Baldur's Gate Book Transcripts
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Baldur's Gate Book Transcripts

by chocomog   Updated on
This walkthrough was originally written for Baldur's Gate on the PC, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PC version of the game.
Hey everyone, remember all those books in the game that you probably 
threw away because they took up precious inventory space, and you 
didn't have time to read them? Well I've written an FAQ that has every 
single book in the game in it. Some of them are really interesting, 
like The History of the Dead Three, and some of them are really long, 
like Waterdeep and the North. If there's any one you want to read, do 
Ctrl-F and search for it, or search by section number. Enjoy, and 
thanks for reading.
Section I: Legal Stuff, Contact Info, Thanks, Etc.
Section II: Countries (One Book)
Section III: Countries (Multiple Books)
Section IV: Races
Section V: People
Section VI: Places (specific)
Section VII: Other
Section VIII: Weird, Unfindable (?) Books
Section IX: Location of Books (almost complete)

Copyright 2003 Kevin Kao.
This may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise 
distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this 
guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is 
strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

In other words, if you want to put this somewhere, ask me, I'll say 
yes. As of July 18, 2003, only GameFAQs has permission to put this up.

I can be reached on AIM as chocomog4000, YIM as chocomog4000, my email 
address is, and you can usually find me at the 
Baldur's Gate message board.

I'd appreciate any comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc set to my 
email, although spam and crap like that will just be blocked. I also 
play D2, so if anyone has any donations, it would be greatly 
appreciated. The locations is currently incomplete, so if anyone wants 
to help.

Thanks to CjayC for such a cool site, Bioware for making this game, the 
BG message board for being there, NearInfinity and its creators, I 
couldn't have done this without you, and a lot of the people I know. 
Except the ones I don't like, no thanks to you.
SECTION II: Countries(minus Shadowdale, Waterdeep)

History of Amn:  

Amn has the good fortune to have abundant natural resources; some would 
say Amn is the richest land on the continent. This has worked in Amn's 
favor for generations, because even if they were conquered, the new 
masters would be gentle, looking to gain wealth from the land, rather 
than to put it to the torch. 

Amn has been a center of trade and commerce for as long as anyone can 
remember. Oral traditions handed down from father to son tend to 
support the theory that Amn has been a trade center for at least 800 
years. Unfortunately, written records are difficult to find and often 
incomplete. It would seem the typical Amnish citizen was too busy 
trying to fill their coffers to write down events of the day. 

Amn has always been more interested in the present and the future than 
the past, and this makes an accurate history difficult. The best 
records, the business papers of the oldest trading companies, are 
jealously guarded.  The fear of revealing "trade secrets" is stronger 
than the call of history, so the average citizen knows very little 
about Amn's past. 

It appears that the Amn of 100 years ago was very much like the 
Calimshan of today.  Each major city was basically an independent 
entity, banding together for defense when necessary, and fighting for 
control of territory and profitable trade routes the rest of the time.  
A particularly brutal trade war began 24 years ago, with each city 
exacting prohibitive tariffs on goods imported from the others. The 
trade war escalated, and city troops began to raid caravans sponsored 
by other cities. In a matter of months commerce was brought to a halt, 
a number of cities were under siege, and war threatened to engulf the 
entire region. 

Into the breach stepped a young merchant named Thayze Selemchant. 
Thayze was smart, charismatic, and very well connected (the Selemchant 
trading house was one of the oldest and richest in Athkatla.) He 
secretly contacted representatives of the five other richest merchant 
houses in Amn, and started to plan. 

The first part of the plan involved the careful sprinkling of rumors 
about outside threats.  One involved a pirate invasion from the 
Nelanther, another was about a massing of orcs just on the other side 
of the Cloud Peaks. Thayze even started a rumor about an elf army in 
the Forest of Tethir, ready to pounce on a divided Amn.  None of the 
rumors were true, but they began to turn people's thoughts toward 
unity, not war. 

Thayze knew that if he and the other members of his council were to 
take control of Amn, they would need broad-based popular support. 
Tensions between cities and merchant houses were still high, so to get 
that support, Selemchant and the others agreed to drop their family 
names and never use them again. 

When news of a "Council of Six" spread throughout the land, many people 
accepted their rule.  A group that would unite Amn under one rule, 
governing for the benefit of all instead of one city or trading company 
over another, was indeed a welcome change.  The Council raised an army 
(at great personal expense) to quell the few pockets of resistance that 
remained, and have been in total control of Amn for the past 22 years.  


History of Calimshan:  

Calimshan is older than either of the other Empires of the Sands, first 
settled over 7,000 years ago by the Djen, a humanoid race from the 
Elemental Plane of Air. These Djen were known to be very magical, and 
during the course of their rule they developed many new spells 
previously not available in the Plane of Air.  

The Djen prospered for over 1,000 years in Calimshan, but their reign 
was ended by an invasion of creatures and minions from the Plane of 
Fire.  Some say this is where the bitter hatred between djinni and 
efreeti started, though others contend this was just a result of a 
hatred that was already there.  Whatever the cause, the battle was long 
and bloody, and took over 100 years to complete. The Djen finally 
routed the attackers, but were greatly weakened in the attempt. They 
slowly declined, and the last mention of the Djen is just under 6,000 
years old.  

For the next 4,000 years Calimshan was dominated by nomadic tribes of 
humans. Tribes from various places - Chult, the Shaar, The Shining 
Plains, Chondath, even Amn and Cormyr - took turns dominating, only to 
be conquered by the next, nearly identical tribe. 

Slowly, the nomadic nature of Calimshan began to change.  As explorers 
and traders from Amn, Waterdeep, and Cormyr discovered the wonders of 
the area, some tribes began to settle down and develop new means of 
support, like fishing, farming, or trading. These communities began to 
band together for mutual protection, and soon a civilization was born.  
It was only 1,300 years ago that the Shoon Empire (now called Iltkazar) 
came into being.

The Shoons were a grand and glorious empire, and their excesses were 
the foundation of Calishite snobbery today. They grew wise and powerful 
in the ways of magic, and ships and caravans bearing the Shoon flag 
traveled across the Forgotten Realms.  Shoon himself, a particularly 
powerful mage, created a book of great power during this time called 
the Tome of the Unicorn.  The exact location of the Tome has been lost 
in time, but since the book is 2' by 3' and made of pure metal, it is 
likely to still be around... somewhere. 

900 years ago the Shoon empire abruptly vanished. A great magical 
upheaval was suspected at first, but learned mages of other lands 
dispute the claim.   A force that great, they say, would have disturbed 
magical powers and beings throughout the Realms, and that didn't 
happen.  Sages who have studied the Shoon at great length have reached 
no definite conclusions, but the most popular theories today center 
around a plague or disease that decimated the population.

Today, the Shoon impact on Calimshan is still great. The grandeur of 
that empire is responsible, more than anything else, for the strong 
national character of Calimshan today. The ruins of the Shoon's 
greatest city, Monrativi Teshy Mir, can still be found in the 
wilderness to the west of the edge of the Forest of Mir (see below for 
more on Monrativi Teshy Mir). 

Since the fall of Shoon, no force or people has risen to soley dominate 
the land.  There are a half dozen or so major cities, each of which 
exerts its power over its own area.  About 170 years ago, a man in 
Calimport amassed a large army and declared himself "Pasha" over the 
land.  Before that army could march, however, the representatives of 
each major city met and agreed to recognize the Pasha's authority in 
limited areas, and to pay a small tribute to him; enough to pay for the 
works the Pasha was expected to do.  The oldest son of each Pasha 
inherits the title; if there is no son, the mayors of each large city 
select a new one.  The current Pasha, Rashid Djenispool, has ruled for 
over 18 years, and is the grandson of a pasha elected by the mayors of 
Calimshan 44 years ago.


History of Cormyr:  

Cormyr dates its years from the founding of House Obarskyr 1,342 years 
ago, the first of the noble houses and the line of its kings.  For the 
bulk of this time, Cormyr was little more than a single city (Suzail) 
and a few fortified outposts.  At times the monarch was forced by 
rebellion and intrigue to rule from those outposts instead of from the 
throne.  King Azoun is the fourth of his name and the 71st of his line. 

The land has been officially at peace for many years - since Rhigaerd 
overthrew the last of the border raiders.  However, Cormyrean armies 
have taken part in many actions in nearby regions, recently mustering 
its forces to face Gondegal, the rebel of Arabel; to occupy Tilverton 
on the marches of the Dalelands; and to lead a crusade against the 
great Tuigan horde invading from the east.  One wit has noted that 
"Yes, the land is at peace, but the army has to keep busy."  In 
addition to pursuing major actions, Cormyrean patrols often skirmish 
with bandits on the roads in the north and west, and are at present 
battling orcs and other creatures north and east of Cormyr in Tilver's 
Gap and Shadow Gap.  Both of these areas are threatened by raiders who 
will menace Cormyr itself if they ever overrun Tilverton.  Cormyr has 
built a fortress, Castle Crag, to defend the kingdom from attacks from 
that quarter, and maintains the High Horn to protect against attacks 
from the West.

History of Dambrath:  

The nation of Dambrath was formed out of a barbarian kingdom almost a 
half-millennium ago by a powerful alliance of priestesses of Loviatar 
and the drow from the city of T'lindhet.

In 211 DR, fleeing from the destruction of the homeland by the then-
great kingdoms of Unther and Muhlorand, four tribes of barbarians 
entered Dambrath.  They found a coast where the dolphins danced and 
plains where the grass was long.  They roamed from the borders of the 
Walls of Halruaa as far east as the current borders of Estagund.  They 
soon became known as the Arkaiun, or people of the wind.

In 545 DR a great warchief, Reinhar, arose to lead the tribes.  The 
halflings of Luiren were quickly enslaved, and several of the coastal 
cities of Durpar were captured or razed.  Estagund fell to his rule, 
and  eventually Reinhar turned his attention to Halruaa.

An army of 40,000 horsemen and a fleet of 50 ships mounted a 
coordinated attack, and even though Reinhar was able to get beyond the 
Walls of Halruaa and occupy the cities of Mithel, Galdel, and Zalsuu, 
their magics proved to be more than a match for the invaders.  Reinhar 
was finally defeated in a great battle at Sulaziir by the archmage 
Mycontil and his troop of wizards.

Reinhar's son, Reinhar II, took command of the army and set out on a 
two month overland retreat.  He arrived home with a thousand surviving 
fighting men and no shaman.  Reinhar II proved to be as good a ruler in 
defeat as his father was in war.  He consolidated his forces and pulled 
home almost all of his troops, as he knew that the defeat made them 
tempting prey for raiders and encroaching monsters.  This action 
allowed for the safe developement of his peoples.

By the time the ninth Reinhar was king in 802 DR, the Arkaiuns were fat 
and lazy.  Reinhar IX, or Reinhar the Foolish as he is more commonly 
known, insisted on expanding his nation to gain more gold to finance 
his military campaigns.  He ordered the mining of many rich lodes of 
silver and electrum in the Gnollwatch mountains, but before his plans 
of expansion could begin, the miners encountered the drow of T'lindher.  
The drow were outraged and began a steady series of raids and attacks 
on the Arkaiun strongholds.  Whole villages were destroyed overnight, 
and no trace of the invaders could be found.  

Reinhar IX committed the foolhardy action of attacking the drow in 
retaliation.  While the Arkaiuns managed to get a force into the drow 
city, this action only succeeded in uniting the normally chaotic drow.  
For once, the full power of a drow city was turned against an enemy.

The battle quickly moved back to the surface.  Reinhar's raiders were 
wiped out, leaving Reinhar with only a small portion of his original 
military.  This was not enough for the drow, who demanded total 
enslavement of the entire surface nation.  The Arkaiuns resisted 
valiantly, and the war went on for three decades at tremendous cost in 
life to both sides.

Finally, the drow had the Arkaiun forces cornered at Malduir.  Almost 
without hope, the defenders were overjoyed when a group of half-elven 
pilgrims appeared on the scene.  The high priestess, Cathtyr Shintar, 
offered the aid of her clerics to help defend the city, and Reinhar 
took this to be an omen from the gods.  A priestess was placed with 
almost every company.  

Within a tenday the drow struck.  The priestesses did indeed prove to 
be of great aid, but to the drow.  Every priestess turned on the 
Arkaiuns, and Cathtyr herself slew Reinhar.  The drow were still 
weakened by the battle, and only the presence of the priestesses 
enabled them to win.  Cathtyr, realizing the unique advantage she 
possessed, made a deal that even the suspicious drow embraced.  Her 
priestesses would rule the land, and in exchange they would provide 
access to the surface for the drow, trading weapons, slaves, and 

The drow were delighted with this brazen offer from a surface dweller.   
Reinhar had been slain and the insult avenged, and after 30 years of 
war the drow were not particularly interested in Dambrath.  They did 
insist, however, on taking the best captured males as slaves.  Cathtyr 
quickly agreed to this, seeing the males as an obstacle to her own 

Cathtyr ruled for 205 years.  She fulfilled her promise to make 
Dambrath, or "The Nation of Pain," a bastion of evil in the Realms.  In 
her time, Cathtyr saw the priesthood of Loviatar expand to thousands, 
and faith in the Beastlords previously worshiped by the Arkaiuns was 
nearly eradicated.  Many of the Arkaiuns were able to escape their new 
mistresses and flee to the Swagdar.  There they resumed their almost 
forgotten nomadic life.

The priestesses of Loviatar continued to enjoy good relations with the 
drow, and some even took mates, creating a race of drow half-elves.  
These dark half-elves became known as the Crintri, or "noble ones."  
Most are pristesses of Loviatar, though many are mages as well.  They 
consolidated their power, learning much of the area from the Shebali, 
or "lower ones," as the Arkaiuns are now called.  The capital of 
Dambrath was established at Cathtyr, built after Cathtyr's passing and 
named in her honor.  Her death came at the hands of her daughter, 
Filina, who had grown tired of waiting for her mother to die.  Filina 
ruled for only five years, however, before her own daughter, Cathakay, 
assumed the throne in the same fashion.  Cathakay ruled for 54 years, 
eventually falling in battle against a gold dragon.  She died 
childless, and her niece Melanith assumed the throne.

Melanith faced an increasing population, and unrest among males who 
longed for a return to their prestige of old.  Melanith did not return 
their previous status, but she did make use of them.  Fearing that the 
great nations of Mulhorand and Unther might rise again, she decided 
that mundane tasks, such as the defense of the kingdom, would be 
handled by men.  She was the first to name a male to the post of 
warchief.  Sadalar, a Crintri, became the queen's consort.  His term as 
warchief was characterized by widespread bribery and corruption.  He 
was, however, responsible for getting many privileges returned to the 
Arkaiuns.  After Melanith's rule,  the Shebali were considered second 
class citizens, rather than slaves.

Though males were granted more power during her rule, Melanith also 
solidified the split beween the sexes.  While the rulers of Dambarth 
had been females for over two centuries, it was more because of 
competence than gender.  Melanith, however, decreed that men could have 
no authority except over other men.  The female-led hierarchy of 
Loviatar was quick to back this move.  

