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Jhaamdath, also known as the Twelve Cities of the Sword, was the first and only psiocracy in the history of the human nations of Faerûn. It was a confederation of twelve city-states with shared military and mercantile interests in south and central Faerûn during the Founding Time, thousands of years before the Era of Upheaval.[1][6][10]

In truth, everything is a trifle when viewed through the lens of history. Empires rise and fall, men live and die. The Jhaamdathan Empire ruled a great portion of the world at one time. Have you ever heard of it? Of course not. Only Scholars have. Yet the Jhaamdathans thought their influence would extend forever.

Geography[]

The empire of Jhaamdath and surrounding areas in −626 DR.

During the peak of its influence, Jhaamdath encompassed the lands along the southern shore of the Sea of Fallen Stars,[12] and extended west to the realm of Coramshan,[1][5] south as the Great Rift of the dwarves,[13] and east to the lands claimed by Narfell that would later come to be known as the Great Dale.[14]

Geographical Features[]

The Twelve Cities were in the stretch of land south of the Deepwing Mountains and north of the great forest of Nikerymath. The waters of the Deep Wash were some ways southwest, while the great Bay of Jhaamdath opened up eastward into the Sea of Fallen Stars.[15]

Government[]

While formed as an oligarchy,[16] Jhaamdath's second governing body was the Realms first psiocracy — a ruling council of influential psions and psionicists known as bladelords. This form of governance remained for nearly the entirety of the empire's history,[1] until it was supplanted by a single emperor some 20 years prior to its collapse.[8]

Throughout much of its history, Jhaamdath was a centralized power that exerted firm control over its out outer territories.[5]

Society[]

Jhaamdathi society was highly regimented, with distinct castes that dictated the role each individual would fill within their community. In descending order, the castes were: psiarchs, soldiers, scribes, and commoners.[5]

Rather than enslave and destroy the culture of the people whose lands they conquered, the Jhaamdathi absorbed them into their ever-expanding society. Such was the case with the Turami people of the Akanal hills, a group that was introduced into Jhaamdathi society as an under-caste of laborers.[5]

Culture[]

Jhaamdath was one of the first cultures that employed a written language and thus played a critical role in the development of human civilization across Faerûn.[4]

In addition to their ability to wield the Invisible Art, the Jhaamdathans as a people were were renowned for their swordsmanship.[1]

Defenses[]

Jhaamdath maintained a standing army and carried out the practice of importing warriors from its outer provinces, such as those that lived throughout great plains later known as the Shaar.[17]

The nation engaged in non-traditional means of warfare, namely the use of magically-created diseased and plagues that utilized spells such as mass contagion and plague carrier.[4]

History[]

Main article: History of Jhaamdath

Founding of the Twelve Cities[]

Jhaamdath was founded in −5800 DR when a tribe of human warriors led by the psionic warrior-king Jhaam[18] united the human settlements north of the Nikerymath. The First City of the Sword, Dhinnilith,[note 1] was founded soon after, in −5750 DR.[1][5][7][19]

Within the next thirty years, the psionic prophet Laszik Silvermind offered onto the people of Jhaamdath a divine missive from Auppenser that directed the growth of the burgeoning nation. The first directive was that slavery would be banned throughout the entirety of the nation. Laszik creates the first of the udoxias, a powerful device that bestowed onto others psionic powers with a range that extended miles beyond Jhaamdath's First City.[16]

The oligarchic government was wholly abandoned in favor of the ruling psiocracy in −5700 DR.[16] Jhaamdathi society underwent rapid transformation as its ordered caste system was put in place and the reverence of Auppenser was declared as its state religion.[5]

By −5330 DR, continuous expansion saw six of the empire's great cities built across its lands. Some three centuries later, in −5032 DR, Jhaamdath entered into a great conflict with the newly-formed nation of Mir over the lands surrounding the Lake of Steam and delivered unto it a devastating loss. Mir forced Jhaamdath into abandoning its ambitions when it aligned itself with Coramshan,[20] halting Jhaamdathi expansion in the south and forming the nation of Calimshan in −5005 DR.[5] [7][16][18]

While Jhaamdath continued to expand over the next millennia and remaining Twelve Cities were built during this period, culminating with the construction of Corrant in the −4470 DR.[8] Jhaamdathi expansion felt resistance in the east as the nation of Unther grew in power and influence from approximately −1500 DR to −1069 DR.[18] Unfortunately Jhaamdathi society languished and its cultural cultural growth became stagnant over this period. Xenophobia became rampant throughout its citizenry, with notable exceptions to those that successfully resisted incursions upon their lands.[5]

Imperial Jhaamdath[]

