OOC - The land and its people.   Posted by DM Extraordinaire.Group: 0
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 21 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:05
OOC - The land and its people
Economics of the North

The North is a land of economic opportunity, rich in resources and open to those willing to take the risks to exploit them. The mountains in the north are mineral rich, the soil is fertile (though often rocky), open grassy spaces can support huge herds of livestock, vast tracks of lumber are still unharvested and the warm southern currents swarm with fishy delicacies. The outer islands have their resources and riches, but the Northmen who dwell upon them would rather raid for riches than reap the bounty of their own lands.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 22 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:06
OOC - The land and its people
Coin of the Realms

In addition to the standard FR coins, several cities mint their own coinage.
Each coin has two values, its value in the city and its value elsewhere.

Waterdeep: the 2/— gp square brass toal and the 50/2 gp crescent-shaped platinum harbor moon.

Silverymoon: the 2/1 ep electrum moon (shining blue crescent coin).

Mirabar: the 10/5-7 gp iron trade bar(1-foot-long spindle).

Coinage throughout the realms is customarily valued as follows:

200 cp = 200 copper pieces
       = 20 silver pieces
       = 2 electrum pieces
       = 1 gold piece
       = 1/5 platinum piece

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:06, Tue 13 Apr.

DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 23 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:06
OOC - The land and its people
Religion in the Savage Frontier

The gods or “Powers” of the North include many beings worshipped elsewhere in the Realms, plus a number who have followers nowhere else but in the Savage Frontier.

Civilized Gods

The city folk have chosen gods who meet their needs in this harsh land. In the tolerant, cosmopolitan city of Waterdeep, a variety of gods popular elsewhere have large temples, like Gond, Lathander, Mielikki, Mystra, Selune, Silvanus, Sune, Tempus and Tymora.

Likewise, Silverymoon's gods complement the city’s quest
for beauty, art and knowledge. Where evil must be constantly fought, as in Sundabar, the aid of Helm, Tyr and Torm is sought by the defenders. In Mirabar, men who mine for a living have adopted dwarven gods.

Where trade is important, such as Nesmé, the goddess Waukeen holds sway. In communities where life depends on the forest, such as Loudwater, Secomber, and Silverymoon, Silvanus, Mielikki and Shiallia (see below) are favored.

Barbarian Gods

The barbarians live in a harsh, cruel environment and worship harsh, cruel, even evil gods. Auril is worshipped by the Northmen as the bringer (and mollifier) of winter. Umberlee is queen over the dark, deadly cold waters of the
northern ocean. Tempus the god of battles(called Tempos by the tundra barbarians) is worshipped by all the barbarian tribes of the North and outer islands. Chauntea is the patron of the Uthgardt barbarian women. They have female shamans who serve her. The Uthgardt barbarians who range across the northern wilds worship beast totems, minor demigods who take their names and forms from creatures of the northern wilds. These cults include the Sky Pony, Blue Bear, Great Worm, Elk, Grey Wolf, Red Tiger (Snow Cat), Black Lion, Thunder Beast, Griffin, and the Tree Ghost. Each of these demipowers is quite similar, with the exception of the Blue Bear cult— which is a chaotic evil demipower allied with the Abyss.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 24 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:07
OOC - The land and its people
Weather in the Savage Frontier

To the southerner’s preconceptions, the North means endless winter, month after month of blizzards, ice storms and generally frigid weather. Fortunately for the hardy folk of the Savage Frontier, this is not true. There is no one type of climate or weather pattern in the North. Beyond the Spine of the World mountain range, arctic conditions prevail. From the Spine of the World south to Waterdeep, subarctic weather conditions are to be found.

The mountains cause an abrupt climate change. South of the Wall (as the Spine of the World is often called), the climate is more like that of the southernmost reaches of the subarctic rather than a smooth transition from arctic to subarctic.