Many of the bravest and best men of the kingdom perished in raids on 
Estagund, Durpar, the bandit tribes of Veldorn, and against the gnolls 
that had returned to the Gnollwarch mountains.  Some even fought at the 
side of the drow in their battle with the svirfneblin city of Aventine.  
The deep gnomes were destroyed, but so were the Shebali.  The drow and 
the Crintri were largely unharmed, and for their aid, the Crintri were 
rewarded with a number of drow males to breed in to their race.  
Melanith took a drow male as her consort to replace Sadalar, who had 
perished in the conflict.  The drow, Nym Inthigg, fathered three 
daughters and a son.  It was at this time that Melantih began the 
isolationist policy that Dambrath still follows today.

Melanith ruled for 156 years; her daughter Ausitil for 125.  The 
current queen of Dambrath is Yenandra; she is known there as the 
"Pirate Queen," for she has sailed as far south as Zakhara on pillaging 
raids.  Yenandra has been ruling for 71 years, and is beginning to show 
signs of age.  She has three daughters as well, named Luatharyn, 
Meltruil, and Hasafir.  While she does remain extremely popular, 
especially to the Crintri, the children of leaders in this land are not 
known to patiently wait their turn.   

History of Durpar and Var the Golden:  

Durpar and Var the Golden share a common history.  Over three-thousand 
years ago, these countries were both subject to the great kingdom of 
Raurin.  When Raurin fell in 2488DR, the countries of Durpar and Var 
barely survived the destruction.

Rioting, mass destruction, and hatred of nobility were rampant, and the 
two countries descended into barbarism for over two millennia.  
Finally, after most of the barbarian tribes were wiped out by the great 
empire of Mulhorand, a leader emerged.  Satama, a mere trader, 
experienced a divine revelation and formulated a new philosophy  All 
things in the world were connected, were part of a single creation 
spirit, and all of the gods of the Realms were merely parts of the same 
entity.  Soon all the Shining Lands embraced the teachings of Satama, 
and the seeds of civilization were laid in what came to be known as the 
Lands of the One.

Since the Lands of the One had many natural resources, trade with 
Mulhorand and Luiren became a way of life.  Merchants were honored 
above all.  In time, the Maharajah of Durpar and the Rajah of Var were 
replaced with a Council of Merchants.  During this time the land 
suffered occasional raiding attacks from the horsewomen of Dambrath, 
and had many skirmishes with the neighboring countries of Estagund and 

In 1023 DR, after an armed peace had been worked out with Ulgarth, the 
Council of Merchants decided that something needed to done about the 
raiders from Estagund who were hurting trade with other countries.  War 
was an inconvenience, but interrupting trade was life-threatening.

Jeradeem, the richest merchant in the lands, was given power to 
negotiate a settlement.  During these negotiations he proved, at least 
in the eyes of the Durparians, that he was indeed the master trader he 
seemed.  Estagund had just tried a foolish invasion of Dambrath.  The 
vengeful female leaders of that land wiped out nearly every ablebodied 
fighting man they sent.  The monsters of Veldorn were causing problems, 
and Estagund was going through a famine.

It was here that Jeradeem showed his fine merchant's instincts.  He 
could not pass up such an advantage, and began bargaining the most 
outrageous trade of all time.  He met with the leaders of Estagund, a 
fearful king and his nobles, and explained the advantages of Durparian 
life and the philosophy of the Adama, the oneness of all things.  He 
bargained for days until finally the king made the trade.  He purchased 
the whole of Estagund for the countries of Durpar and Var at the price 
of 24 gems.  He also promised protection, and help for their 
integration into the Durparian way of life.  Thus were formed the 
Shining Lands.

Within a hundred years, the three countries shared a common way of 
life, and with the added strength and resources of Estagund, Durparian 
merchants increased their trading range.  They roamed as far east as 
Kara Tur, as far north as the Sea of Fallen Stars, and west to Dambrath 
and Halruaa.  At the present time, with the newly discovered lands of 
Maztica and Zaakhara beckoning, the future looks bright.

History of Estagund:

Estagund history follows a different path than those of Durpar and Var.  
The Gunders were conquered in 551 DR by Reinhar I, warchief of the 
Arkaiuns of Dambrath.  Estagund regained its independence when Reinhar 
was slain by the Halruan archmage Mycontil, though the country soon 
degenerated into a group of small independent city states.

Skirmishes with Var, and between the city-states, continued for several 
centuries until a king once again united the country.  King Bornial was 
a skilled ruler, and under him Estagund began to prosper.  His 
descendants did not share his wisdom, and in 1053 DR, King Selkarin 
more than illustrated this.  He had failed to conquer Durpar, and 
Veldorn resisted his challenges.  An avowed mysogynist, Selkarin turned 
his attentions to the matriarchy of Dambrath.  He led a large fleet to 
attack Dambrath, taking extreme losses, including his own life.  
Selkarin died childless, so his brother Seltarir was crowned King.  The 
new ruler faced a country with most of its fighting men gone, and an 
unforseen problem: famine.  The famine was caused by a blight that 
wiped out nearly all the year's crops in Estagund.  This made him eager 
for a deal posed by the Durparian merchant Jeradeem, and in a legendary 
trade the entire country of Estagund was sold.  Contrary to popular 
rumor, Seltarir did not trade away the country for 24 pearls.  In 
actuality he received diamonds worth almost a million gold pieces.  The 
sudden wealth gave him an instant seat on the Council of Merchants, so 
he retained a measure of rule in addition to his fortune.  Chaka 
Seltarir is still the richest chaka in Estagund to this day.  In the 
years that followed, the Gunders began rebuilding their lives under 
their new circumstance, and now they compete on equal footing with the 
merchants of Durpar and Var.

History of Halruaa:   

Halruaa was settled centuries ago by wizards fleeing the Phaerimm in 
what was to become the Anauroch desert.  The first wizards came in 
unique flying ships invented by the Netheril, and found a beautiful and 
rich country settled only by shepherds and large herds of aurochs and 
wild rothe.  It was here that the wizards decided to make a stand, 
should the Phaerimm follow.  The Phaerimm never did, but Halruaa has 
had to defend itself from attacks by all of its neighbors since then.

Over the centuries Dambrath has attacked and raided Halruaa's ports and 
borders multiple times.  Once, led by a magic resistant barbarian, the 
Dambraii occupied all of the country south of Lake Halruaa.  They were 
defeated in battle by the great archmage Mycontil, who slew their 
barbarian leader.  Forty-thousand Dambraii attacked, and were stopped 
by 500 Halruans.  More than 200 Halruan wizards, including Mycontil, 
died in the battle. 

The last attack upon Halruaa was less than 100 years ago, through the 
Telath Pass by the power hungry king of Lapaliiya.  He had allied with 
bandits from the wastes, though this time the Halruans were able to 
field a larger force, including fighting men as well as wizards in 
their skyships.  The attackers were easily routed. 

Halruaa also suffered through a civil war about five centuries ago, 
when a number of mages advocated beginning new experiments in magic, 
ones which even the Netheril didn't approve of.  The renegades were 
driven from the region, but went on to found the land of Thay, or so it 
is said in Halruaa. 

Since then, Halruaa has been at peace (they have had no declared wars), 
though it still suffers raids from Dambraii pirates, bandits of the 
wastes, savages from the Mhair Jungles, and any other pirate, raider, 
or hungry wizard who thinks that magic and wealth grow on trees in 

This constant raiding has made the Halruans very defensive, warlike and 
traditional.  The people say that since wizards have always led them, 
wizards always will.

History of Luiren, Land of the Halflings: 

The halflings of Luiren claim that it is the original homeland of 
halflings in the Realms.  Although other halflings may disagree with 
this, it is true that Luiren was settled hundreds, perhaps thousands, 
of years ago.  

Luiren's history is one of conquerors and subjugation.  Throughout the 
centuries the halflings have been conquered by the barbarians who used 
to inhabit Dambrath, by the kingdom of Estagund, and even once by the 
monsters of Beldorn.  In every case, the invaders were eventually 
defeated because they made the mistake of underestimating the halflings 
due to their small stature.  A good bit of mischief, mayhem, and 
general trouble-making by the halflings also helped end the 

Currently, Luiren is enjoying unprecedented prosperity.  The halflings 
are currently taking advantage of their relationship with the nation of 
Durpar; their biggest customer and greatest competitor.  Also, through 
these close ties with Durpar, Luiren has protected itself against 
another Dambraii invasion.  The rulers of Dambrath must know that if 
they begin to expand to the east, they will arouse the ire of Durpar, 
as well as Var and Esagund.  The threat of a trade embargo and/or 
military consequences have kept this aggressive nation away from the 

History of Sembia: 

The land of Sembia was settled by humans coming to the Sea of Fallen 
Stars from the south, and was originally chosen for its stands of huge, 
high-quality iliyr-wood timber so prized in shipbuilding.  However, as 
the forests were cleared over the years, the treecutters came into 
increasing conflict with elves who feared the loss of their entire 
wood.  This would undoubtedly have occurred, had not the hastily 
gathered mercenary troops of the fledgling land been defeated by the 
elves at Singing Arrows (884 DR).  This battle convinced distant 
Chondath to abandon its holdings in the region and allow the immigrant 
Sembians to establish their independence (though as little more than a 
collection of rival city-states, much like the Moonsea or Vast of 
today).  It also set the stage for the appearance of the Raven. 

The young country grew strong as farms prospered in the newly cleared 
lands.  Craftsmen arrived from the south to take advantage of this 
chance to acquire land and wealth, bringing their trades with them.  
Rauthauvyr the Raven unified the city-states and towns in the face of 
the continuing "elven menace," and insisted on maintaining a standing 
army, which he kept in practice by policing Sembia's borders and 
improving its roads.  At this time (913 DR), Sembia became as a true 

The Moonsea's (Dragon Sea's) mineral wealth was discovered by humankind 
at about this time, and pressure began to grow for a trade road through 
the elven woods to make Sembia the world's gateway to all these riches.  
The Raven went alone as an envoy to the Elven Court.  There, he asked 
the elders of their Council to approve a road, open to humans, linking 
Sembia to the shores of the Dragon Sea (an earlier road had been 
destroyed during the conflict and was now overgrown).  Raven proposed 
that the elves choose the route and retain control of it and the woods 
around it, so that no woodcutting or human settlement would occur.  The 
elves had earlier made similar arrangements with the Dalesmen and had 
no difficulty with the concept of such an agreement.  However, the 
inhabitants of Velarsdale (now Harrowdale) refused the proposal, not 
wanting or needing such a road at that time (curious, since later a 
ruler of Harrowdale commissioned the disastrous Halfaxe Trail). The 
elves, not wishing to offend long-time allies, refused Raven's request. 

Rebuffed, the Raven then threatened to exterminate the isolated elves 
in Amothoi, the last embattled remnant of the elves in Sembia, if the 
Elven Court did not cooperate.  If the road was built, however, they 
would be free to trade, or not trade, as they wished.  The elves agreed 
under this pressure, and Sembia's financial future was secured. 
Hillsfar, on the shores of the Dragon Sea, became a commercial meeting 
ground between humankind and elves, as did Elventree.  The route the 
elves chose ran past the base of the Standing Stone as a reminder of 
earlier, less-hostile dealings between humans and elves.  Over the 
years the elves of Amothoi came north to join their brethren or slipped 
away to seek Evermeet, leaving their wood to gradually disappear.  

 Sembia grew rich under merchant leaders of increasing wisdom, such as 
Saer (for whom Saerb was named) and Selgar (for whom Chancelgaunt was 
renamed as Selgaunt).  Before his death, Rauthauvyr the Raven saw that 
these merchants had a strong standing council of merchant elders to 
advise them and to ensure that no ruler could hold onto power by force 
of arms.  Then this farsighted man, creator of a nation, now halfblind 
and infirm from old war wounds, rode north into the elven woods and 
disappeared.  None know what happened to him or where his bones lie, 
save perhaps some few elder elves.

History of Tethyr: 

For the past 1500 years, Tethyr has had a single, strong royal family 
ruling with absolute power.  When a king died or became incapacitated, 
his oldest son took the throne.  As the family trees of those close to 
power became more intertwined and complicated, there were the 
inevitable wars of succession and bickering over which second cousin 
was the "true" heir to the throne.  Civil wars were brief, however, and 
once the fighting was over the system returned to normal (until the 
next major dispute in a few hundred years or so). 

The established re-occuring cycle was broken 10 years ago.  The current 
ruling family had been in power for over 350 years, so long that they 
had dropped their own family name centuries ago (no one even remembers 
it now) and simply called themselves Tethyr.  King Alemander IV was 
comfortably ruling from Castle Tethyr, and the country seemed happy 
enough, but there was a broad current of dissatisfaction among the 
people of Tethyr.  Non-humans were forbidden by law to own land, and 
since most rights and privileges accorded citizens were based on land 
ownership, they became second-class citizens as well.  Things were 
especially bad for elves, who were driven deep into the Forest of 
Tethir by royal armies.  Alemander IV took land away from rightful 
owners and gave it to nobles who promised larger contributions to the 
royal treasury.  These social and economic inequities, coupled with 
several harsh winters and bad harvests in a row, made the time ripe for 
a change. 

It takes more than just a couple of lousy winters to depose a king 
however, it takes treachery as well.  In the case of the fall of House 
Tethyr it took an ambitious general and an impatient royal heir.  
Prince Alemander grew tired of waiting for the robust Alemander IV to 
make room for him, so he struck a deal with General Nashram Sharboneth, 
commander of the king's largest army.  While Sharboneth marched his 
army toward Tethyr, bringing along a sizable group of angry peasants 
recruited with the promise of land reform, the would-be Alemander V 
downplayed alarming reports from the king's spies and advisors, 
silencing the most persistent permanently through murder or exile.  By 
the time Sharboneth's army arrived and laid seige to Castle Tethyr, it 
was too late for loyalists to help. 

As Sharboneth launched a direct assault on the castle (using the 
expendable peasants as shock troops), a handful of elite soldiers let 
in a secret entrance by the prince would eliminate key guards and open 
the gates.  At the same time, the prince (one of the few people allowed 
to see the king directly) would murder his father.  A fire set by the 
elite troops would destroy evidence of treachery; the general and the 
prince would emerge from the conflagration and announce a new, joint 

The plan was executed perfectly, but only up to a point.  Sharboneth 
double-crossed the prince; his men were much too efficient in setting 
the castle ablaze, and Prince Alemander (along with most of his fellow 
conspirators) died horribly in the fire.  At about the same time, a spy 
planted on the general's inner staff by the equally duplicitous 
Alemander murdered the general and dissolved his body with a powerful 
acid before anyone could come to his aid. 

To make matters worse, everyone had underestimated the resentment the 
people felt for the royal family.  Once Castle Tethyr began to fall, 
there was no holding back the mob.  In one night, the proudest, 
strongest castle in all the country was reduced to a smoking ruin.  
Everything of value - fine tapestries, plates and silverware, 
furniture, jewelry, weapons, clothes, armor, paintings, statues, etc.- 
was either stolen, burned, or just ripped apart and stomped into the 

As news of the fall of the royal family spread, so did the chaos.  In 
what is now known as the "Ten Black Days of Eleint," anyone known (or 
even suspected) of blood connection to the royal family was put to the 
sword.  This led to some darkly humorous moments, as social climbers 
who had bragged just a week before of being a sixth cousin twice 
removed of a royal aunt tried in vain to convince an angry mob that 
they were "only kidding." 

