters of the Temple in Semkhrun. The final conclusion was that followers of Set had in part orchestrated both the rebellion and the Spelldoom.

Thothibistep II, fearing further sedition among the magic using citizens of Mulhorand, commissioned the six blades that would come to be known as Herakemal (Traitor’s Bane). Upon the completion of the blades in early 927 DR, Thothibistep ordered the blades to be used during the annual registration of all magic users. This time, as part of the assessment, the wizard was made to touch the blade and answer questions relating to his loyalty, if he was burned by the blade then he was sentenced to death and executed immediately (using the sword).

The first 50 assessments revealed 18 traitors, and so Thothibistep II organized an immediate mass assessment of all magic users. The number of traitors was great, but more surprising was the number of other non wizards implicated by traitors who sought (in vain) to reduce their sentence. Priests were most often implicated and many of their number were found guilty by the swords as well, but fear had taken hold during the inquisition and people began spontaneously implicating government officials, slaves, citizens, criminals, and anyone else in an attempt to secure their innocence or eliminate rivals.

After 4 months and 17,000 deaths the High Magistrates of Osiris finally stepped in and declared an end to the inquisition to ascertain whether justice was being served. It was found that the swords picked up guilty feelings and this could be influenced by fear, thus many individuals who were executed as traitors were in fact innocent.

Thothibistep II was quietly removed as Pharaoh and the young Akonhorus I was crowned Pharaoh in 929 DR (at the tender age of 10). It would be another 4 years before he could undergo the Ritual of Oblaran, but that secret was kept under pain of death and dishonor of the entire family of those who knew should it be revealed.

 

Life and Society

Nobility

The nobility of Mulhorand are the descendants of the godkings of Mulhorand, they are divided into houses (suffixed 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, but means godking) and unlike in Unther and other countries they are not immensely large and bloated families of wealthy nobility, but instead cover all the spectrums of wealth and power.

Nobility in Mulhorand are usually 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 and of the same house as the church (thus all commoners must refer to a priest as Lord), but such bestowed nobility is not hereditary and is not equal to the true nobility of Mulhorand.

All nobility are automatically given the title Ab (meaning Lord), or Kirab (meaning High Lord). The title of Kirab is usually reserved for those nobles who have a position within the state of Mulhorand.

Helthaunt: The House of Helthaunt was founded by Ra and is among the most ancient of Mulhorand’s noble houses, although it is seem as decadent and in decline by many of the other nobles. House Helthaunt has a fifth of the membership of the Church of Horus-Re and could be influential in that church if it chose to.

House Helthaunt desires to reclaim its former power and has secretly allied itself with the current Vizier Rezim Helcalliant. In return for the support of House Helthaunt within the Church of Horus-Re, Rezim has promised to bestow titles and power upon the elders and heirs of House Helthaunt, the heir to its most senior family has already acquired the title Master of the Pharaoh’s Horse (and the state stipend that accompanies it).

Calliant: The House of Calliant was founded by Horus

Helcalliant: The fusion of House Helthaunt and Calliant, cemented when Horus-Re married a daughter of Ra.

Tholaunt: The House of Thola was founded by Thoth.

Derlaunt: The House of Derla, closely related to House Tholaunt.

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 Aset Isha (otherwise known as Isis).

Nesharia: The House of Nesha was founded by Nephthys.

Gebthant: The House of Gebth was founded by Somed Gebth

Hatharia: The House of Hathar was founded by Hathor.

Thulhaniria: A noble house closely related to House Isharia, prospective Oblaran of Isis are selected from this house as often as they are from Isharia.

Unkaria: The House of Unka, founded by Bastet Unka (otherwise known as Bast)

Priests

The clergy of Mulhorand’s churches are automatically considered nobility by the people and the state, all priests (above the lowest ranks of acolyte) are therefore given the title Ablarnat (meaning lord priest, or Kirablarnat meaning high lord priest) by those of equal or lesser station. Nobility in Mulhorand is a highly stratified layer (varying by birth, personal honour, family honour, wealth, political power, etc) so preferential treatment of priests is not always guaranteed by other nobility.

Those of equal or lesser station than priests are expect to defer themselves to the priest as they would any other nobility, this usually involves bowing, using appropriate titles, and generally removing themselves from the priest’s vicinity as quickly as possible unless called upon to perform some particular task.

Because all magic users (including those who term themselves “wizards”, “sorcerers” must become part of the Church of Thoth (or enter into another priesthood of Mulhorand) or else find it illegal to practice magic (the punishment for which is amputation), all magic users are also considered nobility and are given the title Abhashar (meaning Lord Wizard, or Kirabhashar for Lord High Wizard).

Wizardry is seen as an honourable profession, with a significant amount of a wizard’s time and resources spent aiding the state of Mulhorand or producing magical works on commission from one of the churches.

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 noble status 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 upon 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). The largest renters of slaves in Mulhorand are the other churches who in turn rent them out to favoured family and friends at a lower price.

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 or noble 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 (although ultimately all property owned by a slave is also owned by the Church of Horus-Re, it is often given by their masters to curry favour with the church).

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 to buy their freedom). It is not unknown for generous former masters to buy a slave’s freedom for him.

The Vizier; Rezim Helcalliant, is currently evaluating requests from powerful allies in House Helthaunt, Calliant, and Helcalliant to allow noble masters to outright purchase slaves from the Church of Horus-Re (as opposed to rent them). Such a move would net the Church of Horus-Re vast sums of wealth in the short term, and in the long term would free it of the burden of maintaining records and monitoring all the slaves it owns. The idea is unpopular with commoners (and slaves) as well as some of the more idealistic members of the churches of Horus-Re and Osiris, but the elder and richer members are eager to acquire more wealth and it has unexpected support from the Church of Anhur.

Jemewalaran

The Children or Kindred of the Gods are those Mulan born to noble (and very occasionally common) families who are “touched” by the gods. To those outside Mulhorand, these special individuals are more commonly known as Planetouched, and they exhibit powers and abilities beyond that of normal humans, with unusual physical appearance and a longer lifespan.

It is believed that the Jemewalaran are the result of recessive traits inherited by the actual children (and their descendants) of the godkings. The first-born of the Laren were certainly endowed with power far beyond normal humans; the strength to knock down walls, the speed to outrun a horse, and even the ability to fly in some cases. Most children of the noble Houses of Mulhorand are born perfectly normal, but occasionally (1 or 2 in every generation) there is a child born with odd skin, eye or hair colouration, enhanced physical or mental attributes, and the ability to use an innate magical ability or two.

The Jemewalaran are accorded special status in Mulhorand society, elevating them to nobility no matter the origins of their birth (very few commoners are Jemewalaran – typically less than 1 every 300 hundred years – but it does happen). Jemewalaran are also the favoured candidates to become Oblaran (Divine Incarnations) of a church of Mulhorand because the chance of the Ritual of Oblaran failing seems far lower for these favoured individuals. Jemewalaran born to noble houses often become Oblaran of their allied churches, common birth Jemewalaran are in the privileged position of being able to choose and are often courted by many churches.

Demihumans

The demihumans of Faerun have long been absent from the lands of the empire of Mulhorand.

The godkings of Mulhorand drove out the elves by continually logging the once vast forest that covered this land until only the Ganathwood remains. Those elves that remained fought back against the godkings and were slaughtered for their resistance.

The dwarves used to inhabit the mountains around Mulhorand in great numbers, but a calamity caused by the sudden increase in the population following the fall of Great Bhaerynden led the dwarven nation here to collapse and the bulk of its population headed south to reclaim their homeland from the drow invaders. By -3000 DR the overflowing lands around the Great Rift led many dwarves to spread out and colonise neighbouring lands, and so many enterprising families returned to the lands now claimed by the Imaskari Empire to reclaim the old dwarven holds. The mines however gave poor yields and few stayed, with many continuing north.

With the fall of Imaskar and the rise of the Empire of Mulhorand, this new nation delved its own mines and was not considerate towards the needs and sovereignty of the dwarves (with the exception of House Gebth), despite the lavish gifts the dwarves offered their new neighbours. When the dwarves resisted they were slaughtered, and when they came out of their mines they were often enslaved for trivial crimes. Eventually the dwarves left this land or died out and Mulhorand forgot all about the dwarves and elves.

Dwarves returned once again to Mulhorand’s mountains in secret around -700 DR, when Gil-Geamesq acceded to the throne of Unther and sought to expand his empire to its former heights. He invaded the lands south of Unther and conquered a great many aboveground settlements that the dwarves had established to trade with natives in the Shaar. Those dwarves cut off from the Great Rift by the fighting fled north into Mulhorand once more, where they re-established the Church of Bes (masquerading as his diminutive descendants), and insinuated themselves into the Church of Geb, marrying into the great House that spent most of its time in the mountains and mines. The returning dwarves brought their knowledge and technology with them and it gradually spread throughout Mulhorand, resulting in advances in weapon technology and a brief revival in steam technology.

Language

The language of Mulhorand is part of the Rauric family of languages which are all descended from the ancient and long dead Rauran language (spoken by one of the many tribes that inhabited the ancestral homeland of ancient Imaskar). Originally a slave language, ancient Mulhorandi was first written using pictographic images that depicted the word trying to be conveyed to the reader.

Evolving from a few thousand words acquired from its parent language, the Mulhorandi language is now a highly inflected language with many similar words that vary subtly in tense and case but with word order meaning very little. The original pictographic alphabet has long since fallen out of use as the language grew to encompass tens of thousands of words using the same limited pictograph set, multiple pictographs came to represent a single word which became confusing in long sentences with multiple interpretations possible. Other alphabets have since been adopted to improve access to literacy, the first new alphabet was a runic alphabet borrowed from Unther but was deeply unpopular, the latest alphabet is one designed by Thoth himself for the Tome of Thoth and has been dubbed Thothian script.

Thothian script is believed to be divine in origin since it was created by one of the godkings themselves (Thoth), foreign scholars therefore classify the alphabet as celestial. Thothian script has been in regular use since 925 DR Year of the Enchanted Trail when the Church of Thoth published the new alphabet for use with the Thothian magical language and has since been adopted for the Mulhorandi language.

Customs

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

The legend of the Lost Legion is inspired by the Legion of the Sun which was lost in 204 DR amid mists that descended upon the Thaymount as Kesanhur and the legion attempted to banish Eltab from the land. The entire legion disappeared (except for support staff that were foraging, scouting, and making camp), leaving only the sword Hadryllis behind.

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 of -623 DR (not the Untheric fleet that actually destroyed Narfell’s 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.

Body Paint: Long an art within the Turami culture, flesh painting spread to the Mulan when the empire was first formed as the Mulan chose to integrate the Turami into their society (rather than expel them like Unther and Akanu). The paint is made from mud, mixed with flax seed oil and dyed various colours and either applied to the skin like paint or tattoed into the skin for more permanent markings.

Most flesh paint markings are religious in nature and depict symbology of favoured churches, although slaves chose symbols or events that symbolize notable family members. For those unwilling to tattoo themselves (a practice that has fallen out of favour since the rebellion of Thay), the paint is daubed onto the skin and reapplied every morning.

Body painting also has a more social use in Mulhorandi society, the Thalual (the Three Pearls – of wisdom) is the enforced custom of tattooing (for mages) or painting (for priests and others) of coloured dots on the foreheads of individuals based upon their education or magical ability. While body painting has long been the custom of the Turami, the Thalual was not enforced until after the rebellion of Thay (influenced by Chondathan traders who had recently enforced a similar measure to track mages in their society). The tattoo was first applied only to mages, but over time as the wizarding profession became honourable once more, priests copied the custom, and then nobles and educated people.

The dye comes from the variety of flax seeds grown in the Taranoth which is coloured a greyish blue. Priests paint three dots on the forehead, wizards (any non priest magic user) must tattoo three dots upon the forehead, nobles and educated men may paint a single dot upon the forehead. Falsely applying dots to the forehead without proof of nobility or education by a priest, or without being enrolled in one of the churches of Mulhorand (all wizards must be acolytes of the Church of Thoth) is a crime and can carry punishment as severe as enslavement depending upon the intent and use of the deception.

It is not uncommon for magic users (usually wizards) to tattoo their forearms and other visible body-parts with runic symbols and magical lettering, these tattoos are then usually enchanted with a minor glamour that makes them glow during spellcasting. The origin of this tradition is unknown, but it proves effective in intimidating opponents.

