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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:36 AM 

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Maps

Places on the Island
Benwick
Cordor
Kohlingen
Shrine of Eilistraee
Temple of Salandra
Wharftown
Wyrmhold
Zanshibon

Places Abroad
Ed Greenwood's Faerunian Travel Guide

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Persephone Ashallin - Persistant Salandran
Vrok - Cudgel?


 
      
Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:38 AM 

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:?: Maps
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These two beautiful maps were made by Jaqueline. They are not perfectly accurate, but give a good image of Amia and its whereabouts, as well as those of other module islands:

Image

Image

And, a new version of the map by AlphaWaves. He is awesome.
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The following map is a partially outdated layout of Forrstakkr. It may be inaccurate at several junctions, due to module updates.
http://www.amiaworld.net/files/forr.zip

And a map of the Sea of Swords...

It should be noted that the location of Wiltun, Caraigh and The Monolith in particular are not accurate on this map. For more accurate locations to those three places please refer to the first map.
Image

_________________
Persephone Ashallin - Persistant Salandran
Vrok - Cudgel?


 
      
Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:38 AM 

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:?: Cordor and surroundings
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Image

Population: 29,204 (humans 67%, dwarves 8%, half-elves 7%, elves 6%, hin 3%, gnomes 3%, mixed 6%)
Government: Commonwealth, run by Council
Religions: Helm, Torm, Waukeen, Tymora, Lathander.
Imports: Mercenaries, beef, silk, spices, general supplies, timber, ship supplies, coffee, tea, tobacco.
Exports: Arms & armor, adventuring supplies, metal, glassware, arcane salvage.
Emblem: Two moons conjoined by the rim of a copper piece, bearing a starfilled sky in the background.
City Colors: Blue, Silver.
Alignment: LN, TN.

The primary settlement on the Isle of Amia, Cordor has learned to tend to its own affairs, respect its neighbours, and care for its land. Until recently, Cordor was openly accepting of most all races, acting as a refugee city focused around the trade of wares and communications between the various groupings, as well as acting as a safe haven for those who didn't "fit the mould". This was recently abolished and Cordor has become less accepting through allowing those of unique blood to reside.

Heavily inhabited by adventurers, Cordor is ruled by the firm-handed (and very fair) Commonwealth Council, currently consisting of Joseph MAximillian, Minister of Finance and Justice, and Elijah Cromwell, Minister of Labor and Development.

Well known for being an adventurer's paradise, many of the nature flock to Cordor from such ports as Waterdeep and Amn, with the promise of tales and gold; most hearing early of the constant attacks of kobolds, orcs, and other beasts of the nature across the isle.


LIFE AND SOCIETY

The city itself is divided into five distinct districts, with the high and noble central ward housing the more wealthy individuals of Cordor, and the east being known as the merchant's quarter, leaving the west to be a primary supplies and entertainment area with weekly tournaments, and the south bearing the more 'unsavoury' types of characters.

Cordor on a citizen's level is loosely structured and allows considerable freedom for most of the populace to follow their own dreams of success in business and trade, with many wealthy and quick minded individuals making use of the rapidly evolving economy. The commonfolk often work behind the scenes, earning their keep by ensuring that Cordor is primarily self reliant, allowing the city to thrive.

Cordor military is the backbone behind the safety of the city and its inhabitants, primarily composed of conscripted citizens brought into the force at their appropriate working age, trained into a life of military drills and consistent training. Most all of the policing force and the military are well equipped and trained to deal with the consistent threat of adventurer incidents.

The adventurers themselves are hard to ignore to anyone entering the city, most commoners being ever careful of these figures, the uncertainty as to their nature and intent consistently shown through their numbers. Most of the citizens have tried to actively remove the adventurers from the city, though their required presence to deal with such threats as kobolds and orcs leave the city having to grudgingly accept their existance.


MAJOR GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES

Fate's Channel: One of the few reminders of the devastation the city of Cordor once faced, this natural channel cuts through Cordor from east to west. Now acting as a primary transport route for the new gondolier services, Fate's Channel has become a useful tool for crafters along the line, having constructed gnomish watermills to put it to good use.

Helm's Hill: A subtle incline that the city of Cordor was built on, Helm's Hill stands as the foundation for the now thriving port city, having once been the majority of the reason for such a location to be used. The height outwards towards the outskirts on either side allow for scouts and the like to see a threat at a great distance, while the natural, yet subtle, decline away from the edge allows for opponents to have considerable trouble seeing anything beyond the outer crest.

