of the North
of the North - The First Flowering:
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.
of the North - The Crown Wars:
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.
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.
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 doom.
of the North - The Might of Men:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
of the North - The Spread of Humankind:
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.
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.
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 goblinoids
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
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
the centuries that followed, Ascalhom became Hellgate
Keep when it fell into the hands of fiends, and Eaerlann
collapsed under the attack of a new orc horde. The elves
fled southeast, joining with Northmen, Netherese descendants,
and dwarves to form what would later be known as the Fallen
Kingdom. This realm was short-lived and collapsed under
the next orcish invasion - though in dying, it dealt the
goblin races a blow from which they have yet to recover.
History of the North - Return of the
Beast (1367 - ?):
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.
of the North - 1368, Year of the Banner:
the dwarves settled in for the winter in their reclaimed
city of Felbarr, a group of Zhentarim-sponsored adventurers
broke into Great Worm Cavern, slaying Elrem the Wise,
shaman leader of the Great Worm tribe. As the tribe's
warriors descended into the ranks of the evil adventurers,
teleportation magic spirited at least three of those responsible
- as well as a vast amount of treasure stolen from Elrem
- to safety.
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 morale.
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
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.
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.
of the North - 1369, Year of the Gauntlet:
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!"
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.
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 Dwarffriend
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 attack.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
of the North - Recent History of the North:
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.
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 deposed by other orcs.
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, with Gruumsh as his witness, the Citadel
of Many Arrows would slaughter these treacherous orcs
"like elves during a festival."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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