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Aglarond

Capital: Velprintalar
Population: about 1.3 million (humans 61%; half-elves 35%, wild elves 3%, halflings 1%)
Government: Monarchy, ruled as an Autocracy with a Representative Council.
Major Religions: Chauntea, the Seldarine, Selune, Umberlee, Valkur, and Yuirwood Spirits
Imports:  Glass, iron, textiles
Exports: Copper, gems, grain, lumber, wine
Alignment: N, NG, CG

Aglarond is hailed as the nation that keeps the Red Wizards from attacking the rest of civilized Faerun, and the home of the powerful sorcerer known as the Simbul.  Few five the country any more thought than this, but Aglarond is a place of ancient magic that holds one of the largest half-elf populations in the world.  Its army defends Aglarondís borders against Thay, and its skilled rangers scout its frontier in search of trouble. The small beaches on Aglarondís rocky coast are dotted with fishing villages, and since the Simbul has declared that all pirates are to be considered agents of Thay (and put to death if caught), the waters around Aglarond are ve3ry safe to travel.  It is one of the few kingdoms that refuses to allow Red Wizard enclaves within itís borders.

Overview Of Aglarond

Aglarond is a land of great beauty, isolated from the rest of the world by the Sea of Fallen Stars to the north, south, and west, and by the menacing shadow of Thay in the east. The towering peaks of the Tannath mountains and the vast Umber Marshes protect Aglarondís border with Thay, and those natural barriers are bolstered by the fortresses Emmech and Glarondar and the magically created Watchwall. In the center of the peninsula lies the vast enchanted Yuirwood. Aglarondís territory comprises only the Yuirwood and the northern coast of the peninsula.

The nation is a monarchy, ruled by a king or queen with aid and advice from a ruling council. The society of Aglarond is unique, divided equally between the humans of the coastal cities and the half-elves who dwell in the ancient and tangled Yuirwood. Once home to a powerful nation of elves, today the Yuirwood is the site of ancient ruins of unknown power and origin. Though differences between the two races were resolved in war long ago, a few lingering resentments still simmer.

Most FaerŻnians speak of Aglarond (when it is spoken of at all) as the Land of the Witch-Queen. The Simbul, wild and unimaginably powerful, is feared and respected FaerŻn-wide. Most are grateful for her constant vigilance against Thay and quite openly acknowledge that without her magic, the Red Wizards would have spilled into the Inner Sea. They are also glad that she has the Thayans to occupy her; the Simbul is simply too powerful and impetuous to inspire trust in her methods and motives.

Geography of Aglarond

Altumbel

Though not a part of Aglarond proper, Altumbelís proximity to the nation necessitates its inclusion here. This rocky stretch of land on tip of the Aglarondian peninsula was ďfoundedĒ by the Untherite empire in 163 DR but was inhabited only by itinerant pirates and the odd hermit or two looking to escape from more populated domains. These were joined in the 1060s by the bitter human refugees fleeing from the half-elves of the Yuirwood. Their descendants are still extremely xenophobic and isolated (more so than the inhabitants of the Fang), wary of outsiders and outwardly hostile to nonhumans of any kind.

The refugees founded Spandeliyon, sometimes called the City of Pirates by Aglarondians. Despite its name, few pirates settle permanently in the city or even stay in its waters for long. The reason for this is simple: Since her ascension to the rulership of Aglarond, the Simbul has made it all too clear that she will not tolerate piracy in Aglarondís waters. Captured pirates are immediately put to death as agents of Thay. Most pirates feel that Altumbel is simply too close to her domain and choose not to tempt the Simbulís wrath.

The Coast

Most of Aglarondís coastline consists of rocky cliffs and occasional white sand beaches fringed with scrub oak or beachgrass. Cities are built along the inlets of rivers or in lowlands between the cliffs on wide beaches or surrounding shoreline. The Aglarond coast is a wild and rocky place, periodically lashed by heavy rains or swathed in cold, clinging mists.

