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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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)
SECTION I: LEGAL, ETC
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
ASHABA BECOMES FIRST LEADER
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.
JOADATH AND THE TYRIST MASSACRE
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.
AUMRY RULES IN PEACE
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.
JYORDHAN THE FALSE LORD
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
KHELBEN KILLS JYORDHAN
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.
LORDS ACCEPTED BY ACCLAMATION
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.
THE TIME OF NO LORDS
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
DOUST SULWOOD BECOMES LORD OF SHADOWDALE
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
ELMINSTER MOVES TO SHADOWDALE
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 CHOOSES MOURNGRYM AMCATHRA TO SUCCEED HIM
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.
SHAERL AND MOURNGRYM MEET AND MARRY
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.
MOURNGRYM'S RULE (PRESENT)
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 FIRST FLOWERLING
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.
THE CROWN WARS
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
RECENT HISTORY OF THE NORTH
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.
THE ELVEN EXODUS
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.
THE SPREAD OF HUMANKIND
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
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.
THE MIGHT OF MEN
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.
1368, YEAR OF THE BANNER
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 -
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.
1369, YEAR OF THE GAUNTLET
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.
RETURN OF THE BEAST
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.
1370, YEAR OF THE TANKARD
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.
SECTION IV: RACES
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-
THE DARK WARS
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.
SECTION V: PEOPLE
GONDEGAL THE LOST KING
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
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.
HISTORY OF THE DEAD THREE
History of the Dead Three: 'KNUCKLEBONES, SKULL BOWLING, AND THE EMPTY
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
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
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
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
THE DRAGON COAST
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.
THE UNICORN RUN
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.
THE VALLEY OF THE GODS
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
THE WESTERN HEARTLANDS
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
SECTION VII: OTHER
THE FATEFUL COIN
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.
THE CHOSEN OF MYSTRA
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
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
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).
HISTORY OF THE BELL IN THE DEPTHS
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...
...weather 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...
...weather 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
...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.
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
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.
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
SECTION VIII: WEIRD BOOKS
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
SECTION IX: LOCATIONS
COUNTRIES (One Book)
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
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
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)
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,
Year of the Banner-House in Beregost (Center clump), Gullykin, BG
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,
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)