The nobles who were the biggest supporters of the royal family also 
came under attack, and some baronial keeps fell.  Local leaders who had 
adequately distanced themselves from the Tethyr family, or were popular 
enough (or feared/strong enough), survived.  These surviving nobles 
became the initial players in the fight to decide the fate of Tethyr. 

One thing was certain; any leader or type of government that too 
closely resembled rule under the Tethyrs would not be accepted.  
"Royalist" became a dirty word in Tethyr society.  The power struggle 
continues to this day, and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. 


History of Ulgarth:   

Ulgarth was settled by the great empire of Raurin, in the height of its 
power.  When the empire was destroyed, it endured centuries of 
barbarism.  Warchiefs united the country several times during this 
period.  They fought many skirmishes with other barbarians, 
particularly those in Durpar and Var the Golden.  In 202 DR, the 
barbarian tribes were nearly wiped out by the forces of Mulhorand.

In 348 DR, a group of outlaws, fleeing the justice of the priest-kings 
of Mulhorand, came to Ulgarth.  There they found a fertile, almost 
unoccupied land.  They settled down, and began raising children and 
crops.  This new society in Ulgarth gradually grew in power, while its 
neighbors grew apace.  But while Durpar grew as a result of its 
commerce and its philosophy of balance, Ulgarth concentrated on 
agrarian pursuits.  The Ulgarthians developed a highly structured caste 
system of lords and peasants.  In 1002 DR, the centuries' long 
skirmishes between Durpar and Ulgarth came to an end, as the two 
countries finally reached a balance of power.  There were too many 
centuries of warfare between the countries for them to completely trust 
each other.  With their mutual border well defended on both sides, both 
countries have given up on the idea of conquering the other.

Trade between the Ulgarth and the Shining Lands has become a vital 
factor to both nations.  Ulgarth produces many of the items that 
Durparians trade throughout the world.  In return, Durpar trades many 
exotic items to Ulgarth.  Of course, the Durparian merchants usually 
get the better of any trade.  The current king, Drasna the Fortunate, 
has continued his predecessor's policy of non-aggression with the 

SECTION III: Waterdeep, Shadowdale, and the North

History of Waterdeep  

Waterdeep was used as a trading site for trade activities between 
northern tribesmen and southern merchants more than two millennia ago. 
By 1,000 years ago, permanent farms had sprung up in the area. The 
first mention of a Waterdeep (not as a city, but as a collection of 
warlords) occurs only 400 years ago. The city was truly established as 
a going concern by 1032 DR, the year Ahghairon became the first Lord of 
Waterdeep, and the date from which Northreckoning is counted. The city 
grew spectacularly, such that by 1248 DR both the City of the Dead and 
the guilds had been developed. The guildmasters seized control soon 
afterwards, ushering in a period of unrest and bitter conflict known as 
the Guildwars. The Guildwars ended only when the two surviving 
guildmasters brought in their own period of misrule. It was only in 
1273 DR that the present system of government (or lack thereof) was 
instituted. This was the year that the Magisters were established and 
the secret Lords of Waterdeep were firmly reestablished. Since that 
time, the city has continued to grow and prosper. Humankind and other 
races come from all over the Realms to earn hard coin in the City of 
Splendors. Over the years these successful merchants have set up guilds 
and themselves become nobility, supporting the secretive Lords of 
Waterdeep who police the city fairly, yet with a light hand, by means 
of the superb city guard (soldiers), city watch (police), and over 20 
black-robed magistrates. As a result, Waterdeep is a place tolerant of 
different races, religions, and lifestyles. This in turn has encouraged 
commerce, and Waterdeep has grown into a huge, eclectic city. 


History of Waterdeep -  Age 0, Tuabemoots and Pioneers:  

Few now know the true history of this great city, which had its 
beginnings over a thousand years ago, when the North was truly what 
Southerners still sneeringly call it: "the Savage North." In those 
days, most of the North was covered with vast, tall forests of ancient 
green, and inhabited by dwarves and goblinkind (in the most northern 
mountains and foothills) and elves (in widely scattered forest enclaves 
everywhere else). A few primitive human tribes lived along the Sword 
Coast, fishing, hunting and gathering in spring and fall to trade their 
furs with vessels sailing in from the south for merchant's jewelry, 
metal tools, and the occasionally-available weapon or two.  In the 
spring, these vessels came primarily to cut and take huge trees for 
shipbuilding, trees being no longer available in such large sizes 
farther south.

In the fall, the vessels came in to cut timber for their own repairs, 
or to take on a cargo of wood if the misfortunes of trading had left 
their holds low or empty. Most of these trademoots were at a certain 
place where there was a great natural deepwater harbor, protected from 
the sea by a rocky spur of land, an arm of an isolated coastal crag, or 
a rocky island beyond it. 


History of Waterdeep -  Age I, The Rise of the Warlords:  

Over the years, the forest was cut back farther and farther from the 
shore, and tribes began to stay most of the year there, farming the 
cleared land. The wiser among them claimed and controlled some of the 
timber in order to trade for more weaponry and tools. Such claims 
angered many who found the squatters rich from frequent trade, and 
brought attacks from land and sea, the more warlike tribes slaughtering 
the more sedentary settlers. Noted among these tribes was that led by 
Nimoar, a chieftain who ordered his people to seize the farms, crude 
wooden docks, trading sheds, and storage barns built up around the bay. 
They settled there themselves, and erected a log palisade within an 
earthen embankment to protect the holdings.  After several abortive 
pirate and tribal raids, Nimoar's people thrived in their new home, a 
fledgling town referred to as "the town of Water-deep." 

Farther north, orc tribes had outgrown their mountain strongholds. 
Attempts to expand underground met with fierce dwarven resistance 
(although many small gnomish colonies were overwhelmed and wiped out), 
and the orcs spread out on the surface of the land, coming south and 
down out of the mountains, hurling their seemingly endless numbers 
against all who stood in their path. Here and there elven enclaves held 
out, but the push southward displaced many other northern inhabitants, 
including the "everlasting ones" (trolls), who came down into the 
newly-cleared lands northeast of Nimoar's Hold, those lands now known 
as the Trollmoors.  Nimoar died of old age during this time of 
increasing danger. Younger War Lords led the men of Waterdeep (for so 
the ship-captains called the harbor) in battles against the trolls. 
There were many bloody struggles between men and trolls for a decade, 
until the magic of a Northem youth named Ahghairon turned the fortunes 
of war against the trolls, and the "everlasting ones" were destroyed or 
scattered. Ahghairon rose slowly in skill and power with the passage of 
years, until he became a great mage. He discovered a supply of potions 
of longevity (or learned the art of making such), for he lived on, 
still physically a man in his prime, for decade upon decade. 

Fearing further attacks, the men of Waterdeep raised a small keep on 
the slopes of Mount Waterdeep above their farms, where fire arrows from 
on high could defend against attacking trolls. Many outlying tribes who 
had come to the settlement for safety from the trolls stayed, and 
expanded the walls with new farms several times. War Lords ruled the 
Free City of Waterdeep, holding it independent and increasingly wealthy 
as years passed. 


History of Waterdeep - Age II, The Lords' Rule Begins:  

In his 112th winter, Ahghairon had a sharp disagreement with Raurlor, 
who was then Warlord of Waterdeep. Raurlor wanted to use Waterdeep's 
acquired wealth and strength-of-arms to create a Northern empire, with 
Waterdeep its capital (and Raurlor its ruler), and gathered armies for 
the purpose. Ahghairon defied him before all the people, and Raurlor 
ordered the mage to be chained. Ahghairon magically struck aside all 
who sought to lay hands on him. In a fury Raurlor struck at the mage 
with his own blade. Ahghairon rose into the air, just out of reach, 
and, as the infuriated Warlord slashed repeatedly at his rising feet, 
gestured. Raurlor's blade transmuted in his hand, from steel into a 
hissing serpent, which promptly bit him. The Warlord died of the venom 
before the shocked people assembled there. Ahghairon then gathered all 
the captains of Waterdeep's army, and all the seniors of the families 
of Waterdeep. While runners sought to bring them to the Castle, flames 
roared and crackled in the Warlord's empty chair-of-state at 
Ahghairon's bidding, so that no one sat there. Then at a gesture from 
the mage, the flames were gone as though they had never been, leaving 
the chair unmarked. Ahghairon seated himself, then, and proclaimed 
himself the first Lord of Waterdeep, saying that henceforth wisdom and 
not armed might would rule in the city. He would gather some few - in 
secret - to rule as Lords with him, masked and disguised when they 
appeared to the people, but equal to him in authority and free of 
coercion by any, himself included. These Lords were to be drawn from 
all walks of life in the city, and could serve as long as they wished. 

The people heard, and agreed, and for the next two hundred years, 
Ahghairon ruled Waterdeep with his unknown fellow Lords.  Over the 
years, the masked Lords were a group of sometimes five, six, or seven, 
who appeared seldom and said little. Some whispered that they were 
Ahghairon's servants, or even magical automatons controlled by the Old 
Mage. Still, Ahghairon's justice was swift and fair, his laws good, his 
guardsmen polite and just as ready to help as apprehend, and the people 
approved. The years passed in peace and prosperity. The North was 
opened to humans. Roads built under Ahghairon's direction linked it 
together, from the ruins of "the Fallen Kingdom," which had been 
shattered by goblin races' attacks before men were numerous in the 
North, to the cities that would later become Amn. Waterdeep grew 
fivefold in size and wealth. From all over the Realms, folk began to 
come to the "Crown of the North," drawn by money - and among them came 
those who rob, cheat, and steal. When word of doings extending beyond 
simple theft to deception-in-workmanship and the appearance of many 
fly-by-night impostor craftsmen reached Ahghairon's ears, he called 
together the senior merchants, "the Noble Ones," and suggested that 
they form guilds as was done in the far South to police the 
unscrupulous of their own professions. Some resisted, or were furious, 
but most saw the advantages of such an arrangement, particularly if 
they were free to set matters up themselves, and not have less 
favorable arrangements forced upon them. The Guilds were created 
forthwith.  Twice more the city walls were expanded, as Waterdeep 
continued to grow in size and prosperity.   Its merchants traveled the 
world over, bringing back exotic goods from afar, and spreading word of 
the city's wealth to remote lands. In the South, some listened with an 
eye to conquest or at least plunder, but swords were already out in 
those southern lands in a time of widespread strife, and no invaders 

Ahghairon's health eventually failed and he died. He was buried with 
ceremony in his tower, which was secured against thieves and fools. 
Those who learned the arts arcane from the Old Mage cast the most 
potent protective magics known upon his home and resting-place (which, 
many believe, remains inviolate today). 


History of Waterdeep -  Age III, The Bloody Reign of the Guildmasters:  

There was great turmoil in the City as the Guildmasters argued amongst 
themselves as to who should govern the City, and more than one merchant 
of power was found murdered. Groups of liveried bodyguards appeared 
openly armed on the streets, accompanying their masters, and two very 
troubled months passed as they bickered and parleyed (and occasionally 
dueled in the streets). At last, they decided that all Masters should 
rule Waterdeep together, in a council.  The lesser nobles and many 
townsfolk protested, saying that the Lords ruled by right and by the 
people's consent.  The Guildmasters, however, said that the Lords had 
not been seen since Ahghairon's death, and that they must have been 
golems or zombies, controlled by Ahghairon to conceal his lone rule -- 
and indeed, the Lords were silent and unseen, and continued to be so. 

In truth, the Lords were real men and women whose identities had been 
compromised, over the years, by certain curious Guildmasters who had 
ordered them slain by their own closemouthed, loyal servants following 
Ahghairon's death. The only Lords still surviving (those who had 
remained secret) were Baeron, a woodworker, and Shilam, an apprentice 
wizard. These surviving Lords kept very quiet, and waited. The 
Guildmasters thought all the living Lords of the City had been 
eliminated, and took firm rule over Waterdeep. 

The Guildmasters ruled Waterdeep for only six years ere their self-
interested squabbling led to bloodshed. Open quarrels and a few murders 
quickly erupted into a brief but vicious series of street fights and 
midnight attacks. This strife, oftimes termed "the Guildwars" by sages 
(although it was never as long-drawn-out or so formal as to be called a 
"war" when it was taking place), left all but two Guildmasters dead, 
most of the City's best minds stilled, and much of the City's gold 
wasted or plundered with the Guilds in disarray.

The surviving Guildmasters were Lhorar Gildeggh of the Shipwrights and 
Ehlemm Zoar of the Gemcutters. These two - ruthless manipulators both - 
were well-matched and could not overcome each other, though their 
private armies clashed often in the streets. At length, they sickened 
of bloodshed, after many from both families were dead in the gutters, 
and agreed to rule together. Two thrones were set up in Castle 
Waterdeep, and from then the two argued bitterly over this and that, 
and the City was a place of tension and fear. All matters, including 
the recognition of new Guildmasters to rule the "headless" guilds, had 
to come before the Two Lords Magister, as Lhorar and Ehlemm were 
called. Few matters were settled.


History of Waterdeep - Age lV, The Return of the Lords:  

One day to the Courts of the Lord Magister came two people masked and 
robed as the Lords of Waterdeep of old. Where they came from no one 
knew, but they appeared in the Castle's Great Hall where the Courts 
were, and commanded the Lords Magister to leave the city forthwith. 
Laughing, the Lords Magister refused, whereupon the shorter of the 
masked intruders (the lady Shilam, apprentice to Ahghairon and his 
undeclared heir as first Lord of the City) blasted them with lightning 
and fire, and their very thrones were shattered and toppled. 

The taller of the two intruders (Baeron) then called for the heads of 
the noble houses to come to them, or leave the city forthwith and 
forever, if they cared not to come by nightfall. All in the Courts 
heard, and the news was cried in the streets. 

The surviving nobles came, reluctantly and with bodyguards, expecting 
such a summons to be a trap. Baeron spoke to them and the crowd of 
curious townsfolk that had also come, saying, "this must not happen 
again." If Waterdeep was to be safe once more, he told them, all must 
support what he and his fellow Lord now planned, as they had supported 
Ahghairon in the past. The two would choose others to be Lords as 
before, he said, and they would rule in secret, as before - save for 
himself. He removed his mask, and said, "I am Baeron. I would be Lord 
as Ahghairon was before. I would be safe in this my city again." And 
the folk of Waterdeep there agreed. Shilarn, still masked, commanded 
that the houses of the Two Lords Magister be Outcast. There was 
protest, and she raised her hands that had blasted the thrones, and it 
was still again. And the house of Gildeggh and of Zoar were outcast. 

