Halruaa was a land of magic, renowned for its electrum mines and its Haerlu wine.[7] The fabled, quiet and wealthy magocracy was justly depicted as full of wonder. Created by archwizards foreseeing the fall of Netheril, Halruaa combined peace and harmony with the magic powers of their ancestors, but without the taint of their ambitions.[8] Nearly all arcane casting Halruaans were wizards, with one third of the total populace having some sort of magical powers.[3]

During the Spellplague, Halruaa was seemingly destroyed.[9] In truth, however, to save their realm, Halruaan wizards shifted the kingdom into Abeir. When the Spellplague ended a century later, Halruaa was returned to Toril as part of the Second Sundering.[10]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Map of Halruaa circa 1360 DR

Halruaa stretched approximately 500 miles (804 km.) from east to west, and more than 350 miles (560 km.) from its southern border of the Great Sea to its northern foothills. It was divided into sections by three rivers that meet at Lake Halruaa, the northern shore of which was home to the nation's capital. The vast majority of the country consisted of flat, windswept plains, broken only by broad rivers or other notable landmarks.[11] Common fauna in the region included rothé and aurochs.[12]

Halruaa was bordered by mountain ranges on its north, east and west sides, known as the Walls of Halruaa, that acted as natural fortifications around the kingdom.[13] The Nathaghals were to the north, the Muaraghals to the east, and the Lhairghals to the west. There was a narrow land of hill grasslands in the Nathaghals called the High Aluar, and this was the only non-mountainous land entrance to Halruaa. It could be accessed through the mountains at Talath Pass in the west, or Azhal Pass in the east.[7]

All the major rivers in the region started from the Walls of Halruaa, and drained into Lake Halruaa.[13]

Climate[edit | edit source]

Climate for Halruaa[14]
Average Temperatures
32 ℉
0 ℃

58 ℉
14 ℃

Winter
(Nig 11Ham 20)

70 ℉
21 ℃

Spring
(Ham 21Tar 15)

93 ℉
34 ℃

Summer
(Tar 16Elei 15)

70 ℉
21 ℃

Autumn
(Elei 16Nig 10)

Average Rainfall

18 days

Winter
(Nig 11–Ham 20)

49 days

Spring
(Ham 21–Tar 15)

61 days

Summer
(Tar 16–Elei 15)

50 days

Autumn
(Elei 16–Nig 10)

  • Annual rainfall: 178 days
  • Days with snow on ground: 0

Halruaa was a warm and humid land, with temperatures of more than 100 degrees in the summer, to between 80 and 90 degrees in winter. The climate was colder and more comfortable in the highlands than in the lowlands. Some mountains even had snowcaps. Because of its mountain ranges, the moisture rolled off the sea, producing sudden and frequent thunderstorms.[11]

Notable locations[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of 1372 DR, the vast majority of the Halruaan population was composed by humans, most of them of Halruaan origin while a minority were foreigners. The rest of the population was composed of dwarves, halflings, and a minority of elves and half-elves, who were allowed in the kingdom thanks to their affinity to the arcane magic.[27]

Society[edit | edit source]

Halruaans congregated in numerous villages and cities scattered throughout the country's interior. Most were small settlements with no more than a few hundred inhabitants each, while the largest settlements were smaller than the cities of most other nations.[28] The folk of the small villages usually relied on a venerated wizard to provide both protection and leadership, while likely also serving as mayor and a member of the Council of Elders, the ruling body of the country.[28] The leader of the council was the Netyarch, or wizard-king.[5]

With natural fortifications and the leadership of a score of diviners, Halruaans lived in a near-perfect haven. They rarely felt the necessity to travel except when they needed to get new magic items or spell components, as nowhere else in Faerûn would they felt comfortably than home. Because usually most Halruaan travelers were wizards, most people across Faerûn had the wrong belief that all Halruaans were wizards.[3]

Life in the cities of Halruaa was touched by magic in many ways. Their houses had at least a few built-in magical enhancements, such as magical street lamps, while a favorite practice in cities along the coast was to produce "walls" of magically coaxed coral, via the coral growth spell. Spells that produced sparkling lights and pleasing sounds were often woven into fine fabrics to enhance their beauty. Fanciful means of travel, such as carpets of flying or skyships, were commonplace. Everywhere in Halruaa, people took great pains to show off their abilities as well as their wealth.[28]

Magic[edit | edit source]

Because of the importance the Halruaans placed on magic, those with arcane abilities had better social status than those who didn't practice magic. Non-spellcasters were not prosecuted by law or despised, but magic-users had more advantages in Halruaan society.[29]

For Halruaans the true path of magic was that of wizardry, and because of that, from at least 1372 DR, sorcerers were frowned upon and considered dangerous individuals, and most of them chose to leave Halruaa instead of downplaying their abilities.[4] By the late 15th century DR, there were still sorcerers in Halruaa and they often gained their power through wild magic, due to the lingering effects of the Spellplague.[30] At this time many in Halruaa were talented in the art, though they were not necessarily sorcerers.