Clothing: While the custom in Unther is to wear togas, this style of clothing is less popular in Mulhorandi (for it is reminiscent of the artificers robes of Imaskar), and instead the Mulhorandi (both sexes) wear a tight, knee length linen skirt known as a kalasiris, billowing, long-sleeved shirts with the upper torso open known as tamsals, and ornate pectoral collars that extend down over the pectorals or breasts.

Death: Customs surrounding death and the dead are separated by class and wealth in Mulhorandi society. Citizens of Turami descent favour cremation (it is unknown if this was the original custom of the Turami people before the Mulan arrived as it may have been inherited from the tradition of the Imaskari burning their dead slaves en-masse and without ceremony). Such cremations are often accompanied by a sombre feast with dancing and folk music. Commoners and slaves of Mulan descent usually bury the dead in reed or clay baskets with a few personal possessions in a custom that dates back to the very beginning of Mulhorand.

For the nobility (and those others wealthy enough to afford it), the funerary custom is to preserve the corpse in unguents and funeral wrappings, before placing the corpse inside a coffin (the material of the coffin varies according to the wealth of the individual) carved into a likeness of the being before his death. The coffin is decorated and the corpse’s personal effects that will fit are placed into the coffin, this is then interred in a burial chamber inside a pyramid (the size of which also varies according to the wealth of the individual).

The custom for interring nobles inside a sarcophagus in a pyramid hails from the funeral ceremony of Ra. Ra had long ago (around the time of Mulhorand’s founding) written explicit instructions for his funeral. Interpretations of these instructions (for they were written in an unfamiliar alphabet, presumably of Imaskari origin) resulted in a grand sarcophagus made of rose marble, covered in gold leaf, and decorated with thousands of enchanted gemstones (which emitted a dim light). This sarcophagus was paraded throughout the empire, before being laid to rest in an enormous pyramid erected among the steppe pyramids in the vale known as the Land of the Dead near modern day Mishtan.

Prayer: The state of Mulhorand requires prayers be spoken four times daily by every able bodied man and woman in Mulhorand (including slaves). Children are exempt but are encouraged by parents to take part in the ritual prayers. During prayer times; Mornfeast, Highsun, Evefeast, and Lowsun, the Mulan are expected to venerate every state religion, families pay special attention and reverence to their favourite godkings.

Holy Days: Horus-Re’s coronation as Divine Pharaoh also saw the introduction of a state mandated holy day to celebrate. Everyone (from noble to slave, although priests are exempt for obvious reasons) is expected to take the 6th day off and attend the nearest temple or shrine for a day of holy reverence listening to prayers delivered by a priest and performing sacred rites and rituals. The temple or shrine people attend is up to the individual (most nobility attend a family shrine with a family member presiding as priest).

Meweraed: Mewaraed; Mother’s Lament, is the religious practice of blessing food that must be performed by a priest from one of the churches of Mulhorand (although enforcing this practice is difficult in the most rural settlements and isolated family run farmsteads).

The practice of Meweraed involves the burning of incense in an underground cellar or smokeroom until the room is filled with the smoky vapours (often making it difficult for the priest to breathe), then a variety of chants and blessings are performed while the priest holds burning brands in each hand. If cattle are to be slaughtered it can be performed prior (and usually by a member of the Guild of Openers) to the ritual of Meweraed (although the carcass must be stored in the smoke room and not disturbed until a priest arrives – most priests prefer to bless already slaughtered cattle).

The practice of Mewaraed has many possible origins, some historians believe that it is performed because animals are seen as unclean, an opinion formed due to the legacy of the Orcgate Wars when bestial humanoids (believed to be possessed by demonic spirits) rampaged across the northern territories, ever since the Mulan have been obsessed by demonic spirits possession which is further reinforced by the Red Wizard’s use of demons in their rebellion and later invasions of Mulhorand.

Experts in ancient Mulhorandi history believe the practice originates much further back in Mulhorand’s history. Early Mulan settlers of the Asanabis and Menesankh were often plagued by swarms of carnivorous scarab beetles that came down from the Dragonsword Mountains to feed upon the now abundant flesh of human and animal. These beetles would burrow into cattle to feed and hide (waiting to infest upon anyone consuming the cattle), or would burrow into grain stores to hibernate when food became scarce. Heavy smoking appears to drive the beetles out of their deceased hosts, and the beetles also appear to be afraid of extreme heat and fire (although they are attracted to warmth and body heat).

The ritual has since evolved into a religious practice carefully controlled by the state and the churches and now involving sacred incense and elaborate somatic movements involving brands of fire (which previously would have kept the scarabs away once they were smoked out of their hiding places).

 

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 implemented over the last few centuries since the loss of the Precepture of Shamulrand. 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, spices (most of which come from the Shaar), and slaves which mostly come from Thay.

Mulhorand trades a small 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 two official 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 of course information and political favour. For occasions when smaller currencies are required (typically in more rural regions) barter is used or people buy in bulk up to the amount of a precept. The inefficient slave economy of Mulhorand has led to the prices of many goods inflating beyond the reach of lower class citizens, thus they are forced to produce what they need for themselves and barter with neighbours for things they cannot produce.

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 Ra 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. Some Pharaoh coins are especially prized due to the small number of coins minted during exceptionally short reigns (the batches from 922 DR are worth 10 gp per coin, depicting the pharaoh’s Mahorustep I, Horustep II, or Ramenhorus II).

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 godkings of Mulhorand). The culture of Mulhorand is it’s primary export as the wealthy from 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 slaves that Thay wouldn’t buy for whatever reason). Mulhorand, thankfully, has little need to import the vast quantities of grain coming out of Thay (thus reducing its reliance on an unreliable neighbor who is oft its enemy), and most of its other imports come from lands south beyond Lake Azulduth.

Exotic Oils and Perfumes: A variety of plants and flowers are grown in Mulhorand that are not found in the colder climates of the lands north and west of the Sea of Fallen Stars (although they are just as plentiful in lands south of Mulhorand). The arid, dusty climate of Mulhorand has led the Mulhorandi to become experts in the mixing of perfumes and aromatic oils.

These oils and perfumes are used by the wealthy nobility on themselves and their personal effects but the greatest market for these products are in far off lands such as the Savage Frontier and the Northern Sword Coast.

Flax: The arid plains of the Taranoth are most often used for growing flax, whose fibres are used to produce linen for clothes, and whose seed provides oil that has a great many uses. The Church of Anhur controls most flax farms in the north Taranoth (around Sultim), while the Church of Osiris controls most flax farms in the south Taranoth (near the River of Shadow). The Church of Horus-Re has usurped the ownership of the land around Skuld so that although the Church of Osiris owns the farm, the Church of Horus-Re could take back the land at any time (a threat that the Vizier uses occasionally to co-opt support from the Church of Osiris).

Gold: The Dragonsword Mountains are still rich with gold, despite their extensive mining over many thousands of years. The dwarves first exploited these loads many thousands of years ago, and their mining techniques are still in use today by the Mulhorandi to delve deep into the mountain and find the richest veins of gold.

Gemstones are also present in the Dragonsword Mountains, but other metals such as copper, iron, silver, etc, must be imported from Murghom and Semphar or from lands south of Mulhorand.

Papyrus: The coast of the Menesankh in south western Mulhorand is low and marshy, filled with reeds that are harvested to make the papyrus scrolls that Mulhorand is famous for, the churches of Thoth and Nephthys control most slave farms around the delta of the River of Spears, where the largest and most successful papyrus farms are located. There is not a great demand for papyrus elsewhere except as religious scrolls sold as curios (the scrolls often detail little more than toilet or cleaning practices).

Slaves: Mulhorand is a slave nation and has been since it’s founding, although a slave in Mulhorand is often better treated than the common-folk in some nations. Slaves in Mulhorand are required to perform much of the menial tasks for nobility, but the price to rent one of these slaves (from the Church of Horus-Re) and keep them is by no means cheap and this means the slave economy of Mulhorand is very inefficient.

Mulhorand obtains it’s slaves from multiple sources, the cheapest and most common is to import them from Thay, these slaves are often those not able to perform the intensive labour required by the Thayans and are otherwise unsuitable for the magical experiments the Red Wizards perform. Mulhorand also sentences criminals to enslavement and so has a steady supply of homegrown slaves. Lastly there are many other parties willing to sell unfortunates into slavery for money; Zhents, pirates, criminal organization, etc.

Stone: The mountains around Mulhorand (usually the Dragonsword Mountains) provide plentiful supplies of granite for use domestically. The Mountains of Copper in Murghom provide stone flecked or striated with green due to oxidized copper, and this stone is highly prized in decorative monuments in Mulhorand and in foreign lands such as Aglarond.

Wood: Wood is far from plentiful in Mulhorand; the huge forests that once dominated this land have long since been felled for cultivation and expansion. Isolated copses of trees flank either side of the major rivers (River of Spears and River of Shadow) but these are insufficient to maintain trade. The Ganathwood to the north is the last wooded region (mostly cedar and beech trees), and it is conservatively logged to provide for domestic needs and a steady trade with Thay, however, the Ganathwood is wild and overgrown and filled with feral creatures of all varieties which regularly interfere with this trade.

For fine woods, Mulhorand often imports these from southern lands through Durpari traders. This fine timber is worked into furniture and religious iconography before being exported to the Inner Sea.

 

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 a brief time following the rebellion of Thay when the Divine Incarnations of Thoth held the title of Pharaoh while new members of House Helcalliant underwent the Ritual of Oblaran, and also following the Orcgate Wars when there were no male members of age in House Helcalliant).

Pharaoh: The Pharaoh is the ruler of Mulhorand. It is a term 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 godkings Ra and Horus-Re (although they are referred to as Divine Pharaoh) and then by the mortal descendants of Horus-Re who have been imbued with his divine power (using the Ritual of Oblaran).

The first human Pharaoh was crowned Horusret I in -1045 DR, during the time of the Empire Divided. Horus-Re was still the Divine Pharaoh of Mulhorand at this time, but a quirk in the investiture of Horus-Re as Pharaoh declared that the blood of Horus and Ra shall rule Mulhorand for all eternity, Horus-Re interpreted this such that he could name a member of his own house, imbued with the khaledshran (an elixir mixed from the blood of Ra which bestowed; among other powers, immortality), to rule Mulhorand in his stead while he was off re-establishing the empire.

The Pharaohs during the time of the Empire Divided were; and are today, referred to as the Iwah Pharaoh, which means the Undying Kings (for they were said to be immortal and most lived beyond 200 years), but it is believed by some sages that the corruption of Iwat to Iwah (over a millennia of slow evolution in the Mulhorandi language) signified a weakness (linguistically) and could be translated as Old or Hollow Kings because their power was feeble and illusory and their position existed only to remind the people (and Horus-Re’s contemporaries) that Horus-Re ruled the empire even if he was not always present.

The first true mortal Pharaoh of Mulhorand (who ruled alone and not in conjunction with Horus-Re) was Horuseres I, first crowned in -339 DR and then crowned again in -147 DR by Horus-Re himself, which signaled a departure from mortal affairs by the godkings of Mulhorand who retreated to their towers in the City of the Gods and have not been seen since.

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, although he most often rules with counsel from the Divine Precepts. 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 or the Divine Precept of Osiris.

The office of Vizier is descended from that of the Fa Vizier (meaning great advisor); Favizer being the name of an artificer famed for his wisdom who advised 3 Empheroar’s of Imaskar.  There was only ever one Fa Vizier; Keoth Amsetis (otherwise known today as the God Set), who was the personal advisor to the Divine Pharaoh Ra and arguably the greatest magic user in the history of Mulhorand. The office of Fa Vizier was removed from Keoth Amsetis by Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re in -1048 DR and has remained vacant ever since.

The Solar Council: The Solar Council is the Pharaoh’s personal council, filled with his most trusted personal advisors to help make the decisions that will shape the present and future of Mulhorand.

Typically the Solar Council includes all the Divine Precepts of Mulhorand (all of whom are Oblaran, although it does not include all Oblaran as some churches lost their right to Divine Precepture over the years). It also includes the Vizier and any other people that the Pharaoh desires.

The Solar Council meet whenever convened by the Pharaoh, usually once a month, with the next meeting announced at the previous meeting. Not every member is required to attend (although to refuse to attend the Solar Council without a suitable reason and apology may cause offence, and also causes the Divine Precept and his church to miss out on influencing the Pharaoh and his decisions). Meetings of the Solar Council are held in the Utunkhan (the Measuring Room).

