Kalahalak

Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Time in the Realms

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Although a number of means exist for marking the days and the passage of time during a year, nearly all folk in Faerun have adopted the Calendar of Harptos. Even the cultures and races that don’t favor this method of marking time are aware of it, with the result that it is recognized across nearly all races, languages, and cultures.

A year on Toril consists of 365 days.

In the Calendar of Harptos, the year is divided into twelve months of thirty days, loosely following the synodic cycle of Selune, the moon.

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A month is made up of three ten-days, also known as rides.

Five annual holidays, falling between the months, complete the 365-day calendar.

Once every four years, the Calendar of Harptos includes Shieldmeet as a “leap day” following Midsummer.

Individual days of a tenday have no special names. Instead, they are denoted by counting from the beginning of the period (“first day,” “second day,” and so on). Days of the month are designated by a number and the month name. For example, sages would record an event as occurring on “1 Mirtul” or “27 Uktar.” People might also refer to a given day by its relationship to the current date (“two tendays from today”) or the nearest holiday (“three days past Greengrass”).

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Toril and Its Lands

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Toril is a vast and wondrous world, filled with an immense diversity of peoples and a rich, full history.

For most folk of the Sword Coast, however, knowledge doesn’t extend much beyond the confines of the North, and anything “known” outside of Faerun proper is based more in rumor than in fact.

The vast central continent of Tori!, Faerun is a land mass divided by a great sea known as the Inner Sea, or the Sea of Fallen Stars. The lands beyond the North can be roughly divided into those to the south and those to the east, becoming more foreign to the folk of the Sword Coast and the North the farther away they are.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - The Underdark

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Extending miles downward and outward beneath the surface of Faerun, and reaching to other continents as well, the great network of subterranean caverns known as the Underdark is home to all manner of strange and deadly creatures.

Duergar and drow- dark reflections of dwarves and elves-live in these sunless lands, as do the svirfneblin, or deep gnomes. Most surface-dwelling folk aren’t threatened or even disturbed by denizens of the deep places, but the creatures occasionally emerge to raid or to seek some kind of goal in the surface world.

Among the lands of the Underdark beneath the North are the svirfneblin city of Blingdenstone, the duergar city of Gracklstugh, and the infamous drow city of Menzoberranzan. Also prominent is Mantol-Derith, a trading post for Underdark merchants.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Independent Realms

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Independent Realms

Interspersed among the fortresses of the dwarves and the settlements protected by the Lord’s Alliance are significant sites that have no collective character, except that they exist largely outside the protection or purview of the great powers of the region. Even the civilized locales among these places, such as Elturgard, exist, at best, in an uneasy tension with the denizens of the wilder lands within and just outside their borders, and survive only through constant vigilance and the steady recruitment of new defenders.

A great variety of independent nations and notable locations is encompassed within the wild lands of the North. Among them are the great library of Candlekeep, home of the greatest collection of written lore in Faerun; the imposing, giant-scale castle of Darkhold; the fortified abbey of Helm’s Hold; sites of great battles such as Boareskyr Bridge and the Fields of the Dead; realms of some security, such as Elturgard and Hartsvale; and the yuanti realm of Najara. The lands of the Uthgardt, the towns of frigid Icewind Dale, the quiet Trielta Hills, the cutthroat city of Luskan, and the legendary Warlock’s Crypt, dominion of the great lich Larloch, are all independent realms, as are the High Moor, the Trollclaws, and the High Forest.

There is much danger and adventure to be had in the free places of the North, and a great deal of wealth and treasure. as well. The ruins of ancient kingdoms and countless smaller settlements litter the countryside, waiting for the right explorers to happen upon them.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Island Kingdoms

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Island Kingdoms

Off the western coast of Faerun are a number of island realms of varying size. The most distant, and yet per- haps the most symbolically important to the mainland, is Evermeet, the island paradise of the elves, reputed to be a part of the divine realm of Arvandor.

Much closer to Faerun are the Whalebones and Ruathym, ancient homes of the ancestors of the Illuskan people, and the Moonshaes, where many of those same people now share the islands with the Ffolk and an elf offshoot known as the Llewyr.

