A History of Phlan and the Moonsea Reaches.   Posted by The Chronicler.Group: public
The Chronicler
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:06
A History of Phlan and the Moonsea Reaches
          A HISTORY OF PHLAN AND THE MOONSEA REACHES
              A Discourse on This Area and its Problems
                           by Jeff Grub

   To most inhabitants of the lands of the Inner Sea, the Moonsea and its
cities represent the border between civilization and barbarism. The Moonsea
sits like a great plug straddling the territory between the Mountains of
Vaasa and the Nomad Steppes, protecting the southern territories from the
incursions of savage Northerners. To the south of the Moonsea lie the
civilized lands of Cormyr and Sembia. To the north lay hundreds of square
miles of cold and unforgiving waste. Even when the southern kingdoms are
themselves besieged by orcish hordes, dragons, and fell monsters, they take
comfort in the fact that, "It's worse around the Moonsea."

   The Moonsea Reaches are defined by sages as being those lands bordering
on the Moonsea and its major contributing rivers. These major rivers are
the Tesh, flowing past the shadowed battlements of Zhentil Keep; the
Wyrmflow, a cold stream flowing from the east; the Duathamper, also called
the Evenflow, beginning deep in the heart of the Elven Court and flowing
north; and the Barren River which flows out of the Dragonspine Mountains
and into Phlan. The River Lis carries the waters from the Moonsea south to
the Inner Sea.

   The Moonsea itself is an odd combination of abyssal deep spots,
ship-ripping shoals, and rich fresh-water reefs. Despite this, travel
across the Moonsea is generally safer than making the journey on land, so
that most of the major merchant activity is by water.

   This is not to say that the Moonsea is without dangers. While monsters
are more infrequent along the Moonsea, those that exist are generally more
powerful than their landed cousins. Regions of the Moonsea are recorded as
being haunted, and there have been numerous sightings of ghost ships.

THE ANCIENT CITY OF PHLAN

   Phlan was the first great city of the Moonsea, reaching its peak some
thousand years ago. In those days, the Moonsea was better known as the
Dragon Sea, named for the large numbers of great Wyrms that inhabited that
area and the regions to the north. The Barren River was then called the
Stojanow, a dwarvish word meaning "Trade Route," for it was down this
passage the ore-laden barges floated, bound for the south. Early Phlan was
a trading outpost on the north shore of the Moonsea, set up to facilitate
trade between the Elves of Myth Drannor (the most powerful elven capital of
the time) and the tribes of Thar, Vaasa, and the Ride, as well as the
Dragonspine Dwarves.

   Trade between the powerful elves, the wild humans, and merchant-dwarves
was a great success for all sides. Soon Phlan was the most powerful city on
the Moonsea, outshining its only rival, the Elven Docks of Hillsfar, on the
south coast.

   At this time, the elves planted the Quivering Forest north of the city.
This copse was mildly enchanted, hastening the growing season to produce a
great woods in the span of a human generation. Though the woods have been
felled on a number of occasions, it has always returned to its original
form, becoming a light woods within two years, and a deep shadow-filled
forest by the end of a man's life.

   The elves, the legend says, first discovered the Pool of Radiance. Its
description has varied through the passage of the years. Many wise sages
have declared it a myth and a con-man's gambit. The location of the Pool
changes from tale to tale. Sometimes it is deep in the heart of an eternal
wood, sometimes on an island circled by great wyrms, and sometimes in the
heart of a huge solitary peak that rises above all others in the
Dragonspine Mountains.

   It is said that the pool glows with its own energy. Those that approach
it feel new power within their bones, while an unreal melody holds them in
a rapture. Legends say that the Pool's power created the Quivering Forest
and caused the Sorcerer's Isle to appear.

   The Pool is said to bring great power to the worthy, and death most
horrible to the unworthy. Some tales say that the individual should drink
it, bathe in it, or throw coins into it and wish. There are numerous folk
tales of the wise fool stumbling upon the Pool, and gaining wondrous power
or meeting a gory end. The abilities of the Pool change according to the
needs of the tale-spinner. In any event, a trader or adventurer who
encounters a sudden windfall or great riches is said to have "visited the
Pool."

   Whether the Pool is real or some literary invention, the First City of
Phlan (also called Archaic Phlan) survived in peace for many generations of
men. In the end, outside influences brought about its downfall. Settlers
began to intrude from the lands of Cormyr and Sembia into the south of the
Elven Court. At the same time, the beast-men of Thar, which are today
called ogres, began gathering into large hordes, ravaging the countryside.

   Phlan built mighty walls and withstood a decade of constant invasion. In
the end, its fate was sealed by the elves withdrawing within the Court
combined with the dwarves pulling back into western reaches of the
Dragonspine Mountains.

   With its trading lifeline cut, Phlan fell into disrepair. When the Black
Horde finally demolished the city walls in the Year of the Tusk, (112
DaleReckoning,) they found little but an empty husk. The greatness that was
Ancient Phlan had passed.

GREATHAMMER AND THE FIRST REBIRTH OF PHLAN

   Phlan remained relatively uninhabited for the next 500 years. The city's
position at the mouth of the Stojanow did make it a useful meeting place
for traders. Twice during this period a pirate community grew on the ruins
of Phlan. The first time they were burned out by a navy sailing from
Mulmaster. The second time a group known as the Red Horde, led by a red
dragon of incredible age, leveled the community. Following this attack,
buccaneers never regained their power in the Moonsea (though small bands
still persist).

