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The Lapal, also called Lapalians, were an ancient ethnicity of humans in south and southwest Faerûn, living on the Chultan Peninsula, southeastern shores of the Shining Sea, and in western Shaar. Once slaves of the yuan-ti, they were the ancestors of the Tashalans and Halruaans in the nations of Halruaa, Lapaliiya, and the Tashalar, while pure Lapalians lived on in Shaarmid.[7][8][3][6][4][1][9][5][note 1]

DescriptionEdit

The Lapal had dark hair and a dark olive skin color, which was a dominant trait supplanting the lighter Netherese skin tones among the Halruaans.[8][6]

ReligionEdit

The ancient Lapal worshiped divinities of the jungle and of the yuan-ti.[8][10] In later Lapalian mythology, Amphisbaena the World Serpent was a dark god who'd wrapped its coils around the world. As he devoured himself, so he slowly crushed the world into pulp.[11][12]

HistoryEdit

In prehistoric times, the Lapal people were human tribes dwelling in the eastern jungles of the Chultan Peninsula, with villages around the inland Lapal Sea. However, for a long age, they were also a slave people, kept under the yoke of the reigning yuan-ti.[note 2] Then, in −2809 DR, several new human tribes—the Eshowe, Tabaxi, and Thinguth, led by couatls to the faith of Ubtao—arrived in the western jungles of Chult, peoples who had always been free and unoppressed. Indirectly, they inspired the Lapal tribes to begin revolting against their yuan-ti masters. But winning freedom would be hard and a long time coming.[8][1][9][13]

Finally, after centuries of sporadic clashes and uprisings against the yuan-ti, in −1732 DR, the Lapal abandoned their homes and escaped to the east and north. Thus the Lapal tribes spread far, from the southern coast of the Chultan Peninsula to the western edge of the Shaar and the southeastern shores of the Shining Sea.[7][8][3][1][9][14] But they didn't leave empty-handed—from the yuan-ti they stole the fabled Emeralds of Merrshaulk, which held ancient spells of the yuan-ti priesthood.[5]

Lapaliiya and the Tashalar Edit

However, the yuan-ti continued to terrorize the Lapal. Facing fresh attacks, in the aptly named Year of Fragile Beginnings, −690 DR, the Lapal tribes living along the coast came together in common cause and united in the nation of Lapaliiya. They adopted the settlement of Sheirtalar as their capital,[1][15] and the Fortress of Lapalgard as a symbol of their unity. Nevertheless, the fledgling nation remained threatened by the yuan-ti and was dwarfed by the great northern empires of Calimshan and Jhaamdath, and was regarded as a barbaric and bellicose backwater.[7][1]

Then, Calishite trade ships docked at Sheirtalar for the first time in the Year of Silken Sabers, −569 DR, carrying exotic new luxury goods and opening trade with the settlements on the southern shores of the Shining Sea. The Calishites had a civilizing influence on the northern Lapal tribes, triggering a golden age of prosperity, and the tribal villages of Lapaliiya grew into cities.[7][1][16] Away to the west, Lapal fieldhands and Calishite merchants settled the new realm of the Tashalar and founded Tashluta in the Year of Plentiful Wine, −553 DR.[1][2][16]

The golden age came to a bitter end when the Empire Plague—carried by rats on the Calishite ships—struck the southern Shining Sea coastlands in the Year of Clutching Dusk, −375 DR. The plague dragged on for five horrible years, leaving the Lapal states terribly weak.[1][2][17] Fleeing the plague, some Lapal refugees journeyed further into the Shaar, taking with them the Emeralds of Merrshaulk for safekeeping.[5][17]

After a successful revolt against the empire of Serpentes in the Year of Dreams, 10 DR, the humans of the Tashalar marched east, liberating the Cities of the Seabreeze and driving out the yuan-ti. In the Year of Purloined Power, 34 DR, the new Confederation of Tashtan claimed all the southern Shining Sea coastlands and all the various humans living there—Lapalians, Calishites, Chultans, and Tashtan-dwelling Shaarans—came to be called Tashalans, over time forming a new ethnicity.[2][18]

HalruaaEdit

Some Lapal went south and settled in the Lake Halruaa basin, along its rivers and around the lake. Known as a sturdy people, they focused on farming, herding, and fishing, and, being protected by the mountains, lived in simplicity and peace for more than a millennia, albeit threatened by many monsters. Then, in the −339 DR, Netherese refugees led by Raumark crossed the mountains in a skyship, found the land fertile, beautiful, and sparsely populated by the Lapal with few cities, and so chose to settle. Fortunately, rather than fight, the Netherese and Lapalians greeted each other amicably and soon learned to cooperate. They shared knowledge and society, and those Lapalians with the knack for magic were accepted as apprentice wizards without doubt or prejudice. Within three generations, their intermingling formed a new ethnicity, the Halruaans,[3][19] which was later joined by Arkuians from Dambrath, and gave rise to the nation of Halruaa.[6]

Lhesper and ShaarmidEdit

Those Lapal refugees who'd gone into the Shaar to escape the Empire Plague founded the town of Lhesper two years later, in the Year of Whispering Stones, −373 DR.[5][17]

After Lhesper fell to gnolls in Year of the Fanged Beast, 640 DR, Lapalians there went north to found Shaarmid. They were joined by Shaarans, and the two peoples showed no biases, but ethnically pure Lapaliians remained a slight majority by the mid–14th century DR.[4][5] The Emeralds of Merrshaulk stolen by the ancient Lapal were lost in the fall of Lhesper, however.[5]

The Dolsel GapEdit

Untold centuries ago, yuan-ti sacrificed Lapal slaves in a vile ritual. Their tortured spirits rose as crimson deaths haunting the Dolsel Gap in Thindol, where they preyed on all sentient beings, humans and serpentfolk alike, but targeting especially yuan-ti.[20]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Races of Faerûn refers to this people as Tashalan throughout their history, but the 3rd-edition Shining South makes the Lapal the forebears of the Tashalans, which Serpent Kingdoms follows. Therefore, the early history of the Tashalans is assumed to be that of the Lapal.
  2. Races of Faerûn instead says the ancient Tashalans were enslaved by the saurian creator race, that is, the sarrukh, and their veneration gave rise to the yuan-ti. This seems to be retconned out by later sources like Serpent Kingdoms, but the yuan-ti remain the creation of the sarrukh from an unnamed human race, who may be the Lapal or their ancestors.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 102–103. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 10, 131–132. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 174. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 132–133. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  10. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  11. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  13. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 42, 43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  20. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
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