Beyond the rocky extents of Aglarondís coast, the Sea of Fallen Stars drops off sharply into a deep trench. Seasonal upwelling, when warm water rises bringing nutrients up from the depths, provides Aglarond with rich fishing grounds. Violent storms often appear with little warning, and the black, unplumbed depths of the Aglarondian seas harbor many hostile creatures, some of which rise to the surface wreaking terror and havoc upon those unlucky enough to be in the vicinity. Kraken, morkoth, sahuagin, and dragon turtles have all been encountered in and around Aglarond, along with less malevolent species such as hippocampi, sea lions, and triton. Some reports tell of aquatic elf tribes seen in the area, but these have never been independently confirmed.

Given the ancient and mystic nature of much of Aglarondís territory, it is not surprising that several rare, enchanted species such as selkies, sirines, and marid have also been encountered. The half-elves of Aglarond believe that a great sea-god inhabits the sea nearby, keeping watch over a terrible sea-giant who was imprisoned here centuries ago. Certainly the diversity and rare beauty of Aglarondís coast is unusual, but whether this is due to divine means or not is a matter of individual belief.

The Fang

This lone, rocky promontory, known as the Fang or South Fang, extends out into the deep waters of the Sea of Fallen Stars. The Aglarondan cities of Findar and Dahst are located along the Fang, although its far reaches are craggy and barren with few good locations for settlements. The remainder of the cape, continually battered by storms and heavy seas, remains largely unsettled save for the huts of a few sheep and goatherders.

The people of the Fang, known colloquially by the rather derogatory moniker Fangers, are surly and suspicious. Most are descendants of humans displaced by the half-elves in the 1060ís, and they harbor a generations-long grudge against nonhumans. The Fang harbors neither inns nor friendly houses, for outsiders are not welcome here.

The country is virtually uninhabited at the extreme tip of the Fang, where the water foams vivid blue-green in summer, black in winter, and the vaporous spouts of migrating whales can be seen in the spring. Reefs in this area are treacherous and wrecked many ships before the Simbul declared that a lighthouse must be built there. The Fang Light now stands at the end of the Fang, a gleaming white tower where a magical light burns day and night.

Halendos

The Halendos is a vast grassy meadow at the edge of the Yuirwood. A human city was founded here many years ago, but the half-elves burned the settlement to the ground during the war. A small village has since grown up on the site of the old city, but most of the Halendos remains in its original state. It is said that in old days the meadow was a meeting site for the green elves who once lived here, and that a fairy circle lies in its center, now overgrown with grass and flowers. Legends hold that the circle retains much of its power, and each night after moonrise enchanted creatures such as sprites, nixies, sphinxes, unicorns, and swanmays gather here. The circle is also said to draw hostile creatures such as minotaurs, chimerae, and manticores as well, so travelers should be careful of the region after dark.

Narrow streams flow through the Halendos, and some are unnaturally filled with fish, frogs, crayfish, and similar creatures. While it might be easy for the hungry traveler to catch his or her dinner in the Halendosís streams, caution should be taken, for nixies live here as well, and some do not appreciate outsiders stealing ďtheirĒ bounty.

During the day, pixies and sprites hide in the meadow, occasionally playing harmless pranks on passers-by or lurking at the edge of vision and giggling lightly. Words of appreciation to the pixies, nixies, sprites, and to any other unseen forces in the meadow, spoken once while facing in each cardinal direction, are usually sufficient to forestall any truly dangerous mischief from these creatures.

The Interior Uplands

Beyond the Aglarondian sea cliffs the land changes to low rolling hills, lush farmland, and occasional stands of trees. Willow, white oak, alder, birch, and cottonwood are common, growing thicker and wilder as one moves south from the coast and approaches the close-in reaches of the Yuirwood. The presence of such species as duskwood, silverbark, and the rare weirwood, often home to dryads or other fey species, is evidence of ancient elven inhabitation of the region.

While human and half-elven farms are common within 10 miles or so of the coast, they become rarer and eventually vanish altogether at the fringe of the Yuirwood. Once, farms were common throughout this area, but the half-elven campaign against encroaching humans drove the farmers out and left their farms to decay and return to the land. Houses slowly weathered away, now covered in vines and sprouting moss and grass, fences fell into disrepair, and old fields have gradually transformed into meadows, ponds, or marshes. Rivers and associated marshland are common along the edges of the Yuirwood as well. Grasses, cattails, rushes, thistles, and marshland plants grow in profusion, and the still waters of the marshes also serve as hatcheries for hordes of voracious mosquitoes, which annoy travelers in the region. Willow, alder, sycamore, and oak rise majestically from the shores of rivers or from grassy islands in the midst of marshland.