   With time, the civilizations of man moved further north, the greater
beasts retreated, and many cities were founded on the shores of the
Moonsea. Yet the beasts did not retreat far. Dragons nested in the
Dragonspine Mountains, ogres raided from the Great Grey Land of Thar, and
horrible undead things lingered in the swamps and in the passes through to
Vaasa.

   Hillsfar retained its elven ties and flourished even as Phlan't power
was deteriorating, growing from a small town into a large prosperous city.
The foundations of Zhentil Keep and Mulmaster were laid while Phlan lay in
ruins. Small towns such as Melvaunt, Thentia, and Elmwood were started
during this period. The inland city of Yulash, situated atop a great mount
that dominates the southwestern corner of the lake, rose to the zenith of
its power during this time.

   In 712 DR, the year of the Moon's Tears, Milsor the Valjevo, Founder of
the Valjevo Dynasty, journeyed to Phlan to re-establish the city as a
trading outpost. He was aided in his task, by the Wizard Rimon and the
Priestess Alonius of Tyr.

   Milsor, Rimon, and Alonius gathered together interested adventurers and
cleansed the city of the evil orcs and goblins that had made it their fair.
They cleared the banks of the Stojanow and drove the arch-lich Zanakar from
the Sorcerer's Island in the center of Lake Kuto. In return for his
efforts, Rimon was given the Sorcerer's Island as his home. Alonius, in
turn, was given a wide area in the recovered regions of Phlan as a temple
to Tyr, the god of justice.

   By 750 DR the temple complex has been finished. In its day, it was said
to be the largest temple of good in the entire North. The city as well had
recovered, and large numbers of immigrants arrived. Some were natives of
other Moonsea cities seeking to make or expand their fortunes in the new
lands. But others arrived as well, including men of the Dalelands and
Sembians, as well as farmers and lumbermen, intent on making the region
their home.

   The newcomers built on the ruins of the old city, often not checking
what had lay beneath their foundations. Some curious souls reported great,
twisting passages leading far beneath the earth. Exploring such areas was
first discouraged. It was later outlawed after a party of adventurers freed
an extremely large beholder. The newcomers, led by Valjevo and his heirs,
closed off the passages choosing to ignore the past and seeking only the
future for their city.

   The dalesmen spread up the Stojanow River. They diverted the river's
flow and turned the rocky terrain into a rich landscape of fields and
orchards. The reach of the farmlands extended from Lake Kuto to the city of
Phlan at the mouth of the river. Some say the land was so rich because of
the proximity of the enchanted Quivering Forest. Others ascribe the bounty
to the wizardries of Rimon. Still others credit the series of dikes and
levees that the farmers, aided by magical spells, used to harness the river
itself.

   Whatever the cause, the healthy harvests of the Stojanow River Valley
provided Phlan with a solid trading base. For the next 200 years Phlan was
the center of the trade around the Moonsea. Its grains, fruits, and tubers
filled vaults from Mulmaster to Zhentil Keep. It appeared that
civilization, after a false start, had finally made a major foothold in the
lands north of the Moonsea.

   Such was not to be the case, for the forces of good and evil ebb and
flow like the shores of the Moonsea itself. In the 195th year of Phlan,
(907 DR), the golden age ended in rust. A plant rust, which affected most
of the farmlands around Phlan, destroyed harvests for the next three years.
Suddenly the Moonsea reaches were in the grips of a powerful famine,
relieved at great cost with shipments from the south. There was great
suffering, and other cities, once so enamored of Phlan's gentle power, were
resentful that it had failed.

   The native Phlanars were resentful as well. Their once good rulers had
fallen into a sloth and ease in the centuries since the reestablishment of
the city. The Valjevo blood was said to run thin in the Princes and
Princesses of Phlan. They reacted to the plague infesting the grain by
first ignoring it, then setting up committees, and finally legislating it
out of existence. Only when the magnitude of the problem became clear, did
they act. Even then they failed their people, overracting to the point of
placing a ban on all shipments out of the city, seeking to keep what
supplies were left for the native population.

   The other cities, already angry with Phlan for its rising prices in the
face of the plague, rebelled against this new measure. Fleets from
Mulmaster and Hillsfar began to raid cargos destined for the city.
Smugglers operated out of the Twilight March and Stormy Bay despite
official attempts to enforce the ban on shipments.

   A large land force equipped with siege machinery set out from Zhentil
Keep toward Phlan. The force encamped at Stormy Bar while the ruling heads
of Phlan negotiated to spare the city. In the end, the Keeper force was
turned back through a massive payment to their leaders. These leaders were
the first appearance in Phlan record of the Zhentarim, which would increase
in power over the next 300 years.

   During this activity, Rimon, now old in the ways that only wizards can
be old, disappeared from his rocky abode. What became of Rimon is unknown,
for the rulers of Phlan had not sought his council for a generation. Some
say he became a lich himself, using the methods discovered by Zanakar.
Others say that he sacrificed himself in battle on a far-distant plane in
order to save the lands of Phlan. Still others state that he had found the
Pool of Radiance and became a great and powerful being in some other part
of the Realms. Most likely Rimon merely fell prey to the effects of old age
as all mortals do. Whatever the cause, Rimon was never seen again in the
Realms, and his citadel became a haunted, abandoned ruin within a decade.