Moribund: A rather detached isle from the City of Cordor, Moribund is a sea-bound graveyard and final resting place for those who fell in Cordor's destruction and the war against the Horde, as well as those who died over time's natural passage.


IMPORTANT FIGURES

Duke Montgomery d'Cordor: Once the grand leader of the City of Cordor, he has passed away due to a vicious attack by the adventuring community. May he rest in peace.
Lieutenant Galverson: The leader of Cordor's primary armed forces, Lieutenant Galverson of Helm has devoted his life to the safety of the city, and is one of the few guardsmen who maintains public relations with the citizens and adventurers; often acting as a figure for the purpose of directing willing adventurers to work for the city's safety.
Elinee of Mystra: This woman was one of the first few to harness the power of Mythal Crafting, and took an opportunity presented some time ago to have a forge created in the name of Mystra, allowing adventurers and the like to work their own pieces of arcane art through the spoils of their lifestyle.
Hil'Rash: A merchant wizard whose past was once connected to "AXIS", an exotic nation rumored to be ruled and inhabited solely by sentient undead. Hil'rash does not comment on these rumors, insteasd preferring to live in the present.
Tristana of Waukeen: A cleric of the Trade God, Tristana bought out what was once the Temple of Torm some time ago, and worked into converting it into a proper place of worship for Cordor's primary purpose; Trade. Forever garbed in golden robes, she maintains a public appearance and the gaze of many a merchant. She sells what people need, and buys what others may purchase at a higher price.


REGIONAL HISTORY

Usually, only the most well connected of refugees find their way to this island. For years, Amia has established a rather remarkable bond with the various incoming strangers, seeking to start life anew in this faraway sanctuary. However, one must trace the roots of Cordor to get the clearer picture.

The city of Cordor, like all cities, was once but a small village, nestled along a quiet strip of shoreline on the southern coast of the isle of Amia. A hearty stock of human fishermen maintained the town, and a strong sense of pride was present among the citizens. When a wrecked and battered ship careened into the harbor one day, the fate of Cordor, and all of Amia would be changed forever. This was the first boat of refugees to find Cordor’s port. Eagerly, the townsfolk took in these haggard peoples, integrating them into their own. It was the first generation that literally carved out the rugged land with roads and settled the largest island, Amia.

Strangely enough, more boats arrived on the docks in the coming years. All bearing refugees, outcasts and misfits that somehow fit into the populace in one way or another (the ones that were too much trouble were regularly refused passage on the islands and turned away). This integration lead to a rather widespread acceptance of many varied races within Cordor. To this day, it is not unusual for a Cordorian to regard a drow, stray kobold or goblin with a degree of tolerance (providing of course, they present no sign of threat or hostility).

In it’s early days, Cordor suffered from a great plague. Those that were afflicted found death soon, but also undeath soon after. Cordor had maintained a graveyard at it’s south end, hoping to hold these beloved, yet damned victims. Although it’s not uncommon for them to rise, seeking the living flesh of whoever comes too close...
However, due to some unforetold events in Cordor, and the neccessity to reconstruct most of the city after the destruction, the graveyard south of Cordor has been erradicated, and now the little island known as Moribund serves as the (un)dead’s final resting place. This means, that the most undead that once wandered the graveyard, are now creeping & crawling through Cordor’s sewage systems, hungering for the flesh of the poor adventurers that would head down there. It seems, that Cordor will have to struggle with this “plague” for yet some time.

(...)


The rapid growth that occurred in Cordor was both a boon and a burden to Amia. While many cultural improvements (such as the Bathhouse, Council Building and Plague Shelter) were built, the sudden clashing of cultures became a real problem to all of the citizens. The lawlessness sometimes spread out of control, with confrontations in the streets that often lead to death.

Might was right in the city for a long time, with Knights from neighboring Benwick often stepping in to fulfill the role of peacekeepers. Eventually, Duke Montgomery D’Cordor decided to found a force of willing and devoted adventurers to form the Cordorian Guard unit. This group, like the name implies, had various tasks and duties to carry out, such as upholding Cordor’s laws, keeping the city and its’ citizens safe, et cetera.

After a relatively calm chapter in Cordor’s history, Duke Montgomery D’Cordor had suddenly gone missing. Rumors spread among the citizens, that he had vanished together with Manfried, the lord of Kohlingen Manor (later referred to as the Manor of Mourn), and that they were both on the verge of insanity, engaging in foul activities... Naturally, what with the Duke’s absense, a replacement had to be chosen. This, lead to the creation of the Council.