Thanks to their emphasis in magic, Halruaans were highly educated. Children attended public schools until the age of thirteen, and this also served to search for potential wizards among them. They learned to use cantrips as part of their studies.[4]

Religion[edit | edit source]

The faith of Mystra was the traditional religion of Halruaa. Azuth was also a popular deity in Halruaa since his ascension to godhood. After the Time of Troubles and the ascension of the second Mystra, most Halruaans lost their faith in her and converted to Azuth. However, the vast majority of Halruaans continued to be devoted to Mystra.[31]

The faiths of Savras and Velsharoon also had a presence in Halruaa, although their churches weren't as prominent as those of Mystra and Azuth. In fact, by 1373 DR, both religions were mostly absorbed by the church of Azuth.[31]

Halruaans didn't tolerate other faiths, and priests and clerics of other gods weren't allowed to enter into Halruaa proper (they could only dwell in frontier settlements) and to proselytize their faith. Those who violated this law were forced to leave the kingdom, usually by magical means.[31]

Despite their laws against foreign religions, a small cult of Shar had spread in Halruaa in 1372 DR.[1][31]

Trade[edit | edit source]

The Halruaans were masters at crafting magical items, every bit as skilled as those in Thay. However they had no official exports out of their nation, as they closely guarded their magical secrets.[32]

History[edit | edit source]

The first settlers of Halruaa were Lapal tribes that had fled from the yuan-ti of the Mhair Jungles. Those peoples were also the predecessors of the Tashalans. They settled the sheltered basin of Halruaa and developed a simple and peaceful civilization of farmers, fisherfolk, and shepherds.[31]

More than a thousand years later, a group of Netherese refugees fleeing the fall of Netheril, led by archmage Raumark, came to Halruaa. They found the lands of the Lapal tribes and it was here the wizards decided to make a stand should the Phaerimm follow them.[31]

Instead of fighting over the land, the two peoples embraced each other peacefully. The Lapal taught the Netherese how to work the land, and the refugees taught the Lapal their magic arts.[31] They also mixed with some arkaiun peoples from Dambrath.[33] The three groups merged within only three generations. In the years that followed, Halruaa grew and prospered as a nation of wizards in relative isolation.[31]

The Phaerimm never came, but Halruaa had to defend itself from attacks by all of its neighbors since then. Over the centuries Dambrath attacked and raided Halruaa's ports and borders multiple times. In 585 DR, led by a magic-resistant barbarian king, Reinhar I, the Dambraii occupied all of the country south of Lake Halruaa. They were defeated in battle by the forces led by archmage Mycontil. The king of Lapaliiya also attacked Halruaa, in 1260 DR. He had allied with bandits from the Wastes, though the Halruaans were able to field a larger force, including wizards in their skyships. The attackers were easily routed.[6]

In 1385 DR, the whole kingdom and the surrounding area was devastated by the Spellplague.[9] Halruaan wizards, having divined the death of Mystra and the destruction of the Weave, were able to use the energy of the blue fire to save most of their kingdom by shifting it into another world, Abeir.[10] However, the remaining Halruaan lands in Toril were laid to waste due to the heavy wild magic activity in the area, in such a catastrophic way that the explosion was felt as far as Waterdeep.[9][34] Those lands left behind were transformed into one of the most virulent plaguelands. Those who dared to explore the lands of Halruaa in the following years risked to be infected by the halruaan consumption.[9]

In 1487 DR, after the most direct effects of the Spellplague had ended, Halruaa was returned to Toril as part of the Second Sundering.[10][35]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Novels

3rd Edition D&D

4th Edition D&D

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 194. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 130. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  8. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 127–129. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  14. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  16. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 124–126. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  17. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  19. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  21. Elaine Cunningham (April 2001). The Floodgate. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1818-7.
  22. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  24. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  25. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 256. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  26. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  27. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  29. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  30. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 31.7 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 131. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  32. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  33. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  34. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  35. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 978-0786965809.
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