   The Famine of the Red Plants passed after three seasons, and an abundant
harvest returned to Phlan. But the harvests were never to be as great as
before, nor the fruit from the orchards as sweet. Whatever magic, true or
imagined, that had reestablished Phlan passed. The city began to become
gray and ordinary, losing power to the Keepers and the men of Mulmaster.
The golden age was over.

   The Valjevo Princes, their blood thin indeed, continued for another
century. The century was filled with petty wars between the various
city-states. No longer the leading city of the Moonsea, Phlan battled with
its rival more often. Piracy, or rather privateering, was on the rise, a
situation that continues to this day among the city-states.

   Phlan was wracked by interior torments as well. The people of the city
were well aware of their loss of power and prestige. Farms north of Phlan
were now being abandoned. Dark shadows lurked between the massive trunks of
the trees in the Quivering Forest. An attempt to clear a path through that
growth in 1023 DR resulted in the death of the last surviving Great Prince
of the Valjevo family.

   The death of the Great Prince resulted in a three-year civil war within
the city, as various factions supported different candidates to take the
mantle of the Great Prince. All candidates' claims upon the royal blood
were questionable and every faction sought to control Phlan's future
through placing their choice on the throne. During this time, the great
temple of Tyr was looted and burned, leaving only a great blackened shell.
Many of the leading merchant families fled to other climes.

   In the end, the last survivor was a young noble supported by a group of
powerful merchants. They created the first Council of Phlan to act as
regents for the youth. The Council spoiled the child, who grew into a
spoiled man who was unable and unwilling to take the reins of power. He
died without issue forty years later, and the Council has ruled ever since.

THE FALL OF PHLAN

   The last 300 years of Phlan have been a continual retreat from the
greatness that once was. Smaller rural towns were abandoned in the face of
increasing evil to the north. Sorcerer's Isle was said to be inhabited
again by fell powers. The city fell back upon that which it did so well so
long ago: trading. It began to serve again as the middleman between the new
powerful Northern tribes and the established nations of the South. For a
short time, about a hundred years ago, the awful tide of retreat seemed to
be halted and the city was on its way to becoming a prosperous trading town
once more.

   Yet dark things continued to lurk on the borders of Phlan. Sorcerer's
Island was said to be inhabited by Yarash, an evil mage who was said to be
seeking Rimon's power, the Arch-Lich's magic, the Pool of Radiance, or all
three. The greatly diminished Dwarven Nations of Dragonspine reported great
hordes of orcs and ogres attacking their citadels, and their barge trade
came to a complete halt. Small towns and hamlets were raided and burned
with increasing regularity, sending refugees to Phlan seeking passage to
safer lands.

   Then disaster struck, Raiders from the north, aided by dragons and other
dangerous creatures, poured down out of the northlands. The Quivering
Forest was burned in a massive fire that dominated the sky for a month.
Monstrous hordes containing every imaginable creature marched with
horrifying precision toward the city.

   The Council debated, argued, and debated again while the hordes drew
nearer, much as the last Valjevo Princes did in their long-ago folly.
Finally, they chose to fight, but were overwhelmed by the forces or orc and
dragon. Phlan burned and fell to the forces of evil, who looted and
pillaged that which remained.

   The last remnants of the Council stood their guard, trying to evacuate
as many citizens as possible. Of the council members, the Last Priest of
Tyr, Ferran Martinez, held the last garrison, Sokal Keep, which stood at
the mouth of the Barren River. It is said that Ferran placed a terrible
curse upon the Keep to prevent anyone from taking it.

   In the end, even the waters of the Stojanow river turned poisonous and
murky, and the river took its present name, the Barren. The rich farmlands
of the Stojanow River Valley were laid waste and became known as the
Scoured Lands.

THE REEMERGENCE OF PHLAN

   That should have been the end of Phlan's story, but it is not so. Men
remember the tales of Valjevo, who brought the first city of Phlan back
from its ruins. Adventurers, smugglers, and small traders visited the
region and brought back tales of Phlan under control of its evil masters.
Many of the buildings were burned, but many others were spared. The shell
of the temple of Tyr had been rebuilt, dedicated to some darker, more evil
god. Zhentarim spies and agents of dark Vaasan nobles met and planned in
Phlan, and the riches of the ages still survived for those who sought to
look.

   In time, more modest men returned to Phlan to rebuild her. A stockaded
community rose from among the rubble of the past glories. These men
intended to engage in the same profession as those before them, for Phlan
still occupied a prime position for trading on the Moonsea. However, until
the city was cleared, the Barren River made clean, and the competeing
city-states pacified, Phlan was likely to stay in impoverished ruins.

   Two years ago, in the Year of the Worm, two things happened that would
mean a change of Phlan's future. First was the Flight of the Dragons that
surged through the northern regions of the Lands of the Inner Sea. Due to a
cause unknown, great wyrms came down from the far north destroying all in
their path. These are not the rare, opportunistic dragons seeking alliance
with humanoid tribes, but rather huge waves of angry scaled monsters,
bringing destruction where they travel.