Peace returned to the city, and Waterdhavians to their labors. To 
inhibit discovery of who the Lords were, Baeron selected certain men of 
character whom he knew well, and appointed them Magisters ("Black 
Robes," they were soon called, from their robes of office) under the 
Lords, to judge and apply the laws of Waterdeep in daily affairs. These 
Magisters he paid well, to raise them from temptation, and gave 
lodgings to those who feared for safety to dwell among the people. To 
so serve, he told the city, was a burden, not a proud misuse of 
authority, and if any wished to no longer serve, or were found wanting, 
they were not to be vilified, but accorded respect. And over the 
Magisters the Lords sat in their Court, to correct and overrule the 
judgments of the Magisters. Baeron told the people that none were to 
decry or belittle any judgments of Magisters that the Lord saw fit to 
alter or cast aside. If any thought ill of the offices or those who 
held them they could turn back to the rule of sword and whim, and 
perish as had those before them. Before the Lord's Court Baeron 
encouraged people to speak freely for the length of a short candle's 
burning, without fear of chastisement or reproach from the Lords for 
anything said, as long as they spoke openly and answered questions or 
opposing views put to them by any there. Thus, he held, just grievances 
of folk would be heard, no matter how small the matter or lowly the 
speaker. And so it was. Slow to take hold, until people knew it for 
careful justice, but enduring beyond Baeron's time, and beyond 
Shilarn's time, and beyond the time of their daughter Lhestyn "The 
Masked Lady," who wed Zelphar Arunsun of Neverwinter, and was mother to 
Khelben "Blackstaff' Arunsun, a Lord of Waterdeep today, who knows the 
secrets of long years as Ahghairon did. And as the years have passed, 
Waterdeep has grown in size and variety, flourishing with good trade 
under the tolerance and protection of strong defenders and good 
government. The years passed not without troubles, varying from the 
Godswar (when Waterdeep played host to gods dying and ascending) to 
such occurrences as a green dragon assailing the Field of Triumph (part 
of a plot by the Knights of the Shield to overthrow the Lords' Rule), 
but the city and her peoples survived and prevailed against all strife. 
The Lords' Alliance provides continued safety for all the settlements 
of the northern Sword Coast and those inland, with Waterdeep as the 
heart of the alliance. Though it can be matched in size or commerce, 
there is no city the Realms over that compares to the sheer variety of 
life and experiences found in fair Waterdeep, Crown of the North. 



History of Shadowdale - The Fall of Azmaer, Last Drow Marshall of the 
Twisted Tower:  

The drow rule of Shadowdale lasted until the early 900s Dale Reckoning, 
when the increased human population in the area brought the dark elves 
into conflict with their now more numerous neighbors.  The humans were 
the Dalesmen who a millennium earlier had crossed the Dragon Reach and 
made peace with the elves of Myth Drannor, settling at the borders of 
the great woods that was the elven home.  The drow soon found 
themselves under continual attack, and most of those who held 
overground settlements retreated back below.  The last powerful drow 
leader was Azmaer, the marshall of the Twisted Tower in its last drow-
held days.  Azmaer oversaw the last retreat of the drow holdings in the 
face of a human uprising, and held the citadel against a year-long 
siege.  With supplies and slaves brought up from the Underdark directly 
into the tower, the drow could have conceivably held out forever; 
however, a human slave (family histories in the Dales indicate a number 
of possible individuals) poisoned the well in the Tower and the citadel 
was easily overrun.  Azmaer's body was not found among the dead, 
leading some to believe that he escaped back into the depths to rejoin 
his people.  Noting the fact that he would have had to explain to his 
matriarch how he lost Shadowdale, it is much more likely that, should 
Azmaer have survived, he went into voluntary exile, hiding from both 
human and drow.  Given that this occurred only 400 years ago, it is 
certainly possible that Azmaer still lives.

History of Shadowdale - Ashaba Becomes First Lord of Shadowdale:

Upon taking the Twisted Tower and removing the drowish yoke from the 
people, the Dalesmen had fully established the Dale of Shadowdale, with 
its seat of power in the tower itself.  Its first lord was a water 
wizard who had aided in the final attack;  Ashaba, who was great in age 
when he ascended, and ruled peacefully for 40 years thereafter.  It is 
said that Ashaba realized he was dying and turned himself to water, 
merging with the river.  Since that time, the river, the ford, and the 
Twisted Tower all bear his name.  Before passing on, Ashaba chose one 
of his trusted lieutenants as the new lord of Shadowdale.  Presented to 
the people of the Dale, he was made the new lord by acclamation.  In an 
additional honor, the pendant worn by Ashaba was thereafter recognized 
as a symbol of the lordship in the Dalelands, and was possessed by each 
of the successive lords following.


History of Shadowdale -  Joadath and the Tyrist Massacre: 

The past hundred years have been an example of the best and worst of 
the lords of Shadowdale.  All have been nonnative to the Dalelands, 
though all made the land their home.  A century ago the lord of the 
Dales was one Joadath, a stiff-necked agnostic who denied the power of 
any god, good or evil, and used force to back up his beliefs.  During 
this time there was a great deal of religious persecution, including a 
massacre of Tyrists on Watcher's Knoll.  Joadath was eventually killed 
by a beast of the nether planes summoned by parties unknown, which then 
proceeded to rampage through the Dale.  The beast was killed and 
Shadowdale rescued by the spellcasters Aumry and Sylune.  Aumry was 
proclaimed lord by acclamation.


History of Shadowdale -  Aumry Rules in Peace: 

The longest period of peaceful rule was by Lord Aumry and his wife 
Sylune (better known as the Witch of Shadowdale).  They ruled over the 
community for forty years, a period of extended peace with their 
neighboring dales, nations, and the elven peoples.  It was this very 
peace and power which made the Dale the target for attacks and sabotage 
by the Black Network (Zhentarim).  They sought (and still seek) to 
control the trade from the Moonsea to the Sword coast, and desired to 
make Shadowdale a vassal state of Zhentil Keep.  Lord Aumry's rule 
ended tragically when he was assassinated by Zhentish agents.


History of Shadowdale -  Jyordhan the False Lord: 

 Lord Aumry was assassinated by Zhentarim agents, who in turn were 
captured and killed by the warrior Jyordhan.  Jyordhan, with the 
Pendant of Ashaba in hand (the symbol of the lordship in the Dales), 
proceeded to present himself as the new lord, and was so acclaimed by 
the people.  It was unknown to the people that Jyordhan was also an 
agent of the Zhentarim, and that the entire proceeding had actually 
been a ruse. 

Jyordhan abandoned the Twisted Tower, instead establishing himself in 
Castle Krag east of Shadowdale.  His court was soon overrun with agents 
of the Black Network.  When the people eventually revolted, Zhentil 
Keep sent peace-keeping forces to maintain Jyordhan's rule.  Sylune, 
Lord Aumry's widow, now aware of the deception but a firm pacifist, did 
her best to keep the Dale healthy and intact during Jyordhan's evil 


History of Shadowdale -  Khelben Kills Jyordhan: 

Lord Jyordhan's rule of Shadowdale ended when he encountered Khelben 
Arunsun, also called the Blackstaff.  The story at the time was that 
Jyordhan accepted an invitation from Khelben to visit Waterdeep, and 
there he took ill and died.  In reality, Jyordhan ambushed Khelben as 
the mage was leaving Shadowdale, and the Blackstaff killed him.  In 
either case, Khelben took hold of the Pendant of Ashaba (the symbol of 
the lordship in the Dales) and returned to Waterdeep with it, promising 
to send a suitable candidate for lordship to the Dales.  Jyordhan had 
ruled for five years, and without his advocacy, Castle Krag was 
abandoned and the Zhentil Keep troops routed.  Jyordhan's previously 
chosen successor was a Melvauntan named Lyran, but without the Pendant 
this individual was considered a pretender to the throne.


History of Shadowdale - Lords Accepted by Acclamation: 

This acclamation of the people has formed the basis for choosing the 
lord of Shadowdale since the routing of the evil Lord Jyordhan by 
Khelben Blackstaff.  Usually a predecessor will step down as opposed to 
dying in office, and his chosen successor will be approved by the 
populace at large.  This system has had its drawbacks, as will be shown 
below, but in general, it has served the independent, self-willed 
people of the Dale very well.  They have avoided the "genetic lottery 
of which good bureaucracies and bad kingships are made" (a quote from 
the venerable Elminster).  The symbol of the lordship is the Pendant of 
Ashaba, a device owned by the original wizard, and used to determine 
the rightful lord of the Dale.


History of Shadowdale - The Time of No Lords: 

 During the period when Khelben Blackstaff held the Pendant of Ashaba 
(the symbol of the lordship in the Dales), Sylune (widow of the 
murdered Lord Aumry) was the de facto ruler of Shadowdale, though these 
years were known as the Time of No Lords.  Sylune and an adventuring 
company known as Mane's Band were responsible for driving out the 
Zhentil Keep forces and keeping at bay the monsters in the area.  The 
Twisted Tower, the traditional seat of leadership, remained uninhabited 
following its abandonment by the evil Lord Jyordhan, and neither Sylune 
nor the companions of Mane's Band wished to assume the mantle of 
leader.  With time, Mane's Band passed on to other lands and 


History of Shadowdale - Doust Sulwood Becomes Lord of Shadowdale: 

Three winters following his defeat of the evil Lord Jyordhan, Khelben  
Blackstaff found a suitable candidate to assume leadership of the 
Dales, or rather a group of candidates.  They were the Knights of Myth 
Drannor, so named to show their interest in the elven territories and 
their connection with the elven peoples, and Khelben gave them the 
Pendant of Ashaba (the symbol of the Lordship) in return for services 
rendered to himself and to Shadowdale.  Their leader, the ranger Florin 
Falconhand, refused the honor of the lordship.  It was therefore passed 
to Doust Sulwood, who was made the new lord with the support of Florin 
and Sylune (wife of the murdered Lord Aumry), and apparently also the 
secret support of Khelben as well. 

Doust reoccupied the Twisted Tower, driving out the last agents of the 
Black Network.  He also reinstituted many of Ashaba's democratic 
ideals, including the Lord's Court where all citizens may speak freely 
and air their grievances without threat of reprisal.  Doust ruled for 
five years and proved to be a capable ruler, beloved by the people.  
The regular presence of the Knights of Myth Drannor did much to ensure 
the protection of the area, particularly against incursions by Lyran 
Nanther the Pretender.  Lyran was to have been Jyordhan's named 
replacement, but with the Zhentarim routed there was little validity to 
the claim.


History of Shadowdale - Elminster Moves to Shadowdale: 

It is of note that during the time that Doust Sulwood of the Knights of 
Myth Drannor assumed the role of Lord of Shadowdale, Elminster took up 
residence in the area.  A semi-regular visitor up to that time, he took 
possession of a low, abandoned tower at the foot of the Old Skull, and 
declared himself to be officially in retirement.  The nature of that 
retirement varies from active involvement in local affairs to long-term 
vacations on other planes.  The natives of the Dale have come to the 
understanding that they cannot always count on the powerful mage being 
in residence in times of need or danger, but when he is present in 
these circumstances his aid is usually given.

Doust Sulwood, recommended to the position by Khelben Blackstaff, ruled 
Shadowdale as lord for five years.  "Seems like a millennium," he was 
oft known to have reported, and the tedium of court life and the lure 
of adventure eventually caused him to retire his position and rejoin 
the Knights of Myth Drannor in regular adventuring.  He handed the 
Pendant of Ashaba (symbol of the Lordship) on to one of the younger 
Knights, a Waterdhavian noble named Mourngrym Amcathra.  Mourngrym had 
been dispatched by Khelben from Waterdeep for other purposes, but Doust 
liked both the young man's straightforward honesty and his willingness 
to shoulder the burden of protecting the small community from myriad 
dangers.  Time has proven this choice a wise one.


History of Shadowdale - Shaerl and Mourngrym Meet and Marry: 

The implications of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun "choosing" the last 
two lords of Shadowdale (Doust Sulwood and Mourngrym Amcathra) were not 
lost on the Dale's powerful neighbor to the south, Cormyr. An agent was 
sent northward to divine Mourngrym's true intentions and to guarantee 
the Dale's continued good relationship with the throne of the Purple 
Dragon.  The agent was a rogue named Shaerl Rowanmantle, sent by 
Vangerdahast (though all paperwork on this matter has been curiously 
incinerated in Suzail, so all is hearsay and tale).  Shaerl discovered 
more than she intended and fell in love with young Mourngrym.  The two 
married and became the lord and lady of Shadowdale.  Shaerl's loyalty 
is now to her husband and to the land they co-rule.  This was probably 
not the intention of the Cormyreans.


History of Shadowdale -  Mourngrym's Rule:

Since being recommended to the position by outgoing Lord Doust Sulwood, 
Lord Mourngrym Amcathra's rule of Shadowdale has been less peaceful 
than he had hoped.  The First Battle of Shadowdale occurred in the Year 
of the Prince (1357 DR), and involved Daleland forces routing those of 
Lyran the Pretender.  Lyran has made repeated attempts to gain the 
Lordship, as was intended by the former Zhentish puppet, Lord Jyordhan.  
While significant, this battle pales when compared to the larger battle 
fought on the same site between Bane-led Zhentil Keep forces and the 
Dales during the Time of Troubles (1358 DR/0 PR).  When the Battle of 
Shadowdale is referred to (without a number), it usually means this 
second battle.  In addition, Mourngrym has had to deal with a large 
number of skirmishes, incursions, a possible invasion from below, 
explosions, and other sundry disasters. 

Mourngrym and Shaerl have one child, Scotti, who is now nine winters 
old.  By the customs of the area, he is not considered the heir 
apparent, and another suitable warrior or mage may take the reins of 
power of the small community.  Most feel that Mourngrym will hold the 
Pendant until his son has reached his maturity, then abdicate in young 
Scotti's favor once he takes his grown name.  If this happens, it will 
be the first occasion of the lordship of Shadowdale passing down 
through a family.



History of the North - The First Flowering:  

For millennia, gold elves dwelt in Illefarn (where Waterdeep now 
stands) and Eaerlann (along the River Shining).  From their ornate 
forest cities they traded with emerging human nations like Netheril and 
Illusk and repulsed the attacks of the goblin races.  Meanwhile, 
dwarven clans united as the nation of Delzoun, named for the dwarf who 
forged the union.  The nation, existing primarily underground, extended 
from the Ice Mountains to the Nether Mountains.  Silver Moon Pass was 
its western border and the Narrow Sea its eastern shore.  Orcs came 
from north of the Spine of the World but were turned back in great 
slaughter by the elves.  To this day, this is the homeland and 
stronghold for orcs and similar races.


History of the North - The Crown Wars:  

Humans immigrated in bands from the Shining Sea and up to the Sword 
Coast.  They became seafarers, striking out across the waves to the 
Moonshaes, Mintarn, Ruathym, and the northern islands.  Elves engaged 
in an unceasing war against each other with the humans and orcs taking 
over the resulting ruins.  Perhaps the greatest calamity to befall the 
Fair Folk was the Dark Disaster, a killing magic that took the form of 
a dark, burning cloud.  It enshrouded the kingdom of Mieyritar, and 
when it faded away some months later, not an elf lived - nor were trees 
left; only an open, blasted moor: the High Moor. 

All was not dark for the elves. Although in retreat, as barbarian 
humans and orc hordes grew in strength, their power rose in the Elven 
Court and Evereska (remaining a stronghold to this day).  They 
conceived of cooperation between dwarves, kindly humans, and other 
elves for mutual survival against orcs, marauding humans, and the tide 
of beasts (ogres, bugbears, trolls, goblins, gnolls, and other nonhuman 
creatures) led by the rising power of giants.  Astonishingly, in at 
least three places - the Fallen Kingdoms and the cities of Silverymoon 
and Myth Drannor - they succeeded with shining grace. 