However, the coastal areas as far north as Port Llast are temperate climates, due to the warm deep ocean currents that run from south to north along the coast. The outer islands fall into the subarctic climate, even distant Tuern, which receives the waning warmth of the coastal current.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 25 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:07
OOC - The land and its people
Wildlife in the North

The wilds of the North and the Islands are a hunter’s paradise. Mundane creatures of all descriptions and sizes usually escape an adventurer’s notice, yet they are vitally important to those would live off the land, including rangers, druids, and native barbarians.

Majestic elk wander the northern forests, hills and fens, as do the lesser fen
deer and noble moose. Huge herds of shaggun (shaggy bovines) range the central plains and hills, often competing with the less aggressive domestic cattle herds for pasturage. They provide both food and tests of courage for the Uthgardt barbarians.

In the far north reindeer travel in thundering herds (often followed by tundra barbarian tribes), while the white-coated mountain ram, a mighty, wild sheep, commands the lofty mountain peaks. Huge, sometimes deadly wild boars lurk in the forests —fine eating, but often at the steep price of men’s lives.

Small animals abound everywhere: rabbits, squirrels, red foxes, mice, bats, water rats, prairie dogs, beavers, weasels, and ermines. Common bird life includes game birds like the pheasant, grouse, quail, duck, and geese, and song birds of all shapes, colors and sizes.

Fish are a diet staple of many northern towns, including the succulent shalass,
found primarily in the Dessarin river network and the szorp, a brown, trout-like denizen of the Delimbiyr and Unicorn Run rivers. Each spring, salmon run up the Mirar, Neverwinter and Dessarin rivers to spawn.

Along the Sword Coast and all the outer islands, seals and sea lions play and breed among the rocks, as do sea otters and dolphins. Though their breeding grounds are farther south, pods of whales are a common sight in the northern ocean.

And last, but never least, there are the mundane predators. The northern mountain ranges are home to the agile red tiger or “snow cat.” Wolves are nearly
everywhere and bears are common in all forested or mountain areas, while white polar bears stalk the Uttermost North. Fierce sharks and orca (killer whales) patrol the seas.

The North is also home to many unusual beasts as well, better known to common folk as monsters.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 26 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:07
OOC - The land and its people
Some of the Peoples of the North

The two major human peoples in the North are barbarians: the fair-haired Northmen who dwell along the Sword Coast and upon the outer islands, and the dark-haired Uthgardt tribes who roam the wild interior. The third major race in the North is not human at all: orcs dominate the wilds and may be the true, though disunified power in the North.

Other folk, like the dwarves, the Ice Hunters, and the lizardmen, are native to the North, but wield no great political or economic power. And though they are prolific elsewhere in the world, members of the halfling and elven races are rare in the North.

The Northmen

The term Northmen refers to one of several seagoing, usually warlike, peoples found along the Sword Coast north of Waterdeep and the islands to the west, including Tuern, Gundarlun, and Ruathym in the Trackless Sea and Norheim and Norland in the Moonshaes.

The tall, fair-haired, sea-loving Northmen barbarians were the third human people in the north. According to dwarven records, the peaceful Ice Hunters had ranged the far North for centuries and the folk of lost Netheril had dwelled along the Narrow Sea for millennia before the Northmen arrived.

Though they are often referred to as barbarians, not all Northmen fit this classification. Along the Sword Coast, many of these barbaric sea raiders have become civilized, primarily due to the influence of southern folk. They farm,
fish, and mine their rugged lands, then smartly trade their goods with southern
merchants. Many once-feared raiders have become merchants whose skill at bargaining equals or betters the warlike talents of their ancestors, such that many a Northman merchant returns with more southern booty than do the raiders.
Still, an edge of savagery remains. The Northmen of Luskan and the islands are fierce and warlike. The warrior known as the berserker is more often than not a Northman. Fierce, fearless dragonships ply the northern waters, wiley pirates who are able to outrun and outmanuever heavily-laden merchant galleons. And each summer, the fierce, barbaric battle-cries of Northmen raiders still ring loud in the south.

