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Impiltur (pronounced: /ˈɪmpɪltɜːr/ IM-pil-tur) was a wealthy and influential nation of feudal lords nestled along the coastal lands of the Easting Reach, in northeastern Faerûn. It had a long and storied history within the eastern realms and its reputation grew and declined throughout the ages. The formerly influential kingdom endured decades of isolation and, while it was not without its share of troubles, emerged as a land that remained hopeful about reclaiming its former glory.
It was bordered by the Sea of Fallen Stars to the east and south and the Earthspur and Earthfast Mountains in the west. North of Impiltur was the vast forest of the Rawlinswood and the country of Damara in the Cold Lands.
Through its history, Impiltur had largely been a human nation, but was home to a great many dwarves and halflings. The human populace was largely comprised of those of the Chondathan or Damaran ethnicity. While the Impilturan were more accustomed to seeing other races by the late 14th century, elves and half-elves were still rare, drawing eyes wherever they went. Halflings that did not acclimate to city life tended to live in tiny villages such as Klandle, Mistrenpost, and Ondle's Spur.
Impiltur has often been a refuge for those who sought asylum from war and conflict in nearby lands. During the mid-14th century the Tuigan Horde displaced a great many people who fled to Impiltur as refugees, which led to mass food shortages, increased poverty and even regional starvation for a brief time. Those who fled the neighboring realm of Narfell resettled in Impiltur and found new lives as farmers and miners.
Throughout most of Impiltur's long and storied history, the realm was governed by kings and queens of royal lineage. This tradition of hereditary sovereignty endured for centuries, with a brief interruption in the 10th century DR known as the Kingless Years. The monarchy was restored with the founding of the Heltharn Dynasty, as the rightful heirs took over rulership of Impiltur from the 11th to the late 14th century DR.
It wasn't until the Year of the Highmantle, 1336 DR, during the reign of King Rilimbrar, that the lords of Impiltur had a hand in its governance. The Lords of Imphras II, an advisory council of knight-lords and paladins, was founded to aid the monarchy, as the king was without a male heir for only the second time in its history. The council of lords served as stewards of the throne under Queen-regent Sambryl, while Prince Imbrar II was still a child.
The young prince came of age and ascended to the throne, but enjoyed a short reign as the last king of Impiltur. His death ended the monarchy of Impiltur and the lords-in-power reformed the nation as a feudal confederacy. During the 15th century, the reigning lords came to be known as the Grand Council. Unfortunately for the Impilturans, they didn't share the competency of their predecessors of the previous century and their ineffectual leadership saw the nation gradually decline.
The nation employed a spy agency, known as the Royal Intelligence, that secretly gathered information about many powerful organizations of Faerûn, such as the Zhentarim, and the Cult of the Dragon. During the 15th century, they were led by Royal Intelligencer Arshryke Taranth.
Local officials, collectively known as the Royal Constabulary, and individual lords handled day-to-day operations within their respective towns and cities. They enforced the kingdom's laws and carried out justice against those who were so deserving.
The kingdom of Impiltur was ruled under a codex of lawn known as the "King's Code", which dated back to the reign of King Bellodar III of the 7th century DR. This laid the foundation of Impilturan law for centuries, which continued through to the rule of the Council of Lords.
Murder, treason and "consorting with fiends" were considered capital offense. Lesser, but still quite serious crimes such as arson, kidnapping or other acts of violence, warranted exile from the nation, hard labor in the mines of Vordric Dun, imprisonment within one of the public gaols, or internment within the island-prison known as Graycliffs. The least-severe crimes, handled by the local Royal Constables, were punishable by public censure, loss of property or the levying of fines.
Many of Impiltur's smaller towns, especially those centered around the mining industry, were governed under the martial law of "daggerbond". This forbade the brandishing or display of weapons within the borders of the town proper.
The nation had its own set of laws governing maritime activities on the Sea of Fallen Stars. If a crime was committed whilst at sea, the ship's captain usually imprisoned the offender in the brig until making landfall in Impiltur where the case could be taken further.
While the realm of Impiltur has nurtured mercantile relationships, it has long maintained an isolationist approach to the political and military disturbances that have arisen in the east. The ruling monarch was often quite hesitant to place their trust in other realms. These dynamics were often attributed to the long history of demonic possessions and extraplanar intervention that has plagued their kingdom for centuries. Despite these forces of influence, Impiltur has on rare occasions stood alongside its neighbors against great perils that threatened the east.
Impiltur maintained the long-kept tradition of serving as one of the most important commercial powers in eastern Faerûn. The natural resources of the Earthfast Mountains provided the nation with a great source of natural wealth. Deep mines beneath the peaks led to vast deposits of silver, gold and bloodstone, which they exported across the sea via ports in Sembia and Telflamm.
The nation imported the majority of their raw resources from the lands to the north, such as Damara and the Great Dale, and brought in exotic goods from their southern port cities. Impiltur's proximity to Damara made it a perfect trading gateway for Damaran goods such as meat, cheese, and strong wines. Even the Red Wizards of Thay were granted permission to establish trade enclaves within several of Impiltur's great cities. This decree granted the kingdom profits that were much greater than those accumulated from typical trade.