   Many of the Moonsea and Daletowns suffered great destruction in the
battles that followed. Yulash was utterly ruined by the attack, and
Hillsfar was greatly damaged. The most telling blow was delivered by the
body of a great dragon that fell into the Hillsfar harbor, blocking that
entrance for a month.

   Much of the Phlan was also smashed into a smoking ruin by these beasts.
Strangely, it worked in the favor of those men who lived there. Most of the
damage was taken in the already-ruined section of the city, where various
evil warlords vied for control and riches. The attack of the dragons broke
their power, creating a vacuum in the control of the city and giving the
men of Phlan a chance to re-establish themselves and their homes.

   Yet this would not occur without leaders, and the reappearance of the
Council of Phlan was the second great thing to occur in the city.
Descendents of the last Council still survived all the turmoil that had
occurred, and many families wished to return to the land. These leaders
were no great mages or wondrous fighters, but traders, merchants, and
clerics. Their leaders, who remain to this day, were the shrewd and
powerful trader Ulrich Eberhard, the retired mercenary captain Werner Von
Urslingen, and the Bishop of Braccio of Tyr. They have been joined by their
junior member, Porphyrys of the ancient House Cadorna.

   Together the council has proposed exactly that which Valjevo
accomplished so long ago, clearing the city by means of recruited
adventurers. The promise of great treasure and the myth of the Pool of
Radiance provided adventurers with an irresistable draw. The Council
published notices and paid traveling bards to make sure that the story of
Phlan's waiting riches was distributed all around the Moonsea and beyond.

PHLAN TODAY

   The city of Phlan, built on ruins upon ruins, is a city at war. It is
divided between the human forces of the Council, and those evil forces that
hold a great deal of the city under their sway.

   The human territories of Phlan are nestled behind a strong stockade of
stone quarried from the ruins and trees lumbered from the Quivering Forest.
A substantial city-guard patrols the openings in the walls at all hours,
always ready to repel any attacks by the old city's evil inhabitants.

   The buildings of rebuilt Phlan are sturdy and utilitarian, with little
of the splendor of the ancient past. The glories of the past shine through
in an ancient column now used to support a stable's wooden roof or a faded
fresco overlooking an adventurer's taproom. The past is always with the
inhabitants of Phlan, reminding them of what once was and could yet be
again.

   The natives of Phlan are a mixed group, including descendents of the
families of Valjevo's day and returnees who seek to reclaim lands and
treasure lost to the dragon horde fifty years ago. The city is also filled
with adventurers seeking new fortunes and traders hoping to reestablish the
old trading lines.

   Orcs and other generally evil humanoids are viewed with alarm within the
city, though evil humans come and go unmolested with the ships. It is said
that spies from the other cities of the Moonsea make regular calls with the
ships, overseeing the progress of the Council in re-establishing the city.
If the Council is TOO successful, some say, then sabotage may be in order
to prevent Phlan from returning to its former power.

   The lands beyond the civilized stockade are wild ruins controlled by
whatever local faction or tribe holds that piece of land. Control lasts
only as long as the reach of claw or sword. Petty bands of orcs, goblins,
and men vie for power, some led by more sinister monsters.

   Much of Phlan's ruined greatness can be found in the Old City. The main
sights include: the forgotten riches of the wealthy old noble's houses;
Podol Plaza, the center of the old trading district; and the Old Temple,
now dedicated to the dark god Bane. Valjevo Castle has been refortified and
is being used as a headquarters for one faction leader or another.

   Phlan remains now, as it has ever been, a city with the greatest of
potential. In the cycles of its rise and fall, legends have arisen before.
In engineering New Phlan's renaissance, new legends are sure to emerge.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 19:29, Mon 21 Sept 2015.

GM
 GM, 64 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:10
A History of Phlan and the Moonsea Reaches


Civilized area:




Wall Temple of Tempus Barracks Poor quarter
  Gran Platz 
Gate        
Wall   City Hall Temple of Tyr
 Temple of Sune Upperclass housing 
        
Mom's boarding home Cadorna storeImaja's jewels Strongarm smithyDocks
Carved TableBoar and Wine Warehouse Warehouse

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:42, Mon 21 Sept 2015.

GM
 GM, 65 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:11
A History of Phlan and the Moonsea Reaches

GM
 GM, 66 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:13
A History of Phlan and the Moonsea Reaches

GM
 GM, 67 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:24
More noteworthy information pertaining to the region
Hulburg, was a small city on the northeastern shore
of the Moonsea of Faerūn. Griffonwatch Keep, the
ancestral home of the Hulmasters, sat on a rocky
outcrop on the eastern edge of the city.

The current city only occupied a fraction of the area
of historical Hulburg and there were many vacant lots
in the city. New construction was built on top of the
foundations and basements of ruined buildings. In many
cases, the old cellars remained intact and formed
interconnected underground passages that could be
used to travel underground through the city unnoticed.

Hulburg sat on the northeastern shore of the Moonsea
and had a fine natural harbor. The city was situated
between two rocky headlands, Keldon Head and Easthead.
Spellplague changed land was common in the vicinity of
Hulburg and unnatural green hills rose just to the east
of the city. Additionally, a rock formation known as
the Arches jutted into the Moonsea near Hulburg's harbor.
The Winterspear river ran through the center of the city.