The lands between the coast and the Yuirwood are lonely but beautiful places, where some of the fey creatures from the forest have begun to venture once more. Sprites and pixies, brownies and dryads, nereids and nymphs have all been reported along the edges of Yuirwood and beyond. Less savory creatures such as banshees, greenhags, trolls, and the dreaded annis have also been reported in the region of late, as well as several varieties of lycanthrope. It may be that the wild lands of Aglarond, once thought to be cleared of hostile creatures, are growing hazardous again, although why this is no one knows.

River Umber

Originating in Thay and flowing down past the Umbergoth and into the Sea of Dlurg, the Umber forms a natural barrier between Aglarond and Thay (and Aglarond and Thesk). Though several fish species dwell in the river, most Aglarondians refrain from fishing the Umber, fearing that the Thayans might have somehow managed to poison or otherwise taint the waters.

The Sea of Dlurg

More of a firth or bay than a true sea, the Dlurg lies between Aglarond and Thesk. The cities of Dlusk and Osker and the Theskian settlement of Milvarune lie on the Dlurg and rely on its bounty. One of the richest fishing grounds in the Sea of Fallen Stars, the Dlurg is well sheltered from inclement weather and contains few hostile aquatic species.

Shyvar Pass

This broad gap, varying from a hundred yards wide in places to 10 miles in others, lies between the Tannath and the jagged extents of Umbergoth. While this might seem like an ideal invasion route into Aglarond, its eastern approaches are guarded by the Umber Marshes and the River Umber itself, so that getting to the Shyvar Pass is a deadly adventure in itself. To the south lies the Watchwall and the fortress Glarondar, with its garrison drawn from the small Aglarondian army. Small patrols of cavalry ride through the pass at regular intervals, making sure that the Thayans arenít up to any mischief, few Aglarondians take the threat of invasion through the Shyvar Pass seriously.

Singing Sands

This stretch of wind-blown dunes, dotted with clumps of dry grass and stunted trees, lies along the northern bank of the River Umber. Here, in 1194 DR, an invading Thayan army was met and defeated by the forces of King Elthond. It was not an easy fight, and Aglarondian casualties were heavy, including Elthond himself. In the wake of the battle, the women of Aglarond wandered the battlefield, claiming the bodies of the slain, weeping, and intoning singsong funeral chants from which the region got its name.

The Sunglade

Amid the confines of the Yuirwood is this pleasant, sunny glade, guarded by ancient willows and inhabited by butterflies and songbirds. In the center of the Sunglade is a circle of menhirs, magically protected against aging. This circle was dedicated to the worship of the Seldarine, but also to those wilder, less predictable spirits that dwelled in the depths of the Yuirwood.

Some half-elven tribes have returned to the circle in recent years and begun to worship the old spirits. Some even go so far as to claim that the spirits-- Relkath, Zandilar, Magnar, and others-- have begun to stir from slumber and will soon return. Exactly what these lost deities are and what form they will take when they return is anyoneís guess, but many half-elves claim that at least some of them are hostile to humans and might wish to drive the ďinterlopersĒ from Aglarond.

Tannath

Tannath is the collective name for the craggy mountains that help guard Aglarondís eastern frontier. Tall, rugged fault block mountains, the Tannath are considered unscalable but are flanked by wide passes: Tannath Gap to the west, and Shyvar Pass, between the Tannath and Umbergoth, to the east. Both passes are protected by the Umber Marshes and the River Umber, so Aglarondian patrols, originating in the fortress of Glarondar, are minimal.

Due to their steep slopes and bare terrain, the peaks of the Tannath have never been settled. Griffons nest at the highest reaches of the mountains, and ancient galeb duhr live deep in the Tannath, far from human habitation. The rangeís primary function is as an almost impenetrable rampart between Aglarond and Thay, one which can only be crossed by flying troops.

Tannath Gap

The narrow stretch of flatwoods between Tannath and the River Umber, opposite Singing Sands, is known as Tannath Gap. The Gapís terrain is soft and damp, covered with blue-needle pine and fir. A few hardy woodcutters and hunters call the Gap home, living in small cabins or cottages along the Tannath piedmont where the climate is cool and pleasant.