Ministry

The various ministries of government are divided among the greatest churches of Mulhorand, each office held (usually) 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 (who often is responsible for creating the policies).

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 Kamawapal: The Ministry of Agriculture is under the control of the Church of Isis. It is responsible for recording yields, enforcing quotas, and collecting farming tariffs.

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 currently 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 Oblaran; Divine Incarnations), and as the titular heads of their church wield significant power within the state and society of Mulhorand (although true power in the church is often held by the most senior priests). As a result the Divine Incarnations/Precepts 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 godkings 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 Ramath. The Divine Precept of Anhur is the titular head of the Legion 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 Helcalliant 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 Bast: A defunct office, the Divine Precepture of Bast was stripped from Bast herself following the civil war of -1050 DR to -1048 DR where she chose to side with Set against Horus.

Divine Precept of Geb: The Divine Precepture of Geb is held by So-Thamar Gebth, the head of the Church of Geb and family of Gebthant. The Divine Precept of Geb is responsible for enforcing the quotas set by the Ministry of Mountains.

Divine Precept of Hathor: It is believed that the Divine Precepture of Hathor has lain vacant since the Mulhorandi civil war, when the pacifist Hathor refused to take sides during the conflict. As a minor religion, the Church of Hathor no longer has any official ministry or other political office within the Mulhorandi state, however, the Church of Hathor is little more than an informal gathering of apothecaries, wise-women, and midwives, the has not even been a Divine Incarnation of Hathor for at least 8 centuries. Even if the Church of Hathor could cope with the responsibilities of an official office or ministry, it’s members care little or nothing for politics and power.

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: The Divine Precept of Isis is held by the elderly Nulithi Isharia. The Divine Precept of Isis is normally responsible for ensuring grain and meat yields of farms meet their quotas, however, in honour of Nulithi’s advanced years she has been awarded the honorary title Shepherd of the Divine Flower, and so must spend her time in the Mystic Cornucopia ensuring the survival of a flower planted in honour of Ra’s death.

Divine Precept of Nephthys: The Divine Precept of Nephthys is responsible for enforcing all the trade tariffs and taxes of Mulhorand.

Divine Precept of Osiris: Olsiriheb Osriant is the Divine Precept of Osiris. He is the ultimate authority in lawmaking in Mulhorand, with the power even to overrule the Vizier and the Pharaoh if their edicts or behavior are unlawful. His decision is final in any arbitration (although to call his attention to such a trivial matter would bankrupt an entire Precept).

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 Ra. At the time Set was the Divine Precept of the Netarand and he kept himself apart from the conflict until Osiris finally rose to claim the title of Pharaoh. Set supposedly 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 Thothepi Tholaunt. 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 a period of 6 years while a new Divine Precept of Horus-Re was selected, prepared, and allowed to come of age. 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 and local, relying upon the local churches and guilds for assistance in this regard.

The office of Precept is split into two tiers. The first tier is known as the Fakh-Ab (Greater Sunlord), and holds responsibility for governing a region or part of a region including all the settlements within. The second tier is known as the Fenkh-Ab (Lesser Sunlord), and holds responsibility for governing a single settlement and its immediate environs. A Fakh-Ab may have one or more Fenkh-Ab’s reporting to him, and relies upon them to help implement policy and rule of law in the cities they control.

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. As the churches wield significant power in Mulhorand, polite requests are usually made by the Precepts to local temples for assistance when needed.

Ganath (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Ganath is a major political post in Mulhorand, because he is Mulhorand’s ambassador to the semi-autonomous nation of Murghom. Murghom has long ruled itself almost independently, providing it follows the law of Mulhorand, Mulhorand is happy to let Murghom continue this practice as long as it accepts the sovereignty of the Pharaoh. The Precept of Ganath is responsible for maintaining the friendly relations between Mulhorand and Murghom and for ensuring Murghom obeys the “requests” of the Pharaoh. The Precept of Ganath claims to be responsible for the lands from Rauthil to Rauthgar, but in truth the position is ambassadorial only. The current office holder is Imthalos Helcalliant (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 10).

Rauthil: The Precept of Rauthil is responsible for controlling the tiny settlement of Rauthil maintaining the only bridge linking the Taranoth to the rest of Mulhorand. The current office holder is Ethnestus Helthaunt (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 3).

Gheldaneth (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Gheldaneth is responsibe for all the land around Gheldaneth, including the mouth of the River of Spears, the river delta, and lands as far south as Aina. The post is held by Kethphron Derlaunt (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 5, Magic User 4), cousin to the Divine Incarnation of Thoth.

Aina (Fenkh-Ab): The Precept of Aina governs the town of Aina. This post is held by Precept Alakin Derlaunt (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 4).

Jhalhoran (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Jhalhoran is responsible for keeping the Great South Trade Road open and ensuring the flow of goods from southern lands is unimpeded once it reaches Mulhorand. The Precept of Jhalhoran is one of the largest in Mulhorand and encompasses all the land from Jhalhoran and the River of Spears up to and including the Dawn’s Land. The post is held by Precept Nephita Nesharia (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 10).

Maerlar (Fenkh-Ab): The Precept of Maerlar governs the town of Maerlar and is responsible for collecting the taxes at this major crossroads. Despite it’s location it is a politically unimportant Precept and has been used by the Vizier in recent years as a punishment position (one that the Precept of Jhalhoran dare not interfere with).

Klondor (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Klondor is of minor political influence, but is responsible for defending Mulhorand from the legacies of Imaskar (and whatever monsters come from Raurin and over the Dragonsword Mountains), and governing the lands from Subroar to Nezras. It was formerly held by the Church of Anhur but that privilege has been removed and the current precepts is now the Chessentan mercenary Haskrayth (Evil, Human – Mulan, Warrior 8) who commands the mercenary company stationed at Klondor.

Subroar (Fenkh-Ab): The Precept of Subroar governs the town of Subroar. This post is held by Precept Kesia Alamaria (Good, Human – Mulan, Warrior 3).

Mishtan (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Mishtan is a position of political importance, the Precept is responsible for the lands around Ulzel and Mishtan and for ensuring the Land of the Dead is protected adequately from raiders and monsters from the south, the Precept however has no control over Mishtan itself which is run by the churches acting in cooperation. The current office holder is Precept Temis Qhalthoun (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 7).

Ulzel (Fenkh-Ab): The Precept of Ulzel governs the town of Ulzel. This post is held by Precept Nemissi Isharia (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 5).

Sampranasz (Fakh-Ab): Historically the Precept of Sampranasz controlled the eastern coast of the Menesankh.

Skuld (Fakh-Ab): The Precept of Skuld controls only the city of Skuld and is otherwise of little political importance because both the Vizier and Pharaoh reside within Skuld and may dictate orders to the Precept as they desire (a practice that occurs often these days). Nonetheless, the Vizier is careful to ensure only a priest of Horus-Re (and a loyal one at that) ever holds this position. The current office holder is Ceianre Calliant (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 5).

Thazarim (Fakh-Ab): This formerly minor precept was elevated specifically to shame and reduce the power of the Church of Anhur for its failure to protect Mulhorand adequately in 1280 DR. The Precept of Thazarim has control of all the lands up to the River of Dawn and as far south Maerlar and Skuld, and is primarily responsible for defending the northern border of Mulhorand from Thayan invasion, as a result a Legion of Dawn is permanently stationed here and is at the disposal of the Precept. The current office holder is Precept Mulhortep Helcalliant (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 5) who is also the general of the Legion of Dawn stationed here, and  firm supporter of the Church of Horus-Re (and the Vizier).

Sultim (Fenkh-Ab): Despite being a minor precept, this position holds significant political power as it controls the second largest city and largest port in all Mulhorand. The Precept of Sultim has historically always been held by a priest of Anhur, and previously controlled the Taranoth region, but that privilege has been removed and now the Precept of Thazarim controls the Taranoth while an independent holds the office of Precept. The current office holder is Precept Koramon Bretak (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 5) who is a warrior of renown in the Legion of Dawn and is whispered to be a staunch supporter of the Church of Horus-Re (although he has no official affiliation).

Rauthgor (Fenkh-Ab): The last office of Precept still held by the Church of Anhur is of zero political importance and is widely regarded as a death sentence. The precept controls a single fortified building adjacent to the ruined bridge of Rauthgor, and from here he must fend off pirates, sahuagin, and worse. The current office holder is Precept Bokasin Ramath (Good, Human – Mulan, Warrior 2, Expert 2). The Church of Anhur is expending a considerable amount of resources to ensure Bokasin survives and the Precept is regarded as successful.

Law and Order

Mulhorand has no unified code of laws, except that all crimes against the godkings and their property be punished with the utmost severity. Property of the godkings applies to all temples and shrines, all priests, as well as slaves (who are the property of the Church of Horus-Re and therefore owned by the Pharaoh and Horus-Re himself), and even any land not owned directly by another individual.

The laws and sentencing vary from Precept to Precept, with unusual variations, but all laws are based upon the crimes against the gods and then applied to ordinary humans. So for example it is illegal to damage the property of the gods, killing a priest is an extreme example of damaging this property and is punishable by death, killing a citizen of Mulhorand if likewise illegal but the punishment can range from slavery, maiming, banishment, or confiscation of goods depending upon the status of the accused.

All crimes are heard by a priest of Osiris (the accused can often be held for several months in rural areas before a priest arrives), both accused and accuser may provide evidence of guilt or innocence. The priest of Osiris then passes judgment based on the evidence and decides on sentencing, this sentence is final and appeals for an inquiry are so expensive that none but the richest of nobles may afford it.

Civil matters can be referred to the priests of Osiris for a tribunal to decide on all kinds of matters (usually marriage and property disputes), but these tribunals are expensive and priests of Osiris are renowned for punishing all parties in silly disputes.

The priests of Osiris have the power to call an inquiry in any matter they deem to be suspicious or an attempt to evade justice, this can be called during a trial where they deem one or both parties to be lying, or it can be called against any activity they deem to be unlawful; including the actions of the Vizier or Pharaoh.

An inquiry involves a gathering of the most senior priests of Osiris available (more serious matters can wait until the desired priests are available up to and including the Divine Incarnation of Osiris himself). The inquiry may call upon the expertise of anyone in Mulhorand, and magic is often utilized to find the source of the deception. Inquiries have in the past been called against the Vizier’s and Pharaoh’s when their edicts and reforms are unpopular or unlawful.

 

Defence

Unusually for nations in Faerun, the empire of Mulhorand has a national standing army and has done since the Orcgate Wars. The strong, centralised government, with a stable and enduring ruler, has allowed Mulhorand to establish a standing army with almost no opposition from its people or nobility (as usually happens in more feudal societies). The success of the army in establishing the empire and securing its borders means that the army and navy are popular with its citizenry, and because the nobility form part of the government they do not feel oppressed by the lack of their own comparable military power.

The First Empire was secured using bronze weapons and armour and the power of the godkings. The Second Empire of Mulhorand saw the trading influence of dwarves from the Great Rift bring the secret of steel and new weapons to Mulhorand, this resulted in new steel armaments helping to secure the borders established by Horus-Re during the period of the Empire Divided, but it also stymied further advancement and the armies of Mulhorand have not changed much since 600 DR.

Previously the armies of Mulhorand were people entirely by Mulhorandi natives, but failures by the Church of Anhur in recent centuries have resulted in the restriction of power for the church and subsequent Pharaoh’s (and Vizier’s) increasingly relying upon the expertise of foreign mercenaries, mostly from Chessenta. Now the Legion of Dawn and the Fakh-Ab Precept Pehtemi (militia) can contain up to 30% of their number as foreign mercenaries.

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 priesthood, 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 organised 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. The current Vizier; Rezim Helcalliant, is not above using the command of the legions to punish the Church of Anhur when it fails to support his politics.

For the past 400 years, it has been the growing custom to hire mercenaries to form the backbone of the Legions of Dawn. Since the failure to quell the rebellion of the Red Wizards of Thay, skilled mercenaries have been hired by the Church of Anhur (under orders) to fill specialist roles such as cavalry units, skirmishers, siege engineers, heavy infantry, etc. The roles of these mercenaries vary, but most find the wages more than adequate for long term deployment in one of the 5 standard Legions of Dawn. The remaining infantry roles of the Legion of Dawn are held by Mulhorandi natives and members of the Church of Anhur.