To the east, on the sandy shores of the calm and shining Narrow Sea, 
human fishing villages grew into small towns and then joined together 
as the nation of Netheril.  Sages believe the fishing towns were 
unified by a powerful human wizard who had discovered a book of great 
magic power that had survived from the Days of Thunder - a book that 
legend calls the Nether Scrolls.  Under this nameless wizard and those 
who followed, Netheril rose in power and glory, becoming both the first 
human land in the North and the most powerful.  Some say this discovery 
marked the birth of human wizardry, since before then, mankind had only 
shamans and witch doctors.  For over 3,000 years Netheril dominated the 
North, but even its legendary wizards were unable to stop their final 


History of the North - Recent History of the North:  

In the waning summer months of 1367, an immense orc horde descended 
from the Spine of the World, intent on winding its way south into the 
trade lands of the North. This force of orcs, led by King Greneire, 
surged its way south between the Moonwood and the Cold Wood, stopping 
just outside the Citadel of Many Arrows. 

King Obould, orc ruler of the Citadel of Many Arrows, was terrified at 
the prospect of another orc horde, despite the fact that he knew they 
should be working together against the humans of the North and the 
spawn of Hellgate Keep. His tribal shamans, however, had been 
predicting a treacherous fall of the citadel - and they'd told the king 
that he'd be disposed by other orcs. 

Thus, it was a dark day when King Greneire and his horde of 150,000 
orcs appeared on the plains outside the Citadel of Many Arrows. King 
Obould announced to his followers that this horde had been sent to 
dislodge them from their home and send them out to be scavengers among 
the plains. He vowed that, as Gruumsh as his witness, the Citadel of 
Many Arrows would slaughter these treacherous orcs "like elves during a 

For four months, the 40,000 orcs within the citadel held their ground. 
Assault after assault was mounted against the high walls of the 
garrison, but the attacking orcs were losing far more than the 
defenders. Still, the living conditions within the walls - never too 
good to begin with - created losses of their own. 

The battle for the Citadel of Many Arrows culminated during the first 
week of Uktar. As another light blanket of snow sought to bury the 
gathered orcs, King Greneire threw his entire remaining army at the 
citadel, bursting its gates and pitting orc against orc in a flurry of 
swords. As the two orc kings sought one another out along the ramparts, 
the citadel began to burn. 

The orcs that survive the battle still speak of the superhuman prowess 
of the two kings as they battled one another before their troops. 
Finally, however, King Obould ran Greneire through with his long sword, 
but Obould was severely wounded by the time Greneire had breathed his 
last breath. The orcs erupted into battle once again, and no one is 
quite certain what became of King Obould. 

It was through the smoke and snow that the victors of the conflict 
emerged: the dwarves of Clan Warcrown along with a contingent of troops 
from Silverymoon. Charging in through the shattered gates, these new 
attackers quickly routed the exhausted orcs of the citadel, sending 
them scurrying off into the wilderness. 

King Emerus Warcrown now rules the Citadel of Many Arrows, though the 
dwarves now call the city by its old name of Felbarr. Most in the North 
still tend to refer to the city as the Citadel, however, waiting to see 
if it can withstand the next orc horde. King Warcrown has put out a 
call for all dwarves to help defend the citadel, and news of a new vein 
of gold and silver is spreading rapidly through dwarven communities. 


History of the North -  The Elven Exodus:  

This era left behind elven strongholds ripe for pillaging by humans and 
orcs. When elves chose to leave the North and travel to Evermeet, their 
works quickly disappeared, leaving only places like the Old Road and a 
ruined port in the High Forest to mark Eaerlann's passing. And yet it 
was not only the elves who would disappear from their long-held homes; 
the human nation of Netheril also stood on the brink of history. 

Doom for Netheril came in the form of a desert, devouring the Narrow 
Sea and spreading to fill its banks with dry dust and blowing sand. 
Legend states when the great wizards of Netheril realized their land 
was lost, they abandoned it and their countrymen, fleeing to all 
corners of the world and taking the secrets of wizardry with them. More 
likely, this was a slow migration that began 3,000 years ago and 
reached its conclusion 1,500 years later. 

Whatever the truth, wizards no longer dwelled in Netheril. To the 
north, the once-majestic dwarven stronghold of Delzoun fell upon hard 
days. Then the orcs struck. Orcs have always been foes in the North, 
surging out of their holes every few tens of generations when their 
normal haunts can no longer support their burgeoning numbers. This time 
they charged out of their caverns in the Spine of the World, poured out 
of abandoned mines in the Graypeaks, screamed out of lost dwarfholds in 
the Ice Mountains, raged forth from crypt complexes in the Nether 
Mountains, and stormed upward from the bowels of the High Moon 
Mountains. Never before or since has there been such an outpouring of 
orcs. Delzoun crumbled before this onslaught and was driven in on 
itself. Netheril, without its wizards, was wiped from the face of 
history. The Eaerlann elves alone withstood the onslaught, and with the 
aid of the treants of Turlang and other unnamed allies, were able to 
stave off the final days of their land for yet a few centuries more. 

In the east, Eaerlann built the fortress of Ascalhorn and turned it 
over to refugees from Netheril as Netherese followers built the town of 
Karse in the High Forest. The fleeing Netherese founded Llorkh and 
Loudwater. Others wandered the mountains, hills, and moors north and 
west of the High Forest, becoming ancestors of the Uthgardt and 
founders of Silverymoon, Everlund, and Sundabar. 


History of the North - The Spread of Humankind:  

The adaptable humans made use of magic they could seize or learn from 
the Proud Peoples to defeat all enemies, breaking (for a time) the 
power of giants and orcs. Waterdeep was founded. The last of the pure 
blood elves died out, a result of continued marriages with humans. 

In the far west, men also dwelled - wise, clever primitives called the 
Ice Hunters. They lived simple lives on the coast since time beyond 
reckoning, countless generations before Netheril's first founders set 
foot on the Narrow Sea's western shore. Yet this peaceful folk fell 
prey to another invasion from the south: crude longships that carried a 
tall, fair-haired, warlike race who displaced the Ice Hunters from 
their ancestral lands. 

This race, known as the Northmen, spread farms and villages along the 
coast from the banks of the Winding Water to the gorges of the Mirar. 
Northmen warriors drove the simple Ice Hunters farther and farther 
north, forced the goblinkin back into their mountain haunts, and 
instigated the last Council of Illefarn. Within 500 years of the 
Northmen's arrival, Illefarn was no more - its residents had migrated 
to Evermeet. 

From the Coast, Northmen sailed westward, claiming and establishing 
colonies on the major western islands of Ruathym and Gundarlun, 
eventually spreading to all the islands in the northern sea. Others 
migrated northward, past the Spine of the World, and became the truly 
savage barbarians of Icewind Dale. 

In the centuries that followed, Ascalhom became Hellgate Keep when it 
fell into the hands of fiends, and Eaerlann collapsed under the attack 
of a new orc horde. The elves fled southeast, joining with Northmen, 
Netherese descendants, and dwarves to form what would later be known as 
the Fallen Kingdom. This realm was short-lived and collapsed under the 
next orcish invasion - though in dying, it dealt the goblin races a 
blow from which they have yet to recover. 


History of the North - The Might of Men:  

Along the coast, in what was once the elven community of Illefarn, 
humanity was once again rising in power. Merchants from the south, 
tribesmen from the North, and seafarers from western islands had 
created a village around a trading post on a deep-water harbor, first 
known as Nimoar's Hold after the Uthgardt chieftain whose tribe seized 
and fortified the ramshackle village. Nimoar and his successors, known 
as War Lords, led the men of Waterdeep (as it had become known to ship 
captains) in a slowly losing battle against the trolls. In a final, 
climactic battle, the trolls breached the aging palisade and all seemed 
lost - until the magic of Ahghairon of Silverymoon turned luck against 
the trolls, destroying and scattering them. 

Ahghairon, heir to the heritage and learning of Netheril, stayed in 
Waterdeep, and in his 112th year he again saved the city - this time 
from itself. In so doing, he created the Lords of Waterdeep. The city 
grew into the greatest in the North, possibly in all Faerun.  With 
Waterdeep as a firm anchor, civilization forged cautiously into the 
wilderness. Illuskan (now Luskan) was taken from the orcs. Loudwater, 
Llorkh, Triboar, Longsaddle, Secomber, and other towns were settled by 
pioneers from Waterdeep, sponsored by Waterdhavian merchant families. 

Though it's been centuries since the last orc invasion, there's still 
constant strife. Barbarians harass merchants, travelers, and towns, the 
seas swim with Northmen pirates, and wars have marred the land in 
recent years. Luskan, now a fierce merchant city known to harbor - and 
support - pirates, waged a war with the island realm of Ruathym over an 
act of piracy against one of the few legitimate Luskan merchant ships. 
The war raged for nearly a year, with Ruathym slowly losing ground. 
When it appeared Luskan would finally win the naval war and land on the 
island itself, the Lords' Alliance entered the fray. They threatened 
war against Luskan if the skirmishes didn't stop immediately. Unable to 
fight a two-front war efficiently, Luskan canceled its invasion plans. 

Tensions between Luskan and Ruathym are still high, and their ships are 
often seen taking potshots at each other as they pass, often just a 
wave or two away from each other. The government of Ruathym has 
recently been sending adventurers into the hills of its island realm, 
looking for mercenaries who are killing merchants, farmers, and 
woodsmen. Ruathym believes Luskan still has a presence on the island, 
trying to win through subversion and terrorism what it could not 
accomplish through war. 

To the far north, the Ten Towns have finished rebuilding after being 
nearly destroyed by the monstrous forces of Akar Kessel. With help from 
the tundra barbarians living nearby, they've built and repaired their 
cities, replanted the sparse foliage, and - most importantly - 
replenished the morale of their citizens. A recent trader who passed 
through the area carrying 17 wagons of rare oak lumber said that it was 
nearly impossible to determine who's a barbarian and who isn't. 
"They're living together!" he reported in amazement. 


History of the North - 1368, Year of the Banner:  

 As the dwarves settled in for the winter in their reclaimed city of 
Felbarr, a group of Zhentarim-sponsored adventurers broke into Great 
Worm Cavern, slaying Elrem the Wise, shaman leader of the Great Worm 
tribe.  As the tribe's warriors descended into the ranks of the evil 
adventurers, teleportation magic spirited at least three of those 
responsible - as well as a vast amount of treasure stolen from Elrem - 
to safety. 

According to Themrin, the tribe's present shaman, Elrem promised to 
"watch over the tribe in spirit now that my mortal form is destroyed." 
Despite the reassuring words of Elrem, the tribe suffered through an 
oppressive winter that included both heavy snow, scarce game, and low 

Trusted visitors to the barbarian encampment report that Themrin and 
Gweshen "Ironhand" Talistars are wearing some form of armor made from 
the scales of Elrem. This use of their former shaman's body as 
"protection" was supposedly ordained through a dream vision. The armor 
appears as little more than a supple leather armor, but seems to 
deflect blows and protect as well as full plate mail. 

Nesme reported a drastic rise in the number of troll attacks in the 
Evermoors, and various sources confirm that something is driving the 
trolls out of the moors. Whatever is behind the trolls' exodus is 
destined to remain a mystery for the remainder of the year, as 
adventuring parties expend themselves against the never-ending supply 
of trolls that are fleeing the bog. 

In the most surprising move of the year, the Blue Bear Tribe, led by 
the shaman/chieftain Tanta Hagara, marched on the fiend-ridden fortress 
of Hellgate Keep. While a brief struggle for political control of the 
city was reported by various sources, Tanta Hagara emerged as the new 
ruler of the city.


History of the North - 1369, Year of the Gauntlet:  

The tumultuous climate of Hellgate Keep continued to provide 
adventuring activity. A group of Harpers infiltrated the city using 
cloaking magic and revealed that Tanta Hagara was actually an annis. 
This revelation did nothing to hamper the Blue Bear's respect for their 
powerful chieftain however, and the city responded to the unmasking by 
attacking caravans en route to Sundabar. In addition, a few 
expeditionary forces of tanar'ri were sent to harass the Citadel of the 
Mists, Sundabar, and Silverymoon. Tanta Hagara informed her "loyal 
troops" that gates existed in these cities that could allow other 
tanar'ri to "join us in the glorious battles to come as we take control 
of all of the North!" 

Alustriel cast powerful magical spells in the defense of Silverymoon 
against the raiding tanar'ri, and the city itself suffered no damage 
from their attack. The Mistmaster of the Citadel of the Mists likewise 
aided in the defense of his citadel, though reports still rage about 
the assistance of the treants of the High Forest. 

Sundabar suffered from Hellgate Keep's attack, as the fiends broke 
through the walls and raised havoc along the city streets. While 
adventurers battled the fiends, Helm Dwarfriend led a large contingent 
of the city guard to drive the remainder from Sundabar. Still, the 
fiends from Hellgate Keep left the city with the satisfaction of 
knowing that it was burning in their wake. Within two days, however, 
the fires were extinguished, and Sundabar has since rebuilt from the 

By mid Eleasias, rumors that Turlang, the powerful treant who resides 
in the northern High Forest, was actively defending the woodlands near 
the Citadel of the Mists reached the ears of Tanta Hagara, the hag-
ruler of Hellgate Keep. News that Turlang was aiding the Mistmaster did 
not escape her notice, and the belief that the Citadel of the Mists was 
holding an extra-planar artifact only added to the hag's interest. 

Tanta assembled a large force consisting of more than 100 tanar'ri and 
other fiends as well as 500 members of the Blue Bear tribe to raze the 
Citadel of the Mists. But as the evil forces marched their way into the 
High Forest, the Mistmaster put his own plan into motion. Two Harper 
agents, a bard named Cryshana Fireglen and a priest of Mystra known as 
Spellviper, infiltrated Hellgate Keep disguised as members of the Blue 
Bear tribe. Each carried with them part of an extra-planar artifact 
called the Gatekeeper's Crystal. 

The Gatekeeper's Crystal is an artifact shaped like a three-pointed 
star that is made of onyx and an unknown metal that entwines itself 
through the gem. Each point of the star is a separate piece that can be 
combined together to create the artifact or separated to form three 
powerful magical items. While the crystal can be used in different 
manners, it was primarily created to bring down wards, including 
mythals and other powerful protections. According to legend, it was 
created by a powerful lich who used it to render clerics powerless, 
stripping them of their ability to turn undead and nullifying 
necromantic magic within a 50-mile radius.

The Mistmaster had a different use for the Gatekeeper's Crystal, but he 
needed volunteers to aid him in placing two shards of the crystal at 
precise locations within the warded city of Hellgate Keep. In 
particular, he needed two people who would be willing to trade their 
lives to exterminate the fiends of Hellgate Keep forever. Spellviper 
and Cryshana agreed to the suicide mission.  Holding the pieces of the 
crystal, the two Harpers waited for the Mistmaster to activate the 
magic with his third piece, initiating the magic that would tear 
Hellgate Keep asunder. When a blazing beam of purple energy illuminated 
the skies over the keep, no one within the fiend's stronghold had time 
to wonder what was happening. 