There are few enchanted and unnatural creatures in the Gap. Some hunters claim that years ago they killed a globular, a tentacled creature which spewed forth various other horrific monsters-- a description that matches the dreaded deepspawn. Griffons are sometimes seen flying from the Tannath, and some believe that a small clan of werefoxes inhabits the woods, but these may only be wild tales.

The Aglarondans rarely patrol the Gap, since its close-in terrain would be rough going for any invader.

Umbergoth

The towering ramparts of Umbergoth, the tallest mountain in Aglarond, stand guard over the nationís eastern borders. To the north lies Shyvar Pass, itself guarded by the Umber Marshes, and to the south the Watchwall.

Umbergoth itself has never been scaled, and its lofty peak is always clad in snow, even in the hottest days of summer. Griffons, hippogriffs, and giant eagles have all been sighted near Umbergoth, and some stories mention asperii, the rare flying horses also known as windsteeds, occasionally visiting the mountain.

Umber Marshes

This immense stretch of bogs, shallow streams, swampland, and mudflats lies in a no-mans-land between Thay and Aglarond. As such, they are considered to be Aglarondís first line of defense, for a direct assault on the nation would have to pass through this dismal and dangerous region. All but impassable, the Umber Marshes are also home to many dangerous animal species including giant leeches, poisonous snakes, hydrae, shambling mounds, and trolls as well as clouds of stinging insects which carry various diseases.

The Watchwall

This impressive length of solid stone protects Aglarondís western frontier, stretching from the fortress city of Glarondar to the slopes of Umbergoth. Built during the reign of King Brindor, the wall was raised by galeb duhr. The wall is completely seamless, 30 feet in height and 10 feet wide, unbroken by gate or window. The Watchwall is nothing less than an artificial mountain built to withstand attack. Barracks and other small buildings have been constructed along the eastern side, and units of Aglarondís small army patrol its length. Beyond the wall lies the grim desolation of the Umber Marshes, from which undead legions or other minions of the Red Wizards sometimes emerge.

The Yuirwood

Although the coastal cities are vital to Aglarondís society and economy, the nationís heart lies deep in the shadowy reaches of the Yuirwood. Along its edges, which are primarily low-lying wetlands, the Yuirwood is composed primarily of cottonwood, alder, and willow. As the landís elevation gradually rises towards the forestís dark and crowded center, the proportion of dry climate species such as maple, fir, dogwood, and hemlock increases. Shrubs along the forest floor include vine maple, fireweed, goastbeard, sedge, and several different species of fern and berries. Few travelers lost in the Yuirwood risk starvation; for those who prefer redder fare, common animals include squirrel, fox, bear, cougar, lynx, rabbit, badger, skunk, and porcupine.

Yuirwood is an ancient and mystical wood. Although human encroachment drove much of the landís enchantment away, today the Yuirwood may be slowly regaining some of its lost magic under the guardianship of its half-elven inhabitants.

The deepest and most remote sections of Yuirwood are truly ancient, holding many signs of the regionís original inhabitants. Stone circles and menhir, often overgrown with grass or moss, are sprinkled throughout the wood, and some of these still retain their old magic, glowing unearthly colors in the light of the full moon or serving as meeting places for sprites, pixies, and other faerie creatures. Although few travelers venture deeply into the Yuirwood, a handful have returned with stories of how some menhir circles create enchanted doorways to other realms like the enchanted island of Evermeet, other elven lands, and even distant worlds.

The insular half-elves of the deep woods do not appreciate visitors, but a few adventurers who have managed to gain their friendship tell of half-elven legends which claim that the ancient forest spirits still live, ready to defend their realm against invasion and even against the encroachment of upstart humans. Many of the stone circles and monuments, these half-elves claim, do lead to other worlds, and sometimes creatures from those other worlds enter Toril through them. It is said that when the humans came the enchantment of the circles faded, but over the last few seasons it has begun to return. This, the half-elves believe, is the source of the enchanted creatures (both good and evil) now returning to the Yuirwood.

The half-elven settlements near the Yuirwood are very small and clan-oriented, usually with no more than a few score of inhabitants, and many of these are only semi-permanent.