Historically (during the First Empire of Mulhorand) each Divine Precept had its own legion, named for one of the godkings of Mulhorand, these legions were equipped and trained differently and their effectiveness varied as well. 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 government 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 Ra. The Legion of the Sun was lost almost to a man in 204 DR (barring a hundred or so support staff), 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). Greater Precepts tend to use their Pehtemi to patrol roads, clear out monsters roaming the wilderness, and police rural settlements, while Lesser Precepts use the Pehtemi to police and defend the larger cities and towns. The number of Pehtemi in a region or settlement depends largely upon the finances of the Precept, but all Precepts are required to provide a minimum of 1 Pehtemi per 10,000 individuals or 1 Pehtemi per 10 sq miles.

Navy: Mulhorand’s navy (known as the Sun Tridents) 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 upon allies such as Unther when naval power was required, and on foreign or commercial merchants to trade 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 new ships in cities away from the centre of Mulhorand’s government.

 

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 most powerful churches form part of Mulhorand’s government and provide services for the state, thus binding the organization and it’s founding noble House to the government.

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 Bast: The Church of Bast is little more than a single combat training school that also sponsors adventurers in rooting out the influence of Set. The church has no Ministry in the government, and no Divine Precept (having lost both ages ago along with much of its clergy and power). Freed from the trappings of official responsibility, its members are among the more active organisations outside of Mulhorand.

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 following centuries, until a sudden revival occurred after a number of diminutive humanoids reappeared in the foothills of the Sunrise Mountains around -700 DR.

The Godkings of Mulhorand had long since driven the dwarves out of the region and the new human Pharaoh’s had not encountered these creatures except in myths and rumours from trading caravans. They were welcomed by the people as the children of Bes for their trade and skill with metals far surpassed the Mulhorandi. 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.

The Church of Geb: A relatively minor church when compared to the power of the churches of Anhur, Horus-Re, Osiris, Isis, etc, nonetheless the Church of Geb performs a vital function in Mulhorand, ensuring that enough ore and stone is mined to meet the needs of the empire.

The Church of Geb monitors mines throughout Mulhorand (it owns more than a few itself through the House of Gebth), and enforces the quota set by the Pharaoh and his administration. Otherwise the Church of Geb keeps to itself and the small mining settlements that dot the Dragonsword Mountains, Sunrise Mountains, and Mountains of Copper.

The Church of Hathor: The Church of Hathor has long since declined into obscurity in Mulhorand, its members taught to eschew the politics and intrigue of power and instead focus upon the people, especially those in need. As a result the Church of Hathor has no mandate from a government Ministry, and no grand temples to attract worshippers in awe of Hathor’s power. Instead the clergy of Hathor concentrated upon travelling the various settlements of Mulhorand, administering to expectant mothers and the wounded.

In modern Mulhorand there is no Oblaran of Hathor (the last one dying over 800 years ago), no official hierarchy or ranks. The “priests” of Hathor are often little more than wise-women who specialize in midwifery skills and travel between the settlements (rural and urban) administering to the needs of the slaves and the commoners (although they dare not refuse the request of nobility either).

The Church of Horus-Re: The Church of Horus-Re is the largest and most powerful of all the religions and organizations in Mulhorand. The Church of Horus-Re is responsible for much of the central administration of government, and counts both the Pharaoh and Vizier as the most senior members of this organization.

The Church of Horus-Re has temples in every settlement of Mulhorand above a certain size (town or larger). Much of the administrative paperwork passes through the Church of Horus-Re for catalogue and filing.

The Church of Isis: The Church of Isis are responsible for feeding the people of Mulhorand, they monitor the great slave farms owned by the noble houses and churches, enforcing the quotas for grain, meat, and milk set by the Pharaoh. The priests of Isis spend most of their time in the fields of rural Mulhorand helping the slaves and commonfolk, and for this they are much beloved by the lower classes.

The Church of Nephthys: The Church of Nephthys act as bankers, ambassadors, and spies for the empire of Mulhorand. They collect the majority of trade tariffs from caravan traffic, and they have priests and contacts in many neighbouring nations ensuring that Mulhorand acquires the best deals for its exports and imports.

The Church of Osiris: The Church of Osiris are the keepers of law and order in Mulhorandi society, as well as being the guardians of the dead. Priests of Osiris wander Mulhorand providing judgement on disputes and crimes, as well as administering to the proper burial of recently deceased individuals.

Priests of Osiris are popular among the commonfolk because in Mulhorand nobody is above the law, and the Magistrates of Osiris are the only ones able to stand up to the excesses of the nobility, having even challenged the Pharaoh’s authority on occasion when actions are legally questionable.

The Cult of Set: The Cult of Set is believed by almost all Mulhorandi to be a bogeyman like organization that is used to frighten children but does not really exist. Most believe the Cult of Set died out long ago, and only madmen claim they follow The Outcast.

The truth of course is that the Cult of Set was eliminated in Mulhorand many times over the millennia, but it has survived in the Raurin Desert and has returned again and again to threaten the Empire of Mulhorand. In the last 40 years the Cult of Set has secretly returned once again and is putting plans into motion to strike at the Pharaoh and replace him with one of their own.

The Cult of Set is universally reviled by the people of Mulhorand, but it finds support among those it helps, particularly the weak and vulnerable that it gives strength and protection to (slaves mostly). The cult also attracts some of the more depraved greedy and powerful people among the upper classes but its members are very careful about who they reveal their true nature to.

The Cult of Smiling Death: The followers of Sebek were eliminated in Mulhorand millennia ago, yet they keep returning to the Sekkar region again and again only to be driven out once they become troublesome. All followers of Sebek are cursed with a magical transformation that makes them part crocodilian, once transformed they become natural predators and extort a tribute from surrounding settlements. This life inevitable attracts greedy bullies that like to prey upon the weak, or those who are weak and desire vengeance upon their enemies.

The Church of Thoth: The Church of Thoth is responsible for the education of Mulhorand’s people, providing lessons on many varied subjects at its temples. The church is also responsible for the registration and control of all magic users in Mulhorand. All magic users must register at the nearest temple (as acolytes) and provide a tithe of magic to the church every year or face severe punishment.

 

Magic

The Empire of Mulhorand is filled with magics that are strange and exotic to the rest of Faerun, many derived from the legacies of Imaskar, dwarves, and the enigmatic spellweavers.

Thothian Magic Script: Known as Southern Magic everywhere else, the godking Thoth created this magical language with its own magical alphabet after studying the fabled Book of the Dead. His discovery was ignored for ages in favour of the magical language and script used by the Imaskari long ago, but it was resurrected following the rebellion of Thay in order to preserve Mulhorand’s magical secrets from its neighbours.

Thothian Magic Script is incredibly difficult for non Mulhorandi or Untheric natives to master (even the Thayvians have not yet translated more than a few words successfully). The Mulhorandi claim that as a gift from their gods it will forever remain a mystery to non believers, for that is the key to unlocking this language. The proper obeisance to the godkings of the Mulan (be they Akanic, Mulhorandi, or Untheric) is an integral part of the language and alphabet and one must fully understand Mulhorandi (or its related Untheric) language and invoke the godkings names in the ancient sacred prayers of the Mulan before the script will work.

The Thayvians are naturally wary of all things Mulhorandi, especially their godkings, and so have not yet discovered the key to this language. All scrolls and spellbooks in Thothian script naturally omit the required prayers and rituals (many magic users not even realizing they are required for the script to work) because they are such an integral part of Mulhorandi life that the prayers are said automatically as part of the scribing process.

The Ritual of Oblaran: Oblaran is the Mulhorand word for what foreigners term the “incarnations” of the gods, it means “servant of the gods”. 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 (with senior contacts in one of the churches) are aware of the mysterious Ritual of Oblaran which is usually performed whenever the current incarnation of a godking perishes. The prospective incarnation (there can be multiple candidates in extreme circumstances) 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. Unsuccessful transformations usually result in death.

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 (and the government of Mulhorand) would stop at nothing to recover the secret and eliminate the thief. It is believed that the ritual involves consumption of the blood of the Laran (the godking that he wishes to become an incarnation of). Each Laran’s blood bestows different powers upon the individual, for example the blood of Ra is believed to usually bestow immortality.

The Ritual of Abetlaren: Abetlaren; the slaves of the gods, are the true servants of the Laren of Mulhorand. There are hundreds of these mute servants of the gods spread across the temples of each religion, each an example of perfection in imitation of their chosen patron. To most they are known as Divine Minions.

Like the Ritual of Oblaran, the Ritual of Abetlaren is performed in secret in the high temple of the godking, where the willing volunteer is imbued with secret magics that enhance his or her physique, grant him immunity to most human weaknesses, and imbue him with the power to transform into animal form (usually a form associated with the Laran in question).

Each religion bestows the ritual of Abetlaren upon only the most worthy of individuals (if they are willing), for the ritual can incredibly long life (there are believed to be some Abetlaren around who were alive just following the Orcgate Wars). In return for these boons, an Abetlaren is left with limited capacity for independent thought and seemingly obeys orders from his fellow priests without question.

The Cult of Set is known to have knowledge of the Ritual of Abetlaren (some whisper Set created the ritual based upon ancient Imaskari magics), and uses it upon unwilling volunteers when it needs to create guardians and servants.

Magic Users: In Mulhorand all magic is borne of the gods (according to the priests) 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 was established because of the rebellion of Thayd and his rampant abuse of magic which resulted in the Orcgate Wars, however, these restrictions have not always been successful and is the primary reason for the rebellion of Thay.

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). The Church of Thoth also takes of tithe of any magic items produced, and sometimes requires individual magic users to craft magical items for the church (for free).

The registration of magic users has been in place since the Orcgate Wars, but repeated registration and assessment was not introduced until following the rebellion of Thay, as was the providing copies of all magical works and an annual tithe of magic. The introduction of these more severe restrictions did little to quell the negativity most magic users feel towards the state of Mulhorand and in fact prompted a significant proportion of Mulhorand’s magic users (led by Nezrak and  the descendent of Nezram) to submit trapped copies of spell scrolls and cursed magic items to the Church of Thoth as well as openly attacking priests and even assassinating the Pharaoh of Mulhorand in a period of unrest known as the Spelldoom. The state of Mulhorand still did not learn their lesson and Pharaoh Thothibistep II implemented the inquisition known as Eduat against all magic users and then much of the general population before he was removed by the High Magistrates of Osiris. Nowadays the controls on mages are not as strict as the rules imply, a magic user can forego several years of tithe and assessment providing he pays suitable fines.

Those that do not wish to become enrolled in the church as acolytes must undergo The Binding, this involves the priests performing a ritual upon the subject that will alert them to any magic use the subject attempts to invokes (this includes the activation of spell trigger magic items). The means of alerting priests varies from region to region but can involve the utterance of a high pitched siren at extreme levels of noise, the changing of skin colour to a vivid blue or green, and for the most powerful or dangerous magic users there are rumoured to be means of tracking the individual’s location and the magic invoked.

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 completely different alphabet (an alphabet supposedly unknown to all but the Church of Thoth). This alphabet is distinct from the script used by all other magic users in Faerun (which is usually modeled on the script found in the Nether Scrolls and uses what is termed the Draconic Alphabet – although dragons are known by a select few 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.

Thalual: The Three Pearls (of wisdom) is the custom of painting or tattooing blue dots upon the forehead based upon education or profession. Nobles and educated people may paint a single blue dot upon the forehead, Wizards must have two blue dots tattooed upon the forehead, while Priests may paint three blue dots.

The custom was implemented following the rebellion of Thay and was said to be used to help keep track of mages in society. It was enforced only for wizards first, but has since become a custom adopted by priests and nobility.

 

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 Vale 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 repair or replacement) using knowledge that had long since been lost and then 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).

The plains and hills of the Great Vale are periodically coloured red due to dust clouds that blow over the Dragonsword Mountains carrying sand from the Raurin.

Great South Road: One of the great roadways created during the reign of Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re as he labored to expand the empire once again and needed wide roads to quickly march his armies on. Like all the great roads, this road is made of the distinctive green speckled granite from the Mountains of Copper.

The Great South Road actually begins at the far northern border of Mulhorand where it crosses the River of Dawn into Thay. From there it winds its way south to Rauthil, Maerlar, Jhaloran, Surbroar, and Buldamar before heading through Veldorn and onto Estagund, and Var (and by ship to Durpar).