The power of the Gatekeeper's Crystal forced the wards to cascade upon 
the city, causing an implosion that shook the ground for more than 100 
miles. As quickly as the wards surrounding Hellgate Keep collapsed, the 
crystal released the magical energy in an explosion that leveled every 
building in the city, leaving nothing but fist-sized chunks of rocks 
where Hellgate Keep once stood. Not a living creature stirred in the 
remains; all was silent and lifeless. 

The force of tanar'ri from Hellgate Keep was unsure what had happened 
but had felt the tremor when the Gatekeeper's Crystal had been 
activated. They were fighting for their own lives, however, as the 
treants, korred, centaurs, satyrs, dryads, and other creatures of the 
High Forest - including defenders of the Citadel of the Mists - 
battered them into the moist earth. One of the North's most notable 
rulers fell in the battle, however, but he took at least six tanar'ri 
with him to his grave. Faurael Blackhammer, the lord protector of 
Triboar, fell alongside his troops near the conclusion of the conflict. 

Within weeks after the final battle with Hellgate Keep, treants blocked 
passage farther north at the joining of the Heart-blood and Delimbiyr 
rivers. While the treants care little for hunters and adventurers 
passing through the area, all caravans seeking passage north to 
Sundabar have been repulsed - and this is not a matter that the treants 
wish to negotiate. 

In another mishap blamed on Turlang, Tumstone Pass was blocked by a 
tremendous avalanche. This final calamity sealed the Upvale from any 
major force of men. Travel into the area formerly occupied by Hellgate 
Keep is now limited to adventurers and other brave travelers. 

The Mistmaster has been questioned repeatedly by some of the most 
powerful wizards in the Realms, including Elminster of Shadowdale and 
Khelben Arunsun, about the current location of the Gatekeeper's 
Crystal. Most sources claim that the pieces of the crystal have been 
scattered amongst the planes again, but no one is certain. 

Near Nesme, the source of the trolls' exodus is revealed. Fog and cloud 
giants have taken up residence in the moor, driving the trolls from the 
giants' new "homeland."  While it's unknown how many giants have taken 
up residence in the High Moor, estimates range up to several hundred. A 
thick mist continually hangs in the air of the Evermoors now, even more 
persistent and thick than the mist before the giants' arrival. Many 
believe that these new mists are the work of the cloud giants, but none 
can be certain. 

Alustriel of Silverymoon sent a detachment of guards to investigate the 
eastern borders of the moor, and the guards returned with news that a 
gathering of around 20 fog giants who were "of good nature and quite 
friendly" had taken up residence in a formerly troll-infested area. 

Guards from neighboring Nesme were not so fortunate, however, running 
into a clan of violent, boulder-hurling fog and cloud giants who nearly 
decimated their unit. In addition, a group of adventurers crawled into 
Nesme with terrible burns, reporting that they had run into a black 
dragon at a fog giant encampment. Overall, it appears that both good 
and evil giants now call the moor their home. 


History of the North - Return of the Beast (1367 - ?):  

Sages, philosophers, historians, and priests alike feel an ill-boding 
in the chill air. They predict a slow change over the next decade, but 
within the lifetime of men born on the first day of this age. They 
believe that the beasts that once ruled the land plan to return to 
claim what's rightfully theirs, imprisoning and enslaving the crowns. 
Where elves once reigned, men now rule, but their hold - as true for 
all civilizations before - is tenuous at best.


History of the North - 1370, Year of the Tankard:  

Even before spring has graced the Savage North, reports of treants 
massing in the High Forest have reached all of the northern cities. It 
seems that all of the creatures of the forest have mobilized to restore 
the High Forest after the fall of Hellgate Keep. Something must still 
reside below the ruins of Hellgate Keep, however, for the Company of 
the Jaded Heart never emerged from the depths below the city. The 
treants have since blocked entrance into the ruins, sealing whatever 
evil still lurks within far below the sight of man. 

But there is other activity in the North as well. Luskan still flirts 
with war, tempting neighboring cities and yet staying just below the 
wrath of Waterdeep. The barbarians still brew in the north, quick to 
take offense at innocent incursions into their sacred holdings. Rumors 
of Zhentarim agents scouring the Fallen Lands for powerful magic from 
long-lost Netheril continue to circulate. And adventurers still abound 
in the Savage Frontier.


History of the Drow, The Descent:  

We know very little of the Ilythiiri, or "Elves of the South," before 
this crucial event.  Even then they were known as "Dark Elves," for the 
hue of their skins.  They dwelt in the jungles and hot forests of the 
South.  A proud, warlike, culturally advanced (some sages of other 
elven peoples say "decadent") folk, the Ilythiiri attacked all 
neighbors, including other elven tribes.  Their cruel raids and 
depredations, ordered by warlike nobility and the clergy of their two 
cruel deities, Ghaunadaur and Lolth, forced elves, humans, dwarves, and 
others to ally against them. 

Defeated in a series of titanic magical battles, the dark elves fled 
into underground warrens they had earlier discovered.  This event, 
known as "the Descent," marked the end of the drow as a surface-
dwelling race.


History of the Drow, The Dark Wars:   

The warlike drow nature did not change when they escaped their surface 
foes during The Descent.  In fact, they immediately launched a series 
of wars to establish territories in the Underdark.  They began by 
stealing and seizing dwarven magical items, and using them against the 
dwarves - establishing an enmity that is still strong today. 

The drow then fought among themselves, noble against noble, priest 
against priestess, for rule of their new realm.  This all-out war ended 
amid great magical explosions that brought down the roof of the largest 
dwarven cavern they had seized, great Bhaerynden.  The ceiling 
collapsed entirely, burying many drow and the shattered dwarven cities.  
The cavern, now open to the sky, became known as The Great Rift.  The 
surviving drow nobles gathered what people, slaves, and equipment they 
could seize, and fled into the Underdark in search of places to dwell.  
"The Scattering" brought about the many rival, self-interested cities 
where most drow live today.


History of the Last March of the Giants: 

 East of the Great Rift in the Eastern Shaar once stood a land of the 
titans.  This empire rose at the dawn of time in Faerun, and its lords 
thought to challenge the gods in their arrogance.  In punishment, the 
powers cursed the reigning monarch of the land with fascination and his 
brethren with devotion.  The powers then dropped a star onto the land.  
The impact of the fallen star created a huge valley later known as the 
Sea of Fallen Stars.  Slowly picking up speed, the ball rolled through 
the titan nation and onward to the south.  

Unable to contain his curiosity, the titan king ran off after the 
bouncing sphere and his devoted followers dutifully followed his 
tracks.  The meteorite rolled on and on until it reached the Great Sea 
and vanished into the depths.  The monarch dove into the sea, and, 
lemminglike, the entire titan race dove in after him, never to be seen 

Ashamed at the destruction they had wrought, the powers vowed to keep 
both curiosity and loyalty firmly in check to avoid such disasters in 
the future.  They have done so to this day, preventing both new ideas 
from being pursued with any speed and the intelligent races of Toril 
from ever fully cooperating.



History of Gondegal the Lost King:  

Arabel, long under the dominion of Cormyr, for a time became the center 
of a swordsman's empire.  This swordsman was Gondegal, the Lost King, 
who in the Year of the Dragon (1352 DR) attempted to carve a kingdom 
for himself centered on Arabel.  It was to extend north to the 
Desertsmouth Mountains; south and west of Wyvernwater and the farms 
outlying from Eveningstar; and east to Tilver's Gap and the mountain 

In the years following, people would say that Gondegal's reach was no 
longer than his blade.  He could not hold any of the territory against 
the might of Cormyr, Sembia, Daggerdale, Tilverton, and several of the 
other Dales -all of whom he drew the blood and ire of in the making of 
his throne.  

Gondegal ruled for less than a season, though he reigned officially for 
scarcely eight days.  The remainder of his rule was spent fighting here 
and there against one foe or another in the lands he claimed.  His 
troops were largely mercenary, and his treasury of seized goods was 
small and soon gone.  One night Gondegal's force simply melted away 
before the advancing troops of Cormyr, and was gone.  King Azoun IV 
retook Arabel on that morn without wetting a blade. 

No one has ever found the body of Gondegal; he is known to have fled 
north and then east via Teshwave, but then his fate becomes a matter of 
conflicting rumor and legend.  Some believe he still lives with a score 
or more of loyal followers, keeping court in the wilds somewhere, a 
careful and ruthless bandit who takes care that none survive his 
attacks to carry tales anywhere.  When entire caravans vanish at times 
anywhere between the High Dale and far-off Impiltur, he is blamed by 
talk in the taverns.  

Gondegal was said to be a tall, gray-haired warrior of considerable 
personal skill and intelligence.  His badge was a gray wolf's head, 
face on, with red eyes.  Caravan guards often warn merchants to beef up 
the escort on a particular caravan, "else thy gold'll soon be gilding 
Gondegal's throne."  Gondegal was an impeccable swordsman and somewhat 
chaotic in his self professed neutral alignment.  If he does indeed yet 
live, the magic or treasure he carries, and who his allies might be, 
are all unknown.

Gondegal's reign had a great influence on the King of Cormyr, at that 
time in his second decade of rule.  Not only was Azoun forced to put 
down an effective rebellion in his own country, he was forced to pay 
more attention to matters outside Suzail, to become the ruler of a 
nation as opposed to a city-state.  Further, the bloodless assault on 
Arabel was Azoun's first true experience at the head of his army, and 
the joy of "freeing" the people of Arabel is one that remains with him.  



 In ages past there was but one god of strife, death, and the dead, and 
he was known as Jergal, Lord of the End of Everything.  Jergal fomented 
and fed on the discord among mortals and powers alike.  When beings 
slew each other in their quest for power or in their hatred, he 
welcomed them into his shadowy kingdom of eternal gloom.  As all things 
died, everything came to him eventually, and over time he built his 
power into a kingdom unchallenged by any other god.  Eventually, 
however, he grew tired of his duties for he knew them too well.  
Without challenge there is nothing, and in nothingness there is only 
gloom.  In such a state, the difference between absolute power and 
absolute powerlessness is undetectable.  

During this dark era, there arose three powerful mortals - Bane, Bhaal, 
and Myrkul - who lusted after the power Jergal wielded.  The trio 
forged an unholy pact, agreeing that they would dare to seek such 
ultimate power or die in the attempt.  Over the length and breadth of 
the Realms they strode, seeking powerful magic and spells and defying 
death at every turn.  No matter what monster they confronted or what 
spells they braved, the three mortals emerged unscathed at every turn.  
Eventually the trio destroyed  one of the Seven Lost Gods, and they 
each seized a portion of his divine essence for themselves.  

The trio then journeyed into the Gray Waste and sought out the Castle 
of Bone.  Through armies of skeletons, legions of zombies, hordes of 
noncorporeal undead, and a gauntlet of liches they battled.  Eventually 
they reached the object of their lifelong quest - the Bone Throne.  

"I claim this throne of evil," shouted Bane the tyrant.   "I'll destroy 
you before you can raise a finger," threatened Bhaal the assassin. 
'''"And I shall imprison your essence for eternity," promised Myrkul 
the necromancer. 

Jergal arose from his throne with a weary expression and said, " The 
Throne is yours.  I have grown weary of this empty power.  Take it if 
you wish - I promise to serve and guide you as your seneschal until you 
grow comfortable with the position."  Before the stunned trio could 
react, the Lord of the Dead continued: "Who among you shall rule?"

The trio immediately fell to fighting amongst themselves while Jergal 
looked on with indifference.  When eventually it appeared that either 
they would all die of exhaustion or battle on for an eternity, the Lord 
of the End of Everything intervened.  "After all you have sacrificed, 
would you come away with nothing?  Why don't you divide the portfolios 
of the office and engage in a game of skill for them?" asked Jergal.  

Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul considered the god's offer and agreed.  Jergal 
took the heads of his three most powerful liches and gave them to the 
trio that they would compete by bowling the skulls.  Each mortal rolled 
a skull across the Gray Waste, having agreed that the winner would be 
he who bowled the farthest.  

Malar the Beastlord arrived to visit Jergal at this moment.  After 
quickly ascertaining that the winner of the contest would get all of 
Jergal's power, he chased off after the three skulls to make sure that 
the contest would be halted until he had a chance to participate for 
part of the prize.  Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul again fell to fighting as 
it was obvious their sport was ruined, and again Jergal intervened.  
"Why don't you allow Lady Luck to decide so you don't have to share 
with the Beast?"

The trio agreed, and Jergal broke off his skeletal finger bones and 
gave them to the players.  When Malar returned from chasing the skulls, 
he found that the trio had just finished a game of knucklebones.

Bane cried out triumphantly, "As winner, I choose to rule for all 
eternity as the ultimate tyrant.  I can induce hatred and strife at my 
whim, and all will bow down before me while in my kingdom."

Myrkul, who had won second place, declared, "But I choose the dead, and 
by doing so I truly win, because all you are lord over, Bane, will 
eventually be mine.  All things must die - even gods."

Bhaal, who finished third, demurred, "I choose death, and it is by my 
hand that all that you rule Lord Bane will eventually pass to Lord 
Myrkul.  Both of you must pay honor to me and obey my wishes, since I 
can destroy your kingdom, Bane, by murdering your subjects, and I can 
starve your kingdom, Myrkul, by staying my hand."

Malar growled in frustration, but could do nothing, and yet again only 
the beasts were left for him.  

And Jergal merely smiled, for he had been delivered.  


History of the Zhentarim, Two Zhents' Worth:  

Much confusion exists in the Realms regarding Zhentil Keep and the 
(not-so) secret society known as the Black Network or Zhentarim.  The 
two are closely tied, such that a speaker may refer to one when meaning 
the other and still be clearly understood.  In general, both mean 

Zhentil Keep is a walled, independent city on the western shores of the 
Moonsea.  It is one of the most evil cities in the Realms, a blight on 
the North, and a haven for Evil groups, plotting manipulators, dark 
religions, and foul practices.  Its rulers seek to dominate the lands 
around it, including the Dragonspine Mountains, Yulash, Voonlar, and 
the neighboring Dales.  The city of Zhentil Keep and its armies (known 
as the Zhentilar, to make matters more confusing) have destroyed 
Teshendale, come close to destroying Daggerdale, and for a long time 
had an agent ruling Shadowdale.  

The Zhentarim is an organization of evil priests, wizards, and inhuman 
creatures bent on controlling all the trade and power between the Sword 
Coast (meaning Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep) and the Moonsea (including 
the intervening lands of Cormyr and Anauroch).  Its aims in the Moonsea 
area are the same as Zhentil Keep's, and the two factions work hand-in-
glove, often sharing the same membership.  The Zhentarim have a more 
far-reaching effect than Zhentil Keep, though, and have agents 
throughout the North.

In addition, the Zhentarim are not limited to Zhentil Keep itself, and 
maintain a number of fortified outposts.  Their rulership has spread 
with the passing years.  In addition to being the dominant force in 
Zhentil Keep, the Zhentarim control the Citadel of the Raven and 
Darkhold, two important castle complexes.  Over the years, more power 
has been moving away from Zhentil Keep (filled with a lot of unknown 
and untrustworthy flunkies) and into these more secure areas.  