People and Society

Aglarond is an unusual society in that its population and government are both divided by two different and distinct groups-- humans and half-elves. Although the two races once faced each other with distrust, fear, and even outright violence, most have managed to set aside their differences. Confronted by the threat of Thay and its Red Wizards, the Aglarondians have created a united and peaceful nation.

Humans

The humans are a race of sturdy, no-nonsense fisherfolk, farmers and herdsmen. Aglarond remains an agrarian and insular nation, held together by its ruling council and the constant threat of the Red Wizards.

The human culture of Aglarond is independent and hardy. As a holdover from the racial wars, the humans of Aglarond usually remain close to coastal cities. Isolated from the outside world both by geography and choice, Aglarondian humans grant their loyalty but slowly, yet they are faithful friends to those who earn their trust. Aglarondians are known throughout the Sea of Fallen Stars as a simple and provincial but earnest and trustworthy folk who can be relied on to deal fairly with outsiders.

In years gone by, many humans harbored a deep resentment and even hatred toward the half-elves who had driven them from the Yuirwood. Today, that sentiment has mostly died out, and the humans of Aglarond happily share power with their half-elven brethren. Most of those humans who refused to accept the new order migrated to the wind-swept land of Altumbel, but a few remained behind, inhabiting the bleak settlements of the Fang.

Aglarondian humans are of mixed heritage. The first human settlers originated from lands all around the Sea of Fallen Stars, and the fisherfolk who began arriving in the 750s were a dusky-skinned people of Untherite extraction from the ancient nation of Chessenta. Adventurers and immigrants from other lands added to the mix. Modern Aglarondians are a tall sturdy, dark-haired race with brown or blue eyes. They are not exceptionally strong but are very tough and can endure great hardship without complaint.

A motley mix of cultural heritages makes Aglarondian dress and decoration highly varied. In eastern Aglarond-- Osker, Furthinghome, and Dlusk-- humans wear tunics and trousers woven of bright colors, embroidered with black thread in a variety of naturalistic patterns such as vines, roses, and abstract designs. They favor silver and bronze jewelry-- rings, circlets, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

Inhabitants of the cape known as the Fang, are a dour and suspicious lot and their dress reflects this,  consisting of dark smocks with trousers for men and skirts for women. Men wear felt caps or broad-brimmed hats, the better to conceal their crabbed and sullen expressions.

The humans of western Aglarond-- Corth, Urst, Urve, and Ingdalís Arm-- take much of their heritage from the pirates and other outlaws who once lived there and often dress in flamboyant garments of contrasting but basic colors such as yellow and blue or black and white. Bandannas, headbands, ear- and noserings, necklaces, and jeweled brooches are favored, though most simple folk cannot afford such expensive ornamentation. Western Aglarondian everyday dress is more simple-- brown or white tunics with little decoration.

A sturdy, no-nonsense race, Aglarondian humans have little use for magic or blathering mystics-- the bad example of the Red Wizards is taken by most Aglarondians as ďproof positiveĒ that wizardry is a corrupting tool of wickedness. That many Aglarondian monarchs (including the landís current queen) have been powerful wizards is of little consequence. Most magic is bad, the Aglarondians rationalize, but it can be used for good by especially powerful or saintly individuals, which Aglarondian rulers unquestionably are in the eyes of their subjects. The Simbul may be a sorceress, but to her subjects she is an Aglarondian sorceress, and therefore can do no wrong.

Should a common citizen dabble in magic, he or she is sure to come to grief. Though the Simbul remains amused and sometimes impatient with this opinion among her subjects, she has not sought to change it, perhaps believing the Aglarondiansí attitude only bolsters their determination in opposing the Red Wizards. Those few Aglarondian children who display magical aptitude she takes as her own apprentices (with their parentsí permission, of course, which is usually eagerly granted) and trains to serve the nation to the best of their abilities. These wizards, called the Simbulís Children, often travel throughout the Sea of Fallen Stars and the Unapprochable East, watchful for threats against Aglarond and serving as the Simbulís informants.

Half-Elves

The other major inhabitants of Aglarond are the half-elves of the Yuirwood, who rule the nation in cooperation with the coastal humans. These are the descendants of the once-proud Yuir, the wild elves who once ruled Aglarondís interior--and whose heritage was saved through the intervention of human adventurers and hunters.

