Western Heartlands

Realms

Askavar

A short lived realm of moon elves fleeing the fall of Keltormir

Quotes – An elven community in the Glimmering Wood (modern: Wood of Sharp Teeth), Askavar was abandoned in the Retreat about eight hundred years ago. (FRCS3 pg 267)

It is known that over one hundred winters after the sword was entrusted to the Holy Warriors (275 DR), one of their number took up the blade and travelled north, coming to the tower of Uldoon, “the Mage of Fangs.” The wizard Uldoon was a ruthless—some say insane—spellhurler who consorted with many denizens of the Lower Planes. He established the small realm of Torsil in the lands north of the Cloud Peaks and grew fond of summoning fi ends of all types to send against rival holds that bordered his realm, as well as the elves of Askavar, who had their homes in nearby  Glimmerwood (the present-day Wood of Sharp Teeth). The tale of how this unnamed paladin, wielding the mighty Dornavver, vanquished Torsil and the fi ends therein is recounted in a ballad titled “Uldoon’s Doom,” a popular song still sung by bards of the Sword Coast today. (CoV pg 62)

It is known that over one hundred winters after the sword was entrusted to the Holy Warriors, one of their number took up the blade and travelled north, coming to the tower of Uldoon “the Mage of Fangs”. The wizard Uldoon was a ruthless, some say insane, spellhurler who consorted with many denizens of the lower planes. He established the small realm of Faerlorna in the lands north of the Cloud Peaks and grew fond of summoning fiends of all types to send against rival holds that bordered his realm as well as the elves of Askavar who had their homes in the nearby Glimmerwood (present-day Wood of Sharp Teeth). The tale of how this unnamed paladin, wielding the mighty Dornavver, vanquished Faerlorna and the fiends therein is recounted in a ballad titled “Uldoon’s Doom”, a popular song still sung by bards of the Sword Coast today. (Swords of Impiltur, Imbrar’s Inheritance)

the Fields of the Dead and the Greenfields (although in bygone eras this region had a plethora of names: the elves called it Askavar which also served as the name of a short-lived realm of moon elves that fled the fall of Keltormir (UIA pg 17)

Askavar: An elven community in what is now the Wood of Sharp Teeth. It was abandoned by the elves some 800 years ago (estimated), its people heading for Evereska or Evermeet. (FRCS2 pg 124)

Territory – Wood of Sharp Teeth

Dates – after -8500 DR (fall of Keltormir) to c.500 DR

Source – UIA, FRCS3

Baldur’s Gate

Former village of Grey Harbour

Events – Violence breaks out between Upper City and Low City due to additional taxes on trade and travel, many Patriar villas sacked. Council of Four elected to quell the violence (BGDIA pg 159)

Eltan, a renowned adventurer, returns from abroad to Baldur’s Gate and unites many independent mercenary companies in the city into the Flaming Fist to deal with the chaos in the city (BGDIA pg 159). 

Long ago many nobles of Baldur’s Gate worshipped Siamorphe, her temple was said to be a wonder to behold. The temple became a target during one of the city’s early uprisings, although the secret vault is said to have survived  (BGDIA pg 167)

Black Dragon Gate named for a long ago knight that hung the head of a black dragon on this gate (BGDIA pg 176)

Most of the Old Wall was rebuilt following revolts early in the city’s history (BGDIA pg 178)

Whatever Balduran’s true fate, his money was spent on a splendid city wall. Within its protection, building went on at
a great pace, soon growing out past the wall. The wall was built by several farmers, who put it around their own
holdings, excluding the actual harbour from its protection. This allowed them to tax all carts coming up from the docks to the protection of the walled city. The colleagues of Balduran, sea-captains to whom the harbour was home (an ideal place for beaching and repairing ships, without local fees or crowding), angrily insisted that the gate by which southern
trade and the harbour traffic entered the city was “Baldur’s Gate”, and refused to pay for entering by it.
The strife ended in the overthrow of the enriched farmers and the seizure of the city (which came to be called Baldur’s Gate) by the sea-captains. The four oldest captains, their days at sea drawing to a close, turned over their ships to younger sailors, who in turn supported their installation as rulers of the fledgling city.
The four called themselves Dukes as a joke, but the titles proved useful when dealing with other rulers, and were later glorified by the apellation “grand”.”
Retired grand dukes live in honour, supported by the city and welcome at all feasts and temple functions (unless dismissed in disgrace and banished). (FRA pg 44)

With the founding of Amn, trade became very profitable in the relaxed climate of Baldur’s Gate, and the city grew. The city burst its original bounds, growing beyond its wall until the presence of raiders forced the erection of a new wall. (FRCS2 pg 87)

Berdusk

Berdusk is a fortified city that was founded primarily as a protected stop on the overland trade route. Rapids (“the Breaking Steps, a series of short falls) on the River Chionthar just above Berdusk make passage up or downstream an exhausting, dangerous business in this area.
Vessels must be guided into cleared channels on either side of the cascades, roped securely to guide-cables installed by local dwarves long ago, and winched carefully along. The powerful flow of the Chionthar either battles against a crew all the way, or threatens to tear the vessel loose from the cable’s braking guidance and whirl it downstream to shatter on the rocks. Rafts cannot make the journey at all; battered and high-sided local waybarges must be used instead, and the goods returned to the raft after it is reassembled, either above or below the cascade.
Those who try to fight their way through the Steps on a raft lose it and their goods, at the least, and their lives as well, most often. Rare freshwater kelpies are known to haunt the waters just downstream from the Steps.
Over the years, a city of barge builders, carters, and other merchants has grown up on the banks of the Chionthar, where a small, clearwater spring rises and enters the river. This spring is sometimes called the River Sulduskoon, but it is less than half a mile in length, even if its flow is powerful and its channel broad.
Increasing orc and bandit depredations in the area (and later, Zhentilar raiding bands) drove nearby races of gentler dispositions to move to the growing city, and fortify it, for mutual protection.
Dwarves, gnomes, halflings, elves, and half-elves joined the human settlement of Berdusk, named for a local warrior famous for his orc-slaughters. The village was previously known as Sulduskoon, or “Clearspring” to the elves.
Berdusk has always been marked by a predominance of merchants, and the tolerant coexistence of all races except the evil goblinkin. Its folk are always interested in news of the Realms around, for wars and prosperity in faraway lands have a great effect on the overland trade that feeds the city. The Berduskan oath  “By the fury of the river!”” reflects this importance of caprice and transport. (FRA pg 44)

Aryvandaar (now known as the Vyshaantar Empire) attempted to annex the sun elf and moon elf kingdom of Shantel Othreier.

The elves of Shantel Othreier resisted Aryvandaar’s attacks for three centuries, but with the sudden, mysterious death of Ynloeth, their coronal, they finally surrendered and diplomatically joined the Vyshaantar Empire, thus ending the Third Crown War. (LeoF pg 55)

Within four decades after the Dark Disaster, the Ilythiiri utterly destroyed the realm of Shantel Othreier—the closest outpost of Vyshaantar power. In the words of the Song of the Sundered Crown, Ilythiiri high mages “called stones from the sky,” and “caused the earth to boil and the trees to scream.” Refugees from the doomed kingdom of Shantel Othreier told tales of Ilythiiri atrocities that made the actions of the Aryvandaar for the past several centuries seem tame by comparison. (LeoF pg 55)

(Frequent mentions of Sulduskoon, does this relate to the Suldusk tribe of Tethir, did some migrate here after Ebenfar’s fall, or is it an older branch from the time of Keltormir and Shantel Othreier)

Dates – Must have begun when dwarves and elves lived in the region – elves named it Sulduskoon, dwarves built the cables and all came together to form Berdusk. Unlikely to exist before 300 DR as Ashar inhibited Cormyr trade which presumably ran between Cormyr and Baldur’s Gate

Cairnheim

Ruled by the Dodkong (King of Death). Converting hill giants to barrowes (Realms Bestiary 2)

Events – the Colossus of Ostoria in the unclaimed tunnels beneath the southern Sunset Mountains. A massive granite sculpture of a titan in an introspective pose, the Colossus is a legend throughout the Underdark of the western Heartlands. Named for the ancient giant kingdom that once encompassed much of Faerûn, the statue’s incredible detail suggests it is the petrified remains of a titan. (DDUGTTU pg 96)

Territory – Under and including Giant’s Run Mountains

Dates – -160 DR – Today

Source – Realms Bestiary 2

Calishar Emirates

Vassal states of the Shoon Imperium

During the Age of Shoon, many small realms, known collectively as the Calishar Emirates, rose and fell along the southern Sword Coast north of the Marching Mountains. The rulers of these realms governed their subjects largely as they pleased, as long as those subjects obeyed the dictates of the qysar, paid their taxes in full, and supplied levies of troops to the imperial armies as needed. The excesses of the petty nobles of this era were legion and included widespread traffi cking with fi ends. Such summoned “pets” often broke their bonds of servitude and became ravaging menaces, while those responsible for their presence in Faerûn hid safely behind their villa walls. In the Year of the Vow Manifest (44 DR), the followers of Anachtyr (a local alias of Tyr) responded to the threat posed by demons rampaging through the countryside by forging three Demonsbane shields—Kimeltaar, Naelotaar, and Dizeltaar—to be wielded by paladin champions. In contrast, the ponderous imperial bureaucracy did not react for more than eight decades and then only in a token fashion. (Dof pg 135)

During the reign of Shoon IV, disgruntled pashas and vizars among the Calishite and Arnadar lands hatched a plan by which they might bring an end to Shoon rule by disrupting the Imperium with another crazed mage as powerful as the qysar. With judicious payments of magical items and gold, a consortium of nine major Calishite families recruited the willing assistance of Ilhundyl of Volothamp. He agreed to try to disrupt the Imperium via magical conquest in exchange for payment in coin and magic. In the Year of Dark Dreams (223 DR), Ilhundyl took on the persona of the Mad Mage, and his subsequent experiments and nightly rampages saw him banished from Volothamp; not so strangely, his rampages only damaged political enemies of his employers. He fostered a reputation for himself that he was mad for power and spread the word that he sought to conquer the Imperium.
In the following decade, llhundyl’s reputation grew, though not so fast that it drew the attention of Shoon IV. The peaceful halfling realm of Meiritin, founded in the Year of the Raised Banner (227 DR) along the eastern shores of the great lake of the Ralamnish Ridings (now known as Lake Esmel), next felt the brunt of llhundyl’s ambitions. By the fourth year of the realm’s existence, the Mad Mage had conquered the halflings and begun planning to conquer all of the Shoon Imperium, starting with the Calishar Emirates.
By this point, the role that Ilhundyl had adopted had taken on a life of its own. Many of Ilhundyl’s employers and conspirators had died of old age or intrigue, and their sons had either accepted their families’ participation in the plan or died at Ilhundyl’s wrathful hand when they refused to pay the annual tribute that their fathers had agreed on as his fee for his long-term efforts. Ilhundyl’s arrogant role had gone to his head so much that he now actually wanted to fight and defeat the qysar, who had been savagely wounded in a battle against Iryklathagra the Blue in the Year of the Plague Clouds (236 DR). However, rather than battle the qysar, Ilhundyl met his doom at the hands of the young Elminster Aumar and Myrjala Dark-Eyes in the Year of Many Mushrooms (238 DR).
In the end, the legacy of the Ilhundyl Gambit only strengthened Shoon rule. After the Shoon reconquered Meiritin, they recovered records of the plan, including the names of the conspirators, and they and their families were all put to the sword for treason. More than two years after Ilhundyl’s own death, 232 people lost their lives at the hands of the qysar’s servants, treachery was weeded out, and the grip of the first necromancer qysar wrapped yet tighter around the Shoon Imperium. (EotSS pg 30)

Territory – With the rise of the Shoon Empire, the Calishar Emirates (which covered what is now Amn, eastern Tethyr, Erlkazar, and the Green Fields) saw an influx of immigrants, as Calimshan grew crowded and expanded northwards. (LoI pg 17)

Dates – -1900 DR ish to 361 DR (Calishar Emirates referred to any vassal state north of Calimshan, including those in Tethyr, Amn, etc. Settlement of the Greenfields probably began sometime after 100 DR when the likes of Athkatla and Crimmor were settled by Calishite immigrants but before 128 DR when Hilather took up residence in an abandoned tower in the already existing emirate of Torsil. These emirates may have been conquered by Ilhundyl before regaining independence at his death, and later incorporated into Valashar)

Darkhold

Zhentarim stronghold

the Colossus of Ostoria in the unclaimed tunnels beneath the southern Sunset Mountains. A massive granite sculpture of a titan in an introspective pose, the Colossus is a legend throughout the Underdark of the western Heartlands. Named for the ancient giant kingdom that once encompassed much of Faerûn, the statue’s incredible detail suggests it is the petrified remains of a titan. (DDUGTTU pg 96)

Territory – The Sunset Mountains

Dates – 1312 DR – Today

Source – FRCS3 pg 228

Delimbiyran, Kingdom of Man

Remnants of Phalorm the Tri Crowned Realm including the humans, halflings, and gnomes

Events – Like its predecessor, the Kingdom of Man was swept away by goblinoid hordes—but in dying, it dealt such a blow to the nonhuman populations that humanity gained the opportunity to expand without serious challenge and came to dominate the Sword Coast as it does to this day. (FRCS3 pg 267)

Territory – Claimed all the lands of Phalorm

Dates – 616 DR – 702 DR

Source – UIA, FRCS3

Elembar

Human (Tethen) realm

Territory – Cleared lands around Ardeep Forest, capital of Delimbyran

Dates – 146 DR – 511 DR

Source – Under Illefarn Anew

Elturel

Human city

Events – In the years before the Companion appeared a young red dragon plagued the lands about Elturel. It was slain by a woman with a greatsword who then died immediately afterwards and laid to rest in Elturel’s cathedral (BGDIA pg 63)

Elturel is a trading city where river travel on the Chionthar meets overland trade. It is also the local market for the rich farming lands of The Fields of the Dead and the fertile banks of the lower Chionthar, where thousands of sheep and cattle are gathered each year for transport to the markets far across Faerûn.

Of old, Elturel was one of the few defensible spots in the great rolling lands from the Sword Coast to the vast woodlands of the Meet, where the River Reaching joins the Chionthar. Once a troll lord had a stronghold on the heights here. Later an ogre chieftain drove out the trolls and held the lands around from a crude stone for tress on the site. In the days when men had come but trolls, ogres, and the like still roamed the region, a human castle stood here, changing hands from lordling to lordling, but serving always as a refuge for humans against the dangers of the lands around. Brigands are the chief danger to day, although orcs, trolls, ogres and such still come raiding from the mist- cloaked High Moor to despoil the rich farms of The Fields of the Dead. The great battles which gave that region its name may be past now, but the men of Elturel still keep their arms, patrolling the farms which look to them for protection. “The Riders of Elturel” have galloped out of the night to save many a farmer from trolls or worse, and are famous in song. High Rider Lord Dhelt still leads his share of patrols’ and all big sorties, when trouble is met; into the lands around, and is widely respected as a just, no-nonsense ruler (FRA pg 85)

Territory – Elturel

Dates – ???? – ????

Illefarn

Elven realm

Territory – Between the mouths of the River Dessarin and River Delimbiyr

Dates – ???? – -1100 DR

Source – Under Illefarn Anew

Grey Harbour

Human village, home of Balduran. Balduran spent years questing and returned to Grey Harbour with much gold that he spent to transform it into the city of Baldur’s Gate

Within a generation of the building of the wall containing Baldur’s Gate the city was renamed to the same (BGDIA pg 158)

Territory – present day site of Baldur’s Gate

Dates – ???? – ???? 

Source – BGDIA

Hunnabar

Dwarven duchy

Events

Territory – Small surface clan holds around Kanaglym (beneath modern day Dragonspear Castle)

Dates – 356 DR – 592 DR

Source – UIA pg 28

Indoria

The survivors who migrated down the twin waterways now known as the Winding Water and the River Reaching merged with Calishites, Chondathans, and Talfir to form fledgling realms such as the Duchy of Indoria, which was located in the region now known as the Fields of the Dead. Some migrated to planned subterranean cities such as Gauntlgrym (see page 143) and the Netherese Caverns of Philock (see Underdark), while others used the Art to craft new cities, such as Helbrester. (LeoF pg 109)

Meanwhile, to the north, the scattered clans of rock gnomes were forced to withdraw to the Trielta Hills by the growing power of the lizardfolk, who had formed the tribal confederation of Kalran in the central and northern Serpent Hills. By the first century Dalereckoning, the Kingdom of the Snakes had emerged as a regional power in its own right alongside such human states as the Talfirian- and Netherese-ruled Duchy of Indoria (located in the area known today as the Fields of the Dead), the Talfirian city of Talis in the depths of the Reaching Woods, and the Netherese-ruled subterranean realm of Philock, which lay just east of the Wood of Sharp Teeth (now known as the Netherese Caverns). (SK pg 111)

Territory – Fields of the Dead

Dates – Founded after -461 DR when the diaspora of Low Netheril began, but before 1 DR when it is stated to exist. Should fall sometime after 90 DR when the Shadowking arises, possibly around 140 DR when a number of talfir flee to the Moonshaes.

Source – LeoF, SK

Kalran

Kingdom of lizardfolk secretly vassals of Najara

Territory – Northern Serpent Hills, sometimes includes Marsh of Chelimber

Dates – 692 or 993 DR – today

Source – EEA2SH, SK

Miyeritar

Events – An elven realm that stood where the High Moor now exists, Miyeritar was destroyed during the Crown Wars by terrible elven high magic that blanketed the entire realm for months in a killing storm (only a remnant of that magic survives today as (FRCS3 pg 267)

Territory – the High Moor

Dates – ???? – -10500 DR

Najara

Events – Not long after Netheril fell, the ophidia moved south to the Forest of Wyrms led by their leader, a dark naga of great power, called Terpenzi. Terpenzi had come to them after they were abandoned by their human masters. In the Forest of Wyrms, the ophidia practiced magic under the leadership of the dark naga. It is said that they eventually learned how to summon other creatures to them and that this is how yuan-ti arrived in the region. The yuan-ti were summoned by the dark naga to serve as troops against the coming invaders.
The yuan-ti were brilliant and powerful. While Terpenzi plotted, the snake creatures organized the ophidia to build a grand temple. Eventually, the yuan-ti multiplied to the point that the temple became the heart of a great city, and the Kingdom of the Snakes was born. The yuan-ti became the rulers of those who had summoned them, and all served the dark naga.
In the hills to the north of the Forest of Wyrms, the lizard men struggled more slowly toward civilization, some seeking better lives elsewhere. The lizard men lived in clans, then began forming tribes, and eventually developed a tribal confederation that dominated the Serpent Hills. In the hills they were supreme, while the snake men ruled to the south in the forest.
Eventually, the successors to Netheril began to expand, and they discovered the Kingdom of the Snakes and the lands of the lizards. The lizard men were regarded as too primitive to pose a threat, but the snake men had recently uncovered the ruins of a Netherese outpost and storehouse, where some of the empire’s treasures were taken for safekeeping.
The yuan-ti were using their great intellects to learn the secrets of these magics, and they had begun to manipulate creatures to build monsters of their own design. In addition, the magical items of the lost outpost were used to arm the ophidia, making them a powerful military force. Aided by the hideous creations of the yuan-ti, they could become a threat to all nearby nations.
In response to this growing threat, several of the other kingdoms banded together and sent a force of powerful wizards to deal with the Kingdom of the Snakes. The battle raged for days, and the city of the snake men was utterly destroyed. But Terpenzi and many of its followers escaped. They returned to the Serpent Hills, where they began reclaiming space from the spreading lizard man confederacy. The two groups warred, and both lost many of the civilized advances they had gained over the last century or so. (EEA2SH pg 5)

Territory – Serpent Hills

Dates – -361 DR

Source – GHoTR

Narivaemista

Elven duchy of Ardeep

Territory – the Misty Forest

Dates – ???? – ????

Source – Under Illefarn Anew

Narthil

Independent city state of the moon elves of House Narthil

Events – 227 DR – Prince Garthos of Athalantar conquers Narthil and slaughters the elves of House Narthil (UIA pg 27)

234 DR – Narthil is formerly incorporated into Athalantar (UIA pg 27)

342 DR – Narthil is overrun by the Horde of Black Banners and never rebuilt (UIA pg 48)

Territory – Narthil on the northern edge of the Misty Forest

Dates – ???? – 342 DR

Source – UIA pg 27, 48

Nedeheim

Giant realm

Event – -5360 DR to -5350 DR: Giant Wars: More than five thousand giants of Nedeheim fall to the dwarves of High Shanatar under the leadership of Karlyn of House Kuldever. By the war’s conclusion, more than half of the entire giant population south of the Cloud Peaks is exterminated, and the giant realm of Nedeheim is reduced to scattered clanholds. (GHoTR pg 23)

(This does not say half the population of Nedeheim, it specifically mentions half the population south of the Cloud Peaks. North of the Cloud Peaks is the Green Fields and relatively unforested land – the Glimmerwood covered the western half but the Greenfields were cleared by dragonfire millennia ago. Who lived there if not the rest of the population of Nedeheim now broken into separate holdings due to the death of the royal line. Lots of giant ruins north of the Cloud Peaks, Darkhold, Fallen GIant Tomb. Mention of giant emperors in Darkhold.)

Territory

Dates – ???? to -5350 DR (Did Nedeheim persist as fractured giant realms after -5350 DR, Darkhold is giant size, Fallen Giant Tomb nearby, gigantic stone statues – the Watchers)

Netheril

Events – the mages of ancient Netheril held sway over this entire area. Though their main civilization was to the north, they maintained several outposts in this region. Some scholars suggest that many Netherese had country estates in the lands that would later become known as the Serpent Hills. (EEA2SH pg 4)

Candlekeep also holds many volumes collected from the Netherese Diaspora into the North and the Western Heartlands (LEof pg 100)

Phalorm the Tri Crowned Realm

Realm of humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings

Territory – Claimed all the lands from Waterdeep to Trollbark Forest and as far as the eastern edge of the High Moor. Settled lands included the Dessarin and Delimbiyran river valleys and lands around them.

Dates – ???? – 511 DR

Source Under Illefarn Anew

Principality of the Snarling Boar

Founded by the Great Boareskyr

Ruled by Prince Chelimber (why was he a prince and not a king ????)

Events – Fought with the Wizard of the Crag, hired assassins to kill the wizard, the ensuing battle created the Marsh of Chelimber. (FRCS3 pg 225)

In response to this growing threat, several of the other kingdoms banded together and sent a force of powerful wizards to deal with the Kingdom of the Snakes. The battle raged for days, and the city of the snake men was utterly destroyed. But Terpenzi and many of its followers escaped. They returned to the Serpent Hills, where they began reclaiming space from the spreading lizard man confederacy. The two groups warred, and both lost many of the civilized advances they had gained over the last century or so.
After another long span of years, the Marsh of Chelimber was created, and many of the lizard men migrated to that area. This emigration left more territory in the hills to the serpent folk. The lizard man population declined, and the serpents gained in power, spreading across the hills in hidden citadels and destroying the mammalian races who tried to enter the hills. Those humans and humanoids who survived gave the area its present name. (EEA2SH pg 5)

At one time in the early days of Waterdeep, this fertile area was ruled by Chelimber the Proud, a decadent fellow with a great deal of wealth in silver, gold, tapestries, and more. (EEA2SH pg 28)

The marsh of Chelimber was formed when the Principality of the Snarling Boar (457 DR to 692 DR), named for the legendary adventurer Boareskyr, was inundated by water elementals in the aftermath of a spell battle between two powerful archmages. (SK pg 106)

Discussion – Why the discrepancy between the dates, did the Principality of Boareskyr fall in 692 DR or 993 DR. Was 457 DR to 692 DR actually the dates pertaining to Boareskyr’s birth and death. If it was a Principality then to what nation did the Princes originally come from (Principalities usually formed when Kings grant land to their prince sons and relatives and those become powerful enough to declare sovereign nations). Was Boareskyr a bastard Obarskyr or a powerful member of the Crownsilver, Huntsilver, Truesilver families ???

Territory – Land that is now the Marsh of Chelimber

Dates – 457 DR to 692 DR or  993 DR     In the early days of Waterdeep

Source – FRCS3 pg 225, GHoTR pg 113, SK pg 106

Scathril

Human duchy of the Shining Kingdom of Delimbyran

Territory – Between the Lizard Marsh and the Trollbark Forest

Dates – 523 DR – 614 DR

Source – Under Illefarn Anew

Semi Nomadic Horse Riding Civilisation

Presumably human, (Is this the same as the Vund?)

Territory – Ancient tombs lie beneath Asbravn (horses no use in forest or mountains so perhaps the Green Fields ????)

Dates – ???? to ????  (prior to the founding of Asbravn and perhaps settlement of the Sunset Vale)

Source – FRCS3 pg 226

Shantel Othreier

Elven realm

Your Highness: The Snakewood was once part of Shantel Othreier, which once spread over the Green Fields north of Amn. Its remnants are the Snakewood, the Wood of Sharp Teeth, and the Cloak Wood. The rivers and the main lake north of the Small Teeth kept Keltormir and Shantel Othreier separate timberlands. —Elminster (LoI pg 19)

The elves craft and sell exquisite goblets and bottles of blown glass (of rainbow, blue-green, or amber-to-gold hues), extremely expensive finery (a bridal gown cost one Athalantan noble a thousand pieces of gold), and two vintages: the emerald-green, chilled mint wine served in a hundred taverns and houses all over the human lands, and the far rarer moondrop – a sparkling, smoky flavored clear liqueur reputed to have healing properties. The finest elven wares come from Shantel Othreier (a deep forest that once stood where The Green Fields are today). (Dragon 228 pg 35)

the elven oracles Vartharian of Thaeranyl, the longlost capital of Shantel Othreier (Lalya Maurshanta pg 5)

a long-ago clan of elves known as the Nethelinnir, that had left Shantel Othreier during the Crown Wars, vowing to create a hidden haven “for all true elves devoted to the defeat of the foes of the Tel’Quessir, not those seeking to slay their kith and kin”. They believed that the Nethelinnir had used High Magic to create a realm removed from Faerûn, but accessible to those who knew its secrets. Believing that the Nethelinnir were the allies that they were seeking, the Aegisir Oerylii bent their research to finding this fabled haven. (Lalya Maurshanta pg 6)

Territory – Green Fields and presumably the rest of the Western Heartlands

Dates – ???? to -10100 DR

Source – GHoTR, LEoF

Shavinar

Human kingdom (strong mountainous kings sounds like illuskan realm????)

The realm of Shavinar was founded in the Year of the Raised Banner (227 DR) by a local adventurer, Orluth Tshahvur (possibly-exaggerated bards’ ballads describe him as a “swift sword” who “won many blood victories” and was smart as well as deadly in battle), in an attempt to unite human steadings (ranches and farms) for common defense against marauding monsters, frequent troll raids, and outlaws cast out of more southerly Sword Coast cities.
Tshahvur built a crude keep near what is now Baldur’s Gate (and was then a nameless cluster of fisherfolk huts), lured a shipwright fleeing from Calishite persecution to settle, and established what was really a pirate port: he was ruthless with anyone who used violence against anyone else there, but otherwise “welcomed all and let anything pass.”
The place became known as Gaeth (the Thorass local word for “rivermouth” or “inlet”), the obvious derivation of the “gate” part of the name “Baldur’s Gate” today. Gaeth was home to perhaps 120 people (dwelling in fieldstone-and-thatch or wood-and-thatch huts, situated on three wandering dirt streets) when “Lord Tshahvur of Shavinar” died (in 242 DR), an iron-hard man worn out by almost countless hard riding and harder sword-swinging, as he fought trolls, trolls, and more trolls to keep Shavinar from being overrun.
Orluth’s son, the proud and pompous King Arlsar (chiefly remembered for his indefatigable wenching ways and his mirror-bright, gem-studded, ornate “show” suit of plate armour) inherited a kingdom that stretched from the sea-mouth of the northbank River Chionthar along the coast as far north as the Troll Hills, and “four days’ ride” east (probably 80 to 100 miles, as we moderns would reckon it). Arlsar abandoned most of his father’s hilltop forts (little more than ring-ditches around summits that sported barrow-like “weather shelter” chambers) as too expensive (along with the warriors who defended them; as they fell in fighting, they weren’t replaced), and during his short reign Shavinar shrunk – – under persistent troll and outlaw raids – – to less than forty miles across.
Arlsar was murdered by ambitious merchants (who’d begun to settle in Gaeth in some numbers, to carry on all manner of business too unsavoury or too highly taxed to be profitable “back home” in Calimshan and the Tashalar) in 256 DR, and the realm almost disintegrated in the struggle for power that followed.
A cabal of local families viciously poisoned and stabbed various outlander merchants to put forward one of Arlsar’s many sons to be king. The glib-tongued, handsome, promise-all Raulovan reigned for four months before one of the Calishite factions ended his pretty words forever – – but a wizard who’d settled on the coastal headlands had grown weary of all the strife, and started spellslaying claimants to the throne and the outlanders promoting them, clearing the way for Arlsar’s youngest son, sometimes called “Stonehead” for his terse manner and slow speech: Kondarar.
No one disputes that Kondarar was King in every sense of the manner: just, firm, and a tireless mountain of a man whose strength could overmatch most monsters in blade-to-blade battle, he almost single-handedly kept Shavinar in existence (just as his grandsire had done, by spending his days in the saddle, hewing trolls wherever he found them) from his ascension in late 256 DR to when it all ended in 277 DR, and Shavinar was swept away (Gaeth and all) by trolls and “monsters beyond numbering, all wandering in their own snarling bands.”
In short, Shavinar was typical of hundreds of short-lived realms in Faerûn, that have risen and fallen again down the years: they founder if the successors to those who establish them are not stronger – – or far luckier – – than their predecessors. (So Saith Ed 28/07/2005)

The greatest obstacles to the resurgence of Najara were the empire of Ebenfar and the kingdom of Shavinar, which lay between the Troll Hills and the River Chionthar. Shavinar eventually fell to trolls in the Year of Broken Flame (277 DR), and Ebenfar collapsed after the imprisonment of the Shadowking in the Year of the Miscast Shadow (323 DR), thus clearing the way for a new regime. (did Najara have some involvement in the fall of Shavinar and Ebenfar????) (SK pg 112)

Territory – lands between Baldur’s Gate and Troll Hills

Dates – 227 DR – 277 DR

Source – GHoTR pg67

Shining Kingdom of Delimbiyran

Human kingdom encompassing Elembar and Scathril

Territory – 

Dates – 511 DR – 615 DR

Source – Under Illefarn Anew

Talfir Tribes

Tribal humans native to the region

Elven writings dating back to the Crown Wars mention a darkhaired, fair-skinned human tribe in the heart of the great forest of Shantel Othreier. The Talfir were the original human inhabitants of the Chionthar river valley in the Western Heartlands.
Speakers of Talfiric, a long-lost human tongue based on the Draconic alphabet, the Talfir gradually disappeared over a thousand years ago, their culture overwhelmed by refugees from Low Netheril, Calishite settlers from the south, and Chondathan settlers from the Dragon Coast. Several deities of the Faerûnian pantheon are believed to have first been worshiped by the Talfir, including Tempus, who vanquished the Netherese god of war.
The Talfir left little in the way of ruins or artifacts, although Irieabor lies atop the ancient crypt of the Talfir monarch known as Verraketh the Shadowking, who mastered shadow magic. Talis, a ruined city of the Talfir, lies in ruins along the banks of the River Reaching in the depths of the Reaching Woods. (RoF pg 109)

Territory – Originally tribes in Shantel Othreier. Likely pushed east by Nedeheim, the giants and goblinoids taking the open plains. After Netheril destroyed many giant realms the talfir returned as nomadic tribes warring with goblinoids. When Netheril fell and Low Netherese emigrated to the region the talfir were pushed west towards the coast. Netherese and talfir mingled in the Sunset Vale and along the rivers, with the talfir becoming civilised, while those near the coast remained more tribal and nomadic. After the fall of Ebenfar the Chondathans and Calishites arrived and the talfir abandoned tribal roots and gradually ceased to exist (being absorbed by the other human racial groups).

Dates – -23600 DR to c.300 DR

Sources – RoF

Talis

City of the talfir located in the Reaching Woods on the banks of the River Reaching

Possibly original capital of Ebenfar before Verraketh transformed into the Shadowking and was forced to move to the High Moor. Has prophecies involving children and shadowmagic, could these be corrupted legends about Verraketh’s descendants transforming into shadevari

Dates – Founded after -339 DR but before 1 DR. Likely founded by mixed group of talfir and netherese. Abandoned after the fall of Verraketh. Shadevari were unwilling or unable to enter Talis and sent shadow creature in to get the heroes. Could Talis have been magically warded so that the Shadowking and his creatures could not get in (perhaps this magic then weakened enough to allow their shadow servants in).

Sources – LeoF, RoF, Curse of the Shadowmage

Tavaray

Northmen realm

Events – 302 DR – Tavaray is abandoned as the surrounding Lizard Marsh expands (UIA pg 27)

Territory – the mouth of the River Delimbiyr, the Lizard Marsh

Dates – -50 DR – 302 DR

Sources – UIA pg 27

Torsil

Realm claimed by the wizard Uldoon “The Mage of Fangs”. One of the Calishar Emirates

Quotes – It is known that over one hundred winters after the sword was entrusted to the Holy Warriors (275 DR), one of their number took up the blade and travelled north, coming to the tower of Uldoon, “the Mage of Fangs.” The wizard Uldoon was a ruthless—some say insane—spellhurler who consorted with many denizens of the Lower Planes. He established the small realm of Torsil in the lands north of the Cloud Peaks and grew fond of summoning fi ends of all types to send against rival holds that bordered his realm, as well as the elves of Askavar, who had their homes in nearby Glimmerwood (the present-day Wood of Sharp Teeth). The tale of how this unnamed paladin, wielding the mighty Dornavver, vanquished Torsil and the fiends therein is recounted in a ballad titled “Uldoon’s Doom,” a popular song still sung by bards of the Sword Coast today. (CoV pg 62)

Iryklathagra suspects the Mad Mage acted in revenge for her plundering of his abandoned tower in the emirate of Torsil (which motivated her later interest in acquiring Kuraltaar the Demonshield from Qysara Shaani; see the discussion in Chapter 7) in the Year of the Lost Library (150 DR), when she was still a wyrmling. (DoF pg 21)

In the Year of the Addled Arcanist (128 DR), Hilather established himself in an abandoned tower in the remote emirate of Torsil, which lay along the Sword Coast north of the northwestern foothills of the Cloud Peaks and south of Candlekeep, near the site of present-day Beregost. In the catacombs beneath his newly appropriated tower, the Raurinese wizard either located or created a planar breach between the Material Plane and the Abyss.
Drawing on the large body of genie lore that had been developed by Calishite sorcerers over the centuries and the process for creating a mirror of life trapping, he devised a process whereby he could summon all manner of nether beings and permanently bind them into physical objects.
After four years of experimentation, Hilather emerged from seclusion in the Year of Thirteen Prides Lost (132 DR) with thirteen Demonshields in hand, which he presented to the Imperial Court. Although the newly installed Qysar Amahl Shoon IV was reportedly pleased with the Raurinese wizard’s work, the process by which Hilather created the Demonshields was never reproduced, for reasons that remain obscure. Hilather apparently vanished later that same day with a mysterious payment in hand, and the only chronicle of his work, supposedly recorded in a nondescript libram entitled Hilather’s Workbook, seems to have been lost shortly thereafter. (DoF pg 135)

Of old, many kingdoms stood proud along the warm southern Sword Coast, small realms that came and went with passing years and the sharp and ready swords of dispute. These fallen lands are now forgotten or reduced to mere names in old books and older songs: Daryntoth, Faerlorna, Ghamland, Jonsilar, Naeraethma, Sartran, and Torsil, to name but a few. (Dragon 268 pg 88)

Territory – Beregost

Dates – after 150 DR to c.375 DR

Sources – CoV pg 62

Valashar 

Vassal realm of the Shoon Imperium

The Sharpfang Battles that ensued encompassed a series of three clashes between Iryklathagra, later known as “Sharpfangs” for her deadly bite, and Shoon VII, a powerful wizard in his own right. The first conflict erupted in the north-eastern territories of Valashar, a kingdom within the Shoon Imperium, during the planned transfer of Rhimnasarl’s hoard. Iryklathagra had insisted that Shoon VII personally deliver the tribute, but instead he attacked the dragon with the arsenal of spells and magic items at his disposal. Although both the qysar and the dragon escaped their first battle relatively unscathed, four villages of Valashar were wholly destroyed, and Shoon VII seized several powerful items of magic from Iryklathagra, enabling him to claim victory.
The Year of Battle Talons (358 DR) saw the resumption of open hostilities between Sharpfangs and Shoon VII, a battle that again visited destruction upon Valashar during a rare visit by the qysar to the periphery of his domain. (Some historians suspect that Shoon VII was deliberately trying to draw Iryklathagra into battle away from the capital city of Shoonach.) After recouping from her previous defeat, Iryklathagra had assembled a veritable armoury of spells and magic devices of her own. Even the qysar’s soulfire spell, which ripped the life out of dozens of peasants and nearby soldiers to fuel a massive conflagration, could not stop the blue dragon from stealing his prized Staff of Shoon and claiming victory. (DoF pg 22)

Valashar was added to the Shoon Imperium in the Year of the Fearless King (361 DR). It stretched from the headwaters of the Sulduskoon to those of the Amstel River to the north, and its western border was flush with the halfling realm of Meiritin. This short-lived realm arose through the military efforts of the Tethyrian prince, Ashar Tornamn, the fourth nephew of King Karaj Tiiraklar II of Tethyr. Prince Ashar hoped that his conquests would gain him favour in the eyes of his qysar, Shoon VII. Ashar declared himself king of Valashar (though he remained a prince of Tethyr and was considered a nazir [a regional governor, or prefect] by the Imperium). Valashar grew slowly, but King Ashar steadily pushed the borders of the Shoon Imperium and his realm northward to the Troll Mountains and the Giant’s Plain. Starting in the Year of the Woeful Resurrection (375 DR), Ashar’s infamous 15-month march (Ashar’s March) stretched the empire beyond the northern Troll Mountains and up to the High Moor by the Year of the Leaping Hare (376 DR).
Cormyr’s Prince Azoun I—in response to the invasion of northern lands by King Ashar and Ashar’s attempts to block and tax westbound caravans traveling through the wild territories that the Shoon Imperium had just declared belonged to it—led an army against Valashar, wielding the bloodstone-bedecked short sword called Ilbratha, Mistress of Battles. Cormyr’s troops rallied around this symbol of power, and they fought well against the combined army of Shoon-led Tethyrian and Calishite forces. The first battles were on the western frontiers of Cormyr. From the battles that followed them, the Cormyrean army pushed the Shoon back to the Fields of die Dead and down through the Green Fields over the course of a year. Azoun then swiftly crushed Valashar’s armies on the Giant’s Plain in the Year of the Leaping Hare (376 DR), and he forged on through Amn, Valashar, and Tethyr.
Azoun’s forces destroyed numerous garrisons, and Azoun himself led his troops to the sacking of the city of Ithmong as a show of strength. While Azoun and his armies then swiftly abandoned this campaign, Valashar and its boastful king were destroyed. The Imperium’s borders soon shrank back to the Giant’s Run Mountains.
In truth, King Ashar was little more than a stalking horse to draw out the northern powers, especially the heir of Cormyr. This whole scheme was orchestrated by Qysar Shoon VII and his vizars as an attempt to conquer Cormyr by forcing Cormyr to stretch its military might thinly across the continent, allowing imperial forces to strike from strength at a fragile line of troops while appearing to be weak.
After the sacking of Ithmong, only the fortuitous emergence of troubles in the Cormyrean lands drew Azoun away from Tethyr and prevented his march onward to Shoonach, possibly to conquer and lay waste to the whole Shoon Imperium. Cormyr’s army, by its own strict account of its military might and its guesses about the strength of those forces that would have faced it, believed it could have conquered the Imperium, but did not because orc hordes within Cormyr’s own lands forced the army to march north. Shoon VII believed he had coaxed his enemy almost into a deadly trap only to have him turn back due to random chance. In short, both Cormyr and the Shoon Imperium flexed their muscles, showed their teeth, and then left each other alone, each believing their might or plots had the other stalemated. (EotSS pg 31)

Fort Ilbratha: This abandoned Calishite garrison lies among the eastern foothills of the Troll Mountains, and it dates back to the time of Valashar and Ashar’s March. Built as the northernmost defence of Valashar, it was left with a paltry sum of defenders; it abruptly fell to King Azoun I and his magical short sword Ilbratha, Mistress of Battles, as he slashed and burned a path to Ithmong in the Year of the Whipped Cur (336 DR).
The log palisade was burned and all evidence of it is long gone, though the stone foundations still exist. The name of this garrison is long lost, so it carries the name of the sword that helped bring it low. The fort once guarded the swiftest eastwest pass through the Troll Mountains, which is still the only pass that doesn’t run travellers through the Snakewood. (LoI pg 35)

The Twisted Rune wormed its way into controlling the lesser powers of Valashar and Mierittin and the royalty of Tathtar and other smaller realms, only to watch their work crumble from the actions of others. After losing much of their influence on the grand scale, senior Rune members began planning the control of cities and towns before controlling whole countries. (LoI pg 20)

Territory – From Sulduskoon in northern Tethyr to Amstel River in southern Amn (not including Meiritin or Hakkamate to the west). In 375 DR Valashar suddenly extends its borders up to the High Moor (was it more gradual than this with trade restrictions beginning years before 375 DR, and finally overt declaration of seizure of territories in 375 DR) and in 376 DR Cormyr suddenly responds. Very hasty movements for large nations over a large territory.

Dates – c.358 DR to 361 DR to 376 DR (date Valashar officially joined the Shoon Imperium was 361 DR, it covered a large portion of Calishar Emirates so Ashar must have conquered much of that territory with the Qysar’s blessing or non-interference – Shoon VII visited Valashar in 358 DR – and then Valashar declared allegiance in 361 DR when he was secure and to not incur the wrath of the Qysar)

Sources – EotSS, LoI, LeoF, DoF

Vund Tribe

The tree is named for the Vunds, an infamous nomadic tribe who lived long ago in what is now considered the Western Heartlands and the Green Fields. These brigands persistent caravan raids only ended when they were wiped out long ago by folk who lived in what are now Cormyr and Sembia. (VGtaTM pg 63)

Vundwood trees are short and scrubby. They grow on poor ground and are named for a famous nomadic tribe of bandits, the Vunds, who were wiped out long ago by the combined efforts of the fledgling kingdoms of Cormyr and Sembia. The Vunds raided with impunity for many years because none could field strength of arms against them. They rode like demons, as one merchant put it, and would melt away when faced with determined resistance, only to slaughter the next caravan that came along. The Vunds inhabited the lands west of the Sea of Fallen Stars, threatening the long, overland trade routes between the Inner Sea lands and the Sword Coast. Today, those rolling, seemingly endless plains are still dominated by small stands of vundwood trees. (Dragon 125 pg 16)

Territory – Green Fields (were the tombs of Urdrath under modern day Asbravn part of Vund territory, did they menace from Western Heartlands to the Shining Plains and the Dragon Coast???)

Dates – ???? – ???? (Not mentioned during Shantel Othreier or Nedeheim, possibly after Ebenfar when civilisation started to return to the region)

Sources – VGtaTM pg 63, FRCS3 pg 226

Xonathanur

Ancient realm of shield dwarves in the Lowerdark fell in the goblin wars many ages ago. Its few survivors became wanderers and its famed adamantine mines of Mardaruk were lost. Rediscovered a few decades ago by a shield dwarf enclave in the Western Heartlands whose own mines ran dry, they linked their holdings with Mardaruk via a two way portal

Discussion – Xonathanur could be in or under the Western Heartlands, must be near to the Western Heartlands for the dwarves to rediscover it. Western Heartlands is known to be home to may goblinoids and goblinoid hordes over the years. Ammarindar was a great source of adamantine so the ore may be concentrated in and around the Western Heartlands.

