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Aglarond (pronounced: /ˈɑːglɑːrɒnd/ AHG-lah-rond) was a magocratic state in the southwestern-most part of the Unapproachable East with its capital at Veltalar. Most of its land was covered by the Yuirwood. Filled with magic and mystery, it was ruled by one of the most potent spellcasters of the Realms: the Simbul, until 1425 DR, the Year of Seven Sisters, and as of 1475 DR was ruled by fifteen Simbarch of Aglarond — arcane spellcasters trained in the Simbul's arts.
Aglarond's isolation and its long history of sieges by Thay made the once-trusting Aglarondan people suspicious of outlanders - anyone could be an agent of their hated enemy. Aglarond was separated from the rest of Faerûn by the plateau of Thay to the east, and the Sea of Fallen Stars on the three other sides. The lands beyond the fortress at Undumor to the Thayan borders were beyond the direct protection of the armies of Aglarond and were thinly populated for this reason.
The Pirate Isles lay only a hundred miles or so off Aglarond's own western islands, but since piracy was punishable by immediate execution in Aglarond, most buccaneers gave the land a wide berth. The length of water that separated Aglarond from Thesk was known as the Sea of Dlurg. This was more of a bay than a proper sea: At its narrowest point, about midway down its length, only fifteen miles separated the city of Furthinghome from the Theskian shore.
There was only one major port in Aglarond, Velprintalar, later known as Veltalar. The large peninsula's coastline was mainly comprised of rocky cliffs with villages and towns settled near inlets suitable only for fishing boats and other smaller ships.
While the fey-dominated Yuirwood covered much of Aglarond, the land between the trees and the shore consisted of fertile, rolling hills that made excellent farmland. Farms were rarely more than ten miles from the shore. The half-elves who made their home under the Yuirwood's leafy canopy discouraged large-scaled settlements of the forest with a mixture of compromise, diplomacy, and the occasional veiled threat. Despite such efforts, though, the woods continued to recede every year. Grasses, shrubs, and vines quickly reclaimed abandoned farmsteads, but trees were slow to return to territory stripped from the Yuirwood long ago.
Although Aglarond was at roughly the same latitude as Cormyr, its weather was much more moderate. The waters moderated the weather, so the seasons were rarely as harsh as they were elsewhere.
- The people of Altumbel did not consider themselves as part of Aglarond. Rather than become part of this new nation, they set out for the far western end of the peninsula, claiming it as their own.
- The Fang
- The Fang was the part of the north coast that jutted out the farthest into the sea. Although close to Aglarond's capital, its people considered themselves part of another land.
Towns and Cities
The larger cities in Aglarond were the coastal ones. Most cities were supported by agriculture or fishing. Wealthier inhabitants lived in stone buildings, the poor lived in thatched huts, and those in-between lived in buildings of two or three stories, made of weathered wood with steep shake or tile roofs. Construction was usually dense, with narrow streets.
- The capital of Aglarond, Veltalar was a large city numbering around 70,000 in population. Formerly known as Velprintalar, Veltalar was the seat of the Simbarch Council and Aglarond's principle harbor. After the Spellplague the city expanded westwards to meet the receding coastline of the Sea of Fallen Stars, leaving the older parts of the city, now called Old Velprintalar as little more than slums. Here thieves and pirates gathered, turning the very heart of Aglarond into a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
- A young community, Delthuntle emerged recently[as of when?] as one of Aglarond's commercial centers and major ports. The city primarily earned a profit through trade with the new genasi nation of Akanûl, which helped to give it one of the highest non-native genasi populations throughout the world.
Other Geographical Features
- Dragonjaw Mountains
- The Dragonjaws separated Aglarond from Thesk to the north, and served well as a natural defense against the forces of Thay, preventing armies from entering River Umber and the Sea of Dlurg. Most of the mountains were considered part of Thesk, only the Tannath Mountains and the Tannath Gap were truly part of Aglarond.
- The Watchwall
- The Watchwall was a massive, magically engineered length of stone wall, stretching from the fortress city of Glarondar to the slopes of Umbergoth, thus extending the defensive barrier of the Dragonjaw Mountains another fifteen miles, up to a rock-like fortification containing one-third of Aglarond's armed forces.
- The fortress of Undumor, formerly known as Emmech, was lost in the Hundred Years of Chaos to the new Thayan regime under Szass Tam. Located at the mouth of the River Umber the fortress served as an outpost of Thay in Aglarond and was garrisoned by numerous undead in the former's service. It was constantly in a state of warfare with the nearby fortress Dantalien, where brave but hopelessly inexperienced youths gathered to attempt to clear out the Thayan presence on Aglarond's soil.
Aglarond was formed after the Battle of Ingdal's Arm in 1065 DR, when the half-elves, who were victorious in the battle, negotiated for the creation of a new nation, with Brindor Olósynne, who had led the half-elf army, as its first king. The Olósynne Dynasty remained in power until the apparent death of “the Simbul” in 1425 DR. By 1475 DR, the Simbarch Council took control of the country and have ruled it since.
Aglarond was ruled for several centuries starting in 1065 DR by the Olósynne Dynasty, beginning with the half-elf King Brindor and ending with the apparent death of Alassra Shentrara, "the Simbul," in 1425 DR. Under this system of government, the monarch was advised by a council of thirty, made up of eleven councilors from major cities and a further nineteen from smaller settlements. Every community in Aglarond was entitled to elect a member to the council, although the Fanger cities of Dahst and Findar did not acknowledge that they are part of Aglarond and never sent a councilor.