The first Council was a group of five well respected citizens, chosen for their ability to lead and inspire their fellows. Jiharu Kusama, Velis Illuminus, Shovelface McKee, Vino Sigers Blackflame and Gabriel Judicator all took to public office to try and restore order to the chaotic city. After some time of success, the Council was officially disbanded due to lack of time and thereof, lack of the ability to remain devoted Councilmembers. With time, new Councilmembers were elected to replace the current ones.

Gradually, the state in Cordor became much worse, and chaos seemed to always be present. The displeasure with the Council and their efficiency soon faded... And the Cordorians became rather split altogether. Some spoke of the Councilmembers being corrupt, others claimed they had brought Cordor back its’ former glory. Various differences and complications, lead to that time’s current Guard Captain Rowan Peters leading a revolt to overthrow the Council. At that time, the Duke had suddenly returned from his long absense, so the time would prove to be perfect for Rowan to carry out his plans. Rowan did, in fact, manage to overthrow the Council, and the Duke regained his former position as ruler of Cordor, with Rowan's, and many other peoples' full support.


(...)

Cordor had, even prior to, during, and after the Councils' regime, suffered various odd happenings and attacks by anything ranging from minor creatures, to Dragons, ferrocious chickens, crazy gnomes, and even the legendary Horde. It was even said that some former Guard Captains had secretly been associating with Devils, and other evil beings. Although many memorable things (both good and bad) have come to pass in Cordor, this is not the time to tell of those past events.


THE THAYVIAN INFLUENCE

Curiously, the Thayvians had a rather large impact on Amia as well. At one point, the isle was so devoid of enchanted items, that any such find was considered valuable, and magic items were hoarded by the dozens. Then the Thayvians saw their advantage arise.

Sending out a far-flung diplomat to Amia upon hearing of the islands, the Red Wizards made a stunning deal with Cordor (and eventually many of the other cities and towns in Amia as well) to provide enchanted items and portals in exchange for not only large amounts of gold, but life-essence as well. However, little is known of what the life-essence was used for, nor where and how they stored it. The Red Wizards remained tight-lipped about this always, but it was assumed to be used in some bizarre magical experiment.

The Thayvians resumed to make huge profit on selling their crafted wares, until one day, their enclave was entirely destroyed in a humongous explosion. At that time, the infamous crafters needed to be replaced by someone or something equally efficient, and soon many turned to the recently discovered Mythal crafting methods...
Although what exactly happened during that accursed day still remains somewhat enigmatic, it would surely come to be one of many happenings in Cordor, that would not be forgotten that easily.


CURRENT AFFAIRS

Kobold Raids on the Rise! Farmer Holvin of the Cordorian Outskirts has recently been having increasing troubles with the kobolds of the north, who are relentlessly sneaking into the city to kill and steal his cattle, despite most being slain upon their attempted exit from the city. Unable to take care of the draconic beasts himself thanks to family, he has been calling to adventurers to handle the matter.
Orc Numbers Doubling! Sergeant Yance within Cordor's Eastern district has for quite some time been keeping an eye on the Orc problem within the Amian Frontier. As of late, it seems the orcs have become more aggressive with the ascention of their new leader. Sergeant Yance strongly suggests that able bodied adventurers take care of the matter, if only for Cordor's safety.
Down with the Drow! After a recent hearing and crime investigation within the City of Cordor, it would seem that Drow are becoming the number one enemy of the city, most acquiring the most dark and hated glares from the commonfolk as they wait for an excuse to attack them without fear of punishment. Inter-race hatred against the drow has been at an all time high.
Lolth's Harassment! As of late Drow incursions and attacks upon the city's merchant caravans and the like have been on a rise, though most have been fought back with relentless force; there have been numerous casualties on Cordor's side.

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Persephone Ashallin - Persistant Salandran
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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:40 AM 

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:?: Kohlingen and surroundings
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Kholingen is a city founded by Lord Darius Tristam after he split away from the Knights of Benwick over a disagreement on ethics and morals. For many years, the Kholingen Defenders prospered under his name and became a righteous city, often called the “City of Paladins.” Over time, it became a major trading port and safe haven for all those of good heart.