Derro beneath the High Moor, the Halls of the Hammer were abandoned before Illefarn fell. This could be the ancient realm of Xonathanur. The realm fell to goblinoids (organised hobgoblins in the High Moor), and the surviving holds were driven made and degenerate by something in the Underdark

Sources – Underdark Web Enhancement, EEA2HM

Timeline

  • -23600 DR: Establishment of the first moon elf settlements of Ardeep (present-day Green Fields). (GHoTR pg 10) (does this actually refer to Shantel Othreier????)
  • Moon elves from Shantel Othreier found Ardeep. (LEoF pg 136)
  • -18800 DR: Establishment of the first elf settlements of Miyeritar (present-day High Moor and Misty Forest) by green and dark elves due to political differences with the gold elves of Aryvandaar. (GHoTR pg 10)
  • -14700 DR: Aryvandaar’s rulers begin attempts to diplomatically and peacefully annex Miyeritar into their realm and under their control. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • Citing familial connections between the ruling houses of Aryvandaar and Miyeritar, the Vyshaanti begin attempting to annex Miyeritar by peaceful means. Miyeritar resists. (LEoF pg 52)
  • -13900 DR: Miyeritar becomes the centre of elven Art and High Magic in Faerûn. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • Miyeritar reaches the height of its magical and cultural renaissance. (LEoF pg 52)
  • -13200 DR: Skirmishing and trade interference starts between Aryvandaar and Miyeritar. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • -12000 DR: Rise of the Vyshaantar Empire: Rise of the Vyshaantar Empire: After centuries of fruitless diplomacy, the impatient, grasping rulers of Aryvandaar attack Miyeritar and begin putting political pressure on Shantel Othreier to join them or suffer the same fate. The First Crown War begins. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • -11800 DR: Miyeritar is militarily occupied and annexed by Aryvandaar, though a number of clans and strongholds resist and continue to fight. Many elves of Illefarn, despite its officially neutral stance, provide secret safe havens for Miyeritari refugees. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • -11700 DR: Dragons set aflame the southern expanse of Shantel Othreier, separating the soon-to-be-called Wyrmwood from its greater body. Tethir, kin of Keltormir (soon to be called the Dragonslayer), single-handedly slays two ancient red wyrms of the Ridge and saves many elves of his own Keltormir and Shantel Othreier. Tethir’s stand earns the elves the respect of the dragons, which had previously dismissed them as ignorant, two-footed cattle. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • -11300 DR: End of the First Crown War: Miyeritar conquered by Aryvandaar. (GHoTR pg 12)
  • -10700 DR: Battle of the God’s Theatre: The Gods’ Theater (present-day the Tunlands) on eastern Shantal Othreier is the site of one of the largest and costliest of all the Crown Wars’ battles. Nearly 70,000 elves died at the hands of elf and orc enemies, as an orc horde 100,000 strong fell upon the already embattled elves. Aryvandaar won the day, and occupied the northern half of Shantel Othreier. (GHoTR pg 15)
  • -10600 DR: End of the Third Crown War: Aryvandaar conquers Shantel Othreier after the mysterious death of Coronal Ynloeth. Only Ardeep, a vassal realm of Shantel Othreier, continues to resist the Vyshaan. (GHoTR pg 15)
  • –10500 DR: The Dark Disaster: Miyeritar is engulfed in killing storms, which reduce this entire forest and realm into a barren wasteland in three months. Although no proof could ever be found, many believe the High Mages of Aryvandaar inflicted the Dark Disaster on Miyeritar. Shock over the Dark Disaster establishes an uneasy four decades of peace, as nearly every elf of Faerûn shrinks back in awe and horror from the havoc wrought by the Crown Wars. (GHoTR pg 15)
  • -10100 DR: Ilythiir destroys Shantel Othreier. (LEoF pg 52)
  • -9900 DR: Aryvandaar’s covert persecution of High Mages and priests begins. Although not destroyed utterly, Illefarn and its colony in the Llewyrrwood (present-day Neverwinter Wood) are annexed by Aryvandaar. Many elves of both lands flee to the remnants of Shantel Othreier. (GHoTR pg 15)
  • -9000 DR: Crown Wars end. High Forest is abandoned so the gods might restore its peace. The Wandering Years of elven colonization begin. Many elves migrate to the Elven Court in its eastern forest. Illefarn and Keltormir are the sole realms to emerge intact from the Crown Wars. (FRCS3 pg 268)
  • The Fifth Crown War ends with the utter defeat of the Vyshaan and the dissolution of Aryvandaar. Much of the High Forest is abandoned for an age, leaving the forest open so the gods might restore its peace. Many elves begin migrating back to the Elven Court in the eastern forests. Keltormir and Illefarn emerge intact from the Crown Wars, and the latter realm joins with the vassal realm of Ardeep now that Shantel Othreir is no more. (GHoTR pg 16)
  • -8600 DR: Evereska founded in secret by surviving clans of Eiellur, Miyeritar, and Orishaar as an elven haven in the woods east of Aryvandaar. (FRCS3 pg 268)
  • -8500 DR: Fire-sundered and otherwise ravaged, the forest of Keltormir fragments into three separate forests. (FRCS3 pg 268)
  • -7950 DR: Full trade exists between the dwarves of Deep Shanatar and the elves of Darthiir, Tethir, and the dwindling remnants of Shantel Othreier. (GHoTR pg 19)
  • -5360 DR to -5350 DR: Giant Wars: More than five thousand giants of Nedeheim fall to the dwarves of High Shanatar under the leadership of Karlyn of House Kuldever. By the war’s conclusion, more than half of the entire giant population south of the Cloud Peaks is exterminated, and the giant realm of Nedeheim is reduced to scattered clanholds. (GHoTR pg 23)
  • -4158 DR: Founding of Kanaglym, a subterranean city in the Upper Underdark close to the site of present-day Dragonspear Castle. As this falls beneath the lands historically claimed by Illefarn, the Stout Folk keep the existence of the city a secret for millennia thereafter. (UIA pg 27)
  • -4100 DR: Shield dwarves settle the Graypeak Mountains. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -3843 DR: The drow city of Ched Nasad is founded, beginning of centuries of strife between the drow and the dwarves of Ammarindar. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -3373 DR: King Azkuldar of Ammarindar initiates trade relations with the magic-wielding humans of Netheril. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -2770 DR: The fey’ri who survived the fall of Siluvanede covertly unleash monster hordes in the southern High Forest. The creatures destroy Sharrven before aid can arrive. King Connar IV of Ammarindar then vanquishes many of the creatures, including the red wyrm Rithaerosurffel, the Bane of Sharrven. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -2482 DR: Netherese wizards of House Orogoth build a fortified villa in the southern reaches of the High Moor, near the northern edge of the Serpent Hills. Several generations of Orogoths sought the power of Faerûn’s wyrms, and legend has it that some eventually obtained it—at least after a fashion. (GHoTR pg 31)
  • -2387 DR: Netheril frees its gnome slaves. A lesser emigration of gnomes heads west settling in the Backlands, the Sunset Vale, forest gnomes in the Forgotten Forest, and rock gnomes in the Trielta Hills (DD pg 167)
  • c. -2300 DR: Many of House Orogoth’s Netherese servants succumb to the Serpent Curse, a magical malady that transforms humans into a snakelike race known as ophidians, and are driven into the hills to the west. (GHoTR pg 33)
  • -1100 DR: Syglaeth Audark, the last Coronal of Illefarn calls for a Retreat to Evermeet dissolving the realm. (UIA pg 27)
  • The southern reaches of the Ardeep Forest (modern: Misty Forest, Trollbark Forest) are the first to be abandoned by the elves. (UIA pg 94)
  • -897 DR: King Olaurin, greatest hero-king of Ammarindar, is slain by the deep dragon Erthungaron. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -550 DR: Year of Glistening Dust: King Azkuldar III of Ammarindar secretly creates the Xothol, an arcane college charged with guarding against the increasingly antagonistic Netherese. (LEoF pg 84)
  • c. -461 DR: As the pace of desertification increased, starting around –461 DR, most of the inhabitants of Low Netheril gradually migrated westward. Most scholars divide the westwardbound Netherese migrants into two groups. The southwestern group founded realms in the river valleys of the Winding Water and the River Chionthar (RoF pg 108)
  • -361 DR Year of Mageserpents: A band of ophidians stumbles across the ruins of an ancient sarrukh city, hidden beneath what is now the western end of the Forest of Wyrms. During their explorations, the ophidians discover the Naja Fountain, an ancient sarrukh artifact guarded by a powerful ha-naga named Terpenzi. Claiming to be the prophet of the World Serpent, Terpenzi proclaims himself King of Najara and begins a decades-long campaign to subjugate the scattered tribes of ophidians. (GHoTR pg 47)
  • -320 DR: Year of Netted Dreams: The ophidians of Najara summon the Hss’tafi tribe of yuan-ti from the southern jungles of Chult to increase their strength against the rising power of the Netherese survivor states. The yuan-ti establish themselves as Najara’s ruling caste. (GHoTR pg 49)
  • -286 DR: Year of Foul Awakenings: The Xothol is closed. (LEoF pg 84)
  • -200 DR: Year of Stonerising: Candlekeep founded; Calendar of Harptos begun. The humans who are to become the first of the Dalesfolk cross the Dragon Reach to the southern region of Cormanthor. (FRCS3 pg 269)
  • -160 DR: Year of the Stone Giant: A cairn (undead stone giant) called the Dodkong, or “King of Death,” appears from the dark below. On his arrival, he gathers the stone giant clans and refounds the kingdom of Nedeheim as Cairnheim. (GHoTR pg 57)
  • -148 DR: Year of the Black Marble: As Illefarn’s influence continues to wane, dwarven prospectors from Ammarindar begin mining for black marble and dark granite in the Dark Hills (now the Forlorn Hills), just north of the River Delimbiyr. (UIA pg 27)
  • -100 DR: Year of the Black Unicorn: The dwarf realm of Delzoun, the Northkingdom, falls to encroaching phaerimms and other dangers. The dwarves’ surface citadels survive the attack and remain in dwarf hands. In the decades that follow, many dwarves move south, first to Ammarindar and then later to small holdings on Ammarindar’s western frontier. In time, these clanholds become the founding settlements of what comes to be known as Dardath. (UIA pg 27)
  • c. -68 DR: Few halflings were seen in the Western Heartlands until the years immediately following the Hin Ghostwars, and most of these were wandering lightfoot halflings. (RoF pg 74)
  • -50 DR: Year of the Phandar: Ruathen settlers found the city of Tavaray at the mouth of the River Delimbiyr. (UIA pg 27)
  • 1 DR: Year of Sunrise: The dwarves of Ammarindar complete Citadel Yaunoroth.
  • 34 DR: Year of Purloined Power: A Talfirian bard named Verraketh Talember discovers the Shadowstar, a mysterious artifact that fell like a shooting star into the High Moor. While the artifact slowly transformed him into the Shadowking, Verraketh gathered an army of shadow-spinners and began forcibly assimilating the Netherese and Talfirian realms of the Chionthar river valley into the empire of Ebenfar. GHoTR pg 61)
  • 75 DR: Year of Clinging Death: Plague racks the civilised lands (Calimshan, Lake of Steam, Vilhon Reach). Alaundo the Seer arrives in Candlekeep. (FRCS3 pg 270)
  • 89 DR: Year of the Faithful Oracle: Terpenzi, the naga king of Najara in the Heartlands, foresees its death at the hands of Verraketh the Shadowking of Ebenfar and orders its subjects to seek out the magics of ancient Netheril while it searches for a mate. (GHoTR pg 51)
  • 90 DR: Year of the Moor Birds: Terpenzi assembles a great army of ophidians commanded by yuan-ti to attack the growing might of Ebenfar. The armies of Ebenfar destroy the city of SS’thar’tiss’ssun, cloak its ruins in powerful warding spells, and scatter the serpentfolk of Najara. Terpenzi leads its remaining armies into battle with the Shadowking but is destroyed. The battlefield becomes known as the Fields of the Dead.
  • 128 DR: Year of the Addled Arcanist: The Raurinese wizard Hilather, after millennia trapped in temporal stasis, begins to explore Faerûn. He is hired by the Imperial Court to develop a more secure means of binding fiends to the will of their summoners. He establishes himself in an abandoned tower in the remote emirate of Torsil, which lies along the Sword Coast between the Cloud Peaks and Candlekeep. (GHoTR pg 63)
  • 132 DR: Year of Thirteen Prides Lost: Hilather presents thirteen Demonshields to Qysar Amahl Shoon IV and then vanishes. (GHoTR pg 63)
  • 133 DR: Year of the Arduous Journey: The Barony of the Steeping Falls is founded by Artor Morlin, the Baron of Blood, an outlaw hailing from the lands of the Shoon. Morlin Castle is built at the site of present-day Daggerford. (UIA pg 27)
  • 140 DR: Year of the Executioner: Fleeing persecution under the Shadowking of Ebenfar, tribes of lost Talfir cross the Sea of Swords and settle along the southern shores of the island they name Gwynneth. (GHoTR pg 63)
  • 142 DR: Year of the Prowling Naga: One of Terpenzi’s brood, Jacinica, becomes the new king-in-exile of Najara. As its first official act, Jacinica orders the remains of Terpenzi to be transformed into a bone naga and enslaved to the bearer of the artifact known as the Marlspire of Najara. (GHoTR pg 63)
  • 146 DR: Year of Risen Towers: Elembar is founded by settlers from Tavaray, north of the River Delimbiyr and east of Ardeep. (UIA pg 27)
  • Traders begin widening an Illefarni trail through the southern reaches of Ardeep Forest (modern: Misty Forest, Trollbark Forest) (UIA pg 94)
  • 150 DR: Year of the Lost Library: The wyrmling blue dragon Iryklathagra plunders Hilather’s abandoned tower in the emirate of Torsil. (GHoTR pg 64)
  • 227 DR: Year of Raised Banners: “Prince” Garthos, a mercenary loyal to King Belaur of Athalantar, conquers the citystate of Narthil and puts the moon elves of House Narthil to the sword. (UIA pg 27)
  • The adventurer Orluth Tshahvur establishes the realm of Shavinar to the north of present day Baldur’s Gate in an attempt to unite human steadings for common defence against marauding monsters, frequent troll raids, and outlaws cast out of more southerly Sword Coast cities. (GHoTR pg 67)
  • 231 DR: Year of the Mist Dragon: The Mad Mage Ihundyl conquers the halflings of Meiritin and declares himself ruler of the Calishar Emirates. Mild unrest farther south near Shoonach delays a military response from the Shoon Empire. (GHotR pg 67)
  • 238 DR: Year of Many Mushrooms: Ihundyl meets his demise at the hands of Elminster Aumar and Myrjala Dark-Eyes. (GHotR pg 67)
  • 244 DR: Year of the Elfsands: Evereska’s existence is discovered by nonelves, though the secret is kept for centuries by the human tribes of the Graycloak Hills. (FRCS3 pg 270)
  • 273 DR: Year of the Delighted Dwarves: Three dwarf clans from Ammarindar and Citadel Felbarr migrate together to Myth Drannor. (LEoF pg 84)
  • 277 DR: Year of Broken Flame: The kingdom of Shavinar [227], between the Troll Hills and the River Chionthar,falls to trolls. (GHoTR pg 68)
  • c. 300 DR: The Talfir gradually disappeared over a thousand years ago, their culture overwhelmed by refugees from Low Netheril, Calishite settlers from the south, and Chondathan settlers from the Dragon Coast. (RoF pg 109)
  • 302 DR: Year of the Deep Bay: Tavaray is abandoned as the surrounding Lizard Marsh rapidly expands, prompting a wave of migration northward along the coast and eastward up the Shining Vale. (UIA pg 27)
  • 323 DR: Year of the Miscast Shadow: The empire of Ebenfar collapses after the imprisonment of the Shadowking (GHoTR pg 70)
  • 342 DR Year of Cantobele Stalking: Athalantar falls to the Horde of Black Banners from the High Moor. The orcs are in turn destroyed by an unlikely alliance of moon elves Under Illefarn Anew: Fallen Kingdoms of the Shining Vale from Ardeep and dwarves from Dardath. The last Council of Illefarn is called, and the long-fragmented realm of Illefarn is officially dissolved. The remaining wood elves of Iliyanbruen and many wood elves from Rilithar finally join the Retreat. Ardeep and Dardath form an alliance also known as Illefarn. (UIA pg 27)
  • 356 DR: Year of Errant Kings: Bharaun “the Fair” Ironaxe, arcrown of Dardath, discovers the existence of Kanaglym in the Underdark, beneath the western fringes of the High Moor. The Stout Folk of Dardath establish trading relations with the long-hidden descendants of Besilmer’s survivors. In the decades that follow Kanaglym’s inhabitants begin to establish small clanholds on the surface along the western edge of the High Moor. Over time, Kanaglym and these outlying clanholds become known as Hunnabar. (UIA pg 28)
  • 361 DR: Year of the Fearless King: Prince Ashar Tornamn declares himself king of Valashar, adding the land he conquers to the Imperium. (EotSS pg 44)
  • c. 375 DR: One of the Holy Warriors wielding the sword Dornavver, vanquishes the wizard Uldoon and destroys the nation of Torsil (CoV pg 62)
  • 375 DR: Year of the Woeful Resurrection: Ashar’s March: Ashar of Valashar begins a 15-month march north along the Sword Coast and into the Western Heartlands. (EotSS pg 44)
  • Human Varae-worshipers from the Shining Plains come north in search of the lost city of Ss’thar’tiss’ssun. They discover an artifact created by House Orogoth that transforms them all into ophidians. (GHoTR pg 72)
  • 376 DR: Year of the Leaping Hare: Ashar extends the borders of the Shoon Imperium to the High Moor by summer. Crown Prince Azoun 1 of Cormyr leads his army against Ashar, driving Shoonite forces back through Amn, Tethyr, and Valashar before sacking Ithmong and returning to Cormyr. (EotSS pg 44)
  • 376 DR: Year of the Leaping Hare: Ashar Tornamm of Valashar extends the borders of the Shoon Imperium to the High Moor. The army of Crown Prince Azoun I of Cormyr drives Shoon forces back through Amn, Tethyr, and Valashar before sacking Ithmong and returning home. (FRCS3 pg 270)
  • 403 DR: Year of the Black Dagger: The Barony of the Steeping Falls crumbles. Tales tell of terrible beasts, undead, and other evil creatures that lurk in the ruins, causing the inhabitants of the nearby regions to avoid the site of Morlin Castle. (UIA pg 28)
  • c. 450 DR: Since the fall of the Shoon Imperium, Tethyrians have slowly spread throughout the Western Heartlands and north along the Sea of Swords, settling new lands and establishing powerful city-states. One major group of Tethyrians migrated west to the Moonshae Isles in 467 DR, where they intermarried with the native human tribes, known as the Ffolk. Another major wave of Tethyrian migration helped found the kingdom of Phalorm in 523 DR after the fall of the older Illuskan-ruled realms of the Sword Coast North to the ever-worsening orc hordes. (RoF pg 103)
  • 452 DR: Year of Rolling Heads: Jacinica dies suddenly and precipitates a decades long struggle in Najara (SK pg 112)
  • 491 DR: Year of Faltering Fires: Unnaturally heavy precipitation falls all year long. Cortryn is founded by Tethyrian and Calishite immigrants and a powerful noble family of Calimshan to restore the Shoon Empire’s lost glory. Cortryn absorbs and consolidates the bulk of the former realms of Valashar and Meiritin while extending its northern border up through the Troll Mountains. Eshpurta is founded as Cortryn’s northernmost city and fishing centre. (LoI pg 21)
  • 511 DR: Year of the Fortress Scoured: Elembar falls to an orc horde, but the capital city of Delimbiyran and the lands surrounding it survive because the horde founders on the House of Stone. Shining Kingdom of Delimbiyran is founded. (UIA pg 28)
  • Nejizar finally ascends to the throne of Najara, ending the power struggle that began with the death of Jacinica (GHoTR pg 88)
  • 514 DR: Year of the Elk: The aged Bellabar Huntinghorn leads many halflings of Mieritin north to the Delimbiyr Vale to escape persecution at the hands of the Duke of Cortryn, ruler of the lands east of Amn. The refugees join others of their race. (UIA pg 28)
  • 516 DR: Year of the Haunting Hawk: Halflings from Delimbiyr Vale and humans from Delimbiyran establish Secomber on the ruins of Hastarl, the fallen capital of Athalantar. (UIA pg 28)
  • 523 DR: Year of Trials Arcane: King Javilarhh I of Phalorm grants the Duchy of Scathril (comprising the cleared land west of the Misty Forest) to his brother in law Turvan Stoneblade. (UIA pg 28)
  • Rise of Phalorm, the Realm of Three Crowns in the North. (FRCS3 pg 270)
  • The southern reaches of Ardeep Forest are now separated by logging and settlement into what will be known as the Misty Forest, Trollbark Forest, Forgotten Forest , with the Trade Way running through the cleared land (UIA pg 94)
  • Nejizar allies with a dozen spirit nagas to secure its rule over the serpentfolk of Najara (SK pg 112)
  • Meiritin is abandoned due to abuses and enslavement at the hands of the Duke of Cortryn. (LoI pg 21)
  • 557 DR: Year of the Melding: An army of hobgoblins devastates the dwarven Duchy of Hunnabar. Phalorm’s armies destroy the hobgoblins, but the elf king, Ruardh Lightshiver, is slain. (UIA pg 28)
  • Nejizar sends yuan-ti infiltrators south to the Reaching Woods to incite the hobgoblin tribes to march against Phalorm. Ultimately the hobgoblins are repelled and the serpentine provocateurs assassinated. This defeat forces the serpentfolk of Najara to retreat into the Serpent Hills. (GHoTR pg 90)
  • 577 DR: Year of the Alabaster Mounds: Nejizar sends yuan-ti infiltrators south to the Reaching Woods to incite the hobgoblin tribes to march against Phalorm. Ultimately the hobgoblins are repelled and the serpentine provocateurs assassinated. This defeat forces the serpentfolk of Najara to retreat into the Serpent Hills. (SK pg 112)
  • 592 DR: Year of the Supreme Duelist: Troll forces attack southwestern Phalorm. The dwarves abandon the Duchy of Hunnabar and relocate to the northern Duchy of Dardath. (UIA pg 28)
  • 614 DR: Year of the Shattered Scepter: A great orc chieftain, Grunnig “the Red”, unites the nomadic orc bands of the vast grasslands known as the Fields of the Dead, south of Phalorm and marches them north. With most of its warriors away to the north, Phalorm empties its garrisons and fortresses and sends an army south to give battle under the dwarven King Oskilar, son of Fauril. The savage fighting around present-day Dragonspear Castle, known as the Battle of Sodden Fields, sees Phalorm emerge victorious, though her battle strength is sorely damaged. (UIA pg 28)
  • In the waning days of this year, northerneastern Phalorm is invaded by the Horde of the Wastes, a great orc army originating in the High Moor and southern Greypeak Mountains. King Oskilar is slain whilst leading a desperate rearguard action to gain time for the armies of the realm, Dolblunde is sacked and pillaged and the House of Stone is besieged. (UIA pg 28)
  • The armies of Phalorm move south to succor the kingdom. The orc horde moves north, leaving some of its strength behind to maintain the siege of the House of Stone. The horde splits into two, with one army moving up the west bank of the Dessarin and the other marching up the east bank toward the Stone Bridge. South of present-day Westbridge, the armies of Phalorm meet the westerly force of orcs and give battle. Just as Phalorm’s warriors seem to be gaining the upper hand, the eastern orc army charges into their flank and rear after crossing the Dessarin at the Stone Bridge. Phalorm’s army is routed and flees west seeking to rally at Iniarv’s Tower, a fortress of the allied, seacoast realm of Uthtower. (UIA pg 28)
  • 615 DR: Year of the Lamia’s Kiss: Phalorm falls to humanoid hordes. (FRCS3 pg 270)
  • 616 DR: Year of the Ensorcelled Kings: Delimbiyran, the human kingdom of Phalorm, claims all the lands of that realm and establishes a new alliance with gnomes and halflings of the area. The new realm is called the Kingdom of Man. (UIA pg 29)
  • 661 DR: Year of the Bloody Tusk: The adventurer Boareskyr builds Boareskyr Bridge across the Winding Water in order to attack a tribe of rampaging orcs (presumably attacking Phalorm????) (SK pg 107)
  • 697 DR: Year of the Triton’s Horn: The Hand of Loss engage in an orgy of slaughter in the Brightoaks Manor (a royal holding of the Kingdom of Man) west of the Misty Forest. (UIA pg 29)
  • Worshipers of Shar riot throughout the Sword Coast as the machinations of Lalondra, the Dark Mother, sweep away the power of the Dark Goddess clergy overnight. King Davyd of the Kingdom of Man dies in the tumult without an heir, and several kingdoms—including Calandor, Scathril, and Loravatha—break away. (UIA pg 29)
  • 702 DR: Year of the Clutching Death: Orc raiders from the High Forest inflict heavy losses on the splinter kingdoms of Delimbiyran that were formerly part of the Kingdom of Man. Many of these lesser realms are destroyed before the armies of the Duke of Calandor finally defeat the orcs. (UIA pg 29)
  • 714 DR: Year of Doom: During the Battle of Two Gates’ Fall in the Weeping War, the city of Delimbiyran and much of the southern Delimbiyr are devastated by a magical explosion resulting from the destruction of the Warrior’s Gate—a portal in Myth Drannor. Many of Delimbiyran’s remaining splinter kingdoms sink into decline. (UIA pg 29)
  • 775 DR: Year of the Bloody Stone: The young green dragon Halathormagarl (who lairs in the Wood of Sharp Teeth), destroys the town of Merilith on the Sword Coast, midway between Roaringshore and Lathtarl’s Lantern. (UIA)
  • c. 800 DR: Last major war in the Fields of the Dead (FRCS3 pg 223)
  • c. 801 DR to c. 877 DR: Most ruthless of all Imperceptors, Tomar of Bane’s greatest achievement was the introduction of a deadly plague into the Western Heartlands, causing the deaths of thousands. Eighth in Faerûn to receive the greatest gift of Bane, Second Imperceptor of Bane. (RoZK pg 41)
  • 882 DR: Year of the Curse: Moon elf refugees from Eaerlann resettle Ardeep and rebuild the realm. A brief alliance with the humans dwelling along the Delimbiyr and the dwarves of the Forlorn Hills founders because of lingering suspicions about the role of humans in the fall of Ascalhorn. Like Phalorm, this alliance is dubbed the Fallen Kingdom, much to the confusion of later historians. (UIA pg 29)
  • Demons and devils battle in Ascalhorn. The triumphant demons stream forth, bringing about the fall of Eaerlann and Ammarindar. (LEoF pg 84)
  • 928 DR: Year of the Hurled Axe: The Duke of Calandor attempts to re-establish the Kingdom of Man and have himself crowned King of Delimbiyran, but he fails. (UIA pg 29)
  • 931 DR: Year of the Penitent Rogue: While traveling north with a merchant caravan hailing from Baldur’s Gate, Tyndal, the son of a merchant commoner, slays a group of lizardfolk near the site of ruined Morlin Castle. (UIA pg 29)
  • 942 DR: Year of the Circling Vulture: Drow raiders plunder cities along the Sword Coast, enslaving many humans of the Dessarin Valley. The small realms of Harpshield and Talmost, which border the Ardeep Forest west of the ruins of Delimbiyran, are ravaged and burned. (UIA pg 29)
  • 993 DR: Year of the Slain Mountain: Prince Chelimber, descendant of Boareskyr and ruler of the Principality of the Snarling Boar, has a falling out with the Wizard of the Crag and commissions the wizard Taskor the Terrible of Irieabor to slay this mage. In the great spellbattle that follows, summoned water elementals run amok, inundating the land, destroying the Principality of the Snarling Boar and forming the Marsh of Chelimber. (GHoTR pg 113)
  • Many of the lizardfolk tribes that had long inhabited the northern Serpent Hills migrate eastward into the newly forming Marsh of Chelimber. (GHoTR pg 113)
  • c. 1000 DR: Ulcaster founds his school of magic and the nearby settlement of Beregost (FRCS3 pg 227)
  • 1090 DR: Battle of Bones: A 6 day long battle between orcs and goblinoids out of the Stonelands and an alliance of humans, elves, and dwarves. The alliance forces prevail and the goblinoids are decimated, but casualties are high. (FRCS3 pg 223)
  • 1150 DR: Year of the Scourge: Ibun Rensha of Calimshan and a group of family members lead a force of mercenary warriors and take control of Loudwater, laying claim to much of Delimbiyr Vale. (UIA pg 30)
  • Plague throughout the Sword Coast. (FRCS3 pg 271)
  • 1235 DR: Year of the Black Horde: The largest orc horde in history masses in the North and besieges countless settlements, including Illusk, Waterdeep, and Silverymoon. The dwarfhold beneath Mount Illefarn, royal seat of Dardath, is nearly overrun and the last dwarf to bear the crown of Daurvos* dies. The survivors abandon their ancestral home. (UIA pg 30)
  • 1255 DR: Year of the Raging Flame: The famed adventurer Daeros Dragonspear seizes a fortune in gems from a beholder lairing in the lost, subterranean city of Kanaglym, in the depths of what was once Phalorm’s Duchy of Hunnabar, and decides to retire. The bearded halfdwarf chooses the lair of the copper dragon Halatathlaer as the site of his castle. Dwarves are welcomed at Dragonspear Castle, and soon the outer ward fills with small stone cottages and delvings beneath them. (UIA pg 30)
  • 1255 DR to 1290 DR: Daeros Dragonspear and the dragon Halatathlaer scour the High Moor clean of trolls and orcs nearly eradicating both species in the region. Daeros hires wizards to use magical fire to slay the trolls, creating the fire marshes (UIA and EEA2HM)
  • 1264 DR: An army of orcs and goblins led by hobgoblins attacks Iriaebor. Garshond rallies the forces of Iriaebor with the aid of the newly recovered Helm of Helm (PftF pg 37)
  • 1265 DR: The Council of Helm: Garshond calls the Council of Helm, inviting the most law abiding old families of Waterdeep, Iriaebor and Scornubel to found the Vigilant Riders against the goblinoid menace. (PftF pg 37)
  • The lightly populated lands between Watereep, Amn, and the Sea of Fallen Stars (Western Heartlands) are the most dangerous for travellers in all Faerun thanks to the goblinoid menace (PftF pg 37)
  • 1266 DR: The Battle of Skull Hill: The Vigilant Riders and goblinoids battle (PftF pg 38)
  • 1267 DR: The Battle of Scattershields: The Vigilant Riders and goblinoids battle (PftF pg 38)
  • 1268 DR: The Battle of Ghost River: The Vigilant Riders are smashed by a goblinoid force 12 times their number. Garshond is slain and the Vigilant Riders disbanded forever (PftF pg 38)
  • 1290 DR: Year of the Whelm: Dragonspear Castle succumbs to the depredations of a Calishite mage named Ithtaerus Casalia. The wizard binds Daeros’s dragon companion Halatathlaer in magical slumber, and then tricks Daeros into sacrificing his life and activating a portal that leads to Avernus, first of the Nine Hells of Baator. While Daeros’s followers battle an incursion of devils, Ithtaerus loots the dragon’s hoard and then lures three young and ambitious dragons to the castle by having them think that Halatathlaer and his hoard are vulnerable. The dragons destroy Halatathlaer and much of Dragonspear Castle before slaughtering each other. The only survivor, a black dragon named Sharndrel, enraged at the deceit perpetrated against him, seeks out and slays Ithtaerus. He then flies away, leaving the castle a shattered ruin. Goblinkin and trolls from the High Moor, as well as other evil spellcasters and brigands, eagerly raid it until all the dwarf followers of Daeros are dead or gone. (UIA pg 30)
  • 1295 DR: Year of the Ormserpent: The dark naga Ebarnaje ascends to the throne of Najara. (GHoTR pg 132)
  • 1298 DR: Year of Tainted Bone: Lhestyn, the Masked Lady, infiltrates the Shadow Thieves guild and exposes it. Within the span of one bloody week, the Shadow Thieves of Waterdeep are either dead or fleeing. (FRCS3 pg 271)
  • 1305 DR: Year of the Creeping Fang: Allied hobgoblin tribes seize Dragonspear Castle and use it as a base to raid the Trade Way and surrounding lands. (UIA pg 30)
  • 1312 DR: Year of the Griffon: Darkhold seized by the Black Network as Manshoon slays its lich-queen. (FRCS3 pg 228, 272)
  • Teziir founded on the Dragonmere. (FRCS3 pg 272)
  • 1321 DR: Year of Chains: The Harpers are reorganized. Twilight Hall founded in Berdusk. (FRCS3 pg 272)
  • The Harpers are reorganized. Twilight Hall is founded in Berdusk. From this time forward, the so-called Harpers of Twilight Hall are more regimented and hierarchical in behavior and organization. Previously, Harper activities were more independent and decentralized. (GHoTR pg 137)
  • 1335 DR: Elves from Evereska move into the Greycloak Hills (FRCS3 pg 224)
  • 1344 DR: Year of the Moonfall: The last moon elves of Ardeep abandon their forest home to heed the call of the Retreat. (UIA pg 30)
  • 1351 DR: Year of the Crown: Warlock’s Crypt discovered. Plague in Baldur’s Gate. (FRCS3 pg 272)
  • 1354 DR: Year of the Bow: The Alliance of Avernus, a devil-led army of goblinoids, orcs, tieflings, and other outcasts, claim Dragonspear Castle. (UIA pg 30)
  • The Ride: Zariel leads a force of riders out of Elturel into Avernus through a gate in the Fields of the Dead. Some retreat back to Faerun and seal the portal behind them never revealing their shame, they are named the Hellriders (BGDIA). Is it possible the Hellriders launched an initial assault on Dragonspear Castle and the survivors lied about the portal location as well as their retreat.
  • 1356 DR: Year of the Worm: The Dragonspear War: Armies from Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate besiege and set fire to Dragonspear Castle, defeating the devils within.(UIA pg 30)

Historical Eras

  • -23600 DR to -10100 DR: Shantel Othreier dominates the Western Heartlands.
  • -10100 DR to -5350 DR: Nedeheim dominates Amn and the Western Heartlands
  • -5350 DR to -2482 DR: Scattered giant sub kingdoms and goblinoid tribes dominate with humans living on the periphery
  • -2482 DR to -461 DR: Netherese begin claiming the best lands for a few isolated estates like Orogoth and possibly Darkhold, ending many giant realms.
  • -461 DR to -339 DR: Large scale immigration from Low Netheril into the Western Heartlands. Netherese push Talfir south and west with mixing in the Sunset Vale and along the Chionthar and Winding River, Netherese influence civilises Talfir tribes leading to settlements. Increased competition for space and resources with giants and goblinoids.
  • 34 DR to 90 DR: Rise of Ebenfar. Varraketh finds the Shadowstar, gradually grows in power from famous musician to noble, to elder of a tribe. Unites many tribes of talfir (may or may not include some netherese / talfir settlements in the Sunset Vale and along the rivers) into the nation of Ebenfar in the face of the threat of Najara. Verraketh undergoes a transformation into the Shadowking and and Ebenfar’s armies destroy Najara.
  • Rise of Iriaebor (talfir / netherese translation)
  • 90 DR to 323 DR: The Shadowking begins kidnapping increasing numbers of living beings to drain them to feed himself. Over the next two centuries the Shadowking and his Shadevar completely depopulate the lands between the River Chionthar and the Winding River (Torsil south of the Chionthar and Shavinar north of the Winding River are safe for some reason – the Crypt of the Shadowking novel mentions the Shadevar have problem with Rivers, is the Shadowking bound to hunt between the two rivers by some curse).
  • 323 DR to 376 DR: Humans flood back into the Western Heartlands. Immigrants from Cormyr and the Dragon Coast arrive. Shoon and Cormyr war over the region, Cormyr wins and the Western Heartlands remain independent states.
  • Rise of settlements along the Winding Water and Chionthar River; Sulduskoon (human), Iriaebor (talfir / netherese / chondathan translation), Elturel, Scornubel, Baldur’s Gate
  • 400 DR to 1000 DR: Migrations of humans from Tethyr and Phalorm. Migrations of halflings from Meiritin. Increase in populations of orcs and goblinoids. Rise of goblinoid keeps and bandits etc
  • 800 DR to 900 DR: Fall of Askavar, huge plague in the region caused by Imperceptor of Bane. Last major war in the Fields of the Dead. Fall of Ascalhorn, Ammarindar, Eaerlann, Delzoun in the north.
  • 1000 DR to 1100 DR: Collapse of the Principality of the Snarling Boar (and its parent realm????). Another major migration out of the Backlands leading to many new settlements founded 300 – 200 years ago in the Western Heartlands.

Geography

Alicorn Tower of Mab

The Alicorn Tower of Mab sits astride a granite plug, north of the Way Inn, some ten miles east of the Trade Way. This slender, curving spire resembles the spiral horn of a unicorn and flickers with blue faerie fire when bathed in moonlight. The tower has no windows or battlements, and the only apparent means of entry is a rune-carved door built into the rockface directly below the tower.
Mab (NG male Tethyrian wizard 3 / druid 3 / arcane hierophantRoW 12) was born in the kingdom of Callidyrr on the island of Alaron in the Moonshae Isles in the Year of the Black Wind (1262 DR). He rose to a senior position on the High King’s Council of Mages, only to be accused of treason, stripped of his spellbooks, and banished in the Year of the Broken Helm (1302 DR). After making his way to Waterdeep aboard a caravel, accompanied only by his ward, Gwydion pen Dafwyd, Mab was given an audience at Blackstaff Tower with Khelben Arunsun, who had been warned of his impending arrival by the reclusive archmage, Flamsterd. (Flamsterd, who hailed from the City of Splendors, could not disobey the order of the High King, but felt Mab did not deserve his banishment and reached out to the Blackstaff on his behalf.) Khelben then recommended Mab for the then vacant position of Court Wizard of Daggerford, and provided him with a set of spelltomes and other items of magic necessary to serve in that position.
Mab served as Court Wizard of Daggerford until his retirement in the Year of the Blue Flame (1327 DR), serving as the Blackstaff’s eyes and ears in Daggerford. After fashioning the Alicorn Tower, Mab withdrew to pursue his studies, the nature of which is mysterious even to Gwydion. No one, including the current ducal court wizard, has spoken to Mab in over a decade, leading many to believe he has died or vanished. Curiously, the Alicorn Tower of Mab was undisturbed during the recent Dragonspear War, leading some to speculate that Mab’s wards remain in place, masking whatever dark secrets lurk within.
Gwydion refuses to speak of his former master, suggesting some sort of breach (or at least a sense of pique on Gwydion’s part) between Mab and his former ward. (UIA pg 99)

Anaurian Crypts

Ancient tombs of the Netherese dating back to the time of Anauria (–339 DR to 111 DR) are scattered throughout the Serpent Hills. Each of these crypts is linked to the rest via a network of portals, with the lower levels of the Dungeon of Swords serving as the portal nexus. One portal in the Dungeon of Swords leads to an empty tomb in the Evermoors, and at least one other exits in the undercroft of a vanished temple of Jergal beneath the shifting sands of what was once Anauria, in the eastern reaches of Anauroch.
More than half of Anauria’s tombs remain undiscovered, or at least unbreached. Lurking within are sword-wielding, spell-hurling mummies that practice the ancient traditions of Anaurian battlemages. The serpentine inhabitants of the Serpent Hills have plundered most of the breached crypts, and many now serve as armories or garrisons for small companies of ophidian warriors. The ophidians have linked the lower levels of most plundered tombs to the network of Serpent Tunnels that extends beneath the hills. Although each tomb is thought to contain at least one portal, most of them remain undiscovered, even in tombs that have already been plundered. (SK pg 106)

Asbravn

(Small City, 5,668): Asbravn is the central marketplace for the farmers of Sunset Vale, the rich farmlands between the Reaching Wood and the Sunset Mountains. The town resists Zhent raids from Darkhold and more subtle pressures, thanks to the services of a volunteer militia known as the Riders in Red Cloaks, whose numbers are often supplemented by friendly or retired adventurers. The town is a popular caravan stop for all but Zhent merchants, who can buy provisions but may not spend the night.
Beneath the town’s well-kept farms and orderly market, catacombs left by a previous civilisation of seminomadic horse riders sometimes turn up odd treasures. For a town erected upon the remnants of old tombs, Asbravn is sunny and relatively untroubled by undead. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Asbravn

Asbravn is a small town of about 50 central buildings nestled in a shallow delve north of Iriaebor where the Dusk Road and the Uldoon Trail meet. The town of Asbravn lies in the center of a thriving area of farms. These farms provide the nearby cities of Berdusk and Iriaebor with food, and produce wool for local use and for export elsewhere in the Realms. The wool mills are in Berdusk, but the gathering place for most of the farmers is here in Asbravn, where several small costers ply a busy trade over the roads between the town and its neighboring cities. It is here that the large local farmer’s market is held, and it is here that the Riders in Red Cloaks are based.
The Red Cloaks, named for their distinctively colored cloaks, are local volunteers commanded by experienced warriors, and are paid a small amount by Iriaebor to cover their cost of operation. They supplement this stipend with any battle loot they may take. In return, the Riders in Red Cloaks patrol the area around the town (particularly the mountain slopes to the east), fighting off bandits, orcs, bugbears, and predatory monsters to keep the farmlands safe.
Asbravn’s temple to Ilmater is in serious need of repairs. Its chief priest, Asgar Tellendar (N hm P5), is trying to hold things together long enough for a benefactor to pay for repairs, but if one is not forthcoming, he will have to close down. The town also has shrines to Lliira, Lathander, and Waukeen (whose shrine is now abandoned and defaced). (FRCS2 pg 87)

Asbravn

This small town is the market center of the farmers of the southern Vale. They trade with each other and with traveling merchants in the central market rather than taking their trade to the cities where someone else will make a profit from their food, not them. Buyers out of Berdusk and Iriaebor come to the market each day. It’s understood that the market of Asbravn fills bellies all along the Chionthar.
Asbravn lies in a shallow valley where the Dusk Road and the Uldoon Trail meet. A dilapidated temple to Ilmater faces the market, which is ringed by swap shops, a cooper and cratemaker, a wagonworks, shrines to Lliira (A House of Joy), Lathander (Morningstone House), and Waukeen (formerly Goldcoin House, and now an abandoned, burnt-out shell where local children play), a tavern called the Tankard and Sheaf, and an inn, the Board Laid Bare.
Asbravn is famous for the Riders in Red Cloaks, its police and defenders. They’re local volunteers led by a few experienced warriors and occasionally bolstered by mages and priests who are sponsored by Iriaebor to keep the roads and the market safe. The Red Cloaks patrol in mounted dozens and often have to battle bandits, trolls, bugbears, orcs, and predatory monsters in the foothills of the southern Sunset Mountains, east of town.
Since Zhentarim activity has increased, the Cloaks have run up against poisonings several times, and against ambushes by mercenaries who were very well paid by someone.
Local feeling—and fear—is running high against the Zhentarim. Almost every family has at least one Rider. The post of reinforcement Rider was once offered to any able warrior when needed, with archers being particularly sought after. At a pay rate of tens of gold pieces per week, such positions were eagerly sought. Now, however, the town’s chief priest of Ilmater, Abject Supplicant Asgar Tellendar, is insisting on questioning applicants with the aid of the Harpers, or so local rumor runs.
Asgar’s temple, the House of the Suffering God, is in danger of closing down. Asgar heads a clerical staff of only six  priests, three novices, and four lay worshipers. The temple itself is a crumbling ruin, its tithes too meager to pay for repairs. Sinister visions have begun to appear in Asgar’s dreams, showing the God on the Rack turning his back on the temple of Asbravn, but as these dreams were always followed closely by visits from mysterious smooth-tongued people trying to buy the House, he’s not put too much credence in them. (“Zhents, or I’m a toad,” Asgar has told his worshipers angrily.)
Other current local concerns are centered around a plan by one new landowner to breed long-horned horses for sale as battle mounts. Many farmers are afraid they’ll get out and trample crops or need too much hay to keep the surplus crops shipping as good-as-gold exports.
The traveler through Asbravn will see only lush farms with wood lots, drainage ditches and ponds, wellkept barns and stump-and-boulder fences, and general tranquility. At corners where tracks and trails meet in the town stand old, cracked, stout stone pillars surmounted by crumbling horse heads. These are the only visible relics of an ancient city,
Urdrath of the Horsemen, that stood on this site. The Horsemen were nomads who moved to Tunland or the Savage North long ago. Urdrath was where they came to worship and bury their dead in catacombs beneath the streets.

Today, false cellar walls and sliding stones in the foundations of many of the town’s fifty-odd buildings lead into a vast maze of underground passages and galleries, their extent unknown. Tomb chambers and coffin niches in the passage walls are everywhere, and the deeper levels are roamed by undead. Some of the fallen warriors of the Horsemen, legend says, were buried with rich treasures. Many a curious visitor has paid 10 gold pieces or more to a local to be let into the catacombs—and more than one has fled out again in terror after coming upon a recently slain thief, face black with strangulation, throat caught forever in the bony, chilling grip of a skeletal arm that reached out of one of the horizontal coffin niches as the culprit passed.
Still, the occasional person comes to the surface with a gem-adorned dagger or the remnants of an ivory or amber necklace, and brave (foolish, locals say) young people still come from Berdusk and Iriaebor on dares to enter the catacombs to impress their friends.
Most visitors don’t look for such excitement in Asbravn. They marvel at the well-kept farms while passing through, perhaps buying some fresh eggs, cheese, or a joint of meat at the market. Or, they come here to buy wagonloads of provender in the market, knowing they’ll get good fresh fare at fair prices. This is the sort of town folk remember fondly after one visit, feel at home in after a second, and make sure they stop by when possible thereafter. (VGttSC pg 147)

Asbravn

Asbravn is a small town of about 50 central buildings, nestled in a shallow delve, where roads from Hluthrar, Berdusk, and Iriaebor meet. It is patrolled by riders in red capes.
The town of Asbravn lies in the center of a thriving area of farms. These farms provide the nearby cities of Berdusk and Iriaebor with food, and produce wool for local use and for export elsewhere in the Realms. The wool-mills proper are in Berdusk, but the gathering-place for most of the farmers is here in Asbravn, where several small costers ply a busy trade over the roads between the town and its neighboring cities. It is here that the large local farmer’s market is held, and its is here that the Riders with Red Cloaks are based.
The Riders, named for their distinctive garb, are local volunteers commanded by experienced warriors, and are paid a beneficence by Iriaebor to cover their costs of operation. They supplement this stipend with any battle-loot they may take. In return, the Riders in Red Cloaks patrol the area around the town (particularly the mountain slopes to the east), fighting off bandits, orcs, bugbears, and predatory monsters to keep the farm-lands safe.
A typical Red Cloaks patrol numbers 12 first level fighters, led by a patrol leader of 3-4th level. They are mounted on medium horse, wield spear and long sword, and wear chain mail (plate for officers). There are such patrols in normal operation, but in times of danger that number may triple through recruitment, and the Red Cloaks may hire on additional magic-users and clerics. Standard stipend is 10 gold per level per week, plus a share equal to level of any treasure recovered (a 1st level will get 1 share, a 3rd level three shares, etc.). (FRCS1 pg 26)

Backlands

Named by coast-dwelling humans for its location relative to them, the a rea known as the Backlands encompasses the sparsely settled region east of the Serpent’s Tail Stream, the Forest of Wyrms, and the Trielta Hills, which are north of the River Reaching, west of the desert Anauroch, and south of the Greypeak Mountains. Fertile Netherese farms once covered this region, but now it is home to all manner of fearsome monsters. Yuan-ti and naga hunting parties, guarded by bands of ophidian warriors, often wander the Backlands seeking new types of prey. The serpentfolk have been known to hunt humanoids—particularly cocky bands of adventurers— for sport. (SK pg 105)

Backlands

or explorers and adventurers who favor warmer climes than the far, frigid reaches of the Savage North, the Backlands of the Sword Coast are the largest lawless, monster-haunted Irontier in western Faerûn—unless one goes as far south as the trackless jungles of Chult. Many adventurers and nobles (or other crazed-wits) who hunt monsters for sport come here to wet their blades and gather trophy heads for their walls.
The Backlands are named for their location as seen by coast-dwelling humans. They consist of the sparsely settled (by humankind) lands east of Serpent’s Tail Stream, the Forest of Wyrms, and the Trielta Hills; north of the River Reaching; west of the desert Anauroch; and south of the Greypeak Mountains. Once this area was covered by fertile farms that fed Netheril, a proud and mighty realm ruled by human sorcerers. Netheril’s ruins— said to be crammed with gems, gold, and magic-still lure opportunists to remote, perilous corners of the Backlands every summer season.
Today, the Backlands hold the most powerful elven realms left in Faerûn: Evereska and the Greycloak Hills. They also hold the most fearsome monsters known to walk, slither, trot and crawl openly in the Realms. The beasts in the heart of the Marsh of Chelimber are fierce enough to prevent cruel and haughty cities of yuan-ti and ophidians in the Serpent Hills from spreading east, and feuding tribes of giants dwell in the Hill of Lost Souls and the Battle of Bones (two craggy areas named for past human struggles). The giants battle endlessly over the rolling grasslands between the two areas.
Tales of lost treasure abound in the Backlands. It is said to lie both in the ruins and tombs of Netheril, and in more recent hoards such as the one said to be dug into the walls of Skull Gorge. Gates also abound. These permanent teleportational areas are often invisible and may even be stranded in midair by the collapse of the buildings in which they were located. At least one such portal links Toril with outer planes where fiends, such as tanar’ri, dwell.
Rumor whispers that the elven realms hold an entire network of gates which the Fair Folk use to travel the Realms.
Most sages explain the presence of the many monsters in the region and the flourishing game they live on (which
would seem far too little to support such a huge number of roving teeth and claws, but far too plentiful for those monsters to be eating much) through the existence of many gates that bring continual supplies of fresh beasts into the Backlands from somewhere else.
The traveler is advised to come well armed in a strong party of battle veterans whose ranks include both mages and priests of power. Reliable guides to the Backlands are few, especially now that the Zhentarim have begun to run caravans through the area from Yellow Snake Pass to bases along the Delimbiyr.
These caravans have hired away or killed off many of the hunters who formerly roamed the area. Elven guides, once happy to permit small human expeditions into certain areas, have responded by preventing all human entry into Evereska and ceasing all aid, including guide services. The monsters seem as plentiful as ever, and fresh bones of hired guards trying to get caravans safely past the beasts are so numerous as to litter the ground in some places.

As so often happens, humans have responded to increased danger by charging into the area in ever-growing numbers. Monster hunters based in Hill’s Edge and Boareskyr Bridge do a thriving trade in preserved monster parts and caged live specimens, which they collect on wide-ranging expeditions into the Backlands. The Marsh of Chelimber holds the largest known concentration of catoblepas in the Realms, for instance, and the northeastern end of the Sunset Mountains is home to a realm of leucrotta—a collection of rival packs of this notoriously unpleasant beast.
Every year, new rumors of treasure found sweep the Sword Coast. Sometimes the treasure is simply uncovered by the fierce storms that often lash the area, causing flash floods in normally dry basins and ravines. Sometimes a group of adventurers uncovers a small ruin or a scrub farmer turns up a chest or jug when plowing. Each year’s crop of treasure rumors goads wealthy interests in Amn and Waterdeep to sponsor fresh expeditions in search of the latest chance to gain some part of the magical might of Netheril. A single find of a new type of magical item or even a useful spell can
make someone a lifelong fortune.
Settlements in the Backlands are few. It’s not a place for the casual traveler. Those who enter the depths of this largely unexplored, trackless region must be prepared to forage for their own food and fight, more or less continuously, to keep from becoming someone else’s food. The safest area of the Backlands, if there can be said to be such a thing is along the borders of the elven holdings. Although hopeful predatory monsters gather there, the elves mount strong patrols, employing magical flight, spells, and enchanted weapons as well as battle skill, and keep the area fairly clear.
They don’t always come to the aid of nonelves whom they observe beset by orcs or other monsters, but I’ve noticed that they usually respond to those who make the old elven hand signs for Greeting and Call for Assistance.
To sign for Greeting, extend both arms—hands empty—straight up over one’s head, thumbs together, and then bring the arms forward in an encircling motion. Repeat this at least three times before letting one’s arms fall. The motion can be repeated several times.
The Call for Assistance can be preceded by an attention-getting ululation— a high-pitched chattering scream or swooping two-note warbling something like a continuous repetition of the sound small boys make while beating their chests and pretending to be a bull ape from the jungles of Chult (the most common caged animal seen in the cities of the Sword Coast). This could be described as setting one’s voice as high as it will go, and then dropping one note, and then back up, as fast as possible: “Uhh-ohh-uhh-ohh-uhh-ohh” and so on. At night, some elven patrols will respond to this sound alone. Those planning treacherous use of this cry should remember that elves don’t need light to see the positions and deeds of humans. The Call is signaled by raising one arm, holding it upright as far as the elbow, and waving the forearm in one direction only (not from side to side, as most humans do), from where one’s hand is just above one’s face, down to where the hand covers the chest, and then back up, repeating rapidly As with the Greeting’ the hand must be empty. Only one arm should be used, although repetition is understood as an added indication of urgency. Remember that wise travelers never have to rely on anyone else for assistance (VGttSC pg 123)

Baldurs Gate

(Metropolis, 42,103): One of the two great cities of the Sword Coast, Baldur’s Gate sits on the north bank of the River Chionthar, twenty miles from where the river flows into the Sea of Swords. Situated halfway between Amn and Waterdeep, the city thrives on trade.
Trade knows no alignment, so tolerance is a virtue in Baldur’s Gate, but not to the extent that visitors are allowed to conduct themselves in ways injurious to other persons or property. Guards in distinctive black helms with red stripes on either side police the city. They pay more attention to the upper half of the city, the part within the original walls, than to the newer, lower half by the river, enclosed by lower walls.
As is often the way in Faerun, the great number of guards in Baldur’s Gate is a clue to the presence of a well-run thieves’ guild, Guildmaster Ravcnscar (NE male human Rog10/Skr4 of Mask) maintains amiable though distant relations with Baldur’s Gate’s four grand dukes, including Eltan (LN male human Ftr20), the commander of the Flaming Fist mercenary company. The Flaming Fist serves as Baldur’s Gate’s unofficial army, providing cheap rates in return for a subsidized base of operations.
Most major cities have a few major temples, but Baldur’s Gate’s three major halls of worship are noteworthy. Gond’s High House of Wonders houses an astonishing collection of one-of-a-kind inventions. Gnomes, inventors, and craftsfolk make the pilgrimage to Baldur’s Gate for both inspiration and devotion. Tymora’s temple, the Lady’s Hall, is remarkable for its size and wealth. The temple to Umberlee, euphemistically known as the “Water Queen’s House,” is one of the few actual temples to this deity in all of Faerun. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Baldur’s Gate

Baldur’s Gate is located at the southern reaches of the Sword Coast, 50 miles up the Chionthar River from where that flow enters the Trackless Sea. It is situated on the northern shore of the river, astride the Coast Way from Amn to Waterdeep. Baldur’s Gate is known as being “halfway to everywhere.”
This important independent city is renowned as one of the most tolerant but quietly well-policed places in the western Realms, and it is home to many adventurers and entrepreneurs as a result. It is ruled by the Four Grand Dukes, also called the Council of Four, though the title of duke is an honorific taken upon ascending to the Council and is used regardless of race or sex.
The city of Baldur’s Gate is actually two cities. The first Baldur’s Gate was originally completely walled, with gates to the north for the Coast Way and to the south leading to the docks. With the founding of Amn, trade became very profitable in the relaxed climate of Baldur’s Gate, and the city grew. The city burst its original bounds, growing beyond its wall until the presence of raiders forced the erection of a new wall.
Baldur’s Gate is divided by its original wall into an upper and lower city. The upper city is both older and of a more permanent nature, and it is here that the nobles, rising merchants, and newly wealthy adventuring companies rub shoulders. The lower city, hugging the shores of the Chionthar, is larger but made of wooden structures and warehouses.
The present grand dukes of Baldur’s Gate are: Entar Silvershield (LG hm F21), Liia Jannath (CG hm W16), Belt (CN hm F19), and Eltan (LN hm F20). Eltan is commander of the Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, one of the most powerful such companies in the Realms, which has its main base in Baldur’s Gate and serves as that community’s standing army.
Baldur’s Gate enjoys (or suffers) a thriving thieves’ guild controlled by Guildmaster Ravenscar (NE hm T19). The thieves’guild of Baldur’s Gate is on good terms with the local government in most matters and tries to keep the destruction and looting to a serviceable minimum. The guild also ruthlessly crushes any opposition to its control of illicit activities.
The city of Baldur’s Gate has three major temples. The High House of Wonders is dedicated to Gond and presided over by High Artificer Thalamond Albaier (N hm P17) and 21 subordinate priests. The Lady’s Hall is the local temple of Tymora and is controlled by Chanthalas Ulbright (CG hm P15) and 24 serving priests. The Water-Queen’s House, one of the few true temples to Umberlee, in presided over by Storm-Priestess Janatha Mistmyr (NE hf P16) and eight rabid clerical followers. Only the tolerance and open spirit of Baldur’s Gate allows its existence. The city also contains shrines to Helm, Ilmater, Lathander, Oghma and Lliira (formerly Waukeen). (FRCS2 pg 87)

Baldur’s Gate

Baldur’s Gate is located 50 miles up the Chionthar River from where that flow enters the Trackless Sea, at the southern reaches of the Sword Coast. It is siutated on the northern shore of the river, astride the Trade Way from Amn to Waterdeep. Baldur’s Deep consists of a “lower city” outside the stone walls, and an “upper city”within those walls.
This important independent city is known as one of the most tolerant but quietly well-policed places in the western Realms, and is home to many adventurers and entrepreneurs as a result. It is ruled by the“Four Grand Dukes,” though the title of“Duke” is an honorific taken upon ascending to the Council, and is given even if the candidate is female or of a race that uses other titles.
The city was originally completely walled, with gates to the North for the Trade Way and to the south leading to the docks. With the expansion of trade and the founding of Amn, trade has become very profitable in the relaxed climate of Baldur’s Gate, and the city grown as a result. The city has now burst its original bounds (about the size of Suzail in Cormyr) and is divided by its original wall into a “upper” and “lower” city. The “upper” city is both older and of a more permanent nature, and it is here that the nobles, rising merchants, and newly-wealthy adventuring companies rub shoulders.
The present Dukes of Baldur’s Gate are: Entar Silvershield, a 20th level cavalier, Liia Jannath, a 16th level female magic-user of chaotic good alignment, Belt, a 17th level fighter, and Eltan, a 20th level lawful neutral fighter. Eltan is commander of the Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, one of the most powerful such companies in the Realms, which is based in Baldur’s Gate. Further information on the Flaming Fist may be found in the Mercenary Companies Section, and on Eltan in the Personalities of the Realms section in the DM’s Sourcebook. (FRCS1 pg 27)