Within Mulhorand, the Great South Road is relatively safe, with only sporadic interference from bandits and monsters. Once the road reaches Buldamar it becomes especially vulnerable to monster attacks through Rolling Stone Gap and from the monster nation of Veldorn.

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.

Mishtan (Town, 2000): The Gateway to the Land of the Dead, this town exists entirely to serve the priests who administer to the Land of the Dead. During the summer (when deaths among the aged soar due to the heat) the population of Mishtan can swell by 30,000 slaves who are drafted in to build the huge pyramids that house the corpses of royalty and nobility.

Mystic Cornucopia: Located at and around the meeting of the River of Lifeblood and the River of the Dead where they become the River of Spears. This temple is the single largest walled farming estate in Mulhorand, with many terraces and plots dedicated to growing plants from all around the Old Empires.

Those who work the farms often never wish to leave (novice priests graduate in a single year and are quickly sent elsewhere), working the fields and often passing away while hoeing or planting.

This temple is the only place where the famed Powder of Obsession can be manufactured, using dried plants grown in these fields. It is rumoured that the convergence of the rivers (particularly the River of the Dead) confers strange magical properties on the waters which in turn affect things nurtured by the water. Thus far there have been no attacks on the Mystic Cornucopia, or violence of any kind within its confines, but the priests say this is due to the divine hand of Isis.

River of Spears: This river runs fast and right through the middle of the Asanabis (although it ends in the Menesankh with the city of Gheldaneth built around its mouth). The river is too fast for any boats larger than a small fishing skiff to sail beyond the boundaries of Gheldaneth, and its regular floodwaters help irrigate the farms of the Asanabis. Many trees (mostly cedar and beech) grow in isolated cops along the banks of the river, and the shelter they provide is much sought after by the nobility of Mulhorand.

Furitep: The Furitep is the far eastern edge of Mulhorand extending from the southern tip of the Dragonsword Mountains all the way up to its northern tip. Some geographers include the southern tip of the Sunrise Mountains in this region, but most accept the Sunrise Mountains belong to Thay, Murghom, or the Taranoth region of Mulhorand. The Furitep is a land of rolling hills and high mountains which is largely uninhabited except for a small strip of land north of the Dragonsword Mountains known as the Dawn’s Land.

Dawn’s Land: This strip of land encompasses the Road to the Dawn and the land north of the Dragonsword Mountains up to the border with Murghom. It is rocky and arid with a major road running through the valley and small streams and springs feeding the few hardy settlers that call this region home. Bandits are common here, as are wandering monsters, and the carnivorous scarabs still claim many lives each year.

Dmiatum (Town, 2000): A once much larger settlement that has dwindled since one of the springs that fed the town have dried up. It is home to a temple to the deity Khepera who is worshipped primarily in Murghom and Semphar, as well as shrines to numerous other deities from surrounding regions.

The town was originally founded around -2360 DR by refugees from fallen Imaskar and contains a high proportion of people of Imaskari ethnicity. It was conquered by Mulhorand early in age of the First Empire.

The town is officially governed by the Precept of Jhaloran but is largely left to govern its own affairs (like much of the Dawn’s Land. Instead the leading priest of Khepera in town; Khemetpher (Neutral, Human – Imaskar, Magic User 4), is in charge of official matters. The town has a champion known as Potmephron the Silent (more informally named the Doom of Dragons), who is said to have protected the town for more than a millennia and is believed by many to be immortal.

Dragonsword Mountains: Once known as the Sword Mountains, these peaks have long since been renamed for the infamous 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. To those living in Raurin these mountains are called the Giants Belt.

Long before the arrival of Gestaniius, the Dragonsword Mountains were regarded as impassable by the Mulan, despite the settlement of Klondor being built near the Dharal (gold) Trail and is a major source of monsters coming down from the mountains into Mulhorand. The Dharal trail is only really navigable during the summer months. Ancient murals depict Ra, E-Nlil, and E-Anu ascending the Dragonsword Mountains and Klondor may be where this journey began. For whatever reason the godkings forbade people to climb these mountains beyond 5,000 ft.

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 Ra, 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 Ra 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 (translates as star-eyes; resembles a long tube with multiple lenses and magical enchantments to enhance and focus on the destination) 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 and returned since that time, and the godkings of Mulhorand and Unther have not dared venture there again. Any travelers 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 buildings 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 intact, 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/stone 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.

Kamul Nawared: The Land of the Hungry Death covers the far northern side of the Dragonsword Mountains. From 10,000 ft upwards the entire mountainside is stripped bare of all animal life (although the vegetation is untouched), with a large black pyramid structure forming the peak of the highest mountain; Dwe-ankh, at 18,000 ft.

Bandits that live in the lower reaches of the northern Dragonsword Mountains (and plague the Dawn’s Land), speak of a large creature that stalks the night and whose shiny black flesh undulates and pulsates as though something burrows beneath it. The creature is afraid of fire but is otherwise invulnerable to harm, and when he comes he leaves behind only skeletons picked clean of all flesh.

Legends in Murghom speak of Apshai, the Shartrahl, the King with Wings, a being of legend who brought enlightenment and darkness to Imaskar long before the Mulan arrived, and who thirsts for vengeance against the godkings that destroyed Imaskar. The monster does appear to target those of Mulan birth and scarabs continue to plague the Mulhorandi settlements in the Dawn’s Land below (particularly Dmiatum).

Mount Midalheh: A tall, jagged peak that borders the Lonely Lake and is often seen reflected in it’s waters. This distinguished mountain was home to an ancient brown dragon known as Motnefermose who is believed to have crippled Gestanius’ front claw in a battle long ago. Motnefermose has long since perished and many believe that Gestaniius now claims his lair and hoard.

The sheer sides of this mountain lead many to conclude that it is impossible to climb, and the high winds at such altitudes would make it difficult for anything smaller than a sphinx to fly to its peak.

Great East Road: The Great East Road is one of the major roadways constructed by Horus-Re during the time of the Empire Divided so his armies could march quickly across the empire. The Great East Road is typical of the great roads and is made of great paved slabs of green granite from the Mountains of Copper worn smooth over the years.

The Great East Road truly begins in Maerlar and heads east into Murghom, ending at Zindalankh, which is the route paved by the distinguished green slabs of rock that form the road. However, with the growth of cities like Sultim and Murghyr, most include a more northerly branch from Sultim to Murghyr as also being part of this route.

The Great East Road is plagued by bandits through the Dawns Land and by monsters and nomads in Murghom where it skirts the Plains of Purple Dust. The Legion of Dawn in Murghom regularly patrols the road but it is too long for adequate coverage and many caravan masters are crying out for extra protection along its route.

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 arid 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).

Mulhorand’s largest and greatest cities are located in the Menesankh along the shore and the riverbanks and wherever else large bodies of water exist. Fully 50% of the population of Mulhorand is located within the Menesankh and it contains several major Precepts within its geographical border, making it one of the most powerful regions in the empire.

Large farmsteads (although not as large as those in the Asanabis) exist within the Menesankh, growing fruit and grains. The largest along the bank of the River of Shadows, with other large noble and state owned farms located between the River of Shadows and River of Spears. These farms are fed by the river or by extensive irrigation channels that have existed for millennia.

Delgora (Town):

Gheldaneth (City, 60,000): Gheldaneth is the centre of learning in Mulhorand, home to the Arcanum of Magic; the high temple of the Church of Thoth, where priests and other magic users come to learn the secrets of spellcasting. It is also the headquarters of the Guild of Scribes; the largest and most powerful guild in Mulhorand.

Neldorild (City, 40,000): Mulhorand’s newest city was built less than a century ago for nobles seeking to escape Skuld (after it was raided by Thay). The city was constructed by the Church of Nephthys and is home to its new (and incomplete) high temple. The city is impeccably clean, with slaves and commoners housed outside the city walls.

River of Shadows: Named for Skuld, the City of Shadows, which sits at the mouth of this wide, shallow, rocky river. The river is too shallow and rocky for all but the smallest boats (single man rafts mostly), it floods the surrounding plains often but very irregularly, which causes much misfortune to those living nearby -particularly the slaves working the farms.

While the River of Shadows floods as often as the River of Spears, and spreads silt across the surrounding soil, there are few trees along the riverbank and most farms along this river grow flax or rear sheep. Priests, wizards, scholars, and alchemists have investigated the river many times over the centuries to see if there is something in the water inhibiting plant growth.

Sampranasz (Town):

Skuld (City, 70,000): Skuld is the sprawling capital city of Mulhorand. It is home to the opulent City of the Gods, where the Pharaoh dwells inside the Solarium. The city spans the mouth of the River of Shadows with a sprawling mass of stone houses and mud huts stretching for many miles.

Sekkar: The far southern border of Mulhorand is a frontier land between the River of Spears and River of Swords. It has been left to govern itself autonomously for many centuries and there are almost no settlements with more than 100 people in residence.

Fed by the saline waters of the Green River of the Sword and Lake Azulduth, this land is arid and has suffered millennia of soil erosion due to the highly saline and arid environment, vegetation is sparse and farming is difficult which has kept the population of this region very low compared to the rest of Mulhorand. In ages past pumps and desalination tanks provided fresh water for the people and the land, but these have long since fallen into disrepair (although the Church of Thoth is trying to rectify this situation).

The Sekkar is a land of hardy folk who struggle to make a living from the land. The river provides the only stable food source, and its waters are infested with crocodiles. The land is dry and saline with most plants refusing to grow except hardy grasses and bushes that are unpalatable. Banditry is common, settlements often raid neighbours during hard times, monsters rampage with uncommon frequency. This land is effectively lawless and independent from Mulhorand, the Legion of Dawn scours this land every few decades to reduce troubles in the neighbouring Asanabis region but otherwise the people and the land are largely ignored by the state, making it the perfect hiding place for renegades, criminals, and those who wish to practice wizardry free from the control of the Church of Thoth.

The Sekkar is rumoured to be home to the legendary Thael, a monster that alters the personality of those it bites, changing them into rampaging beasts. There are known to be cases of crocodile bite inducing delirium and confusion in fishermen in the Sekkar. Accounts of the razing of Sekras speak of the reptile mage Hathaele Bizdamen; daughter of Sobek – master of Sekras. Hathaele was known to surround herself with a special breed of large crocodiles at all times, these crocodiles were able to understand speech and a single bite from one of these creatures could send the victim into a wild rage or plunge them into a coma and even death. Survivors from these bites often fled to join the ranks of Hathaele and her followers who plagued the Sekkar region until her rumoured death in -376 DR Year of Sanctuary.

Azulduth: The Great Salt Lake was once home to a great civilisation whose ruins are littered all around and beneath the surface of the lake. This civilisation appears to have been humanoid in shape, with a great reverence for all things serpentine (reflected in their architecture), and a mastery of magic that far exceeds Unther and Mulhorand.

The civilisation has been dubbed Okoth by sages, and disappeared from Faerun long before humans dominated the region. Their ruins are left mostly intact because few can bear to approach them without fleeing away in terror or becoming violently unwell.

Vault of Records: Located on the western edge of Azulduth, this underground vault is only revealed in the summer months when the fierce sun evaporates so much water that it recedes leaving behind salt encrusted flats. The vault is almost invisible when accessible, its circular portal into the ground covered by a thick layer of salt with only a faint crack around the edge where it has been opened.

The Vault of Records has a prominent place in the history of Unther and Mulhorand for it is the cause of the First Mulhorandi-Untheric War. As both empires began to expand their scouts were sent out in all directions to explore, Unther’s scouts discovered the ruins around Azulduth and more were sent to explore them. Mulhorand noticed the gathering of its neighbour and likewise sent parties to explore the ruins. Exploration was competitive but peaceful until the Vault of Records was discovered.

When the Mulhorandi and Untheric explorers first opened the Vault they came away with chariot-loads of serpentskin scrolls inscribed with runes covering all aspects of magical theory (and non-magical theories), cataloguing the collective learnings of the entire empire of Okoth. The next expeditions however unleashed horrifyingly huge guardian serpents that slew scores of the explorers before slithering north toward the sea. Left behind in the deeper rooms of the vault were artefacts of staggering magical power that form the lost regalia of Unther and Mulhorand and which helped the godkings of both lands carve out vast empires. At first however the two nations fought terribly over their discovery, each trying to grasp more magical power in an escalating conflict that would surely have destroyed both peoples if not for the appearance of the Ash Dragon which decimated both armies and prompted an immediate and everlasting truce.