Lord Darius Tristam eventually left the city and the Defenders leaving a priest named Kenji to lead the defenders. Over time, they drifted away, until a Drow female named Celene Nai’lo requested from the Justicar to revive them. He granted it, and the Defenders were reborn. They exist to this day. Celene Nai’lo eventually left the island herself. The Imperator now lives there since the fall of Benwick.

Kholingen Manor
The Kholingen Manor was once the prestigious house of a man named Earl Manfried. He and Duke Montgomery of Cordor were best of friends, but they somehow managed to get their hands on the Necronomicon. After reading it, Duke Montgomery went insane and fled from the Mansion, while Earl Manfried slowly turned undead. He fed upon tax collectors and foolhardy adventurers. The undead that inhabit the Mansion today are those who fell to his bite.

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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:40 AM 

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:?: Benwick
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Benwick came to be after King Galahad and his loyal court built it where the Temple of Salandra now stands. The Imperator, a good silver dragon, made his home there after Galahad proved his worth in many exploits for other kingdoms. After the Duke was chased from power, one Cordorian (whose name has been lost to history) requested the Seneschal of Benwick for aid. Benwick occupied Cordor as an interim government. The Senechal at that time, Vikii D’Vreeze, honored his request. Benwick helped to found the Council of Cordor and pulled out afterwards.

Benwick slowly fell into disuse after Galahad’s original court refused to recruit any new members. Over time, it became abandoned, and Galahad himself left the castle under the guard of the Imperator. It stayed that way for many years.

Eventually, Gabriel Judicator requested a favor from Lord Steel, the First Knight of Benwick. He asked, and was granted, permission to hold the castle as Steward until the rightful King returned. Gabriel Judicator and Irraere D’Vreeze gathered many people together and for a small time, Benwick was once again moving towards the glory it once held.

King Galahad soon returned when he learned that Benwick was being revived and retook his throne. His court soon followed. In a shameful display, King Galahad’s court cast all of those who brought the life back into the forgotten old castle. Benwick quickly fell into disuse again, and Wyrmhold eventually destroyed it.

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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:41 AM 

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:?: Wharftown
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Wharftown was formed as a fishing village and remains so to this day. It has frequently been attacked by pirates of Umberlee. Several years ago, Umberlee herself assisted these pirates in an attempt to find an artifact supposedly hidden somewhere in the village. With help from the Priestesses of Selune, who had just made residence at that time, adventurers were able to track down the pirates and destroy their lair.

Wharftown was later taken under the wing of Wyrmhold and is now considered a satellite territory.

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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:41 AM 

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:?: Zanshibon
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Zanshibon was once a very corrupt city that exists elsewhere than on Amia island (the only way to reach it was through the portal in Mystra’s Grove). It harbored a very decadent society that slaked anyone and everyone’s carnal and material lusts to their heart’s desire.

A prophecy came to pass that the Nine Gates of Hell would open, and one by one, heroes were tricked into opening them. The final gate required someone of Celestial blood to open it. The Keeper of the Ninth Gate approached Gabriel Judicator and demanded that he open it. Gabriel refused, and was cast down in a furious fight. He barely survived.

The Keeper then approached Jiharu Kusama and told her that she had a choice: she could condemn one of two cities, either Cordor or Zanshibon, otherwise the island would be completely destroyed. Jiharu wisely made a deal with him. She told him that she would in return for his True Name. He agreed, and Jiharu opened the portal, condemning Zanshibon. The devil thought he had tricked her, because opening the portal meant that the entire world was his to play with.
Yet Jiharu had sensed this and she used his True Name, Ghaunadar, and banished him from the world. He had already conquered Zanshibon and so it vanished into the Abyss along with him. The city now exists as a scornful mockery of what it was.

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Peeves
 
PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:42 AM 

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:?: Wyrmhold
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Wyrmhold, once called Stonehold, came to be when the ancestors of the Mylocks, the Mynocks, built a large and grand civilization on the island. However, with the rise of the Elves into the nearby Moonshae Islands, the Mynocks fell into ruin and disrepair from the constant assault. Stonehold was their last remaining fortress, but over time the Mynocks de-evolved into the nearly-mindless Mylocks.

A devil named Bul’zeelab took residency in Stonehold and held it there for many, many years. Eventually, a new leader emerged and worked this devil in partnership. This man’s name was Revan, a male human who was as ruthless as he was evil. He gathered a large army of individuals from all over the island and waged war with Benwick constantly.