Banshee Woods

The small reach of forest known as the Banshee Woods, which lies within the larger area known as the Haglands, north and east of the Trollbark Forest, has been avoided for centuries, even as logging slowly separated it from what became Trollbark Forest and the Misty Forest. The trees themselves are gnarled and twisted, suggesting some ancient magic remains at work.
While a handful of hag coveys rule the periphery of the Banshee Woods, the depths of the forest are the exclusive preserve of a keening spirit, whose endless wailing echoes through the woods from dusk to dawn and can be heard as far away as the Trade Way when the wind blows just right.
Legends vary widely as to the origin of this tortured ghost. Some tales speak of the “Lost Laranla,” presumably referring to Laranla Imdalace of Ardeep, who disappeared in the Year of the Slaked Blade (4 DR). Other tales refer to an Illefarni bard who was separated from her lover when an unknown attacker severed an Illefarni song-path during the waning days of Illefarn. The truth of the matter is far more ancient. The keening spirit of the Banshee Woods is a Miyeritari dark elf (pre-Descent of the Drow) who mourns the Dark Disaster (-10,500 DR), when ancient Miyeritar was engulfed in killing storms, reducing the entire forest and realm to the barren wasteland now known as the High Moor. All efforts to lay her spirit to rest have failed time and again, suggesting to some that her continued presence is in some way tied to some larger Elven High Magic effect. (UIA pg 35)

Battle of Bones

As travellers approach the region known as the Battle of Bones, the rolling grassland of the west gives way to chalky white soil dotted by stunted trees. Bones and other signs of an ancient battle begin to outnumber rocks, until the explorer stumbles through a wasteland of bleached bones that has resisted nature’s cleansing elements for nearly three hundred years.
In 1090 DR, a horde of goblins and orcs out of the Stonelands met an army of humans, elves, and dwarves north of the Sunset Mountains. The warriors of Tyr, Corellon, and Moradin triumphed, killing uncounted thousands of the invading orcs in a six-day battle. Even the elves’ healing magic and the clerics’ powers of resurrection could not prevent thousands of the defenders from joining the orcs in death. Three hundred years later, the site of the great battle is still a  cursed and haunted land, covered with bones and remnants of the battle that are nearly a foot deep and sometimes pile into great drifts.
The sixty square miles covered by the battle are horrid hunting grounds for undead: zombies, skeletons, ghouls, wights, wraiths, spectres, and even liches. Young clerics of militant faiths frequently journey to the Battle of Bones to prove themselves in battle against the undead. Their efforts are countered by clerics of Velsharoon and other deities who view the battlefield as a site for their own unholy pilgrimages. (FRCS3 pg 223)

Known as Torgor’s Triangle before 1090 DR (EEA1BOB pg 10)

Battle of Bones

Travelers moving into this region pass over a withered land with a few stunted scrub trees. The soil has a dusty white pallor to it. As the site of the battle nears, outcroppings of bone jut from the soil until finally the bones outnumber the rocks themselves and the adventurer is moving through a wasteland of bleached remains.
On this site, in a shallow valley almost 300 winters ago (1090 DR), a titanic battle erupted between human forces and the various goblinoid races. The goblin nations, along with orcs, hobgoblins, and their allies, had spilled out of the dwindling Goblin Marches and overrun the North. A combined force of humans and elves, along with the last shards of several dwarven kingdoms, met the invasion head-on at this site. After almost a week of continuous fighting, the good races triumphed, and only a tenth of the great horde was sent reeling back to its marches. The victory came at horrendous cost, however. So numerous were the dead that even today their bones are said to cover the ground here to a
depth of 12 inches. (FRCS2 pg 87)

Battle of Bones

Travelers moving into the area will note a withered land with a few stunted scrub-trees. The soil has a dusty white pallor to it. As the site of the battle nears, outcroppings of bone jut from the soil, until finally the bones outnumber the rocks themselves and the adventurer is moving through a wasteland of remains.
On this site, in a shallow valley some two hundred winters ago, a titanic battle erupted between human forces and the various goblinoid races. The Goblin Nations, along with orcs, hobgoblins, and their allies, had overrun the North with the fall of the Early Kingdoms of men and the dwindling of the dwarven peoples. After almost a week of continuous fighting, the humans triumphed, but at horrendous cost; so numerous were the dead that even today their bones are said to cover the ground here to a depth of twelve inches. This region is avoided by most travelers because of the great numbers of undead creatures that are said to now be here. Those who do come this way, seeking a route along the edge of the Desert, speak of some power organizing the undead into patrols, and thereby controlling the area. No one has yet investigated these claims.
Encounters in the area of the Battle of the Bones extend thirty miles in all directions, and include the following types of undead creatures: skeletons (humanoid and animal), zombies (human and monster), wights, wraiths, spectres. They may be found in mixed parties, with one more powerful undead leader (wight, wraith, or spectre) to be found for every 20 lesser undead). Lesser undead under the control of greater undead turn as the greater undead. Those undead in the Battle of Bones area itself use the special column for turning. The mysterious force behind the gathering undead may be of liche or skeletal warrior power at least, and if greater, may have several of these types as servants. (FRCS1 pg 28)

Berdusk

(Large City, 20,242): The Jewel of the Vale occupies a fortuitous position astride both the Uldoon Trail from Amn and the River Chionthar. The city has an age-old reputation as a place for trade and for peace parleys, a status encouraged by its current administrator, the High Lady Cylyria Dragonbreast (NG female human Brd10/Ftr3/Hrp4), Cylyria is one of the leaders of the Harpers, whose most powerful base, Twilight Hall, stands beside the town’s temple to Deneir. The Harpers use Berdusk as their base of operations in the West and the North.
Lady Cylyria keeps the city firmly in the Lords’ Alliance and uses her influence to temper the strictly profit-minded policies of the city’s rivals in Iriaebor and Scornubel. The Harpers were quick to take advantage of Darkhold’s weakened grip on its territory in the Far Hills, but they are simultaneously concerned about the subtle rise in the Red Wizards’ influence upon the affairs of the west. (FRCS3 pg 227)

Berdusk

Berdusk is sometimes called the Jewel of the Vale. This is not a term that pleases residents of the rival neighboring city of Iriaebor, though the two cities are firm allies in matters of trade and defense.
The Uldoon Trail crosses the upper Chionthar at Berdusk. Three bridges actually span the river here, two making use of a fortified island to shorten their leaping spans. This spot’s usefulness as a landmark and parley place plus the rising of a spring (the River Sulduskoon) to join the Chionthar here and the presence of rapids (the Breaking Steps) in the Chionthar just upstream of this spot have combined to ensure that there’s been some sort of settlement at this site since the dawn days: first the elven moot of Clearspring; then a human fishing village, Sulduskoon; and finally the city known today The current city is named for Berdusk Orcslayer, a local human warrior whose energetic patrols drove orcs from the area, making it safe to farm and opening the Vale for human settlement.
Today, Berdusk is an important trading center, much involved in the shipment of goods. High-sided local waybarges are winched carefully through the rapids, which have been known to smash normal rafts and barges, sending crew and cargo to the freshwater kelpies below. Businesses in the city also make many wagons (considered fair to poor by most merchants) and excellent barges, and do extensive wagon repairs. Their wheels are very fine.
Woolen mills in the city serve farmers from all over the southern Vale, many of whom go to Asbravn for its large shearing market, selling the wool there to Berduskan millers. Dozens of caravans entirely of baled wool leave Berdusk for elsewhere in Faerûn at the height of shearing season.
Berdusk also produces a highly favored sweet wine, Berduskan dark, which is like very dark amber sherry, heavy and burning to the tongue. It fetches 6 gp per bottle or more and travels well. Folk are apt to find it in taverns and eateries all over Faerûn.
All of this prosperity is guarded by a city guard of 600 well-trained and equipped warriors of both sexes and all races, assisted by seven roving gauntlets (who raid Zhent and brigand holds, and escort caravans and travelers on the roads around the city) and by the famous Harpers. Not all Harpers look like merry minstrel rogues, but many do, and some can always be seen on the city streets.
The ruler of Berdusk, High Lady Cylyria Dragonbreast, is one of the leaders of Those Who Harp. Their most powerful base, Twilight Hall, stands in Berdusk, and many of the shieldmasters (officers) in the city guard are Harpers. High Lady Cylyria keeps Berdusk firmly in the Lords’ Alliance, and the city welcomes all demihuman races. The Silent Lady loves music and poetry, and the city attracts the best traveling minstrels and musicians, increasingly joined by noted bookbinders, limners, and sculptors.

This thriving, growing community of artisans has begun to rival Waterdeep in hauteur if not in numbers or quality, and has begun to attract patrons, thieves, and wild romantic tales about its doings. Most tales center around one of two things: sculpted ladies so lifelike that they came to life or artists who’ve decided to expand their studios or rebuild the interiors of their abodes to please their aesthetic sensibilities. The statue stories are often based on real-life wizards’ pranks. The remodeling tales usually go on to say how the artists uncovered pirate treasure brought up the river and hidden here long ago that has made them rich.

Certain sages who’ve not led me wrong before say there is a lot of pirate treasure in the city, both hoarded and invested. Discreet inquiries in many inns, taverns, and shops can lead the needy to a dinner meeting with agents representing high-coin moneylenders (sponsors dealing in large amounts). Adventurers are warned that such folk like to see tangible assets before laying out coins. Such assets include keeps in strategic locations, city land holding—for a caravan company, warehouses within the walls of a city will do—and large fleets of cogs, caravels, or other seaworthy cargo ships. The lenders are unlikely to sponsor forays underground or into ruins in search of legendary treasure. On the other hand, if adventurers make such trips on their own and return with heaps of gems they don’t know what to do with, these professionals can invest such wealth wisely. Some respected names among them: Thoront of the Gilded Hand, Than Tassalar, Orn “Manycoins” Beldarm, and Aulimann the Patient.
My explorations of fair Berdusk were hampered by my unfortunate reputation. Many Harpers seem convinced I’m some sort of Zhentarim agent, just as members of that organization believe I’m a Harper. Their surveillance and other tactics prevented me spending much time in the Jewel of the Vale. As a result, I can give the traveler only an overview of the city’s features and establishments.
Some areas in Berdusk are rumored to be Harper warded. Look for tokens like the one shown at lower right. (VGttSC pg 153)

Beregost

(Large Town, 2,915): Beregost’s forty or so stone and wood buildings cater to the trade between Amn and Baldur’s Gate. The town has no official government, instead being run by the high priest of its major temple to Lathander. Yellow-garbed acolytes of the temple bear arms and keep the peace. Curiously, the town’s founder was also a spellcaster rather than a politician—a wizard named Ulcaster established a magic school here that attracted a farming village to support it. Jealous Calishite wizards burned down Ulcaster’s school three hundred years ago. The ruins still dominate the eastern side of the road, where the Morninglord’s clerics graze their sheep to keep an eye on the ruins and prevent unsavoury characters from going in (or coming out). (FRCS3 pg 227)

Beregost

Beregost is a small town located south of Candlekeep on the Coast Way. It comprises about 40 central buildings and several larger estates located some distance from the town itself. The town is dominated by a large temple and its attendant buildings.
To the east on the low rise overlooking the town is the shell of a ruined castle, now abandoned. Beregost is first and foremost a trading center, a starting and rallying point for expeditions into the southern kingdoms of Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan.
Beregost also is the home of a large temple to Lathander, God of the Morning. The high priest of this temple is one Kelddath Ormlyr (NG hm P16), once a merchant of note whose ships plied their trade up and down the Sword Coast. His temple staff consists of three 8th-level priests, six 4th-level clerics, and nine 2nd-level novices, in addition to a varying number of acolytes. The complex is defended by 200 men-at-arms who also serve as the city guard.
Kelddath is regarded as the town’s governor, though day-to-day operations are handled by a five-member town council.
On a hill to the east of Beregost lies the burned ruins of a school of wizardry founded some 300 years ago by the mage Ulcaster. It was destroyed 80 years later by Calishite mages who feared the school’s collective power had come to rival their own.
Beregost is also the home of several notable individuals. One of the foremost smiths in the Sword Coast area, Taerom
“Thunderhammer” Fuiruim, has his estate and shop here. Taerom (N hm F1, but with 25 hp) is a master armorer, capable of forging full sets of plate armor, ornate weapons, and using rare and exotic ores.
Beregost is also the abode of the wizard Thalantyr, a conjurer of great repute (N hm W(C)15). Interestingly enough, the Ulcasterian school was also a school of conjurers and summoners. Thalantyr is aided by Taerom in creating magical items.
Beregost has maintained its independence mainly by catering to the whims of any army large enough to occupy it and waiting for said army to destroy itself fighting others. Historically, attempts to wall the city have drawn attacks from others. (FRCS2 pg 88)

Beregost

Beregost is a small town of about 40 central buildings, with several larger estates further from the town itself. The town is dominated by a large temple and its attendant buildings. To the east on the low rise overlooking the town is the shell of a ruined castle.
The small town of Beregost is first and foremost a trading center, a jumping-off point for expeditions into the Southern Kingdoms of Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan. It is also the home of several notable individuals. One of the foremost smiths in the Sword Coast area, Taerom “Thunderhammer  Fuiruim, has his estate and shop here. Beregost is also the abode of the wizard Thalantyr, a wizard who specializes in magic of the Conjuration/Summoning type. Finally, Beregost is the home of a large temple to Lathander, God of the Morning. The high priest of this temple is one Kelddath Ormlyr, once a merchant of note whose ships plied their trade up and down the Sword Coast.
On a hill to the east of Beregost lay the burned ruins of a school of wizardry, founded some three hundred years ago by the mage Ulcaster, and destroyed eighty years later by Calishite mages, who had feared the school’s collective power had come to rival their own. Interestingly enough, the Ulcasterian school was also a school of Conjurers and Summoners.
Taerom “Thunderhammer  Fuiruim is a Master Armorer, capable of forging full sets of plate armor, ornate weapons, and  using rare and unique ores. He is neutral aligned, has 25 hp, and fights as a 1st level fighter in combat. He has experience in helping Thafantyr create magical items.
Thalantyr, 15th level magic-user, specializes in Conjuration/Summoning spells. ( + 1 on all his saving throws, – 1 on saving throws against his Conjuration/Summoning attacks).
Kelddath Ormylyr, Patriarch of the Church of Lathanier, 16th level cleric.
Temple Staff:
3 8th level clerics
6 4th level clerics
9 2nd level clerics
18 1st level clerics
200 men-at-arms in Temple Complex
Kelddath is regarded as the town’s governor, though day-to-day operations are handled by a five-man town council. (FRCS1 pg 28)

Boareskyr Bridge

This massive stone structure spans the Winding Water along the Trade Way from Scornubel to Waterdeep. The current bridge is the most recent in a long series of bridges at the site. The bridge is in fairly good shape, though the two statues of dark gods that originally guarded its ends were shattered by spells cast by worshipers of Mystra and Kelemvor.
No permanent settlement lies at Boareskyr Bridge, but the collection of merchant tents and caravan shelters that accumulate at both ends of the bridge never entirely disappears. At any given time, the tents are home to forty to nearly three hundred merchants, travelers, and hangers-on. At one time, two adventurers took the tent city under their protection and enforced a rough sort of law and order, but they moved on to retire in Waterdeep, and the estates to the north were occupied by a series of chieftains and rich merchants’ entourages.
Thanks to the battle between Cyric and Bhaal that ended in Bhaal’s death, the water downstream of the bridge is black, foulsmelling, and unlucky to drink. “Go drink from the west side of the bridge!” is a common curse in these parts. (FRCS3 pg 227)

Boareskyr Bridge

The bridge is a massive structure crossing the Winding Water along the Trade Way from Waterdeep to Scornubel. It is of stone, and wide enough to carry two wains side by side in either direction. On the southern side of the bridge is a large encampment of tents and wagons.
This bridge is named for a famous adventurer of the early days of human settlement in the North. Boareskyr (also called the Great Boareskyr in these parts) built the first temporary bridge at this site in order to rush an army across it and assail an unsuspecting tribe of orcs. (The orcs, a tribe called the Bloody Tusks, were wiped out by this maneuver.)
Several bridges have stood at this site since and been destroyed over time. The previous bridge was gray stone and was destroyed during the Time of Troubles in a battle between Cyric and Bhaal, a conflict which poisoned the Winding Water (see the Winding Water section). A new bridge has been erected here in black stone, with statues of Bhaal (northern end) and Cyric (southern end) guarding the way.
Boareskyr Bridge has no permanent settlement, but there is almost always a city of tents and wagons here where caravans stop to trade goods back and forth and where they buy mounts, wagons, and necessary provisions and maintenance. The Bridge is the last organized post on the Trade Way from Scornubel north until travelers reach the Way Inn.
Law is a rough-and-ready matter at the Bridge, but several powerful adventurers who respect and keep law and order are often in the tent city—a fighter named Barim Stagwinter (NG hm F7), Theskul Mirroreye of Tyr (NG hm P6), and Aluena Halacanter (N hf W9), a mage. Barim and Theskul tend to wander in and out of the tent city, though one will always be about.
Aluena maintains a small estate, called Heartwing, upstream (where the water is not poisonous). There she raises pegasi as mounts. Her standard charge is 5,000 gp for a mount, and candidates for purchase undergo a number of interviews and examinations to determine if they are willing and capable of handling one of her steeds. Her contract at time of sale includes a clause that if a pegasus is maltreated and returns to Heartwing, the purchase price will not be refunded. Aluena is thought to be a member of the Harpers. (FRCS2 pg 88)

Boareskyr Bridge

(Small Town, 1,112) Great Prince Boareskyr, “the Snarling Boar,” was a noted adventurer and the founder of the realm that bears his name. Boareskyr built the fi rst bridge over the Winding Water at this site to attack the rampaging orcs of the Bloody Tusk in the eponymously named year (661 DR).
Over the centuries since Boareskyr’s overwhelming victory, the bridge has been rebuilt several times. The most recent version, made of black stone, dates back to the Time of Troubles, when its predecessor was destroyed in a battle between Bhaal and Cyric. Statues to the two gods now guard the way across.
The Bridge, a near-permanent tent city of caravanners, usually lines the road south of the Winding Water. This settlement was abandoned during the Phaerimm War (1372 DR), but it has since reappeared as a local hub for commerce. Yuan-ti purebloods, tainted ones, and even ophidians frequent the tent city’s markets, selling Najaran artifacts and making careful note of travelers passing along the Trade Way. (SK pg 107)

Boareskyr Bridge

The bridge is a massive structure crossing the Winding Water along the made way from Waterdeep to Scornubel. It is of grey stone, and wide enough to carry two wains side-by-side in either direction. On the southern side of the bridge is a large encampment of tents and wagons.
This bridge is named for a famous adventurer of the early days of human settlement in the North. Boareskyr (also called in these parts “The Great Boareskyr”) built the first temporary bridge at this site in order to rush an army across it and assail an unsuspecting tribe of orcs (the orcs, a tribe called the Bloody Tusks, were wiped out by this manuever).
Since then, several other bridges have been erected on the site, the most recent being a massive bridge that spans the Winding Water in five arches of grey stone. Boareskyr Bridge has no permanent settlement in normal terms, but there is
almost always a city of tents and wagons here, where caravans stop to trade goods back and forth, and buy mounts, wagons, and necessary provisions and maintenance. “The Bridge” is the last organized post on the Trade Way from Scornubel to Waterdeep, until the travelers reach the way inn.
Law is a rough-and-ready matter in “the Bridge,” but several powerful adventurers are often in the tent-city who respect and keep law and order: a fighter named Barim Stagwinter, a cleric of Tyr named Theskul Mirroreye, and Aluena Halacanter. The last is a magic-user and is thought by most to be a member of the harpers. Aluena spends much of her time training pegasi for use by humans as mounts.
The Bridge” is a mobile settlement that is continually changing its make-up and personel. There will be continual merchant caravans heading in both directions, to Waterdeep and Scornubel, every five days or so. Thousand-Head and Trueshield Trading Costers maintain semi-permanent areas for their traders, and wagons, but the majority of wagons are from independent wagoneers. The closest thing to a permanent governing body are the three adventurers mentioned above:
Barrim Stagwinter—7th level fighter
Threskul Mirroreye—6th level cleric
Aluena Halacanter—9th level wizard
Barrim and Threskul tend to wander in and out of the tent-city, though one will always be about. Aluena maintains a small estate, called Heartwing, upstream, where she raises her pegasi. Her standard charge is 5000 gp for a mount, and she has candidates for purchase undergo a number of interviews and examinations to determine that they are capable and willing to handle one of her steeds. Her contract at time of sale includes a clause that if the pegasi is maltreated and returns to Heartwing, the money will not be refunded. (FRCS1 pg 29)

Bowshot

This hamlet stands on the western side of the Trade Way, a day’s and a half’s ride south of Liam’s Hold, and two day’s ride north of the Way Inn. Named because it was just a bowshot away from the Misty Forest, it has been a logging center for a hundred years—and it has been so successful that the forest is now miles away to the east.
Bowshot consists of the Bowshot Inn, a sawmill, six farms (two run by men who shoe horses as well as any smith), and almost a dozen home woodcarvers who turn out yokes, coffers, wheel spokes, tool handles, and whimsical carvings. The place deserves mention because of recently discovered caves beneath its western fringes. They are entered from the horse-well behind the inn, and by at least one cave mouth in the stands of trees north and west of the hamlet.
The Bowshot caverns show evidence of connections to deeper subterranean areas and of past use by smugglers. Some stolen goods were recently recovered from the caves and returned to their rightful owners in Waterdeep. With them were crates of ore very rich in silver, presumably mined in the deeps below the caverns.
There is local talk of hiring or inducing an adventuring company to dwell in Bowshot and mount a constant guard over the cavern entrances—and even of founding a company to mine and smelt silver in the depths, its workers protected by the hired adventurers. So far, no adventurers have agreed to such a defensive role. Many have come to the caverns and then moved on, talking of manspiders (a nest of chitines led by a trio of choldriths) in the deep ways. (UIA pg 99)

Brightoaks
Brightoaks is a ruined manor house, said to have once belonged to House Snowsword, the royal family of the Kingdom of Man. Centuries ago, it was the site of an orgy of slayings by the Hand of Loss, a band of Sharran assassins. King Davyd, the last king of Delimbiyran, was lured to his death here, in a failed attempt to rescue his sister Garantha and her servants.
Today, Bright Oaks remains a death trap, as many of the deadly traps placed here by Shar’s servants remain, as do the shadowy undead that arose from the orgy of slaying. Their numbers continue to grow, as foolhardy adventurers are drawn to rumours that Davyd’s royal blade, Snowshine, still lies within the ruins. (UIA pg 100)

Broken Shore

The Broken Shore is a line of cliffs, where the mainland drops away several hundred feet into a strip of “broken land” rarely much more than a mile wide, that runs from the Lizard Marsh south to the Troll Hills. This broken land is damp, salt-rimed country (so vegetation is either lichen or stunted), and consists of seacaves, hills of heaped-up seabed rock hurled ashore in the worst storms, rougher hills of rock broken off the cliffs and piled up below at their feet, and flowerpot-shaped “sea stacks” of hard, layered stone left behind in misshapen columns when the wind, water, and winter ice have carved away the land around them.
Veins of iron and dark clays that contain many sorts of gems are exposed on the treacherous, crumbling cliff faces. Lava vents under much of this shoreline warm the rocks (and fresh water, percolating up through them) from beneath, making this coast a place of winter mists and survival for many creatures, rather than a region most life must vacate for the cold months or perish. Any creature who can fight off the competing monsters can winter over in caves that get quite comfortably warm in their innermost, deepest corners. Those same lava vents make deep mining in this region well nigh impossible. The warmth also makes trolls avoid the area, which is why they keep inland and leave this area alone.
No one rules this desolate shore, which has no natural harbours or landing spots, so the land is relatively verdant and
unspoiled. All manner of creatures dwell in this shoreline strip of land: amphibious creatures of all sorts, leucrotta, outlawed and fugitive (or washed ashore from shipwrecks) humans, and countless seabirds (whose eggs offer a plentiful food source for much of the year). Scattered, hollowed-out caves in the cliff face are often the lair of eagles, foulwings, perytons, and other avian predators. A nest of advespa, survivors of the Dragonspear War, is built around an evil node at the northern end of the Broken Shore, near the southernmost margins of the Lizard Marsh. (UIA pg 35)

Candlekeep

This citadel of learning stands on a volcanic crag overlooking the sea at the end of the Way of the Lion, a road joining it to the Coast Way trade road. Candlekeep is a many-towered fortress, once the home of the famous seer Alaundo, and it preserves the seer’s predictions among its huge library of the writings of Faerun.
The price for any traveller to enter the keep is merely a book. Those wishing to examine a work in the keep’s library must gift Candlekeep with a new tome, valued by the shrewd gatekeepers of Candlekeep at no less than 1,000 gp. The monks of Candlekeep, who call themselves the Avowed, also purchase certain books brought to them and secretly commission agents to procure writings they desire.
The keep is ruled by the Keeper of the Tomes, who is assisted by the First Reader—second in authority and traditionally the most learned sage of the monastery. Up to eight Great Readers are governed by these two offices. These in turn are assisted by the Chanter, who leads the endless chant of Alaundo’s prophecies, the Guide (in charge of teaching acolytes), and the Gatewarden, who deals with visitors, security, and supplies for the community. Clergy are regarded as honoured guests but are not part of the monastery’s hierarchy.
The citadel bears mighty, many-layered wards that prevent anything from burning except wicks and wax. No paper can ignite anywhere in the keep. These wards also block teleportation magic and destructive spells, kill all moulds and insects, and have other secret properties. An additional ward prohibits entry into the Inner Rooms to all who do not bear a special token, only a handful of which exist.
In the Inner Rooms are kept the most powerful magical tomes. Normally, only the Great Readers may enter, but others are admitted in the company of the Keeper or the First Reader.
The central tower of the keep is surrounded by beautiful grounds that descend to a ring of buildings along the inside of the massive outer walls: guest houses, stables, granaries, a warehouse, an infirmary, a temple to Oghma, and shrines to Deneir, Gond, and Milil. Order is kept by the Gatewarden’s five underofficers: four Watchers, who take turns patrolling the monastery and watching land and sea from its tallest towers, and the Keeper of the Portal, each of whom has twelve monks (all experienced warriors) as assistants. These underofficers wield magic rods and rings to enforce their will.
No visitor can remain in Candlekeep for more than a tenday at a time, or re-enter the monastery less than a month after leaving it. Visitors are forbidden to write in the library, but the monks scribe copies for visitors in good standing. Copying costs 100 gp per text, or 10,000 gp for spellbooks or any texts containing spells, magical formulae, or details of rituals, wards, command words, and the like.
The current Keeper of the Tomes is Ulraunt (LG human male Div7/Lor3), a proud and haughty wizard. It is well not to cross him. All petitioners who enter the central keep must sit at Ulraunt’s left shoulder for at least one evening meal and endure his searching questions, Candlekeep has but one absolute rule: “He who destroys knowledge, with ink, fire, or sword, is himself destroyed. Here, books are more valuable than lives.”
Something guards the catacombs and storage caverns beneath Candlekeep so well that few successful intrusions from below have ever reached Candlekeep proper. Few know that this sentinel wyrm was once the silver dragon Miirym. She was bound to defend Candlekeep’s monks, buildings, and books by the archsorcercr Torth.
Miirym is now an ancient silver dragon ghost who, if destroyed, rejuvenates in only 2d8+8 hours. Miirym defends Candlekeep diligently, but her spirit is very lonely and would rather talk than fight. She trades tales for information about current events. Anyone who tries to trick her or launch a sneak attack can expect to have her come howling after him, hurling every spell she can in a savage, furious attack. If she meets intruders openly carrying books of any kind, the sentinel wyrm insists that they be surrendered to her for “rightful return” to Candlekeep. (As far as she’s concerned,
writings of any sort belong to Candlekeep.)
The scribes of Candlekeep have made at least one copy of every tome there, and an entire “mirror library” is rumoured to be hidden somewhere else in Faerun. Candlekeep-made books always bear the keep’s symbol: a castle with candle flames burning atop its towers. (FRCS3 pg 227)

Candlekeep

Candlekeep is a complex of clustered towers perched on a spur of volcanic rock overlooking the sea. It is reached by a single road, the Way of the Lion. Lights burn in the windows of the keep at all times, and travelers approaching the structure can hear a low chanting.
The towers are one of the great centers of learning in the Realms. The monks of Candlekeep also preserve the predictions of Alaundo the Seer. Alaundo is the singular sage whose prophecies have proved correct over the years. Many of these predictions were minor in nature (“A golden unicorn shall travel unmolested through the length of Waterdeep”), while others hint of great import (“White birds shall vanish from the North, and great evil shall die and be reborn”—said to connect directly with the Time of Troubles).

Upon the seer’s death, his citadel at Candlekeep became a haven for both the veneration of his prophecies and the accumulation of all knowledge. The acolytes of the keep continually chant the remaining prophecies of Alaundo, which grow shorter over the centuries as they come true and are discarded. Candlekeep boasts one of the finest libraries in the Realms. The grounds also house a small temple to Oghma and shrines within to Deneir, Gond, and Milil, but the monks of Candlekeep claim to be nondenominational.
The fortified keep derives much of its income from finding and copying specific passages of information from books of lore, magic, and philosophy preserved there for clients all over the Realms, and from issuing new manuscript books for sale in Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate. These new manuscripts are created by collecting certain passages from older texts together. The scribes of Candlekeep also make additional copies of books brought to them, but others in the Realms provide this last service for less severe fees. (FRCS2 pg 89)

Cliffbarrows

The flood plains north of the River Delimbiyr are rich farmland, but the southern shore of the river, south of the confluence with the Hark River, is demarcated by the steep (80-foot high) limestone and pink granite Red Cliffs. To ensure the continued sanctity of the honored dead, both from the orc-hordes that periodically sweep down the Delimbiyr Vale and from enterprising farmers seeking to expand their acreage, the earliest Small Folk resident in the region dug shallow burial niches in which to inter their kin in the escarpment midway between the two forks. The lack of funerary riches accompanying halfling burial rituals at the time minimized the risk of later plundering by tomb robbers, and careful attention to the placement of graves lessened the possibility of erosion washing away the bodies of those interred within the cliff face.
The founding of Phalorm, Realm of Three Crowns, at the Council of Axe and Arrow at the Laughing Hollow led to the formal establishment of a halfling nobility in the Shining Vale and slowly changed the character of the burial niches dug in the High Moor escarpment. The first (and only) halfling duke of Imristar, Corcytar Huntinghorn, survived the collapse of the Realm of Three Crowns, known thereafter as the Fallen Kingdom, and led his people in battle for many years thereafter.
After his death at the grand old age of 197, Duke Corcytar was interred, along with his armor and weapons, in Urogalan’s Bluff with great honor and ceremony in a pink granite casket inlaid with jade carvings placed within a true tomb. This began a practice of carving formal tombs in the Red Cliffs and including rich grave goods along with the body of the deceased among the halfling noble and mercantile elite of the region. When the duke’s second wife passed away three decades later, however, his former subjects were horrified to discover, upon reopening Huntinghorn’s tomb, that all of the precious grave goods within had been plundered by tomb robbers, as had several other nearby vaults. This unsettling discovery led to the founding of the Cliffbarrow Cloister of Imristar, an Urogalanan abbey carved into the Red Cliffs whose resident cadre of priests tended the burial niches and tombs of Urogalan’s Bluff.
Although the other races of the region mistakenly assume Urogalan’s Bluff is simply the site of an unusual halfling hamlet, the priests of Cliffbarrows, as the cloister is now commonly known among Secomberite halflings, continue in their role as caretakers and protectors of the cliffside burial ground. The abbey has been slowly expanded in the centuries since its founding and its limestone and granite halls now extend deep beneath the High Moor. The Cenotaph of Corcytar serves as the Urogalanan altar and the surrounding Vault of the Fallen Hin as the abbey’s chapel. Other chambers within the maze of tunnels serve as crypts, cubiculums, mortuaries, and living quarters for Urogalan’s priests. The high priest of Cliffbarrows is High Moor Hound Cornelius Monadnock, a stout halfling hailing from the Llorkh region originally. During his adventuring days, the Moor Hound, as Monadnock was then known, recovered the long-lost Imrisword and coronet of the Shining Hart of the halfling duke of Phalorm in the deepest reaches of the Dungeon of the Hark (known as the Dungeon of the Hawk in earlier times), and those funerary relics are now stored within the temple vaults. The solium of Huntinghorn, however, has yet to be found despite Monadnock’s chartering of several adventuring bands to recover it. (UIA pg 43)

Cloak Wood

South of Baldur’s Gate and north of Candlekeep, the Cloak Wood is a thickly overgrown ancient forest that looms along the shore south of the Sword Coast. Unlike the cliffs to the north, the Cloak Wood’s shoreline theoretically allows a ship to moor and send a small boat to shore for water and supplies. In practice, only desperate mariners dare the wood’s nasty population of beasts, monsters, and vicious fey. The sages of Candlekeep assert that Cloak Wood contains portals to several other parts of Faerun. (FRCS3 pg 223)

Cloakwood

This wood, located north of Candlekeep and just south of Baldur’s Gate, is ancient and thickly overgrown with elms, beeches, felsul, and hiexel trees. It marks the southern end of the Sword Coast.
The Cloak Wood is a perilous place and home to gremlins, mites, grigs, satyrs, stirges, korred, hangman trees, and other less common monsters. This high number of aggressive and territorial creatures has turned the wood into a battleground between rival races.
The sages of Candlekeep have sufficient evidence to indicate at least one gate exits in the wood, but the exact numbers and/or destination of these gates is unknown. They may lead to other parts of the Realms, to an alternate Prime Material Plane where such creatures as are found in the wood are common or to the outer planes to the Beastlands (Happy Hunting Grounds). Few who have investigated the matter have returned to report on it. (FRCS2 pg 90)

Cloak Wood

This wood, north of Candlekeep, is ancient and thickly overgrown with elms, beeches, felsul, and hiexel trees.
The Cloak Wood is an old, thickly grown forest marking the southern end of the Sword Coast. Just south of Baldur’s Gate, the Cloak wood is a perilous place, and home to quicklings, satyrs, stirges, kampfult, and other less common monsters. This high number of creatures has turned the wood into a battleground between rival races. The sages of Candlekeep have sufficient evidence to indicate at least one gate exits in the wood, but the exact numbers and/or destination of these gates is unknown. They may lead to other parts of the Realms, to an Alternate Material Plane where such creatures are common, or to the Beastlands (Happy Hunting Grounds). Few who have investigated the matter have returned to report on it. (FRCS1 pg 31)

Corm Orp

(Village, 810): The town of Corm Orp is a flea speck, slightly over a dozen permanent buildings on the Dusk Road between Hluthvar and Hill’s Edge. Most of the area’s inhabitants are halflings and gnomes, with a few humans who live in small homes in the hills behind the town. Corm Orp’s lord, Dundast Hulteal, is a Harper sympathizer who frequently calls upon the Harpers of Berdusk for aid. Many halflings passing through the hills above Corm Orp are skilled adventurers themselves, and some of them are Harpers. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Corm Orp

The village of Corm Orp is a flea-speck village with about 15 permanent buildings on the Dusk Road between Hluthvar and Hill’s Edge. The low hills to the east of the town, however, are dotted with halfling burrows and dominated by a goodly sized structure emblazoned with the symbol of the daisy.
This tiny village is known for its large resident population of halflings, who live amicably with the few human inhabitants of the place despite the fact that the village’s lord, Dundast Hultel (NG hm F4), is human, as is the village militia (30 humans in chain with long swords). Militia members wear green strips of cloth on their right arms and left thighs to identify themselves.
The native halflings, preferring to see someone else fight their battles, are quite comfortable with the arrangement, though if the town is seriously threatened, a horde of halflings will come boiling out of their underground homes.
Halfling priests of rank dwell in Corm Orp, making the area a well-known gathering spot for the race. Many halflings converge on the hamlet each Shieldmeet to do business with their fellows, trade native goods, and exchange tales, doubling or trebling its already sizable nonhuman population.
A large temple to the deity Sheela Peryroyal has been constructed in the hills overlooking Corm Orp. Its matriarch is Alliya Macanester (LG halff P12 with 20 Wisdom), who is much venerated and loved by her followers. She is served in the temple by four 6th-level clerics, eight 3rd-level priests, and 16 1st-level acolytes.
Corm Orp’s notable export (other than halflings) is a type of stout pottery. Made of simple red clay in large, usable forms, the pottery of Corm Orp is highly thought of for its sturdiness and is in common use throughout the Realms for everyday functions.
Most noted of the Corm Orp potters is Ilvn Makepeace, whose work is regarded as superior even alongside the sturdy pots the area is famous for. Makepeace’s shop uses a staff of a half-dozen halfling apprentices. His work sells for 1-5 sp per piece, which is 10 times that of normal pottery. (FRCS2 pg 90)

Corm Orp

This small road-hamlet lies west of the Sunset Mountains on the Dusk Road southeast of Hill’s Edge.4 Here, in the lengthening shadow of Darkhold, halflings and a few humans produce the bulk of the food consumed in the nearby city of Hill’s Edge. The traveler won’t find much more to Corm Orp than its horse pond, caravan camping ground with paddocks, wood lot, public pump, a few houses, and the Hungry Halfling inn and tavern. The pump is covered by a pavilion to shelter it in wet or winter weather.
Under the hills east of Corm Orp, however, are hundreds of halfling burrows. In fact, here lies the fastest-growing halfling community north of the land of Luiren. Every Shieldmeet, more halflings gather in Corm Orp, like what they see, and decide to move there.
Corm Orp is ruled by a human lord, a good and just man by the name of Dundast Hultel, who trains and leads the village militia of 30 human riders. In recent days, faced with increasing Zhentarim-sponsored beast and brigand raids, Dundast has turned to both Hill’s Edge and the Harpers of Berdusk for aid. Several fierce battles have been fought in the hills east of the hamlet—and in most of these the halflings, boiling up out of their underhill homes with fierce determination and ready daggers, have decided the day.
The halflings of Corm Orp are rightfully proud of the food they produce, especially their mushrooms and free-range hogs. Another product of pride is mass-produced red clay pottery—simple, sturdy items widely used throughout Faerûn. Dealers can be contacted at the Hungry Halfling. (VGttSC pg 175)

Corm Orp

The village of Corm Orp is a flea-speck on the road between Hluthrar and Hill’s Edge, with about 15 permanent buildings. The low hills to the east of the town are dotted with halfling burrow’s, dominated by a goodly-sized structure emblazoned with the symbol of a butterfly.
This tiny village is known for its large resident population of halflings, who live amicably with the few human inhabitants of the place, despite the fact that the village’s Lord, Dundast Hultel, is human, as is the village militia. The latter fact is one that most native halflings, preferring to see some else fight their battles, are quite comfortable with. (FRCS1 pg 31)

Crypt of the Wondermakers

Located in a tavern cellar in Scornubel, this crypt is said to hold liches, along with the many magic items they collected, crafted, and now wield in undeath. Guardians under their control include helmed horrors, strange golems and other automatons, and an eater of magic (nishruu) in a stasis sphere. (FRCS3 pg 295)

Crypt of the Wondermen

Scornubel’s best lost treasure legend also has to do with magic. Somewhere under the Nightshade nightclub—
reached by secret passages from that dim, crowded den of passion, music, and shady dealings—is the crypt of the Wondermen, sometimes called the Wondermakers.
The Wondermen were mages who dared much. They tested the limits of magic, traveled many planes and strange worlds, and in the end they chose to be consumed by magic. Their crypt is said to be guarded by several of them who have become liches, who await the coming of wizards mighty enough to withstand their spell attacks—wizards who will truly deserve to wield the awesome magics they did.
If someone flees the crypt with a magical item, the legends whisper, these liches will hunt that person down, not resting until the thief is destroyed and the item has been regained.
The crypt of the Wondermen is said to be crammed with magical rings, wands, rods, gloves, dancing ioun stones, and, ringed by the grand catafalques of the Wondermen, a huge crystal sphere that imprisons an eaterof-magic. The sphere can be moved about by means of a hand-sized control sphere resting on a pedestal nearby. If it’s released, legend holds, it will roam the Realms devouring all magic until there’s not a spell or magical item left. The brute rule of barbarians, goblinkin, and monsters will then overwhelm all civilized folk.
Few have seen the crypt of the Wondermen and lived to tell the tale, though many come to the Nightshade seeking the way to it. The staff claim to honestly not know the way, some swearing that the sliding panel that leads to the right secret passage moves around from time to time by itself. (VGttSC pg 107)

Crypt of the Worm

The Crypt of the Worm is a centuries-old dungeon that lies beneath Gillian’s Hill, on the western edge of the Sword Hills, a half-day’s ride south of Daggerford. The crypt is actually a massive mausoleum constructed above-ground and then buried beneath a huge pile of rocks and debris to form Gillian’s Hill. Tunnels beneath the crypt are said to lead down into the Underdark beneath the High Moor.
From the surface, the tomb in the hill can only be entered by wandering about until one finds the precise location of one of several invisible portals—snatch gates that whisk any person or object entering them into the heart of the hill. Egress is by the same method, although the exit spots inside the tomb are apparently different sites than the entry or arrival locales, and hard to find. Attempts to tunnel into the hill uncover stone walls that emit bolts of lightning (treat as chain lightning, CL 12th) when exposed to air—bolts that continue to lash out until earth is thrown onto them, and they are covered again. This magical lightning can easily stab across the trade road, imperilling all passing traffic. Several mages of power have tried and failed to remove the spells that cause this deadly effect, thanks to the divine hand of Talos.
Once known as the Tomb of the Doomsayer, the crypt was fashioned in secret by worshipers of Kozah (Talos) after the death of the last of the Doomsayers, an ancient Netherese order dedicated to the destruction of Netheril’s great cities, in the Year of Unfurled Sails (-670 DR). Unlike most tombs of its era, the body of the last Doomsayer was left on an open slab at the heart of the crypt and sprinkled with maggots to quickly consume it, symbolizing the Kozahyn belief that destruction comes to all in good time.
The existence of the crypt was revealed in the Year of the Cruel Storms (268 DR), when a landslide revealed one wall of the buried mausoleum, sparking an eruption of lightning bolts until it could be reburied and forgotten. It was not until the Year of the Sundered Crypt (684 DR) that the Tomb of the Doomsayer was finally breached. Wizards and ophidians in the employ of House Orogoth tunneled beneath the crypt and attempted to loot it from below without drawing the attention of the defenders of Delimbiyran. Upon entering the tomb, they discovered that the Last Doomsayer had arisen as a worm that walks. The resulting spell-battle revealed the existence of several previously unknown one-way portals into and out of the crypt beneath what is now known as Gillian’s Hill. When the battle finally subsided, the corpses of dozens of snake-men littered the sides of the hill and the undead horror that had once been the Last Doomsayer had vanished into the depths.
In the centuries that followed, the Crypt of the Worm, as it came to be known, was occupied from time to time by various denizens of the Underdark, who found that the ancient and mighty binding spells originally set to stabilize and guard the tomb made it an ideal lair. Many adventurers explored the crypt, only some of whom ever emerged.
The most recent group from the Realms Below to occupy the Crypt of the Worm was a druuth—a band of four to six doppelgangers, led by an illithid named Ulithdaraeyl. This druuth—known as Ulithdarae—used the crypt as a base a base from which they stealthily stalked and raided passing caravan merchants, controlling the minds of unfortunate victims to make them lure many others to a mindless doom. In the Year of the Bright Blade (1347 DR), the Company of Six Swords defeated the mind flayer and its minions, but warned that the danger could well recur. (UIA pg 101)

Daggerford

(Village, 891): Four hundred years ago, a merchant’s son armed only with a dagger stood in a shallow spot in the Delimbiyr River and fought off a lizardfolk raiding party, slaying six before his family and the rest of the caravan arrived to drive the lizardfolk off and retake the ford. Now the proud community of Daggerford, a walled settlement of nearly forty small stone buildings and a small castle, sits on the south shore of the ford, keeping it clear for caravans and travellers moving along the Trade Way or headed east to Secomber and Loudwater.
Pwyll Greatshout (LG male human Ftr5) presently styles himself as the duke of Daggerford. He is served by a small militia, supplemented by hired adventurers who patrdl the local farms and hamlets.
Thanks to the constant traffic along the Trade Way, Daggerford has more than its normal share of shrines, temples, and
powerful priests, including full temples to Chauntea, Lathander, Shaundakul, Tempus, and Tymora.
Daggerford operates in Waterdeep’s long shadow. In Waterdeep, the expression “gone to Daggerford” is taken to mean “lying low outside the city.” Daggerford occasionally flirts with plans to expand its harbour and secure a portion of Waterdeep’s trade for itself. This plan is popular with the town’s Council of Guilds, an organization whose members go masked like the Lords of Waterdeep (but lack the magical protections that keep their identities secret from determined magicians). Privately, Pwyll Greatshout believes that the council overestimates his town’s capabilities. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Darkhold

Since 1312 DR, Darkhold’s black walls and towering spires have been the Zhents’ western base of operations. The infighting caused by Bane’s death and subsequent resurrection has weakened Darkhold’s influence on the surrounding area but hasn’t loosened Zhent control of Darkhold itself.
The fort itself is a high-spired keep rising from a bare rocky spur on the side of the mountain named the Gray Watcher. The black stone used to build Darkhold came from a place far from the Western Heartlands. Darkhold’s massive doorways, corridors, and ceilings were constructed for giants. Legends variously ascribe the keep’s construction to the days when giants ruled all of Faerun or to elder elementals serving as slaves for the kingdom of Netheril.
Until Bane’s resurrection, the wizard Sememmon was Darkhold’s undisputed master. For an evil genius, Sememmon is a patient, observant, and wise man. He came into conflict with Fzoul Chembryl early in both their careers and has never sought or wished to fully repair the rift. When Bane died in 1358 DR, Sememmon held his own against Fzoul’s Xvim-sponsored machinations by managing his underlings wisely, consolidating his power in Darkhold, and avoiding conflict with Fzoul. When Bane returned and Fzoul established sole control of the eastern Zhents, Sememmon assessed his situation, chose the wisest course of action, and disappeared. Some of Fzoul’s supporters have quietly claimed that Fzoul eliminated Sememmon himself, but high-ranking Zhents are not sure.
Ashemmi (LE female moon elf Wiz11), Sememmon’s long-time consort and lover, disappeared at the same time as Sememmon. They withdrew to fight battles they could win, rather than keep a stronghold unlikely to survive against its original headquarters to the east.
At present, the citadel houses a permanent Zhent fighting force of eight hundred warriors, slightly reduced from the days when Sememmon held the Far Hills in perfect servitude. Fzoul seems content to let the various Zhent commanders in Darkhold spar for position, including the Pereghost (CE male human Ftr7/Chm5 of Cyric). All have sworn personal oaths of loyalty to the Zhentarim cause, although the strong Cyricist influence here galls Fzoul, who wants to see all of the Zhentarim under Bane’s dominion.
The intrigues and assassination attempts presently dominating Darkhold’s internal politics are not openly tolerated in the eastern Zhent holdings, but for the moment Darkhold’s feuds are being used to cull the weak. If a strong leader does  ot emerge soon, Fzoul will appoint his own commander, someone strong enough to deal with intrigues decisively. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Darkhold

The Darkhold is a high-spired keep of black stone that rises from a bare rocky spur on the side of the mountain known as the Grey Watcher (also called locally the “Grey Watcher of the Morning”).
The stone of this ancient tower is not of local origin, and the tower has alternately been reported as being created by an elemental during the reign of Netheril or as being built by giants as a citadel during the Giants Empire. Regardless, the structure is mammoth in human scale, with halls and a courtyard large enough to host entire battles. The castle has been known by many names through the years, including the Keep of the Far Hills, the Wild Hold, and Sunset Keep. It was seized by the Zhentarim in 1312 and has become a major base for the Black Network, rivalling the Citadel of the Raven.
Patrols from Darkhold roam the Far Hills north to Yellow Snake Pass and Skull Gorge and south to Asbravn, often sparring with the Red Cloaks of Asbravn and the Corm Orp militia.
Caravans controlled or guarded by Zhentarim forces make this place a regular stop when traveling to and from the Sword Coast.
Representatives of Darkhold can be found in merchant trains from northern Mirabar to southern Calimshan, and east to Zhentil Keep itself.
Darkhold is currently the base for 1,000 men-at-arms under the command of the wizard Sememmon (LE hm W15) and a strong force of rogues, warriors, wizards, and evil clerics. (FRCS2 pg 90)

Darkhold

Today, this black stone fortress is feared and hated by folk all over the Coast lands—and much farther afield in Faerûn—who’ve never seen it and hope never to. I am one of them. For obvious reasons, I dared not approach this grim stronghold—even in disguise—and can only tell you what I know of this place of death from questioning others, some of them long-lived and mighty in lore.
From this fortalice (small fort) in Darkhold Vale (a cleft high up on a rock shoulder of the huge mountain known as the Gray Watcher of the Morning), the Zhentarim now raid down into Sunset Vale more or less at will, using hippogriffs, hendar, foulwings, and even more fearsome aerial steeds as spies to seek out caravans, holds whose militias are elsewhere or weakened, and other easy prey. Travelers are advised to avoid Darkhold’s reach as much as possible and to be aware at all times that Darkhold ’s reach includes almost all of Sunset Vale by night or whenever the defenders of Vale settlements are busy elsewhere.
Once a castle of the Giant-Emperors, Darkhold was built for folk of giant stature. (Some sages say the Giant-Emperors were but slaves of the decadent archwizards of Netheril who had the castle built by an elemental. The giants styled themselves Emperors only after Netheril fell and they were left to their own devices.) To human senses, its halls, stairs, and chambers are vast—and icy cold in winter.

