More Old Empires and Sembia!
By Rand Sharpsword
Rand Sharpsword, collector of bits of travel and geographical information, brings you further details about the Old Empires and Sembia regions. Rand provides these to supplement the information found in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Mordulkin (Metropolis, 35,000): Ruled by the most powerful mage of the Jedea family, Mordulkin is a haven for wizards and sorcerers and the enemy of Luthcheq. Guilds run the city's districts, and all guilds report to the king. Mercenary and adventuring groups have their own district and must register with the mercenary guild or be imprisoned. King Hercubes (N male human Wiz14) is not interested in uniting Chessenta, and his constituents have been calling for a war to eradicate Luthcheq.
Azulduth: In past hot seasons, large portions of this extremely salty and shallow lake have dried up to form salt flats for months at a time. Strong rains this spring have allowed water to seep into lower portions of the salt bed, where magically preserved eggs of wyverns and dragons have finally hatched, crawling and flying north, eating whatever they can find. Enterprising wizards in Mulhorand are trying to catch these creatures while young, hoping to train them as guardians or to aid the war against Unther.
The Giant's Belt: This band of high mountains has only two passes; both of them treacherous, so most travelers go around despite the added distance. The locals, a nation of civilized stone giants, call the northern part of the range Fuirgar.
Ordulin's Rot Grubs: Unlike most Sembian cities, Ordulin also possesses a thieves' guild, of sorts. The "Rot Grubs" are would-be revolutionaries who want to turn Sembia into a theocratic monarchy. The accession of the Selkirk family has given the Rot Grubs pause -- although the Silver Raven looks like he might make a fine king, he shows no signs of wanting or needing the Rot Grubs' help, which is a fact that spoils the expected rewards of instituting a monarchy.
Plots and Rumors
Dark Rituals: The occupied city of Unthalass was largely destroyed by the battle between Gilgeam and Tiamat. Although most of it was rebuilt before the attack by Mulhorand, strange and temporary effects from the battle occasionally manifest in the city, transforming people into reptilian forms with temperaments like evil dragons, imbuing others with phenomenal strength and aggressive personalities, or causing mundane objects to take flight and crash to the ground hundreds of miles away. Rumors abound that the church of Tiamat has found a way to siphon this latent power and store it for dark rituals to their deity, with which they plan to permanently alter her worshipers into powerful new forms.
Corruption Spreads: The church of Tiamat in Unther is led by Tiglath (LN female human Ftr3/Clr14 of Tiamat). Though not evil, Tiglath is finding that her deity is slowly corrupting her, using her to promote the power of the church. Tiglath can call upon the green dragon Skuthosiin, although their relationship is not friendly. She is allied with Furifax and coordinates the activities of her followers with his bandits to harass the Mulhorandi army.
Silver Raven: Some say that Kendrick's son, Miklos the Silver Raven, has another plan that follows on the heels of his father's. If the drow prove difficult and betray the Sembians along the road, Sembia could protect its interests in the name of the Dales and possibly gain a greater hold along the road than the Dalelands are otherwise willing to allow.
The Startouched: The new fad in Sembia is wearing a small blue star tattooed in the center of one's forehead. The temporary tattoos wash off if the wearer concentrates hard enough. Some of those who are so tattooed have gained limited spellcasting abilities, usually nothing greater than a cantrip or two, but there are exceptions. Then nobles with blue tattoos on their foreheads begin exploding at public functions. Most people who had blue star tattoos quickly washed them off and denied that they ever had them, leaving the PCs to figure out who is responsible for the tattoo that apparently killed their merchant contact in Sembia. Or is the blue tattoo a red herring that conveniently distracts witnesses from the true culprits?
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