The free port of Mintarn lies nearby, a neutral site for meetings between enemies and a recruitment spot that offers abundant jobs for sailors. Despite its size, the tiny island of Orlumbor, with its treacherous harbor and its skilled, in-demand shipwrights, is an independent and influential nation unto itself.

In the seas to the south, pirates of many races and pre- dilections sail from the Nelanther Isles, preying on trade running north and south along the coasts. Since the beginning of the Sundering, fabled Lantan and Nimbral have returned. Both the center of invention and the isle of Leira-worshiping illusionists are even more secretive and less welcoming of strangers than before their disappearance.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Dwarfholds of the North

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The various dwarven communities of the North are the heirs and survivors of Delzoun, the great Northkingdom of long ago. Despite continually warring over the centuries with the ores and goblinoids of the region, and having to fight off assaults from below by duergar and drow, the shield dwarves have stood fast, determined to hold their halls against all threats- and, when necessary, reclaim them.

Holds that survive from the days of Delzoun include Mithral Hall, Citadel Adbar, and Citadel Felbarr. The fabled city of Gauntlgrym, built by the Delzoun dwarves and recently taken back from the drow, stands as a beacon of resurgent dwarven strength in the North.

Stoneshaft Hold and Ironmaster are lonely settlements continually girding themselves for threats real and imagined. Sundabar and Mirabar are also generally considered dwarfholds, despite their substantial human populations.

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Until recently, many of the dwarfholds were members of the Silver Marches (also known as Luruar), an alliance of cities that provided mutual protection across the North.

Disagreements and failed obligations during a war with the ore kingdom of Many-Arrows destroyed the remaining trust between members of the Marches, and that pact is no more. The dwarfholds still ally with one another, and individually with nearby human realms, but no longer pledge to stand unified with all their neighbors.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - The Lord's Alliance

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The Lords’ Alliance is a confederation among the rulers of various northern settlements. The number of members on the Council of Lords, the group’s governing body, shifts depending on the changing status of member cities and political tensions in the region. Currently, the Lords’ Alliance counts these individuals as council members:

• Laeral Silverhand, the Open Lord of Waterdeep
• Dagult Neverember, Lord Protector of Neverwinter
• Taern Hornblade, High Mage of Silverymoon
• Ulder Ravengard, Grand Duke of Baldur’s Gate and Marshal of the Flaming Fist
• Morwen Daggerford, Duchess of Daggerford
• Selin Ramur, Marchion of Mirabar
• Dowell Harpell of Longsaddle
• Dagnabbet Waybeard, Queen of Mithral Hall
• Lord Dauner Ilzimmer of Amphail
• Nestra Ruthiol, Waterbaron of Yartar

The Lords’ Alliance includes the strongest mercantile powers of the North. In addition to providing military support and a forum for the peaceful airing of differences, the Alliance has always acted under the principle that communities with common cause that engage in trade are less likely to go to war with one another. By maintaining strong trade ties within the alliance as well as outside it, the Lords’ Alliance helps to keep the peace.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - The Sword Coast North

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Running along the Sea of Swords from north of Arnn to the Sea of Moving Ice, the Sword Coast is a narrow band of territory dominated by the city-states of the area that use the sea for trade. For most who care about such things, the area is delimited by Neverwinter in the north and Baldur’s Gate in the south, but territory farther to the north and south that isn’t under the sway of a more influential power is usually also included in maps of the Sword Coast.

More broadly, the North refers to all the territory north of Arnn, split into two general regions: the Western Heartlands and the Savage Frontier. The Western Heartlands encompasses a narrow strip of civilization running from the Sunset Mountains to the Sea of Swords, and northward from the band of territory marked by the Cloud Peaks and the Troll Mountains to the Trade Way. The Savage Frontier is the name given to the rest of the unsettled or sparsely settled territory in the North, not including the major cities and towns and any settlements in their immediate spheres of influence.

Most of the communities, nations, and governments of the North can be grouped into five categories: the cities and towns that are members of the Lords’ Alliance, the dwarfholds that have been built throughout the area, the island kingdoms off the coast, the independent realms scattered up and down the coast, and the subterranean environs of the Underdark.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Faerun Adventure Guide

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ON THE WORLD OF TORIL, BETWEEN THE windswept Sea of Swords to the west and the mysterious lands of Kara-Tur
to the east, lies the continent of Faerun. A place of varied cultures and races, Faerun is dominated by human lands, be they kingdoms, city-states, or carefully maintained alliances of rural communities. Interspersed among the lands of humans are old dwarven kingdoms and hidden elven enclaves, assimilated populations of gnomes and halflings, and more exotic folk.