Most tales of lore agree that whatever the castle’s origin, it came to be inhabited by giants, proud and willful robberfolk who raided the lands around the castle (verdant Tunland, then grasslands inhabited by countless herds of wild beasts—not the swamp so much of it is today—and the halfling-held lands of Sunset Vale) at will. The giants repelled halfling attacks and bold dwarven and human probings with ease, but in the end slew each other. Two rival princes slaughtered their sire and all the other giants by poison, spells, traps, and hireswords in their mad struggle to eliminate each other. Some tales say they ended up fighting each other in the otherwise-deserted castle, stabbed each other’ and crawled off to separate hidden chambers to die. Their ghosts haunt the castle, striving for supremacy one over the other still, whispering so as to set one Zhent against another in an unending spectral struggle to rule the castle.
With all the giants dead, the Keep of the Far Hills stood empty. It was soon plundered by bold human and elven adventurers, and one of them, Othlong Blackhelm—he whom the ballads call the Robber Lord—made it his home.
He soon fell to treachery and his successor, Angarn Surfyst, used the castle as a base for brigandage in his turn. He, too, was slain by one of his followers, who set himself up as the Wolf Knight. History doesn’t even recall his name—his throat was cut by a lady captive in his bedchamber one night. She turned out to be a sorceress, and a colder, more cruel brigand than the rest, ruling Farkeep as Sarunn Thoon (the ballad “The Witch of the Far Cold Hill” tells her tale). She fell in her turn to a cabal of masked wizards who turned out to be mind flayers, and held the banditwarriors of the castle in mind-thrall until they died in service and only zombies were left.
Then a dragon struck—a white wyrm, most say though accounts vary. It laired in the keep until slain by a dwarf hero, Harristor Thunderswing, who later went under land to form his own clan in the Lightless Lands and was never seen again. The empty castle was roamed by monsters—histories record both a beholder and a leucrotta using it as a lair at various times—and then was taken by brigands. They were slain by an adventuring company, the Wildmen of the North, led by Brundar Tigerbane. He renamed the castle the Wild Hold and refortified it, but he fell in battle, along with most of his followers. The castle changed hands again.
A succession of petty rulers—some of whom styled themselves Lord Knight of the Far Hills, and at least one of whom called himself the Duke of Sunset Vale—held the castle for 200 years, holding sway over varying parts of Sunset Vale. Sunset Keep became a hold well known (if not respected) among merchants traveling between the Sword Coast and the Sea of Fallen Stars.
The rulers of the Keep raided passing trade, fought with those who sought to drive them out, and either prevailed or were cut down and supplanted in their turn by a new petty lordling who grew into another proud robber baron only to fall in his turn. At length one was left so weak by an attack that he and his few retainers perished under the claws and fangs of wolves and other monsters made bold by hard winter weather, and Sunset Keep became a monster hold again.
It gained the name of Darkhold when a lich-queen rose to rule it, extending her skeletal hand out over the Vale to raid and to rule much as her human predecessors had done. She used skeletal warriors, zombies, more sinister undead, and the monsters of the Keep who had submitted to her to enforce her rule. Those monsters of the Keep who did not submit, she destroyed.
Some say this lich-sorceress, Varalla, fought at the Battle of Bones. Others say she was an archsorceress of lost Netheril, freed from ages-long slumber by a monster smashing an inner wall of the Keep. Whatever the truth, Darkhold became a name of horror as word spread of the dark spells worked by Varalla to aid her undead minions as they raided far afield over the Coast lands and as far east as the outposts of Cormyr.
Tales of Varalla’s new spells lured the Zhentarim into attacking her. Using goblins who were promised easy treasure and mercenaries who weren’t told what they’d have to fight, the Zhentarim used their magic and Zhentilar troops to smash Darkhold’s defenders and inter-rupted the lich-queen at her studies deep in the castle. While she traded spells with Manshoon of the Zhentarim and his magelings (many of whom perished in the fray), the dark priest Fzoul Chembryl used magic to reach her and felled her with a special mace that worked similarly to a mace of disruption.

From that moment in 1312 DR on, Darkhold has been a Zhentarim base. It has grown into a fortress rivaling the Citadel of the Raven in importance if not in size. Now home to a thousand Zhentilar under the wizard Sememmon, magelings, and priests of Cyric, Darkhold is a waystop for Zhent caravans. Its patrols roam from Asbravn to Skull Gorge. Beware them! Don’t be lured by tales of mighty spells and secret ways by which to reach them! (VGttSC pg 177)

Darkhold

The Darkhold is a highspired keep of black stone that rises from a bare rocky spur on the side of the mountain known as “the Grey Watcher” (also called locally “the Grey Watcher of the Morning”). Small figures move along its battlements, giving an idea of the massive size of the Keep.
The stone of this ancient tower is not of local origin, and has been fused together in some unknown fashion into a single piece. Legend says that the tower was constructed by elementals commanded by a fell sorcerer in the waning day of Netheril (See THE LONELY MOOR). It is also said that the sorcerer, now a lich, still inhabits the secret ways and chambers beneath the keep.
The keep itself can house at least a thousand men-at-arms, though its present garrison numbers less than half that. The tunnels and storage cairns lace the mountainside beneath the keep, and a number of escape tunnels have been bored through the living rock by various owners. The keep has belonged to a number of organizations, wizards, and companies, and was most recently a bandit-hold before being “appropriated” by its present owners.
The fortress of Darkhold is part of the Black Network of the Zhentarim, and is presently the westernmost established refuge of that organization and their allies. Patrols from Darkhold roam the Far Hills north to Yellow Snake Pass and Skull Gorge and South to Asbravn, often sparring with the Red Cloaks of Asbravn and the Corm Orp militia. Caravans controlled or guarded by Zhentarim forces make this place a regular stop when traveling to and from the Sword Coast, and representative of Darkhold can be found in merchant trains from northern Mirabar to southern Calimshan, and east to Zhentil Keep itself.
Darkhold is currently the base for 400 men-at-arms, under the command of two fifth level fighters from Zhentil Keep, Beldrar and Hlestin. The Keep commander is thought to be the 12th level mage, Sememmon of the Zhentarim.
A Darkhold patrols normally numbers 20 troops led by a second level fighter. They are normally dressed in banded mail, carry crossbows and long swords. Those within ten miles of the keep will be foot patrols, while those beyond that range will be mounted on medium horse, and in addition carry lances. (FRCS1 pg 37)

Dragonspear Castle

This famous ruined fortress dominates the long, lonely run of the Trade Way south from Daggerford (past the High Moor), The once-mighty castle of the adventurer Daeros Dragonspear has become home, over the centuries, to a succession of fell beasts and monsters, from orc armies to dragons and dark fiends. Scoured out repeatedly by intrepid adventuring bands, its crumbling, plundered halls are taken as a lair by brigands or monsters, only to be cleansed again.
A decade ago, armies from Waterdeep and the other trading towns of the west mustered to purge Dragonspear of fiends who had slipped into Faerun via a portal in the castle’s lower levels. Priests of Tempus erected a shrine within the castle walls to keep a lid on Dragonspear’s monstrous emigrants, but the shrine exists in a state of perpetual siege against bugbears, chitines, devils, drow, orcs, quaggoths, and other beings that find a way into Dragonspear through the Underdark. Adventurers who visit Dragonspear to assist the Tempuran defenders will be gratefully received and allowed any plunder they can wrest from the castle’s unwelcome denizens. (FRCS3 pg 295)

Dragonspear Castle

This infamous ruin lies to the east of the Trade Way, approximately 150 miles south of the Way Inn. The castle sits atop three hillocks on the western edge of the High Moor, south of the Misty Forest, Dragonspear Castle looms over traffic along the Trade Way (which passes some 300 feet in front of the castle).
The outer ward consists of nine great towers and a great gate, all in ruins, linked by a spear-shaped outer wall, filled with holes and breached sections. The outer ward rambles around the slopes of the three hillocks. Each tower consists of four floors, plus a roof and a small basement, although many of the floors have collapsed, fully or partially. Although wandering monsters occasionally take up residence in the towers of the outer ward, all are currently unoccupied. It is possible to enter the outer ward by way of the old gatehouse or by climbing over a low spot in the rubble of the walls.
Inside the outer ward, scattered weeds and debris cling to the rocky hillside. Passage through the outer bailey is treacherous due to the many small delvings dug beneath now vanished stone cottages by the former inhabitants. The ruins of five rectangular structures still stand to the south of the Inner Ward, but all are unoccupied.
The inner ward consists of a strong ring of four towers and an inner gate surrounding the massive central keep. The  towers are in reasonable repair, and some effort has been directed towards repairing the inner ward gates, which are now barred from the inside. Each tower consists of four floors, plus a roof and a small basement. The ring towers serve as sparsely furnished barracks for the Tempuran garrison.
Dragonspear Keep stands at the centre of the Inner Ward atop the highest of the three hillocks on which the castle is built. The keep is a great, circular stone tower, six stories in height, not including the roof or the cellars below. Two lesser towers flank the only door into the keep. These lesser towers both contain spiral staircases linking every floor
but the roof. (The roof is reached via a trapdoor in the ceiling of the topmost room.) The main doors open onto the keep’s great hall, which is dominated by the bones of a long-dead wyrm draped across a shattered stone feasting table. (UIA pg 100)

Dragonspear Castle

Actually located slightly to the south and west of the High Moor itself, Dragonspear Castle is without a doubt the most infamous ruin in the region. At least it’s the one people ask me about the most. (I guess I can’t be sure of its reputation in Cormyr or Tethyr.) While it is not on the moor proper, it has had several effects on the High Moor in its long and bloody history.
The builder of the citadel was supposedly a human-dwarf crossbreed (sure, right) who befriended a copper dragon and then built a castle around the lair of the dragon. A few copper dragons have dwelt in the region, so this part of the story is pretty plausible. Anyway, the rumors say that this man-dwarf and his dragon scoured the moors to kill orcs, trolls, and other creatures who made their homes there. According to legend, he almost succeeded. This part of the story has been corroborated, at least in part. I have seen evidence that, at about the right time in the past to correspond with the story, the trolls and orcs of the region were decimated. Some goblinkin folklore even indicates that the orcs were completely destroyed at that time. It was their absence that gave other humanoids the chance to move into the area, along with new tribes of orcs. Naturally, this wreaked havoc on the ecology of the region for quite some time, and the repercussions are still felt to some degree.
Anyway, the castle’s builder died not long after he wrecked the ecology of the High Moor, and the castle was then ruined by a wizard. This wizard also set up the first gate within Dragonspear that allowed baatezu to come to this plane. As one might imagine (at least if one has been paying any attention to what I’ve been saying), this again radically changed the local ecology.
Baatezu are avid hunters and are quite organized. Fortunately, their appetites lead them to people as prey, so the normal inhabitants of the High Moor were able to adapt fairly readily to the presence of the baatezu, at least as far as I can tell. (Remember that the High Moor was at the same time suffering from the loss of the trolls and orcs.)
Dragonspear for centuries has then served as a marshalling centre for various groups including lizard men, ophidians, and a large variety of goblinkin. Baatezu, though rare, have become a part of the local ecology. Magical items from the ruin have also escaped on occasion to make things interesting. Trolls, goblinkin, and human brigands still lurk in the
castle. While the gate is supposedly neutralized, or at least guarded, baatezu still linger in the area (EEA2HM pg 10)

Dragonspear Castle

This vast, ruined sprawl of high walls and toppled spires that is visible from the Trade Way is only 100 years of age. It was originally the home of Daeros Dragonspear, who built the stronghold at the height of his adventuring career. Daeros was slain some 70 winters ago (1290 DR) in battle with the forces of the evil wizard Casalia. Daeros’s company of skilled warriors repelled a number of attacks, but in the end the entire company was slain or driven away, and the citadel was plundered. Dragonspear castle was soon afterward beset by other evil spellcasters and brigands seeking the gold and treasure reported to have been left or hidden within.
The ruined fortress fell empty for a time, and thereafter served as the temporary home to small groups of bandits or outcast mages. These would prosper for a few years raiding the caravans of the Trade Way until driven out themselves by mercenary companies from Waterdeep or by Khelben and his colleagues in wizardry.
In recent years, some evil agent allied with the orcs, trolls, and bugbears of the High Moor succeeded in opening a gate to a lower plane within the castle. Strengthened by a growing army of fiends, the combined forces of the High Moors tribes devastated the area from the Way Inn to Boareskyr Bridge, such that today that part of the Trade Way is not considered safe territory.
In the face of the extraplanar incursion, armies were raised in Waterdeep and elsewhere to clear the Trade Way and destroy the evil at Dragonspear. The attempt to empty the castle met with heavy resistance, and the battle continued for almost two years before the castle was again cleared. Most of the structure was burned in the process, leaving an empty shell on the moors.
The wreckage of Dragonspear Castle is considered desolate, though priests of Tempus have set up a small shrine within the castle walls in hopes of keeping evil creatures from using it as a base again. Few inhabitants of the Sword Coast will camp near the castle by choice, and rumors persist of excavations that pre-date Daeros’s fortress and of a still-operational gate. In recent years, the numbers of nonhuman and evil troops have again swelled, and fiends are once again assumed to be active in the area. (FRCS2 pg 91)

Dragonspear Castle

Dragonspear Castle is a sprawling ruin situated on a trio of low hillocks to the east of the Trade Way. It appears desolate and abandoned.
This vast, ruined sprawl of high walls and toppled spires visible from the Trade Way is little more than a hundred years of age. it was originally the home of Daeros Dragonspear, who built the stronghold at the height of his adventuring career.
Daeros was slain some sixty winters ago in battle with the forces of the evil wizard Casalia. Dragonspear castle was soon afterwards beset by other evil spell-casters and brigands seeking to gold and treasure within. Daeros’ company of skilled warriors repelled a number of these attacks, but in the end the entire company was slain or driven away, and the citadel was plundered.
The ruined fortress fell empty for a time, and thereafter served as temporary home to small groups of bandits or outcast mages. These would prosper for a few years raiding the caravans of the Trade Way until driven out themselves by mercenary companies from Waterdeep, or by Khelben and his colleagues-at-magery.
In recent years, some evil agent allied with the orcs, trolls, and bugbears of the High Moor succeeded in opening a gate to the Nine Hells within the castle. Strengthened by a growing army of devilkind, the combined forces of the High Moors tribes devastated the area from The Way Inn to Boarskyr Bridge, such that today that part of the Trade Way is not considered safe territory.
In the face of the Diabolic incursion, armies were raised in Waterdeep and elsewhere to clear the Trade Way and destroy the evil at Dragonspear. The attempt to empty the castle met with heavy resistance, and the battle continued for almost two years before the castle was again cleared. Most of the structure was burned in the process, leaving an empty shell on the moors,
The wreckage of Dragonspear Castle is considered desolate, though priests of Tempus have set up a small shrine within the castle walls, in hopes of keeping evil creatures from using it as a base again. Few inhabitants of the Sword Coast will camp near the Castle by choice, and rumors persist of excavations that predate Daeros’ fortress, and of a still-operational gate. (FRCS1 pg 39)

Dragonspear Fields

The territory surrounding Dragonspear Castle, some 10 miles in diameter, are known as Dragonspear Fields. This area saw some of the heaviest fighting during the recent Dragonspear War. The Dragonspear Fields are littered with the graves of the fallen,  most of them hastily dug and unmarked. Over the past year, increasing numbers of undead, many of them tainted by diabolic energies, have been encountered wandering the Dragonspear Fields, threatening passing caravan traffic and animal life in the region. Reports also speak of a ragewalkerMM3, who now stalks the land. (UIA pg 100)

Dragon’s Rest

This hard-to-reach cliffside ledge with its breath-taking panoramic views of the Hark River and fierce, buffeting winds has become a favourite ‘resting place’ for dragons seeking to demonstrate their power and mastery of the Weave. Although many wyrms have sought to claim it, none has held it for more than a season, as the breath of Talos seems to sweep away any who stay overlong. Nevertheless, Faerûn’s great dragons return time and again, as the ledge is a potent site for enhancing air and divination magic and reaching it requires great wing strength and challenging aerial manoeuvres. (UIA pg 43)

Drawn Swords

This small village occupies a solitary crag. The crag is located just east of Northdark Wood and halfway between the Hill of Lost souls and Hill’s Edge.
Drawn Swords is named for several hard-fought battles here in the past, plus the vigilance that all who dwell there must maintain if they’re to live long enough to see another morn. In the past, a combined human and elven force smashed an orc realm at this location. In another past battle, elves put humans planning to found a realm of their own to flight.
From the distance, the traveler will see a broken stone tower atop a steep crag. The tower is surrounded by a ring of trees and a few unfenced cultivated plots. The tower is an old robber-knight’s keep, now partly in ruins.
The keep at the crest of the crag (called Swordskeep) provides a lookout, a shelter for food stores, and an armory. The local farmers and hunters, who dwell in stone-and-sod cottages on the steep slopes of the crag, retreat here when beset by large orc tribes, raiding trolls, and the like.
The village numbers perhaps 80 folk, about 20 of whom are usually off hunting. The village keeps a constant watch for approaching creatures of all sorts, and can muster over 40 expert archers. The usual defense of this often-attacked village is to fire volleys of arrows, retreat up the slopes to the next ring of cottages, fire all the arrows there, retreat again, and so on. Each home has at least eight quivers of 20 shafts each hung up just inside the door for easy access in a hurry. At least two quivers will be fire arrows, their shafts wrapped in cloth that has been soaked in pitch and is ready for lighting with a firebrand.
A giant triple crossbow set up on the top surviving floor of the tower can hurl its bolts far enough to surprise many an enemy and hard enough to pierce three trolls standing one behind the other. Shafts are often set aflame just before firing in order to illuminate enemies attacking by night or to slay trolls.

It’s surprising that such a small, isolated village has an inn, but the place serves as a base for many adventuring bands and a group of guides and swords-for-hire. This last group is known as Saern’s Sharp Swords. Their founder and original leader, the warrior Saern, was killed over 20 winters ago in a winter skirmish with hobgoblins north of the village. The importance of the village, the existence of the inn, and the inn’s Harper defenses and probable ownership are due to an ancient gate located in a room of its own on the ground floor of the old keep. The gate appears as a shimmering blue upright oval of silent, dancing, cold fire. This two-way portal operates continuously. It allows regular supply shipments to reach the village. The gate also permits the constant passing back and forth of adventurers and hunters wanting to quickly reach the heart of the Backlands or Northdark Wood, which offers splendid bear and stag hunting. The operation of the portal also permits a constant flow of captured monsters or the trophies of slaughtered monsters from the frontier to Berdusk. Everything from heads and antlers to exotic innards destined for sale by apothecaries and purveyors of magical ingredients passes through. Berdusk then offers both overland and riverborne connections for travel and trade. (VGttSC pg 126)

Dungeon of the Hark

The ruined village of Moorsedge lies near the northern edge of the High Moor, high atop a bluff that overlooks the placid waters of the Highmoorflow below. Founded by humans, halflings, and other Lawkeeper races in the Year of the Glimmering Sea (602 DR), the villagers hoped to profit from quarrying the marble deposits in the region and from the trade passing from the southern Greypeak Mountains to the Sword Coast.
The villagers achieved a measure of prosperity in the decades after settlement’s founding, but their luck ran out when one merchant, in the course of expanding a wine cellar, accidentally broached an ancient cavern complex of the Undermoor, releasing a powerful roper-ghaunadan hybrid named Xuchallit, whose origin dated back to the Dark Disaster.
As Phalorm collapsed, Xuchallit and his ghaunadan minions gradually seized control of Moorsedge, only to be defeated when the Kingdom of Man reestablished control of the region, leaving Xuchallit trapped again within the ruins.
A few decades ago, a bandit lord, known only as the Hawk (pronounced “Hark” in the regional accent, the source of later confusion about the name of the place), gathered about him a company of black-hearted rogues and claimed the ruins of Moorsedge as his lair. Preying on passing caravans, the Hawk and his followers grew wealthy in the years that followed, but the group’s lair was never discovered thanks to the bandit leader’s cunning. In preparation for the eventual possibility that his lair the forces of law in the region would be attacked, the Hawk employed captives seized during caravan raids and held for ransom to expand the tunnels beneath the village, creating a subterranean redoubt into which he and his followers could retreat.
Unbeknownst to his followers, the Hawk was a lycanthrope, a true wererat. Over time, he slowly infected the other bandits and the occasional prisoner until the entire gang was composed of wererats. The Hawk’s infamy grew as bards spread tales of his exploits enhanced by the added horror of his bestial nature, and many tellers of tales took to calling the bandit lord’s hidden lair the Dungeon of the Hark. Eventually, adventurers traced the wererat gang back to the ruins of Moorsedge, forcing the bandits to retreat ever deeper into the subterranean catacombs when such groups came calling.
The Hawk’s downfall came in the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR), when his followers accidentally tunnelled into the catacombs of Xuchallit and released the shape-shifting oozes once again. Within a few short weeks, the Hawk was a prisoner in his own lair and the other wererats who served him were slain and replaced by ghaunadan, who could adopt the guise of a wererat as easily as that of any other humanoid form. Xuchallit and his minions have continued the Hawk’s long-standing practice of raiding caravans in the regions, bringing in wealth by which Xuchallit can continue to expand his power in the region. (UIA pg 43)

Dungeon of the Hark

This ruin sits atop the cliffs at the northern edge of the High Moor plateau. It was once a fine village, and several of its buildings have been restored to house a band of wererat bandits that raid traffic along the south branch of the River Shining. After raids, the wererats retreat to the ruins. If attacked there, they can retreat into an extensive underground complex.
Beneath the ground are a few tunnels connected with the remains of the village. Beyond those corridors lie several entrances to the Undermoor, where such creatures as ropers, ogres, and even a rare illithid or two roam near the locale. The Dungeon of the Hark (named for the first leader of the wererat band) is an easy-to-access entrance to the Undermoor and is also an easy place for the creatures of the Undermoor to reach the surface. (EEA2HM pg 11)

Dungeon of the Swords

Somewhere in the Serpent Hills due east of the High Moor lies an abandoned, gnome silver mine: several underground rooms connected to a worked-out shaft. It served several adventuring parties as a home before the Cult of the Dragon found it—infested with monsters and guarded by deadly animated, flying magic swords. Still unsecured after the deaths of several Cultists, it’s said to hold in its depths a one-way portal to the northern Evermoors. (FRCS3 pg 295)

Dungeon of the Swords

This mysterious dungeon, supposedly a remnant of ancient Netheril, is built around a crypt. The crypt supposedly houses a forgotten war hero, possibly one who participated in the wars pursued by Netheril itself—or one who may have lived and perished soon after the fall of Netheril. Some legends suggest that this hero created dozens of magical blades. Other tales declare that he simply collected the blades. Some stories suggest that he was actually from distant Anauria, a land known for its magic and swordmaking. In any case, several magical blades are said to have already been discovered in this place—and the hero’s actual burial place and his tomb’s treasure chambers have not yet been uncovered!
The entrance to the dungeon is supposed to be a natural cavern with passages that lead to a deep chasm. On the far side of the chasm worked passages can be seen. Those adventuring parties who have managed to cross the chasm say that the corridors are nothing short of wondrous, with magical blades on display in several areas guarded by elaborate magical wards and traps. In addition, undead warriors, both skeletal and ghostly, guard parts of the crypt complex.
The Dungeon of Swords has many levels, and in addition to its undead guardians (most of whom seem limited to certain areas within the dungeon), it is said to house many other denizens, including many reptiles from the area it lies under and creatures of the Underdark. The adventurers who reported the Dungeon’s initial layout to me chose not to search further after they discovered the undead hazards (EEA2SH pg 30)

Dungeon of Swords

The Dungeon of Swords lies in the heart of the southern Serpent Hills. The only access is via a natural cavern that opens on the shadowed face of a small hill. From there, a narrow shaft leads down to a series of worked mining tunnels and small rooms carved decades ago by the rock gnomes of Clan Argentum.
In the Year of the Gate (1341 DR), the gnomes were forced to stop mining for silver when they broke through to a natural chasm in the earth. On the far side of the gorge, the gnomes d iscovered an ancient Netherese crypt, buried long ago by the s ame earthquake that had sealed off the chasm. A handful of gnome warriors dared the crypt’s forechambers, only to fi nd them guarded by animated fl ying swords, elaborate magical wards and traps, and ghostly and skeletal warriors.
The gnomes fl ed in panic, but reports of their discovery inspired a succession of adventuring bands to take up residence in the gnome clan’s former living chambers and explore deeper into the crypt. A careful study of the tomb’s inscriptions by the second company that entered revealed that it was the Tomb of Thausimbel Thardresk, the greatest king of the distant and now-fallen realm of Anauria, which was renowned for swordmaking and gems.
In the Year of the Unstrung Harp (1371 DR), agents of the Cult of the Dragon drove out the last of the adventuring bands and began to mount their own forays into the Dungeon of Swords. After battling many lizardfolk and other reptilian horrors that had crept down from the surface and taken up residence in the catacombs over the years, the Dragon Cultists discovered that the Tomb of Thausimbel Thardresk was but a false front for many hidden levels and additional crypts below. An initial foray into these lower levels revealed the presence of numerous portals but eventually proved disastrous because of the many Underdark creatures that had migrated up from below (including a mature adult deep dragon). After slaying the wyrm, the Dragon Cultists were forced to retreat from its mate through a randomly chosen portal that deposited them amongst some ancient, sunken ruins in the depths of the Evermoors. (SK pg 107)

Durlag’s Tower

Durlag’s Tower stands like a single massive fang atop a wall of volcanic rock that rises out of the otherwise smooth plains rolling south of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. Durlag’s Tower was built by the dwarven hero Durlag Trollkillor. Durlag  had an extreme case of what the dwarves call “goldeneye,” an overwhelming lust for treasure.
During his adventuring career he behaved honourably, but in the last years of his life Durlag retired to his lair and devoted himself to creating a “gift” to future generations of adventurers. His tower is so full of magical treasures that it makes casters of detect magic spells dizzy. Magic wards, mechanical traps, and malevolent automatons ensure that adventurers who wish to depart with their lives, much less any part of Durlag’s treasure, need to fight as hard as Durlag did to amass his hoard.
New rumours always surface that some new fiend has defeated the wards and taken residence in the tower. The truth is not so simple. At various times, a dragon, a squadron of will-o’-wisps, and an illithid have taken “command” of the tower, but in all cases the occupants eventually discovered that the tower had outsmarted them, turning them into a temporary part of its own defences rather than actually yielding its secrets. At any time, multiple parties or monsters might be within the tower, fighting for a chance to take control, plunder, or escape.
Information on the current denizens of the tower is available for a small price in the tiny human and gnome settlement named Gullykin, a couple of miles from Durlag’s Tower. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Durlag’s Tower

South of the Wood of Sharp Teeth a dike of hard rock juts from the plains. Atop this pinnacle is a single, massive tower. It is in good repair, but seems unoccupied. This local landmark is the isolated keep of Durlag Trollkiller, son of Bolhur, a dwarven hero said to have massed treasure in legendary proportions and stored it here and in a few other choice locations. This treasure is protected by all manner of magical wards and mechanical traps, the latter of Durlag’s own devising.
The tower itself, built entirely of volcanic stone and in fair condition given the amount of time and neglect involved, lies atop a volcanic plug that dominates the surrounding lands. Durlag, aided by hired dwarves, is said to have hollowed out the mountain for the rock that made up his tower and used the space created to hide further treasure. Durlag is now long dead, and many have come seeking his treasure over the decades, with varying degrees of success. Within the last 50 years, a new power of fell majesty has taken up residence within the remains of the tower and uses the defenses created by Durlag to keep both itself and the treasure safe. (FRCS2 pg 91)

Durlag’s Tower

This massive, isolated keep stands atop a rock pinnacle south of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. Only adventurers should approach this seemingly deserted fortress—death awaits within.
The tower was built by Durlag Trollkiller, son of Bolhur “Thunderaxe” the Clanless. Durlag was a great hero of the dwarves, an adventurer who slew several dragons single-handedly and over a long and successful career amassed a great hoard of treasure. One dwarf who dwelt in the tower with Durlag for a time spoke of rooms full of gems and a great hall strewn with dusty heaps of gold coins. “We took what we needed, freely,” he said.
With the aid of hired dwarves, Durlag dug many chambers and passages in the tor and raised the lone tower above it, planning it as a seat where he could found a dwarven community and grow old in peace, surrounded by happy, prosperous kin.

Instead, dopplegangers, organized and aided by foul mind flayers, slew and impersonated Durlag’s companions. After the shocked dwarf discovered the first impersonation, he was attacked by all the others and spent a terror-filled tenday frantically fighting his way around his own fortress, chased by monsters who wore dwarven forms but sought his death.

In the end, alone and victorious, he was powerless to stop the last fleeing pair of illithids. Fearful they’d return, Durlag hired the best craftfolk he could find in Waterdeep and Neverwinter and began to rebuild his tower and the tor beneath as an elaborate succession of traps, magical wards, secret passages, sliding prison chambers, and triggered weapons—perhaps the most extensive assembly of such deadly devices in all Faerûn. A succession of spell wards were added, linked to at least three ward tokens. Unfortunately, no one alive today knows just which tokens control what areas. All three function as keys to pass magically held doors.
These traps are known to include shield portals, which are carved stone shields linked magically so that a dart, axe, or other missile weapon hurled into one would emerge from another, elsewhere in the tower. The shields themselves function as permanent wizard eyes or crystal balls, allowing an unseen watcher to observe from afar.
Other traps include massive stone swing-hammers set behind false doors. When the doors are opened, a massive
stone ram bursts forward from behind them to smash intruders against a far wall. There are also climbing shafts inset with ladders of metal rungs.
Touching certain rungs causes all of them to retract into the stone so that climbers fall, or triggers metal blades to shoot out from the seams between the stone wall blocks, transfixing climbers.
Deeply suspicious of all Faerûn anyone could be a foe seeking to betray him for his gold!—Durlag retreated inside his tower, defending it against the adventurers he knew would come, lured by tales the trapbuilders would inevitably tell. They came—and fell or fled before the traps and the axe of Durlag himself, who would creep up via secret passages to strike from the shadows.
For several centuries things went on like this, as the increasingly eccentric Durlag lived on fungi and mushrooms growing in the deepest caverns—and, it is cruelly whispered, the bodies of intruders (although this has never been substantiated). At length he died, and presumably his bones still lie in some inner room or passage, guarded—along with his riches—by the thousands of traps built to defend his home.
Every season adventurers mount new expeditions to Durlag’s Tower from Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep, armed by the exhaustive maps and notes of earlier bands. Every year, they get a room or two deeper into the deadly maze before giving up and bringing back the bodies of those victims they could get out.
Unfortunately, in recent years the tower has acquired new inhabitants: a dozen or more will o’ wisps that seem to work in organized groups to battle those who win past the traps, and that feed on those who perish in them. Some say the will o’ wisps are led or directed by a gigantic wisp with fey spell-hurling powers, but others report seeing illithids accompanying the wisps. Some hold the view that the mind flayers are controlling the wisps, and others that the mind flayers are servants of the rumored Over-Wisp just as the lesser wisps are. The truth remains a mystery for now—and will be revealed, I suspect, only at a very high price in the lives of adventurers. (VGttSC pg 90)

Durlag’s Tower

South of the Wood of Sharp Teeth a plug of hard rock juts from the plains. Atop this pinnacle is a single, massive tower. It is in good repair, but seems unoccupied.
This local landmark is the isolated keep of a dwarven hero of old. Durlag “Trollkiller,” son of Bolhur, massed treasure in legendary proportions and stored it here and in a few other choice locations. This treasure was protected by all manner of magical wards and mechanical traps, the latter of his own devising.
The tower itself, built entirely of volcanic stone and in fair condition given the amount of time and neglect involved, lies atop a volcanic plug that dominates the surrounding lands.
Durlag, aided by hired dwarves, is said to have hollowed out the mountain for the rock that made up his tower, and used the space created to hide further treasure. Durlag is now long dead, and many have come seeking his treasure over the decades, with varying degrees of success. Within the last twoscore of years, a new power of fell majesty has taken up residence within the remains of the tower, and uses the defenses created by Durlag to keep both itself and the treasure safe. (FRCS1 pg 40)

Easting

Easting is a small town east of Iriaebor (hence its name), and is typical of such small communities. Three things set it apart from other similar (and often unnoticed) communities throughout the Western Heartlands. While other communities might have a notable product, a significant nonhuman population, or a famed inhabitant, they rarely have all three like Easting does.
Easting’s small size and location make it a meeting spot for dwarven merchants working out of hidden delves in the Far Hills. Their smith work is above the human average, and individuals wishing to contact such craftsmen or to contact dwarven communities usually start in Easting.
Easting is the home of Rulthaven the sage, whose area of expertise lies in the study of plants (sage ability 19) and their uses, including herbs and poisons. Rulthaven is true neutral, and is consulted both by priests of good and  representatives from Darkhold.
Finally, Easting is the home of at least four noted horse breeders whose stables do a brisk trade in remounting travelers journeying from the Sword Coast to the Inner Sea. Their prices remain competitive (FRCS2 pg 91)

Easting

Situated east of Irieabor, the town of Easting is a small community of less than 40 buildings within the town proper.
Easting is a small town east of Iriaebor (hence its name), and typical of such small communities. Three things set it apart from other similar communities:
Easting’s small size and location near the Far Hills make it a meeting spot for dwarven merchants working out of hidden delves in the Far Hills. Their smithy-work is above the human average, and individuals wishing to contact such craftsmen or dwarven communities usually start in Easting.
Easting is the home of Rulthaven the sage, whose area of expertise lies in the study of plants and their uses, including herbs and poisons. Rulthaven is a “true” neutral, and is frequented both by clerics of good and representatives of Darkhold.
Finally, Easting is the home of at least four noted horse-breeders, whose stables do a brisk trade in remounting travelers journey from the Sword Coast to the Inner Sea. Their prices remain competitive. (FRCS1 pg 41)

Eldath’s Water

In the depths of the Misty Forest lies a druid grove and pool sacred to Eldath the Green Goddess. Legend holds that
worshipers of the Goddess of Singing Waters may visit Eldath’s True Grove before their deaths by entering the pool’s clear, crystalline waters. Like other locations sacred to Eldath around Faerûn, the waters are said to contain a portal to the True Grove. (UIA pg 46)

Elturel

(Large City, 22,671): If Elturel’s ruler, High Rider Lord Dhelt (LG male human Pal17 of Helm), were an evil man, his city’s position atop a cliff that dominates the River Chionthar would cause no end of trouble for the other trading cities of the region. Fortunately for the peace and prosperity of the Chionthar valley, Dhelt confines his competitive instincts to running the safest, best policed, and most efficient trading and farming community in the Western Heartlands. In these harsh lands, civilization depends on military power, and Elturel proves the rule with a crack army of two hundred mounted warriors known as the Hellriders. Caravans and riverboat convoys take routes into Elturel’s zone of control just so that they can relax and leave a day or two of vigilance to Lord Dhelt’s soldiers. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Elturel

Situated on a bluff overlooking the River Chionthar, Elturel is divided between a lower city, called the Dock District, and an upper city, called the High District. In size and general capabilities it is similar to its rival upriver, Scornubel. Elturel was founded here both for its defensive position, and for the narrowness and shallowness of the Chionthar at this point, where it is crossable by poling barges.

Elturel is known for its strong, well-equipped mounted troops, the Hell Riders, who patrol and provide caravan escort from Waterdeep to Iriaebor. It is also a major center for the Dragoneye Dealing Coster.
Elturel is governed by High Rider Lord Dhelt (LG hm Pa116), former leader of the Hell Riders. Dhelt shares the protective nature of his troops. A paladin dedicated to the cause of Helm, Dhelt is viewed as a tolerant and respected man who actively encourages trade and leaves the merchants to their jobs with little interference. He is interested in seeing Elturel unseat Scornubel as the major trading town between Waterdeep and Iriaebor.
Elturel has two major temples and a smattering of shrines. Helm’s Shieldhall is the most powerful church in the city, and remains one of the strongest churches of Helm in the North, primarily due to the patronage of Lord Dhelt. The Shieldhall is run with an iron hand by High Watcher Bereldum Shondar (LN hm P18), an aggressive defender of the faith, who is served by 21 underclerics of various levels. The other major temple is the High Harvest Home, the temple of Chauntea. It is overseen by Raulauvin Oregh (NG hm P20) and 18 of her clerical followers. Elturel also features shrines to Ilmater, Tempus, Tymora, and Lliira (formerly Waukeen). (FRCS2 pg 92)

Elturel

This city is the farming center of the Fields of the Dead, and its Hellriders guard and police not only Elturel, but much of the farmed and settled portions of the Fields along the Skuldask Road, the Dusk Road, and both banks of the River Chionthar. The long patrols of the Hellriders, 30 riders strong, pass along the roads every four hours, night and day. The upkeep of the patrols is aided by lodges (stockaded outposts) placed strategically within their patrol area, where food, water, flammables, weapons, and fresh mounts are kept for them. These lodges are protected against arson and casual theft by strong wards, one of the tokens for which is shown below.
Elturel is ruled wisely and well by High Rider Lord Dhelt, a paladin of Helm who is ever-vigilant when it comes to the defense of his city—and to lawless elements who might skulk in to do business in it. A just, no-nonsense ruler who leads patrols on the road as often as any of his war captains, Dhelt keeps the city a clean, law-abiding place, a firm member of the Lords’ Alliance. His 2,000 Hellriders are superbly equipped and trained—a fearsome fighting force equalled by few realms in Faerûn, Hellriders must be skilled at the use of horse bow, lance, and saber before they are allowed to ride the roads.
Travelers can rejoice in the safety of Elturel’s reach, which extends as far as Triel along the Dusk Road, as far as the intersection with Thundar’s Ride along the Skuldask Road to the north, as far as Scornubel along the Chionthar upstream, as far south toward Berdusk as Windstream Lodge (one of the Hellrider lodges), and as far downstream along the Chionthar as Stone Eagle Lodge (another Hellrider lodge). It’s easy to tell these boundaries. Sheep and cattle wander on all sides when you’are inside them, and brush is cut back, with hedged and stone-walled farms here and there. Outside Elturel’s sway, farms and livestock are gone, and scrub trees and shrubs are everywhere.

Elturel thrives on trade. It’s a city of folk passing through. Barge trade on the Chionthar meets overland trade in the city where a six-wagon ferry crosses the river. The heart of the city is a cliff-sided tor, a natural stronghold that was held by trolls and then orcs before humans drove them out and first settled here. Its south or river end is capped by the soaring turrets of High Hall, the castle from which the High Rider rules. A long, wooded park runs along the ridgetop of the heights, watered by a spring that rises in the cellars of High Hall and runs down the Winter Garden to cascade off the tor at the northern end in a spectacular series of falls known as Maidens’ Leap. (VGttSC pg 93)

Elturel

Situated on a bluff overlooking the River Chionthar, Elturel is divided between a lower city, called The Dock District, and an upper city, called the High District. In size and general capabilities it is similar to its rival, Scornubel, upriver.
This agricultural and trade center is known for its strong, well-equipped mounted troops, “the HellRiders,” who patrol and provide caravan escort from Waterdeep to Iriaebor.
The HellRiders are a closeknit organization that are extremely loyal to their leaders and to each other, and take their name from the story that a company of Riders had in the past ridden into Avernus, first of the layers of the Nine Hells. The Hellriders are of levels 1-6, usually fighters, with a mixture of clerics thrown in, and led by Marshal of 6th level. They ride in plate mail of crimson and white, marked with an upturned crescent.
One-tenth of all the earnings of the HellRiders go to the coffers of Elturel. Elturel is governed by High Rider Lord Dhelt, former leader of the HellRiders. Elturel is a 12th level cavalier, and shares the protective nature of his men. Bold, proud, and ruthless, he has been seeking ways to unseat Scornubel as the major trading town on the Trade Way between Waterdeep and Iriaebor. (FRCS1 pg 41)

Evereska

(Large City, 21,051): In the elven tongue, Evereska means “fortress home.” This great valley and the city within it, the only major settlement of moon and sun elves left on Faerun following the Retreat, is nestled between twelve high hills that function as natural walls. Access to this refuge exists only by air or through high passes guarded by elite elven sentinels. The approach to the city leads through a crescent-shaped valley of terraced vineyards and fruit gardens. The city of Evereska itself is a masterpiece of shaped stone and crafted trees, built for architectural impact and powerful defence.
Evereska’s rulers are the Hill Elders, elves of immense age, learning, and power. Thanks to the Hill Elders’ care and foresight, Evereska’s inhabitants are free to live deep within the elven mysteries. Some elves never leave Evereska for the outside world. Others guard the city with unceasing vigilance.
Most humans know of Evereska only through rumours or from seeing pointings or tiny sculptures given as presents to the elves’ most faithful friends. Stories tell of the strength of elven magic within the city, such as its inhabitants’ ability to walk straight up vertical surfaces as if they always benefited from spider climb spells. These effects (and more) come from a powerful mythal. The mythal’s greater powers, defensive abilities of elven high magic at the peak of its power, are seldom called upon. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Evereska

Evereska (Eh-ver-EH-ska, which means fortress home in the elven tongue) is a rich and fabled valley nestled in supposedly unbreathable mountains, tucked against the borders of Anauroch. It is one of the last large concentration of moon elves in the North, possibly in the Realms themselves.
Evereska is a high valley surrounded by mountains, its only entrances either well-guarded and difficult ascents or secret tunnels known to few. All good elven folk are welcome to this vale, and elven lore and wisdom are held in high esteem and cherished here down through the centuries.
This vale has been a refuge of the elven peoples for over 7,000 years and has never fallen to any outside attack. It is said to be guarded by the magics of the greater elven power Corellon Larethian. Several times in its long history, the mountain fortress has been attacked by goblins and orc armies, but these armies were eradicated by screaming magical bolts from the sky.
The High Valley of Evereska is removed from the common world by its altitude, and this may be why this region remains strongly elven while most of the rest of the elven nations have gone into Retreat. Frequent watchposts lace the mountains surrounding the domain and guards maintain constant vigilance, so that travelers seeking Evereska are usually discovered by the elven watchmen before they see the elves and before they get within 10 miles of the vale.
Those who seek to fly above the range have a similar problem, for the elves of Evereska maintain several flights of giant eagles that are used as mounts for the slenderer members of the race.
Those who seek to enter by magic (from another plane or by teleport) find all such magical methods foiled (perhaps by some gift from Corellon). The best method of entering Evereska is as an elf or in the company of elves in an open and honest method.
Of the vale itself, its resources are rich and abundant, dwarfing the meager resource of the wastes beyond its mountain walls. Temples of all the elven deities may be found within, with matriachs and patriarchs of very high level, as well as a college of elven and select half-elven mages who make their specialty the Ethereal and Astral planes. (FRCS2 pg 92)

Evereska

Evereska is a rich and fabled valley nestled in unbreathable mountains, tucked against the borders of Anauroch. It is one of the last of the Elven Nations in the north.
With the Elven Court deserted and its inhabitants passing out of the Realms, Evereska is the last large concentration of silver elves in the North, possibly in the Realms themselves.
Evereska (which means “fortress home” in the elvish tongue) is a high valley surrounded by mountains, its only entrances either well-guarded and difficult ascents, or secretive tunnels known to few. All good elven folk are welcome to this vale, and elven lore and wisdom are held in high esteem and cherished down through the centuries.
This vale has been a refuge of the elven peoples for over seven thousand years, and has never fallen to any outside attack. It is said to be guarded by the Greater Power Corellon Larethian himself, when that Power is in the Forgotten Realms. Several times in its long history, the mountain fortress has been attacked by goblins and orc armies, but these armies have been eradicated by screaming magical bolts from the sky.
The High Valley of Evereska is removed from the common world by its altitude, and this may be why this region remains strongly elvish while most of the rest of the Elven Nations have gone into retreat. Constant guards and watchposts lace the mountains surrounding the domain, so that travelers seeking Evereska are usually discovered by the elvish watchmen first, before they get within five miles of the vale.
Those who seek to fly above the range have a similar problem, for the elves of Evereska maintain several wings of giant eagles, which are used as mounts for the slenderer members of the race. Those who seek to enter by magic (from another plane, or by teleport) will find all such magical methods foiled (perhaps some gift from Corellon). The best method of entering Evereska is as an elf or in the company of elves, in an open and honest method.
Of the vale itself, its resources are rich and abundant, dwarfing the meager resource of the wastes beyond its mountain walls. Temples of all the elvish deities may he found within, with Patriarchs of superior-level, as well as a “college” of elven and select half-elven mages who make their specialty the Ethereal and Astral Planes. (FRCS1 pg 43)

Far Hills

If they were not dwarfed by the peaks of the north and south branches of the Sunset Mountains, the Far Hills might be considered mountains themselves. It’s not the region’s rocky ridges, hidden valleys, and thick stands of twisted trees that keep travellers away—it’s the forbidding spires of Zhentil Keep’s western fortress, Darkhold. Until recently, Darkhold’s control on the region was absolute, but the mage Sememmon’s departure has led to confusion, conflict, and laxness among Darkhold’s defenders. (FRCS3 pg 223)

Fallen Giant Tomb

In ancient times, a great chieftain of the mountain giants, whose name has been lost, perished. His grieving followers carved a stone ridge into a semblance of his sleeping form. Much cracked and crumbled by the years, it remains an impressive, serene form over 200 feet long. There are the inevitable legends that it rises up to slay folk nearby on certain nights, but adventurers who’ve camped there tell me that the sculpted stone never moved. They warn, however, that if any blood—even from already-existing wounds or uncooked meat—is spilled on the slopes of the ridge or upon the stone form itself, four or more undead skeletons of mountain giants armed with spiked clubs erupt from the earth and seek to slay any living creatures who don’t flee the ridge immediately.
These guardians also appear whenever anyone digs on the ridge. There seems to be an endless supply of them. One old ranger claimed to have personally destroyed over 30 of them over the years. No one can excavate without continuous interruptions from erupting undead.
The giant chieftain is buried somewhere under the stone that bears his likeness. The way down to his tomb, which was presumably covered over by the giants who buried him, has been since totally obscured by time or deliberate working of the ground and is completely lost. The dwarves, giants, and elves all have tales of this tomb, tales that are surprisingly detailed—and in agreement about all of these details.
The giant lies buried beneath a bodyplate of solid, everbright silver, resting on a bed of stacked golden ingots, with his magical war hammer on his chest Each ingot must be worth over 100 gp if the descriptions of their size are true. There must be at least 2,000 of them in the tomb, and probably two or three times as many. Thrice war parties have found the buried giant and borne away his enchanted weapon, retreating from taking all the gold because of the undead guardians.
The war hammer is as large as a siege ram, but flies by itself, so people who can’t lift it can wield it by touching it and willing it to accompany them. They tow along the floating hammer rather as a mage can direct a Tenser’s floating disc. The war hammer can be directed to fly at an opponent,1 but it does this only six times before flying away to return to the tomb, which reseals itself. (VGttSC pg 128)

Far Hills

A low saddle of rocky, forbidding hills slung between the two arms of the Sunset Mountains, the Far Hills are only hills in comparison to those forbidding peaks. They are a rocky upland, broken only by hidden valleys and thick, twisted copses.
The Far Hills are dominated by Darkhold (see the entry on Darkhold for more details), and have fallen more and more under the effects of the Zhentarim there. The region is regularly patrolled by Zhentarim forces as far north as Yellow Snake Pass and as far south as the southern Sunset Mountains. These patrols are long-distance riders, and tend to be stronger than those close to Darkhold. (FRCS2 pg 93)

Fendarl’s Gate

This riverbank shepherds’ village stands on the north shore of the upper Chionthar between Berdusk and Iriaebor in a bight where the river bends sharply. It’s named for its long-ago founder, a warrior grown weary of wetting swords, who settled down here to farm and spent the rest of his days fighting off trolls.
His great-great-great-great-grandson now rules the Gate from a tiny castle perched on a rocky knob at the river’s edge, which is known as the Imperial Palace.
This is fitting, because the ruler of Fendarl’s Gate styles himself the High Knight-Emperor of the Vale. The real name of this fat, pompous little man is Eldebuck Thorm Fendarl. He leads an army of 14 splendid knights. The knights defend the Palace, which serves as the Gate’s mediocre inn. (It’s cold, dank, drafty, and lacking in privacy and proper lighting of evenings.) Expect to pay 10 gp for yourself and 4 gp for stabling each animal you bring for the honor of spending a night under the same roof as the High Knight-Emperor.
There’s little reason to visit the Gate unless you’re a wool or mutton merchant—or really enjoy eating. They do it in style here. But if you’re a visitor, it’s a tent outside the Palace for you. Only the High Knight- Emperor and his “personal guests”(those who’ve paid his price or been invited) dine in the cavernous great hall. You’ll be sharing the tent with locals, who mutter often about their good ruler’s prohibition on building a proper inn or tavern in the Gate.
A day of feasting in the Gate starts with a morningfeast of thick-sliced roast boar (imagine a strip of bacon 2 inches thick) garnished with fruit (often—ugh!—quince) and encircled by mounds of cooked eggs whipped into a golden frothy lather and combined with milk and fine-chopped shoot onions or leeks. This is all washed down with twin tankards of cold ale and mulled, spiced cider to get the digestion going.
One has time for a quick stroll to the jakes (to continue the process begun by the ale and cider) before midmorningfest begins: a hot and cold meal of hot, thick soup or stew (usually a poultry and creamedmushroom concoction, though it
can be beef or venison with carrots in winter) and the cold leftovers of llast night’s feast (known to locals as the gnawbones). This is washed down with clear wine of any vintage you desire. (By the way, the Palace has the best wine cellar I’ve seen outside the City of Splendors itself.)
Take another stroll to settle your fare because highsunfest is not long in coming. Many locals miss this meal, being “too busy in the fields.”Even the knights, who contrive to miss one other meal a day by being at practice of arms (when they’re standing guard, platters are brought to them by order of the High Knight-Emperor), usually escape this feast by riding far out over the fields to work the imperial falcons. Beware: The rodents and birds they bring back are promptly made into a stew with onions, parsnips, and lots of pepper for late evening snacks.
Those fortunate enough to linger for highsunfest will enjoy spiced melted cheese on buns (not bad at all) and the High Knight-Emperor’s latest craze: cold cucumber soup. One is served a bowl of it as large as a soldier’s helm, and at this meal his Imperial Altitude (by which title he must always be addressed, on pain of a tenday imprisonment and confiscation of all goods) makes the rounds of his subjects and guests, seeing that they eat their platters bare, pressing them to praise his cooks and the boundless bounty of the Gate, and telling the same stories of his ancestor Fendarl’s heroism every day. Watch the locals smile and answer enthusiastically—and do likewise.
Eveningfest is the main meal of every day, featuring a variety of whole roast beasts. It used to boast stuffed stag’s heads, until a sly mage used an audible glamer to make a head on a platter complain to the High Knight-Emperor about its slaying and grisly indignities heaped upon it in the kitchen. These roast delicacies taste better than they sound. They are stuffed with quail flesh, woodchuck, pheasant, and other small game cooked with spices and chopped onions. (VGttSC pg 180)

Fields of the Dead

Like the Battle of Bones, the Fields of the Dead is the site of an ancient battle. Unlike the orc remains that litter the Battle of Bones, the deaths on the Fields of the Dead resulted from fights between human empires, kingdoms of the Sword Coast, and Amn, who all sparred for control of the area’s rich farmland. The rolling farms of the area have had five centuries to recover from the last major war, but old armour, skeletons, unused scrolls, weapons, and magical bric-a-brac resulting from the intersection of bizarre spells still turn up under the plough. (FRCS3 pg 223)

Fields of the Dead

These open, rolling lands between the Winding Water and the River Chionthar are an area of ranching/herding of different sorts and, along the banks of the Chionthar, crop farming. Despite the current peaceful appearances, it was no less than 500 winters ago this region was a favorite battleground for those interests contesting control of the lands north of Calimshan (this was before the founding of Amn) and the legendary Kingdom of Man. With continual bloodshed over centuries of war seasons, the land became littered with the cairns of the dead and the booty of the fallen. Even today, bones litter the field and plows turn up skeletons in rusting armor, the occasional magic blade, or metal tubes containing a scroll or treasure map. (FRCS2 pg 93)

Fields of the Dead

These open, rolling lands between the Winding Water and the River Chionthar are an area of head farming, and, along the banks of Chionthar, crops.
Despite the peaceful appearances, it was no less than 500 winters ago this region was a favorite battleground for those interests contesting control of the lands north of Calimshan (this was before the founding of Amn). With continual bloodshed over centuries of warseasons, the land was littered with the cairns of the dead and the booty of the fallen. Even today, bones litter the field and plows turn up skeletons in rusting armor, or the occasional magic blade or metal tubes containing a scroll or treasure map. (FRCS1 pg 45)