The Uthgardt Barbarians

The Uthgardt are a black-haired and blue-eyed people—large, hardy folk descended from a mixture of Northmen fugitives, Netherese refugees, and a few savage tribes, including the Beorunni (folk of Beorunna); who live by raiding, hunting, gathering, and farming.

The Uthgardt are divided into 10 tribes (at the present).
Although civilization has come to the north in waves throughout history, much of the land is wild and untamed, the unbounded home of the Uthgardt. Their tribal lands extend north into the Spine of the World, south as far as The Stone Bridge, east to the Cold Wood, and west to Neverwinter Wood. They avoid cities, the High Forest and the lands around Hellgate Keep.

Although some tribes have embraced agriculture and fixed habitations, the Uthgardt have few stable villages. Most tribes wander the wilderness in small clan or family groups and live within a few weeks’ travel of their ancestor mounds, their holiest of holy grounds.

Barbarians of Icewind Dale

“The men of the tundra”. The tribes north of the Ten Towns eke out a harsh and bitter life on the tundra between the Reghed glacier (part of the Endless Ice Seal and the Sea of Moving Ice. The men of the tundra are tall, taller than most southerners by a head.
They tend to be fair haired (blond, red or light brown) and blue-eyed. Like all
barbarians, they are suspicious of magic, equating it with both weakness and
evil. The only power they recognize is the power of a man’s weapon arm.

Dwarves

In the North, the grim, dour dwarves normally choose to separate themselves from other folk. They stand alone when other races band together for safety. It
should be no surprise that few dwarven communities survive here. Frigid Ironmaster on the shores of The Cold Run and Citadel Adbar in the Ice Mountains
to the east are the only dwarf holds of any consequence remaining in the North, though several Northern cities, notably Mirabar, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, and Sundabar, have dwarven quarters within their walls.

The Ice Hunters

This ancient people lived here long before other humans. They tend to be short, dark haired, broad-faced, with light-brown skin. They were the original primitives dwelling on the shores of the Trackless Sea. The arrival of the
“Northmen” drove them further and further north until now they live only in small tribal communities along The Cold Run and on The Ice Peak (though several villages, like Icewolf, have become Northmen towns).
The Ice Hunters have stolidly resisted the culture of other peoples. They live
simple, rarely violent lives —fishing and hunting seal, whale, walrus and polar
bear on the vast floes of the Sea of Moving Ice.

Orcs

In the North, the orcs are grouped into five rough divisions, based on geographical location: the Spine of the World orcs, the Trollmoor orcs, the Ice
Mountain orcs, the High Forest orcs and the Fallen Lands orcs.

Trolls

After orcs, trolls are the scourge of the Savage Frontier. The “everlasting ones”
roam the wilds, chasing, attacking and eating all they meet.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 27 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:08
OOC - The land and its people
The Sea and The Ice

The Trackless Sea

The northern extent of the Trackless Sea is cold, gray, bleak and unforgiving to those who venture across its depths. Yet the people on the islands must live with the sea. It gives them life, and in unpredictable moments, takes life violently away.

The Sea of Moving Ice

The Sea of Moving Ice is the dense pack of ice north of The Ice Peak, and includes both icebergs and thick floes of polar pack ice. The Sea is not a solid mass, but many ice islands, often separated by channels wide enough to allow ships passage.
DM Extraordinaire
 GM, 28 posts
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 11:08
OOC - The land and its people
Before the Time of Dragons

