Elturgard, also called the Kingdom of the Two Suns, was a realm in the Western Heartlands in the latter part of the 15th century DR. Ruled from the city of Elturel, it was a theocracy dedicated to Torm, the Loyal Fury, and defended by its paladin knighthood, the Order of the Companion.
Centered on Elturel, Elturgard covered the Fields of the Dead north and south of the River Chionthar. The forests that surrounded Elturgard—the Reaching Woods, Forest of Wyrms, and the Werewoods—were wild and hazardous. Several miles south of Elturel, a pocket of plagueland sometimes unleashed monsters to threaten the realm by 1479 DR.
After 1444 DR, a shining orb known as the Companion or "Amaunator's Gift" hung directly over Elturel, never setting and dominating all Elturgard, making it a land of unending daylight. Only the High Observer knew if this was truly a blessing of the sun god Amaunator. This second sun produced no heat but its light illuminated the land day and night, as bright as the natural sun and it burned undead of all kinds. Creatures of darkness could not even bear to look at the city. It could be seen from nearly anywhere within Elturgard, though it faded with distance. Some 50 miles (80 kilometers) away, it cast a pale dawn light. Further away, it was a bright beacon in the sky, and from Berdusk and Boareskyr Bridge, it was an unmoving star hanging low over the horizon.
By the late 1430s DR, through a variety of excuses, Elturel had laid claim to the lands of its neighbors, placing them within "Elturel's Guard" as they called it, making itself a petty regional power. For example, Scornubel was left impoverished and starving following the collapse of trade in the decades after the Spellplague of 1485 DR, so its elders permitted Elturgard to annex their city.
Then, shockingly, the High Rider of Elturel was discovered to be a vampire, with a vast network of vampire spawn, charmed minions, undead allies, and sycophantic collaborators that surprised even Elturel's Hellriders. Now exposed, in the Year of the Seductive Cambion, 1444 DR, the undead infested Elturel. It was said the Elturians prayed to the gods each night just for the dawn to come sooner. Then, one night, it did. A second sun appeared in the sky, turning night to day, and blasting the vampire lord and his spawn to ashes while the remaining undead cowered from its light. Elturel was swiftly liberated from their dead grip.
The Companion, as it became known, remained in place and over time the miracle brought pilgrims to Elturel: the sick, the curious, and the devout of many faiths, including many paladins. After them came hundreds of people who'd fled the menace of undead of one kind or another, who came to Elturgard for protection and settled there, particularly in Elturel. The best of the paladins was appointed ruler of Elturel, titled the High Observer. The High Observer then established the Order of the Companion and the Creed Resolute to keep the paladins of different faiths in order. Some years later, after a crisis of leadership and the disappearance of the likely successor Tamal Thent and her whole retinue and caravan at a caravanserai at Boareskyr Bridge, the post of High Observer fell to a priest of Torm, Thavus Kreeg, a rival of Thent's. Unable to explain the disappearance, the paladins undertook frequent patrols of the area and constructed Fort Tamal in Thent's honor, in one of Kreeg's first decrees.
Circa 1459 DR, Elturgard learned that shrines to unapproved primal entities existed in the Reaching Woods. These shrines were maintained by humans and elves as well as gnolls and goblins. The High Observer Thavus Kreeg said the goblins were vicious and the gnolls known demon worshipers, and ordered the Reaching Woods barricaded and declared that no one could enter or exit the woods or they would suffer the death penalty.
In the Year of the Fifth Circle, 1476 DR, the entire garrison of paladins at Fort Morninglord disappeared overnight and every stone in the fort was blackened and every door and window fused shut. Kreeg feared the fort was contaminated by some unknown evil and ordered it sealed and furthermore declared that anyone entering the fort would be outlawed. All entrances were bricked up behind layers of stone and mortar, and thus it remained by 1489 DR.
Around 1489 DR, Thavus Kreeg was aging and another leadership transition was expected soon.
In the late 1400s DR, Elturel and Elturgard as a whole were ruled by the High Observer of Torm, a priest named Thavus Kreeg, who was based in the High Hall in Elturel, where much of the bureaucracy was managed. Aided by a paladin knighthood, the High Observer made certain that order was maintained in the city and the realm, with the aim of bringing righteous judgment to all the Realms and "setting Faerûn aright". They ensured the city and countryside remained safe and well-policed and that trade and agriculture were run efficiently. They were sure in their belief they followed the righteous path. It was believed by some that Thavus ruled wisely and well for decades, yet he presided over harsh and rigid laws, intolerant attitudes, and inquisitions circa 1479 DR.[note 1]
The insignia of the realm was a sun with a smaller, blazing companion sun before it in the upper left. It adorned the armor and flags of the Companions and the Hellriders, and was well known to everyone in and around Elturgard.