The Vault of Records has been lost to time since its first discovery and may or may not have been cleared of all its secrets. Sages however believe that the repository of magical knowledge was merely the underground storage chamber of a much larger structure that may have been older than even Okoth. These sages cite the strange runes on the scrolls that differ slightly from those used by Okoth (although they are related somewhat) as proof of their claims and the fact that the architecture is markedly different from that of the other ruins around Azulduth.

Blue River of the Sword: This river forms spontaneously from a natural freshwater spring on the eastern edge of the Plains of Life (Napi’Ther Eqlu) and flows north east towards the Alamber Sea before merging into the Green River of the Sword and continuing on toward the sea.

Green River of the Sword: This salt water river flows from the salt lake Azulduth in the south north to the Alamber Sea. At the fork where the Green River and Blue River of the Sword meet is a ruined fortification known as Sekras in Mulhorand or Mu’Ghul in Untheric which translates in both languages to something approximating “the Death Serpent”.

The Green River is highly saline and is completely undrinkable until it reaches the confluence with the Blue River at Mu’Ghul at which point it is bitter and does little to quench the thirst but can be drunk by those desperate enough. From the Mu’Ghul up to the Alamber Sea are a number of small farmsteads that are able to grow crops and rear animals using the brackish waters.

The Green River has, in the last few centuries, become home once again to a large number of crocodilians that have proved to be very aggressive towards human encroachment on their territory. This infestation has caused a decline in the populations of nearby settlements who can no longer rely on the river for food and water.

Sekras: This ruin was once one of the great fortresses of Unther built during the first age of that great empire. It was jointly defended by both Mulhorandi and Untheric troops who lived in the fortress and their families in the castle town built around it. The fortress was ignored by both Unther and Mulhorand following the Orcgate Wars and the few soldiers that remained here eventually disbanded and Sekras became a fortified city settlement rather than a border fortress.

Sekras was raised twice in its history, first in -425 DR and again in 1183 DR after it became home to the outcast godking Sebek and his band of rebels. Now the once great fortress is a burned ruin filled with ghosts, exiles, and monsters.

The settlement was once home to a marvel of Mulhorandi technology which pumped water from the River of Swords into a desalination tank that provided drinking water for the entire population. It is unknown if this is still functioning, but if it could be made to work again it would do much to ease the hardships for the people living on the frontier of Unther and Mulhorand.

The Eastern Way: This road begins in the town of Ulzel, and heads south toward Buldamar before branching west into the Shaar or east into Veldorn and onto Durpar or Var. It is the only trade route between Mulhorand’s southern trading partners (the dwarves of the Great Rift, and the nations of Durpar and Var.

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 and falls that borders the western edge of this region. Much of the Taranoth is technically part of Murghom, but as Mulhorand considers that nation part of its empire, it also claims all land up to the River of Murghom (while Murghom claims all land as far as a days ride around Rauthil).

The Highlands are primarily devoted to the rearing of livestock and the farming of flax seed, 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 region plagued by raiders, pirates, and monsters (which deter the large land owners from establishing farms here).

The Taranoth coastline is filled with coves and beachheads that are a haven for over a hundred different pirate and smuggling enterprises. The pirates typically prey upon smaller independent merchant vessels travelling between Sultim, Bezantur, and Messemprar, while the smugglers specialize in bringing illegal goods into and out of Mulhorand via secret caves in the cliffs with hidden climbs leading up the cliff face. Forces from Sultim are regularly sent to clean out the smuggling and pirate operations, but they typically flee before the military arrives and are only rarely caught unawares.

Cliffs of Leaping Horses: This set of high plains (and the aforementioned cliffs), also known as the Plains of Horses, dominate the land between Skuld and the River Rauthenflow. They are arid plains filled with scrub grass and hardy plants that are perfect for rearing horses and is one of the reasons for the name of this geographic feature.

There are no settlements in this region, and no roads lead into these vast plains that end abruptly at the sea, although long ago there used to be roads along here that passed over a long abandoned bridge known as Rauthgor (its twin, the Rauthgar lies far to the east in Murghom). The Cliffs of Leaping Horses are rumoured to be the secret location for the lost temple of Lost Gods; a temple built by Anubis millennia ago so that others could remember those godkings who perished.

Historians and geography enthusiasts will note that there was once a major settlement by the sea many hundreds of miles past the Rauthgor, that would put it today squarely in the Alamber Sea. The entire coastal coastal shelf of Mulhorand is highly unstable and has collapsed into the Alamber Sea on several occasions (usually at the same time as a major eruption from the Ship of the Gods), some believe the reference to Leaping Horses comes from just such a collapse of the coastal shelf.

The horses for which these cliffs and plains are known are a special breed known as the Raurin, a tough and hardy horse of golden, dun, or grey colour that is able to survive on fodder alone and go up to 3 days without water. It is incredibly fast and ways used in days of old to race chariots on the gently sloping plains of the Taranoth (a practice that has declined with the power and prestige of the Church of Anhur). The Raurin breed originated in Raurin and is virtually unknown outside of neighbouring lands (Mulhorand, Murghom, Semphar). The great herds of Raurin horses number several thousand strong and are growing steadily since they are only rarely caught for use as draught horses.

Maerlar (Town): This large town is a major crossroads within Mulhorand, almost all caravan traffic will pass through Maerlar at one point or another. Despite its importance to Mulhorand, it is a dusty tradestop with a single, over-used spring.

Temple of Lost Gods: During the First Empire of Mulhorand, Anubis established the Temple of Lost Gods so that the Mulan and the other Laren could pay homage to those godkings that perished over the years (such as Ptah, Tefnut, Nut, Shu, etc). The temple had no formal church to administer it and was instead protected by the Abetlaran (Divine Minions) of Anubis. It was lost following the civil war of -1050 DR to 1-048 DR, and is rumoured to be hidden in the Cliffs of Leaping Horses but no one has found its location in a millennia of searching.

Tower of Khopatunme: This octagonal, black basalt tower is one of the tallest constructions in Mulhorand aside from the great architectural works such as the pyramids of the godkings, or the tomb of Horuseres II. The tower base is formed in the likeness of four large stone androsphinxes sitting back to back facing the four compass points, each with a doorway between its front paws.

The Tower is believed to predate the Mulan arrival in Mulhorand and could well be the home of an Imaskari artificer, as these mage lords were known to establish personal demesne outside of Raurin where they could perform their (often dangerous) experiments in seclusion.

The name Khopatunme is believed to be a derivation of the word for Sun (Kha) and the non-word Atunme which may be a corruption of the name of the artificer who constructed the tower or who dwelled in it last. In recent centuries, foreigners (mostly caravanners) travelling through Mulhorand have called it the Sword Tower of Atunme, confusing the common tongue word for Khopesh with the Mulhorandi word for Sun.

Locals sensibly avoid the tower, for although the doors are unlocked the tower is heavily trapped by magic and guardians and most Mulan believe the tower is cursed and if anyone should touch the Ruby Staff of Atunme then the surrounding region will suffer plague, famine, death, or worse. The Church of Thoth spent many centuries trying to plumb its depths for treasure, retrieving a few baubles and scrolls at best, before deciding the tower was too dangerous and attempting to seal it with powerful wards, unfortunately these wards have long since expired and nobody has bothered to replace them.

Ganathwood: The last bastion of a great forest that once covered all of Mulhorand and Unther. This woodland is home to a wide variety of animals and monsters, all of which are driven to an almost feral thirst for blood. There is known to be a stable population of escaped slaves who are also suffering from a rabid aggression towards outsiders and they are little more evolved (cultural) than the animals they share the trees with, although some leaders harbor the unrealistic ambition of conquering Mulhorand.

This wood was once home to the last vestiges of a great elven nation whose name is lost to history. Occasionally foresters speak of lithe, dusky skinned humanoids with pointed ears running with the wolf, deer, and other packs of the wood. Scholars insist this is no more than the fancied tales of bored or frightened woodcutters who have spotted an escaped slave or a fleeing half elf gone native.

There are groves of standing stones deep in the wood which are avoided even by the escaped slaves who hide beneath the boughs, any who venture within these groves are stalked and slain by the feral animals that live here, but the wounds they leave are always of five fingered claws and humanoid teeth marks, leading some to suggest that perhaps some elves survived the destruction of their people by transforming into the animals that still protect the groves.

High Valley: Known as the High Valley, not for its altitude, but because it marks the most northern border of Mulhorand. Like the Ganathwood below it is noted for the prevalence of feral creatures that dwell within its confines.

The Shrine of Nekhtet: Nekhtet was the last mortal wife of Ra, whom bore him 3 children before he marched north during the closing years of the Orcgate Wars at the head of the greatest army ever assembled in Mulhorandi history.

So sure were the Mulhorandi of total victory, that Nekhtet and her children were present on the battlefield (at a tor far to the south and east, but still able to see events through a spyglass). The sight of Ra’s death caused Nekhtet to lose her mind and she fled her guards (scions of Osiris) east into the Sunrise Mountains.

Nekhtet’s guards pursued her and her children across the mountains to the High Valley where they were presumably forced to slay her. None returned and later searches uncovered a cave shrine in the foothills of the High Valley guarded by the now animated remains of her former guards. None are permitted (by the skeletal warriors) to enter the shrine, but the wailings from within indicate that Nekhtet may still exist in some form.

Kannaqed: The northernmost settlement of Mulhorand is set in the foothills of the Sunrise Mountains just south of the River of Dawn. It is a tiny village with little of note except for the Tower of Jhanshu, where Ra and the other fallen deities of Mulhorand were carried and kept overnight (in the immediate aftermath of the Orcgate Wars) before being conveyed to Skuld on their sacred funeral boats.

Kannaqed sees a number of pilgrims travel to the village to bathe in the sacred pools where the bodies of the deceased Laren were washed, it is said that the waters will ease many natural ailments such as arthritis, gout, etc.

Tower of Jhanshu: The former home of the minor Laran Jhanshu (known as the keeper of the moon). Jhanshu perished in the Orcgate Wars along with many others. In a single day the bodies of Jhanshu, Ra, and others were carried here, their bodies were kept in the tower, watched over by all the surviving Laren (including Set and Sebek).

Legends say that the souls of the deceased godkings were sent on their way to the afterlife in the tower of Jhanshu, the other Laren supposedly guarded the souls on their journey and were forced to fight off strange, formless, ethereal creatures that tried to feed off their energy.

The tower is sealed by the combined magic of all the major godkings of Mulhorand, but those who claim to have entered the tower; and survived, say that intruders are forced into a dream state and relive the night Ra and the other dead godkings stayed in the tower. The dream is communal (multiple intruders experience the same dream), and is said to be entirely lifelike to those within it, real enough to kill those within the dream. Those who survive are said to know the answer to one question they have been pondering, and have an item of meager worth transformed into something far more valuable.

Karamthest: The Bronze Vale is home to the upper reaches of the River of Dawn, it is so named for the defensive fortification that once dominated the Thazalhar region and was home to one of the Legion of Dawn. During Thay’s rebellion, Eltab’s appearance devastated the Thazalhar and he tore down the walls of this fort and slew its inhabitants in a fit of rage.

The valley has been plagued by twisted creatures that resemble the rotted or mutated remains of former soldiers and as a result is avoided by almost everybody. Recent events have seen the Sea Lions of Cimbar clear the ruins (with significant assistance from priests of Anhur) and are now secretly occupying the ruins and training a new army for Mulhorand. The soldiers disguise themselves as twisted monsters (sewing decaying limbs onto their clothes) and slay all trespassers to keep up the pretense of the ruins being haunted.

The Karamthest ends where the Sunrise Mountains begins, and a number of cave mouths open into the mountain side where the River of Dawn forms. The stores and ships are mostly hidden inside the caves, although monsters from the depths occasionally surface to harass the soldiers.

River of the Dawn: The River of the Dawn marks where Mulhorand ends and Thay begins. It is a natural barrier between Mulhorand and the lurking horrors that occasionally resurface in the Thazalhar, it is the fastest river in Mulhorand, and it’s riverbed is littered with shattered rocks from fallen fortification and the lost weapons and armour of slain soldiers.