Within the Dalelands area, Zhentarim smells of Zhentil Keep and vice 
versa, but in reality not every Keeper (yet another name for a native 
of Zhentil Keep) is of the Black Network, and not every agent of the 
Zhentarim is from Zhentil Keep.  Adventurers should watch who they 
trust as a result.  


History of the Red Ravens:  

One of the few long-standing mercenary companies that operate in 
Cormyr, the Red Ravens have a strength on paper of 110 swords, but can 
easily triple that number with new hires if they get a sufficiently 
large contract.  They have been kept on retainer by the government of 
Cormyr with the stated purpose of cleaning out the Stonelands to the 
north.  They have been moderately successful in this goal, but the 
Stonelands are still far from being a safe territory.  

The Red Ravens are commanded by Rayanna the Rose, a veteran of the 
Horde crusade.  They are noted for their honesty and trustworthiness, 
as they do not wish to jeopardize their royal charter.  Most of their 
troops are armed with studded leather and carry long swords.  They 
charge 200 gold pieces per week for the services of their 110-being 
unit.  Their symbol is a red raven amulet.


History of the Sisters of Light and Darkness:  

This was the birth of the world and the heavens.  After Lord Ao created 
Realmspace, there was a period of timeless nothingness, a misty realm 
of shadows before light and dark were separate entities.  Within this 
dim chaos stalked 13 lords of shadow, the Shadevari - whether they came 
form elsewhere or are children of the shadow itself, none can say. 

Eventually this primordial essence coalesced into twin beautiful 
goddesses who were yin and yang to each other; they were so close they 
thought of themselves as one being.  The Two-Faced Goddess created the 
heavenly bodies of the crystal sphere and together infused them with 
life to form the Earthmother, Chauntea.  (Although Chauntea has since 
contracted her essence to encompass only Abeir-Toril, in the beginning 
she embodied all matter in Realmspace.)  This new universe was lit by 
the face of the silver-haired goddess, who called herself Selune, and 
darkened by the welcoming tresses of the raven-haired goddess, Shar, 
but no heat or fire existed within it. 

Chauntea begged for warmth so that she could nurture life and living 
creatures upon the planets that were her body and limbs, and the two 
sisters-Who-Were-One become divided, as for the first time they were of 
two minds.  Silvery Selune contested with her dark sister over whether 
or not to bring further life to the worlds.  During this great 
conflagration, the gods of war, disease, murder, and death, among 
others, were created from residues of the deific battle.  At one point 
during the battle, Selune seized the advantage and reached across time 
and space to a land of eternal fire.  Fighting the pain of the blaze, 
which burned her sorely, she broke off a fragment of that ever-living 
flame and ignited one of the heavenly bodies so that it burned in the 
sky and warmed Chauntea. 

Incensed, Shar redoubled her attack on her injured twin and began to 
snuff out all light and heat throughout the crystal sphere.  Again 
Selune gave of herself and tore the divine essence of magic from her 
body, flinging it desperately at her sister in defense of life in the 
sphere.  This essence entered Shar, ripped an equal portion of energy 
from her, and reformed behind her as the goddess of magic, known now as 
Mystra, but then as Mystryl.  Though Mystryl was composed of both light 
and dark magic, she favored her first mother Selune initially, allowing 
the silver goddess to win an uneasy truce with her more powerful, dark 
twin.  Consumed by bitterness at her defeat, Shar vowed eternal 

The twin goddesses contested for eons as life struggled into existence 
on Toril and the other planets under Chauntea's watchful gaze.  Shar 
remained powerful, but bitterly alone, while Selune waxed and waned in 
power, often drawing strength from her allied Daughters and sons and 
like-minded immigrant deities.  Over time, Shar grew strong again, 
aided by the shadevari who preferred night to blinding light and who 
stalked the Realms seeking to meld light and dark into shadowy chaos 
once again.  Shar's plot to reform the world after her own desires was 
undone when Azuth, the High One, formerly the greatest of all mortal 
spellcasters and now consort to Mystra (incarnate successor to 
Mystryl), found a way to imprison the shadevari in a pocket-sized 
crystal sphere located beyond the edges of the world by creating the 
illusion of a realm of shadows.  The Lords of Shadow were drawn to 
investigate, and before they discovered the trick, Azuth imprisoned the 
shadevari with the Shadowstar, a key of shadows forged by Gond.  The 
High Lord then hurled the key into the endless reaches of the cosmos 
allowing life to flourish on in Chauntea's loving hands.

Section VI: PLACES


History of the Dragon Coast:  

The history of the Dragon Coast is the history of money, particularly 
the darker side of the coin.  Situated on the main trade routes between 
the Inner Sea and the Sword Coast, these lands never coalesced into a 
solid, coherent nation, like Cormyr or Sembia. Instead small petty 
city-states have risen and fallen, powered by greed and the most 
powerful merchant or pirate faction of the day. 

As a result, the Dragon Coast has always been the home of the smuggler, 
the pirate, the rogue, and the hired killer. It has been the place 
where those seeking to skirt the laws of more civilized nations to the 
north make landfall.  It is here that the Red Wizards gain their access 
to the Western Heartlands, and where the Cult of the Dragon launches 
its plots to the south.  And it is here that independent secret 
societies and assassin guilds have their greatest power. 

The last semblance of organized resistance to this trend was the reign 
of Verovan, last of the kings of Westgate.  The monarchy of Westgate 
had long worked closely with the various mercantile and pirate 
factions, but Verovan attempted to stem the growing power of the 
merchant houses and petty lords.  His sudden and mysterious death 
without acceptable heirs in 1248 DR opened the door for much of what 
now is commonplace in the Dragon Coast - corruption and treachery. 

It should be noted that while Verovan's name is still venerated in 
these lands, better known is Immurk, the greatest of the Inner Sea 
Pirates, a brash and flamboyant rogue who united a pirate fleet beneath 
him and ruled from 1164 DR to his death in 1201 DR.  Such it is in the 
Dragon Coast, that good people are venerated, but the power of darker 
rogues is imitated.


History of the Moonsea:  

The Moonsea has a long history as the border between the elven lands to 
the south and the darker, more sinister lands of the Ride and Thar, 
home of dragons and giant and ogre tribes in great multitudes.  The 
deep sea was an excellent barrier to the raiders, as those tribes who 
sought invasion had to detour around and through the lands that would 
eventually hold Yulash, Zhentil Keep, and Hillsfar. 

The first true settlement in Moonsea was Northkeep, a shining citadel 
established as a beacon of civilization and a jumping-off point for 
merchants seeking trade with the dwarves of the North - including not 
only Tethyamar, but the clans of the Cold Lands - who traded their 
metalwork and craft for much-needed magic.  In the end, Northkeep was 
sunk beneath the icy waters of the Moonsea by the inhuman forces, and 
humankind suffered one of many setbacks in the region. 

So has been the nature of human habitation of this region since the 
beginning.  Human settlements thrive for a few years, usually through 
sheer willpower and on the strength of a sharp sword, and then are 
overrun by goblins, orcs, dragons, beholders, or giants.  Phlan has 
fallen and risen again.  Yulash is a ruin where a decade ago there was 
a thriving town.  Hulburg and Sulasspryn are empty hulks.  Each of the 
cities of the Moonsea seems threatened with extinction in its turn, 
then is rebuilt. 

This cycle may be the reason that only the strongest and the most 
savage survive, even prosper, in the lands of the Moonsea.  The 
greatest cities - Hillsfar, Mulmaster, and the impenetrable Zhentil 
Keep - are all ruled by evil people who control their lands with iron 
grips.  The lesser cities, Elventree, Phlan, and Thentia, may be less 
evil, but have a strong, independent, almost chaotic nature.  In many 
ways the Moonsea is a frontier, with a frontier mentality. 


History of the Unicorn Run:  

Bards and sages pass down the tale that the headwaters of the Unicorn 
Run are, in truth, the Font of Life, and a cradle of fecundity.  Each 
natural race is said to have emerged from the womb of Chauntea onto 
Toril at the river's source, and then traveled down the Unicorn Run to 
the outside world.  Some say that a daughter of Chauntea resides at the 
river's source to usher the newborns into the world, while others claim 
that Shialla midwifes the process.

Regardless of the truth, the elves, korreds, and halflings all agree 
that the Unicorn Run is sacred to life and a site of incredible purity.  
As a result, all three races have strong taboos about extended trips up 
the run, for if the river is ever fouled, then no new races will ever 
be born on Toril again.


History of the Valley of the Gods:  

It is said that even the powers must cavort and amuse themselves once 
in a great while.  Far to the north of the Spine of the World is the 
Valley of the Gods.  A paradise unequaled on this world or in the 
planes, this playground of the gods is not meant for mortals.  Any 
mortal who reaches the Valley becomes a deity, for only deities may 
exist in the Valley.  Far too many mortals with delusions of grandeur 
have thrown away the pleasures of this side of the Spine and their 
kingdoms in this world, only to break their backs searching for the 
legendary Valley of the Gods.


History of the Vast:  

Two millennia ago the Vast was Vastar, the orcish lands. These were the 
breeding grounds of the goblin hordes that would spill eastward and 
cross the Dragon Reach in ramshackle boats to raid the elves. The orcs 
were overthrown by invading dwarves, who established the Realm of the 
Glimmering Swords. It was during this time that the first humans came 
to the Vast, including the mage Maskyr. 

The rule of the dwarves occurred against a backdrop of constant war 
with the orcs, such that there were perhaps only 40 years of true peace 
for the Realm of the Glimmering Swords. The dwarves were overrun by the 
orcs, and they escaped extinction only through the aid of human and 
elven allies. The remaining dwarves left the region to the newly 
arriving humans and retreated to the east, to the south, and to 
isolated and hidden communities within the Vast. 

The most successful of the humans were the adventurers whose hunger was 
sated by gold and whose thirst was slaked by great deeds. This was the 
Time of the Glorious Fools, and there are those who will argue that it 
is still that age, as adventurers still rule the cities of Calaunt and 
Ravens Bluff. The orcs today are contained, if not conquered, and trade 
has grown up in the lands of the Vast. However, for many individuals 
with adventuring blood, it is still a wilderness in which one may prove 
one's worth. 


History of the Western Heartlands:  

The history of the Western Heartlands is a history of endless battles 
and destroyed empires. In ancient times these were the lands of the 
Fallen Kingdom of Illefarn, the Lost Kingdom of Man, and rumored 
Netheril. In more recent history, the land has been fertilized with 
blood and bone as forces from the Empires of the Sands surged 
northward, the evil peoples within Dragonspear and the Goblin Marches 
spilled forth, and mercenary companies moved to and fro in the service 
of one petty warlord after another. Recent battles leveled the Way Inn 
and threatened Daggerford. Even the Time of Troubles did not leave this 
desolate land unmarked - Bhaal himself perished at Boareskyr Bridge, 
and the waters it passes over have remained poisoned to this day. 

The cities of the Western Heartlands are strong, independent, and 
varied. They are also strongly motivated by trade, and listen harder to 
the ringing of gold than the call of battle. But something else 
prospers in the open land - freedom and opportunity. No nation lays 
claim on the Westem Heartlands to land beyond that which their armies 
can control, and no warlord can make demands beyond the swing of his 
axe. Small holds and castles regularly spring up, only to be knocked 
down by invading forces, or abandoned after a generation or two. Lost 
dungeons and secret citadels lie scattered throughout the land, and 
this rugged frontier presents more than enough opportunities for 

History of the Fateful Coin:  

Old tales tell that luck plays a crucial role in each person's life.  
When each new-born baby enters into the Realms, Tymora flips a coin 
formed from the remnants of the original goddess of luck, Tyche.   
Beshaba calls it in the air - the moon (heads) or the cloak (tails).  
If Beshaba is right, that person is cursed with misfortune for the rest 
of his or her days.  If she's wrong, Lady Luck smiles on that child for 
the rest of his or her life.  For some rare beings, the coin lands edge 
on - and these luckless few can forge their own fates, for they have 
more freedom over their destinies than the powers themselves.

History of the Chosen of Mystra:  

The reason why Mystra, the Goddess of Magic, invested a portion of her 
divine might in mortals is not known.  One of the more popular 
theories, and one that is gaining more support in light of the goddess' 
other actions during that period,  is that Mystra foresaw the Time of 
Troubles (and her own passing at the hands of Helm) and chose to give 
some of her power to mortals in order to ensure that her successor (the 
female mage Midnight, as it turned out) would have a number of nearly 
immortal allies in the struggle against the schemes of the gods (the 
now dead Bane, Myrkul, and Bhaal) who precipitated the Time of Troubles 
by stealing the Tablets of Fate.  The theory goes on to suggest that 
Mystra informed Azuth at approximately the Year of the Rising Flame (0 
DR), more than 1,300 years before the Time of Troubles, that some of 
her power must be put into the hands of mortals who would then become 
known as Mystra's Chosen.  This power would sleep within the bodies of 
those mortals, allowing Mystra to call on it only with their 
permission.  It would give the Chosen the innate ability to heal 
quickly, and would give them life spans far greater than those of 
ordinary mortals.  Mystra speculated that these mortals might be able 
to call on her power and thereby gain some special abilities, but that 
these powers would not rival those of a deity. (See "Powers" below.) 

The Goddess of All Magic then began to select mortals she thought to be 
suitable.  One of the first was the young mage Elminster, and she also 
singled out a promising wizard named Khelben Arunsun.  Both have proved 
to be worthy and capable receptacles of her power, but Mystra's other 
early attempts to invest her power in living humans were unsuccessful, 
and she came to realize that only very few mortals were of stern enough 
substance to contain such power within themselves without being 
destroyed or corrupted.  Even though some people aside from Elminster 
and Khelben may have possessed the requisite strength, it is possible 
that having lived for years prior to being visited by Mystra had set 
them on a path from which they were not able to deviate.  Whatever the 
reason, the problem needed to be solved.  To get around the difficulty, 
Mystra devised a plan to use herself as a vessel to breed individuals 
who could be nurtured and acclimated to her power from the very 
beginnings of their lives. 

For the father of these individuals, she picked the best example of 
human stock she could find: Dornal Silverhand, a nobleman and a former 
Harper who lived near Neverwinter.  Mystra then possessed the body of 
Elue Shundar, a half-elven sorceress whom Dornal was already attracted 
to.  Mystra revealed her presence and her plan to Elue, who happily and 
eagerly agreed to have the goddess share her body.  Elue had been 
reluctant, but under the influence of Mystra the woman became a 
seductress, and Dornal found his advances being suddenly returned with 
great fervor. 

Dornal and Mystra/Elue were wed in the Year of Drifting Stars (760 DR).  
The first of seven daughters, Anastra Sylune, was born the following 
winter.  Sylune's six sisters emerged at one-year intervals thereafter: 
Endue Alustriel, Ambara Dove, Ethena Astorma (she prefers the shortened 
"Storm" these days), Anamanue Laeral, Alassra Shentrantra (known today 
as the Simbul), and Er'sseae Qilue.  These siblings have become known 
in Realmsian lore as the Seven Sisters. 