Revan was eventually defeated by a group of heroes whose names are lost to history. Stonehold fell silent for years, until Drak’Law and Layla Emberblaze took residency. As a result of Tarokh’s appearance, they summoned a host of dragons to the Keep, along with their own Half-Dragon and Dragon Disciple army. Tension built up between Bul'zeelab and the Emberblazes, until Bul’zeelab was finally killed by Aurichon, a servant of the Emberblaze's army, which cost Aurichon one of his horns. They changed the name to Wyrmhold and crushed Benwick in one fell blow, thus sealing their claim to power.

There is a prophecy concerning Wyrmhold:
The shadow of the dark dragons shall grow larger and darker, spreading slowly and subtlely over lands around it. The Wyrmshadow will spread across the horde of Mylocks and they will either die or be reborn as slaves. The Wyrmshadow, should it fail, will be replaced by the endless horde: two great evils, but only one shall remain when the Wyrmshadow spreads.

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Persephone Ashallin - Persistant Salandran
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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:46 AM 

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:!: The Shrine of Eilistraee
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The small community of Eilistraeen drow in Amia call this place thier second and in many cases first home. With few primary exports or imports the Shrine is a self sufficent entity watched over by house Kenlyl.

All are welcome as long as they do no harm and the Shrine would never turn away any good person in need of aid. Founded years ago by Vikii D'Vreeze the Shrine is testament to her faith and power. She set the stones that are at the shrines heart and hallowed the ground so evil outsiders and undead would find the very ground uncomfortable to walk on. While Matron Vikii is long gone the Shrine remains as a symbol of Eilistraee and a refuge for drow who reject the ways of evil.

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Persephone Ashallin - Persistant Salandran
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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 24 2011, 0:47 AM 

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:!: Temple of Salandra
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Nightingale travelled to Amia to assist with the care of the Plague victims. On arrival she found that the Undead of this region posed far more of a threat than those of Dale Hollow did so she stayed to offer her abilities as an Undead Hunter.

The temple she built focuses on ridding the island of undead as well as aiding the wounded during and after battles. The clerics are Neutral or Good in alignment only and their creedo is that an injured person will recieve aid, regardless of alignment.[

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Yossarin
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 25 2012, 17:59 PM 

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:!: Geography
by Ed Greenwood
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Anauroch:

"Desert, but not lifeless. Scorching hot by day, chill at night, but only dunes and hard plain in the south, where the Bedine swing their swords at you and play "I'm fiercer" with any intruder. Cold rock to the north, and more life than you'd think for a land so parched, with old, fell magic beneath your boots and the stony spires of ruins covered and then laid bare by the sands when storms howl, like old teeth sticking up from a buried jawbone."

The Border Kingdoms:

"Deep forest like we have here [in Cormyr], rolling land with many small streams, and ridges cloaked by the trees. Verdant valleys choked with farms, wandering lanes, and boulder or stump fences -- with a new realm every few miles, and more grand high dukes, lord high emperors, and overkings than you can shake a wagon at. Take them away, and you'd have beautiful country, all up-hill-and-down-dale. Adventurers go there for sport and ruin it for the rest of us."

Chult:

"Steaming jungle, hot and wet. Trunks and boughs of blood-red and purple, vines looped everywhere, sucking mud, shrieking beasts -- and everywhere, stinging insects. Bites to drive one mad as the snakes slither and the lizards scurry and death comes from a hundred directions. You're too intent on what you must swing a sword at to know what disease is stealing into you to bring you down. Bats as big as horses, caves where they lair in many a ridge and cliff hidden under jungle -- and more gems down those caves than shine in Amn and Calimshan put together."

Damara:

"Bloodstone and metals are common like in Vaasa, but the climate is just a shade warmer. It's enough to make herding work, and even farms in the warmest parts, but is still a harsh land. After all the troubles out of Vaasa, weary folk live here, and wary, too. Not a land I'd want to settle in -- winds so harsh that you can tell how they blow in any vale by the way all the trees lean. Rocks everywhere, too. A hard land."

Dambrath:

"Evil elves ruling humans. Drow blood, pride, and deadly swift nobles. Loviatar is the favored goddess, and there is much wealth. An elf of Evermeet who ventures within reach will be a corpse in short order. Quite wealthy enough to buy these nobles are, but very choosy. They want silver goblets, and only silver goblets, one season, and not a goblet the next. Spices they seem to want lots of these last few years. They sell little themselves, too, but I hear the Durpari see more of their trade. They are not welcoming to outlanders, but they will host touring visitors who worship the Maiden of Pain -- so long as they pay well."

