Iriaebor (pronounced: /ɪəriˈbɔːreer-ee-AY-bore[10]), also known as the Overland City and the City of a Thousand Spires,[11] was a large city in Sunset Vale in the Western Heartlands region of west Faerûn.[2][3][4] While it retained its status as an independent city-state,[6] it remained within the realm of influence of the 15th century nation of Elturgard.[5]

While was considered to one of the most densely-populated and economically influential locales in western Faerûn,[12] its was believed its true potential as a great power was stymied by the petty squabbles and in-fighting that plagued many of its residents.[4]

Iriaebor is like Waterdeep gone mad when it comes to merchant manipulations, chicanery, and maneuvering.

Description[edit | edit source]

Many of the narrow streets of Iriaebor were covered in shadows during all hours of the day due to the great many bridges and overhanging balconies that connected its many decrepit stone towers. The fact that these often-slanted spires were built too close to one another lent to a feeling of claustrophobia and confinement that pervaded the city.[3] Because space was limited in Iriaebor, so many of the locals simply built upwards rather than outwards. [13]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Iriaebor and surrounding area circa 1479 DR.

The city stood on a sprawling ridge known locally as the Tor,[8] above the north fork of the river Chionthar,[4] on the southern end of the Dusk Road.[14]

Iriaebor enjoyed a competitive rivalry with nearby Scornubel,[15] and an even strong one with its neighboring city of Berdusk, the latter of which which was nicknamed the Jewel of the Vale much to the chagrin of the Iraebans.[16] Despite their competition with one another, the two cities remained allies with one another.[2][17]

The keep that housed the Kelemvorite Knights of the Eternal Order was located a short distance away from Iriaebor,[18] and the Old Talking Ox inn was situated about an hour's ride north along the Dusk Road.[8][13] The small town of Easting was named for the fact it was a short ways east of Iriaebor.[19]

Geographical Features[edit | edit source]

The vast plains that surrounded Iriaebor were ideal for the many animal-breeders and mount-tamers that chose to ply their craft in and around the city.[12]

Demonym[edit | edit source]

A person from Iriaebor was known as an Iriaeben or Iriaeban.[20]

Government[edit | edit source]

During the mid–14th century DR, the city of Iriaebor was a member in good standing of the Lords' Alliance, the unified coalition of powers that combated the growing influence of the Zhentarim.[21][22] It was then ruled by Bron, Lord Most High, Keeper of the High Tower, Watchwarden of the Flowing Chionthar,[23] with the support and guidance of a forty-person merchant council. While he appointed and dismissed the members of the council, his decisions were very much guided by their greater consensus.[2]

For a brief time in 1363 DR, the Zhentarim emerged victorious in their efforts against Iriaebor, managing to take control of the city and put in place their own puppet ruler, Lord Ravendas.[3] During that time, Zhent control of the city was essential to their domination of trade throughout the southern Sword Coast.[24]

At some time during or before the late 15th century DR, Iriaebor joined the emerging nation of Elturgard.[5]

Trade[edit | edit source]

Iriaebor carried the caravan trade on the Dusk Road over the rapids and rough water of the upper Chionthar river, and linked up with the Trader's Road.[3] Its merchants traded with merchants from many towns and cities including Asbravn,[25][26] Elturel,[27] Baldur's Gate,[28] and even as far east as Arabel in the kingdom of Cormyr.[29]

Iriaeban horse-breeders had a reputation for the exceptional mounts that they produced.[30][31]

Defense[edit | edit source]

The Shield of Iriaebor was the name of the fighting force that protected the city. The well-armed military acted to both police the city and patrol the surrounding lands. Circa the mid–14th century they numbered about 16,000 strong — just over half of whom were local warriors and newly-trained recruits, with the remainder comprised of hired sell-swords.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

One conflict that arose involving Iriaebor was a great army of orc and goblinoid forces that descended upon the city in the Year of the Shattered Altar, 1264 DR. During the battle, it was reported that the fervent Helmite servant Garshond received the legendaryHelm of Helm, and wore it until the city's invaders were turned away.[32]