There is a single bridge that spans the River of the Dawn, allowing the Great South Trade Road to run over it and for caravan traffic to travel between the two rival states of Thay and Mulhorand (both nations frown upon the trade but do nothing to hinder it). There are two settlements controlling the bridge; one on either side, Thay has established a trading settlement that caters to caravans and travelers passing by (as well as charging a toll for using the bridge), whereas Mulhorand has a military encampment that is periodically occupied by a Legion of Dawn to enforce Mulhorand’s claim to the river.

River Rauthenflow: The River Rauthenflow is the biggest river in Mulhorand, it is deep and fast, and noted for its numerous falls and rapids. The river Rauthenflow begins in Brightstar Lake far to the east, flowing down to the Alamber Sea where it is joined by the River Murghom at the capital city of Murghyr.

The waterfalls at the confluence of rivers are spectacularly beautiful and dangerous, the spray from these falls produces a shimmering rainbow effect in the dawn and dusk sun, and it is said that mermaids swim in the whirlpools and eddies around these falls. Very few boats risk sailing from Murghom to Mulhorand (the other direction is impossible to travel), the dangerous waters and rapids will smash ships to pieces and drown unwary sailors, there are a few daredevils that speak of grasping hands rocking boats and pulling down swimmers to drown them.

The River Rauthenflow is too fast and deep to be forded. It was once bridged in several places along its length but the loss of the Shamularand (modern: Thay) and the reduction in caravan traffic between these now hostile neighbours has led the bridge at Rauthgor to be abandoned (along with the settlement), Rauthgar lies in Murghom, leaving only Rauthil left as the single bridge across the Rauthenflow in Mulhorand.

Sultim (City, 50,000): A new city, but an ancient settlement, Sultim is home to the high temple of the Church of Anhur; the Blood Fortress. Sultim is the first line of defence between Thay and Mulhorand, as a result it has some of the strongest fortifications in the entire empire.

 

Important NPCs

Pharaoh Akonhorus II (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 4): Pharaoh Akonhorus II is the current reigning ruler of Mulhorand, a wise and capable king Akonhorus II is only recently starting to flex his political will (much to the consternation of his Vizier Rezim Helcalli)

Brathes Sendem (Good, Human – Mulan, Warrior 4): Brathes Sendem is a young but accomplished warrior in the Church of Anhur, and bodyguard and best friend to the crown prince Horustep Helcalli.

Gestaniius (Evil, Dragon – Blue, Dragon 20): The ancient blue dragon Gestaniius lairs among the Dragonsword Mountains and has spent the last 6 centuries burning settlements and devouring slaves. She is independent of the infamous Raurin flight of dragons and once attacked the Solarium of Skuld itself, making off with many treasures.

Halcaunt Osriant (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 6): An accomplished but oft derided Magistrate of Osiris, Halcaunt is a dogged pursue of criminals but has of late become distracted by his obsession with the Cult of Set that he alone truly believes has returned. His rants and warnings have alarmed many officials in Mulhorand’s government but have thus far proven unfounded and have made him ostracized by his fellow priests and politicians.

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

Vizier Rezim Helcalli (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 10): Rezim Helcalli is the Vizier of Mulhorand, a position he has held since 1311 DR when the previous incumbent died peacefully in his sleep. Rezim Helcalli is the uncle of Pharaoh Akonhorus II, one of the most powerful people in the entire nation, and he uses both his relationship and power to his advantage.

Thothepi Tholaunt (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 12): Thothepi Tholaunt is the Divine Precept and incarnation of Thoth, head of the Church of Thoth. He is a calm and considered man, wise beyond his 47 years through careful study.

 

Important Organisations

Most organisations in Mulhorand are part of the powerful central government and one of the churches of the godkings.

The Guild of Openers: This organization is most often called upon for the slaughtering of animals, although are not butchers, they instead specialize in the painless and ritualized killing of animals to prepare them for the act of Meweraed (blessing the food and preparing it for consumption). The Guild of Openers is so named for their skill in slicing arteries causing the animal to bleed to death in minutes, the cuts are always performed along the artery using a thin punch blade attached to the fingernail. The Guild of Openers is widely rumoured to offer similar ritualized killing services for humanoids and there are even supposed to be forms held in the Church of Horus-Re that detail the provisioning of the Guild of Openers to attend to political business (HR139).

The Guild of Scribes: This organization is the most powerful and influential, non religious organization in Mulhorand. The Guild of Scribes is populated mostly by slaves in service to the central government (and thus the Church of Horus-Re), they handle all the administrative tasks for every ministry in Mulhorand, and as a result wield a lot of hidden power and respect.

The Brotherhood of the Pick: The Brotherhood of the Pick is another of the powerful guilds of Mulhorand, the guild is almost exclusively peopled by slaves who work the various mines. This guild ensures that the conditions for miners are fair by organizing protests against mine owners who don’t look after their slaves.

 

Important Items

Bird of Ba: Crafted for tribes migrating into Mulhorand in the hopes they could later be converted to worship Mulhorandi gods. The Bird of Ba is a jeweled bird pendant that is said to be able to transform into a gigantic golden bird that seeks out and destroys the wearers enemies.

Book of Beasts: These books were created as traps to slay the priests of Thoth in the aftermath of the rebellion of Thay when there was a crackdown on the freedoms of wizards that led to a nationwide uprising known as the Spelldoom. A Book of Beasts supposedly unleashes animals from a page when it is touched, which then attack everyone in sight.

Box of Death: This strange box is a relic of the Church of Isis but is believed to be of much more ancient origin. Opening the box unleashes a swarm of scarabs that will seek and destroy the name of an individual whispered into the box (hopefully before it is opened, lest the scarabs consume whoever opened the box).

Traitor’s Bane: The Traitor’s Bane are a set of 6 khopesh swords used long ago to test the loyalty of wizards and priests following the rebellion of Thay. The blades of these swords burn when someone lies while in contact with the blade. These swords were used to slay nearly 14,000 individuals and are much feared and reviled in Mulhorand.

Holin’s Folly: A sword with no visible blade, this was crafted just prior to the first Thayan invasion of Mulhorand by the master smith Holin Unthret to combat enemies only he could see. The sword supposedly allows a wielder to strike opponents on other planes co-existent with the Material Plane.

Precept’s Charm: Made for the Divine Precept’s of Mulhorand by Ra (actually crafted by Keoth Amsetis 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 and Divine Precepts.

Ring of Dawn’s Blessing: This small gold band fixed with the eye of Horus was a gift to the Guardian of the Land Where Dead Sleep in the Netarand to allow him to detect and to protect him from the undead that infested the region in the aftermath of the Orcgate Wars.

Staff of Authority: This minor enchantment is applied on request to the staff of a government official allowing him a limited number of charges to stun those the staff is touched to.

The Book of the Dead: A partly damaged artifact rescued from the siege of Inupras by Thoth himself. This artifact is said to contain many secrets of magic (specifically healing magics) but none are allowed to study this book other than Thoth and his Divine Incarnation.

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.

Fasarwen Laren

The Fasarwen Laren (meaning Gifts of the Gods) are the royal regalia of Mulhorand spanning 3 distinct dynasties.

The first set are formed from the personal effects and treasures of the Divine Pharaoh Ra. The second set are formed from the personal effects and treasures of the Divine Pharaoh Horus-Re. The third set are those treasures gifted to the mortal Pharaoh of Mulhorand.

The Fasarwen Laren that remain in Mulhorand are on display in the throne room of the Solarium in cases of crystal that have been magically sealed and hardened (making them resistant to all physical and energy damage) so that only those in possession of the key (an innocuous obsidian sphere about the size of a fist) may open the cases.

The truth, however, is that much of the Fasarwen Laren have been lost over the centuries and even those on display are replicas of the originals which are either missing or a hidden away in the deepest subterranean chambers of the Vault of Golden Commerce in Neldorild (except for the Khopesh of Anhur which is kept in the Solarium by order of the Vizier to keep it away from the Church of Anhur).

The treasures of Ra were lost during the War of the Gods (-1050 DR to -1048 DR). During this civil war many different factions seized control of Skuld at various times (which back then was little larger than the City of the Gods district) and some secreted the Fasarwen Laren away to their strongholds. It is known that when Osiris attempted to become Divine Pharaoh (and failed), that Set fled the Solarium in the chaos and took with him many of the first set of the royal regalia.

When Horus-Re became Divine Pharaoh his own treasures (and a number of other gifts – such as the Khopesh of Anhur) were added to rolls of the Fasarwen Laren. These treasure were kept in the Solarium long after Horus-Re’s departure, and remained in the throne room until 922 DR when Thay rebelled from Mulhorand’s control. During the chaos of the war sahuagin from Aleaxtis launched a stealthy infiltration of Skuld by swimming inside the Bay of Shadows when the Godswall was open, they then used the canals and aqueducts in the city to reach the Solarium and launch an attack upon the royal palace. At the same time the blue dragon Gestaniius swooped down from the Dragonsword Mountains and tore the crystal capstone off the top of the Solarium and climbed inside. The sea devils and the dragon overpowered the Guardians of Skuld on guard and they were able to steal a large portion of the Fasarwen Laren before the Guardians could regroup and drive them off. A number of Fasarwen Laren were also carried into battle by Horustep II and were lost when he was slain by the Red Wizards of Thay.

The Horned Crown of Mulhorand: One of the royal regalia of Mulhorand, this peculiarly shaped crown boosts the intellect of whomever wears it and allows wearer to use a number of spell effects stored in magical gems adorning it. The crown was lost to the dragon Gestaniius’ raid upon the Solarium, and a replica resides in its place in the throne room.

The Chariot of Horus: One of the fabled flying chariots of Mulhorand, but not one of the pair gifted by the dwarves of the Great Rift, this chariot belonged to the Divine Precept Horus for many centuries before he became Divine Pharaoh. The Chariot of Horus was lost during Thay’s rebellion during the foolish charge of Horustep II.

The Chariot of Ra: One of the fabled flying chariots of Mulhorand, supposedly given to Divine Pharaoh Ra by the dwarves of the Great Rift. This chariot has not been seen since Ra’s funeral procession but is rumoured to be located somewhere in the Solarium of Skuld.

The Jewelled Scarab: This curiously jeweled scarab was supposedly removed from inside the body of the Divine Pharaoh Ra by his physicians. It has the power to cure all maladies when touched to a recipient. The Jewelled Scarab has been removed to the Vault of Golden Commerce for safe keeping.

Karathoth’s Jewel: Crafted by the Divine Incarnation Karathoth for the young Pharaoh Akonhorus I in 929 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. This jewel is currently worn by the Pharaoh’s heir Horustep to protect him from harm.

The Scales of Horus: The bronze armour of Horus was worn during the siege of Inupras and is resistant to fire and sword. The armour was nearly lost during the rebellion of Thay but was recovered and now resides safely in the Vault of Golden Commerce.

Shield of Heru: This shining round shield is made from the enchanted capstone of the dome of the Imperial Palace of Inupras. It was carried into battle by the oblaran Heru Calliant during the Orcgate Wars. This shield reflects in a random direction all blows, missiles, spells, and energy that strike the shield. The shield was lost during the rebellion of Thay when Horustep II led the vanguard into the Thayan battle lines.

 

Fauna

Dragons: Mulhorand, long ago, was home to many dragons of all varieties. Some had lived and ruled here for centuries as overlords of dragonkind in imitation of their ancestors millennia before, others were new arrivals to the region having recently broken free of magical servitude to the Imaskari and were bereft of family and friends.

The orphaned dragons were surrounded by the territories of established rivals with families and so many of these new dragons were slain, the remaining few banded together to form their own flight and a ruler was chosen; a Suzerain, from the Imaskari words for Dragon (suzaar) and Collar (Reean) which was their method for controlling dragons.

Gradually the flight of dragons broke apart under internal pressures (dragons of all varieties living together in proximity will inevitably lead to conflict) and external threats (such as the manipulations of TiaMa’at and the Dragon Purges of Unther), until only a family of blue dragons kept to the original code that the flight was bound together by, the strongest member was declared Suzerain and he commanded the loyalty of all other dragons in the flight in a manner similar to human kings. The current Suzerain is known as Erskonar, an ancient dragon who was once the mount of a powerful necromantic artificer, and who also has a talent for the necromantic arts. Erskonar has ruled as Suzerain since Maladraedior was deposed (although his rule was broken briefly by Gestaniius who supposedly slew Erskonar, but he later returned and drove her off while she was nursing an injured forelimb).