Durpar:

"The traders in their part of Faerûn, these folk are wealthy and merchant-ruled and luxury-loving. Verdant farms surround the Golden Water, but the shoreline is all given over to luxurious mansions, all domes and spires and curving walled walkways. Gardens are everywhere, as are servants trained to dance and act and sing. There are nightly entertainments in every house, so the inns are worth seeing. All are welcome so long as they have wealth or know how to conduct themselves. Steal not, or lose much blood, fast."

Estagund:

"Durpar, but with warriors exalted over merchants. Noble slayers, but slayers nonetheless -- and dangerous because of their honor and discipline. This is where the Durpari get their guards. Wealthy but with more places to ride hard, more walls for defending, and fewer gardens. They love beautiful weapons, and buy and sell such things as eagerly as children devour candy. Got a thrice-gilded suit of armor to sell with inlays of varying hues to go with different gowns of the lady on your arm? Or shoulder spurs and monster masks for fancywear to swap for the hard plate of real war? This is where to sell it."

Evermeet:

"The isle of the elves. Strong, strange magic, soaring forests that make ours [the Hullack and King's Forest of Cormyr] look stunted and sick, blue foliage in a lot of places, achingly beautiful -- and the elves don't want any of the rest of us there, so most will be as fierce as one can imagine. So, so beautiful. I see it still."

The Frozenfar:

"The miners' frontier of the northern Sword Coast -- all ridges and little lakes, thick mixed forest and rocks, tinkling streams and lurking danger. Orcs breed like rabbits in those mountains and sweep down in their hordes whenever things grow too crowded. The boldest orcs go out hunting -- aye, and bugbears and hobgoblins, too -- all the time. Metal and gems to be had, for those who dare to dig. Cold, of course, and a long way from aid or the good life or even someone to talk to. If you find someone, beware. A lot of folk no longer welcome elsewhere go to the Frozenfar -- and there's usually a good reason they're not welcome wherever they came from."

Halruaa:

"A wall of mountains around a land of ranches and forests and farms, warmer than here and with more swamp, but otherwise not too far off [from conditions in Cormyr]. Now people this place -- a series of river valleys draining down out of the mountains, with gentle hills between -- with folk who know magic, every last walking one of them. Children hurl spells around; they are sorcerers all, I guess. It's a wonder they haven't blown each other to dust and flames years ago, and it must be strict laws or their nature that stopped that from happening. Instead, they throw up more cities than any of the rest of us can afford to, build ships that can sail high in the air, and keep the rest of us out. A good thing, too, for our own protection. I'm sure they have their feuds and ambitions, but I couldn't tell you the first true words about them -- like Nimbral, I know too little to say more than 'fireside fancytongue.'"

The Hordelands:

"Thousands upon thousands of miles of too-dry, sparsely grassy plains, broken by rolling country and rocky ridges -- each ridge a lookout for some horselords who want you dead for daring to enter their land. The Tuigans, who swept into the rest of Faerûn not so long ago live here. There's a reason they rule a whole lot of nothing between us and Kara-Tur, and not a huge fancy kingdom. In a land with too little water, they spend much of their time slaughtering each other over control of oases, except when storms that stab the lands with lightning like they have a thousand fingers sweep across everything. They freeze in winter -- frozen beasts, frozen right where they stood, rot there every spring. They bake in summer, raid traders trying to get between Faerûn and Kara-Tur along the Golden Way, and have nothing much else to do but make trouble. Certainly there's nothing worth dying to get from them that one can't find elsewhere. They need everything, and they offer leather, wool, their beasts and mounts, and a few gems. Not worth it."

Lantan:

"Ah, yes, the land of Gond. Contraptions and metal devices and little lights and whirling sparks and hammering at workbenches everywhere. Too many blasts and crashes to be entirely safe, but I like it. Sunny and gently rolling hills, farms everywhere with berry bushes where they haven't yet tilled. The Lantanna aren't much on casual magic, nor visitors, either, mind. They like their secrets, and would just as soon see you at your home when they come calling on you to sell their latest gadget. Mind you, some of them are priceless, as futile amusements or as darned useful little things. I've a bootjack over there with a turn spindle that works by itself, so wet boots upended on it near a fire turn as those metal twists flex in the heat, and the boots dry all over, in and out, without scorching. I once had a lamp that would fill itself when its oil got low -- that sort of thing. The whole island's like that."