Religion
The people of Hulburg were pragmatic and seemed to have
little use for gods. There was a small sisterhood of
Shar priestesses in the city and a temple of Cyric stood
briefly during the reign of Maroth Marstel until it was
destroyed by Geran Hulmaster and Sarth.

Climate
Hulburg had winters cold enough to freeze over the harbor
several months of the year.

Government
Hulburg was ruled by the Hulmaster family for many
generations until 1479 DR when the Merchant Council with
the help of the Elven shadow mage Rhovann engineered a
coup against the Hulmasters, forcing them into exile in
neighboring Thentia. The Hulmasters retook their city in
1480 DR and Natali Hulmaster was made harmach, while Kara
Hulmaster was made regent until her niece grows up.

Law and Order
For many years, the Shieldsworn kept order in the town,
but that changed when Sergen Hulmaster became the Keeper
of Duties for the harmach's council and began giving out
trade concessions. The trading companies who came to town
formed a merchant council and hired mercenaries to police
the town in the form of the Council Watch, though they
more often ignored those who worked for - or in the best
interests of - the members of the council. Since then,
the Shieldsworn were only allowed to deal with high crimes,
such as murder. Slaving was outlawed for several generations,
as was the opening of barrows on the lands within several
miles of the town, due to the fear of awakening the undead
and incurring the wrath of Aesperus, the King in Copper.

History
Hulburg was founded in the Year of the Cold Claws 940 DR
by the Hulmaster clan, formerly of Mulmaster. The city was
destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. The
city was first destroyed by an army of giants in 1150 DR and
was rebuilt shortly thereafter. An army of orcs and ogres in
alliance with Zhentil Keep destroyed Hulburg in 1347 DR. The
city slowly repopulated and as of 1479 DR has several thousand
inhabitants.

Thar, also known as the Great Gray Land, was a rocky, broken
moor stretching for hundreds of miles with a harsh climate
north of the Moonsea. It was inhabited by wild tribes of
humanoids such as orcs who were constantly at war with one another.

Raids
The many humanoid tribes of Thar carried out attacks on
caravans heading to or from Glister, the camps in the
Galenas foothills or villages in the Stojanow Vale. In
an attempt to keep them in check and bring stability to
the area, lords and merchants were known to enter into
agreements with the tribes to encourage them not to attack,
but these agreements broke down easily. Scouts, hired
adventuring companies and the barbarians of the Ride also
ventured into Thar to hunt these tribes and destroy any
creatures they encountered.

Organizations
Several organizations existed amongst the tribes of Thar,
including the Burning Daggers, fanatical orc worshipers
of Kossuth, the Skullsmashers, a fierce tribe of ogres,
and the Red Claws, a goblinoid horde.

Inhabitants
The lich Aesperus controled the undead of eastern Thar.
Melvaunt was a city that sat on the northern coast of
the Moonsea, adjacent to Thar. It was a city of smithing
and mercantile services,  serving as the port of entry to
many travelers coming to the region.  The city itself was
cold and gray, with a mist that rose from the Moonsea
seeming to cover it entirely.

Government
The Council of Lords ruled over the city of Melvaunt,
though they were more often concerned with affairs that
could line their coffers. All members were required to be
merchants of some kind and vacant seats could be purchased
for for at least 100,000 gp while a new one could be
created starting at a sum of 2,000,000 gp.

Trade
Guilds held much of the power within the city, primarily
through legitimate trade but also as a front for criminal
organizations. This caused many foreign traders to become
apprehensive about underpricing the local merchants.

Ships from Melvaunt constantly traded goods to Mulmaster
and Hillsfar, where they could be more efficiently distributed
around the region. Legitimate trade with Zhentil Keep was
dangerous and rare, but the black market was alive and well.

Nanther was the most influential mercantile house of Melvaunt.

Members
Dundeld Nanther, patriarch of the Nanther family.
Killian Kreel (previously Killian Nanther), fallen prodigy of the family.
Lyran Nanther would-be ruler of Shadowdale.

Thentia was a city located on the north shore of the Moonsea.
Much of Thentia was rough and crude but the city was noted
for its powerful mage guild as well as its huge white marble
temple of Selūne, and black one to Umberlee (Grigor Kurtz as
highpriest). Founded in 820 DR, the Year of the Roving Tyrant,
by the exiled Barovian families of House Dilisnya, House Katsky,
and House Khodolis who were fleeing the settlement of a civil
war in their own country. It is considered the most militarily
weak and dis-unified city on the Moonsea, but it's lax governmental
policies and "liberal" trade controls make it a haven for the
fiercely independent, from the powerful wizards who call it home
to the Trade Senate who govern it's business dealings. The real
political power in the city belongs to the Trade Senate. A
coalition of 99 of the most influential citizens of the city,
the day-to-day affairs of the state are dominated by the power
and "founding families", House Dilisnya, House Katsky, and House
Khodolis. In addition to these ancient clans are the newer, rising
families of Mamarathen and Casplardann.