Aglarondian half-elves represent the only major population descended from humans and wild elves. They are a beautiful people, with coppery skin (sometimes with a greenish tinge), green or hazel eyes, and black or blonde hair. Elven pointed ears are present in about 85% of all half-elven births.

Most half-elves live in and around the Yuirwood, home of their elven ancestors. They are divided into various family and tribal groups and exist at many different stages of cultural development. Those half-elves who live in close proximity to humans have very human outlooks and personalities, live in houses or on farms, and mingle freely with their human fellows. Half-elves who live in coastal regions or in proximity to humans dress in the style of Aglarondian humans.

The half-elves of the Yuirwood tend more toward their elven heritage the further one goes into the forest, living in small communities built in the trees or clearings, or, in extreme cases, scraping out existences as nomadic hunter-gatherers, all but completely rejecting the modern nation of Aglarond. Those of the Yuirwood choose to dress either in human style or in the minimal style of wild elves: loincloths, fur cloaks, and sometimes with the tattoos and complex braids of the Sy-TelíQuessir.

Unlike the humans of Aglarond, the half-elves of Yuirwood have few qualms about the practice of magic although, elven magic has dwindled to a mere shadow of its former self. Some old women of the nomadic tribes still practice totemic magic, which involves the creation of enchanted images that generate potent magical effects.

The ďwildĒ tribes of the interior also claim knowledge of many ancient secrets of Aglarond. The enchanted stone circles of the deep woods, they claim, sometimes act as doorways to other worlds and have in recent years become active once more, allowing enchanted creatures, both malicious and benign, to enter Aglarond. Wild elf stories also tell of ancient forest spirits of godlike power which slumber and have once more, with the expulsion of the humans from Yuirwood, begun to stir.

For the most part, the half-elves either actively support or at least do not actively oppose their union with the humans. A small group is rumored to exist that advocates a war of extermination in which the violent, upstart humans of the coast will be driven into the sea. Although there has been no absolute proof that such a group truly exists, rumors persist nonetheless.

Halflings

Several hundred Hairfoot halflings, originally from Chessenta, maintain farmsteads around Mesring in eastern Aglarond. As with most halflings, they are friendly, outgoing, and often irritatingly optimistic. They have maintained good relations with both the humans and the half-elves throughout Aglarondís history, and their farms were largely spared during the expulsion of the humans from in and around the Yuirwood.

Government and Politics

Since its unification by force at the hands of the half-elves in 1065, Aglarond has been ruled by a single monarch, who chooses his or her own successor and is advised by a ruling council with representatives from all Aglarondian communities.

The council has 30 members, 11 from Aglarondís cities and 19 from various villages, hamlets, and small settlements throughout the land. All communities with a mayor of other governing body are entitled to elect council members, but not all take advantage of the fact. The cities of Findar and Dahst, whose citizens refuse even to acknowledge that they are Aglarondian, have never sent representatives to the council. In recent times, a small but growing minority in those cities has called for full participation in the government.

There is much speculation regarding who is to succeed the Simbul, for she is infamous for disappearing from Aglarond for weeks on end, leaving the country in the hands of her council. It is said that she has, indeed, chosen a successor and even committed a name to paper. The document bearing the name is in the keeping of the Harpers, to be revealed only upon proof of the Simbulís death.

The Simbul is undoubtedly the most powerful and active ruler Aglarond has ever had. While her goals are known only to her, authorities on the economics of the Inner Sea region have noted that the nation has become far more open to trade in the years since she took the throne. Thus far, she has continued Aglarondís policies in relationships to the surrounding realms: trade and peace treaties with Thesk, friendly communications with Rashemen, and a constant watchful eye on Thay.

Economy

Aglarondís economy is largely self-contained and self-sufficient. The land and coastal waters produce enough to keep its citizens prosperous, plus a small surplus for trade.

Cities of Aglarond

Nestled in coves or inlets, hugging the coast beneath towering granite cliffs or perched atop the cliffs themselves, Aglarondian cities are supported by farming, ranching, or fishing. Some structures such as council halls, estates of the wealthy, and boat- and warehouses, are built of fieldstone. Poorer citizens live in thatch-roofed huts, but most homes are constructed along uniquely Aglarondian lines. These homes, crowded along narrow streets in coastal communities, are shingled with dark, weathered wood and roofed with shake or tile. Roofs are steep-sided, often studded with dormers, cupolas, and balconies, and two- or even three-story houses are common.