Dornal, who had been kept in the dark about his wife's true nature 
through the years (presumably because Mystra didn't want to risk losing 
his services), was disappointed and nearly distraught by the time his 
sixth child was born; he had always wanted sons as well as daughters.  
More importantly, he was seeing his wife deteriorate right before his 
eyes. The strain of coexisting with the goddess all these years had 
turned Elue into a withered shell - in essence a lich, clinging to life 
only because Mystra's power was within her. 

When Elue was carrying the seventh child, Dornal consulted a priest who 
told him his wife had been possessed by an entity of great magical 
power.  To spare both of them any further agony, he attempted to slay 
his wife's physical form by severing her head from her body. 

As soon as he had done this, Mystra was forced to reveal herself to 
him, and she went on to explain her scheme.  Just as she had worried 
would happen, Dornal was aghast at how he and his wife had been used by 
the goddess.  He turned his back on the corpse of his wife, abandoned 
his lands and his children, and vanished into the North.  Mystra bore 
him no ill will, and in fact protected him for the final 30 years of 
his life.  When Dornal finally did meet his end he called out to 
Mystra, and the goddess granted him continued existence as her servant.  
Now known as the Watcher, Dornal Silverhand travels the world unseen by 
mortals on a continuing mission to locate candidates to swell the ranks 
of the Chosen and to identify possible threats to Mystra and her 

History of the Dales and the Elven Court:  

The founding of the Dalelands long preceded the creation of any of the 
existing Dales by hundreds of years, and the year numbering system 
known as Dalereckoning is actually a commemoration of humankind being 
given permission to settle in the lands north and west of the Inner 
Sea.  Most of the current Dales are relative newcomers, the older 
having been abandoned, destroyed, or overrun long ago.  In those 
ancient days, when Suzail and Chondathan (now called Saerloon) were 
mere coastal trading posts, the elves who ruled this forest entertained 
a request from settlers from the East; refugees and farmers from far-
off Impiltur and Damara.  This request was to farm and settle the 
borders of the great forest Cormanthor, in particular the rich delves 
and dales along the rivers Arkhen and Ashaba.  These newcomers did not 
wish to lumber or clear the inhabited forest, but only to settle on the 
rich territories on its edges, and unlike some other settlers (early 
Sembia comes to mind) were willing to ask permission. 

The lords of the Elven Court granted that request in retum for aid from 
these new Dalelanders against outside aggression, both monstrous (orcs 
and goblins from the lands of Thar) and human (the rising powers in 
Cormyr and Sembia).  In commemoration of this pact, humans and elves 
raised the Standing Stone that is now seen where the Moonsea Ride 
reaches Rauthauvyr's Road, the road from Essembra to Hillsfar.  It is 
from the date of the raising of this stone that Dalereckoning is 
counted.  According to the pact made, the Dalesmen would only settle 
those regions that were unforested or unclaimed by the elves.  As the 
elven woods receded under the axes of further invaders and settlers, 
old Dales perished and new ones came into being along the borders of 
the woods.  People, both good and bad, have raised petty nations in the 
Dalelands since, though any one Dale that turned against the pact would 
have to deal with the others.  Each of the Dales is a large swath of 
farms and fields, with a few scattered settlements and usually one 
central marketplace, capital, or Dale center.  These centers are often, 
but not always, named after the Dales they are in, adding to the 
confusion as to what is a Daleland's territory. 

The Dales are not city-states, for their largest groupings of 
population rate as towns at best, and they lack the defensive walls 
common throughout the Heartlands.  They are neither true nations in the 
fashion of Cormyr or Sembia, and occupy a gray middle ground wherein 
they are nothing more, or less, than Dales.  

Each Dale has slightly different laws, customs, and military 
organizations.  Many rely on the work of charismatic heroes and 
adventuring companies for aid in times of trouble, and a large number 
of these individuals use the region as a base.  This attraction for 
adventurers is further increased by the large number of elven and pre-
elven ruins in the area and the departure of the Elven Court for 
Evermeet, leaving the woods open for exploration and exploitation. 

The history of the Dales is filled with battles and attacks on its 
various members.  In the Year of the Worm (1356 DR), Scardale, under 
the command of Lashan Aumersair, launched a number of swift attacks, 
conquering a number of the surrounding Dales.  A coalition of forces 
from the others, as well as Sembia, Cormyr, and Zhentil Keep crushed 
the invaders and occupied Scardale.  During the Time of Troubles (1358 
DR/0 PR), Shadowdale was attacked by Zhentil Keep.  More recently, the 
Dalelands have committed forces to a unified army under King Azoun IV 
of Cormyr to turn back the Tuigan Invasion (1360 DR). 


One of the great and mysterious sites in the Moonsea area, the Bell in 
the Depths, is connected with legendary Northkeep, an island kingdom 
that was the first great citadel of humankind in these cold lands.  
Northkeep was a great and magical city, and it was under the protection 
of these magics that humanity first began to press back the orc hordes 
and take command of the sea.

The power of Northkeep made it an obvious target for orcs, giants, and 
other evil races.  However, these creatures were not inclined towards 
sea actions, and Northkeep seemed safe until the day when (according to 
legend) 40,000 inhuman mages, shamans, witch doctors, and priests of 
all foul races gathered on the northern shore of the Moonsea and began 
to chant, bringing the vengeance of their gods down upon the human 
interlopers.  The gods (at least some of them) came and destroyed their 
priests for disturbing them, but also sank Northkeep beneath the waves.

The upper reaches of Northkeep - its slender, now-broken spires - can 
be seen beneath the water by boats that sail nearby.  This is not 
attempted often, however, as the region is said to be haunted by the 
original defenders of Northkeep, seeking company in their watch over 
the Cold Lands.  On fog-ridden nights the bells of the tallest towers, 
despite being submerged, can be heard as far away as Hillsfar.

It would appear that time has not been kind to the pages of this tome, 
but snippets of information are still readable.

This is the logbook of the goode ship Wandering Eye, under the command 
of the mos...orthy Balduran

...will return once we have again seen far off shores. The men are 
restless, but the promise of wealth rivaling our last voyage will keep 
them well in line... is clear and we shall make Anchorome in goodly time, of that 
I have no doubt...

...have calmed the crew, though nervouse they will remain. I blame them 
not, for it was not a pleasante encounter in the least. Bloody Elves 
would do well to remember that the sea belongs to no one, save the gods 
that guard her. I shall avoide the northerly passage just the same, if 
only to prevent another overzealouse boarding party. Such paranoia from 
the 'fair folk...'

...arrived in Anchorome, and I am remembered by a goodly number of 
people, not all fondly... 

...but 'his grace' has deemed me worthy to proceed through his lands. I 
am quite sure the two hundred-strong complement of the Wandering Eye 
aided in the decision. Still, we were received in goode humore, and I 
will not request tribute...  

...adventure it has been! Such wealth as this...only in the deepest 
ruins of home. Here it is almost for the taking, with only a measure of 
'diplomatic' discussions as the cost...

...attacked, and barely made it to the ship in time. Dradeel did warn 
of such, but who is to trust a worde from his mouth? I do sweare, his 
senses seem addled at the best of times...

...the crew, but a larger share for the remaining will keep them well 
and truly happy. I shall conscript replacements from the local populace 
this night, and we shall set our sails at dawn...

...delays, but with one hundred and fifty new hands, one must expect 
the going to be slow at the start. They seem quite calm and orderly, 
not at all as I expected...

...should have searched! We cast him out, but his words...eady inflamed 
the crew. I know not what was worse, the shaman's constant...or the 
reaction of the crew when he was committed to the sea. Their eyes 
are...and resigned. I dislike a crew with no fire in their bellies, but 
I do suppose it is better than a fire in the hold... unseasonable, and the moode does worsen. As well, beetles 
have beset the foode stores, and we shall surely be hungry long before 
reaching the coast of home...

...set aground to forage. It is a small isle, but will yield what we 
need. Perhaps I shall...on my own while the crew...time on land will do 
them goode...

...original men seem quite shallow in the face, quite different from 
the pallor of the new recruits, but all are most definitely ill...

The Recipes and Ruminations of One Dradeel of Tethir

'A Lovely Bun-cake Brightens Anyone's Day'

The recipes herein are mine own imagining, and thus ingredients are 
subject to change as per my whim. 


Belladonna Bun-cake

A simple little dish for a rainy afternoon.

The eggs of a seabird, 
A spoon of the Whitecap fungus,
The fruit of your choice for sweetening, 
One small measure of the belladonna root.
Prepare as one would a breadloaf, though less time given to the rising. 
Bake in a well stoked hearth under leaves for one turn of the 

Notes to myself: Refrain from eating this ever again. Exceptionally 
poisonous. Remember the unfortunate week on the kitchen floor. 


Dradeel's Vegetable Surprise

A dish that turned out surprisingly edible. Not recommended as the 
primary meal every day for 300 years. Some disorientation may result.

Place 2 cups of virgin Netherise Olive Oil and 1 large chopped onion in 
a large pot
Saute onions in oil over medium fire until onions begin to become clear
Add 2 chopped carrots and 2 chopped stalks of celery
Saute for an additional 3 minutes
Add 1 1/2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.

Add 2 diced and peeled potatoes, 1 cup of white wine (I find that a 
Myth Rhynnian vintage is perfect), 1 bay leaf, 2 diced tomatoes, and 
chopped parsley to taste.

Cook, covered, over medium-smallish fire until vegetables are almost 
tender. Add 2 cups of chopped spinach and cook for an additional 15 
minutes. Serve hot and garnish with grated cheese.

Note: For orcish version, replace all ingredients with turnips.


Curative Ingredients for the Dispelling of Lycanthropy. 

Mother's family recipe

Notes: Mother's topical salve is a rather large failure. Research 
further with the following in mind: The creatures on this isle are 
unusual beyond their splitting into two factions. Theirs is an odd 
curse, one that defies the traditional remedies (such as the 
unfortunately dangerous muffins previous), though one is not without 
hope. The exotic origin of the original stock suggest a unique 
enchantment, not unlike that of the more widely know vampiric 
afflictions. The casual bite might be averted using such things as the 
Belladonna flower, but an intentional infection could actually require 
the extermination of the leader of the clan. This is merely conjecture 
of course, as I have been unable to examine said leader. Despite my 
strange immunity, his is a strength that could still inflict a measure 
of serious damage upon my physical form. He and I have spoken on 
occasion, though his tolerance of me is no more resilient than mine is 
of him. 

Further notes to myself: Future offerings of peace to either of the 
wolven clans should not take the form of muffins of any sort.


The Bachelor's Crutch

Noodles of quality and convenience.


A measure of noodles.
Boiling water

Combine ingredients in container.
Enjoy. Oh yes, enjoy.

Notes to myself: Should probably be suplimented with something of 
nutritional value, lest my bones become brittle as chalk. Perhaps the 
I've never been able to find these in the game, they seem to be a 
collection of bad poetry. The first number is the CLUA code. Their 
descriptions are all "Dusty Book".

BOOK71-Moved ne'er by rage and ne'er by anger, 
Cold is the trait'rous doppelganger.

BOOK72-Too young to fight, except to fall,
Here died my son, young Fuernebol.

BOOK73-Islanne, my wife, I love you still.
'Twas just your form they made me kill.
*I think this refers to the Chosen of Mystra book.

BOOK74-Oh Kiel, Clan-prince of this dark tower,
You made your death your finest hour.

BOOK75-Soft walks the trait'rous doppelganger
Into my dear son's practice chamber.

BOOK76-Foul mimic of the mortal man,
'Twas in my shape they killed Islanne.

I think the rest refer to Durlag, although I can't be sure.

BOOK77-Taste My Fear
BOOK78-Know My Madness
BOOK79-Face My Demons
BOOK80-Seek No Heirs
BOOK81-Seek No Exit
BOOK82-Know No Refuge
BOOK83-Feel No Warmth
BOOK84-Dance With The Dead
BOOK85-Know My Loss
BOOK86-Here fell Kiel the Legion-Killer
Calimshan-BG (Entar Silvershield's estate)
Cormyr-BG (Entar Silvershield's estate, SW sector)
Dambrath-BG (Entar Silvershield's estate)
Durpar-BG (Entar Silvershield's estate)
Estagund-House in Beregost (NW Clump), BG (Entar Silvershield's estate)
Halruaa-Phyldia's book, get it from the hay next to Dreppin.
Lurien-BG (SW sector)
Ulgarth-BG (NW, W sector)
COUNTRIES (Multiple Books)
The Time of No Lords-House in Beregost (SE clump), Nashkel Carnival 
(two places)
Doust Sulwood Becomes Lord of Shadowdale-Gullykin, Nashkel Carnival, BG 
(Entar Silvershield's estate, Razamith's House)
Elminster Moves to Shadowdale-Gullykin
Aumry Rules in Peace-Gullykin
Tyrist Massacre-Gullykin
Lords Accepted by Acclamation-Entar Silvershield's estate
Fall of Azmaer-BG (N sector)
Shaerl and Mourngrym-BG (SW sector)
Ashaba Becomes First Lord-BG (SW sector)
Jyordhan the False Lord-BG (N sector)
Mourngrym's Rule-BG (N, SW sector)
The North
Khelben Kills Jyordhan-House in Beregost (SE clump), Gullykin
The First Flowerling-House in Beregost (NW clump)
The Crown Wars-House in Beregost (NW clump), Nashkel Carnival
Elven Exodus-House in Beregost (NW, Center clump)
Recent History-House in Beregost (NW clump), Nashkel Carnival, BG (NE, 
Center sector)
Year of the Banner-House in Beregost (Center clump), Gullykin, BG 
(Razamith's House)
The Spread of Humankind-House in Beregost (SW clump), Gullykin (2 
The Might of Men-Gullykin
Return of the Beast-BG (Center sector)
Year of the Gauntlet-BG (Center sector)
The Drow-BG (NE sector)
The Drow, The Dark Wars-House in Beregost, (SE clump)
Giants-House in Beregost (SE clump), BG (Center sectorx2)
Gondegal the Lost King- BG (SW sector)
The Dead Three-Given to you by Firebeard Elvenhair after you give him 
the Fateful Coin book, Gullykin
Zhentarim-BG (NW, W, Center sectorx2)
Red Ravens-Gullykin, BG (Center sector)
Sisters of Light and Darkness-Gullykin
The Dragon Coast-House in Beregost (Center, SE clump), BG (Center 
The Moonsea-House in Beregost (Center, SE clump), Gullykin, BG (NW 
The Unicorn Run-Friendly Arm Inn, Gullykin, BG (W sector, Razamith's 
The Valley of the Gods-Gullykin, BG (NW sector)
The Vast-Gullykin, BG (NW sector)
Western Heartlands-BG (NW, W sector, Razamith's house)

Fateful Coin-FAI, House in Beregost (SE clump), Feldepost's Inn, 
Nashkel Store, BG (Razamith's House)
Chosen of Mystra-House in Beregost (NW, E clump), BG (NW sector, 
Razamith's House)
History of the Dales and the Elvencourt-House in Beregost (NW clump)
History of the Bell in the Depths-BG (NE sector)
Balduran's Log-Werewolf Island, Crashed Ship (TotSC only)
Dradeel's Recipes-Werewolf Island, Dradeel's Cave (TotSC only)