The names of merchant vessels from Impiltur were based on the goods they carried like Spicesail or Timberhold.
While Impiltur preferred peace they remained vigilant and ready for war. Although they generally kept out of the affairs of neighboring countries, they could engage in military acts of aggression if they were so warranted.
In addition to the various knightly orders that long served the regents of Impiltur, the nation was defended by the Warswords, the battle-ready militia that regularly patrolled its lands. They were aided by Swordpoints, bands of adventurers who were granted liberties to act as sanctioned mercenaries and local law enforcement. Typical patrols consisted of twenty mounted warriors.
Despite Impiltur's long-held status as a nation of great wealth, its people maintained a collective "frontier spirit" of self-determination. They drew immense strength from their shared faith and held the virtues of self-sacrifice, charity and morality in high regard. The Impilturans firmly believed themselves to be champions of justice that worked together for a collective greater good.
Despite the national sense of altruism and selflessness, fame and fortune could still be found by those of great ambition. Adventurers were seldom left idle and were often employed by the realm to aid its citizens and protect its lands.
The society of Impiltur was formed around the tenets of the Triad—the collective faiths of Ilmater, Torm and Tyr. This religion placed the expectation of devotion, service and sacrifice upon the Impilturan people, a concept that was exemplified in the realm's culture of piety. In addition, the worship and veneration of saints and divine martyrs was considered a cornerstone of the Triadic faith.
Despite its national religion, Impiltur maintained a liberal and welcoming attitude to the faithful of benevolent deities. Followers of Chauntea, Tymora, Selûne and Waukeen were quite numerous throughout the realm. While the worship of nature deities, such as Silvanus, has greatly waned by the 14th century, Shaundakul maintained a considerable following among the merchants, drovers and caravaneers of the Uplands.
The formation of shrines and temples dedicated to malevolent gods, such as Bane and Cyric, was explicitly illegal; however, private worship of their faiths were somewhat tolerated. No such refuge was given to the myriad of demonic cults that sporadically arose throughout Impiltur's countryside. The fanatical who worshipped ancient Narfell and the Demon princes were slain on sight and their vile altars were brought to justice. The taint of fiend-worship has plagued Impiltur for centuries, and hints of this behavior brought out the baser instincts among the prejudiced populace of the rural Uplands. It was not unheard of for communities to take up arms and torches against someone they viewed as a "witch" who had allied themselves with some entity from the Outer Planes.
Practitioners of the Art were commonly found in Impiltur, many of whom called the realm their home. The nation featured two magical academies that trained apprentices who went on to serve aboard merchant ships that regularly sailed to Sembia and the Moonsea. These schools received significant endowments from the nation's trade consortiums as recompense for the service of their graduates. The wizards themselves were required to serve for one year; they were well-compensated for their efforts and seldom considered this to be any sort of imposition on their part.
Food and drinkEdit
Impiltur was famous for its black beets, garsar and other unique root vegetables.
A typical tavern meal in Impiltur included thick seafood stew served in hollowed-out round loaves, a platter of pungent cheeses, and bowls of sugared berries. Mutton was also readily available.
The kingdom of Old Impiltur predated Dale Reckoning, having been founded in the Year of Splendor, -72 DR. Written history of the realm's early years was scarce, but accounts of the waning years of the Durlarven Dynasty were recorded with clarity. Impiltur was overrun by the Scaled Horde in the Year of the Dowager Lady, 726 DR and a King Argosh seized the throne.
In response, the churches of Ilmater, Torm and Tyr rallied their forces from across Faerûn and marched upon Impiltur in a great holy war that came to be known as the Triad Crusade. The Fiend Wars broke out across the nation, and the courageous paladin Sarshel Elethlim emerged victorious, defeating the balor Ndulu at the Citadel of Conjurers in the Year of Visions, 731 DR. The following year, Sarshel was crowned King of Impiltur. He went on to found the Order of the Triad and began a royal lineage that continued for nearly 200 years.
The great Elethlim Dynasty ended in the Year of the Fearless Peasant, 926 DR with the death of Princess Aliia. This marked the beginning of the Kingless Years which continued for well over a century. During this time the Order of the Triad maintained the traditions of Old Impiltur but waned as their ranks were gradually diminished by the fiends and terrors that roamed across the realm.
Impiltur's monarchy was re-founded by Imphras the Great, first monarch of the Heltharn Dynasty. In the Year of the Dawndance, 1095 DR he united the four independent city-states of Dilpur, Hlammach, Lyrabar and Sarshel, along with the Earthfast dwarves and star elves of the Gray Forest against advancing hobgoblin hordes from the Giantspire Mountains. After months of negotiation between the city-states Imphras I was crowned king with the reclaimed Crown of Narfell in the year Year of the Gleaming Crown, 1097 DR.