Eons before men walked the earth, ages before the elves were civilized enough to record history, in a time when the North was always warm and the seas of the world were deeper, the lands of Abeir-Toril were dominated by vast empires of inhuman peoples. In the elven oral tradition, these were known as the “Days of Thunder” when cruel lizard, amphibian, and avian peoples(known to the elves as the Iqua’Tel-’Quessir or creator races, but with no honor or respect intended) tamed the mighty dinosaurs, built towering cities of stone and glass on the shores of the warm seas and spanned the wilderness with shining roads, and fought constant wars of extermination, such was their hatred towards each other. The stuff of magic was rawer in those days, less refined, more potent. These ancient peoples experimented endlessly with magics more powerful than
can be even imagined today. Powerful mages hurled devastating bolts of seemingly
god-like power, leveling armies and mountains; and like gods, they played at creating life, wryly choosing to release their monstrous mistakes rather than destroy them. To those who made them, the mistakes were unnatural horrors, unlike anything that walked the land. Most died in the cruel jungles, yet many lived and as thought awakened in them they hid themselves from their creators. When the end came at last, it was they, not the surviving creators who seized control of the suddenly colder realms. And so it was that the first of the elves, the dragons, the goblin races and an endless list of creatures of a new age took possession of their heritage. Their creators, the ancestors of the lizardmen, bullywugs and aarakocra, declined into endless barbarism, never to rise again.

The Time of Dragons

The unmeasured age that followed was known as the Time of Dragons, when those mighty creatures reigned supreme. Not until the elves themselves became powers in the world would the rule of dragons be challenged. Elven sages still speculate on the events that brought about the “overnight destruction of the creator races. There are wildly diverging theories, but all agree that a rapid climate change occurred, creating a world unsuitable to most of the creator races and the dinosaurs. Many believe that the change resulted from a cataclysm the races brought upon themselves. Proponents of this theory point to the Star Mounts in the central High Forest, whose origins are most likely magical and otherworldly. The elves believe that around this time, the greater and lesser Powers began to manifest themselves in the world, particularly the beings known as Chauntea and Corellon Laretheian, aiding the new races and confounding the survivors of the
creator races.

The Time of the Elves

There has been civilization in the North since before the Time of Dragons, yet little more than tantalizingly vague myths survive. For millennia, gold elves dwelt in Illefarn (where Waterdeep now stands) and Eaerlann (along the River Shining). From their ornate forest cities, they traded with primitive, emerging human nations like Netheril and Illusk and repulsed the constant attacks of the goblin races. Yet as men began to dominate the world, the elven lands declined and now little or no remnants remain of those lost and abandoned realms. When the elves chose to leave the North and travel to Evermeet, their works quickly disappeared, leaving only places like the Old Road and a ruined port in the High Forest to mark the passing of Eaerlann, while a mysterious ruin called the
Crumbling Stair may be the last remnant of fabled Illefarn.
Meanwhile, in the far North, the dwarven burrow clans united as the dwarven nation of Delzoun, named for the dwarf who forged the union. The dwarven nation, which existed primarily underground, extended from the Ice Mountains in the Utter North to the Nether Mountains in the south. Silver Moon Pass was its western border and
the Narrow Sea its eastern.

The Time of Men

To the east, on sandy shores of the calm and shining Narrow Sea, human fishing villages grew into small towns, then joined together as the nation of
Netheril. Sages believe that the fishing towns were unified by a powerful
human wizard who may have 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 that followed, Netheril rose in power and glory, becoming both the first human land in the North and the most powerful. Some say that 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.
Doom came as desert, devouring the Narrow Sea and spreading to fill its banks with dry dust and blowing sand. Legend states that when the great wizards of Netheril realized their land was lost, they abandoned it and their countrymen en masse, fleeing to all corners of the world and taking the secrets of wizardry with them. More likely, this was a slow migration that began some 3,000 years ago and reached its conclusion some 1,500 years later.
Whatever the truth, the wizards no longer dwelt in Netheril and to the north, once-majestic dwarven Delzoun had fallen upon hard days. Then the orcs struck. Orcs had always been foes in the North, surging out of their holes every few tens of generations when their normal haunts could no longer support their burgeoning numbers. This time they charged out of their caverns in the Spine of the World, poured out of abandoned mines in the Graypeaks, screamed out of lost
dwarfholds in the Ice Mountains, raged forth from crypt complexes in the Nether
Mountains and stormed upward from the bowels of the High Moon Mountains. Never before or since had there been such an outpouring of orcish
power.
Before this onslaught Delzoun crumbled and was driven in on itself. Netheril, without its wizards, was wiped from the face of history. The elves of Eaerlann alone withstood the onslaught and, with the aid of the treants of Turlang and other unnamed allies, were able to stave off the final days of their land for yet a few centuries more.