Firewine Bridge

Gullykin stands hard by the site of Firewine Bridge, an elven trading town destroyed in a sorcerous duel so mighty that it changed the course of a stream so that there’s no reason for a bridge of any sort these days. The duel leveled the town and left a large wild magic area that persists today, some 200 winters later, just east of the wood lot and fishpond that marks the eastern edge of the halfling village. It stretches north as far as the honey renderers’ shack in the north wood lot and as far south as the brewery (a building shared by all the halflings, who gather on its steps for a smoke and a chat in good weather).
Firewine Bridge today is simply a stretch of overgrown rubble—a fallow field used by no one. The local halflings warn visitors not to camp there or dig in the field, but don’t do anything against those who do— except to watch in case some buried danger is unleashed.
Local legend says some of the folk of Firewine didn’t perish in the spell battle, but were transformed into frogs, slugs, flatworms, lizards, turtles, and the like—and trapped in those forms. Some may still survive. For this reason, locals don’t kill small crawling things. Some lass once inadvertently freed a wizard, one local tale goes, and ended up marrying him.
Firewine Bridge has yielded up magical treasure, mostly small trading items such as magnetic, nonrusting nails and spikes, small crystal spheres that glow with continuous inner light (hue and intensity never varying), triple-spiked lightning wards (belt-worn devices that force lightning bolts away from the wearer), sparkstones that can be commanded to produce fire-igniting sparks whenever desired, and glass guardeyes (single eye cusps that once a day can be made to reveal all weapons on the body of any being—that is, the location and outlines of all items the target creature thinks are weapons).
More rarely, items of greater power turn up, such as half-masks that confer infravision and the ability to see invisible beings and items on the wearer; belt buckles that magically take away the effects of a good deal of weight (about that of a burly person), allowing the belt wearer to carry heavy loads, such as the body of a wounded or sleeping friend, as if they were nothing; or rings that can call up a specific minor spell once a day, when commanded to do so. (The spell is always the same spell, usually mending or Tenser’s floating disc.)
The folk of Gullykin don’t go looking for such things themselves—to do so, they believe, invites misfortune due to the malice of “those who died and do not sleep.” A few residents have bought some items from those who did find them, and will sell them for several hundred gold coins each. The high field that was once Firewine Bridge is covered in chesthigh grass and studded with piles of rubble and small, often hidden, holes dug by treasure-seekers. Somewhere
at the bottom of one hole is the way into an underground complex of linked chambers—once the cellars of a trading company—said to hold riches heavily guarded by golems and other magically animated creatures.
The only way to pass these in safety is to use a ward token, which the locals all say they lack. However, such tokens often turn up elsewhere in the Coast lands, for sale at an asking price of several thousand gold pieces. One is pictured in this guide on the previous page—but I must warn travelers that it may not be the true pass token! (VGttSC pg 102)

Forest of Wyrms

The great redwoods and thick pines of this wood shelter a multitude of green dragons, who think of themselves as masters of the forest. The wyrms correctly estimate their control of their territory. Dragon slayers come here to hunt, becoming heroes or dying in the attempt.
Harpers and other heroes used to journey to the forest to battle a lich who lived in a castle named Lyran’s Hold, but two adventurers finally killed the lich and occupied the hold in its place. New reports indicate that the adventurers who displaced the lich have inherited its evil ways. Lyran’s Hold has returned to the list of potential adventuring sites shared over firelight or mugs of ale by seasoned heroes. If new adventurers manage to kill the hold’s present occupants, the newcomers would be well advised to keep moving—there’s no need to stay for over a tenday in the hold, unless they wish to risk suffering the same fate as the previous occupants. (FRCS3 pg 223)

Forest of Wyrms

This thick wood of pines and redwoods lies due south of the Serpent Hills. Like the Hills, the forest is infested by a wide variety of snakes. It also serves as a home to a halfdozen young green dragons. Several small communities and ruins lie hard by it. (EEA2SH pg 28)

Forest of Wyrms

The Forest of Wyrms itself is a target of the yuan-ti and their ophidian allies. Though they denied trying to retake their ancestral territory whenever I asked, their denials were a little too quick and their attempts to change the subject a little too forced. The populations of snakes in the forests have been increasing, and more and more frequently, worse creatures such as winged serpents and even an occasional behir are sighted. However, nobody has seen a yuan-ti or ophidian in the forest yet—or if they have, they haven’t lived to tell about it.
Besides these snakes, winged snakes, behirs, and the previously mentioned family of young green dragons, the Forest of Wyrms is home to several undead creatures from Lyran’s Hold. This wood is one of the most dangerous forests I know of, and it is no wonder that local woodcutters work only around its edges and always travel with armed guards who watch constantly for attack. (EEA2SH pg 30)

Forest of Wyrms

A thick woods of great trees, including pines and redwoods, the Forest of Wyrms is noted both for the wide variety of snakes found along its rocky forest floor and the greater than average number of green dragons lairing in its forested depths.
The Forest of Wyrms holds Lyran’s Hold, which was once the tower of a powerful wizard who became a more powerful archlich. In 1357 DR, an adventuring company plunged into its ruins, splitting up in the process. Only three survivors emerged. Two of the survivors, a rogue and a priest, swore that they had battled the archlich and killed it, taking its treasure. The third survivor, a female warrior, was less sure. However, when she felt her life was threatened by her former comrades, she fled to the south. The two other survivors have laid claim to the hold for future use, but none who have investigated that use have returned to tell what it is. (FRCS2 pg 93)

Forest of Wyrms

The Forest of Wyrms is one of the last remnants of the great forest that once stretched from the Sunset Mountains to the Sea of Swords, and from the western and southern edge of the High Moor down to the Cloud Peaks. Despite the incredibly rocky terrain, the great redwoods and thick pines of this forest soar to incredible heights, suggesting that at least parts of this woodland may have been magically grown by the elves of Shantel Othreier. Logging the forest is almost impossible due to its formidable terrain and the creatures that dwell within.
The Forest of Wyrms has been home to all manner of snakes since the arrival of the yuan-ti in Ss’thar’tiss’ssun. Some of the more dangerous varieties include deathcoils, jaculis, and tree pythons. In addition, the Forest of Wyrms is home to at least a half-dozen immature green dragons. Descended from the legendary Agyrtclughwaur, these creatures effectively rule the forest’s depths. Dragon slayers often come here to hunt, but no one has yet recovered the fabled hoard of the Forest Wyrm. (SK pg 105)

Forest of Wyrms

The Forest of Wyrms is named for the great numbers of snakes that slither and coil in its trees, They are thought to be a legacy of the serpent folk who once dwelt where the village stands. Local legend whispers that some day they will return from the depths of the forest. Adventurers report finding no trace of yuan-ti in the forest, but admit their searches have been a little tentative because the forest holds at least half a dozen green dragons—young, smallish dragons that are probably a single brood, but dragons nonetheless (VGttSC pg 115)

Forgotten Forest

A single mighty forest once covered the centre of Faerun. The Forgotten Forest is a fragment of that ancient wood, a living cathedral of oak, walnut, and shadowtop populated by a large treant community. The treants mourn each mile that the forest has lost to the spread of the Great Desert, Anauroch. Another magical disaster to the south, the Marsh of Chelimber, has encroached upon the forest from that direction.
Druids and rangers are among the few who pass safely through the groves of treants. One of the great druids of Faerun, Pheszeltan (N male human Drd17/Dis4 of Silvanus), lives in the thickest part of the forest. He speaks to those who have the skill to reach him, but his home is less accessible than the highest mountaintop of the Graypeaks west of the forest. (FRCS3 pg 224)

Forgotten Forest

This forest is a rich, mature woods filled with oak, walnut, and shadowtop trees. The foliage is thick so that the interior is cast into deep and continual shadow. This forest is the remains of a larger wood that has diminished over the years with the spread of Anauroch. It is a mysterious, deeply overgrown wood of huge trees, and travelers who have skirted its edges have reported seeing sprites, korred, and unicorns within its depths.
The Forgotten Forest is said to have the largest population of treants in the North, ruled by one known as Fuorn (if encountered, treat Fuorn as having 24 HD—double the normal largest size—and delivering 5-30 points of damage with a blow). In addition to the treants, the Hierophant Druid Pheszeltan (N hm D16) makes his home somewhere in the depths of this land. Travel through the forest is discouraged, and those in the area are highly encouraged to build their fires only using wood from deadfalls. (FRCS2 pg 93)

Forgotten Forest

This forest is a rich, mature woods filled with oak, walnut, and shadowtop trees. The foliage is thick so that the interior is cast in deep shadow.
This forest is the remains of a larger wood that has diminished over the years with the spread of Anauroch. It is a mysterious, deeply overgrown wood of huge trees, and travelers who have skirted its edges have reported seeing sprites, korred, and unicorns within its depth. The Forgotten Forest is said to have the largest population of treants in The North, ruled by one known as Fuorn. In addition to the treants, the Heirophant Druid Pheszeltan makes his home somewhere in the depths of this land.
Travelers through the forest is discouraged, and those in the area are highly encouraged to build their fires only using wood from deadfalls.
Fuorn has abilities as a treant of double the largest hit die (24), and inflicts 5-30 points of damage on a blow.
Pheszeltan is a 16th level druid who makes his home in the forest, but often wanders, up to 300 miles away, in examining the land and its inhabitants. Using his abilities to alter his appearance, Pheszeltan can sometimes be found in cities mixing with the people. (FRCS1 pg 45)

Friendly Arm

The Friendly Arm is a small walled community dominated by a former castle that is now used as an inn in much the same way as the Way Inn to the north (see the entry on the Way Inn). The Friendly Arm is used as a waystop for caravans from Beregost to Baldur’s Gate.
The Friendly Arm was at one time a holdfast controlled by the evil priest Mericor of Bhaal. Mericor was killed in human form and then later slain in undead form, in the process wrecking most of the interior of his keep (and parts of the surrounding countryside). The area remained a waystop for both caravans and armies coming north, but without a local lord or guiding hand over the area.
About 20 years ago (1346 DR) the ruined keep was seized by an adventuring company under the control of the gnomish illusionist Bentley Mirrorshade (CG gm I10/T10), an industrious young gnome. Bentley and his followers chased out the remaining creatures dwelling in the keep, began renovations, and established the Friendly Arm as an inn and meeting spot. Since that time, the Arm has grown in prestige and importance as a relatively safe place and has been used by adventurers from the South heading to Waterdeep, and merchants from the northern climes heading to warmer markets. Bentley has a deal with most of the important powers in the South—they are allowed to quarter their troops nearby, provided they that do not “smash the crockery.” In return, Bentley promises not to admit anyone claiming to be a descendant of the Tethyrian royal family.
Bentley is aided in his task by his wife Gellana Mirrorshade (NG gf P10, due to wisdom), a ranking priestess of Garl Glittergold. The Temple of Wisdom (called by some humans the Shrine of the Short) is one of the few gnomish temples that regularly takes in human supplicants.
Bentley and Gellana run a safe and secure inn, with weapons checked at the door and wizards’ left thumbs peace-bonded to their belts. In addition, several of Bentley’s curvaceous human bar wenches are said to be iron golems under powerful illusions. (FRCS2 pg 93)

Ghost Dragon’s Defile

Araunthoon “the Shapechanger” is an elder great blue wyrm, said to have existed for over three millennia, who may have once been a Netherese or other ancient human mage, not a dragon at all. He has magically prolonged his life not by going lichnee, but through a self-devised process that drains magic from items. The drawback is that his physical form has slowly but inexorably faded into translucent, ghostly intangibility. Known to some humans as “the Ghost Dragon,” as he has faded into intangibility, Araunthoon can regain physical solidity for a time by making his body smaller, and that’s what he does, calling on powers of magic items he hasn’t drained to transform his outward likeness into that of a human so as to dwell among (hide among) humans.
For the past four years, Araunthoon has battled another dragon, Lhammaruntosz (see below), as both have sought to recover the hoard of the late green dragon, Skarlthoondarammarus. Although Araunthoon has a primary lair in the Fallen Lands (beyond the High Moor and the Greypeaks to the east), he has taken to using an old, long abandoned dragon-hold near the Rockshaws in the broken land along the northern edge of the High Moor; its entrance is a narrow crack between the jagged rocks of a knife-edged ridge that descends into sizeable caverns beneath. Araunthoon has moved what he deems the “least useful” magic items from his hoard, those he intends to drain, to it—and would replenish his fading self from them whenever necessary. (UIA pg 44)

Gillian’s Hill

This hamlet stands on the east side of the Trade Way a half-day’s ride south of Daggerford and about as long a ride from Liam’s Hold. The community is named for a now-dead half-elven ranger of great beauty. Gillian Cantilar dwelt here in a long vanished house atop a wooded knoll overlooking the road.
Today, Gillian’s Hill is a grass-girt mount topped by a covered fire cairn used as a signal beacon to warn Daggerford of approaching enemy armies—from Dragonspear Castle or the High Moor, presumably.
Typical of a hundred or more small farming settlements in the Sword Coast region, Gillian’s Hill is notable only for a surprisingly good shop and a dungeon that has both lured many adventurers hither—and slain many. (UIA pg 101)

Great Petrified Serpent

(Large Town, 2,730) In the midst of the Serpent Hills, astride the upper reaches of the River Catherine, the petrifi ed body of a gigantic serpent lies mostly buried in the ground. One coil of its immense body forms an arch over the fl owing waters, while its head and tail protrude from the rocky ground some 500 feet apart.
No one knows whether this massive statue was once a living snake that was petrifi ed by some powerful working of the Art, or whether it is the remnant of some ancient golem. In either case, if it traveled in a straight line to get to this point, its must have come directly from the village of Serpent’s Cowl on the Ss’kowlyn’raa, the City of Spellskins western edge of the Forest of Wyrms—and hence the ruins of Ss’thar’tiss’ssun.
Ere the death of Terpenzi, fi rst king of Najara, the yuan-ti took over the Great Petrifi ed Serpent and transformed it into a fortress. The tail had already been hollowed out by a Netherese archwizard during the Netherese Age of Discovery (–1205 DR to –696 DR) and turned into a sorcerer’s tower (now home to Ssenstyr Sresshin, CE male halfblood yuan-ti sorcerer 16 of the Coiled Cabal). Deep beneath the serpent’s tail, ophidian craftsmen have since fashioned a stunning palace built around a pool that has magical healing properties—a favorite retreat for wounded nagara.
The central arch of the serpent, which spans the River Catherine, has been hollowed out to serve as both a covered bridge and a merchant’s trading area. Beneath the serpent’s head, one tunnel leads away into some ancient, gnome-dug salt mines, which now serve as waystations for visiting yuan-ti and connect to the network of tunnels that crisscrosses the Serpent Hills region. Lower still, another level serves as a subterranean prison.
The mouth of the great petrifi ed serpent is the destination of a one-way portal from the outskirts of Surkh, and the observatory atop the tip of the tail holds a skull-shaped portal that leads to Skullport (specifi cally the bowels of Zstulkk Ssarmn’s private residence) when used with the correct key (a live snake or snake and skull). The wrong key (a disembodied skull alone) deposits the unwary in the Barrens of Doom and Despair. The two portals are now part of a network linking the Black Jungles, the outskirts of Surkh, the Serpent Hills, and the depths of Undermountain. The portal to Skullport, however, dates back to the era o f the Netherese, when it connected a Netherese demesne with the Sargauth Enclave. (SK pg 107)

Green Fields

Over the centuries, innumerable petty warlords and ambitious merchants have established fiefdoms on the northern fringes of the grasslands north of the Snakewood and southeast of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. The current halfling-who-would-be-queen is Dharva Scatterheart (N female lightfoot halfling Exp2/Rog2/Sor6). Dharva likes the space, the running water, the lack of taxation (from anyone other than her), and the constant stream of caravans attempting the shortcut from the route through the Cloud Peaks over to Berdusk.
With the aid of a silent partner who has turned out to be a Shadow Thief of Amn, Dharva has erected a palisade town named Greenest along the trail to Berdusk. She’s not entirely happy that the Shadow Thieves are her partners, but so far they’ve behaved themselves and confined themselves to business. That could change, of course. It wouldn’t be the first time that a Green Fields enterprise failed because of incompatible partners. (FRCS3 pg 224)

Greenleaf Vale

Perhaps the most powerful inhabitant of the Rockshaws (see below) is Mornauguth “The Moor Dragon” (NE female young adult green dragon cleric 8 [Shar]), a priestess of Shar trapped in dragon shape by rivals.
Mornauguth dwells in extensive caverns beneath Greenleaf Vale, at the bottom of a wide, deep shaft (thought by some local gnomes to be an ancient delve rather than a natural feature). This “well” reaches the surface in the heart of a large stand of old trees in the Rockshaws. The thick oak, walnut, maple, and chestnut trees of Greenleaf Vale were so named by exploring elves because they entirely fill a deep bowl valley, and to a traveller on the ground are invisible until one stands almost on the lip of one of the cliff-walls of the valley Many incautious adventurers have fallen to their deaths (or to sudden, grievous injury) by blundering right over the edge of a Vale wall in the dark; local leucrotta have been known to deliberately chase foes towards the Vale, trying to force them into a fall on the rocks. Several small, winding trails make perilous journeys down the Vale walls, where the overgrown ruins of several long abandoned cottages can be seen.
Subsisting on wild game, adventurers, and caravans, Mornauguth desperately wants her human form back. She prays often to Shar for this boon and gives all the wealth she gains to the Dark Embrace temple in Amn. At least once a month she performs some daring deed (often a raid on a state building, palace, jail, or fortress) in the name of Shar. On rare occasions, clergy of the Dark Embrace request her service as a steed or aid in an attack on a strong target (usually a Selûnite temple), and so far she has given it willingly; how long she’ll continue to do so without any reward or sign of Shar’s favour remains to be seen.
Mornauguth uses the caverns beneath Greenleaf Vale only when wounded or as shelter from fierce wintry weather, spending most of her time spying on the doings of others or basking on high mountain ledges around Amn, plotting. Mornauguth seems to ignore the very concept of draconic territory, never defending her own lair nor caring if she angers other dragons by her roaming. Only fear of being caught over water curtails her wanderings, which are concerned with the doings of the Sharran clergy, rival priesthoods, and other human intrigues, broken by hunting trips and explorative forays. The only “domain” she’ll defend against other dragons are the Sharran temples of Faerûn (Amn in particular).
DM’s Note: As of the Year of Rogue Dragons (1373 DR), Mornauguth has transformed herself into a dracolich and is associated with a small cell of the Cult of the Dragon (NE female young adult green dracolich cleric 8 [Shar]). (UIA pg 44)

Greycloak Hills

In 1335 DR, moon elves from neighbouring Evereska moved into this range of high hills and small mountains. At the time, the range was known as the Tomb Hills for the elven burial sites dotting the slopes and valleys. The graves are still there, but the elven undead that formerly plagued the region were put to rest by determined moon elven clerics.
This does not mean that the hills are now open to adventurers and other travellers. On the contrary, the slopes are perpetually shrouded in grey mist. The elves move silently through the mist wearing grey cloaks of elvenkind, on missions that outsiders do not fully understand. Some whisper that the elves have discovered a cache of Netherese magic that they wish to keep out of the hands of outsiders. There may be Netherese magic left in the hills, but that’s not what has brought the elves here.

The moon elven settlements in the Graycloak Hills are forts and spyposts for watching over Anauroch and the Greypeak Mountains. The vigilance of the moon elves has been justified, if not exactly rewarded, by the recent arrival of the Netherese city of Shade in Anauroch and the escape of the phaerimms through the shattered Sharn Wall. Evereska and its outposts in these hills face a high and dire peril far more dangerous than the occasional orc horde or flight
of dragons.
The elves’ focus on stealth and caution means that their control of the entire Greypeak Hills range is not absolute. Ambitious human adventurers have entered the Graycloaks without notice, quickly delving into an old tomb and escaping before the moon elves retaliate. (FRCS3 pg 224)

Greycloak Hills

The Greycloaks are a small group of high, isolated hills north of Evereska, and are considered an outpost of that elven homeland, having been settled slightly more than 30 years ago by a contingent of elves and half-elves (see the earlier sidebar on the Evereska Charter).
The normal gray garb of these elven settlers is what has given the hills their current name, as well as the regular mist that began to surround the hills soon after their immigration. The hills were previously referred to as the Tomb Hills, for the region held (and still contains) the final resting places of long-dead warrior kings from the days of the Fallen Kingdom and was (but is no longer) haunted by banshees. Adventuring companies up to a few decades ago made forays into the area to loot these old tombs, but with the current settlement of elves under the Evereska Charter, such activities have ceased (or at least become more discreet).
The elves and half-elves of the Greycloaks are of moon elf blood, though there are a few wild elves among then. They are friendly with the group known as the Harpers, but wary of the Zhentarim and their allies, and extended patrols from Darkhold have been spotted in the area.
The elves of the Greycloak Hills are said to make musical instruments for trade with humans, though they work quietly through certain merchants in the town of Hill’s Edge to the south. The settlement is ruled by Watcher Over the Hills Erlan Duirsar (NG em F9/W11), who is said by the women of Hill’s Edge to be both very tall and handsome.
The reason for the Greycloak settlement is unknown, and its presence is puzzling considering the general withdrawal of the elven peoples from the Realms. Only the ruling elves know the full reasons, but it has been surmised that there is something in the Greycloaks that the elves of Evereska wish not to fall into the hands of others. (FRCS2 pg 94)

Greycloak Hills

These hills are high, rolling ridges of earth covered by weedy grasses and occasional patches of small trees.
The Greycloaks are a small group of high, isolated hills, north of Evereska, and are considered an outpost of that elven homeland, settled less than thirty years ago by a contingent of elves and half-elves.
The normal grey garb of these elvish settlers is what has given the hills their current name. They were previously referred to as the Tomb Hills, for the region held (and still contains) the final resting places of long-dead warriorkings, and was (but is no longer) haunted by banshees. Adventuring companies up to a few decades ago made forays into the area to loot these old tombs, but with the current settlement of elves under The Evereska Charter, such activities have ceased (or at least become more discreet).

The elves and half-elves of the Greycloaks are of silver blood, though there are a few wild (copper) elves among then. They are friendly with the group known as the Harpers, but wary of the Zhentarim and their allies, and extended patrols from Darkhold have been spotted in the area.
The elves of the Greycloak Hills are said to make musical instruments for trade with men, though they work quietly through certain merchants in the town of Hill’s Edge to the south. The settlement is said to be ruled by an elven Lord (7th level fighter/11th level magicuser) named Erlan Duirsar, who is said by the women of Hill’s Edge to be both very tall and handsome.

The reason for the Greycloak settlement is unknown, and puzzling consid-ering the general withdrawal of the Elven Peoples from the Realms. Only the ruling elves know the full reasons, but it has surmised that there is something in the Greycloaks that the elves of Evereska wish not to fall into the hands of others. (FRCS1 pg 46)

Gullykin
This halfling village lacks an inn or tavern, but it is the nearest settlement to the adventurers’ lure of Durlag’s Tower, and so it often serves as a supply base for intrepid explorers of the tower. This situation pleases the local halfling priests, who are often called upon to heal for hire, which enriches the community. It’s otherwise a sleepy, unremarkable place of shepherds, wool weavers, and other farmers.
Gullykin’s own claim to fame is less well known than Durlag’s Tower, but is as valuable to adventurers whose luck is with them.  The cellars of Firewine Bridge shouldn’t be confused with the vaults under Gullykin’s brewery, which are used for growing mushrooms as well as for storing casks of brew. Rumors of an underground connection—
which may or may not exist between the brewery cellars and the buried trading company cellars have caused the halflings years of trouble with heavily armed intruders.
The visitor can be assured of being able to buy a tent or two, half a dozen ponies, some wool, as many woolen garments or sheep as desired, and all the foodstuffs a traveler might need. There are no shops in the village, but every villager’s in business for himself. The locals like to haggle over prices, but rarely try to outbid each other for a visitor’s wants—when one is talking with a visitor, others stay clear.
In general, the halflings of Gullykin seem to like their privacy more than most of the small folk—they like to stroll by themselves, singing or humming or just sitting and thinking, a lot. They seem to avoid loud festivities and roistering and to avoid visitors who try to draw them into such things. Except for the ruins, Gullykin is a pleasantly boring village. (VGttSC pg 102)

Gurthang

Tower of Ckai-el-Ckaan deep in the Sunset Mountains. Made using magic from a black rock, protected by traps in the form of laser eyed dragons. Gurthang means midnight in talfiric tongue. Kaidel the Ancient, Sindara of the Golden Eyes, and Loredoc who slew the great wyrm of Orsil all perished trying to scale Gurthang. Gurthang houses the Finger of Ckai-el-Ckaan and will collapse if the finger is removed. (The Walls of Midnight – Realms of Infamy)

Haglands

The southwestern reaches of the Open Marches, including the Banshee Woods and the northwestern third of the Trollbark Forest, are also known as the Haglands for the coveys of hags that control this region, and their hagspawnUE minions. The Haglands are further detailed in Chapter 4. (UIA pg 47)

Halls of the Hammer

In the northeastern High Moor, due east of Highstar Lake, is a pit quarry connected to a long-abandoned dwarf hold. Nearby stands Hammer Hall, a palisaded, long-abandoned lodge constructed by adventurers exploring the hold. Many bands have come to grief exploring the hold, which is named for a glowing, flying, animated warhammer (according to dwarven lore, it guards the hold and won’t leave). Adventurers tell tales of helmed horror guardians; a huge central chamber that’s sometimes full of a hundred human corpses dangling from a forest of ceiling chains and is sometimes empty; and at least five roaming watchghosts. (FRCS3 pg 295)

Halls of the Hammer

This long-abandoned dwarven hold is rumored to hold great treasures, but few have returned safely from it, and those that have did not penetrate far within its depths. To get to this dangerous place, go to the eastern side of Highstar Lake and look for a spring that gushes out of one of the hills along the shore. Climb to the barren top of this hill. Look to the southeast, and you should see two other hills topped with barren stone. These three hills—the one you are on and the two others—form a line that points to a pit. Follow the line to the pit, which is half-filled with loose rubble. An opening cut into the rock walls of the pit leads into the Halls of the Hammer.
My friend Vincin says the Halls of the Hammer can be reached through the Undermoor as well. He reports that even the worst monsters and abominations of the Undermoor avoid the depths of the Halls of the Hammer. The ancient hold houses powerful undead horrors, violent illusions, and worse. If anyone has successfully ventured into the more hidden levels of the vast hold, they have not returned to tell about it. So stop by and see it sometime. (EEA2HM pg 11)

Hammer Hall and Halls of the Hammer

The Halls of the Hammer are an abandoned dwarf hold west of Mt. Hlim dating back to the times before Illefarn ruled the North. They are now wrecked, generally ignored, and in neglect.
Hammer Halls is an isolated homestead, consisting of a house and stables surrounded by a stout wooden palisade, built by a company of adventurers, the Men of Hammer Hall, intent on exploring and exploiting the depths of the abandoned hold. As is common for adventuring companies working for long periods in a particular area, the Men of Hammer Hall used the stockade as a place to retire to between sorties into the dwarf hold.
After exploring the ruins for several seasons, the adventurers are said to have set off for the North, and have not been heard of since. The fate of their treasure, and the treasure that may remain in the Halls of the Hammer, is unknown. This area is a true wilderness, traveled by people but seldom settled, and the question remains open. (FRCS2 pg 94)

Hammer Hall

Years ago a group of adventurers built a small keep consisting of a log house and a stable surrounded by a wooden palisade so that they could more easily venture into the Halls of the Hammer. Travelers should notice that there are no longer any forests on the High Moor. However, at one time, a few small copses dotted the shores of Highstar Lake. For centuries these survived despite the general devastation of the area’s woodlands. Now, thanks to those adventurers (the Men of the Hammer), the area right around the lake is as dreary as the rest of the High Moor. Those copses never recovered from the devastation wrought by the Men of the Hammer in building their house and palisade. Thanks.
Anyway, the palisade makes a nice place for a visit and forms a warm retreat in a blizzard or blinding rainstorm. Of course, the local goblinkin know of the existence of Hammer Hall, and they keep an eye on it. Any smoke from fires lit there is likely to attract the attention of trolls and hobgoblins at the very least. I’ve left a nice stack of firewood by the main chimney of Hammer Hall, should you adventurers decide to take the chance and use it. This way, you won’t have to cut down the last few trees in the region. If you do, I’ll be VERY UPSET.
An assortment of rumours and half-baked tales say that the Men of the Hammer left buried treasure somewhere close to Hammer Hall. On more than one occasion adventurers have stopped by to look for it, and evidence of their digging can still be seen all around the palisade.
I’m going to tell you something from the horse’s mouth here: The Men of the Hammer went north a few years ago and never returned. They planned to go, and they took their stuff with them. If you were going to relocate, would you leave treasure sitting around? I think not. Neither would they, so don’t dig around Hammer Hall! There’s nothing there! And if you really, truly feel the need to dig, at least clean up after yourselves later. The soil of the High Moor is in bad enough shape without you adventurers contributing to its further erosion. (EEA2HM pg 11)

Hammer Hall
West of Mt. Hlim, near the shores of Highstar Lake, is a pit half full of lloose rubble. An opening cut in its rock walls leads into the Halls of the Hammer, a long-abandoned dwarf hold. Nearby stands Hammer Hall, a log house and stables encircled by a palisade. Hammer Hall was built by an adventuring group who called themselves the Men of Hammer Hall as a base to explore the dwarf hold from.
On several occasions the adventurers, who hailed from Waterdeep, fought off trolls, orcs, and bugbears from this fortified home—but they went north several years ago, and have not been heard from since.
Hammer Hall has reportedly been broken into several times. I found it deserted, and with stones dug up in a corner to reveal a storage niche (empty, of course). It remains, however, a stout building offering shelter to travelers in this wilderness area. Stacked, dry firewood even waits beside its main chimney!
The humanoids that roam the High Moor know its location, of course, and can be expected to attack anyone seen traveling to it. Wood smoke will draw them, of course, but in a blizzard or blinding rainstorm, Hammer Hall may prove a refuge worth the harrying. The design of its entrance forces intruders to make a sharp turn down a wooden hall, or chute, fitted with ports for archers or spearmen to attack from. A lone swordfighter can hold the narrow entryway beyond.
Inevitably, rumors have spread of treasure buried by the adventurers in Hammer Hall and not recovered. The dug-over state of the grounds suggests that many have come looking, but none have found.
Rich treasure may well lie in the dwarf hold. The Men of Hammer Hall told a bard of their adventures once, and the tale he recounts has been echoed by later adventuring groups. The dwarf hold (the Halls of the Hammer) is said to have a large central chamber wherein a hundred human corpses dangle from the ceiling in a forest of chains—an illusion that vanishes and reappears from time to time, for no known reason. At least five watchghosts (powerful wraithlike things)3 roam the halls beyond, guarding a glowing magical war hammer that floats by itself in a chamber guarded by helmed horrors and magical defenses. What powers the awesome-looking hammer possesses, who put it there and why, and how to win past its defenses are all mysteries as yet unsolved. Seeking the answers has killed at least 20 daring but unlucky women and men thus far.
Adventurers wishing to join in this deadly game are advised that the pit with the opening into the dwarf hold can be found by traveling south and east from Highstar Lake, following a line of three hills whose tops are all bare rock. The hill closest to the lake has a spring gushing from it that joins the waters of the lake, and it is the only crag on the eastern shore of the lake with a spring that does so. (VGttSC pg 76)

Hammer Hall and the Halls of the Hammer

The Halls of the Hammer are an abandoned stockade located downstream from the gates of an ancient dwarven settlement, equally abandoned.
The Halls of the Hammer are an abandoned dwarf-hold west of Mt. Hilm, generally ignored and in neglect. Hammer Hall is an isolated homestead, consisting of a house and stables, and surrounded by a stout wooden palisade, built by a company of adventurers. As is common for adventuring companies working for long periods in a particular area, the Men of Hammer Hall” used the stockade as a place to retire to between sorties into the dwarf-hold.
After exploring the ruins for several seasons, the adventurers are said to have set off for the north, and have not been heard of since. The fate of their treasure, and the treasure that may remain in Hammer Hall, is unknown. This area is a true wilderness, traveled by men but seldom settled, and the question remains open. (FRCS1 pg 48)

Hardbuckler

This small but important fortified village stands midway between Triel and Hill’s Edge on the Dusk Road. Hardbuckler is named for a longfallen dwarf adventurer who made his home here after he won a spectacular battle on this spot leading his small axe-throwing band, Hardbuckler’ Hurlers, against a bugbear host.
Hardbuckler has grown today into a village of over 2,000 folk—almost all of them gnomes. Many humans think of gnomes as industrious, ridiculous little puttering fuss-budgets, who squeak excitedly as they run about doing crazed things with rope, pulleys, odd bits of metal, and the like, building one dangerous contraption after another. Tales of gnome-built wonders that destroyed themselves explosively are legion. Most folk all over Faerûn think of gnomes as charming little incompetents, believing there’s some inherent shortcoming in the race that will deny them ever building anything that truly functional, durable, and useful.
Like most world views, it seems this one is seriously flawed. Hardbuckler is a living example of efficient gnome industriousness at work. Among merchants traveling the Dusk Road, this small village is a favored stopover. Some folk love it so much they even winter here, helping to defend the village against raiding wolves, orcs, bugbears, trolls, hobgoblins, and other hungry roving predators. Large, clanking contraptions, the supposed trademark of gnomes, are absent from the scene, except for rows of large, wheelcranked triple ballistae along the walls, used to decimate orc and brigand raiding bands.8 Hardbuckler is a model of cleanliness, organization, and happy prosperity.
Merchants love it. Aside from the occasional visiting thief, crime is unknown, the streets are safe, and the water for mounts and thirsty travelers alike is free.
Hardbuckler consists of small stone cottages with slate roofs. The cottages are set at random within its walled enclosure, each having a little garden patch somewhere near it. These gardens are fenced to prevent visiting livestock from grazing them bare. Streets are missing, except for a ring-shaped way running all around just inside the wall and two broad avenues that bisect the village in a cross shape. As one puffing thief once put it, “This place is all one big alley!”
Every home in Hardbuckler has a cellar—a big cellar. These cellars each typically include a junk room and a root cellar on the uppermost level, and a large ramp or shaft with cranked elevator leading down to a mushroom- and lichen-growing cavern beneath, with warehouse caverns below that. (Ever eaten fried lichen from Hardbuckler? Delicious! They boil it soft, then fry it in gravy and serve it with garden-grown radishes. Try it!)
The major industry in Hardbuckler is storage—no questions asked, secure storage. Half a hundred merchant concerns—and even more adventuring bands—keep loot and other valuables here, hidden away and secure behind wards laid down by Hardbuckler’s resident wizard, whose vigilance is an additional guard against theft. (VGttSC pg 183)

Harkstag

The ruined village of Harkstag lies northeast of neighboring Serpent’s Cowl. Because it lacked the protective wards of Ss’thar’tiss’ssun, Harkstag was destroyed in the Year of the Snarling Dragon (1279 DR) by one of the green dragons living in the Forest of Wyrms.
Before its destruction, the village was home to Garshond of Helm and his fl ed gling temple-keep, the Watch-Tower o f the Vigilant. Backed by the merchant families who attended his Council of Helm, Garshond founded the Vigilant Riders to protect the roads linking Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, and Irieabor in the Year of Flowers (1265 DR). Garshond’s efforts incited the brigands and goblin tribes of the region, uniting them against him in a series of battles that became known as Garshond’s War (1266 DR to 1268 DR).
Today, the ruins of Harkstag and the Watch-Tower serve as a secure base for the yuan-ti of Najara. From there, the serpentfolk can keep a close eye on events in and around Serpent’s Cowl, the Trade Way, and the banks of the Winding Water. (SK pg 108)

Heartwing Estate

Heartwing Estate is a pegasus-breeding farm owned by Aluena Halacanter (N female human wizard 9/Harper mage 3), one of three adventurers who used to maintain order in the tent city south of Boareskyr Bridge. With the departure of her companions and the rising threat of the yuan-ti in the forest, Aluena is so preoccupied with keeping her holdings and the village of Serpent’s Cowl safe that she can spare little time for policing the tent city downstream. She continues to sell trained pegasi to wealthy adventurers for 5,000 gp each. (SK pg 108)

Hellwrought Lands

In scattered regions of the High Moor, all manner of spellwrought effects have seemed to linger for decades, if not centuries. It is thought that the origin of these hellwrought lands is tied in some way to the lingering effects of the Crown Wars, scars upon the landscape where the Weave never fully healed from the Dark Disaster due to the interaction of the killing storms unleashed by the High Mages of Aryvandaar and the mythals of ancient Miyeritar.
Conditions in the Hellwrought Lands are caused in some fashion by spells cast upon the land interacting with the underlying distortions in the Weave. The Fire Marshes, now perhaps the most common of the Hellwrought Lands, are thought to date back to the time of Daeros Dragonspear, when sorcerors in the half-dwarf’s employ created towering walls of fire to sweep across the landscape, consuming countless trolls in a fiery inferno. While the fires quickly died out in most areas of the High Moor, they have continued to smolder in other regions, only to explode in geysers of fire at unpredictable intervals.
While most creatures avoid the Hellwrought Lands whenever possible, a few individuals, like the copper dragon Aaronarra (CN male very old copper dragon) take full advantage of the challenging conditions of the Hellwrought Lands to establish a secure lair. (UIA pg 45)

High Moor

Largest of the open moorlands in western Faerun, the High Moor is infamous as the haunt of monsters who loom out of the cold mists to consume wayfarers. The High Moor is a rocky wilderness, vast and uninhabited aside from its fearsome monsters— notably trolls, though travellers who’ve actually crossed the moor talk more of orcs and hobgoblins.
The High Moor is bounded on the west by the Misty Forest, whose dim blue glades and deep groves have always carried a fey and deadly reputation, and on the east by the Serpent Hills, where snakes and yuanti lurk. These crag-studded, rolling lands are said to hide the ruins of long-fallen kingdoms—but just which kingdoms is a topic over which sages argue furiously. Minstrels sing colourful but contradictory ballads of these lost realms. (“The bones and thrones of lost lands” is a favourite phrase, all that’s left of a long-forgotten song.) What is certain is that the moor holds its share of ruined castles, stone tombs, and caverns, almost all of which have yielded treasure to the bold and fortunate.
Wolves and leucrottas are scarce on the moor, since trolls, bugbears, and hobgoblins have slain the other large beasts of prey. The relative scarcity of natural predators allows hoofed grazing animals of all sorts to flourish, from small rock ponies to shaggy sheep. Large, well-armed bands of coastal farmers and down-on-their-luck merchants venture onto the moor in warm months, seeking horses to round up for training and sale elsewhere, or livestock that can be taken away. The greedy are warned that hobgoblins and worse always find and ambush large-scale intrusions, and small human bands pay for these raids with their lives.
Like the Evermoors north of the Dessarin, the High Moor is studded with moss- and lichen-festooned rocky outcrops, breakneck gullies, and rivulets of clear water that spring from rocks, wind across the moor for a time, then sink into the soil. The moor is also shrouded by frequent mists, since the prevailing winds are gentler than the chill, mist-clearing winds of the North. (FRCS3 pg 224)

High Moor

This is a gorge-scarred plateau rising from the road, enshrouded in mist. Its soil is too thin for farming, and its stone, mostly granite, is of too poor quality for mining. Like the Evermoors north of the Dessarin, the High Moor is studded with lichen festooned rocky outcrops, moss, breakneck gullies, and small rivulets of clear water that spring from the ground, wind among the rocks for a time, and then sink down again. The High Moor also shrouded by frequent mists.  The prevailing winds are gentler breezes than the mist-clearing, chill winds of the North.
The High Moor is home to tribes of trolls, bugbears, goblins, orcs, and human barbarians. The human tribes raise goats and sheep on the moors, guard caravans coming from the east, and fight constantly with the various goblinoid tribes.
Wolves and leucrotta are the most numerous predators on the Moor, as the various tribes have slain most of the other large beasts of prey. Their relative scarcity has allowed hooved grazing animals of all sorts to flourish, from small, sure-footed rock ponies to shaggy-coated sheep. Those who dare to venture onto the moor can be assured of ready food—either they catch it, or they become it. Rope trip-traps, javelins, and arrows are the favoured ways of bringing down the fleet grazing animals, although those with patience and a quick hand can dine on grouse, flunderwings, rabbits, and ground-dwelling moor rats in plenty.
Bound on the west by the Misty Forest, whose dim blue glades and deep groves have always carried a fey and whimsical—but deadly—reputation, and on the east by the yuan-ti and ophidian-haunted Serpent Hills, these crag-studded, rolling grasslands are said to hide the ruins of lost, long-fallen kingdoms. Just which kingdoms sages argue furiously over. Minstrels sing colourful but contradictory ballads on the topic, and legends are uniformly vague. “The bones and thrones of lost lands” is a favourite phrase; it’s borrowed from a long-forgotten ballad.
With the obvious exception of Dragonspear Castle, little remains of most ruins in the moorlands. Foundations and cellars are usually all that remain—and almost all such serve as the lairs of monsters. Many towers have toppled into rock piles and have later been hollowed out to serve as tombs—which have in turn been plundered and then turned into dwellings by beasts arriving still later. There are also legends of magically hidden castles and high houses appearing only in certain conditions, such as full moonlight or deep mists, to those in the right spot. (UIA pg 43)

High Moor

The High Moor is a vast, rocky wasteland rising to a gorge-scarred plateau cloaked in grass and scrub trees. The Moor is often shrouded in mist and is the home to many trolls and bugbears, as well as goblinoid races. The monstrous inhabitants of the Moor often raid the roads, so that merchants collect in large caravans and hire additional guards when passing near it, and the Way Inn (see the entry on the Way Inn) maintains a permanent force of well-armed defenders. Of old, in ancient days, this was a rolling hill land of farms and small, magical cities, but now all that remains is a battle-scarred, cavern-infested desolation.
The soil of the Moor is too thin for farming and its rock (mostly granite) too poor in valuable ores to support permanent settlements. The barbarian humans found in these lands depend on herding sheep and goats and overland trading for their livelihood.
The High Moor is home to a handful of prominent underground adventuring locations, and an unknown number of smaller or undiscovered ruins. Dragonspear Castle, the Dungeon of Swords, and Hammer Halls may all be found in the scrub-covered badlands of the High Moor. (FRCS2 pg 94)

High Moor

The High Moor is a vast, rocky wasteland rising to a gorgescarred plateau cloaked in grass and scrub trees.
The Moor is often shrouded in mist, and is the home to many trolls and bugbears, as well as goblin races. The monstrous inhabitants often raid the roads, so that merchants often collect in large caravans and hire additional guards, and The Way Inn (q.v.) maintains a permanent force of well-armed defenders. The soil of the Moor is too thin for farming and its rock (mostly granite) too poor in valuable ores to support permanent settlements; the barbarian humans found in these lands depend on herding sheep and goats and overland trading for their livelihoods. (FRCS1 pg 50)

High Moor

Quite a few ruins from the era of the Crown Wars have survived on the High Moor, thanks in part to the area’s transformation into an all-but-uninhabitable wasteland. Its population of vicious monsters and the devastating effects of the Dark Disaster have ensured that most of those sites remain desolate, empty ruins of interest only to the most avid scholars. Nevertheless, a few sites still retain some vestige of their former power. (LEoF pg 58)

High Moor

The eastern reaches of the High Moor are desolate and rocky. The small ravines and narrow ridges that mark this portion of the wilderness gradually rise up to form the Serpent Hills. The moors due west of the central Serpent Hills are home to numerous hobgoblin tribes, most of which venerate one of the resident wyrms of the region and war intermittently with the serpentfolk. The moorlands to the west of the northern Serpent Hills are home to savage human tribes of Tethyrian heritage, descended from the long-ago union of House Orogoth’s Netherese servitors with scattered clans of primitive humans.
The human tribes have long warred with the ophidians of the Serpent Hills, but in recent years pureblood yuan-ti interlopers have transformed many of their human chieftains into tainted ones in order to keep the barbarians in check. (SK pg 106)

High Moor Rivers

Several underground rivers also flow within the vicinity of the High Moor. Most travel beneath the plateau itself, connecting various caverns of the Underdark. Most of these rivers start beneath the plateau as well, springing from sources well above sea level. There is, however, one strange underground river that starts south of the Misty Forest, travels beneath some of the forest, turns southeast to flow through the ruins of Dragonspear, then flows northwest. On its journey to the northwest, the river actually gains altitude until it bursts through the wall of a chasm on the High Moor plateau, emerging as a waterfall that feeds a small pool. Finally, the pool drains back into the depths of the Underdark. Needless to say, this is not a natural arrangement, though it seems to have existed long enough to become part of the normal environment of the local Underdark. (EEA2HM pg 7)

Highstar Lake

High in the broken land of the northern High Moors, this eerily beautiful lake attracts human, dwarven, and elven pilgrims who come just to stare at the lake’s legendary crystalline perfection. Adventurers can’t believe that something so beautiful isn’t loaded with strange magical powers, so they tell stories about drowned temples, sunken Netherese airships, and lost civilizations beneath the lake’s waters. (FRCS3 pg 225)

Highstar Lake

Known by dwarves as Dauerimlakh and by elves as Evendim, this lake is known to humans by many names as well. Highstar Lake is simply its most common name. Few maps of the region give the lake a name, but it is unmistakable, being the only sizable body of water (not counting marshes of various sorts) between Anauroch and the Sword Coast.
Maps often disagree on the location of the lake. Well, actually they disagree on the extent of the High Moor, which is often depicted as ending beside the lake when it clearly continues on the lake’s other side. Not that I care—an inaccurate map is a thorn in the side of an adventurer, so errors are all the better in my opinion—but I suppose I should set the record straight.
Despite what some maps might show, Highstar Lake sits atop the plateau of the High Moor. Once a simple sinkhole with a natural spring, the lake has expanded over the last couple of centuries to become the largest body of fresh water in the so-called Western Heartlands. Several springs now feed it, some from beneath it and one from a hill on its eastern shore.
The lake is clear and beautiful. Some pronounce it almost eerily beautiful, and dwarves (who once lived nearby in the
Halls of the Hammer) ascribe magical properties to it. From the surface of the lake, one can look far into its depths, and given enough light, one can see seemingly to almost its bottom. Just at the edge of sight at the water’s bottom lurk oddly shaped objects of various sizes. More than once, some poor sap has asked me about “the lost temple,” “the sunken airship,” or “the treasure of the dead,” all supposedly located within the lake’s depths. I haven’t seen any of these things, and I have looked, nor has anyone reliable reported sure knowledge of them. Still, as explained in the section on abominations later in this treatise, dead things sometimes ooze out of the depths to annoy the locals.
Highstar Lake sits in a large bowl formed by granite on the north and west and by marble and limestone on the south and east. The granite of the northern side forms hills that overlook the lake, and several hills holding limestone and marble deposits are strung along the eastern shore. The lake drains through a gap in the western granite, forming a waterfall and a series of rapids that lead down through the pink granite cliffs to form a river along much of the base of the cliffs. The river, the southernmost tributary of the River Shining, is sometimes called the Hark River. It is so named (for whatever reason) after a wererat that used to live in a dungeon along it. (EEA2HM pg 6)

Highstar Lake

Highstar is an eerily beautiful lake of clear water that the dwarves believe has magical properties. The lake has many other names, and so often appears without a name on many maps of the area. It is the large lake in the northern reaches of the High Moor and is usually the only lake shown anywhere near that locale. Called Dauerimlakh by the dwarves and Evendim by the elves, this body of crystal water has several names among humans, and some folk travel days just to see it, risking monster attacks.
One human legend of the lake speaks of it holding in its depths a drowned temple to an unknown or lost goddess, but the most popular tavern tale of the Coast lands says the lake holds magical treasure in its depths—a sunken Netherese airship crammed with gems and magic. The wreck is guarded by undead wizards, the tale goes, who seek to steal the bodies of the living for their own use. They jealously and persistently stalk adventurers who take something from the ship and then escape. They walk by night and leave trails of slimy water, following their prey clear across the known Realms to get their belongings back. Supposedly, if they kill a thief, they steal his or her body for their own twisted uses. (VGttSC pg 77)

Hill of Lost Souls

It is true that the hill once spouted fire as a mighty volcano. Some volcanic activity beneath the surface still goes on to this day, as evidenced by occasional tremors and a mysterious geyser. I have been told volcanoes are never indisputably dead that a volcano silent for centuries may unexpectedly rumble to life. Thus, the region is potentially dangerous even in its natural state. (EEA1HOLS pg 4)

Hill of Lost Souls

Once in the years before even the elves lived in the North, this was an active volcano, but it has with the passage of the winters become little more than a hill with a cup-like peak. Its sides are covered with soft, shiny grass, and only the occasional outcropping of hardened lava or a scattering of obsidian chips belies its true origin.
The slopes of this grass-cloaked peak were home to an armed camp at the time of the Battle of the Bones (c. 1090 DR), and it was here that the armies of humankind raised their standards and tended their wounded. In more recent times, the peak has been used by rogue spellcasters as a meeting place and by the Hierophant Druid Pheszeltan (see the Forgotten Forest entry) to work mighty weather magics. Today the Hill is empty, save for haunts and occasional tribes of goblinoids.
Somewhere on the Hill of Lost Souls is the tomb of Thelarn Swifthammer, son of Mongoth. This dwarven adventurer is said to lie entombed with a hammer of thunderbolts, a huge quantity of gold, and a weapon called Skysplitter, an intelligent war axe that has the ability to call lightning. The Tomb of Thelarn has not been uncovered, and at least one adventuring company, the Men of the Blue Blade, have met their end at the hands of orc bands while searching for it. (FRCS2 pg 95)

Hill of Lost Souls

Once in the years before even the elves lived in the north, this was an extinct volcano, but has with the passage of the winters become little more than a hill with a cup-like peak. Its sides are covered with soft, shiny grass, and only the occasional outcropping of hardened lava or a scattering of obsidian chips belies its true origin.
The slopes of this grass-cloaked peak were home to an armed camp at the time of the Battle of the Bones (q.v.) and it was here that the armies of men raised their standards and tended their wounded. In more recent times, the peak has been used by rogue spell-casters as a meeting-place, and by the Heirophant Druid Pheszeltan (see FORGOTTEN FOREST) to work mighty weather magics.
Today the Hill is empty, save for the Haunts (spirits of the fallen men) and tribes of goblin races.
Somewhere on the Hill of Lost Souls is the tomb of Thelarn “Swifthammer,” son of Mongoth. This dwarven adventurer is said to lie entombed with a hammer of thunderbolts and a weapon called Skysplitter, an intelligent war axe that has the ability to call lightning, as well as much gold. The Tomb of Thelarn has not been uncovered, and at least one group of adventurers, the Men of the Blue Blade, have met their end at the hands of orc bands while looking for it. (FRCS1 pg 51)

Hills Edge

(Small City, 9,716): Hill’s Edge caters to both Zhent caravans and honest travellers. Small but prosperous, the town has a well-deserved reputation for dirty deals and odd bedfellows. Bandits, brigands, murderers, and cutthroats get to know each other in Hill’s Edge’s taverns, and it’s hard to kill a person who bought you drinks the night before.
Officially, Hill’s Edge elects a mayor every year, but suitable candidates are difficult to find. In 1371 DR, the Red Wizards brought a small enclave to Hill’s Edge. It’s thriving, and so is Hill’s Edge, thanks to the increased spending of those who stop to purchase the Thayans’ wares.
Zhent caravans still pass through Hill’s Edge happily enough, but alert adventurers might play on tensions between the Thayans and Zhents. The Zhents don’t appreciate the Thayans’ role in the recent liberation of Yellow Snake Pass. For their part, the Harpers of Berdusk are even less happy with the Thayans, an enemy with a smiling face, than with the notoriously heavy handed Zhents. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Hill’s Edge

Hill’s Edge is a small but prosperous community located along the Dusk Road between Triel and Corm Orp, at the foot of the Far Hills. The Edge is a freewheeling town where raiders are as common as traders, and often indistinguishable. Situated near the western entrance of Yellow Snake Pass, the town sees a lot of trade and a great many agents of the Zhentarim and their forces at Darkhold.
Hill’s Edge is home to two modest temples, one to Lliira, the other to Cyric. The Cry of Joy is the Lliiran temple, and it is controlled by Joybringer Caseldown (CG hf P7). The Fist of the Future is the Cyricist temple run by Emana Gortho (NE hf P6), a careful plotter who seeks to attract the attention (and favor) of her god by bringing Hill’s Edge fully to the side of evil. Gortho has been assembling thugs, rogues, and fanatics to aid her in this matter.
Hill’s Edge is ruled by a mayor, elected yearly. Of late, there has been a dearth of suitable (and willing) candidates, and the town fathers are looking for some adventurer or merchant brave or willing enough to take the job. Hill’s Edge has no militia or police force, and the town leaders dislike the idea of any action that might drive business elsewhere. (FRCS2 pg 95)

Hill’s Edge

Hill’s Edge is a small but prosperous community along one of the less-traveled routes between Irieabor and Waterdeep, at the foot of the Far Hills.
This is a noquestions asked town where raiders are as common as traders. Situated near the western entrance of Yellow Snake Pass, the town sees a lot of trade and agents of the Zhentarim and their forces at Darkhold. (FRCS1 pg 51)

Hill’s Edge

This city is sometimes called the Forgotten City of Sunset Vale. Many folk on the Sword Coast and in the Inner Sea lands alike simply forget it exists. Many guides and histories omit it or gloss over it as if it were a minor village or waystop well. Even recent accounts call it a town and refer to it as small but prosperous.
Yet Hill’s Edge is, and always has been, an interesting place. Its location at the western end of Yellow Snake Pass has brought it both monster raids and caravan trade down the years—and with the advent of the Zhentarim, the former have declined but the latter have increased, making the Dark Network a force to be reckoned with in this city. Here Zhents are tolerated, if not liked, but the independent-minded citizens—many of whom are powerful and experienced adventurers—have made it clear to more than one emissary of Darkhold that any attempt to conquer Hill’s Edge or even harass its citizenry by magic, poison, unfair trade practices, or threats will bring Waterdhavian armies assisted by senior Harpers into the city for an all-out battle.
The High Mayor of Hill’s Edge who last made this declaration was Asimel Elendarryl, a sorceress who hailed from Neverwinter, and was openly an agent of the Lords’ Alliance. She claimed that over 40 citizens knew the locations of and ways to open over a, score of magical gates hidden all over the city that could bring these forces swiftly into the city. Asimel vanished some months after her term of office ended. Cynics in the city mutter that Zhentarim torturers got her, but it is known that Zhentarim agents in the city have been actively searching for the alleged gates since her disappearance.
On more than one occasion known Harpers have suddenly appeared in the city, though some citizens believe they came by means of spells, deliberately attempting to fool the Zhentarim into thinking the gates do exist. Control of any center containing so many instant transportation routes would be the greatest prize in Faerûn short of conquering Myth Drannor.
This tense situation, with agents of the Red Wizards, the Cult of the Dragon, the Zhentarim, and probably a dozen or more wizards’ cabals and merchant companies sniffing around Hill’s Edge looking for gates, is made worse by the character of the citizenry. Inhabitants of Hill’s Edge are a wary, self-sufficient lot. Many are seasoned adventurers and guides. Monster hunting, combined with a little exploring and prospecting, is the traditional local sport. Most everyone is skilled with a weapon,11 and the smithies of Hill’s Edge turn out hundreds of armors and thousands of blades each year—in fact, this city is the source of much of the average-topoor, but serviceable, weaponry and battle harness used all over western Faerûn.