Corth

Located along a small cove about 20 miles west-south-west of Velprintalar, Corth is a fishing village with a population of around 500. Its small fishing fleet brings the community considerable prosperity during the spring and summer months, when outsiders visit to enjoy Corthís white sand beaches and rustic atmosphere. During fall and winter, Corth closes its shutters against the chill north wind and heavy seas and huddles in isolation, its citizens remaining indoors as much as possible and rarely, if ever, venturing onto the heaving gray sea.

Corth Cove is a small, semicircular formation with good shelter from the weather. In the exact center of the cove is a craggy rock which juts above the waves. Old Corth fishermen claim that merfolk hold council there on nights with a full moon. Outsiders who visit the rock claim that this is nothing more than a fairy tale, but old hands insist the merfolk are visible only to those with open minds and true hearts.

Dahst

Along the desolate east coast of the Fang lies Dahst, a settlement of 300 souls divided between a clifftop main settlement and a small community of fisherfolk along the beach some 200 feet below, which is accessible via a treacherous cliffside trail. Few outsiders visit Dahst; its people are provincial and distrustful of outsiders.

Dlusk

Dlusk, with a population of nearly 1,000, lies near the mouth of the River Umber. The town is another collection of weathered wooden buildings and narrow, winding streets. The city serves as a fishing center, with over 100 vessels in its harbor as well as a trade and farming center.

Prosperous and friendly, Dlusk hosts a yearly spring festival which draws visitors from all over Aglarond as well as neighboring lands Thesk and Chessenta. Inns and taverns throughout Dlusk stay open around the clock during the festival, and the city presents many events, including contests, parades, outdoor feasts, performances by minstrels, dancers, acrobats, other entertainers, and more.

Emmech

This grim stone fortress, originally constructed by King Brindor to counter nomadic raiders from Thesk, has since served its purpose numerous times against the legions of Thay. Today, Emmech houses nearly 2,500 Aglarondan troops-- a substantial portion of the Simbulís army (most of the remainder are stationed at the fortress Glarondar).

A town of 7,500 has sprung up around Emmech as well, providing services to the garrison, managing Emmechís small harbor and doing some trading with Thesk.

Findar

Located on the west side of the Fang, Findar is as isolated and unfriendly as Dahst. Findar is home to the descendants of many refugees from the war with the half-elves, and nonhumans are unpopular here.

Furthinghome

One of the first human settlements in Aglarond, Furthinghome has over 40,000 inhabitants and is one of the nationís most important port cities. Built around a central circular road and a pleasant cobblestoned public park, Furthinghome contains many very old buildings, built both of stone and the more traditional weathered wood. It also holds a crowded, muddy slum, the largest concentration of poverty in Aglarond. These unfortunate folk live in lean-tos and thatch huts, scraping out livings as herdsmen, small farmers, or beggars.

Furthinghome has a number of glass greenhouses built by wealthy citizens for the cultivation of tropical flowers and herbs. Furthinghome does quite a business in flowers, in fact, and is famous for its dahlias, roses, and tropical orchids.

Furthinghome also serves as a trade city, second in importance only to Velprintalar. Since its port is small and relatively shallow, Furthinghome is visited only by merchants with smaller vessels. These bring in fabric, spices, finished wood products, tools, and weapons in exchange for fish, produce, and the small amount of Yuirwood timber the half-elves allow to be harvested.

Glarondar

A black stone fortress raised from beneath the Umber Marshes by King Brindorís galeb duhr allies, Glarondar lies at the southern end of the Watchwall near the edges of Yuirwood and houses over 3,500 troops, the bulk of Aglarondís army. The ever-present threat of Thay makes Glarondar vital to Aglarondís security, and the Simbul sees to it that the fortress is kept in good condition and that its garrisons remain well equipped and supplied.

A town of 1,000 has grown up around the western side of the citadel, away from the sickness of the Umber Marshes. As with the people who live near the fortress Emmech, the inhabitants of Glarondar town are in the business of supplying the garrison soldiers and keeping them entertained. The town lies between the fortress and the edges of Yuirwood and has a large half-elven population, which lives among the humans with few conflicts. Less civilized half-elves from the forest often visit the town to trade and visit with relatives.