A great deal of adventure is to be had in the Realms, for those willing to seek it out. The routes between cities and nations often cross into the territory of brigands or marauding humanoids. Every forest, swamp, and mountain range has its own perils, whether lurking bandits, savage ores and goblinoids, or mighty creatures such
as giants and dragons. Ruins dot the landscape and the caverns that wind beneath the surface. In these places, treasures of every living race- and a number of dead ones- wait for adventurers intrepid enough to come and claim them.

Faerfin is filled with rich history and wondrous tales of adventure and magic, but the lifeblood of its common people is agriculture and trade. Most rural folk depend on farming to eat, and Faerunians who live in cities ply skilled trades or use brawn to earn their keep, so they can purchase the goods and food provided by others.
 News and gossip are carried between population centers by caravans and ships that bring in supplies for trade and by traveling bards and minstrels who recount (or invent) stories to inform and entertain people in taverns, inns, and castles. Adventurers also spread news- while also creating it!

The common folk of Faerun look on adventurers with a mixture of admiration, envy, and mistrust. Folk believe that any stalwarts willing to risk their lives on behalf of complete strangers should be lauded and re- warded. But such adventurers, if they become successful, amass wealth and personal status at a rate that some people find alarming. Even people who admire these adventurers for their energy and their acts of valor might have misgivings: what horrors will be unleashed if adventurers, heedless or unknowing of the danger, unlock a ruin or a tomb and release an ancient evil into the world?

Most of the people who populate the continent have little or no knowledge of lands outside Faerun. The most educated among the populace agree that Faerun is but one continent and that Toril is the whole of the world, but for the majority of people, who don’t experience intercontinental travel or extraplanar exploration, “Faerun” is more than large enough of a concept for them to comprehend.

Except in the most remote or insular places, Faerunians are accustomed to seeing people of different cultures, ethnicities, and races. Only in the most cosmopolitan areas does such casual acceptance extend
to evil humanoid races-such as goblinoids, orcs, and drow- to say nothing of even more dangerous creatures. Adventurers tend to be more tolerant, accepting exiles, misfits, and redeemed folk from strange lands and with unusual shapes.

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Rusty Nail Gazetteer - Waterdeep

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Waterdeep

Rising from the shores of its deep harbor to ring the great mountain standing tall out of the Sea of Swords is Waterdeep, the City of Splendors and the Crown of the North. To all of Faerun, this great metropolis stands as the pinnacle of what a great city might be, in wealth, influence, and stability. Here, the citizens work, the nobles sneer, and the great masked lords plot and scheme, all while merchants dance between them to collect their coins and continue profiting as best they can. Waterdeep’s shops and merchants offer goods of every sort from every corner of Toril, and even the rarest of items can be procured, given sufficient coin and patience. Adventurers lacking one or the other can very easily find all manner of employment, from simple escorting of caravans, to guarding nobility, to investigating a ruin or rumor of monsters anywhere in the North.

Though it has stood for hundreds of years, Waterdeep is only now returning to its status of a century and a half ago. The recent disruptions began when the gods walked the Realms and slew each other before the eyes of mortals, until they walked back to their divine domains through the very streets of Waterdeep itself. Decades later, more deities began dying off, magic failed, and all manner of catastrophes started altering the very nature of the city. Lord Neverember wasted the city’s navy and then, instead of rebuilding it, hired sailors out of Mintarn (and profited from the endeavor).

Now, the City of Splendors is on the mend. The harbor has been cleared of the broken ships that made up the former district of Mistshore, and Waterdeep again has its own navy. The city’s Guard (its army), Watch (police force), Navy, and it famous Griffon Cavalry are all being reformed, but all of that might be a matter of years in the settling. A plague chased most residents out of the Warrens and Downshadow, and living or digging below the city’s surface has been deemed illegal except by those authorized by the lords to do so.

Somehow, even the air seems fresher. In the words of one wise moon elf matron (whose status as my aunt has positively no bearing on her wisdom), “Waterdeep is back to where it was when I was a lass.”

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