The city’s name comes not from any hill, but from a long-dead adventurer, the halfling warrior Uldobris Downhill. He found rich iron in the red eastern bank of the River Reaching here and took on gnome partners to build and maintain pumps to keep the river waters from flooding his mine, which was dubbed the Edge because it was always on the brink of flooding. Miners dug feverishly to the din of the constantly hammering pumps, tossing ore onto skids that mules dragged up to the surface. In six short years the consortium Uldobris had founded, the Clasped Hands, brought up more iron than had ever been taken out of one mine before. In the seventh year, the waters came in. The flooded, unstable tunnels of the Edge still lie beneath the city, sloping sharply down and southeast. Local rumors as to just what inhabits them now vary widely—from freshwater morkoth to aquatic liches—but seem to agree that something sinister
dwells in the lightless waters now. Five separate gnome-led pump-out attempts of the Edge over the years have ended in the sudden disappearance of all the delvers.
Hill’s Edge began as a fort built to protect the minehead and smelter and grew into a walled town of smithies and outfitters, serving as a base for hunters and prospectors venturing north and east into the Sunset Mountains and the Reaching uplands. It has grown steadily, becoming a waybase for merchant concerns.
Warehouses now occupy a lot of the space inside the city walls. Their owners dwell above the storage areas. Hill’s Edge exports steady streams of oiled and crated armor, crated finished weapons and oiled bundles of sword blades, and caged exotic beasts of all sorts. If one wants a monster or a few of its body parts anywhere in western Faerûn, the source, sometimes via several middlemen, is usually the hunters of Hill’s Edge.
If life in Hill’s Edge seems a perilous, exciting existence to the reader—it is. A steady stream of would-be prospectors and adventurers come to the Old Edge. Many dwarven delvings and the cellars or burial areas of both Netheril and vanished giant kingdoms are known to lie in the Reaching uplands and farther north. Hill’s Edge has always been the base for those eager to explore them.
Talk in the taverns of the Edge is always of the latest finds and forays—of old, fey magic found and monsters fought. It’s no wonder that the Zhentarim hunger to rule here, or that the Harpers and the Lords will do all they can to prevent that. It seems a splendid home for those who thirst for adventure—and perhaps death that may come to them swift and soon.
There’s another important feature of the Edge that the visitor should know about if he wants to understand the tavern talk: the silent runs. Hill’s Edge has always funded the rebuilding, lengthening, and strengthening of its walls with a gate tithe of 1 gp per wagon traveling in either direction. Folk on foot are free, but a mule train is counted as one wagon for every two mules. The Zhentarim and the Free Traders of Westgate have always used many hideouts and subterfuges to smuggle goods into and out of the city tax free. The most famous of these are the silent runs: networks of storage caverns and long tunnels under the city wall from far away linked to warehouses in the center of the city. Battles for control of the silent runs over the last decade have been furious, claiming many victims. Hungry monsters were unleashed into the passages, and traps were set up in profusion all over them until the runs became too dangerous to use and were abandoned to the marauding beasts and the desperate. If locals find these outer entrances nowadays, they usually hire a mage to permanently, suddenly, and violently close the tunnels. (VGttSC pg 186)

Hluthvar

(Small City, 5,668): From the highest lookout of the fortresslike temple of Helm at the center of Hluthvar, a keen-eyed watcher can spy the black towers of Darkhold on a clear day, over sixty miles to the east. Firm vigilance, a strong ten-foot wall, and devoted worship of Helm are all that prevents Hluthvar from falling to the Zhents. Helm’s high priest, Maurandyr (LN male human Clr14/Dis4 of Helm), who fights with a magical dancing sword, reinforces the town’s resolve to stand strong against the Zhents. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Hluthvar

This town of a hundred buildings is surrounded by a wall of stone 10 feet high. Three gates pierce the wall, and the wall top is patrolled. The town is circular, and its largest building is a temple near the center of town.
Hluthvar was named for a locally born warrior hero who fought and died at the Battle of the Bones in 1090 DR. Located at the foot of the Far Hills, the town is within sight of Darkhold (see the entry on Darkhold for more details) and is armed against it. Darkhold patrols are not welcome here.
The streets of Hluthvar radiate from the central open market like the spokes of a wheel, with the largest street being the Dusk Road, which goes by another name in town. At the north end of the circular market stands a temple to Helm and a large livery stable and at the southern end, a wagonwain’s shop and the local inn, the Watchful Eye.
The town is dominated by the temple of Helm, whose high priest is Maurandyr (LN hm P16). In addition to serving as patriarch, Maurandyr also is the city’s magistrate and mayor. The town’s militia consists of 70 2nd-level fighters of both sexes, armored in plate mail and armed with swords and crossbows. The militia is organized by the temple.
Of late Maurandyr has taken to strange spells of fainting and disordered behavior. Some say it is the displeasure of his god that is causing his sickness, others that the strain of holding office is too much. Some say that it is the rising power of the Darkhold that is directly or indirectly responsible for the attacks. (FRCS2 pg 95)

Hluthvar

This walled town on the Dusk Road lies in the shadow of Darkhold and is less a trading town than a fortress against the Zhentarim.12 The town’s mayor, magistrate, and military ruler is Maurandyr High Ward (priest) of the House of the Guardian, the local temple of Helm.
Hluthvar was a local warrior-hero. The town that preserves his name now stands as the front-line wall against armies that would otherwise sweep down from Darkhold unchecked to raid at will up and down the Vale. In this vigilant stance, Maurandyr is financially supported by the Harpers, the Lords’ Alliance, and other rulers and places in the Vale.
This does not make Hluthvar a welcoming place to visit. Built of stone and slate to retard fires, it can muster a militia of over 70 well-trained and equipped warriors—one from nearly every family in town. Groups of them clad in plate mail can be seen practicing with swords and crossbows every day under the watchful eyes of priests. The temple also hires adventurers by the month at 100 gp per each to ride wide patrols around the town to keep watch on patrol groups and raiders out of Darkhold. “Put the dark ones to the sword whenever you can” is their standing order.
Hluthvar is built like a giant wheel, with its streets as the spokes and the rim and a large open market as the central hub. The north—south “spoke”of the wheel is missing. On the north side of the market stands the House of the Guardian (with a large buy/sell/trade livery stable and the militia armory north of it), and on the south side stands a wagonwain’s shop and the sole inn in town, the Watchful Eye. The temple maintains a stable of milk cows and a chicken house (both easily located by the smell). The priests—who always go armed—stride about like sword captains, giving orders as if the town were at war.
Rental space warehouses ring and flank these important buildings. The rest of the town consists of seven covered wells, a few shops, and homes. The wells are set up as small, defensible keeps topped by onagers that can hurl stones at attackers outside the city walls. Every roof and every cellar is planted for growing mushrooms or root crops. To discourage drunkenness, there’s no tavern, and visitors to town who stray from the inn or local market are viewed as little better than spies.
Most folk in Hluthvar work deep in their cellars, delving ever deeper in search of gold, which is plentiful in the rock hereabouts, and perhaps Netherese or other ruins below. Some 30 winters ago, someone did break through into an old dwarven hold, and it’s now provisioned as a safehold for the townsfolk to retreat to if Hluthvar is overrun.
The folk of Hluthvar have lived with fear of the Zhentarim for a long time, but right now they’re wrestling with a new fear. Their revered leader, Maurandyr, may be going mad. Several times recently he’s fainted or spoken and acted strangely. Some say these incidents are the result of the strain of command. Others whisper they are signs of the displeasure of Helm or—and this is the dark opinion of most—caused by some sort of magical assault from the evil Zhentarim wizards.
I recommend travelers avoid Hluthvar except as a secure place to stay a single night on the road before moving on. The temple rents stark and simply furnished rooms at 10 gp a head to those who don’t want to stay at the inn. Sights are few, joy even rarer, and prospects for trade slim. Hluthvar needs more of everything, and has little to give in return. Life here is as good an argument for destroying the Zhentarim as anything I’ve seen or heard anywhere in the Coast lands. (VGttSC pg 201)

Hluthvar

This town of a hundred buildings is set at the foot of the Far Hills, and surrounded by a wall of stone ten feet high. Three gates pierce the wall, and wall-tops are patrolled. The town is circular, and its largest building is a temple near the center of town.
Hluthvar was named for a locally born warrior hero who fought and died at the Battle of the Bones. Located at the foot of the Far Hills, the town is within sight of Darkhold (q.v.) and is armed against it, and its patrols are not welcome here.
Hluthvar is a medium-sized town surrounded by a ten-foot high wall of stone, which surrounds the city in a rough circle. The streets of the city radiate from the central open market like the spokes of a wheel, with the largest street being the north-south road that follows the Trade Route. At the north end of the circle stands a temple to Helm and a large livery stable, at the southern end a wagonwain’s shop and the local inn, The Watchful Eye.
The town is dominated by the temple of Helm, whose high priest is a 13th level Patriarch named Maurandyr. The town’s militia consists of 70 2nd-level fighters of both sexes, in plate mail with swords and crossbows, and is organized by the temple. (FRCS1 pg 52)

Iriaebor

(Large City, 16,193): The City of a Thousand Spires occupies a sprawling ridge above the north fork of the River Chionthar. Space to build on is at a premium atop the ridge, so Iriaebor’s traders and other citizens have adjusted by building up instead of out—many-storied towers rise from all quarters of the city. Iriaebor’s great merchant houses compete to build the highest, richest, and most fantastically bizarre towers, thinking to attract business the way peacocks attract their mates. Like peacocks, who fight when looks alone cannot decide engagements, the great houses of Iriaebor sometimes conspire to topple each other’s towers, using magic or hired adventurers to confuse the trail.
One of those hired adventurers came to prominence in the middle of a merchants’ war and took it upon himself to rule the city. Bron (LG male human Ftr5/Pal4 of Eldath) believes that his city could become a major force in the Western Heartlands if it could stop squandering its energy on internal feuds. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Iriaebor

Iriaebor is called the “Overland City”, and it is here that many caravans form up for the overland journey to Scornubel, or to be ferried downriver before making the trek across The High Moor.

The bluff the city is built on is impressive and an adequate defense against most attackers, but space is at a premium on the relatively flat top, so that Iriaebor has more towers than any other city of its size. Indeed, the various merchant houses indulge in shameless competition to exceed the others, with occasional collapses as a particular spell needed for construction elapses, or shoddy materials are used.

The plains surrounding Iriaebor make the city a center for breeders of fine mounts and draft beasts. In addition to towers, the city’s craftsmen are known for construction of kegs and barges (which are of better quality than most of the towers).

The Ruler of Iriaebor is Bron, who was an adventurer (cleric of Eldath of 12th level) catapulted into the position in the heat of a shooting war between merchant families.

Bron feels Iriaebor has the resources to become another Waterdeep in strength and power, if only he can keep the feuding Merchant families from engaging in economic sabotage, tower building, and cut-throat dealings. He has to date failed in his attempts to even slow down the feuds. (FRCS2 pg 96)

Iriaebor

This city is sometimes called the Overland City because it’s the easternmost outpost of the Vale and carries caravan trade on the Dusk Road over the rapids and cataracts of the upper Chionthar, linking up with the Trader’s Road that runs east to the Sea of Fallen Stars. Barges cannot get any farther upriver than the lower docks of Iriaebor.
Built atop a defensible ridge long ago, Iriaebor today is a cramped city of many tall, crumbling towers leaning on each other or standing close together, joined by bridges and bristling with balconies, so that most of the narrow, winding streets are left permanently in shadow.13 This has earned Iriaebor the name of City of a Thousand Spires. The stables, stockyards, caravan paddocks, warehouses, and the like sprawl across the farmland around the ridge. Aside from an open market where the Dusk Road enters the city, there are no open spaces left within the walls.
Travelers are advised to beware the constant, many-layered, often violent intrigues between the many merchant houses, families, and cabals of the city. Iriaebor is like Waterdeep gone mad when it comes to merchant manipulations, chicanery, and maneuvering.
Zhentarim machinations achieved the brief but iron-hard rule of the Zhentarim sorceress Lord Ravendas over the city. She attempted to unearth some sort of dangerous Shadowking and his shadow magic from beneath the city. Since that time, the Harpers of Berdusk have kept a close watch on Iriaebor.
The city is presently ruled by Bron. He was the peoples’ choice for his principles of fairness above all. He serves as the city’s judge, and he appoints and dismisses members of a 40-person advisory council. Aided behind the scenes in one way by the Harpers—and in another by the head of the current local thieves’ guild, Cormik—the Lord of Iriaebor manages to keep this city of bitter merchant rivals from erupting in bloodshed from one wall to another.
Visitors are advised to beware all the rivalries. Even experienced traders are regularly fleeced, though the dark days of throat-slitting and all-yourgoods Zhentarim confiscations are gone—at least for now. Bron sacrificed his own position and most of the money of the temple to Eldath he headed at the time to buy mercenaries enough to slaughter the private armies that rival merchants were hurling at each other. The hatreds that fueled the open warfare then still simmer behind closed faces today, awaiting any chance to come boiling bloodily out.
Iriaebor’s location and strong army make it a base or destination sought by many. (The army, the Shield, is 8,000 warriors strong.) For those who must deal in this den of commerce, I can provide only an overview of prominent places. Shops, companies, and fashion-favored places change with every tenday. (VGttSC pg 202)

Iriaebor

The many-towered city of Iriaebor occupies a sprawling ridge above the south fork of the River Chionthar. It is the farthest that barges can be pulled up the river, and this, combined with the fact that the city is the endpoint of roads coming out of Cormyr and the Inner Sea, makes Iriaebor one of the most populous and economically powerful cities in the region.
Irieabor is called the “Overland City,” and it is here that many caravans form up for the overland journey to Scornubel, or to be ferried downriver before making the trek across The High Moor.
The bluff the city is built on is impressive and an adequate defense against most attackers, but space is at a premium on the relatively flat top, so that Iriaebor has more towers than any other city of its size. Indeed, the various merchant houses indulge in shameless competition to exceed the others, with occasional collapses as a particular spell needed for construction elapses, or shoddy materials are used.
The plains surrounding Iriaebor make the city a center for breeders of fine mounts and draft beasts. In addition to towers, the city’s craftsmen are known for construction of kegs and barges (which are of better quality than most of the towers).
The Ruler of Iriaebor is Bron, who was an adventurer (cleric of Eldath of 12th level) catapulted into the position in the heat of a shooting war between merchant families. Bron feels Iriaebor has the resources to become another Waterdeep in strength and power, if only he can keep the feuding Merchant families from engaging in economic sabotage, towerbuilding, and cut-throat dealings. He has to date failed in his attempts to even slow down the feuds. (FRCS1 pg 54)

Kheldrivver

This hamlet nestles between grassy knolls at the eastern end of the Troll Hills. Once an isolated monastic community dedicated to the veneration of Oghma, it was raided many times by trolls and several times overrun, with the monks all slain, driven out, or forced to flee into hiding.
Some 200 years ago, all the monks were dead, and their hold was in ruins. An Amnian adventuring band of vicious reputation, the Circle of Scythes, came to the ruined monastery in search of spellbooks and other riches, but disappeared while exploring the monastic cellars. A servant left with the horses told wild stories of many-tentacled things rising out of the ruins with the adventurers struggling in their grasp.
Other adventuring bands went out to the ruins of the House of the Binder (as the monastery was known), but came back emptyhanded. The cellars had fallen in, and there was no trace of spellbooks, adventurers, or any monsters beyond all-too-numerous trolls. The rubberyskinned menaces took over the hold for some years, until they grew so strong as to imperil all use of the trade road. A great war band was whelmed in Amn to deal with them under the leadership of one Kheldrivver, a warrior-turnedswordseller who promised to sweep the area clear of trolls and keep it that way.
He did so, and transformed the House into a stone-walled cluster of fortresslike, stone-turreted homes, with slate roofs. As little as possible was made of wood so that fire could be used with enthusiasm in the event of troll attacks.
The community became home to a few mercenary warriors who wished to retire. Under Kheldrivver’s leadership, they gave protection and dry, guarded warehouses to farmers wishing to settle in the area. Many times since then the trolls have been hurled back, and Kheldrivver’s Hold, which over the years has become known just as Kheldrivver, remains a farming center today, visited by many enterprising merchants who sell the splendors of far-off places and buy fresh produce for sale in Waterdeep and the cities of the Sword Coast.
Kheldrivver himself disappeared mysteriously soon after the rebuilding of the monastery. Locals whisper that he was definitely digging alone in some of the deeper local cellars, in search of whatever monks’ treasure might remain—and most folk believe he found something and then something else found him. Local legend now speaks of him being seen only by night—with stag’s antlers growing from his head!
There are pits, walled off corners, and stone piles in many cellars in Kheldrivver. Most folk don’t speak of them, while others let adventurers go down into their own cellars in return for fees of 50 gold pieces or more. (VGttSC pg 47)

Kraanfhaor’s Door

Located about 100 miles south of Secomber, this depression in the High Moor marks the former site of the Citadel of Kraanfhaor, one of Miyeritar’s greatest wizard schools. Today, all that remains of the citadel is a series of gulches and half buried walls. A small cave on the western side of the dell leads into a cavern complex carved out by centuries of running water.
A remnant of Miyeritar still lingers here despite centuries of infrequent occupation by bugbears and leucrotta. Within the eastern potion of the cavern complex stands an ornately decorated stone door. The carving, done in the style of the Miyeritari, depicts several elf spellcasters working magic with dragons. Many have tried to uncover the secret of Kraanfhaor’s Door, but no one has yet found a way to open it, and all attempts to burrow into the chamber beyond it have failed. Some believe that the great library of Kraanfhaor may still stand behind this door, and finding it would unlock many secrets of elven high magic. (UIA pg 45)

Lathtarl’s Lantern

This small fishing village appears on few maps of the Realms, and most merchants don’t even know it exists. Part of this seclusion is because of its marshy surroundings, and part is due to its proximity to the dangerous lich hold of Larloch’s Crypt. (Larloch’s Crypt has become corrupted over the years into Warlock’s Crypt, and that’s as good a warning to travelers, I suppose.)
Lathtarl was a pirate some 300 winters ago whose greed drove him to fall afoul of the elven ships out of Evermeet.
Forced to flee for his life in a sea fight, he ran his ship ashore here as a wreck, most of his crew dead and himself a cripple, the arm and leg on one side of his body useless.
The wreck gave him an idea, and he became a wrecker, luring ships ashore by lighting many lanterns along the coast to fool sailors running along the coast in storms into thinking that they’d reached Baldur’s Gate, Orlumbor, or some other secure harbor.
Instead, if they turned ashore they found rocks, with a pebble beach just beyond. Sailors who didn’t perish in the wreck were slain by Lathtarl’s surviving crew or held for sale into slavery or for ransom. Calishite slavers and all the Sword Coast pirates soon discovered Lathtarl’s existence, and made him a transfer point for slaves and contraband—their ships would stand well offshore on clear nights, and boats would cross the rocky bar from ship to shore and back.
The village supported itself by fishing and was also kept busy, small, and free from harassment by land-based neighbors due to frequent lizard man raids. The mouth of the Winding Water is shallow and marshy, without any harbor—and the miles upon miles of silt and marsh grasses are home to many lizard men.
These marshes carry an ill history of their own. Local rumors speak of at least two dead kings somewhere out in the fens. One was King Tredarath, a rebel lord of Tethyr long ago who fled with about a hundred armed retainers to found a new realm out of reach of his foes. His hard-riding band, heavily laden with all his regalia and treasury, blundered into the marshes in an evening fog and perished by drowning (some in quicksand) and as dinner for many marsh monsters. Gold pieces and a jeweled dagger have been found, and at least one lizard man has been seen during a raid wearing a golden crown, but cartloads of gold and gems are still lost in the marshes.
The other king was Bevedaur of Cortryn, a vanished realm that is now northeastern Amn. He camped in the marsh while pursuing his favored sport, serpent hunting, and was overwhelmed with all his court by a night attack from an army of lizard men. Ghostly knights are still said to drift over the marsh by night, spectral blades in hand.
Lathtarl is long dead of disease, and several times the Lords of Waterdeep and merchant houses of that city and of Amn have placed agents in the village to intercept and battle pirates and smugglers. Threats have been made that the entire village would be burned to the ground—and the villagers slaughtered—if the practice of light luring continued. These threats have been heeded, but there’s still an occasional real shipwreck in the vicinity, and pirates have taken to running stolen ships ashore here that they can’t use as pirate vessels (usually old, slow, leaky cogs).
Lathtarl’s Lantern would not be mentioned in this guide (few today embrace the old nobles’ sport of lizard man hunting, and adventurers looking for lost crowns always seem to hear guiding rumors without benefit of a guidebook) except that it is also home to a temple to Umberlee, the Grotto of the Queen, and to an inn and tavern of note, the Wailing Wave. (VGttSC pg 50)

Laughing Hollow

A few miles north of Daggerford, a choke point in the River Delimbiyr runs through an old dwarven quarry where the dwarves used the river to flush away their mine’s wastes. The miners have been gone for centuries, and the mine lies undiscovered beneath thick vegetation that covers the walls of the cliffs on either side of the river. Pixies, hybsils, and wild elves shelter in the thick brush, driving off the adventurers who come here searching for the mine and its supposed treasures. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Laughing Hollow

The Laughing Hollow is a constriction in the flow of the River Shining, bordered by cliffs on either side. Plant and animal life is plentiful on the valley floor, and the walls bear traces of having once been worked for stone.

Located upriver from Daggerford, the hollow is an ancient dwarven quarry, now overgrown and green with the passage of centuries. The area is considered a fey and treacherous place by mortals, but is the home to tribes of wild (copper) elves, pixies, and other fairy creatures.

The quarry was once the home to the Dwarves of the Fallen Kingdom, and rumors persist as to the ancient treasure that may be found here. (FRCS2 pg 96)

Liam’s Hold

This hamlet of about 50 folk stands on the eastern side of the Trade Way about a day’s travel south of Daggerford. A flattopped tor of bare rock, about two acres in area, overlooks the road. It is ringed by a low stone wall, and at the south end stands a crumbling keep tower. The settlement is crammed onto the top of the tor, with its grazing and tillage fields to the east and a pasture for passing caravans to camp in just to the south, overlooked by the tower.
The tower was the fortress-home of the powerful wizard and warrior Sunder Halyndliam, whose name’s been shortened locally over the years to Liam. The hamlet is named in his memory—partially because his silent armored wraith, chilling blade in hand, is said to still defend the tower against intruders.
It is certain that no fewer than six thieves have been found dead at the base of the tor, having fallen from the tower during the night. Liam is buried in a spell-guarded crypt deep under the tower. Although he’s said to lie in a casket with all his spellbooks, a magical staff, an enchanted blade, and magical rings on his fingers, no adventurers, thieves, or rival wizards have succeeded in plundering his remains. They have failed because of the extraplanar creatures that guard his tomb and local folk who furiously deny access to the crypt. They do so thanks to a community legend that says the tower was raised with magic and removal of Liam’s magic will cause it to topple, crushing the hamlet under falling stone. This is why every possibly magical bauble Liam possessed was buried with him.
Today, the tower is part of the Holdfast Inn, which is good enough to deserve coverage in any guidebook to Sword Coast establishments. (UIA pg 102)

Lizard Marsh

Instead of flowing freely into the Sea of Swords, the River Delimbiyr dissolves into a morass of waterways threading beneath cold-weather cypress trees festooned with hanging moss. Humans avoid the five hundred-plus square miles of the marsh, unless they intend to tangle with the lizardfolk, dinosaurs, and black dragons that lurk in its shallow waters. Few of the dinosaurs grow to great size, since they are fiercely hunted by the lizardfolk who give the marsh its name.
Under their current chief, a warrior named Redeye (CE male lizardfolk Bbn11/Chm5 of Talos), the lizardfolk have succeeded in driving all other intelligent denizens out of the marsh. They view the river waters south of Daggerford as their own hunting ground.
Skirmishes with caravans and patrols from Daggerford usually go against the lizardfolk, but not so often that they avoid such fights. Thanks in part to the proximity of the sea, the Lizard Marsh never fully freezes over, though its waters grow slushy in the deep winter. The lizardfolk hate the slush and “go to ground” during the cold spells, building lairs in the giant cypresses until the water returns to normal. (FRCS3 pg 225)

Lizard Marsh

The mouth of the River Delimbiyr is a vast, saltwater marsh, home to all manner of monsters, including black dragons, catoblepasMM2, darktentaclesMM2, dinosaurs, grey oozes, shambling mounds, and will-o’wisps.
Scattered tribes of lizardfolk claim all of the Lizard Marsh as their domain. The proximity of the lizardfolk to humans of the Shining Vale has increased their level of civilization to the point of using shields, war-clubs, darts, and javelins. It is rumoured that some of the lizardfolk have been equipped with metal weapons by various evil influences at work in this corner of the world. However, these weapons tend to rust in the swamp because the lizardfolk are unable to take care of them properly.
Many of the lizardfolk are members of a megatribe founded by a powerful lizardfolk warrior named Redeye. He is reputed to have magical powers and to have used them to rally about half the populace of the swamp around himself. The other tribes feud with this megatribe and each other. Redeye has actually contacted Daggerford merchants for the purpose of trading rare swamp bird feathers and certain delicacies for weapons and other aid, but the Council of Guilds is apprehensive about aiding an old foe. (UIA pg 45)

Lizard Marsh

The Lizard Marsh is a great bayou formed at the delta of the Delimbiyr (the River Shining). The river disappears in a  morass of waterways, cold-weather mangroves, and hanging moss. The presence of this swamp is one reason that no great cities have grown up on the banks of the mouth of that flow.
The Lizard Marsh does not freeze in the winter, but instead the open water is reduced to a slushy consistency. Whether this is due to the proximity of the sea or some natural or magical feature of the swamp is unknown.
The Lizard Marsh is home to a large colony of lizard men, who raid the surrounding area. They trade looted goods and slaves to sea races along the coast. The lizard men are said to be highly advanced, and they use metal weapons. Most of the lizard men swear fealty to an ancient member of their breed, known to traders as Redeye. Redeye is reputed to have magical powers and abilities.
The marsh is also home to a number of small- to medium-sized dinosaurs, some of which have been tamed by Redeye’s band. These creatures are not as large as the behemoths that lumber through the jungles of Chult far to the south, but are still enough to give trouble to adventurers seeking Redeye’s base. (FRCS2 pg 96)

Lonely Moor

Leucrottas, perytons, and bulettes infest this high waste of dust, rock, and stunted trees. Gnolls and orcs hunt the monsters when they are not being hunted themselves. Life for the orcs is still pretty miserable, but the gnolls have recently found other employment thanks to the Zhents, who pay them to attack everyone else’s caravans but leave Zhent travelers alone. The safety of the route between the Lonely Moor and the Forgotten Forest is particularly important to the Zhents now that the arrival of the city of Shade has disrupted their Anauroch routes. (FRCS3 pg 225)

Lonely Moor

Of old this dusty waste was the glory that once was Netheril, among the greatest and most magical of human empires in the North. Now it is a rolling desolation of stunted scrub that reaches from the desert’s edge to the Greypeaks. It is a land of scavengers and savages, with leucrotta and more deadly creatures being common.
Of late, the Zhentarim have made the Moor a regular stopping point for caravans bound for distant Llorkh, and have hired local gnolls as caravan guards—actually a bribe for them to go bother someone else.
Where the Lonely Moor meets the Forgotten Forest in the shadow of the Greypeaks lies the ruins of Dekanter. These ornate and twisting caverns were originally dwarven mines, then later, once their ores had played out, they were used as a research area and playground for the powerful mages of Netheril. With the toppling of that great empire, the mines and wizard towers were abandoned again, to be subsequently occupied by more fell races.
The ruins once more have occupants, in the form of a powerful goblin tribe under the command of Lord High Chief Ghistpok, as well as being inhabited by several tribes of gargoyles. More menacing are reports that a creature known as the Beast Lord has made the ruins his home, and creating such magical creatures as perytons, bulettes, and mongrelmen, and then turning them out to raid the world at large. (FRCS2 pg 97)

Lonely Moor

This region on the borders of Anauroch is not as great a wasteland as the desert, but it is similar in its desolation. It is a dying, empty land of scrub and dust.
Named for its isolation from civilized areas, this stretch of moorland is wilderness territory, populated by leucrotta and worse monsters. This region is yet traveled heavily by men, for the Zhentarim and others seeking to avoid the normal channels of traffic skirt this land en route to the northern town of Llorkh.
The Lonely Moor was once the western edge of a kingdom that stretched roughly Evereska north to the Nether Mountains. This kingdom was known as Netheril, and was said to have been ruled by mages; little is known of the former realm today save that many items of magic were fashioned there, and legends say that the Great Desert advanced across its lands despite the effort of its mages. The northern ruins of Dekanter is the only known surviving ruin of the kingdom’s cities, and that is little more than a set of tumbled stones and crumbling pillars. Some say that Dekanter holds the entrance to a vast land beneath Faerun, but none have admitted to finding such an entrance in recent years.
Zhentarim (and other) caravans found within these realms will be light on the number of wagons and heavy on the number of guards, Only 1-6 wagons will be found in such a caravan, but guards will number 10 mounted guards per wagon. There is 5% chance that some magical item will be found in such a wagon caravan. (FRCS1 pg 56)

Lyran’s Hold

Due east of Boareskyr Bridge, on the western edge of the Forest of Wyrms, this former bandit lord’s hold has lost its keep to the ravages of time (and dragons battling over a good lairsite). All that is left is an extensive underground complex of storage caverns and passages—now inevitably monster-infested. (FRCS3 pg 296)

Lyran’s Hold

A prominent ruin, Lyran’s Hold, is found in the Forest of Wyrms. Once the tower of a powerful archlich, the hold was claimed in 1357 DR by a pair of adventurers who claimed to have participated in the destruction of the lich. Always interested in ancient magic, I took a brief side jaunt to explore the ruins with my faithful companion, Atad. I spent less than a day exploring and touched almost nothing because most items of interest appeared to have been removed. I saw no signs of the adventurers who had laid claim, but the tower was full of life, most of it reptilian. In addition, numerous specimens of undead—mostly skeletons and zombies—patrolled the lands around the keep. Curiously, I saw no undead creatures within the keep itself. If the adventurers still mean to claim the tower, perhaps they were merely gone for a short period. (EEA2SH pg 28)

Lyran’s Hold

the dark, overgrown stone tower known as Lyran’s Hold. Lyran was once a mage of note, master of the necromantic arts, and his tower has been a lodestone drawing adventurers from the far corners of Faerûn—- adventurers who’ve perished or, worse still, been seen again as his undead servants, patrolling the wood against intruders, wielding their old magic and weapons as they did in life.
Some villagers say a small, brave band of adventurers recently won through these defenders to destroy the lich—but other adventurers have vanished trying to plunder the Hold since then, and most locals believe undead still rule there. Hunters say serpents, zombies, and skeletons are still numerous in the forest.
Lyran warded his Hold. Many ward tokens can be had in the village for 100 gp, and one is shown on the following page. The wards ignore the undead, visiting harmful spells only on the living. (Some spells manifest as traps that are unleashed by spell triggers. ) (VGttSC pg 115)

Marsh of Chelimber

Some of the ruins dotting this misty lowland swamp belonged to the land’s original ruler, Prince Chelimber. Chelimber feuded with a mighty wizard known as the Wizard of the Crag back in the early days of Waterdeep. The prince hired magical assassins to kill the wizard, who fought back with awful magic. The battle spiralled out of control, killing the prince and destroying his lands. A few of the old ruins are too magical or intimidating for the marsh inhabitants to tamper with, such as Dunkapple Castle.
Lizardfolk and bullywugs skulk through the thousands of square miles of the swamp that still bear Chelimber’s name, occasionally striking against the Zhent caravans that pass nearby. The interior of the swamp and the oldest ruins are dominated by sivs. The sivs prefer to practice their enigmatic monastic disciplines in privacy, but adventurers are sometimes welcome as a change in diet from marsh bird and bullywug. (FRCS3 pg 225)

Marsh of Chelimber

At one time in the early days of Waterdeep, this fertile area was ruled by Chelimber the Proud, a decadent fellow with a great deal of wealth in silver, gold, tapestries, and more. Though he valued his riches, he took most of his pleasure from hunting and drinking. In those days, the Winding Water sprang from a rocky crag not far from Chelimber’s keep, and one spring a wizard used elementals to erect, in a matter of days, a tall tower on that crag. Chelimber tried to remove the Wizard of the Crag, but his forces took casualties from the wizard’s spells. Chelimber hired another wizard, one Taskor the Terrible, to fight his enemy. In a climactic battle both disappeared, never to be seen in the Realms again. Their conflict wrought great destruction, and water elementals were freed from the wizard’s keep. These elementals caused the whole region to flood, and all of Chelimber’s holdings disappeared beneath the waters along with Chelimber himself.
Today, this region is a misty, overgrown bog broken by small hillocks and dotted by numerous ruins. Quicksand is rather common in the marsh, and several unpleasant denizens dwell within, including catoblepases, water spiders,
water snakes, and gulguthra. In addition, a large tribe of lizard men led by a hefty specimen named Kront patrols the marsh in armed bands. These lizard men carry on trade with the lizard men of the Serpent Hills. (EEA2SH pg 28)

Marsh of Chelimber

The marsh of Chelimber is 1,000 square miles of low ground at the headwaters of the Winding Water. It is a misty, overgrown bog broken by small hillocks. A large number of rums dot the marsh. This vast swamp is known to be inhabited by lizard men and other creatures hostile to humans. The lizard men are said to be led by a giant-sized specimen named Kront, and their forces patrol the marches, armed with whatever usable weapons they salvage from their victims. (FRCS2 pg 97)

Marsh of Chelimber

In the early days of Waterdeep, before the forests to the west had been stripped and used to fashion the great ships of Orlumbor, the land that is now marsh was ruled by Chelimber the Proud. Chelimber was both rich and decadent, and spent his days in these western woods hunting wild boar and in drunken feasts in his great hall. When it is said that Chelimber was rich, it is usually added that he was rich beyond most kings in terms of silver, in beautiful tapestries, and in gold. Yet he disdained these things in favor of the thrills provided by the flask and the blood of the dying boar.
In those days the Winding Water welled up from the heart of a rocky crag to the south and east of Chelimber’s keep. One spring, a mage built his cower on that crag, using elemental help and taking but a few days. Chelimber’s astonishment was matched by his anger, and he took up arms to sweep this intruder from his lands.
The Wizard of the Crag (for he gave no other name) turned Chelimber’s warriors to stone and sent balls of fire into the prince’s keep. At a loss, Chelimber summoned an archmage from lriaebor, one Taskor the Terrible, who specialized in solving magical problems for a fee (in other words, wizard-killing).
Taskor and the Wizard of the Crag contested on Midsummer’s Eve, each raising mighty magics and countering with spells and elemental forces, and their battle wrought great destruction. The crag was destroyed, and both Taskor and the Wizard vanished in the fight (and have never been seen in the Realms since). The water elementals the Wizard kept in his tower ran amok, laying waste to a large section of the prince’s land, flooding his keep, and slaying Chelimber himself.
This is how the marsh that bears the name of Prince Chelimber was created. The site of Chelimber’s castle, now the Keep of the Drowned Prince, can no longer be discerned, for many trees and overgrown hillocks now rise from the marsh’s water and Chelimber ’s time was long ago. It is said that Chelimber still lives in some arcane fashion and guards the riches in his sunken keep from those who seek to despoil them. (FRCS2 pg 97)

Marsh of Chelimber

This vast marsh is home to thousands of lizardfolk, bullywugs, muckdwellers, and sivs. Their numbers were sorely depleted in the Year of Wild Magic (1372 DR), when beholders enslaved many tribes to fi ght on behalf of the phaerimms, but the populations have since rallied. The marsh-dwelling tribes b attle constantly amongst themselves, uniting only to repel incursions of serpentfolk from the Serpent Hills.
King Kront (CE male lizard king barbarian 13) nominally rules the lizardfolk, bullywug, and muckdweller tribes, but in practice his infl uence rarely extends farther than his immediate attendants. The siv-dominated Order of the Frog is the real power of the marsh, although individual beholders of the shattered Greypeaks Hive are given wide berths, and the catoblepasesMM2 are feared by all.
The marsh was formed when the Principality of the Snarling Boar (457 DR to 692 DR), named for the legendary adventurer Boareskyr, was inundated by water elementals in the aftermath of a spell battle between two powerful archmages. Today, many of the Boareskyrn ruins that still dot the marsh are inhabited by brotherhoods of monastic sivs. Other ruins are too magical or intimidating for the marsh inhabitants to tamper with.
The waggishly named Dunkapple Castle, which hangs upside down with its spires in the muck at the head of the Winding Water, was once the abode of the Wizard of the Crag but is now home to a huge thirst of stirges. The most famous ruin is the Keep of the Drowned Prince, which once served as the royal seat of Boareskyr. The realm’s last ruler, Prince Chelimber the Proud, has become a powerful wight, guarding his riches in the depths of the fl ooded keep. His courtiers, a ravenous pack of lacedons, attend him there. (SK pg 106)

Marsh Of Chelimber

The tale of this vast wetland’s creation is known to every youngling in western Faerûn.6 The elementals who ran amok, spreading the Winding Water to flood all the lands of Prince Chelimber, and the warring wizards whose spell battle released them are all long gone, but there are fresh tales about just where Chelimber’s flooded halls lie every spring, as a new lot of hopeful adventurers brave the bogs and lakes of the waiting, mistshrouded Marsh. Most of the  tales say Chelimber and his courtiers are now aquatic undead who guard the prince’s huge hoard of gold and silver, dragging intruders who get too close to their flooded hall down to a watery grave. The existence of this hoard is said to be proven by the silver goblet brought to Waterdeep in triumph by the adventuress Andlazara 70 winters ago. Its handle is the snarling boar of Chelimber.
Sensible travellers don’t need fearsome tales of undead to keep well clear of the marsh. It’s a long trek off the trade roads, and it offers stinking mud, quicksand, and clouds of stinging flies, to say nothing of catoblepas, water spiders, water snakes, lizard men, gulguthra, and similar dangers to the traveller. No known trails safely cross the vast, mist-shrouded, dank maze of water and little islets. There’s little to go there for, either, unless one is a merchant trying to capture a marsh monster for a wealthy collector or kill one for the yield of its carcass in magical components.
Some people enter the marsh in search of plants, as some marsh plants have medicinal uses, though few bring high prices. One can also live on marsh fish, though they tend to taste unpleasant at best. A few hunters make a living by throwing weighted nets over groups of marsh fowl from the relative safety of the marsh verges or use poles, safety ropes, and shoe pads’ to gather marsh bird eggs for food or sale. Some eggs are the size of a large human’s head!
Yet there’s a lot of marsh to yield such things. It’s as large as nearby Evereska and the Greycloak Hills combined, and of a size with the Serpent Hills. Its spreading waters flooded a large realm and may hold many riches, plus treasure known to have been hidden in the bog in recent years by brigands and by desperate dwarves fleeing orcs.
Several travellers who blundered into the heart of the marsh have reported a wondrous sight: a castle floating in the air, hidden by the mists until one is near. Obviously damaged in the spell battle that created the marsh, it hangs upside down, close to the ground – but is now home to a huge swarm of stirges that pours forth to overwhelm creatures who come too close. (VGttSC pg 136)

Marsh of Chelimber
The marsh of Chelimber is 1000 square miles of low ground at the headwaters of the Winding Water. It is a misty, overgrown bog broken by small hillocks. There are a large number of ruins in the marsh.
This vast swamp is known to be inhabited by lizard-men and other creatures hostile to men. The lizard-men are said to be led by a giantsized specimen named Kront, and their forces patrol the marches, armed with what usable weapons they salvage from their victims. How the marsh came to be is recorded as follows:
In the early days of Waterdeep, before the forests to the west of this domain had been stripped, their wood sent down the Winding Water to fashion the great ships of Orlumbar, the land that is now marsh was ruled by Chelimber the Proud. Chelimber was both rich and decadent, and spent his days in these western woods hunting wild boar and in drunken feasts in his great hall. When it is said that Chelimber was rich, it is usually added that he was rich beyond most kings in terms of gold, in beautiful tapestries, and in gold. Yet he distained these things in favor of the thrills provided by the flask and blood of the dying boar.
In those days the Winding Water welled up from the heart of a rocky crag to the south and east of Chelimber’s Keep. One spring towards the end of Chelimber’s reign, a mage built his tower on that crag, using elemental help and taking but a few days. Chelimber’s astonishment was matched by his anger, and he took up arms to sweep this intruder from his lands. The Wizard of the Crag (for he gave no other name) turned Chelimber’s warriors to stone and sent balls of fire into the Prince’s keep. At a loss, Chelimber summoned an archmage from Iriaebor, one Taskor “the Terrible” who specialized in solving magical problems for a fee (in other words, “wizard-killing”).
Taskor and the Wizard of the Crag contested on Midsummer’s Eve, each raising mighty magics and countering with spells and elemental forces, and their battle wrecked great destruction. The crag was destroyed, and both Taskor and the Wizard vanished in the fight (and have never been seen in the Realms since). The water elementals the Wizard kept in his tower ran amok, laying waste to a large section of the Prince’s land, flooding his keep, and slaying Chelimber himself.
Such is said to be the creation of the Marsh which bears the name of Prince Chelimber. The site of his keep, called in local tale the Keep of the Drowned Prince, can no longer be discerned, for many trees and overgrown hillocks now rise from the marsh’s water, and Chelimber’s time was long ago. It is said that Chelimber still lives by some arcane fashion, and guards the riches in his sunken keep from those who seek to “despoil them.”(FRCS1 pg 59)

Misty Forest

Wood elves, hybsils, druids, and rangers move comfortably through the fogs of this evergreen forest. Others have the uncomfortable sense that they don’t truly belong on its wooded slopes, particularly not the savage orcs and other barbarians that occasionally sneak through the forest from the High Moor to strike at the neighbouring Trade Way. Though the Misty Forest’s wood elves are loath to admit it, they perform a valuable service for caravans and other travellers headed to Daggerford, Secomber, or Boareskyr Bridge, providing temporary respite from the constant vigilance required to survive the attention of the creatures that infest the High Moor. (FRCS3 pg 225)

Misty Forest

This forest of pine and other evergreens covers the slopes of the western approaches to the High Moor. It gets its name because of the mists and fogs that creep down from the High Moor, making navigation difficult on even the best of days.
This forest is partially patrolled by local rangers and tribes of hybsils. Several Eldathyn druids have shrines here and small forest gnome villages are scattered throughout the forest. There is also a small community of wild elves, kin to those who inhabit the Laughing Hollow, who work with the druids and include druids of their own. These forces for general good can only cover a small fraction of the forest at any one time.
Predators native to the woodlands include forest trollsMM3, krenshar, spriggans, and green dragons. The barbarians of the High Moor come down into the forest for hunting and wood gathering. The goblins and orcs of the High Moor use the protection of the forest for approaches to the Trade Way. (UIA pg 46)

Misty Forest

This forest of pine, spruce, and other evergreens covers the western slopes of the High Moor. It takes it name from the mists and fogs that creep down through the trees from the moorlands, making travel disorienting at best.
The Misty Forest is occupied by a number of wild (green) elf tribes who are on good terms with humans (such as those from the Way Inn), provided that they are left alone. The woods are regularly patrolled by rangers and druids, and a number of forest shrines to Eldath, Mielikki, and Silvanus are scattered throughout its length.
The Misty Forest is often used by barbarian humans and savage orcs to sneak up on the Trade Way or the Way Inn. To date, however, the warnings of the wild elves and the human foresters have spoiled any surprise attacks. (FRCS2 pg 97)

Moon Isle

Moon Isle is a crescent-shape island just off the coast of the Open Marches, between the Lizard Marsh and the Seatower of Ilinyth. This barren, rocky isle is covered by the Sea of Swords during fierce storms and has been the site of more than one shipwreck in centuries past. On nights of the full moon, this island is often frequented by pods of weredolphins in humanoid form. The lycanthropes come here to venerate Selûne at a shrine on the northern end of the island. (UIA pg 36)

Moorsedge Keeps

The Realm of Three Crowns constructed a string of keeps, spaced roughly a hard day’s ride apart, along the western edge of the southern High Moor. Centuries after their construction, most of these keeps are little more than scattered stacks of stone that serve as lairs for the occasional predator, but some are thought to have access to catacombs below that contain the remnants of Phalorm’s armories.
Dragonspear Castle (see Chapter 4) was constructed atop the ruins of one of the Moorsedge Keeps, which had previously served the ancient copper dragon Halatathlaer as his lair. (UIA pg 45)

Mystra’s Dance

Once a bare islet at the mouth of the River Delimbyr ere it was swallowed by the Lizard Marsh, Mystra’s Dance is now simply three low hills within shouting distance of the Sea of Swords.
Said to be the site of the first altar of the Lady of Mysteries, Mystra’s Dance is subject to strange and unpredictable wild magic effects. From time to time, worshipers of the Mistress of Magic can find a boon, in the form of a rare scroll hidden somewhere on the islet, along with a whispered admonition to share it with all wizards they encounter. (UIA pg 45)

Narthil

The ruins of Narthil, City of Blades, lie on the south bank of the River Delimbiyr, on the northern edge of the Misty Forest. Little remains of this once-proud city-state, built largely of wood, save for a few stones bearing the symbol of the realm (a longsword wrapped in swirling mists) and the crumbling remnants of its keep that lie within the northern verge of the Misty Forest.
Narthil evolved from the holdings of a now-vanished house of moon elves (House Narthil) into an independent citystate whose populace was composed largely of half-moon elves and humans. Noted for the skills of its weaponsmiths in bladeforging (swords, knives, and the heads of bladed polearms and scythes), Narthil traded with Athalantar, Elembar, and Dardath until it was conquered by “Prince” Gartos, a mercenary loyal to King Belaur of Athalantar. Garthos then slaughtered every member of House Narthil with their own blades. Gartos and his “minder,” the magelord Eth “Stoneclaw” Junster, were slain in the Year of Bloodflowers (234 DR), but Narthil never regained its independence, even after the fall of King Belaur and the Magelords. The Horde of Black Banners overran the City of Blades in the Year of the Cantobele Stalking (342 DR), and the city was never rebuilt. (UIA pg 46)

Nashkel

The northern extent of Amn officially ends at the northernmost slopes of the Cloud Peaks and the northern farms of Nashkel on the Green Fields. (LoI pg 2)

Northdark Woods

Northdark Wood is called by some the Dusk Wood and by others Reluvethel’s Wood, after a famous elven ranger who once hunted in it. This forest is east of the Trielta Hills, and is the most northerly arm of the Reaching Woods, separated from the others by the Dusk Road. (VGttSC pg 126)