In autumn of the Year of the Wyvern, 1363 DR, Lord Bron disappeared from within the city and the Zhentarim moved swiftly to supplant him with their own leader, Lord Ravendas.[33]

Some four years later, the Spotted plague broke out throughout Iriaebor, killing a score of citizens before it was stopped by the combined clergies of the city's temples.[34]

Just prior to the calamitous Second Sundering, in the Year of the Awakened Sleepers, 1484 DR, Iriaebor was hit a memorable earthquake.[35]

Notable Locations[edit | edit source]

A map of Iriaebor circa 1358 DR.

The city was split into three sections: The Docks district was situated on the area south at the base of the tor, along the northern shore of the River Chionthar; the Old City, which housed many of the city's most important landmarks was built on the Tor itself; while the Lower City comprised the flatlands north of the Tor, set within the northern city walls.[8][13]

Inns
Shops
Temples

The city also housed shrines dedicated to Auril, Lathander, Talos, Tempus, and Tymora[2]

Other

Iriaebor was one of the cities that was known to house an enclave of Thayan wizards.[42]

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

People deserve to live in freedom. I'm not going to let the Zhentarim take that away from the people who live in this city.
— Mari Al'maren, agent of the Harpers.[43]

Iriaebor had a long history of intrigue and conflict that emerged amongst the various mercantile groups, influential Iriaeban families and greater factions that took hold within its walls.[3] Noted mercantile groups active in the city included the Dragoneye and Thousandheads trading costers,[44][45][46] the far-reaching Knights of the Shield, the Six Coffers Market Priakos, and the powerful Men of the Basilisk.[13]

A number of dastardly groups made their headquarters in Iriaebor, including the Black Band, the Broken Dagger, the Flamefingers,[2] the Blacktalons Mercenary Company,[13][47][48] as well as Night Skulls thieves' guild, and later the Purple Masks Guild.[49] While the city received influence from the Zhentarim for some time,[2] it was wholly taken over by the organization for a brief while in the 1360s DR.[3]

Adventurers were seen as trouble in Iriaebor, and there were only two known establishments in the city that catered to their wants and needs.[2]

Notable Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Referenced only
Marco Volo: Journey
Novels
Crypt of the ShadowkingCurse of the ShadowmageRealms of Mystery: "The Devil and Tertius Wands"
Referenced only
The Ring of WinterPrince of Ravens
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
The Elder Elemental Eye

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Anthony (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 1-56076-594-1.
  2. 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 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 90–91. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 202. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 228. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.
  7. Ed Greenwood (August 1992). “The Everwinking Eye: Words To The Wise”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 14–15.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 203. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  9. Mark Anthony (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 1-56076-594-1.
  10. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  11. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 168. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 91. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  14. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  15. Anthony Herring, Jeff Grubb (1993). Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms Campaign. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 1-56076-695-6.
  16. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  17. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  18. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  19. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 91. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  20. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  21. 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.
  22. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  24. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  25. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 148. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  26. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 86. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  27. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 92. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  28. Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  29. Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  30. Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  31. John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  32. Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.
  33. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  34. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  35. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  36. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 206. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 205. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 204. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  39. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  40. >Mark Anthony (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking. (TSR, Inc.), p. 146. ISBN 1-56076-594-1.
  41. Mark Anthony (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking. (TSR, Inc.), p. 46. ISBN 1-56076-594-1.
  42. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
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  44. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
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  46. Anthony Herring, Jeff Grubb (1993). Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms Campaign. (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 1-56076-695-6.
  47. Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  48. Anthony Herring, Jeff Grubb (1993). Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms Campaign. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 1-56076-695-6.
  49. >Mark Anthony (1993). Crypt of the Shadowking. (TSR, Inc.), p. 113. ISBN 1-56076-594-1.
  50. Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
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  54. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
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