The Time of the Northmen

In the far west, men also dwelled — wise, clever primitives called the Ice Hunters. They lived their simple lives on the Sword 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 came crude long ships to disgorge a tall, fair-haired, warlike race which displaced the Ice Hunters from their ancestral lands.
This race , now known as the Northmen, spread their farms and villages along the Sword Coast from the banks the Winding Water to the gorges of the Mirar. Their fierce warriors drove the simple Ice Hunters further
and further north , forced the goblinkind back into their mountain haunts and instigated the last Council of Illefarn. Within 500 years of theNorthmen’s arrival, Illefarn was no more —its residents had migrated to Evermeet.
From the Sword Coast, Northmen sailed westward, finding, claiming and establishing colonies on the major western islands of Ruathym and Gundarlun, eventually spreading to ail islands in the northern sea. Others migrated northward, past the Spine of the World and became the truly savage barbarians of Icewind Dale. Where Luskan now stands, the Northmen found the citadel of Illusk, built by a refugee wizr d fromNetheril. The Illusk wizards ruled for
centuries until the folk of Illuskan (as the surrounding village was known)
were “liberated” by raiders led by Uther Gardolfsson, a Ruathym Thane.
The angry Illuskani destroyed Gardolfsson's fleet and drove him inland where he and his warriors would die(theoretically) in the monster-infested wilderness. Instead, they forged the birth of a new people, the Uthgardt barbarians.
Meanwhile in the east, the elves of Eaerlann built the fortress of Ascalhorn and turned it over to refugees from Netheril, as the Netherese followers of Karsus built the town of Karse in the High Forest. Other Netherese founded Llorkh and Loudwater. Still more wandered the mountains, hills, and moors north and west of the High Forest. These became the ancestors of the Uthgardt barbarians and the founders of Silverymoon, Everlund and Sundabar.
In the centuries that followed, Ascalhorn became Hellgate Keep when it fell into the hands of demons, 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 shortlived and collapsed under the next orcish invasion— though in dying, it dealt the goblin races a blow from which they have yet to recover.

The New Time of Men

Yet along the coast, in what was once elven 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 deepwater 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 the ship captains who called there) in a slowly losing battle against the trolls. In a final, climactic battle, the trolls breached the ageing palisade and all seemed lost —until the magic of a Northern youth, Ahghairon of Silverymoon, turned luck against the trolls and the “everlasting ones” were destroyed or scattered.
Ahghairon, heir to the magical heritage and learning of Netheril, stayed in Waterdeep and in his 112th year he again saved the city... from itself. In so doing, he created the Lords of Waterdeep,the government that rules there
today. The city has since grown into the largest in North, possibly in all Faerun. With Waterdeep as a firm anchor, “civilization” again forged cautiously into the wilderness. Illuskan (now just Luskan) was retaken from the orcs.
Loudwater, Llorkh, Longsaddle, Triboar, Secomber and other towns were resettled by pioneers from Waterdeep, sponsored by noble Waterdhavian merchant families.

The Present Time

Though it has been centuries since the last orc invasion, there is still constant strife. Barbarians harass merchants, travelers, and towns; the seas are filled with Northmen pirates; the demon forces of Hellgate Keep assault the east; and two wars have marred the land in recent years.
Luskan, now a fierce merchant city known to harbor(and support) pirates, wages war with the island realm of Ruathym over an act of piracy against a Luskan merchant ship; and to the far north, in Icewind Dale beyond the Spine of the World, the Ten Towns are slowly rebuilding after being nearly destroyed by the monstrous forces of Akar Kessell.
It is a time of relative quiet in the North. Where once elves and dwarves reigned, men now rule, but their hold— as was true for all civilizations before — is tenuous at best.