Orlumbor

The island realm of Orlumbor lies just off the Sword Coast, nearly three hundred miles south of the city of Waterdeep, consisting of three major islands: Orlumbor, Pendurl, and Larathast. Orlumbor is an independent nation inhabited largely by Illuskan humans that has several times retained its independence solely by having Waterdeep as a strong ally. The City of Splendours has stepped in to aid Orlumbor in conflicts with Mintarn (before the advent of the “tyrant” there), then Baldur’s Gate, and most recently, Amn. The Lords of Waterdeep see it in their best interests to keep the most important shipbuilding center of the Sword Coast independent of any of Waterdeep’s strong rivals.
The main island of Orlumbor is a rocky, bare island surrounded by cliffs that slopes down from west to east (so the eastern cliffs are much lower than the west). Of old the island was covered with trees, though almost all of these have long since been cut down. Araureer (“Uh-RAW-reer”) is the name of the mountainous ridge along the westward/seaward side of the island that shelters the rest of the island from the worst storms.
Lhammaruntosz (LG female very old bronze dragon) has a “resting lair” in a bowl valley in the heights of Orlumbor. Ethril is the name of the northernmost point of rocks on the isle and a tiny (tin, iron) mining village there. The Lassam is the name of the central verdant strip of farmland. Brauraum’s Snout is the name of the southernmost part of the island (a rock spit running out into the waves, with a tiny harbour and fishing village of the same name in its lee).
Orlumbor has a good natural harbour on its landward side, on the centre of the eastern shore. The town of Orlumbor is home to a few fishermen, some goatherds, and the most skilled shipwrights in the Realms. The finest ships of the North find their origins at the docks of Orlumbor. Most of the ships that ply the Sword Coast have been built, or at least repaired, here. It is within that harbour, cut into the living rock of the island itself, that the docks and homes of the shipwrights of the island are found. Their homes are cave-like complexes connected by tunnels and stairs, and the construction docks are seldom empty or deserted. Orlumbor is home to the mage Delshara Windhair (CG female Tethyrian human wizard 17), also called the Witch of the Waves, whose magics are reported to have hurled back ships
from the Pirate Islands and from Luskan that were attacking Orlumbor as well as bands of hagspawn raiders dispatched from the Haglands to the east. Several miles south of town, on a rocky spit of land that forms a harbour large enough for one vessel, stands a powerful temple of Umberlee, Stormhaven House, governed by High Trident Thaeryld Nornagul (CE male Illuskan human cleric 7/waveservant 5).
The smaller, central island, Larathast, is very rocky, and has several quarries. Its eastern shore is flanked by dangerous “awash rocks” that are festooned with dozens of old shipwrecks. The larger and southernmost island of Pendurl, named for a long-ago (and long-dead) hermit-wizard who dwelt there; it’s mainly used for ranching (sheep and goats) these days, though there is a cave (Pendurl’s cave) that connects to an underwater cavern where gigantic fish can be hooked, and large (but not monster) sea turtles lurk. There are no permanent settlements on either island, although semi-permanent tent camps exist on both.
The realm of Orlumbor is nominally ruled by a Council of Shipwrights, of which the High Trident is the titular chair. In practice, Delshara Windhair, like her master Pendurl before her, is the most powerful voice on the island, and her will is usually heeded. (UIA pg 46)

Orlumbor

Orlumbor is a rocky bare island just off the Sword Coast, 300 miles south of the city of Waterdeep. It is home to a few fishermen, some goat-herds, and the most skilled shipwrights in the Realms. The finest ships of the North find their origins at the docks of Orlumbor.
Of old the island of Orlumbor was covered with trees, though these have long-since been cut down. Most of the ships which ply the Sword Coast have been built, or at least repaired, here.
Orlumbor has a good natural harbor on its landward side. It is about that harbor, cut into the living rock of the island itself, that the docks and homes of the shipwrights of the island are found. The homes are cave-like complexes connected by tunnels and stairs, and the construction docks are seldom empty or deserted.
Orlumbor is an independent nation that has several times retained its independence solely by having Waterdeep as a strong ally. That city-state of the Sword Coast has stepped in to aid Orlumbor in conflicts with Mintarn (before the advent of the Tyrant there), then Baldur’s Gate, and most recently Amn. The Lords of Waterdeep see it in their best interests in keeping the most important shipbuilding center of the Sword Coast independent of any of its strong rivals.
Orlumbor is the home to the magess Delshara “Windhair,” also called “the Witch of the Waves,” whose magics are reported to have hurled back ships attacking the isle from the Pirate Islands and from Luskan.
The Shipwrights of Orlumbor are the finest purveyors of ocean-going ships to be found along the sword coast. Their construction techniques give these ships the maximum hull range value available for these ships, at the standard costs. They can construct ships in the following times.
Merchant, Small 2 months
Merchant, Large 6 months
Warship 4 months (not including any additional weapons fitted to it).
The shipwrights of Orlumbor specialize in salt-water craft, and as such do not normally deal in galleys and other craft normally found on the Sea of Fallen Stars. (FRCS1 pg 68)

Open Marches

The open land between the River Delimbiyr and the Trollclaw Ford and between the Misty Forest and the Trollbark Forest is known as the Open Marches. Long claimed by the Dukes of Daggerford, in reality this region is largely ungoverned and the small settlements in the region are largely confined to the immediate vicinity of the Trade Way.
The Open Marches are regularly raided by various kinds of trolls from the High Moor and the Trollbark Forest; barbarians, orcs, and goblins from the High Moor; lizardfolk from the Lizard Marsh; and foulwings who lair in the cliff faces overlooking the Sea of Swords. The Open Marches have had only a year to recover from the Dragonspear War, centred on the ruins of Dragonspear Castle, and the lingering effects of that diabolic invasion are still being felt throughout the region.
The Open Marches, including such sites as the Alicorn Tower of Mab, Brightoaks, Dragonspear Fields, the Roosting Griffon Inn, Scathril, and Telthin’s Mill, as well as the hamlets of Gillian’s Hill, Liam’s Hold, and Bowshot, are further detailed in Chapter 4. The Shining Baronies are discussed in Chapter 2. (UIA pg 47)

Orogoth

Once ignored by most treasure-seekers, this ruined hold of great antiquity has been getting more and more attention in the last couple of years. Supposedly, years ago it was the grand home of a Netherese family that captured dragons, then transformed themselves into dragons.
As with several other rumors about the High Moor region, I have run across some natural evidence that supports part of this: Dragons have lived here, and several of them laired together. The truth is that they raided other dragons for treasure. Eventually an outright minor dragon war involving most of the dragons of the High Moor erupted as a result of their actions. The wyrms destroyed one another along with a lot of wildlife. (Most dragons aren’t much better than humans in their respect for the ecology.)
Anyway, a powerful dracolich now sits within the ruins of Orogoth, directing a small group of black dragons to do its bidding. These dragons are a powerful destructive force in the region. Adventurers and representatives from the Cult of the Dragon visit Orogoth regularly. They seldom live through the experience.
Again, please feel free to stop by. Orogoth is some 55 miles southwest of Hammer Hall. (EEA2HM pg 12)

Pelldith Lake

Serpestrillvyth, male adult green dragon lairs here (DoF pg 155)

Qheldin’s Mask
This small river hamlet is located on the east bank of the Chionthar halfway between Scornubel and Berdusk. A small fishing, hunting, and farming community, Qheldin’s Mask was recently the site of a fine inn, Six Spanglestars, but it burned down some winters ago and hasn’t been rebuilt. There’s no local accommodation available to travelers now. Qheldin’s Mask is known today for the fine riding horses reared on local farms.
The hamlet was founded by Qheldin, the Masked Mage, some 300 winters ago. In his honor, by long-standing custom, women of the hamlet—descendants of the wizard’s servants—wear masks at weddings, feasts, and other important occasions. These are usually full-faced masks of black velvet or cotton with eyeholes shaped and decorated like the long-lashed, limpid eyes of a courtesan. The mask edges are adorned as the maker pleases. They are often strung with tassels, tiny brass bells, dangle gems, or nets of sparkling cloth.
Qheldin is long dead. His tower has fallen into rubble, its stones tested once too often by the spells of journeyman wizards seeking hidden magical treasure. Qheldin’s tower is haunted by the wizard’s ghost, who keeps watch over
the overgrown rubble that was once his home. A golem was once found here, and a hollow pillar yielded up some
spellbooks quite recently, but the only things regularly dug up are handsboth dangerous crawling claws that
attack their finders, and two sorts of magical items made by the wizard. The site is called the Grove of Hands because of them. Crawling claws lurk and scuttle here amid the trees.
Rumors say the inn6 also held hidden magic, and since the inn burned down, bands of brigands and adventurers have several times dug up both tower and inn. (As the locals dryly put it, it’s often hard to tell the brigands and the adventurers apart.) The inn has yielded up nothing more interesting than a few blackened coins and a snake that had taken up residence in the halfburied cellar. (VGttSC pg 104)

Reaching Woods

The Reaching Woods is a thick young woods located on the banks of the Chionthar and split into two main (northern and southern) branches by the River Reaching tumbling south out of Hill’s Edge.
The north branch thins at the point where the Dusk Road passes through it, and then it continues in a minor subbranch on the road’s far side. The forest is filled with hardy stands of maples, elms, and beeches, which give the entire woods a feeling of peace and serenity.
The Reaching Wood is known to be the home of several powerful druids, and several shrines to Eldath have been erected among its placid pools. Some regions of the woods have been invaded by goblinoids, who enslave the native centaurs and satyrs.
The Reaching Wood is also the home of the Walking Tower. The tower resembles a great statue, many stories high, and is thought to be a relic of the days of Netheril. The Walking Tower was the property of the ranger Alomystia a hundred years ago, hut none know what became of him. The Walking Tower has been seen in certain parts of the woods, often moving randomly from place to place, as if looking for something. (FRCS2 pg 97)

River Catherine

This small stream winds through the southern Serpent Hills until it joins with the Serpent’s Tail Stream and, eventually, the Winding Water. This waterway is home to many of the same creatures as the Serpent’s Tail Stream. The central arch of the Great Petrifi ed Serpent spans the River Catherine at its widest point. (SK pg 106)

River Chionthar

The River Chionthar links Baldur’s Gate and the Sword Coast with the inland cities of Elturel, Scornubel, Berdusk, and Iriaebor. Barges can travel as far inland as Iriaebor, at which point they must unload and take their goods overland. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Roaringshore

This isolated village nestles in a small deepwater cove on the coast about a third of the way south from the mouth of the Winding Water toward the city of Baldur’s Gate. Like Lathtarl’s Lantern (see that entry), this is a pirate hold—but unlike the Lantern, the reputation of bold, lawless Roaringshore has spread far up and down the length of the Sword Coast.
Though such tales have grown in the telling, this is still a place raided at least once summer by mercenary armies of 70 or more lancers or horse archers, hired by Amn and Baldur’s Gate. As a result, prominent folk and businesses here tend to be (literally!) short-lived. (VGttSC pg 54)

Rockshaws

The broken country of the northeastern High Moor, due east from Daggerford and southeast of Secomber is a trackless region of sharp stony ridges and narrow, deep gullies linking springs with small cauldron lakes and sinkholes.
The Rockshaws has acquired a colourful reputation as the home of many ghosts and much buried treasure. If one believes the bards, every thief or doomed dwarven treasury-guard in the North has headed for the Rockshaws as fast as possible under the weight of their loot, to bury it where monsters roam and inquisitive folk with shovels are thus few.
Leucrotta and galeb duhr have always inhabited the Rockshaws, but other beasts come and go. Scattered communities of outlaws and tribes of dragonkin have long dwelt in small encampments throughout the Rockshaws, making it more settled that much of the rest of the northern High Moor. (UIA pg 45)

Roosting Griffon Inn

Midway between Bowshot and the Liam’s Hold lies the Roosting Griffon Inn, a popular waystop for caravans along the Trade Way. The affable proprietor, Farl Longhorn (LG male Illuskan human expert 2), is a cousin of the Baron Targarth Longhorn of Ardeepsward (see Chapter 2).
DM’s Note: The Roosting Griffon Inn is destroyed and Farl Longhorn killed in the Year of Shadows (1358 DR), during the Time of Troubles, by Cyric, ere his ascension. (UIA pg 102)

Scathril

In the heart of the Open Marches, west of the Roosting Griffin Inn, lies a low hillock that stands proud of the surrounding plains. Atop this hill lies the ruined keep that once served as the ducal seat of the Duchy of Scathril, built by Duke Turvan, “the Grey” Stoneblade beginning in the Year of Trials Arcane (523 DR). The keep’s defenders were reduced to a small garrison after the death of Duke Baerild, “the Accursed” Stoneblade at the Battle of Sodden Fields in the Year of the Shattered Scepter (614 DR), with the end of the acknowledged Stoneblade line and the absorption of Scathril’s holdings into the Kingdom of Man by King Haryd I. The defenders proved no match for the green dragon Skarlthoondarammarus, better known as “Skarlthoon” or “Snarljaws,” who tore the keep apart in the Year of the Fanged Beast (640 DR) and the site was then abandoned. (UIA pg 102)

Scornubel

(Large City, 14,574): Scornubel, the Caravan City, is a sprawling buzz of mercantile activity along the north shore where the River Chionthar meets the River Reaching. It is ruled by a group of elderly or middle-aged adventurers and caravan masters, some of whom favor hiring adventurers to solve the city’s problems and others who prefer that adventurers move along promptly. In all things, the ruling council chooses efficiency and profit over ideals.
Caravans of all nations, organizations, and trading costers are welcome in Scornubel. Similarly, shrines to nearly all Faerunian deities can be found somewhere in the town’s low buildings. The Red Shield merchant company runs both its military and trading caravan operations out of Scornubel. The Red Shields also serve as Scornubel’s official army and police force. As an army, they’re efficient. As a police force, they concentrate on relaxing, enjoying themselves, and looking after the Red Shield company’s interests. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Scornubel

Scornubel, the Caravan City, is a huge, unwalled, open city set on the north shore at the confluence of the Chionthar and the River Reaching. It is an unwalled town buzzing with continual activity, and a large number of pack animals, wagons, and symbols of merchant and trading companies can be seen as the traveler enters the city. Most of the buildings are low—one or two stories—with a scattering of larger buildings and towers in the center of town. A map of Scornubel can be found on page 99.
Scornubel is one of the key cities on the Trade Way leading from Waterdeep to the lands of the Inner Sea. Like its rivals, Elturel and Iriaebor, it is a town of merchants and those things merchants are concerned with: warehouses, transportation, and protection (usually from the other merchants). Its population can swell to sixfold its normal numbers during the summer trading season.
The Caravan City is ruled by the shrewd, elderly, and regal Lady Rhessajan Ambermantle (NG hf B14), who in her time was a daring explorer and wandering trader and is still famed in tavern talk as “Rhessajan of the Tents.” The Lady Rhessajan is supported by three lord high advisors named Burdan (LN hm F12), Deep (NE hm T9), and Phantar (NG hm F13), all middle-aged adventurers and retired caravan masters themselves. Lady Rhessajan and her advisors make their judgments on activities in the city based on one key factor: what is profitable for the city and its merchants. The city militia and scouts are provided by an agreement with the Red Shields merchant company.
Scornubel has only one established temple, the Healing House of Lathander. Its high priestess is Josura Hlammel (NG hf P14), and she is aided in her ministrations by 12 additional priests. The very name of the temple indicates the view most of the local merchants have toward the faith—it is useful to patch up their injured companions and employees. Josura ministers to the needs of all alignments. In addition, shrines are scattered through the city to every deity in the Faerûn pantheon and some quasi-gods from farther away.
Scornubel is also haunted, which is not unusual, but what is surprising is that the inhabitants know the haunter. The mage Oebelar was transformed through magical attack or mishap into little more than a coldly shining eye and a blackened hand and forearm floating in the air. Oebelar wanders the city at will, watching, observing, peeping, and peering at all the living activity. Oebelar cannot speak, but can signal and write. His remaining body parts are unaffected by magic, and attempts to turn or banish them have failed to date. (FRCS2 pg 97)

Scornubel

Scornubel is the Caravan City a sprawling place of warehouses, paddocks, and stockyards. It is a city of traveling merchants with a population that can increase eightfold in a good summer, sixfold during most traveling seasons. It has no walls and is a place of ready swords and watchful residents. There have been more than a few raids on it by bugbears, hobgoblins, and the like, particularly in harsh winter weather, when game is scarce. Thieves and dopplegangers are a constant problem.
This rough-and-tumble place is the closest thing some caravan merchants have to a home. It sprawls along the northern bank of the River Chionthar where the Trade Way meets the waters. From Scornubel’s docks a ferry crosses
the river. Many skiffs, narrowboats, and barges make runs along the Chionthar as far upstream as Berdusk (where
rapids prevent travel onward), as far downstream as Baldur’s Gate, and as far up the River Reaching as Hills Edge and a few rancher’s docks upstream of it.
Old, sharp-tongued Lady Rhessajan Ambermantle rules the city, assisted by three Lord High Advisors (retired merchants) in consultation with a council of merchants. Her tongue and worldwise stratagems have earned her the title “the Old Vixen,” but she’s generally loved— or at least respected—among Scornubians.
She can whelm a mounted militia and scouts headed and equipped by the Red Shields mercenary company and has a watch of well-trained and well-equipped soldiers assisted by both priests and mages. The city has many shrines and visiting clergy., but only one temple, the Healing House of Lathander, which is much called upon to heal injured travelers of all faiths. It’s been said the goods and riches of half of Faerûn pass through Scornubel, but the city itself is known as the source of much mutton and wool, medicines concocted by local artisans, merchant services (wagon repairs, moneylending and a barter fair), and the trading, training, and doctoring of mounts and beasts
of burden. Businesses and the buildings that house them change from season to season or even more rapidly, and Scornubel has few permanent landmarks.
One never need pay for a night’s rest unless one wants a bed, bath, or stables—even in cold winter weather you’ll see folk burrowing into hay piles to hollow out warm beds, and on hot summer nights many folk lie down amid their stock in the paddocks, surrounded by saddles and saddlebags to keep the beasts from stepping on them. (VGttSC pg 105)

Scornubel

Scornubel is a huge, open city set on the north shore at the confluence of the Chionthar’s South Fork and the River Reaching. It is an unwalled town buzzing with continual activity, and a large number of pack animals, wagons, and symbols of Merchant Companies can be seen as the traveler enters. Most of the buildings are low, one or two stories, with a spattering of larger buildings and towers in the center of town.
Scornubel is one of the key cities on the Trade Way leading from Waterdeep to the lands of the Inner Sea. Like its rivals, Elturel and Iriaebor, it is a town of merchants and those things merchants are concerned with; warehouses, transportation, and protection (usually from the other merchants).
The “Caravan City” is ruled by the shrewd, elderly and regal Lady Rhessajan who in her time was a daring explorer and wandering trader, and is still famed in tavern-talk as “Rhessajan of the Tents.” The Lady Rhessajan is supported by three Lord High Advisors named Burdan, Deep, and Phantar, all middle-aged adventurers and retired caravan-masters themselves. The Lady and her advisors make their judgments on activities in the city based on one key factor: what is profitable for the city and its merchants.
The Caravan City of Scornubel is an important port/ferrylink/warehouse storage caravan-company headquarters. Here the major caravan companies of the North all have large warehouse, stock pasture and stables, and office facilities. Six of those companies are noted here. 
Highmoon Trading Coster: Headed by Guldeph Maremmon, a 9th level fighter, this flourishing concern dominates the Sword Coast overland routes from its bases here and in Waterdeep. It carries everything, but has exclusive supply rights to kaorph (“blue wine”) and certain spices (arispeg, marka, and delph) which originate somewhere far to the south and east. Its colors are a white crescent on a black, starstudded oval.

Surefeet Trademasters: Headed by a Council (the merchants Pheng Thelombur, Aramma Dulve, and Prist Thelmip), and based in Scornubel, the Surefeet specialize in providing expert guides/escorts/guards for all concerns; their own caravans and those of any overland traveler. Their rates are high, their men good—and it is rumored that the Surefeet have gained much wealth through several rich tomb and temple-ruin finds made by guide-members.
The Trail Lords: A mysterious, pompous outfit (whom some say are ruled by Thay, or other fell sorcerous eastern lands), the Trail Lords have been known to hire half-orcs and worse as guards. but they appear to have boundless money, and can mount a small army or two to guard those specially valuable clients and cargo in a very short time. The “Trail Lords” are said to be merchant kings (none have ever seen them); they rule through the fat, masked illusionist Mhereg Ssar (6th level).
The Red Shields: Formerly a mercenary company (still available for such hire, some say), the Red Shields are a group of highly-skilled (1-3rd level) fighters, who are well-armed and bear red, featureless shields. They usually hire out in groups of 25, 50, or 75 to guard regular road travel from Neverwinter through to Amn, and run their own regular “run” from Scornubel to Waterdeep every few days, carrying messages as well as cargo. Led by Bronthar Helmbrind (a level 6 fighter) and his lieutenants Miftat (a level 5 fighter) and Vuldan (level 4 fighter), the Red Shields effectively (and loosely) police the streets of Scornubel, watching its perimeters to ward off bandit raids (and to keep themselves well informed of events within those perimeters).
The Stags Caravan Company: An older, somewhat fallen-from-formergreatness outfit of rugged adventurers (now mostly dead or gone to other adventures elsewhere), it has been taken over by merchants, who are constantly dealing in large and small matters everywhere. Their robes are white or cream with a goldbraided border; important personages of the Company have gold traceries of antlers at each shoulder, as well. Their aging “trail general,” Black Tomm Bharhinn, has lost effective control of day-to-day operations to the merchants Storm, Hlevell, and Dindar Pel, all young merchants of Amn who despair of making their fortunes within that kingdom of mighty merchants, but are determined to make money here.
The Windriders Trading Coster: The Windriders are young, relatively inexperienced merchants with a wild reputation for fierce competition, hard traveling, and hi-jinks. All wear shields adorned with a white pegasus, wings outstretched, and are much used for swift, discreet carrier service around the North. There are approximately sixty Windriders; they prefer to remain anonymous, represented through their office and leader, Torshilm Firetel (a 6th level fighter, formerly of Westgate). (FRCS1 pg 73)

Seatower of Ilinyth

Due west of the Way Inn, lies a particularly prominent seastack along the Broken Shore. Atop it lie the ruins of an ancient stone tower of elven design, now inhabited by a “devilwing” (halffiend advanced foulwingLEoF) that once served as the steed of a commanding devil in the Alliance of Avernus. The devilwing has attacked ships as far afield as Mintarn, but no one has yet tracked it back to its lair.
Before this fortress was blasted to rubble by fell magic, it served as a watchtower facing seawards, and as a base for mounted patrols defending Phalorm against troll and bugbear attacks in the area. It also allowed elves to quietly take ship there by night, flying by magical means down the rugged cliff to board vessels that then slipped away towards Evermeet. It is thought that over 7,000 elves slipped away from the Realm of Three Crowns before its fall, leaving the bloodshed and tumult of Faerûn behind. (UIA pg 36)

Secomber

(Small Town, 1,417): Sitting along the Unicorn Run just north of the High Moor, Secomber is either the northernmost settlement of the Western Heartlands or the first village of the North, depending on who draws the map. Those who vote for the Western Heartlands point to the town’s peacefulness, its thriving families of fisherfolk and farmers, its colorful gardens, and its hospitality to passing caravans. Those who think of it as part of the North point to the town’s sizable community of adventurers and guides who have at least passing familiarity with the High Forest to the north.
The city welcomes travelers, particularly adventurers who use the city as a base for forays into the High Moor or the High Forest. Not coincidentally, such adventurers are called on to help out when gargoyles and worse creatures are unearthed from the ruins of longdead Athlantar, the Kingdom of the Stag. (FRCS3 pg 228)

Secomber

Secomber is the closest settlement to the High Moor. It has already been mentioned a couple of times, once because its people have unleashed gargoyles on the area and another time because their quarrying of the Red Cliffs’ granite stands to cause other environmental problems. Those are just the beginnings of the difficulties caused by this “quaint” little fishing village.
Now, to be honest, most of the humans and halflings of Secomber are pretty inoffensive. They spend their lives fishing or farming and live in relative harmony with nature. They’ve at least become an expected part of the ecology of the region, and without them the populations of various species would rise or fall, and the ecology would have to adapt. So their presence is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, the lord of Secomber, one Traskar, has turned this little town into a tourist stop for adventurers. He’s made certain that the town welcomes adventurers and can offer them supplies for their treasure-hunting forays. He has positioned the town in adventurers’ minds as a convenient rest stop between such thrill-seeking endeavours. With Secomber so close to the High Moor and the ruins and monsters available in the Moor, it’s no wonder that a lot of those adventuring expeditions head right up the slopes and into the High Moor.
Please, feel free to use the town as a base for adventures, but please take the adventures somewhere else, like to the north into the High Forest. I wouldn’t mind seeing some grief come to a druid or two up there for a change. Seriously, though, if you must adventure, please be careful. And let’s talk for a minute about Amelior Amanitas. Though it might sound like the name of an exotic disease, it’s really the name of an obnoxious mage native to Secomber. This fellow seems to have a penchant for experimenting that often leads to subsequent explosions or other accidents. He’s also created far more than his fair share of magical hazards, including items and constructs that have encouraged mischief of various sorts. Not only that, but he occasionally hires adventurers to, you really should see this one coming, travel to the High Moor and gather materials for his stupid experiments. This usually involves the death of one of the natural denizens of the region, something which quite naturally UPSETS ME. Say it with me this time: Leave the High Moor alone. (EEA2HM pg 13)

Serpent Hills

The Serpent Hills are a great expanse of rocky hills rolling and broadening to the west until they become the High Moor. The Serpent Hills see more rainfall than the moor, providing scrub cover for the region’s innumerable snakes and groves of hardy trees to provide ambush shelter for the land’s roving yuan-ti. Copper and red dragons fight for possession of the choicest ridgelines not already occupied by ancient silver dragons. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Serpent Hills

The Serpent Hills are a great expanse of rolling hills and rocky lands rising to low mountains in the center and broadening to the west until they become the High Moor. Better-watered than the Moor, the Serpent Hills are greener and overrun with small copses and scrubland.
The Serpent Hills are noted for the large quantities of snakes, dragons, and other reptiles found throughout their length. Brass and red dragons are the most common, along with some coppers and bronzes.
The Serpent Hills are the home of the Dungeon of Swords, supposedly a relic of the days of Netheril. The Dungeon is a small crypt of a forgotten war hero who either lived during the reign of Netheril or in the century after its fall. The hero either forged or collected a huge number of magical blades that are said to rest with him in his crypt. An adventuring company visiting the scene reports a great chasm and ghostly warriors protecting the old crypt and its treasures, and they have not attempted to loot it since these hazards were discovered. (FRCS2 pg 98)

Serpent Hills

These rocky hills roll along a great expanse, broadening to the west until they become the High Moor. The Serpent Hills average 500 feet in height, with the tallest just below 1,000 feet. This region gets more rainfall than the moor, and its scrubby growth and groves of hardy trees provide cover for the region’s innumerable snakes. Many streams, the largest of which is the River Catherine, emerge from freshwater springs and then carve their way through the rocky hills to join with the Serpent’s Tail Stream.
Most of the rock faces have been carved or quarried, and the landscape is dotted with ruins, many of which are Anaurian crypts that date back to the era immediately following the fall of Netheril. The hills themselves are primarily granite, though deposits of iron and silver ore, veins of salt, and pockets of fi ne marble make them a rich resource. Much of the exposed marble has already been quarried, but many deposits remain underground. Only a few shallow caves lie directly beneath the hills, but some of them connect with the more extensive limestone caverns that make up the uppermost reaches of the Underdark.
In addition to lizardfolk, nagas, ophidians, and yuan-ti, the Serpent Hills support a colony of black caimans (crocodiles), a school of bulettes, a handful of beholder variants with vipers in lieu of eyestalks, dinosaurs (deinonychus, known locally as razortails, and small stegosauruses, known locally as spiketails), fi redrakes, giant frogs, muckdwellers, urds (treat as kobolds with the winged template; see Savage Species), and strange monstrosities bred by the yuan-ti. The harmless forms of wildlife include frogs, at least four varieties of skinks, snake-necked turtles, and toads. All manner of snakes make their homes here as well, including adders (Small vipers), loopsnakes (amphisbaena), striped boalisks, tree pythons, two-headed adders, whipsnakes, winged vipers, and other harmless varieties.
Known dragons include Borcher (male adult bronze dragon), Chellewis (female adult copper dragon), Girac (male old brass dragon), Janic (female old brass dragon), Narbdy (female young adult brass dragon), Nusas (female adult bronze dragon), Naelere and Thyka ( female o ld bronze dragons), K asid ikal ( female mature adult black dragon from Orogoth), Landillew (female very old red dragon), Mejas and Miteach (male young copper dragons), Topher and Sivert (male adult brass dragons), and Troberdene (male red wyrm). (SK pg 106)

Serpent’s Cowl

Farther upstream from Boareskyr Bridge is the small town of Serpent’s Cowl, a village that is named for the great yuan-ti city and temple once maintained on this site. The village is small but pleasant and crowds around a small square. The
villagers tend several farm fields near the village, but these fields lack any buildings.
The farms lack buildings for the same reason the village is small: A ward protects the village’s buildings and people from dragons, but the ward has a fairly small area of effect. Dragons destroy any structure outside the protected area and occasionally attack people inside and outside that area as well.
Beneath Serpent’s Cowl (and much of the surrounding area) lie the ruins of a powerful yuan-ti city, and beneath and among those ruins rest ancient Netherese ruins. The yuan-ti seized awesome magical items from the ancient Netherese ruins and built their city, which dominated the surrounding area for more than a century. In the center of the city was a great temple in which hideous arcane experiments transformed monsters into horrid abominations. Legends tell of their creating giant winged flying snakes and beholders with snakelike, dangling rear bodies.
The yuan-ti were eventually brought down by a force of mages. They caused the collapse of the temple, burying the yuan-ti and their terrible creations beneath. Many of the yuan-ti escaped to the Serpent Hills (as detailed in the earlier chapter on The Snake People), where they plot and scheme to reclaim their ancient lands. Twisted passages still exist from the ancient yuan-ti city through the Underdark to the Serpent Hills and to sites within the Forest of Wyrms.
The people of the Serpent’s Cowl area have a strong belief in the legends about the yuan-ti with good reason. By unspoken agreement, they never construct cellars or dig pits into the ground, and since they can get good water from the Winding Water, they do not drill wells. In this way, they do not risk accidental contact with any of the monsters presumed to still live beneath the site.
At some unspecified time in the past (local tellings of the legends simply state “long before any of us were alive”), a group of evil mages entered the area riding dragons that they directed to dig up the ancient ruins in search of Netherese magic. It was these incursions that led to the creation of the ward that now protects the village. The ward’s presence and the fact that the dragon-riding mages seem to have found whatever it was they were looking for eventually led to the villagers being left alone by sorcerous guests.
I asked several inhabitants of Serpent’s Cowl why they stayed where they were when they all knew of the dangers of the Forest of Wyrms and they all believed in the dangers lurking beneath the ground; most villagers are farmers, hunters, fishers, and woodcutters, and most must travel with armed parties to practice even those inoffensive professions in safety. Of those I asked, most explained that they stayed because their ancestors had claimed the land and they were too stubborn to move.
One old man, however, stated his belief that he had a sacred duty to watch over the area in case the snakemen should come back. If they did, he would be ready to stem the tide while others went for help. When he said this, several other townspeople silently nodded in agreement. While at first the people seemed foolish to me, I must admit that their chosen task—to serve as early warnings should the serpent people invade again—provided me with some comfort. It led me to reconsider my judgment of the villagers as foolish; I now believe them to be quietly noble and steadfast. (EEA2SH pg 29)

Serpent’s Cowl

This small village sits on the east (or south) bank of the Winding Water upstream of Boareskyr Bridge, near the estate of Heartwing, which is owned by the sorceress Aluena Halacanter, who’s famous for the pegasi she rears. Named for the yuan-ti city and temple that once stood here, Serpent’s Cowl stands hard by the Forest of Wyrms. It is important today as a ferry crossing at the limits of clear water on the river. Below it, the Winding Water is black and poisonous because of godly battles during the Time of Troubles. The Cowl has always been home to farmers, a few woodcutters who timidly cut along the verges of the Forest of Wyrms in armed parties (parties that keep watch for who-knows-what
monsters approaching from the forest depths), and a handful of fisherfolk and bold (local folk use the word strange) hunters.

Local legend forbids digging cellars or pits in the village for fear of opening a way into the lost cellars of the yuan-ti temple and unleashing the weird monsters said to lurk there. The temple was blasted to rubble by the spells of victorious mages when the serpent folk settlement fell. The yuan-ti wielded magical items of awesome strength seized from Netherese ruins (scepters that blasted or hurled rings of lightning, rings that gave forth rays that burned or fired showers of stinging darts, and staves whose segments could turn into multiple fighting golems when detached and thrown), and used these to savagely guard the cellars of their temple, where unholy experiments were conducted in breeding and magically altering monsters to produce worse monsters. Records of the battle speak of pale things that
resembled bulettes, other pale things like behir, and creatures that resembled giant winged flying snakes and beholders with snakelike, dangling rear bodies.
In the end, the attacking mages brought down the temple atop the yuan-ti, burying them alive. Most believe they survived, though, tunneling down into the Underdark to escape to the Serpent Hills or tunneling to the surface somewhere in the Forest of Wyrms, which has at its heart many as-yet-unexplored ravines tangled with thickly grown
trees and shrubs.
The traveler who’s not interested in trudging around a forest known to be endangered by snakes and green dragons will find the village itself small and rather pleasant. The farms around it lack any buildings for the same reason the village is small: Raiding green dragons destroy homes and devour people that are outside the ward that envelops the entire village.
This ward, created after the battle to keep evil dragon-riding mages from directing their mounts to dig up the temple cellars in any attempt to gain the Netherese magic there, keeps all dragons out. Any dragon who comes into contact with the ward is torn simultaneously by repulsion, lightning, and some form of life-draining curse.11 This spell is known to affect weredragons and dragons who’ve used magic to adopt another form. (Sounds like this was created to deliberately foil the dragons from Orogoth???)
The ward keeps the stone, turfroofed, and florally decorated cottages of the Cowl crowded together around a small square. Their gardens and the tracks that lead to the nearby farms radiate out from them. There’s but one small guesthouse in the Cowl, the Dusty Dragon, whose owner sells food to visitors. (VGttSC pg 115)

Serpent’s Tail Stream

This waterway runs all along the eastern side of the Serpent Hills and in fact defines the perimeter of the hill country. Several small streams lead from the hills to the Serpent’s Tail, and that waterway handles the majority of the drainage for the hills. In the spring, runoff causes some flooding along the Serpent’s Tail as well as the river into which it feeds, the Winding Water.
Not surprisingly (considering the source of the water for this stream) the Serpent’s Tail Stream is heavily laden with snakes of many types, from the deadly to the merely disgusting. The stream originates at a small spring in the northern tip of the Serpent Hills territory. The spring may in turn originate in the Underdark beneath the High Moor, as evidenced by occasional strange creatures that are found within its waters.
The Serpent’s Tail is joined by a western tributary (which originates near the Dungeon of Swords) about 35 miles before the Serpent’s Tail flows into the Winding Water north of Boareskyr Bridge. Most of the stream’s snakes and other life forms stay upstream of this confluence. (EEA2SH pg 28)

Serpent’s Tail Stream

Winding along the eastern edge of the Serpent Hills, the Serpent’s Tail Stream is fed by countless streams as well as the River Catherine. Like the Winding Water to the south, which it eventually joins, this small river serves as a hunting ground for the black caimans (crocodiles) and many swimming snakes that live along its banks. Ophidian hunters often fi sh from the western bank of the river, regularly landing scaled salmon and horned trout. Periodic fl oods cause the Serpent’s Tail to rise high above its banks, and from time to time the rising waters reveal the entrance to a long-forgotten Anaurian crypt. (SK pg 106)

Skull Gorge

The orc and hobgoblin shamans who survived the six-day Battle of the Bones fled south into this narrow cut along the upper course of the River Reaching, daring their mainly human pursuers to come in and take them. The human warriors obliged them, slaying the demons and devils the orcs summoned to defend their position along with the goblinoids. Usually victors have the luxury of looting the bodies of the fallen, but the battlefield of Skull Gorge was quickly abandoned to powerful demons that outlived their summoners.
Supposedly, much treasure is hidden in the river, in the white stone caverns along the gorge’s walls or in the lairs of beings it would be wise not to encounter. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Formerly known as the River Reaching Gorge (EEA1BOB pg 14)

Skull Gorge

Skull Gorge is situated on the upper course of the River Reaching. It is a sharp cut through the surrounding terrain, and its steep walls run almost to the river’s edge. The walls of the gorge are made of a very pale grey stone and are riddled with caverns.
It was in this steep-walled valley that the bulk of the surviving orc and hobgoblin chieftains and shamans gathered following the Battle of Bones (see more under that entry) to stand off the armies of humans. The goblinoid races summoned extraplanar aid, for later forces encountered many fiends and tanar’ri. A great disembodied skull glowing with red flames was seen in the air above the gorge as the human troops made their final assault. The gorge was cleared of the orcs and hobgoblins, and is now thought to be deserted.
Much booty is said to have been hurriedly concealed in the caverns that lace the whitestone walls of the gorge. Few who have come here seeking that treasure have been seen again, and though treasure has been found here, so have fell beasts that seem to appear from nowhere to attack travellers in the gorge. (FRCS2 pg 98)

Skull Gorge

Skull Gorge is situated on the upper reaches of the River Reaching, and is a sharp cut through the surrounding terrain, its steep walls running almost to the river’s edge. The walls of the vale are a pale-grey stone, and riddled with caverns.
It was in this steep-walled valley that the surviving orc and hobgoblin chieftains and shamans gathered following the Battle of Bones (q.v.) to stand off the Armies of Men. The goblin races summoned extra-planar aid, for later forces encountered many bone devils, spined devils, and malebranche, and a great disembodied skull glowing with red flames was seen the air above the gorge. The gorge was cleared of the orcs and hobgoblins, and now thought to be deserted.
Much treasure is said to have been hurriedly concealed in the caverns that lace the white-stone walls of the gorge. Few who have come here seeking treasure have been seen again, and though treasure has been found here, so have fell beasts that seem to appear from nowhere to attack travelers in the Gorge. (FRCS1 pg 80)

Soubar

Soubar is a lawless settlement that shrinks to a mere outpost in the winter and grows to a thriving village in the summer. It’s been raided numerous times by goblinkin from the High Moor. This is no less than the little town deserves, however. It is a home to bounty hunters of all the worst sorts. Soubar serves a thriving marketplace for butchers who are interested in ecology only so they can find out what parts of an animal they can sell. (EEA2HM pg 13)

Soubar

Soubar is a small town along the Trade Way north of Triel, and it is often used as a waystation for traders traveling along that road. It has about 30 semi-permanent buildings, the remainder of the structures being temporarily lashed together or supports for the tent city that springs up near every trading city. Only a few of the inhabitants winter here, retreating instead to more pleasant lairs in Elturel and Scornubel.
Soubar is a wild, brawling town, with no laws other than those of strength and gold. During the winter it is desolate, during the summer overflowing with caravans and all manner of traveling peddlers who cater to the needs of the trading community.

The one truly permanent building is the Winding Way, a tavem located in the ruins of what was once thought to be a temple of Bane. It is run by Mag, a supposed former priest of some unknown deity who retired and has made the tavern her home ever since. Mag wears a ring of misdirection, so her alignment and true abilities are unknown, and while some travelers have declared that she has healed the sick on occasion, no other proof of her abilities has ever been shown. She allows travelers to sleep in the old choir loft, where broken instruments of torture are stashed.

Soubar has been raided and destroyed a number of times in living memory, usually by goblin tribes from the High Moor. (FRCS2 pg 98)

Soubar

This small trail town is located on the Trade Way south of Boareskyr Bridge. Often raided by goblinkin and bugbears,
it’s a summer tent town that shrinks to an armed outpost in winter. At its heart is the old stone ruin of a temple or abbey of Bane, known as the Black Abbey. Some folk believe it was once sacred to another god and was only seized by worshipers of Bane briefly. The ruins have yielded stones to build the rest of Soubar. What remains of the ruins are
home to a mysterious woman known only as Mag, who runs a tavern called the Winding Way in them.
The word around the Coast is that Mag was once a priestess. Some say she abandoned her calling, others that she embraced another faith and others say she’s a mind flayer or other horrible creature (a beholder, perhaps, or even a neogi) who’s mastered magic enough to take human form for years at a time.
All that’s certain is that Mag answers no questions, has healed folk from time to time, wears a ring of misdirection that conceals her true allegiances and powers, and stores broken instruments of torture in the old abbey loft where she sometimes lets travelers sleep. Whether she used spells or potions for healing is a point of contention. Reports on this are confused. All of this makes many merchants uneasy. They camp west of Soubar, or press on past if the weather’s fair and the Soubar night apt to be moonlit, rather than stopping here.
Soubar is a lawless town. Visitors should bring their own swords—and be prepared to swing them. There are several Coast lands fireside tales about brigands who buried loot here and were slain before they came back for it. Not all such tales are fanciful. The merchant Janthool of Athkatla, a fartraveled trader in sundries, dug a latrine pit just west of Soubar a spring or two ago and unearthed an ivory coffer crammed full of matched black pearls—each as large as the pommel nut of a stout broad sword! Be warned, however. Digging in certain spots in Soubar summons helmed horrors12 to the digger, due to an ancient guardian spell of unknown origin!
Folk not wanted in Triel or Boareskyr Bridge find their way here. This has made Soubar something of a hiring fair for brigands, evil mages, dopplegangers, wererats and other werefolk, mercenaries down on their luck, mind flayers, those bearing curses, and others not tolerated in most communities. Fences for stolen goods are plentiful here. Scurrilous “bounty hunters” who kill, maim, or capture specific beings to order are also plentiful, as are dealers in slaves, information, poisons, chains and cages, sleep venoms, and exotic pets. Kill-trained pets cost twice the usual prices. I’m not (ahem) familiar with any names or details, of course. (VGttSC pg 117)

Soubar

Soubar is a small town along the Trade Way north of Scornubel, and is often used as a way-station for traders traveling along that road. (FRCS1 pg 80)

Steeping Falls

On the northern edge of the Sword Hills, the Steeping Stream winds northward through a narrow, winding defile. More than half the streambed is actually underground, winding through shallow limestone tunnels before surfacing again in twisty ravines. The Steeping Stream ends in a small lake, nestled between two steep hills, created by a granite upcropping, nearly thirty feet in width. The dam is said to be of dwarven design, built in the early days of Dardath, for reasons long forgotten.
The torrent of water that pours over the dam into the River Delimbiyr, about three miles east of Daggerford, is known as the Steeping Falls, and is said to be guarded by a fossergrim. It is said that Dethek runes are inscribed into the face of
the granite plug that forms Steeping Falls, but the runes are greatly obscured by the everflowing torrent of water. The fossergrim is said to attack anyone who attempts to read the runes, suggesting they may contain some ancient secret. (In truth, anyone who touches the fourth rune is immediately transported by a long-forgotten portal to the base of Mount Illefarn, where the old quarry road begins its slow climb up to the quarry entrance (#A1). (UIA pg 48)

Sunset Mountains

The Sunset Mountains are a pair of mountain ranges separated by
the Far Hills, which are literally part of their chain. They form a high, almost impenetrable barrier between the Eastern and Western Heartlands and are home to a large number of the evil tribes and savage nonhuman races which plague the area.
In addition to evil nonhumans, several small, active branches of the dwarven nations inhabit in the region, still mining their ore and refining their metals as their grandfathers did a millennium ago. They are secretive about the exact location of their homes, as are all the hidden, because all it takes is one loose word into one greedy ear and the wonders of the dwarves are yet again under siege. Most of the dwarves trade in the town of Easting (see the Easting entry for more information). (FRCS2 pg 101)

Sunset Vale

Except for “isolated” Baldur’s Gate, when someone speaks of settlements in the Coast Lands to most folk in Amn, Mirabar, Waterdeep, or even Cormyr, Sunset Vale is all they think of. To most people these communities seem islands of civilization and prosperity in a landscape of rolling wilderness inhabited only by legions of monsters and desperate brigands that, thankfully, only rough-and-ready caravan merchants need visit. Though travelers know this is false—or at least exaggerated—it does indicate the long-standing importance of the Vale.
The Vale is easily found on a good map. It encompasses all the lands between the arcing arms of the River Reaching and the upper Chionthar and the natural wall formed by the Sunset Mountains and the Far Hills.
Berdusk (a base of the mysterious and powerful Harpers) and Iriaebor are the two largest cities of the Vale. The third, often overlooked city, is Hill’s Edge, gateway to the Backlands. Between these centers of power lie verdant, prosperous farms that have always exported food in plenty to all the lands around. The Dusk Road runs through the heart of the Vale, carrying the traffic of this vital region back and forth. The food the Sunset Vale produces is also shipped out by the rivers and along the Uldoon Trail toward Amn.
The dangers Tunland presents with its nomadic humans and wemics and smaller marauding bands of goblinkin and other predatory monsters have kept the Vale safe from any sustained effort at conquest from coastal powers around the Sea of Fallen Stars. However, Amn and Westgate have both tried several times to take over the Vale by weight of coins, not swords.
Most recently, the Zhentarim are still trying their hand at either dominating the Vale or shattering it. From their continually strengthened fortress of Darkhold, they are mounting ever-bolder forays throughout the Vale. They are trying to scare farmers and small folk into leaving, and discourage poor folk from all over Faerûn from thinking the Vale is a good place to come and settle. They need to accomplish their ends before their aggressive swordswinging provokes the cities of the Vale—or, for that matter, anyone else—from assembling an army and going to war.
The Harpers are already openly at war with the Zhentarim in Sunset Vale. Many nights are lit by the sudden flare of hurled fireballs and split by screams of those struck down by the sword. Dawn the next day finds sprawled corpses or dark pools of blood where all had been peaceful the day before. Travelers, you’ve been warned. (VGttSC pg 147)

Sword Coast

The lands along the Sea of Swords south of Waterdeep and north of the mouth of the River Chionthar at Baldur’s Gate are known as the Sword Coast. The name comes from the white cliffs that rise like a flashing blade from the shore to heights of up to half a mile, cutting off the sea and the land along hundreds of miles of coastline. It is no accident that the two greatest cities of the Sword Coast, Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate, bracket either side of the great cliffs, because these are the only sites for hundreds of miles in which ships can safely moor. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Sword Coast

The Sword Coast is the western shore of Faerûn, running from Candlekeep and the Cloak Wood in the south to Luskan in the north. The Sword Coast is a rough, brawling area dominated by the City of Splendors, Waterdeep. The coast itself is treacherous, filled with undersea reefs, rock outcroppings, and soft, mucky undersea shelves that extend out for miles. True ports are few and far between on the Coast, which is the reason that the best harbors capable of handling sea vessels, Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate, have grown into important cities.
Scholars and sources disagree (of course) on the effective length of the Sword Coast. Some extend it further south into the lands of Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan, to Calimport. The southern kingdoms resent this categorization, for they consider the lands of the Sword Coast dangerous hinterlands, and its people little better than barbarians.
In addition to the dangerous physical nature of the Sword Coast, a large number of hostile races also live off the coast, including sahuagin, locathah, tritons, savage mermen, and sea elves. The Sword Coast is very similar to the nearby High Moors in that it is both a forbidding terrain and contains flora, fauna, and inhabitants dangerous to those who pass through it. (FRCS2 pg 101)

Sword Coast

The Sword Coast is the western shore of Faerun, running from Candlekeep and the Cloak Wood in the South, to Luskan in the north.
The Sword Coast is a rough, brawling area dominated by the City of Splendors, Waterdeep. The coast itself is treacherous, filled with undersea reefs, rockoutcroppings, and soft, mucky bottoms that extend out for miles. True ports are few and far between on the Coast, which is the reason that the best harbor capable of handling sea vessels, Waterdeep, has grown into one of the most important cities of the North.
Scholars and sources disagree on the effective length of the Sword Coast, and some extend it further south, into the lands of Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan, to Calimport. The southern kingdoms resent this categorization, for they consider the lands of the Sword Coast dangerous wilderlands, and its people little better than barbarians. (FRCS1 pg 80)

Sword Hills

The Sword Hills barely qualify as such, consisting of rocky upcroppings covered with thin soil and scraggly flora. The twisty defiles that wend through this region have historically provided safe havens for bandits who prey on the Trade Way, although the Daggerford militia does what he can to keep this area clear of predators and outlaws.
At present, the most dominant group of outlaws hiding within these hills are the Swords of the Worm (see Chapter 4), a band of renegade barbarians from the High Moor secretly under the command of Torleth Mindulspeer, proprietor of Torleth’s Treasures in the hamlet of Gillian’s Hill. (UIA pg 48)

Tavaray

The city-state of Tavaray lay at the mouth of the River Delimbiyr and was the origin of the majority human settlement up the Sword Coast, the Dessarin river valley, and the Delimbiyr river valley. Tavaray was abandoned in the Year of the Deep Bay (302 DR), as the surrounding marshland expanded rapidly in response to a sudden topographic shift.
The ruins of Tavaray now lie buried beneath the waters of the Lizard Marsh. The mouth of the River Delimbiyr has moved slightly north and west over the centuries, leaving the ruins farther inland and farther south of the river than old accounts might otherwise suggest (and thus making them harder to find than bands of adventurers have come to expect). The ruins of Tavaray are now home to Murhautha (CE female old black dragon), who loosely rules the black dragons of the Lizard Marsh and claims the entire mere as her domain. (UIA pg 46)

Telthin’s Mill

Before the Dragonspear War, the hamlet of Telthin’s Mill welcomed caravan traffic along the Trade Way, a day’s hard ride south of the Way Inn. The settlement was quickly overrun during the initial diabolic invasion and later served as a semipermanent encampment of the Alliance of Avernus. In the wake of the Dragonspear War, the hamlet lies in ruins, its buildings burned, its fields twisted by dark and fell magic. Although caravans continue to camp outside the hamlet in the traditional caravan grounds, few dare enter the ruins, for whispers speak of an imprisoned fiend dwelling within the ruined mill, who reaches out in dreams to twist one’s thoughts to madness. (UIA pg 102)

Tempus’s Tears

This small, little-known village rests quietly where the Skuldask Road meets Thundar’s Ride in the heart of the Fields. Most folk think it’s just a huge, abandoned, ancient stone city, fields upon fields of once-proud towers fallen into rubble and ruin.
Its name comes from a standing stone set up at the intersection that bears the words:
Here was peace this day made.
Let Tempus cry bitter tears.
No more our dead we’ll parade
And live cloaked in waiting fear.
This stone is believed to mark the spot of one of the parleys that ended a long war—and with it, any hope of creating a northern realm ruled by those Calishite satraps greedy for ever more land to bring under their rule. The date of the struggle, who exactly was fighting (beyond Calishites on one side, and humans already here who wanted to remain
free on the other), how long the peace lasted, and who wrote the words on the stone are all lost in the mists of the passing years. (Sounds like a marker raised for the end of the war between Cormyr and Valashar, was the ruined city  Valashar or was it more ancient – Shantel Othreier perhaps)
Today, Tempus’s Tears is a village of dwarves and gnomes, who live under the ruins in burrow homes. They craft coffers, latches, and satchels, and sell them to certain trusted merchants passing through. Most others don’t even know they exist.
A few merchants take a wagonload of stones from the ruins from time to time. If they take too many, dwarves appear from belowground and politely ask them to put some back. Those who refuse are warned that the ruin’s under the protection of Amaeraszantha. If they ignore this, the dwarves summon her.
Amaeraszantha is an amethyst dragon of great size and age who lairs in the collapsed circle of an old temple. The circle is located on an island in a small, stagnant lake at the heart of the ruined city, generally northeast of the meeting of the overland trails. She will respond to a dwarven summons and attack plunderers of the ancient, nameless city. Dwarves can summon her either directly or by use of a vast, buried horn, actually a carved, spiraling tunnel, blown into from below. It issues a low, droning call. In truth, there’s little to find here.
One of the reasons a ruin so large is so little known are the failing wards that still affect it, shrouding much of it in mist at all times and causing a few of the shattered buildings to vanish for a time and then silently reappear. They disappear onto other planes or worlds, some sages say. A diligent searcher in the ruins will find it empty of all but rubble, dust, and a few nasty predators that have taken up residence or wandered into the city just as human adventurers do.
Somewhere in these vast ruins, the Great Seer Alaundo said, is the Stone that Speaks. This treasure is eagerly sought by Candlekeep. The sages of that monastic community have sponsored many expeditions in search of the Stone. It is said to be a hand-sized, nondescript lump of gray rock that contains the imprisoned spirit of a wizard—an archmage who clings to sanity only by a thread, and is apt to be irritable and sarcastic. It yearns to possess a living body again and is shrewd enough to bargain with any information it yields to move it toward its goal, step by tiny step.
The archmage, once of Netheril, knows more of magic than living wizards do. It has some way of hearing what befalls around it, and so has learned many things down through the years since its imprisonment. It was briefly possessed by the long-ago ruler of Rashemen, Angorl Steelhorn. It was stolen, and later traveled about the Coast lands in the possession of a band of adventurers. In the end they fell here, slaughtered by an argos, and the Stone, flung away in desperation by a dying thief, who vainly hoped it would somehow unleash magic to save the band—lay for many years alone in the stony loneliness of the ruins. Word of it has come to us from three separate travelers, two of whom were too
fearful of it to get close to it. A rival blasted the third by magic, trapping him in an endless, rapid, helpless shapeshifting from one form into another until his heart finally failed under the strain, and he perished.
The spirit trapped in the Stone strives for freedom at all costs, caring nothing about what it promises or brings about in order to get into a living body again.14 It is treacherous and self-serving in the extreme. The dwarves and gnomes, who
dare not approach it, told me the Stone calls out to those who come near, trying to get itself taken away from its current resting place. That transportation is something they don’t want. They’ll summon Amaeraszantha to prevent it. She
also doesn’t want the Stone out in the wider world, nor does she desire the flood of treasure-seeking adventurers news of its finding will undoubtedly bring to Tempus’Tears. (VGttSC pg 118)

Tor of Swords

This granite upcropping stands just east of the most northeasterly loops that the ever-twisting Winding Water makes. Named for the quintet of Anaurian blades entombed within the hill before the erection of the Standing Stone, this tor is often confused with the nearby Dungeon of Swords and hence rarely visited by adventurers.
The hill once marked the northern border of the Helbryn, the great hunting preserve of the long-ago dwarven kingdom of Oghrann. Caverns hewn from the base of the tor form Endar Aglandtor, the Sword Grotto, which serves as an abbey of Haela Brightaxe. The ablest swordswomen of Haela’s Host now wield the magic blades for which the tor is named, often clashing with the serpentfolk who venture down from the hills to plunder the battlefi elds where dwarf warriors fell in ages past. (SK pg 106)

Tosti’s Tower

The hamlet of Tosti’s Tower lies at the northern end of the Barony of Starnaer, midway between the Sword Hills and the Misty Forest, along the banks of Shimmerstar Stream, which winds north a mile or so to a confluence with the River Delimbiyr. Tosti’s Tower is one of several hamlets in the Barony of Starnaer whose inhabitants make their living through hunting and logging. Tosti’s Tower is the farthest upstream location from which one can easily float logs down the Shimmerstar Stream to the River Delimbiyr and from there down to Daggerford, making it a good location for woodsmen to bring felled tree trunks. Local law is enforced by the baron’s appointed headsman, Starknight Agrik Hartmoor (NG male Illuskan human ranger 2).
Tosti’s Tower is notable for a simple stone tower built here in the Year of the Ominous Oracle (694 DR) by King Davyd, one of the few such towers to survive, to guard the Kingdom of Man against goblinkin raids from the High Moor. Although hardly in good repair, the three-story tower is still a suitable defensive redoubt into which the local populace can withdraw when raiders come down through the Misty Forest. The tower (and the hamlet) gets it name from a notorious bandit lord who occupied it a century ago.