Today there are many families of dragons of different varieties in the lands around Mulhorand; copper dragons dwell in the Copper Mountains of Murghom, brown dragons are common-place in Raurin and wander into Mulhorand, the strongest group however is the flight of blue dragons that still claim the western and southern arms of the Raurin Desert (excluding the Dragonsword Mountains).

Gorgon: In Mulhorand the gorgon is known as the Hirathul (stone bull). It is an enormous creature resembling the breed of rothe native to the lands of the Old Empires. Legends speak of the Imaskari Artificer Agrorgon the Stoneheart, who sought for a way to grow golems rather than create them with magic. His experiments saw him graft a variety of enhancements and organs onto living creatures to make them more golem like, in the hopes that they would pass such augmentations onto their childen.

His experiments failed because the resulting creatures were often driven insane and were nearly impossible to command even with powerful magical enchantments. The Hirathul is believed to be the result of one of Agrorgon’s experiments that survived the culls of its creator and the fall of Imaskar, it has made its lair in Rolling Stone Gap between the Dragonsword and Dustwall Mountains where it tracks down and brutally slays any that travel through the gap.

The Hirathul is first documented during the early years of Mulhorand’s founding, it was slightly larger than the average wefarthe that roam Mulhorand. Today the Hirathul is said to be almost 12 feet tall and as long as 2 caravans, such descriptions may be tall tales or it may indicate an incredibly long lifespan and unlimited growth potential. The Hirathul is covered in black armoured scales said to be made of enchanted stone, it’s horns are able to pierce steel armour like paper and poison those impaled upon them, it’s breath is a poisonous acid that debilitates and damages those coming into contact with it, it also appears to possess incredible regenerative powers because it has survived for millennia and the attacks of soldiers and incarnations in great numbers.

Some travelers speak of the sloughed skin of the Hirathul being discarded over the Rolling Stone Gap, but from slightly smaller dimensions than its current rumoured size. Monstrologists believe it may shed its skin in order to expand in size, much like chitinous insects do, during these sheddings it may be more vulnerable to attack.

The skin of the Hirathul is said to make armour that provide superior protection from most physical attacks, while its blood can be used to make a potion to provide regeneration to the imbiber (although the potion is difficult to make and if mixed incorrectly becomes a virulent poison and potent acid). Its blood also prevents magical transportation through anything it covers (teleportation, ethereal travel, etc), this property is believed to have come from a property added by Agrorgon that prevent the Hirathul from accidentally wandering through one of the Imaskari portals and also to stop it being teleported away by prepared thieves.

The Hirathul is said to be untamable, it is unrelentingly hostile to any wandering through its 90 mile territory, tracking them day and night by smell and only ceasing pursuit once they pass outside Rolling Stone Gap. The Mulhorandi have sent battalions of a hundred men to destroy the beast, and even a Divine Incarnation of Bast and Isis have been sent to destroy or calm the creature. None have come close to slaying it, and the Divine Incarnation of Bast only managed to draw 7 drops of blood in a battle that lasted 2 hours.

Lamia Noble: These strange hybrid creatures take the form of a half human, half serpent creature. In Mulhorand they are called Lamewe Nahbwal, which roughly translates as the mother of hunger, for they are said to have a near endless appetite for flesh especially human flesh. Lamia in Mulhorand and the Old Empires region take the form of a human upper torso with a snake like tail (for nobles), or a human upper torso with 4 reptilian legs (for normal lamia).

Before Mulhorand existed, the Turami people have many legends of snake like creatures that would hunt lone humans, occasionally stalking into villages to carry off victims for food or their carnal pleasure (and then as a snack after). These monsters were thinned in number by the Imaskari who sought to expand their dominion here, and many were slain by the godkings of Mulhorand and their children who sought to make a name for themselves.

The only modern sightings of Lamia are from the Sekkar region, particularly around Lake Azulduth, although there are rumours of an incredibly powerful lamia noble beneath Unthalass who has a cadre of lamia nobles about her.

Nefakashar: The Angry Darkness is a name given to the odd cloud formations that have been seen in Mulhorand in recent decades in increasing numbers.

Ancient murals on cave walls in the Dragonsword Mountains depict the Turami natives of this region worshipping dark clouds with many hands and mouths while snake like humans whipped and enslaved them. Occasional sightings of strange dark clouds that devour creatures whole have been reported throughout Mulhorand’s existence.

There are similar creatures reported in other lands, in Chessenta and Unther they are known as the Hakeashar, in Thay they are known as the Nilshai. All reports have similar themes, the clouds appear to be intelligence, they can alter their form, they can slay and devour living beings by manifesting multiple gnashing maws and tearing claws, and they drain any magic they come into contact with.

Since the Thayvian invasion of 1280 DR, the reports of Nefakashar in Mulhorand have increased tenfold every decade, which leads many to believe the clouds are in league with the Red Wizards or are some kind of new weapon from Thay.

Whatever the truth and the reason for the increase in appearance, these creatures appear drawn to the lands of Chessenta, Unther, and Mulhorand and the Mulan people, and they have a thirst for Mulhorandi magic and blood.

Rainbow Birds: The Qothkha birds are famous throughout the realms as rainbow birds, and are highly sought after by many as a status symbol, including among the drow who know them as cathlyre. These large, primarily wading birds, have a body of blue feathers and an incredibly long tail that they can fan out to form a semi-circle behind the bird. When the bird dances around displaying this tail of feathers, it is said to shimmer with all the colours of the rainbow (hence the name), and has even been known to dazzle or hypnotise those gazing directly at the display.

The bird is believed to have originated from lands such as Durpar and Ulgarth, it has since spread to Raurin (before it became a desert), to the Shaar, and to the lands of Mulhorand, Murghom, and Semphar. A few enterprising nobles from Mulhorand who have moved to other nations have imported the rainbow birds from their home (there is one such colony in Aglarond) so it is possible they could spread even further.

Rothe: Known as Wefarthe (shadow cow) in Mulhorand, this creature vaguely resembles the rothe of north western Faerun. It stands 18 hands high on average, but is slimmer than a horse, is almost completely bald except for thick bristles that run down the back of its neck, and the males have two large horns that point forward and are wickedly sharp. Wefarthe have an incredible sense of smell.

The Wefarthe naturally form large herds that once migrated between the lands that would be Mulhorand, Murghom, Raurin, and Semphar. These herds have long since been domesticated and the Raurin desert has eliminated the last wild herds in that region.

Wefarthe provide a strong tasting milk in small quantities that is most often used for cheese. The meat is tough and stringy, but when dried has a pleasant flavor and can be chewed for hours. The leather of Wefarthe is highly prized for its natural suppleness, but it is often bleached first before being used in armour.

Scarab Beetle: The Eduscarab; the death beetle, resembles the dung beetle commonly found in the arid lands of the Old Empires, except that it is slightly larger and heavier with a blue / green iridescent hue to its outer carapace. Unlike the dung beetle, which feasts on the faeces of other creatures, the scarab survives only by consuming the flesh of other living creatures and it has a particular craving for the flesh of intelligent humanoids.

The scarab infests the Dragonsword Mountains in clusters, these beetles tend to gather in swarms that roam the mountains and scour it clean of all living creatures. When food is scarce the beetles appear to be able to hibernate indefinitely (only awoken by the warmth of body-heat) or individuals will break off from the swarm and head down into the lowlands of Mulhorand. the Dawn’s Land and the Asanabis are most affected by scarab beetles which occasionally burrow into the flesh of animals or hide in grain stores, but more often are found (or driven with fire) into the tombs of the Land of the Dead.

Rarely, scarabs are known to swarm down from the mountains in a pattern most unusual for insects. They will attack settlements, targeting those buildings inhabited by Mulan and will ignore the fire traps laid outside most buildings in the Dawn’s Land (or swarm around them), this behavior indicates an intelligence that scarabs do not individually possess, and add fuel to the legend of Apshai who supposedly dwells in the mountains.

Snakes: Mulhorand and all the lands of the Old Empires are home to a wondrous variety and number of snakes and other reptiles, far more than would be reasonably expected through natural evolution, many anthropologists have speculated that some ancient empire or mad wizard spent centuries experimenting upon the local reptilian fauna creating a vast number of different species.

Most snakes in Mulhorand are harmless grass snakes of different colours and size, the water snakes that infest the rivers, and reed beds are particularly venomous (to the point of being deadly) with greatly enlarged fangs, while the most infamous snakes around Mulhorand are those of the Sekkar which have an enlarged hood and are capable of spitting their venom up to several feet (those coming into contact with it suffer blindness and paralysis).

Thael: Named for the infamous sorceress Hathaele Bizdamen, daughter of the godking Sobek. The Thael are known as the “Bite That Brings Change” and over the centuries since Hathaele’s disappearance the name has been attributed to snakes, jackals, mosquitos, anything that can bite and cause a malady.

The true Thael are crocodilians that inhabit the River of Swords in large numbers, but the Thael have been altered in some way to increase their size, strength, and intelligence beyond normal crocodiles and to increase their appetite for the flesh of intelligent humanoids. Worse still, the bite of a Thael appears to induce a transformation in victims that cause them to become enraged for a time and then lapse into a coma which would ultimately result in death or worse transform them into a partly reptilian creature.

Hathaele was said to have discovered the process of creating these Thael, and the progeny of her creations still haunt the River of Swords feasting on human flesh whenever they can get it. Some scholars connect the Thael of Mulhorand to the Gbahali of Chessenta, although how the crocodiles have travelled so far is not explained.

 

Local Lore

Snakes in the Reeds: There are recent rumours that followers of Set have been insinuating themselves throughout the empire, and most importantly have gained access to Skuld and the Solarium. These rumours have been sspread by Halcaunt and most ignore them as the ravings of a madman, but precautions are being taken nonetheless.

Rezim has ordered the guard be doubled and has proposed that foreign mercenaries are used alongside the Guardians of Skuld to guard the Pharaoh and the City of the Gods. Thus far Rezim’s proposals have been decried by the Solar Council (as insulting to the churches of Isis, Osiris, and Anhur) and politely declined by the Pharaoh as unnecessary (not wishing to offend three of the four most powerful churches in Mulhorand), however, recruiters around the Inner Sea (particularly the Vilhon Reach and Chessenta) are looking for adventurers with knowledge of Mulhorandi language and society, to impersonate and investigate the Guardians of Skuld for Set’s influence.

Thayan Invasion: Rumours are circulating in Sultim that Thay is preparing an invasion of Mulhorand somewhere in the Thazalhar region. It is believed that thousands of soldiers are hiding out in hidden caves and coves along the coastline, training daily for an attack that may come at any time. It has been over 200 years since the last Thayan invasion (when Sultim was sacked), so people are beginning to get worried about the rumours.

The Church of Anhur is hiring adventurers to search the coast of the Thazalhar for any Thayan troop movements, and to pay particular attention to caravans moving in and out of the region as they may be resupplying any hidden army.

Raging Bull: The legendary black bull of Agrorgon the Stoneheart; otherwise known as The Hirathul (stone bull), is rampaging through Rolling Stone Gap once more. In ages past this mighty beast has destroyed entire caravans, battalions of soldiers, and even incarnations of the godkings.

The Hirathul is said to be armoured with stone plates making it impervious to most blows, it has powerful regenerative capabilities, poisonous breath, and an apparent unlimited capacity to grow. Having first been documented early in the First Age of Mulhorand, the same Hirathul is believed to be nearly 12 feet tall and is as long as two caravans. Travel through Rolling Stone Pass is almost impossible for all caravan traffic, and lone travelers are lucky to not be discovered if they travel quickly and quietly.

The Red Wind Blows: Dust clouds over the Dragonsword Mountains have been particularly active this past decade, with the buildings in Mishtan and Klondor often covered in a thick red coating. This increase in dust clouds has also coincided with an increase in wandering monsters and dangerous animals coming down from the Dragonsword Mountains into the Great Vale.

Rumours abound that a great desert storm over a mile wide is rampaging through the Dust Desert of Raurin destroying anything in it’s way, travelers in the region say that the storm has been moving steadily north into the Plains of Purple Dust. Legends of ancient Mulhorand repeatedly note the appearance of huge dust clouds in the Raurin region that were calmed only after much destruction and the death of one or more Oblaran that tried to stop it.

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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