Halendos Village

Located along the edge of the Halendos meadow, built on the site of an old human city destroyed by the half-elves, Halendos is a sleepy community of farmers, herders, and a few shopkeepers. Its citizens are mostly human, though they are strongly influenced by the Yuir half-elves and by the mystical nature of the place where they live. It is said that a higher proportion of children from Halendos grow up to be sorcerers, and many of the townís residents are subject to prophetic dreams and other inherent magical abilities.

Ingdalís Arm

The westernmost of Aglarondís cities was the site of the final battle between the half-elves and Aglarondís human settlers. With the defeat of the humans, the modern state of Aglarond was born, where humans and half-elves share power.

Ingdalís Arm lies at the border of Altumbel, the realm to which many humans who refused to share power fled in 1065. It is a small and pleasant fishing village, its population of 1,000 divided equally between humans and half-elves. The woods and meadows beyond Ingdalís Arm are home to small farmers, herdsmen, and hunters of various races.

Mesring

This city of 1,000 is the last of the large farming cities originally founded by human settlers. All others were overrun and abandoned during the war with the half-elves. Today Mesring acts as a meeting and trading center for the farmers and herdsfolk of the surrounding lands. Inns, general merchandise stores, warehouses, and homes comprise Mesring proper, while dozens of farmsteads lie around the surrounding countryside.

Most Mesringers are human, but about a third are halflings, descendants of hair-foot colonists from Chessenta who came here with the first wave of human settlers. Halfling farms were generally spared the scourge of the half-elvesí vengeance since they always maintained good relations with the Cha-TelíQuessir. The mayor of Mesring is, in fact, a halfling named Tumbo Oakbarrel.

Orithar

Located near the windswept desolation of the Fangís eastern shore, Orithar is not nearly as isolated as Dahst and Findar but does contain a large number of refugee descendants. There is much bitterness toward the half-elves in Orithar, but newer human families are less stem in their resolve and believe that the best thing for the future is to forgive the past. Conflict between these two groups has divided Orithar and made it a tense and unhappy place of late.

Osker

A lonely fishing settlement with 700 inhabitants, Osker is a picturesque huddle of steep-roofed, weathered wooden buildings clustered around a central tower. The tower is also built of darkened wood and contains an advanced, intricately constructed clock that is quite a wonder, presenting a procession of fantastic animals-- dragon, manticore, chimera, giant, unicorn, and pegasus-- each day at noon.

Relkathís Foot

The largest permanent settlement of half-elves in the Yuirwood, this town is built around four large and very old trees.  The townís militia is active in the region, frequently practicing ambushes and spying on passerbyís.  Human rangers often seek training from the foresters of Relkathís Foot.

Urst

Located near the edge of the Yuirwood, Urst is a settlement of nearly 1,000, home primarily to fisherfolk and herdsman, as the marshy land surrounding the Yuirwood is unsuitable to farming.

The coastal portion of Urst is another typical Aglarondian village, with narrow streets, crowded wooden houses, a small anchorage, and a fishing fleet. A road rises up a gentle slope south of town to gentle grassy hills, where fieldstone and thatch houses serve as home to the humans and half-elves who oversee the sheep, goats, and cows that graze in the surrounding countryside.

Urve

Urve is the only Aglarondian coastal settlement with a mostly half-elven population. Human fishermen live in wooden shanties along the waters edge, tending their fishing boats, mending nets, laying out fish to dry, and keeping to themselves. They maintain good, if somewhat distant, relations with the half-elves who live along the edge of the Yuirwood nearby. The half-elves tend orchards and craft artwork, which they trade with the half-elves of the deep Yuirwood, and with the small trickle of merchants who visit Urve.

Velprintalar

This largest Aglarondian city is home to over 65,000 citizens, and functions as the nationís main link with the outside world. The only major port in Aglarond, Velprintalar is a showcase of Aglarondian architecture, with numerous narrow buildings jumbled together. From above, the city is a maze of streets, steep roofs, gables, and cupolas. Velprintalar is unwalled and has never had to defend itself against invaders.

The Simbul makes her home here in a pleasant green palace when she isnít off somewhere. She meets with the ruling council in the adjoining council hall, but due to her adventurous ways, she is only there for half of the councilís meetings.

 


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This page was updated on Friday, August 11, 2006