In Year of Overflowing Casks, −276 DR, a new and dominant force emerged in Jhaamdath, as the powerful metamind Dharien overthrew nation's bladelords and declared himself emperor of Jhaamdath. The imperial Jhaamdathi forces aggressively expanded their reach, rapidly moving south, west, and north in the lands around the Sea of Fallen Stars. Jhaamdath rapidly expanded its navy with the construction of a great many ships, utilizing tons of timber stripped from the forests of the Chondalwood. The Jhaamdathi military was ruthless against those that opposed;[8] the imperial navy earned a great victory sinking the fleet of Westgate in a naval engagement near the island of Prespur.[5] while its other forces hunted down and slaughtered the elves of the forest that dared oppose their expansion,[8] namely those in Nikerymath that bravely and desperately fought to defend their forest home.[18]

Desperate in the face of utter annihilation, the elves of the region turned to elven High Magic to rid themselves of their psionicist oppressors. In the Year of Furious Waves, −255 DR, they called forth a cataclysmic tidal wave from the Jhaamdath Bay, instantly destroying all of the Twelve Cities of the Sword.[8][20][21] This event reshaped the face of Faerûn, transforming the Jhaamdath Bay into the even-larger body of water known as the Vilhon Reach, after which the surrounding region was named.[1][5][22][23]

While some isolated towers and keeps built atop higher ground escaped the destruction, they eventually sank due to the altered seascape. The only remnants of Jhaamdath that survived untouched were those graveyards and outposts built far from the Twelve Cities,[1] such as those on those found among the isles of Altumbel.[24]

The basin floor beneath the Vilhon Reach was littered with the ruins of Jhaamdath. Psionic power slowly leaked from the countless number of psionically enchanted magical items,[25] corrupting local flora and fauna and creating new oddities such phrenic creatures. The sunken cities came to be inhabited by koalinths, sea hags, and scrags who, along with the depth of the Reach, prevented most exploration.[5]

Legacy[]

Immediately following the empire's fall, its cities and nearby surrounding lands fell into utter chaos and complete lawlessness. The mayhem became so destructive it required intervention by Tyr the Lord of Justice. Tyr and his host of ten-score champions pacified the lands and destroyed the lesser deity Valigan Thirdborn, the former advisor to Emperor Dharien,[26][27] in what came to be known as the Procession of Justice.[28]

Some of the scattered survivors of Jhaamdath's traveled to lands north and east of the Sea of Fallen Stars,[21] including the Vast and the Unapproachable East, settling in Thesk[18] and even founding the kingdom of Impiltur.[29] Descendants of the great Jhaamdathi exodus formed the city-state of Iljak along the region of the Vilhon Reach some 150 years later,[21] and the founding of the nation of Chondath would follow approximately a hundred years later.[8]

Over 1500 years after Jhaamdath's collapse, the landscape of what came to be known as the Vilhon Wilds changed drastically following the catastrophic events of the Spellplague in the Year of Three Streams Blooded, 1384 DR. As water levels in the region receded, the spires of the Twelve Cities emerged above the sea for the first time in over a millennium, and the ruins of Jhaamdath were once again accessible to those that sought them.[30]

Notable Locations[]

Settlements[]

  • Dhinnilith, the First City and capital of Jhaamdath that periodically phased in and out of existence over the Vilhon waters.[1][note 1]
  • Jhouram, the Third City,[16] a robust trading settlement built amid the hills south of the Eyes of Silvanus that survived the cataclysmic tidal wave.[1]
  • Lirremar, the Sixth City[31] beneath which was built the Scaled Halls of Varae.[21]
  • Corrant, the Twelfth city of Swords that became a source of wealth to underwater treasure hunters in the 14th century DR.[32]

Inhabitants[]

Following its collapse, the ruins of Jhaamdath were reportedly haunted by sword wraiths, the spirits of its famed warriors tethered to the Realms in a state of undeath.[33]

Notable Inhabitants[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 In the Lost Empires of Faerûn sourcebook, the First City and capital of Jhaamdath is given as Dhinnilith. In the The Grand History of the Realms, Naarkolyth is the city with the same distinctions and Dhinnilith is a protected Pocket Plane accessible via Naarkolyth's palace. For the purposes of this wiki, the former sourcebook is given precedence with regards to discrepancies and inaccuracies.

Appearances[]

Novels
Referenced only
Shadowstorm

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  2. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  3. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  5. 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 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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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. 86. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 187. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  10. 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. 43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  11. Paul S. Kemp (August 2007). Shadowstorm. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4304-3.
  12. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  13. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  14. Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 113. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  15. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  19. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 268. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  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. 51. 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. 264. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  24. Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  25. Ari Marmell, Robert J. Schwalb (August 2010). Psionic Power. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-5560-2.
  26. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  27. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  28. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  29. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  30. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  31. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  32. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  33. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  34. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
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