Lapaliiya:

"As warm and lush as the Tashalar, but so different. Each city holds up one god over the rest here, and honor is all. They fight duels with you over the way you look at them, when you cough, the color of your boots or eyes -- anything. Watch sharp, be swift with a sword and stronger in spells, or stay far away. Good workers, hard traders, and they have coin to spend -- but oh, they love to fight. Proud, proud, proud -- I'd rather watch them kill each other from a safe distance than have to play their 'Ye besmirch me and my ancestors with your whistling -- I challenge thee!' games."

The Moonshaes:

"Peaks and rock ridges around bogs, dark pine forests, and a few farms (for herding, mostly) nestled between all the fierce nature. Freezing fogs, fish as large as ponies pulled out of the freezing waters by those who dare the storms, and proud folk, but peaceful. Not welcoming, though. They watch you like hungry hawks."

Murghôm:

"Rivals to Semphar and just a step closer to their rulers in Mulhorand. A land of rolling farms, abundant food, and horse ranches all over the grasslands of the heights. Villages everywhere, no proud kings or petty lordlings -- and every last village can muster lancers who can skewer you from horseback and pour themselves a drink at the same time as they gallop past calmly reading the latest epic."

Narfell:

"Flat and dry, grasslands roamed by swiftstags [reindeer] and wild oxen -- and the Nars, horse barbarians who, like the Bedine of Anauroch, want to play "I'm fiercer than thee" with any intruder. Horses are their wealth and their pride, and they want us to stay away from them. Half of them who gather at the Trade Fair each year are just looking for an excuse to bury blades in you. Mountains to the north, and hobgoblins; a few lakes and small streams, but nothing lush, anywhere. Another good place to stay away from."

The Nelanther:

"Pirate isles, a maze of them, with wash rocks everywhere that'll rip the bottom out of your boat if you're not careful. The pirates know the channels, but even they stay put or down sail and drift when the fogs come in. That happens often, and there's nowhere decent to winter over. The biggest isles have ridges and peaks and a few tiny wooded vales hiding away on their flanks, but the salt and the damp get into everything, and the ancient stone hill tombs are the only buildings that last for long. Not to mention that every third pace takes you over some pirate's buried treasure cache, and if he's still alive he'll be wanting your skull to drink out of for straying too close to his fortune."

Nimbral:

"A little slice of Evermeet, with those beautiful forests. Humans, but a touch of strange magic and little farms that a Cormyrian would give his heart for locked away in the forest, each by itself. A hidden treasure -- but of course the inhabitants want to keep it that way and treat visitors accordingly."

Raurin:

"Dunes and rocks, great purple skies split by lightning, cherry-red sand under your boots, and purple drifting dust. Ruins here, too, and the bones of dragons and other great beasts so large that a skull can serve as a shelter for a large band and their beasts. Valley farms where there's water, but such places are few. Be warned: I've never been in a land where more living dragons dwell, all hungry and on the hunt!"

Ruathym:

"Fiercer than the Moonshaes -- all cold and howling storms or chilling fogs over a land that's mostly peaks falling sharp into the sea. Ranches and farms, yes, and a few small forests, but mostly barren and hard, like the folk who dwell there. War raiders who'd knife you as soon as trade with you -- why pay for your goods when they can take it for free? Not a pleasure destination."

Semphar:

"Proud folk, who wear their gold and know magic. Sharp traders, particularly down into Var, and said to trade with Kara-Tur. Theirs is a sunny country of a few forests they haven't gotten around to cutting down just yet and lots of rolling farmland. More food than they know what to do with. Ivory carvings and finework seem popular, and they carve gems, too, just to keep from being bored. One of the favored places, if you can take the heat, but not all that welcoming to outlanders."

The Shaar:

"Thousands of miles of grass, as far as the eye can see, sloping from east to west but with a cliff in the middle, the Landrise, where west drops down to east. The Eastern Shaar is more dry, but both bake by day and freeze by night. Fierce horse nomads (aren't they always fierce?) herd rothé, wemics and centaurs, and there must be something worth trading fo out there, hidden in all that open space. They give us slaves and trinkets and a little ivory, but would rather raid the Border Kingdoms and everywhere else they can reach. Magnificent horses, but they seem to sicken if taken away in trade."

Sossal:

"Strange folk, the Sossrim -- strange magic, that is. I know they can jump from tree to tree as druids down here do. They sell us furs and gold and beautiful smooth-curved wooden furniture as flowing in its lines as elf work, but I've never been across the glaciers to get there. Very few have, and they don't seem eager to welcome anyone. Hardy folk, who think nothing of striding out alone in fierce blizzards."