By the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the kingdom was led by the Lords of Imphras II, a council mostly composed of paladins or others noble champions, and Queen-regent Sambryl, the widow of King Imphras IV. The Queen-regent generally left all governing affairs to the council. After years of being hidden away by the knights of the realm, Prince-regent Imbrar II came of age in the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR and ascended to the throne as King of Impiltur.
In the Year of the Blue Fire, 1385 DR, three great tragedies devastated the kingdom of Impiltur. The young King Imbrar II died under mysterious circumstances without an heir, and the royal Heltharn dynasty was brought to an end. When Mystra was destroyed on Tarsakh 29, the Weave was undone and a great many demons were let loose upon the nation's countryside. Finally, the resulting Spellplague that struck Toril caused the Sea of the Fallen Stars to well up and its waters receded from the shores of the Easting Reach.
As a result of the end of Impiltur's royal bloodline, the Grand Council of the nation's various lords took up the mantle of rule. They were left with the grim responsibility of defending the lands from roaming fiends, led by Morthak in the realm's northern hills; fanatical cults, such as the Fraternity of Tharos; and crime sprees that ravaged the realm's once-gleaming cities.
As the Easting Coast of Impiltur receded inward, the realm's port cities no longer had access to sea lanes. The commercial dominance of cities such as Dilpur and Hlammach greatly diminished and merchants fled the land in droves. The formerly coastal settlements withered and their population dramatically decreased. However, a fair number of Impilturans relocated to the resilient town of New Sarshel, whose citizens banded together and adapted to the changed landscape.
Following the Second Sundering, the waters of the Sea of Fallen Stars began to rise to their former level and some semblance of hope was restored across the Easting Coast. By the Year of the Warrior Princess, 1489 DR Impiltur had regained much of its former importance among the lands of the east, despite its many troubles. Throughout the nation, countrymen began whispering about the return of the Impilturan monarchy, hoping that some long-lost regent would show themselves and completely restore the realm to its former glory.
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Most cartographers of Faerûn divided the nation of Impiltur into three approximate regions.
This fertile stretch of gently-sloping grasslands was dotted with small towns and farmlands, inter-crossed with flowing streams and rivers. It spanned area between the southeastern Earthspurs and waters of the northern Inner Sea. The four great city-states that originally formed the kingdom of Impiltur were all located within this coastal region.
- Dilpur: While the population of this city swelled during the mid-14th century, this population boom was relatively short-lived.
- Hlammach: This bustling port city waned in prosperity following the Spellplague.
- Lyrabar: Despite being plagued by crime, Lyrabar has stood strong throughout the years and has served as the capital of Impiltur since the Year of the Ormserpent, 1295 DR.
- New Sarshel: Although the wealth of the great port city of Sarshel declined due to years of corruption and crime, its fortunes changed for the better as its citizens adapted to the shifting landscape caused by the Spellplague.
This stretch of Impiltur opened up north of the Easting Coast into vast, sparsely populated countryside that bordered the waterways flowing into the Reach.
- Barrowlands: This barren landscape was a dark remnant of ancient Narfell, all but of devoid of natural plant life.
- Citadel of Conjurers: Well-protected by arcane wards and a contingent of Warswords, this dark tower served as the lair for the Demon lord Eltab following his escape from Thay in the Year of the Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR.
- Shimmerglade: This frosty thatch of rocks and pine trees near the River Icehilt was imbued with patches of wild magic and dead magic following an intense arcane battle.
The true frontier land of Impiltur began at the crossing of Herald's Road between the Bluefang Water and the Old Water lakes. This wild and lawless expanse opened further northwest towards the country of Damara.
- Ilmwatch: This fortress-town was seldom bustling but served as a strategic outpost that oversaw northern trade along the Merchant's Run.
Mountains and forestsEdit
- Earthfast Mountains: Extending from the Earthspurs to the north, these jagged peaks held the Hill of Tombs, the ancient burial site for the kings of Old Impiltur.
- Earthspur Mountains: These imposing mountains helped formed Impiltur's western border and were full of dangerous monsters and undead.
- Gray Forest: The ancient grove was rumored to have been the original home of the Eladrin but had eventually become haunted by ghosts and weird creatures.
Bodies of waterEdit
- Bluefang Water: Located between the Uplands and Farwater, this large lake housed the lawless waterfront settlement known as Bay Town.
- Great Imphras River: The vast and mighty river of northern Impiltur was nigh-navigable as it had a great many swirling eddies and countercurrents.
- Old Water: Separating the Barrowlands from the Farwater, this small lake received the waters of the Bluefang before opening up into the Easting Reach.
- River Icehilt: This frost-covered waterway flowed down from Lake Icemelt and snaked through the Shimmerglade.
- ↑ 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 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 202–203. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Elaine Cunningham (May 2007). The Best of the Realms III (Answered Prayers). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-4288-6.
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 George Krashos (August 2006). “Impiltur: The Forgotten Kingdom”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #346 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 56–71.
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (March 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Hin Nobody Knows”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #269 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 84–87.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (March 2011). “Eye on the Realms: Whispered Words”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #188 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 52–57.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 191. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
- ↑ Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.