By Rand Sharpsword
Sharpsword, collector of bits of travel and geographical information,
brings you further details about the Moonsea. Rand provides these to supplement
the information found in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Duathamper: The River Duathamper is a minor tributary of the Moonsea
that flows through the forest of Cormanthor from the south. A few woodcutters
cut timber from its banks and float the logs downriver to the Moonsea,
but the elves of the forest quickly run the interlopers out.
Stojanow: The swift, cold River Stojanow flows to the Moonsea from
the foothills of the Dragonspine Mountains. Ships and barges carry ore
from Dragonspine mines to Phlan and Melvaunt.
500): Elmwood is a small farming community on the southern shores
of the Moonsea. The locals supplement their incomes with fishing and
woodcarving, and they sell their goods to passing ships and adventurers
at fair prices. Few places in the Moonsea can be called peaceful and
serene, but Elmwood is one of them. Constable Thoyana Jorgadaul (NG
female shield dwarf Ftr8), an adventurer who retired here years ago,
oversees the community. Elmwood owes its security both to its isolation
and the simple fact that no one in the town owns anything worth stealing.
The Temple in
the Sky: Little known outside the Moonsea region, the Temple in
the Sky has always had an eerie reputation. Literally a huge rock floating
in the sky, legend states that spells dating back to long-fallen Netheril
lifted it aloft. It has drifted around the skies of Faerûn ever since.
Eventually the Zhentarim tethered the rock with huge chains to the Flaming
Tower, which is a simple, square stone keep north of Shadowdale inhabited
by hell hounds and fire giants.
The Temple is a
huge, horizontal-egg-shaped hollow rock with landing stages at one end
linked by a series of passages, grand temple chambers, living areas,
prison cells, and storage caverns to a large innermost cavern.
When Zhentil Keep
was ruined and strife shook the Zhentarim, many awed Zhents took to
worshiping the beholder Xulqorth, a gigantic eye tyrant. It brought
treasure into the Temple that included servitor gargoyles and dragons
(controlled by magic items), undead servitor beholders it created and
controlled by spells, and even "ghost" beholders that served
it due to its possession of certain remains and relics.
A cult (largely
of former Zhent troops and mercenaries -- half-orcs in particular) made
offerings to Xulqorth the Great Eye (the "All-Seeing and Unsleeping").
In return they received rewards of magic (including touches of the Hand
of Healing, an enchanted gauntlet it could operate from afar) and its
direction of Cult members in careful raids on, and skirmishes with,
fleeing Keep refugees and Moonsea caravans and prospectors.
When these successes
aroused the Knights of Myth Drannor to attack the Temple, the Great
Eye severed the tethering chains and the rock took flight across the
skies. The Temple later returned to the Moonsea, and Xulqorth mastered
some means of steering and controlling the untethered Temple's flight
and location. The remains of several adventuring bands who have tried
to raid the Temple have been found beneath its current location.
Dwarves have been seen in the Tesh valley. Lots of dwarves. Most of
these dwarves are well armed and armored, and all are traveling upriver
toward the mountains where the old dwarven kingdom of Tethyamar once
lay. Will that realm rise again? If not, where are the dwarves bound,
Customers: In years past, Hillsfar was one of the few places in
Faerûn that had a legitimate magic shop. The proprietor, Laris, grudgingly
sold off a few minor items he didn't find useful. He was unfailingly
rude to his customers and relied on a pair of stone golems to enforce
his high prices. Several days after the Red Wizard envoy arrived in
the city, Laris made a brief and fatal appearance in the arena (a behir
swallowed him). No one knows what became of Laris's golems, but it is
assumed they were destroyed or that Maalthiir has somehow appropriated
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