Geography
The city of Thentia is built upon a wide, west-east peninsula of
and jutting from the northern coast of the Moonsea. The southern
flank of the peninsula is a rise of jagged, 400 foot cliffs at
the base of which the gray waters of the northern sea crash. The
northern face of the city is a protected harbor at the mouth of
the River Thentia that flows south from the plateau of the Thar.
This sheltered harbor is deep, and the heavy stone and wooden
quays stretch the length of the city, from the upland towers to
the west to the Watchlord's Rise in the east.

In the unlikely event of a full-scale invasion, the city is
protected first of all by its location. The peninsula upon which
the city is perched is protected on three sides by the Moonsea,
and on the fourth by the nasty, cold bogs of the southern Thar.
The south face stands upon 400 foot sea cliffs, while the
vulnerable harbor side on the north is protected by the sheltering
arms of the city. The western approach toward the peninsula is
fortified with a gray stone wall, behind which stand a line of
four of Phourken One-Eye's alabaster towers. Popular legend says
that the towers are able to project bolts of wizard fire, call
lightning down out of a clear sky, or freeze an attacking force solid.

Heraldry
The arms of Thentia consist of three golden seabirds in flight,
one facing dexter, one sinister, and the third avaunt upon a
white field, below which a black ship sails, prow facing dexter


The open steppe of The Ride lies between the Dragonspine
Mountains, the Border Forest and the Gray Land of Thar. It is
home to tribes of mounted barbarians who consider any outsiders
to be fair game. Although the tribes are prone to constant
internal struggling, they will quickly unite to face threats
from the outside, like the Zhentarim march on Glister in 1352 DR.

The forces of Zhentil Keep try to control the area, striving
to control lucrative mines that riddle the mountain slopes
north of the cold plains of The Ride.

Barbarians of the Ride
There are many independent tribes in the Ride, but named tribes include:

The Vaegould, aggressive worshipers of the primordials.
The Varm, a more peaceful tribe, practicers of totem magic
and worshipers of primal spirits.

Hawksroost was a village that lay south of Ilinvur in the Ride in north Faerūn.

It was once the home of Daern, a warrior who fought alongside
the Ilmatari priest Flaergon of Glister and figured highly in
the tale of the Tome of Torment.

The Tome of Torment was the most holy book of the Church of
Ilmater, reputedly granted by the One Who Endures himself.
It had a long and troubled history, being stolen and recovered
numerous times and once the center of a holy war between rival
temples to the Broken God, and ironically the focus of much suffering.

Value
The Tome of Torment was the holiest of all the sacred books
of the church of Ilmater and the faithful were desperate to
keep it within their possession. When stolen, the Ilmatari
made vigorous and probing searches all across Faerūn, no matter
who they angered in the process. Anyone who was known to possess
it was quickly harassed by a number of Ilmatari, who politely,
firmly, and repeatedly made offers to buy or trade for the Tome.
If the owner attempted to damage it, lock it away, or sell it to
a non-believer, then the Ilmatari would attack with overwhelming
magical force.

Although perhaps priceless, the Tome was sold for 20,000 gold
pieces as stolen property, and a reward of 40,000 gp was offered
by the church for its safe return.

Description
Far from resembling a typical holy book, the Tome looked more
like a book-shaped block of hair. It could be mistaken for a
folded blanket or a bundle of horsehair intended for a weaver.
The outer covers were actually a slipcase of black, matted
horsehair stuck to ebony panels. Inside was a folded horsehair
tunic—a hairshirt—with large shield-shaped horse-hide panels on
front and back and small metal hooked barbs studding the inside.

Powers
In order to gain access to the spells contained within the Tome,
the hairshirt had to be worn continuously for a full day, despite
the small cuts that the barbs inflicted. After this time, an
index of spells appeared on the front panel of the hairshirt. To
select a spell, one had to touch it with a finger dabbed with holy
water or a tear or drop of blood from the owner of the finger. The
selected spell then appeared on the back panel until another spell
was selected or two days had passed, at which time both index and
spell disappeared. As a result of the Spontaer's protections, the
spells would only appear for a priest of Ilmater.

The Tortured Land was an area of land in the Moonsea region which
was formed by ancient lava flows that were then carved by flowing
ice. Giant stone pillars, like teeth, smoothed by the wind jutted
out from the landscape. Strange monsters chased small animals but
the only other inhabitants seemed to be the bats that laired in
the few caves of the area.

3000 years before the Era of Upheaval, dwarves mined the metal
deposits that were to be found but they were exiled to the
Novularond. Only four members of the clan survived and they
went on to found the Innugaakalikurit clan.

During the Era of Upheaval the majority of the Tortured Land
was occupied by flind-led gnoll tribes. The ruins of a forgotten
city known as Frozen Flindyke to bards, could have once been a
bastion of civilization for these gnolls in times past or could
have been the home of a settlement of humans, surrounded by the
gnolls. The truth was lost to the sands of time but the shamans
of Yeenoghu who ruled over the gnolls and flinds were said to
have been descended from those who summoned the Trio Nefarious
that aided in the fall of Myth Drannor.

The Trio Nefarious or Khov'Anilessa in elven, were three greater
Nycaloths summoned by the netherese archwizard Aldlas Sodhese
who had heard that the Nether Scrolls lay somewhere in Cormanthor.
His plan was to use the Yugoloths to wreak havoc among the elves
as a distraction while searching for the scrolls.