After the Simbul's disappearance and the end of the monarchy, Aglarond was ruled over by the Simbarch Council, an assembly of fifteen mages learned in the ways of the Simbul. Following her end the Simbul's followers banded together and took control of the Palace of the Simbul, from which they govern today[as of when?], and took it upon themselves to lead her former kingdom. Their rule was not unchallenged, however, and the Council eventually resorted to military might to bring rebelling regions to heel. Since coming to power the Simbarch Council have consolidated their rule and extended Aglarond's power over the disputed Wizard's Reach, defeating the armies of Thay's exiled zulkirs for control of the region.
Aglarond's army was formed by Brindor Olósynne early in the nation's history. The army was small and skilled as of 1368 DR, famed for its “Foresters” — elite units of rangers loyal to the crown — operating in the Yuirwood. The rest of the army comprised archers, pikemen, and a few cavalry. These were garrisoned at the fortress Emmech (later renamed Undumor) and the citadel Glarondar. Glarondar also featured a small number of griffon-riders used for scouting. During this period, the militia numbered around six thousand.
Aglarond also has a strong tradition of local militias. When the size of the army was insufficient to deal with a threat, everyday people in Aglarond came to arms, using spears and pikes. The six thousand trained troops could easily be joined by four times that number of citizens.
Most recently[as of when?], the military of Aglarond was used to cement the control of the Simbarch Council, first through the suppression of resistance to the new government in outlying regions of the country and later as a defense against the encroaching threat of Thay.
As of 1372 DR, Aglarond's population, numbering somewhere around 1,300,000, was mostly made up of humans, though one third were half-elves and a fair number elves. Over the course of the century since, the local tiefling population swelled, due to the large number of refugees fleeing from Thay, particularly in the cities of Escalant, Glarondar, and Citadel Dantalien. Many dragonborn also came to Aglarond from neighboring lands and both genasi and halflings were found in large numbers in Delthuntle, Veltalar, and Furthinghome.
The humans of Aglarond are regarded as trustworthy and hardworking, living simple lives from agriculture, fishing and herding livestock. Traditionally humans kept close to Aglarond's coastal cities, since these were the first founded by them in the 750s DR, when human colonists first arrived.
Originally, human colonists arriving in Aglarond were Untherites from Chessenta, but these were soon joined by settlers and adventurers from other parts of Faerûn. The average height of an Aglarondan female was 157cm (5'2") and a male 173cm (5'8"). They were hardy, tough people with blue or brown eyes.
Eastern Aglarondan humans dressed in bright colored tunics and trousers embroidered with black thread. They wore bracelets, circlets, rings, necklaces and earrings made from bronze or silver. Those in the west owed much of their culture to the pirates who originally inhabited these areas. They dressed in contrasting colors, donning headbands and bandanas, or wore plain brown or white tunics. Jewelery here was simple and inexpensive, including brooches, earrings, nose-rings and necklaces.
The average Aglarondan had no concern for magic as part of everyday life, instead regarding it as best wielded by those in power. A number of Aglarondan monarchs in the Olósynne Dynasty were powerful spellcasters, but regular people with these powers were viewed with disdain. Any young children who show a particular gift for magic were recruited as apprentices by the Simbul, becoming members of the Simbul's Children.
The Aglarondan half-elf population was mainly concentrated in and around the Yuirwood. They were a copper-skinned people, amongst whom about half had pointed ears. There was a large range of attitudes toward other cultures amongst the half-elves. Those who lived on the outskirts of the Yuirwood, nearer to the human settlements, had a more tolerant approach and adopted human traditions, such as living in houses. Those half-elves living deeper in the Yuirwood were in touch with their elven ancestry, preferring to live the elven way, in small communities, or as hunter-gatherers. Most half-elves either supported or accepted the human presence in Aglarond, but there was rumored to be a small group who were in favor of wiping them out.
Many of the half-elves, and the wild elves they shared their homes with, distrusted and questioned the authority of the Simbarch Council that ruled Aglarond since 1425 DR, though it was only recently (as of 1479 DR) that their worries shifted from the ex-zulkirs of fallen Thay.
Half-elven dress was similar to humans in the areas near human settlements, and even so in parts of the Yuirwood. In the other parts, the half-elves dressed more like wild elves, with fur, loincloths and tattoos.
As of 1368 DR, the halfling population of Aglarond was limited to a few hundred, concentrated on farmland in the area surrounding Mesring in the east. They were well-liked by both the humans and the half-elves. There was little to no evidence the halfling population changed substantially since.
Aglarond's economy was largely self-sufficient. It produced everything it needed in order to survive. It did, however, produce a small surplus with which it traded. Aglarond exported copper, gems, grain, lumber and Aglarondan blood wine and imported glass, iron and textiles. The half-elven community produced musical instruments and artwork from wood and silver. Aglarond did not actively seek trade with other nations; instead, it let in a small number of traders from the outside.
Sea trade played an important part in Aglarondan economics. The names of vessels from Aglarond were based on the goods they carry like Spicesail or Timberhold.
Aglarondan society was dominated by two primary principles. First, Aglarond was a land of magic, steeped in the teachings of the Simbul, one of Mystra's Chosen. Additionally, Aglarond was the only known state in Faerûn to possess a demographically significant half-elven population, which traditionally played a large part in local affairs. Aglarond also had a traditional rivalry with their neighbors in Thay, whom Aglarondans distrusted deeply.
There were few temples and holy sites in Aglarond, none of which were large. Some people worshiped regularly and others were content to show signs of faith in their own manner. Aglarondans believed that the prosperity of their land was a sign that the gods favored them. Amongst the humans, the farmers tended to worship Chauntea and the seafarers Valkur and Selûne. Half-elves often venerated Mielikki, Silvanus, the Seldarine, or other human deities, depending on their profession or beliefs. The Yuir elves used to worship their own pantheon of gods who were assumed to have disappeared with the downfall of the Yuir.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 199. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 199. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 47. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), pp. 50–1. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.