The tower cellar connects to a series of limestone caverns that lie beneath Shimmerstar Vale that are said to run beneath the Misty Forest to the east. There are recurring tales that the real reason the tower was constructed was to guard against some recurring threat from below emanating from some ancient crypt in the depths, but the truth of the matter is long since forgotten.(UIA pg 48)

Trade Way

The Trade Way is a major caravan route, linking Waterdeep to Baldur’s Gate, far to the south. Noteworthy settlements along the Trade Way include the town of Daggerford, where it crosses the river Delimbiyr, and the Way Inn. This land was once far more populated, but ancient cities like Tavaray, Narthil, and Delimbiyran are little more than ancient ruins and fodder for bards’ tales. (UIA pg 49)

Triel

Triel is a waystation along the Trade Way from Scornubel to Waterdeep, and it is here that lesser-used Dusk Road from Elturel and Hill’s Edge meets with the Trade Way. Triel has a small permanent community that exists behind a log-and-boulder stockade and locks its gates at night. Most travelers are not welcome within the gates after nightfall, and during the summer most merchant caravans camp out in wide circles on the surrounding fields. Triel has a few farms in the area, but most of its needs are cared for by passing merchants.
The local lord is Elvar the Grainlord (CN hm T9), who makes the stockade his home. Elvar is regarded as being a few stones shy of a fortress, but is generally a reasonable lord when it comes to trade. His dementia comes in two mild forms. First he has a fear (not unreasonable) that the community will run out of food in the winter when no one visits, so that most of his “keep” is given over to storage bins of grain and dried vegetables, sealed and protected.
Elvar continually worries about the state of his grain protection, and those invited to his dinner table are warned that this will be a subject of conversation.
Elvar’s other mania is religion. His tastes swing widely, and he examines one faith after another. He enters into a new fit of faith with the sure hand of a new convert, but soon finds errors in the theology, dogma, or practice, and abandons it for a new one. He has gone through most of the major powers twice, and many of the quasi-powers. He is at the moment a practicing Cyricist—no, no, wait, he’s changed his mind again. (FRCS2 pg 102)

Triel

This small, stockaded way-village is located on the Trade Way north of Scornubel, where that road meets the Dusk Road that swings across country from Elturel to Hill’s Edge. To the northeast are the Trielta Hills, quiet, rolling grasslands rumored to contain gold, and home to many small, peaceful gnome and halfling communities.

Triel is ruled by Elvar the Grainlord, so-called because he’s obsessed with having enough food to safely survive the winters, when trade virtually ceases along the inland roads. The gates of Triel’s log-andboulder village stockade are locked at night—and visitors are expected to be outside, camping in the fields around so they can do their part to keep thieving bugbears and worse away from Elvar’s precious grain. The stockade itself is crammed, stacked high, and dug deep15 with crates, barrels, bins and jugs of preserved vegetables and grain, all sealed, numbered, and meticulously labeled as to their contents. I happened upon a rarity: “1357—2136: Sword Coast Snails, pickled in Firewine/Gift of Baltovar of Neverwinter/Turn every three months/Seals renewed [and then a string of several dates].” Note that the first four numerals denote the year Elvar took possession of this container.
At least Elvar’s lucid enough to hunger after news of the wider world outside his well-stocked, fanatically defended pantry. Traders who bring food, firewood, barrels, or sea salt for food preservation or the like will be honored with a feast at Elvar’s table— and the villagers are good cooks (and well fed, to boot—but then, how could they not be?). (VGttSC pg 120)

Triel

Triel is a way-station along the Trade Way from Scornubel to Waterdeep, and it is here that lesserused trails from Elturel and Hill’s Edge meet up. (FRCS1 pg 86)

Trielta Hills

The hills to the north and east of Triel are rolling, pastoral, and occupied by small communities of halflings and gnomes. These races tend to remain quiet and provincial, since those who attract attention attract goblins and other nasty predators as well.
Occasionally gold or silver is discovered (or rediscovered) in part of the Trielta Hills, kicking off a small land rush for a generation of humans, with their squabbling and fighting. The halflings and gnomes tend either to work with the humans (with a kind tolerance and quiet amusement) or move away until the danger passes.
There are no legendary lost kingdoms, wizard towers, ruined holds, or great archliches in the hills above Triel, making them almost unique in the Realms for their normality. (FRCS2 pg 102)

Trollbark Forest 

There’s scarcely a corner of Faerun that does not have a forest, mountain range, or moor named for. the trolls. Like the rest, the Trollbark Forest is thick with these monsters. The forest’s dense underbrush, thick twisted stands of ash, and many bogs make it a perfect hunting ground for monsters that can crash through thorny barriers and nests of poisonous snakes without taking permanent damage. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Trollbark Forest

The dense undergrowth, thick twisted stands of ash, thorny barriers, and many bogs make the Trollbark Forest the perfect hunting ground for the countless trolls that make it home.
“Regular” trolls predominate in the Troll Hills, while the Trollbark Forest is overrun with forest trolls, but both groups regularly intrude on each other’s territory and raid into the Open Marches. A small number of fell trollsUE are capable of gathering a dozen or more trolls under their command, but such “tribes” rarely last more than a tenday before disintegrating into hostile troll gangs once again.
The Trollbark Forest is also home to “brachiakers,” halftrollFF chokers who have constructed “highways aloft” of vines, toppled and intertwined branches, and so the like. The brachiakers are skilled at making trap-nets to drop on foes and other hazards, as much to protect themselves from other trollspawn as to capture prey. Unlike true chokers, brachiakers seem inclined to form small tribes so as to defend themselves from the larger trollspawn who wander the forest floor.
In the depths of the Trollbark Forest dwell a clutch of venerable deepspawn, who have long dwelt in a network of shallow limestone caverns linked to the woodlands above by numerous sinkholes. The deepspawn have remained undetected for centuries by breeding countless trolls to create a nighimpenetrable shield between them and the surrounding lands. At any given time, about a quarter of the trolls present in the region have been spawned, while the rest are second or third generation offspring of the original trollspawn.
While the Everlasting Ones prey on each other as much if not more than they prey on other creatures, they prefer to consume the flesh of other creatures. When prey runs short in the depths of winter, the younger deepspawn breed herds of livestock for the trollspawn to consume.
The high valleys of the Trollbark Forest, nestled amidst the foothills of the Troll Hills, are home to a rare species of slowmoving flatworms known as “tree-worms” because of where they are found. These creatures are easily plucked and harvested, but are nauseating when eaten, except to a troll. Trolls merely find them bland, boring sustenance fare, but can use them to survive because if the head is left intact, a flatworm regenerates the rest of its body at about half the rate a troll does (so when devoured by the trolls, they “grow back” so they can be eaten again). There are also leaf- and moss-eating giant slugs of dull green mottled with brown, that move slowly along trailing edible-by-many-things slime, and can be “steered” and used as carry-beasts by the trolls.
The northwestern third of the Trollbark Forest is considered part of the Haglands (see above), dominated by coveys of hags, who also rule much of the southwestern Open Marches and the Banshee Woods. Trolls and brachiakers—but no deepspawn—lair here as well, but those that do must answer to the ruling hags.
Aside from insects, plants, and the aforementioned creatures, the Woods and the forested high valleys of the Troll Hills are devoid of fauna (notably birds and the “small furry critters” of most woodlands), as the brachiakers and trolls long ago exterminated most other species. One legacy of Illefarn that has survived is the monstrous trees, as this region has never been logged in recorded history. (UIA)

Trollbark Forest

As can be surmised from the names of these adjacent regions, this forest and the adjacent low mountains are overrun with trolls of every type and description. This region has the closest thing to a troll nation and a common troll language, though the empire of the trolls makes the typical orc tribe look like King Azoun’s court!
The Trollbark Forest is a dark wood of twisted live oaks, black ash, and scrub pines. The forest floor is heavily tangled with underbrush, including both poisonous and carnivorous varieties of plants. Low vales throughout the wood are filled with bogs and swamps. In short, it is the sort of place that only trolls would want to live. (FRCS2 pg 102)

Trollclaw Ford

The trade route known as the Coast Way does not actually run along the Sword Coast. It turns inland at Baldur’s Gate to stay away from the Troll Hills and to cross the Winding Water at Trollclaw Ford at the edge of the Trollclaws. The ford is shallow and functional, but the water is black and foul, still poisoned by the death of the deity Bhaal to the north at Boareskyr Bridge. The crossing is fraught with danger, since trolls haunt the region, especially in hours of darkness. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Trollclaw Ford

This ford across the Winding Water is overhung by high, tree-cloaked banks and surrounded by hills on both sides. The ample cover provided by the surrounding vegetation makes it easy to stage ambushes here, and the plants and terrain may hide a great number of assailants with ease. Troll bands have struck at travelers so often over the years here that the ford was given its grisly name. Piles of gnawed and burned bones stand as grim warnings to travelers on both sides of the river about a mile from the ford. As a standard precaution, most caravans have at least 20 armed guards when making this passage.
The water at Trollclaw Ford is black and foul-smelling, the heritage of a godly battle at Boareskyr Bridge (see the Boareskyr Bridge entry). The water is drinkable at Trollclaw, but exceedingly bitter tasting. Travelers seeking to replenish their waterstores have to seek out a spring in the nearby hills, giving the monstrous population one more opportunity to attack. (FRCS2 pg 102)

Trollclaw Ford

This ruined hamlet stands where the Coast Way fords the Winding Water amid mist-shrouded, grassy hills. Trolls lurking in the hills make the place perilous no matter how many mercenary armies or adventuring bands come to clean the monsters out. Abandoned a dozen winters ago, the Ford has been rapidly overgrown.
The trolls keep creatures larger than snakes and birds from lairing there and pull apart buildings digging out badgers and burrowing food. Most caravans camp heavily armed in bonfire rings well away from the Ford and make a run across the river at highsun, flanked by horse archers whose arrows can be ignited at a trot from spear-slung braziers.
The most recent settlers at the Ford were the High Helms, a veteran adventuring band. A dozen strong, they rebuilt a villa into a fortified hold and held out against the trolls for three full seasons—until someone slew them and shattered their tower with an explosive spell blast seen from miles away Their treasure still lies in their fallen tower, guarded by their undead bones and possibly by whoever—or whatever—slew them. (Folk speak of their slayer being a serpent-headed mage with faceted, amber-colored eyes and the slitted pupils of a snake.) (VGttSC pg 60)

Trollclaw Ford

This ford across the winding water is overhung by high, tree-cloaked banks and surrounded by hills on both sides.
The ample cover provided by the surrounding vegetation makes it easy to stage ambushes here, and may hide a great number of assailants with ease. Trollish bands striking at travelers so often over the years have gained the ford its grisly name; piles of gnawed and burned bones stand as grim warnings on both sides of the river about a mile from the ford. As a standard precaution, most caravans have a guard of 20 armed men when making this passage. (FRCS1 pg 86)

Trollclaws

Caravans from the Coast Way that miscalculate their water rations send expeditions into the broken hills and boulder fields of the Trollclaws to find the natural springs above the tainted Winding Water, More often than not, the springs serve as watering holes and ambush spots for trolls, tall mouthers, and other murderous monsters. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Troll Hills

The Troll Hills are overrun by the same screaming, festering horde of trolls that lurks in the Trollbark Forest to the north. Some say that the trolls that live in the caverns beneath the hills have a kingdom of their own. The truth is that these trolls belong to a number of different competing realms that would be happy to eradicate each other, if not for the miracle of troll regeneration that lets them survive damage they do to each other with teeth and claws. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Troll Hills

The Troll Hills are little better. Live oaks predominate to the timber line, and their rounded peaks are topped with thick patches of razorgrass. Here the trolls and their allied races live in caverns that lie beneath most of the peaks. It has been said that in ancient days drow caravans moved through here at will to a hidden drow city, but when that city was overrun by trolls, the drow destroyed all access to this area from below.
The trolls of this region travel and raid as far north as the Lizard Marsh and west into the High Moor and Trollclaw Ford. A colony of trolls in the Trollclaws to the west communicates regularly with those within the forest.
In addition to the rumoured drow city beneath the Troll Hills, the Troll Hills are the home of the Warlock’s Crypt. Said to be the final resting place of Larloch, a great wizard of Netheril protected by his immortal, devoted servants, as well as a troop of trolls, it is reported to house great magics. The Warlock’s Crypt is known to be somewhere in the western part of the hills (the position on the map is inexact). It was discovered in 1351 DR, the Year of the Crown. The sole discoverer to make back it to civilization, however, brought with him a virulent plague that decimated Baldur’s Gate that year. (FRCS2 pg 102)

Ulgoth’s Beard

This hamlet of about 70 folk is located on the north side of the mouth of the River Chionthar west of Baldur’s Gate. Its stone houses nestle in a natural bowl in the cliff top overlooking the river, and a warning beacon is maintained on the cliff top to alert Baldur’s Gate to attacking ships.
In fact, the name of the settlement comes out of its history of being attacked by sea. Of old, pirate raids on Baldur’s Gate were numerous. Ulgoth was a stout, bristle-bearded pirate of great girth and greater reputation. The beacon was said to “singe Ulgoth’s Beard” by robbing him of surprise so that the raiding force he led was met by ready resistance and hurled back with the loss of many pirate lives, including Ulgoth’s own. (He tried to use a ring of flying to escape the fray and was last seen heading out to sea, his flying corpse bristling with twenty-odd arrows.)
The hamlet consists of sheepherding families, who keep their sheep on the rolling grasslands behind the cliff, and some fisherfolk, who transport their boats up and down the cliff by means of a cradle of massive cables. None of them are wealthy.
The Beard lacks a road link to the interior, though pack mules have an easy journey over the grassy hills to and from Baldur’s Gate. There’s no tavern in the Beard, though one resident brews his own dreadful ale and sells it at 1 cp per tankard. Ulgoth’s Beard also has no inn, but travelers can camp out in a ruined keep just north of the hamlet, on the lip of the bowl. The keep was once home to a cruel pirate lord, Andarasz, and legends speak of undead lurking in the storage caverns beneath the keep. All of the storage caverns have already been searched by many eager pirate crews over the years.
There’s nothing else notable about the Beard except Shandalar, an eccentric mage who dwells in a floating house just east of the hamlet. It’s actually a moored Halruaan skyship, its upper decks rebuilt into a series of balconies, hanging gardens, gabled rooms, and lightning rods.
Shandalar harnesses the lightning strikes from the many storms that sweep over the Beard to energize strange magical constructs of his own devising—and is said locally to be immune to all harm from lightning, as he often strolls about amid the crackling bolts, garments lashed by the wind, laughing and singing in the driving storm.
Beneath the wizards house is a small stone hut fitted with double doors. This is the entrance to his own extensive network of caverns, where several monsters loyal to Shandalar – living mushrooms, locals swear!—- shamble about in  he darkness harvest ing mushrooms. The mage makes a steady income growing his “’shrooms”for the tables of Baldur’s Gate. Some apothecaries in that city dry them and sell them whole or powdered for use in cooking, healing, or the enchanting arts. Shandalar has a huge variety of mushrooms and sells them for as little as 1 cp per handbasket (for plain brown garnishcaps, used mainly in beef stews and pies) to as much as 5 gp each (for deadly poisonous gloomshrooms, favored in the making of poisons, fleshnumbing physicians’ unguents, and blindness-healing ointments).

Most of Shandalar’s sales come from the garnishcaps and two other cooking mushrooms: small white rock buttons (2 cp per handbasket) and succulent frilled felarndon ’shrooms. Shandalar’s three beautiful daughters (and, it is rumored, apprentices) take a floating disc of these into Baldur’s Gate’s market daily.
Shandalar is known to have agreements with powerful pirates and outlaws. He keeps certain treasures safe for them in the hidden depths of his mushroom caverns in return for steep annual fees (1,000 gp per chest). (VGttSC pg 63)

Undermoor

Many of the caverns of the local Underdark lead to ancient ruins. These ruins are the probable source for the arcane forces that pervade the area and cause such things as upward-flowing rivers. Most of these ruins are probably Netherese, like Orogoth, and filled with dangerous magic. Some of the ruins might have been outposts of Delzoun, ancient Illefarn, Eaerlann, or the Fallen Kingdom (the Kingdom of Man, not one of the other “fallen kingdoms”).
On occasion, a goblinoid or even a troll has stumbled up from these ruins with some cursed item clutched in one claw and gone on to lead its fellow creatures in some kind of power play. These lucky humanoids seldom cause trouble on the High Moor itself, which is fine with me, but they often build up large bands of their kind around their leadership that go raiding nearby settlements —which is also fine with me. If you visit the ruins of the Undermoor and fall under a curse, follow the example of the local trolls and hobgoblins and take it somewhere else. (EEA2HM pg 12)

Undermoor
he monstrous creatures of the Undermoor are many and varied. Some of the more prominent species include cave fishers, hook horrors, piercers, spiders, garbugs, carrion crawlers, and various oozes and jellies. Because I have not ventured into the Undermoor myself, I cannot report on the danger presented by these creatures except to say that I have heard enough to keep me from ever venturing into the Undermoor.
Most of the prominent Undermoor species seem to be insectoid or nearly so. Hook horrors and cave fishers certainly fall into this category, and spiders, carrion crawlers, and garbugs are close enough to insects for most people. Most of the creatures just mentioned are either predators or carrion eaters; this raises the question of exactly what they eat. Well, several more benign insectoid races in the Undermoor, such as rust monsters and giant ants, are a prominent source of their diet.
The Undermoor is a wilderness area for the most part, but some societies have grown up below the plateau. Among these are mold men and myconids, mentioned in the earlier chapter on flora, and mind flayers, discussed in the chapter subsequent to this one. In addition, a colony of derro thrive beneath the plateau. These degenerate dwarves are evil in the extreme and destructive as well. Fortunately, they do not often venture onto the plateau, but they have been known to send expeditions to the surface to capture slaves. Derro questioned by adventurers claim to have constructed a vast city deep beneath the earth. It is said that in the deepest caverns of the Underdark, they war with illithids for control.
Fortunately for the Undermoor, the area seems to be clear of several of the major Underdark races such as drow, cloakers, and aboleths. I am not saying that those races do not have agents in the Undermoor, because they probably do.
Their agents simply aren’t numerous enough to pose as much of a threat as the derro and others mentioned above. (EEA2HM pg 27)

Warlock’s Crypt

Located at the mouth of the Winding Water, this is “Larloch’s Crypt,” its name corrupted over the centuries. Larloch the Shadow King is a lich of awesome power who rules a horrid city of wraiths, wights, liches, vampires, and lesser undead. Larloch desires nothing so much as to be left alone by the rest of the world. If anyone ventures too close to the crypt, Larloch sends lich after spell-hurling lich out to destroy them or drive them into flight. Beyond these assailants wait spellwebs (fields of magical force holding many waiting spells that affect intruders blundering into them), and more battle-mighty liches. Rumours say that Larloch is a survivor from the ancient kingdom of Netheril. (FRCS3 pg 297)

Watchtower of Syorathil

In the depths of the eastern reaches of the Trollbark Forest is an abandoned Illefarni watchtower avoided by trolls and deepspawn alike. A one-way portal links the House of Long Silences (see above) to this crumbling ruin, but it has been centuries since it was last employed, as Elorfindar Floshin is sadly well aware of what dangers lurk beyond its terminus.
In the depths of the tower lurks an ancient lich named Berthist Narlbeth (CE male baelnornMoF [augmented moon elf] wizard 19). Once a proud and noble Illefarni archmage, Berthist volunteered to guard the realm’s southern flank during the long decline of the Fair Folk, when it became apparent that they would have to withdraw from what would eventually become the Trollbark Forest in the face of the ever-increasing ranks of the Everlasting Ones.
For centuries, the Watchnorn of Syorathil performed the duty for which he had volunteered, slaughtering trolls without mercy, but eventually the endless tide of destruction proved to much even for him. As he felt himself slipping into madness, the baelnorn retreated into catacombs below, in hopes of reclaiming his wisps of sanity, but instead he slipped into a catatonic state. Only the recent incursion of devils has once again roused the now-wholly-mad Berthist from his slumbers.
DM’s Note: In the Year of the Sword (1365 DR), an adventuring band known as the Knights of the Sword Coast finally lays Berthist to rest, albeit at great cost to their ranks, at the bequest of Elorfindar Floshin, in the face of the rising danger posed by the now-roused baelnorn. (UIA pg 50)

Way Inn

The Way Inn is a small village of about 100 souls. Another 400 or so live in dependent hamlets nearby. A large inn dominates the village. Both the inn and the village share the same name and are run by a stout swashbuckler named Dauravyn Redbeard (see Chapter 4).
The Way Inn is used as a base for adventurers and hunters. The village maintains a force of archers and spearmen armed with firepots under the command of Baron-in-Waiting Nanthar Harcourt of Vaelendaer (see Chapter 2). This force is sometimes called on to repel trolls and other wandering creatures. The Way Inn was used as an operations base by Waterdhavian troops during the Dragonspear War. However, Waterdeep has no permanent treaties with The Way Inn. The Way Inn is further detailed in Chapter 4. (UIA pg 50)

Way Inn

This village numbers fewer than 20 buildings, the largest of which is a sprawling manor house that is used as an inn. The Way Inn is run by Dauravyn Redbeard, a stout, middle-aged swashbuckler (LG hm F5). A high wall around the community provides its only protection. To the south of the town a great commons has obviously been used as a parade ground for military forces over the years. The Way Inn is usually used as a staging ground for hunters, adventurers, and military units planning actions in the High Moor. Waterdeep pays a small annual fee for permission to use the commons as an encampment on those occasions when it goes to war. As a result of the regular traffic, Dauravyn is well-informed on all the local gossip and legends. He is willing to part with the information for a price, and if the listener assures him that he (Dauravyn) will not be held responsible if the information is faulty or incomplete.
The Way Inn has a small shrine to Mielikki tended to by Artemus Collin, the lone priest to that goddess in town (NG hm P12). Collin is an irritated, growling priest, continually angered by the fact that people do not want to talk to a cleric unless they are bleeding. The Way Inn maintains a force of archers and spearmen to repel the irregular raids of trolls and other creatures. The normal armed force wear splint mail and carry spears, short bows, and firepots —the last to deal with the marauding trolls.
The Way Inn was destroyed utterly by Dragonspear forces in 1363 DR. Redbeard has rebuilt the wall and buildings with the support of Lord Piergeiron of Waterdeep and Mirt the Moneylender, also of that city.
The settlement’s best protection is usually the fact that in the summer it is surrounded by merchants, soldiers, and adventurers, and in the winter there is nothing worth taking. Dauravyn is said to have a magical form of instantaneous communication with the Lords of Waterdeep, and if threatened, magical and military aid are forthcoming. Dauravyn is known to wear bracers of defense AC 2, and has a two-handed broadsword hanging behind the bar that is said to be magical. (FRCS2 pg 103)

Way Inn

This village numbers less than twenty buildings, the largest of which is a sprawling manor-house that has been used as an inn. A large commons to the south of the town has obviously been used as a parade ground for military forces.
This is a very small village dominated by the inn it takes its name from, and is used as a base for adventurers and hunters. The Way Inn maintains a force of archers and spearmen who repel trolls and other wandering creatures. The  Way Inn was used as a temporary base by forces from Waterdeep in its battle with Dragonspear Castle. The Inn is run by Dauravyn Redbeard, a stout, middleaged swashbuckler.
The Way Inn armed force numbers no less than 50 men-at-arms, who are usually recruited from traveling caravans, though in times of crisis the number may be double or treble that, and, during the troubles with Dragonspear Castle, several thousand troops passed through the village and the Inn became the center post of operation. The normal armed force wears splint mail and carries spear, short bow, and firepots, the last to deal with the marauding trolls.
Firepots are small clay jugs filled with flammable oil, carried in slings of leather. These weapons are lit, spun around the head, and flung up to 30 yards away. Upon striking a hard surface, the jugs break, inflicting 1-6 points of damage to all within 5 feet of the impact point. The oil continues to burn for 1-4 points of damage each round thereafter for 1-10 rounds, or until extinguished.
Dauravyn Redbeard is an adventurer retired from the trade, and a 5th level fighter. He does not wear armor any longer, but does have bracers of defense (AC 2) that he continually wears. A two-handed broad sword, rumored to be magical, hangs over the back of his bar. (FRCS1 pg 88)

Well of Dragons

Throughout Faerun, there’s a legend that the great dragons have a graveyard, a place they go to die. The Well of Dragons, the hollow interior of an old volcano north of the Sunset Mountains and south of the Battle of Bones, is that graveyard. Until recently, its thousands of dragon skeletons were hidden from view by powerful spells and guarded by an undead shadow dragon called the Dire Dragon. The Cult of the Dragon learned of the Well of Dragons, made a pact of sorts with the Dire Dragon, then succeeded in unbinding the magic that kept the guardian attached to Faerun.
Instead of enjoying easy access to the treasure trove, the Cult of the Dragon has encountered serious resistance from members of several different factions. Interested parties include dragonkin who refuse to plunder the resting place of the great dragons, yuan-ti, newly arriving lesser dragons, and various parties of adventurers and sages who are intent on looting the remains. Despite the difficulties, the Cult is secretly raising a dark and powerful fortress to watch over this place, and planning great sorceries and rites here. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Well of Dragons
Many folk have heard fireside tales about this place—but most folk in the Realms think it’s purely a bard’s fancy, a mythical place designed to add color to a ballad or tale. A few starry-eyed adventurers have gone seeking the Well, notably some wellheeled young noble sons of Waterdeep. Those who returned say they found nothing like it in all the Backlands. Yet I have seen it, and can set down here for the first time details of this wondrous sight.
The Well is a deep pit concealed by illusory terrain except during moonlight, due to powerful shadow magic. It’s a vast natural cauldron, probably once a volcano. Its circular opening is as big across as the length of many respectable villages. There’s a little meltwater- and spring-fed lake at the bottom—and bones, heaps and heaps of bones.
Here many dragons have gone to die. Amid their huge, tumbled bones adorned with treasure they wore or bore here lies the guardian of the place—the Dire Dragon. (I saw gems as large as human fists, magical amulets and rings, and more!) The Dire Dragon is a shadow dragon that by misfortune of spell or exposure to magical items achieved undeath. If its words can be believed, it did not achieve this status through any deliberate process.
The Dire Dragon is unusually large, and its shadow magic is mighty indeed. Not only does it keep the Well hidden, it has slain no fewer than eight archmages who came seeking its treasure. It showed me their bones proudly.“Spread the word, manling,” it said with a cynical gleam in its eyes, “and there’ll be more, as sure as night follows day. Dragons think, but humans charge in—and for all of us, greed kills.”
I saw a cavern mouth in the side of the bone-strewn pit, probably used by the Dire Dragon as a sleeping lair—but I’ve no idea if it continues to other caverns or is a dead-end hole. The Dire Dragon keeps the most useful and powerful magic brought by dying dragons there, leaving only the baubles out in the pit. Most dying dragons who reach the pit simply dive down to shatter themselves against the rocks and bones. Some like to talk away their last hours, and the Dire Dragon talks to them, learning what it can of hoarded treasure, battle tricks, spells, and the like. Others never reach the Well. If the Dire Dragon’s scrying magics detect them—it often keeps watch around the Well—it goes out and brings their bodies to the Well.
About a mile east of the pit, amid wooded ravines and rock outcrops, there’s an inn called the Dire Dragon. The inn is all that remains of the halfelven village of Ladydove, burned and laid waste to by the Dire Dragon. It’s guarded against its namesake, all other dragonkind, and most brigands by a powerful ward. This invisible magical barrier teleports two gargoyles wherever the innkeeper commands. These guardians fight for the innkeeper with absolute loyalty. The ward also reflects back all breath weapons, and drains life force from all dragons (even if they’ve adopted another form) and all who bear metal weapons.9 There must be a ward token to prevent harm when using metal tools, but I’ve not seen it. (VGttSC pg 137)

Winding Water

The Winding Water dips and hums across the center of the Western Heartlands, growing from a small stream flowing south out of the Marsh of Chelimber into a mid-sized river where it joins with the Serpent’s Tail Stream beside the Forest of Wyrms. The Winding Water descends to the sea in a series of cataracts that can be heard from the base of the Troll Hills.
Below Boareskyr Bridge, the site of the death of Bhaal (a dark god of murder), the river’s waters are foul and loathsome, flowing black until many miles west of Trollclaw Ford, when they clear slightly and turn muddy brown but are otherwise normal. The inhabitants of the Western Heartlands speak of the black water as “Bhaal water” and refuse to drink it, saying that it brings bad luck. While Bhaal water is not poisonous and can support life, intelligent beings who
drink the stuff suffer unpleasant magical side effects, equivalent to enduring a curse spell for a day. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Winding Water

This wide, slow flow snakes its way from the Marsh of Chelimber to the sea, strengthened by the Serpent’s Tail Stream (more a small river). A slow, turbid river, the Winding Water makes its way along a wide and marshy bottomland, and frequently alters its course, leaving swamps and oxbow lakes in its passing.
Between Boareskyr Bridge and Trollclaw Ford the water of the Winding is poisonous, the magical aftereffect of battle between the rising power Cyric and the old power Bhaal. At the bridge the muddy, but potable, waters become jet black and stink with a foul, rotting odor. The river remains that way until Trollclaw Ford, where it loses its poisonous properties (though it remains cloudy to the sea). During the stretch between the bridge and the ford, the water is Type K contact poison, Type G if ingested. The poison is magical in nature, and loses its poisonous potential (though not its smell) if removed from the river. (FRCS2 pg 103)

Winding Water

The upper reaches of the Winding Water wend from the heart of the Marsh of Chelimber to Boareskyr Bridge. Above the bridge, the river’s water is potable, but many intelligent creatures avoid it anyway for fear of consuming “Bhaal water.” The Winding Water is slow and turbid, making i ts w ay a long a w ide and marshy bottomland and leaving small swamps and oxbow lakes in its passing. Black caimans (crocodiles) and swimming vipers are the most common predators along the river, but many monsters haunt its banks as well. (SK pg 106)

Wood of Sharp Teeth

This wood’s reputation as a hunting ground for dire beasts, hydras, and dragons has preserved it from woodcutters and settlers from Baldur’s Gate—or anywhere else, for that matter. (FRCS3 pg 226)

Wood of Sharp Teeth

This vast forest is so named because it is completely wild and abounds in forest creatures dangerous to humankind. This forest is a maze of undergrowth, tangled with nettles and thornbushes. Satyrs are known to dwell here in numbers, and there are thought to be dryads within it also, but the wood is feared more for its less intelligent denizens, who are numerous and savage enough to have discouraged woodcutting and hunting by the citizenry of Baldur’s Gate. No elves of any type are believed to make this woodland their home, but travelers are warned that very little is known of this area.
Many valuable duskwood trees can be seen by those passing by, but none have dared cut any for many years, for death homes swiftly to those who pass beyond the forest verge. Local legend in Baldur’s Gate holds that there is a lost, ruined city in the forest depths. (FRCS2 pg 103)

Wood of Sharp Teeth

This forest is an maze of undergrowth, tangled with nettles and thorn-bushes. This vast forest is so named because it is completely wild, and abounds in forest creatures dangerous to man. Satyrs are known to dwell here in numbers, and there are thought to be dryads, but the wood is feared more for its less intelligent denizens, who are numerous and savage enough to have discouraged woodcutting and hunting by the citizenry of Baldur’s Gate. No elves of any type are believed to make this woodland their home, but travelers are warned that very little is known of this area. Many valuable duskwood trees can be seen by those passing by, but none have dared cut any for many years, for death comes swiftly to those who pass beyond the trees. local legend in Baldur’s Gate holds that this is a lost, ruined city in the forest depths. (FRCS1 pg 89)

Xonthal’s Tower

This small, remote village is nestled on the southern slopes of Mt. Hlim. Here about 40 folk eke out a living by hunting, fishing along the northern verges of the perilous Marsh of Chelimber, and raising sheep and goats on the high mountain meadows. They keep to themselves, hoping to escape attacks from the yuan-ti and ophidians of the Serpent Hills, but do offer beds to travelers seeking Evereska or a way through the Greypeak Mountains.
The village has little to offer the traveler, but because the village serves as a waystop for overland traders, the Zhentarim recently established an agent here, one Hansibal Droun, who runs a hardware shop and a swap-mount stables. He brought with him a roving guard of a dozen Zhentilar to “defend” the village. All of them veterans of the Moonsea Wars, and most of them are expert archers. They take their duties seriously because, one old man told me, the Zhents often send wizards about in disguise to make sure their local agents do well. Travelers who aren’t friendly to the Zhentarim should keep quiet about it. Most of the villagers are now in the pay of the organization.
Xonthal’s Tower began as a cluster of servants’ and apprentices’ homes built around the solitary black stone tower of the wizard Xonthal. Xonthal is believed to be the first Faerûnian to have mastered the feather magic of Maztica, the Land Across the Sea, becoming a plumaweaver (if I have the term correctly). He also rose to archmage status wielding the more familiar spells blessed by Mystra.
Unfortunately, his studies seem to have affected his wits. He threw out all of his apprentices about 60 years ago and laid enchantments on the hedge around his tower gardens. The hedge attacks intruders and has all the powers of the horrible monsters known as living walls. Xonthal himself is said to have become a lich—but as no one has seen him for a long’ long time, that may be mere speculation.
Locals recall three separate Zhentarim attempts to breach the tower’ the last involving nine black-robed mages rumored to have come from Darkhold who stood on empty air a hundred feet or more aloft and hurled spells at Xonthal’s stronghold thick and fast. As one local put it, “They lit up the night. I’ve never seen so many spells before, not even in the big battles in Tethyr with all the mages hurling lightning at both armies!” In the end, somehow, Xonthal prevailed.
Two of the mages were blown apart, and another mage flew away screaming’ blazing like a torch. The others fled. Word of this spread rapidly in the Coast lands, and fewer adventurers have come calling on Xonthal’s hungry hedge since then. (VGttSC pg 139)

Yarthrain

This half-ruined farming village on the banks of the Winding Water has been the traditional northern explorer’s route into the Backlands. Here small skiffs from Boareskyr Bridge (although, since that place’s poisoning, fearful crews have left from Serpent’s Cowl instead) put in to unload seekers-after-glory-usually adventurers hoping to recover some of the lost magics of Netheril.
Here on the south bank of the Winding Water due northwest of the Hill of Lost Souls about 60 folk herd sheep and cattle, fish in the Water, and grow root crops to scratch out a living. Most travelers wonder why they’re there at all—and why the heart of the village consists of half a dozen grand stone houses, now roofless and fallen into ruin.
The answer is the Baron of the Backlands, that butt of a hundred country simpleton jokes, such as: “How did the Baron find out if the water was boiling? Stuck his hand in the pot until he could say, ‘Yes, it’s boiling now.’ ” Over 80 summers ago, the warrior Zelarravyan Fangshield, a successful mercenary from Amn, settled here and proclaimed himself Baron of the Backlands.
Zelarravyan was a battle-hungry soul. His enthusiasm for burning and hacking when carrying out a commission began to make him too expensive for any of the merchants of Amn to use, but they feared what he might do if they exiled him or left him penniless, unhired, within their boundaries. So they all contributed gold pieces to give him a treasury, gave him the title “baron” and the money, and told him to go forth and settle the Backlands of the Sword Coast to guarantee Amn access to the timber and ores there forever.
Delighted, Zelarravyan took his armed followers, plus all the volunteers who hoped to become just as rich as he dreamed of being, and set forth. He came here to the closest river access to the Hill of Lost Souls (the landmark he headed for) and built himself a castle (referred to as Backlands Castle), surrounding it with grand homes for his captains, the new lord knights of his barony.
Then things started to go wrong. Orcs, hobgoblins, and worse swept down on the new settlement, a hard winter followed, and a wizard who’d been sent out from Amn to keep an eye on Zelarravyan decided that the baron had made too many mistakes and rash decisions. This man, Orlornin, came to court one evening and bluntly told Zelarravyan he was taking over.
The baron responded by hurling a chair at the mage, felling him, and then challenging the groaning man to a fight. Furious, the wizard hurled a swarm of fireballs, incinerating most of the courtiers around the baron, who was in turn hurled out through a high window into the branches of a tree, unconscious.

The surviving courtiers thought he’d been blown apart by the fireball. That set a battle going in earnest, with fighters converging on the wizard from all sides. The wizard Orlornin gave them death. Warrior after warrior fell—but there were always more, shouting and charging at him. Fleeing, the wizard was cornered by the entrance of one of the lord knight’s homes. He hurled lightnings into it, slaying the gathered household, and followed the bolts in, climbing to an upper floor from whence he could see and hurl spells at will. Summoning his wizard’s staff to him, he made a last stand. When archers began firing at him from the other grand homes, he sent fire and lightning into them, one after another, until most of the barony lay dead around him, the houses burnt-out shells.

By this time, the baron recovered his senses. Finding a hunting bow and several quivers of shafts, he climbed a tree he thought close enough and slew the wizard, emptying both quivers into the slumped form until he’d torn it apart. (He’d heard of wizards walking after death.)

He then found himself alone except for the badly wounded. The survivors had fled down the river on boats. Grimly, Zelarravyan salvaged what he could from the ruins— including the wizard’s staff—and set about building himself a secure, hidden place in which he could survive the winter.

The castle collapsed that first winter. In the spring, some Amnians found the baron leading a small, desperate band of warriors. The band was raiding orcs for food as orcs usually raided the settlements of humankind. Most of the Amnians fled. A few stayed, and named the village Yarthrain, after a treacherous wizard in an old Amnian ballad who was given the death he richly deserved—but at a terrible cost.
Yarthrain the village has remained to this day, but the baron is long dead. A bitter, battle-wild man, he began to raid all the caravans and adventuring bands he came across, always brutally slaughtering any wizards among them. For some 10 years, the Robber Baron of Yarthrain was a feared man from end to end of the Coast lands. No attack was too bold for him, no revenge too difficult. He followed victims who’d given him the slip to as far away as the rooftops of Baldur’s Gate, using the arsenal of magical weapons and devices he’d amassed to keep himself safe from most sorcerous
attacks.
Finally he overreached himself. A young Waterdhavian noble eloped with his love, a noble of a rival house, because the head of neither house looked with favor on their union. They eloped in style, with a large baggage train and over 40 mounted servants. The baron fell on the party like a starving wolf as it approached Hill’s Edge, headed for the distant glories of Cormyr. The cowardly young noble escaped the slaughter, abandoning his lady love and all their servants.
The baron kept the survivors as hostages, returning in triumph to Yarthrain, but the furious young noble, supported by merchants of that city who’d become increasingly fearful of their bandit neighbor, hired all the mercenaries he could find in Hill’s Edge and came to Yarthrain at the head of an army of over 1,000 soldiers.

The baron’s twenty-odd warriors saw the army approaching and fled. The furious baron took his lady hostage to the hill where the tumbled stones of his castle lay and buried all his stolen gold, vowing to return for it later. He planned to bargain his way to freedom with the lady, but she saw her love at the head of the approaching army and fought for her own freedom, stabbing and slashing the baron with his own silver-bladed long sword.

Furious, the baron knocked her cold and threw her atop the gold. Then in a fit of cold cruelty he buried her alive and fled. He used one of his stolen magical items to whirl the stones of the castle around the army in a deadly rain, and in the confusion he slipped away.
The young Waterdhavian survived the battle. He spent another decade hunting the baron down. His blade finally claimed Zelarravyan’s life, but his lady love was still dead, and he returned to Waterdeep to rejoin his family a sadder man. The rift between the two noble houses remains to this day.
In Yarthrain, despite decades of hopeful digging and the use of most of the castle’s stones to build cottages, no trace of the baron’s buried hoard of gold and any magic he couldn’t use or carry has ever been found.
The baron still affects villagers every day, even if no adventurers are in town digging up Castle Hill. The grand stone houses of the lord knights stand empty because the ghosts of laughing lords and ladies still glide through them, glasses in hand, every night, and lamps and torches shine where there’s only empty darkness. Curious folk who go to investigate are sometimes found dead in the morning—slain by some sort of monster mat eats their brains. An illithid, adventurers say—but by day, they can never find it. Some say a band of mind flayers must be digging into the hill in a treasure search of their own, somewhere under the villagers ’ feet—but no adventurers have ever met with them, no matter how deep they dig.

The tale of the gold is no fancy, though. Any adventurer who comes to Yarthrain is likely to see the phantom of the slain lady noble. She appears in darkness, a silver sword drawn in her hand, her long hair flowing about her shoulders, her gown torn away from one shoulder, and her eyes sad. She seems to reappear to those who’ve seen her before as a warning of approaching foes or danger. If they’re asleep, they awaken abruptly, terrified by a nightmare in which the maiden’s form, her eyes locked on theirs, melts away into brown bones, sprawled atop gold coins under the earth somewhere. This haunting11 is commemorated in the name of the local inn and tavern, the Silver Blade. (VGttSC pg 142)

Yellow Snake Pass

This area was named for a winged serpent that several hundred years ago plagued this gap in the Sunset Mountains, located at the headwaters of the River Reaching. Yellow Snake Pass has lately been pressed by snakes of a different sort—the Zhents. Zhentarim patrols controlled this trade route through the pass until early in 1372 DR., when Thayan wizards and mercenaries from Hill’s Edge drove the patrols into cavern shelters in the Underdark. For the moment, Yellow Snake Pass is free. (FRCS3 pg 22)

Yellow Snake Pass

This pass through the Sunset Mountains is one of the few usable trails north of the Far Hills and south of Anauroch. This remote mountain pass is a long, wide, natural valley that forms a strategic overland passage through the mountains north of Cormyr. It is named for a strange and fearsome draconian beast that resembled a winged serpent of ivory-yellow color. It made this region its home several hundred years ago until it was slain by the adventurer Tuirlagh “Foehammer” Nundass of Silverymoon.
The Pass is presently controlled by the Zhentarim, who permit no one through who is not a member, ally, or approved client of their Black Network. The Zhentarim have resisted several attempts by Cormyr, Iriaebor, Scornubel, and Hill’s Edge to oust them. Forces within the pass are unknown, though it is known to hold several nastinesses of gargoyles (a nastiness being one tribe of the creatures) and at least one stone golem.
The Zhentarim patrols in Yellow Snake Pass are quartered at a number of small waystops along the length of the pass. These waystops are usually two-story keeps built at the mouths of, or in front of, caverns. Should the troops be overwhelmed, they can retreat into the Underdark and wait for reinforcements. (FRCS2 pg 103)

Yellow Snake Pass

This pass through the Sunset Mountains is one of the few usable trails north of the Far Hills and south of Anauroch. It is a twisting maze winding between the peaks, and must swerve around large rock outcroppings of reddish sandstone.
This remote mountain pass is a long, wide, natural valley that forms a strategic overland passage through the mountains north of Cormyr. It is named for a strange and fearsome draconian beast, which resembled a winged serpent of ivoryyellow color, that made this region its home several hundred years ago until it was slain by the adventurer Tuirlagh “Foehammer” Nundass, of Silverymoon.
The Pass is presently controlled by the Zhentarim, who permit none through who is not a member, ally, or approved client of their network. The Zhentarim have resisted several attempts by Cormyr, Iriaebor, Scornubel, and Hill’s Edge to oust them. Forces within the pass are unknown, though are known to include several nastinesses of gargoyles (a nastiness being one tribe of the creatures) and at least one stone golem.
Zhentarim patrols are at their strongest in the Yellow Snake Pass area, and number at least 40 2nd-level warriors to a patrol, plus a magic-user of levels 1-6 and a cleric (of Bane) of similar levels. (FRCS1 pg 92)

References

  • UIA – Under Illefarn Anew
  • BGDIA – Baldurs Gate Descent Into Avernus
  • FRCS3 – 3rd Edition Campaign Setting
  • FRCS2 – 2nd Edition Campaign Setting
  • CoV – Champions of Valour
  • DD – Demihuman Deities
  • DoF – Dragons of Faerun
  • DDUGTTU – Drizzt Do Urdens Guide To The Underdark
  • EEA1BOB – Elminsters Ecology Appendix 1 Battle of the Bones
  • EEA1HOLS – Elminsters Ecology Appendix 1 Hill of Lost Souls
  • EEA2HM – Elminsters Ecology Appendix 2 High Moor
  • EEA2SH – Elminsters Ecology Appendix 2 Serpent Hills
  • EotSS – Empires of the Shining Sea
  • FRA – Forgotten Realms Adventures
  • GHoTR – Grand History of the Realms
  • LEoF – Lost Empires of Faerun
  • PftF – Prayers from the Faithful
  • RoF – Races of Faerun
  • RoZK – Ruins of Zhentil Keep
  • SK – Serpent Kingdoms
  • VGtATM – Volos Guide to all Things Magical
  • VGttSC – Volos Guide to the Sword Coast
  • DoF – Dragons of Faerun
  • LoI – Lands of Intrigue
  • EotSS – Empires of the Shining Sea

Other Snippets

Down through the ages, many folk have dreamed of founding a kingdom in the verdant valley hidden in the moors. A few have tried, notably around Daggerford and northeast of Beregost, but only tattered tales and well-hidden ruins remain of such glories today (VGttSC pg 5)

The Pact, a common defensive agreement covering the lands along the Coast Way from Baldur’s Gate to Amn. (VGttSC pg 7)

The Fields of the Dead are named for their recurring use as a battleground: first between humans from warmer lands invading the territories of nomadic gnoll, goblin, and orc tribes; later between Calishite factions vying for access to the resource-rich North; and still later between proud and expansionist Calishite and human settlements struggling (successfully, thus far) to retain their independence. Thousands upon thousands of skirmishes have occurred in these largely trackless hills, from a few brigands or kobolds trying to raid the livestock of traveling drovers up to clashes between hosts of knights in full armour, each side filling several thousand saddles. (VGttSC pg 87)

Gullykin stands hard by the site of Firewine Bridge, an elven trading town destroyed in a sorcerous duel so mighty that it changed the course of a stream so that there’s no reason for a bridge of any sort these days. The duel leveled the town and left a large wild magic area that persists today, some 200 winters later (VGttSC pg 102)

The Knights of Dragon Down
Riding, riding across the plain,
See them riding home again.
Bright their shields, bright their chain—
The Knights of Dragon Down.

They have gone where shadows creep.
Their blades a bloody harvest reap.
Another dragon put fore’er asleep
By the Knights of Dragon Down.

On their fingers gem rings gleam.
Of such baubles, the very cream
Falls into the hands, in a steady stream,
Of the Knights of Dragon Down.

In a dark hall a lady sits alone,
Her bright eyes gleam as white as bone.
Her dark spells a-hunting roam
For the Knights of Dragon Down.

With cruel smile, a web she weaves.
From each might, his soul she cleaves.
Armored bones are all she leaves
Of the Knights of Dragon Down.

Riding, riding, their skulls a-grin—
Past the gates, the Knights ride in.
Sorcery now their souls doth spin
Of the Knights of Dragon Down.

Ladies scream at the touch of bone,
As skeletal Knights come riding home.
Undead now, fore’er to roam,
Are the Knights of Dragon Down.

Minstrels used to add a verse to the end of this, late at night:

Hear them riding, nearer outside.
Never sleeping, doomed to ride.
There’s no place where you can hide
From the Knights of Dragon Down. (VGttSC pg 98)

(Note, Varalla of Darkhold had glowing eyes, and undead soldiers, lots of dragons in the Western Heartlands, lots of plains, and a dark hall could refer to Darkhold)

Many dwarven delvings and the cellars or burial areas of both Netheril and vanished giant kingdoms are known to lie in the Reaching uplands and farther north. (VGttSC pg 187)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s