Aulmpiter was a master strategist, Malimshaer a stealthy warrior
and Gaulguth a terrible berserker. While in the Blood Rift, they
all served under the fallen Solar Malkizid but the trio would
argue and compete against each other almost constantly.
Conversely, in destroying the Elven villages they were single-minded
and, under the direction of Aulmpiter, wiped out whole tribes of
satyrs and centaurs and at least two green dragons. Aldlas believed
that he had complete control over all three of them, though he was
actually being manipulated into that belief by Aulmpiter. The four
together were unstoppable until they came within a few hundred
yards of Cormanthyr where the Elves had arrayed an organized army.
The battle lasted for a whole day but eventually Gaulguth and
Malimshaer were almost slain, Aulmpiter was subdued and Aldlas had
been killed in a spell duel with the Grand Mage of the city.

Malcanthet is a demon lord. She is also called Queen of Succubi.

Description
Malcanthet is described as an incredibly beautiful human-like female
with bat-wings, horns, and a long prehensile tail tipped with a spike-like stinger.

Relationships
Malcanthet is the current holder of the title of Succubus Queen;
other demon lords aspiring to the position include Lady Lynkhab,
the currently imprisoned Shami-Amourae, and the exiled Xinivrae.
Other rivals exist elsewhere in the Abyss, but they ultimately
pose little or no threat to Malcanthet.

Malcanthet was among the first of the succubi to come into being
in the Abyss. She obtained her current title after years of waging
wars and committing savage betrayals upon her fellow "sister"
succubi and former paramours. As a result of her ruthless climb to
the top, she has cultivated a long list of enemies, which includes
Graz'zt, Yeenoghu, and Baphomet. Her few allies include the Prince
of Demons Demogorgon, with whom she birthed the monstrous Arendagrost;
Pazuzu, from whom she mothered the succubus Red Shroud; her current
consort Mastiphal the Hunting Sovereign; and Socothbenoth, a demon
lord concerned with sexual taboos and perversions.

Realm
The Succubus Queen's realm is the 570th layer of the Abyss, and
is known as Shendilavri. Once a disgusting layer of "heaving and
shuddering flesh", Malcanthet has transformed it into a verdant
paradise. But ultimately, it is a paradise for only Malcanthet
herself.

Cult of Malcanthet
The cult of the Succubus Queen is a widespread but disorganized
lot. Each cult sees another, not as an ally, but as competition
and most are little more than simple brothels. On average,
Malcanthet's cult buildings/houses look like whorehouses to the
commoner, but another dangerous world presides inside. Many people
who walk out of the seemingly normal whorehouse do not realize how
close they came to being a sacrifice. Malcanthet's cults will
sometimes have a certain type of person or gender they will have.
For example: one cult might cater to muscular men or high class
women. Another might specify in male to male services or cater to
lithe and fair women. Most of Malcanthet's followers tend to lean
towards a female dominated cult; however, there certainly are males
in her cult, and they can rise to high ranks. In some cults, males
are blinded so they cannot "look upon the beauty of their superiors."
Men are also sometimes used as bouncers or thugs in their cult. The
Thralls of Malcanthet are exclusively female, and as they rise in
power, they gain more and more powers similar to those of succubi
until they too, can (temporarily) assume succubi forms.

Servants
The Radiant Sisters - Thirteen lilitu bards who serve under their
mistress. Their names are actually the colors they radiate, and each
one has a soul-draining locket and a shining halo.

The female child of a succubus and a human is traditionally called
an Alu-fiend and the male child a Cambion. However, the offspring
of an alu-fiend or cambion's union with a human has no specific
name but falls into the larger category of tiefling.

Tauran was assigned to capture the alu-fiend Aliisza, whose unborn
child (Kael) had cried out to Tyr for justice.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:30, Mon 21 Sept 2015.

GM
 GM, 68 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 22:28
Yet more info.
A closer look at Phlan's noteworthies
Phlan's ruling council:
(senior member) Ulrich Eberhard is old, hard headed in every sense of the word, leader of the initial expedition to retake Phlan. He is unfaithful to his wife, Portia Eberhard, but she knows, though he doesn't know she knows. Rumor has it she is not innocent of being unfaithful either. He hates monsters, with a passion; would kill every last one before surrendering.
(senior member) Werner Von Urslingen is a retired captain turned business man. He is mostly interested in the military aspects of the reconquest of Phlan, and his retainers form the city guard. He fought in a mercenary unit early in his career. He hates Zhentarim with a passion. He also has strong contacts with other mercenaries and some ruffians in town; none of our information confirm such contact.
(senior member) Bishop Braccio is the highest ranking religious leader in Phlan. He runs the largest temple in the civilized section of city.He is openly opposed to the temple tendency to sell clerical 'miracles'; but he understands that the temple needs funds. Braccio would rather perform such 'miracles' in exchange for good works done in the name of the church, not just for money or items of power.
(junior member) Porphyrys Cadorna is the last known surviving member of the Cadorna Clan. A rising star in city politics and on the City Council. Very charming, has many admirers, but no known mate.
Phlan's establishments and craftsmen:
Inn - The Carved Table - Formerly known as "The Broken Head", this place is known for its low ceilings and cheap alcohol. A while ago, a talented dwarf engraved tables with fabulous and partly disturbing scenes.
Inn - Mom's Boarding Home - the middle class establishment. Most citizens eat here.
Inn - Boar and Wine - what passes for a fancy restaurant and Hotel. Individual rooms, hot water bath, and fine cuisine.
Blacksmith - Erudin Strongarm - a competent smith, if only competent. From time to time there are higher quality items for sale.
Jeweler - Imaja Goldmouth - a typical gnomish jeweler. Sells fine clothing as well.
General store - Irena Cadorna - Irena was adopted into the Cadorna family at a young age. Porphyrys doesn't let her forget that fact fora a second.
Temple - Tyr - Bishop Braccio. The largest temple in the civilized part, nicknamed "The Waiting". Of note are the boys' chorus and integral monastery.
Temple - Tempus - A small detachment of Tempus' faithful, offering free arms and training in return for a pledge of service.
Temple - Sune - Orgiastic liturgies and healing for the faithful.
Docks - the main economic branch in Phlan is trade. Dwarven river galleys from upriver bring smelted metals in return for foodstuffs and luxury articles imported from the southern shoures of the Moonsea.
Rumors and somesuch
Gnolls in the monster-infested part of the city are particularly fond of horse- and Gnomeflesh. A well fattened gnome fetches prices of up to 200 gp.
Denelor-s Tower
Laughing goblin
scholar's square
Singing Mermaid Pub
Laughing Goblin Inn
Ashen-eyed Arhat