Elturgard's main defense was the Order of the Companion, a well-armored mounted knighthood of paladins who defended Elturel and wider Elturgard, swore oaths to the realm and shared its goals, even if the members did not all share faith in Torm. Courageous, righteous, and zealous, they were proud of their dedication to the cause of good, their clear morals, even their intolerance. They were identified by the blazing insignia of the Companion that they wore. Both followed the Creed Resolute, swearing to serve the High Observer and the greater good, uphold Elturgard's law, and permit no difference in faith to come between them, nor to attribute the Companion to one god or another.
The High Observer occasionally employed adventuring companies for tasks vital to the realm, maintaining outside assistance was necessary for defense, despite the paladins and clerics of the Companions.
Law & OrderEdit
In the late 1400s DR, the laws of Elturel were very strict and even bad language and irreverent humor could draw the ire of the prickly authorities. Visiting traders who offended the port officials could be taxed highly or forbidden to enter. In general, Elturgard's laws were rigid and evil was persecuted with inquisitorial zeal, leading to a host of problems. Those who broke the law three times were sent to the Dungeon of the Inquisitor beneath Elturel. Here, they were punished and set to work mining new tunnels. The inmate population was always being replenished.
The state religion of the theocracy of Elturgard was that of Torm, the Loyal Fury. Temples to the god were spread across the land. Nevertheless, other gods were worshiped, even by the Companions, such as Helm, Tyr, and Amaunator. However, certain gods and primal entities were "not approved" by the High Observer, yet a temple to Bane was permitted in Soubar.
There was a High Justiciar of Torm in Elturgard. Circa 1479 DR, they provided one of the most liberal estimates of the number of devil-worship cults in Faerûn, fearing that each of the maintained at least one hidden cell, with one possibly as close as Cormyr.
Elturgard was generally viewed as a small outpost of hope, order, civilization, and security amidst the inhospitable wilds of the Western Heartlands after the Spellplague. Travelers were relieved to set foot inside Elturgard and relax their guard for a time. However, among some, it earned a reputation for being overzealous and proudly intolerant, with its inquisitions of suspected evil-doers and ambitious plans to judge and fix the rest of Faerûn. Some said that all lands touched by the light of the Companion were under "Elturel's Shield", but this raised the ire of those neighbors who remained independent.
Circa 1479 DR, Elturgard tried to coax the neighboring city-state of Iriaebor to join it, through gifts and promises of protection, both delivered by its paladins. Some of Iriaebor's merchants accepted these gladly and even granted hospitality to small companies of paladins in their guest towers, despite the warnings of others, welcoming the paladin's good manners and good natures when true evil threatened.
Although Elturel was once a firm member of the Lords' Alliance in the mid–14th century DR, its growth into Elturgard and becoming a power its own right saw it go alone, contributing to the decline of that alliance.
The neighboring serpentfolk realm of Najara was a cause for concern for Elturgard after its civil war in the mid-1470s DR exposed its existence. Elturgard and Evereska alike feared war from the yuan-ti and lizardfolk. When Najara's ambassadors came to Elturgard to declare that if the serpentfolk were left alone, caravans and travelers would in turn be left alone by them, the refusal was so heated it in ended in bloodshed, with the paladins killing the ambassadors. By 1489 DR]], serpentfolk raiders and spies regularly ventured into Elturgard to test its strength.
In the late 1400s DR, Elturgard comprised the following settlements:
- Elturel: The capital and the city that originally formed the nation of Elturgard.
- Scornubel: A city annexed into Elturgard.
- Berdusk: A city that joined Elturgard.
- Soubar: A small walled town housing the Black Abbey, a monastery of Bane.
- Iriaebor: An independent city-state influenced by Elturgard.
- Fort Morninglord: An abandoned fort on the Chionthar.
- Fort Tamal: A fort protecting Boareskyr Bridge at the crossing of the Trade Way over the Winding Water. It was named after the missing paladin Tamal Thent.
In addition, many farms and villages along the roads and rivers of the Western Heartlands were claimed and protected.
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- ↑ While this religious zealotry and inquisitions are made explicit in the write-up of Elturgard in the 4th-edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, they are not mentioned at all in the more extensive and very positive description in the 5th-edition Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. The two versions are difficult to reconcile. As such, this more positive vision may reflect a retcon, either out-of-universe or in-universe with the Second Sundering; the narrator for this section, Aedyn Graymantle, being mistaken or unaware of the extreme elements; or propaganda one way or the other. Regardless, this wiki endeavors to present both versions for the reader to make their own judgement.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 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.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Hoard of the Dragon Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0786965649.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 182. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
- ↑ Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.