The Tashalar:

"Hot days, warm nights, cinnamon-skinned folk with grace and striking eyes and good bones. Lots of wealth and olive groves and spicy fish dishes and style, with high arched windows and fans to snatch the cooling breezes, lots of moonlight to plot by, and men with elegant mustaches sitting doing that plotting over all manner of wine they make in elegant spiral or sweptside glass bottles that they also make. The sort of place where trade is king, so everyone is welcome, and as long as you watch your back, coin can buy you everything. I loved it, and I'll go back whenever you give me the right cargo. All the good of Calimshan with half its sneering pride and none of its deadly politics. No slave-taking, for one thing."

Thar:

"The Great Gray Land of the beastfolk [ogres] and their crossbreeds, and orcs, too. Windswept, cold, lots of rain and freezing rain, moors with gullies and rock faces everywhere, teeming with game for some odd reason. Odd, I say, because there don't seem plants enough to raise all that scuttling and scurrying meat, and there are entirely too many beastfolk hunting it all. Mining caravans have to pass through it, but you or I need not be with them, if we have any sense."

Tharsult:

"An island of trader folk right in the heart of the Shining Sea. Looks like chalk cliffs and little farms from the waves, but great harbors and tall cities are tucked away in it-- or rather, one big sprawling city that doesn't call itself a city. It's all warehouses and interlinking bridges and wealth, wealth, wealth. Those warehouses hold everything one can think of, trade rules and rivals meet here as equals. So long as you don't try open piracy or arson, the Tharsen are tolerant of you and everyone. It's a crossroads like Waterdeep. You've probably heard that they're crazed because they take statuettes as money. They take everything as money, and just use the statuettes as trade tokens to represent sums whose weight in coins would tear the bottom out of any purse. Intrigue, yes, and sharp trading -- but a place a merchant has to love. Sembia without the self-styled nobles and the nastiness."

The Tortured Land:

"This is a barren place where monsters chase smaller beasts around endless spires and weirdly sculpted rocks. It's a deities' playground of teeth and swirls and fingers and suchlike of stone, some of them pierced by caves where bats lurk, but most of them just in your way as you flee from the next prowling monster. A little metal to be had, but no safety in which to mine it. Water, but not enough, and the beasts watch the waterholes for their next meal."

Thesk:

"Good merchants, shrewd appraisers who are friendly and with good farms to feed themselves from. Gnomes here do good work, but they lack the horses they need, so have to trade. Young Theskians apprentice out to caravan masters and go all over Faerûn. They see much, know about a lot of places, and tolerate most folk, even orcs. Not much magic, but a lot more happiness than most other places. Not wealthy, but comfortable. Rolling farmland with a lot of woods left, and not the windy dustlands that too much of this region is turning into."

Vaasa:

"Frozen moors, grasses rippling under winds that chill to the bone, and tundra where only lichens flourish on the rocks. Inky pools of water, sheathed in ice, running down from mountains as hard and sharp-spired as swords. Bloodstones in those peaks, and rich metals, too -- but one has to claw and dig to get at them, and there's always orcs and beasts and those who wield evil magic lurking to strike down miners who intrude. Freeze to death or be eaten by starving wolves in winter or sledge in endless mud in summer. At least when things get warmest, the small-stags [caribou] go up into the coldest valleys, giving the orcs something to feed on besides you."

Var the Golden:

"Var is "golden' because of all the grain. It is a well fed land rich enough that its merchants, its nobles, and its priests can devote their time to vicious, unending intrigues under the benevolent rule of a sublime potentate who's sat on his throne for nigh two hundred years and must sleep more than he's awake. A land of the honeyed word, the covert bribe, and the dagger in the dark; of courtiers, 'knowing the right person,' and much wealth; of fabulous trade goods and no safety at all. Better to trade in Durpar. Stay clear unless you love lies and taking swords in your back."

Veldorn:

"Yes, those tales your mother told you were true: There is a land of monsters, ruled by monsters, and this is it. They eat caravans whole along the Trade Way, love to raid the camps of outlanders who will all be too dead to hit back, and dream of ruling all Faerûn. Avoid the place or be eaten, as the old maps say."

_________________
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o/` I need to see the truth other men cannot see, to be things that others can't be. Give me courage to go where no angel will go. o/`


 
      
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