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:11, Wed 23 Sept 2015.

GM
 GM, 153 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2015
at 12:01
Yet more info.
Deities cheat sheet:

DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Auril, goddess of winterNENature, TempestSix.pointed snowflake
Azuth, god of wizardsLNKnowledgeLeft hand pointing upward, outlined in fire
Bane, god of tyrannyLEWarUpright black right hand, thumb and fingers together
Beshaba, goddess of misfortuneCETrickeryBlack antlers
Bhaal, god of murderNEDeathSkull surrounded bya ring of blood droplets
Chauntea, goddess of agricultureNGLifeSheaf of grain or a blooming rose over grain
Cyric, god of liesCETrickeryWhite jawless skull on black or purple sunburst
Deneir, god ofwritingNGKnowiedgeLit candle above an open eye
Eldath, goddess of peaceNGLife, NatureWaterfall plunging into still pool
Gond, god of craftNKnowledgeToothed cog with four spokes
Helm, god of protectionLNLife, LightStaring eye on upright left gauntlet
limater, god of enduranceLGLifeHands bound at the wrist with red cord
Kelemvor, god of the deadLNDeathUpright skeletal arm holding balanced scales
Lathander, god of birth and renewalNGLife, LightRoad traveling into a sunrise
Leira, goddess of i1lusionCNTrickeryPoint.down triangle containing a swirl of mist
Lliira, goddess of joyCGLifeTriangle of three six.pointed stars
Loviatar, goddess of painLEDeathNine.tailed barbed scourge
Malar, god of the huntCENatureClawed paw
Mask, god of thievesCNTrickeryBlack mask
Mielikki, goddess of forestsNGNatureUnicorn's head
Milil, god of poetry and songNGLightFive.stringed harp made of leaves
Myrkul, god of deathNEDeathWhite human skull
Mystra, goddess of magicNGKnowledgeOrcle af seven stars, or nine stars encircling a flowing red mist, or a single star
Oghma, god of knowledgeNKnowledgeBlank scroll
Savras, god of divination and fateLNKnowledgeCrystal ball containing many kinds of eyes
Selune, goddess of the moonCGKnowledge, LifePair of eyes surrounded by seven stars
Shar, goddess of darkness and lossNEDeath, TrickeryBlack disk encircled with a border
Silvanus, god of wild natureNNatureOak leaf
Sune, goddess of love and beautyCGLife, LightFace of a beautiful red.haired woman
Talona, goddess of disease and poisonCEDeathThree teardrops on a triangle
Talos, god of stormsCETempestThree lightning bolts radiating from a central point
Tempus, god of warNWarUpright flaming sword
Torm, god of courage and self.sacrificeLGWarWhite right gauntlet
Tymora, goddess of good fortuneCGTrickeryFace.up coin
Tyr, god of justiceLGWarBalanced scales resting on a warhammer
Umberlee, goddess of the seaCETempestWave curling left and right
Waukeen, goddess of tradeNKnowledge, TrickeryUpright coin with Waukeen's profile facing left

GM
 GM, 154 posts
Tue 6 Oct 2015
at 12:12
Yet more info.
Some dwarven deities:

DeityALportfolio
MoradinLGCreation, Earth, Good, Law, and ProtectionChief deity
Berronar TruesilverLGsafety, truth, home, and healingMoradin's wife
Clanggedin SilverbeardLGGood, Law, Strength, WarDeity of battle. Armed with paired battle axes, and appears powerful and always smiling
Dugmaren BrightmantleCGChaos, Good, KnowledgeGod of scholarship, discovery, and invention
DumathoinNEarth, Knowledge, Protectionmining and underground exploration, protector of the dead
Muamman DuathalNGGood, Protection, Travelwanderers and expatriates, also lightning
VergadainNLuck, Trickerydeity of Wealth and Luck
AbbathorNE deity of greed