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The Dragon Coast was the name given to the region along southern shore of the Dragonmere, and the lands west of the Sea of Fallen Stars. It's city-states and pirate outposts served as confluence of several great cultures, from the archaic Old Kingdoms to the east, the profitable and deadly lands of the Vilhon Reach to the south, and the progressive and independent realms of the Western Heartlands. It was a place of intrigue and danger, where profit and lucrative opportunities abounded, for adventurers, merchants and criminals alike.[1][2]

Everyone has a price. But the price is more reasonable on the Dragon Coast.
— Saying in Sembia.[2]

Description

The coast has nearly always been an unrestrained land of free commerce and independent city-states, or as some may say, a places of lawlessness and piracy.[3] The people that called these city-states their homes had little to no sense of greater identity, or national pride, but lived as solitary forces unto themselves.[8]

Geography

The Dragon Coast encompassed the lands and cities along southern shores of the Dragonmere and the southwestern coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars, from the Cormyrean city of Proskur in the west, to the Ruins of Starmantle in Gulthandor to the east.[3][9] It was situated between the Western Heartlands to the west,[10] and Turmish and the Vilhon Reach to the east.[11]

According to some scholars the Pirate Isles were considered to be part of the coast, despite being geographically separated by leagues of water.[12]

Geographical features

In the western stretch of the Dragon Coast, the Tun River flowed into the Dragonmere, forming the Gritstone Moorlands in between a series of hills north of the Overmoor Trail. Just east of these landmarks were the Castaway Coast and the Skeleton Shore, the two coasts that made up the southern shores of the Dragonmere, the Horse Prairie,[13] along with the northern slopes of the Giant's Run Mountains,[11] and the nearby nameless swamp.[14]

The central area of the coast was highlighted by vast stretches of flatlands and interconnected bodies of water. Rainwater ran down from the Giant's Run peaks to the Lake of the Snake, east along the River Reddan into Redwater lake, before emptying out into the sea.[13][15] The lands north of these waterways was known as the Bleached Bones Flats,[14] and the diminutive river east of Westgate was called the River Thunn.[13]

A bit further east was the Long Arm Lake, fed by the Wet River; and to its east, the Gulthmere Forest. The North and South Cedar Rivers river that flowed north along Orbrekh and Orsraun Mountains respectively,[11][16] through the forest to Starmantle Bay.[15]

Flora & Fauna

The wetlands of the coast were home to the red bog flowers. The leaves of these flowers were quite valuable in the illicit drug trade, selling for as much as 300 gp.[17]

Government

Waterdeep without guilds or (the) Watch.
— Gulkyn Drouthe's description of the Dragon Coast.[2]

Unlike nearby nations that formed from groups similarly-aligned cities, such as Cormyr and Sembia, the powers of the Dragon Coast never came together under a common cause to form a single nation. As such the coast had no centralized governing body, but rather a collection of self-serving city-states.[1][2]

Most often, the individual city-states were each governed by some form of council of merchants, often of less-reputable dispositions.[18]

Trade

The Dragon Coast was known first and foremost as a haven for smugglers and other folks dealing in illicit goods.[19] Those merchants that chose to conduct their business in the region were not the type to cooperate with one another for the greater good, rather only look out for their own interests.[1]

The Trueshield Trading Priakos maintained their headquarters and conducted their business predominantly on the Dragon Coast.[20][21]

Defenses

While there was no shared military force on the Dragon Coast, individual territories or cities were often defended by mercenary groups and those individuals who took it upon themselves to serve as a local protectorate.[2]

History

Thousands of years before the Era of Upheaval, the Dragon Coast was considered to be part of the far-reaching Jhaamdath empire.[22]

Sages of Faerûn differed as to how they believed the Dragon Coast earned its name, more specifically as to which actual dragon inspired the name.[23]

In the 13th century DR, the king of Westgate Verovan attempted to unite the various factions of the coast, but was assassinated in the Year of the Cockatrice, 1248 DR.[1]

After the waters of the Sea of Fallen Stars dropped dramatically, following the Spellplague in the Year of Three Streams Blooded, 1384 DR, coastal towns like Ilipur and Pros were abandoned and left to ruin.[3]

During the majority of the 15th century DR, the kingdom of Cormyr embarked upon a campaign of expansionism, taking hold of several towns and cities along the Dragon Coast,[24] including Proskur in the Year of the Golden Mask, 1405 DR,[25] and Teziir some time later. Westgate managed to remain independent in the face of growing Cormyrean power.[3]

Notable Locations

Landmarks
Ruins
Settlements
  • Accardi, a coastal village situated on the shore of the Neck.[29]
  • Amry, a small coastal community associated with the Fellowship of the Purple Staff.[30]
  • Cedarspoke, an independent city of druids nestled in the Gulthmere Forest.[28]
  • Elversult, the great crossroads city that was about as honest a place in the entirety of the coast.[28]
  • Nathlekh, capital of the Shou nation of Nathlan.[3]
  • Priapurl, a small town that was used as a base of operations for the Mindgulph Mercenary Company.[31]
  • Proskur, run by a band of reformed thieves,[28] Proskur came under the expansion campaign of Cormyr in the 15th century DR.
  • Reddansyr, one of the best locales to gain or share information with other folks of the Realms.[28]
  • Redwater, a place of importance for the followers of Helm,[32] situated on the shore of its namesake lake.[13]
  • Smuggler's Bank[13]
  • Telpir, in independent city that headquartered a major trade company.[33]
  • Teziir, a small city of honest merchants that became a protectorate of Cormyr.[28]
  • Westgate, the city that was synonymous with crime and thievery on the coast, but somehow managed to retain its independence.[3][25][28]
  • Wyrm's Hamlet[26]
Nations
  • Nathlan, an independent realm known as the "Eastern Nation of the West".[25]
Roads

Referred to by some scholars as the "crossroads of Faerûn[34] the Dragon Coast featured a number of important trade routes and roads, including:

Inhabitants

The Dragon Coast attracted a host of cutthroat pirates, secretive associations, criminal organizations, and other groups that operated on the fringes of lawful society.[35] Included among these groups were the Night Masks led by Orbakh,[36] the Fire Knives assassins,[37] and the druids of the Fellowship of the Purple Staff,[38]

Many tieflings found a home on the Dragon Coast, finding the region to be the place where they could truly thrive,[39] as did small communities of half-aquatic elves.[40][41][42]

Appendix

Appearances

Novels
The Veiled Dragon

Further reading

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  5. Christopher Perkins, et al. (August 2013). Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0786965311.
  6. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 79. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  10. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Map included in Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Troy Denning (April 1996). The Veiled Dragon (Paperback, 1996). (TSR, Inc), p. Map. ISBN 0-7869-0482-8.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Map included in Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  16. Map included in Jim Butler, Dennis Kauth, Robert Lazzaretti (1996). The Vilhon Reach. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  17. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 184. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  18. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  19. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0786960345.
  20. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 101. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  21. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  22. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 25. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  23. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  24. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Troy Denning (April 1996). The Veiled Dragon (Paperback, 1996). (TSR, Inc), p. map. ISBN 0-7869-0482-8.
  27. Troy Denning (April 1996). The Veiled Dragon (Paperback, 1996). (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-0482-8.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 28.7 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  29. Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  30. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Rand Sharpsword (November 2001). More Lake of Steam and Dragon Coast! (HTML). Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2015-09-20. Retrieved on 2010-10-31.
  32. Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.
  33. Anthony Herring, Jeff Grubb (1993). Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms Campaign. (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 1-56076-695-6.
  34. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  35. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  36. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  37. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  38. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  39. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  40. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  41. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  42. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
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