Lapaliiya, also known as the Lapal League, was a confederation of city-states lying on the southeastern shore of the Shining Sea. The term "the Cities of the Seabreeze" was sometimes misunderstood to describe Lapaliiya, but this phrase also included other, independent cities and those of other realms, such as Narubel, Tashluta, Ormpur, and Procalith. Lapaliiya was eventually destroyed during the Spellplague.
It lay roughly between the Shining Sea, the plains of the Shaar, the jungles of the Chultan Peninsula, and the verdant lands of the Lake of Steam. It consisted of the land between the Delphin Mountains in the west and the Sheir Peninsula in the east, and bounded inland in the south by the Mhair Jungles, the North Wall of Halruaa, the Bandit Wastes, and the Dun Hills.
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. 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.
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. They came into the lands later known as Halruaa (where they settled in the Lake Halruaa basin), and on the southeastern shores of the Shining Sea. Thus the Lapal tribes spread far, from the southern coast of the Chultan Peninsula to the western edge of the Shaar.
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, 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. It continued to be regarded as a barbaric and bellicose backwater. Lapaliiyan tribesmen had long raided the eastern colonies of Calimshan through the first half of the empire's Third Age, from around −900 DR to around −550 DR.
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 grew into cities. 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.
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. In mere months, nearly 30% of Lapaliiya's population died and the Lapal confederation was all but broken. The plague dragged on for five horrible years, leaving the city-states terribly weak. Fleeing the plague, some Lapal refugees journeyed deep into the Shaar, founding Lhesper in the Year of Whispering Stones, −373 DR.
The resurgent yuan-ti founded the empire of Serpentes in the Year of Erupting Crypts, −304 DR. When they and their lizardfolk armies invaded, the debilitated Lapal states could offer no strong or organized resistance. By the Year of Sunned Serpents, −189 DR, Serpentes had conquered all Lapaliiya, the Tashalar, and the surrounding lands, with Ormpur alone remaining free. The struggling Lapaliiyan defenders fought a great battle against the armies of Serpentes near Abreon.[note 1]
Lapaliiya remained a subject of Serpentes, but the empire fell into decline and infighting when its emperor Sseth vanished in the Year of Dreams, 10 DR. After a successful revolt, the humans of the Tashalar marched east, liberating the Cities of the Seabreeze one by one 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, including Lapaliiya, and all the various humans living there came to be called Tashalans (an admixture of Lapaliiyans, Calishites, Chultans, and Tashtan-dwelling Shaarans). This was another time of prosperity for the Tashtan cities.
However, the slayings of almost a dozen Tashalaran merchant lords by the rogue Magister Ergith "the Kingslayer" Klavulgrun (276–278 DR) left Tashtan in a leadership crisis and ill-equipped to resist the demands of Qysara Shoon V (281–300 DR) of the Shoon Imperium that the Cities of the Seabreeze host garrisons of imperial soldiers. In the Year of Wasteful Pride, 285 DR, the Shoon Imperium snatched control of Lapaliiya, but its cities remained effectively independent. The Lapaliiyan city of Untisczer rebelled and, though it was quashed, Shoon V had an excuse to launch the Tashalar Campaigns, already long planned. Untisczer was obliterated as a show of force and the remaining Tashtan cities were captured and installed with military governors, all possessions of the Shoon Imperium.[note 2]
However, under the weak reign of Qysara Shaani (367 DR–427 DR), the Shoon satraps of Lapaliiya were left practically independent. Perhaps seeing the inevitable, the satraps allied themselves more closely to the local peoples rather than to distant Shoonach. Although trade continued, the Shoon Imperium grew steadily more unstable.
Finally, in the Year of Willing Sacrifice, 435 DR, the easternmost fringes of the Shoon Imperium in the Shaar revolted against their puppet rulers and imperial garrisons, the first in the empire to defy it. The revolts quickly spread to Lapaliiya; Sheirtalar was free of Shoon rule for a brief period over 436/437 DR. It would not last: Qysar Amahl Shoon VII dispatched seventeen ships of troops to crush the rebellion. In the Seven Burnings campaign of 438–440 DR, they wreaked havoc in Sheirtalar and Sheirlantar in Lapaliiya, as well as in other cities. Though they retook the Lapaliiyan and Shaaran lands, the troops were forced to withdraw again.
Regardless, the Shoon Imperium finally fell in the Year of the Corrie Fist, 450 DR, when Amahl Shoon VII was killed by Tethyrian rebels. The imperial garrisons were driven out of Lapaliiya and all the holdings in the Shaar and the Chultan Peninsula by the close of the Year of Unleashed Fears, 451 DR. However, the canny satraps of Lapaliiya kept their positions, and Lapaliiya became an independent state once more.
The Lapal LeagueEdit
Over the next two centuries, the Lapaliiyan city-states enjoyed prosperity and peace, a so-called "silver age". Its merchants traded around the Shining Sea, while the other former lands of the Shoon Imperium strained to rebuild.
Meanwhile, from the Year of the Fanged Beast, 640 DR onward, the gnoll tribes of the Shaar turned to the worship of Yeenoghu and grew in might, raiding the towns around Lake Lhespen and destroying Lhesper. In fear of such attacks, the city-states of Lapaliiya elected to unite in another confederation: they established the Lapal League in the Year of Peaceful Seas, 656 DR, with Sheirtalar again its capital. The expected raids came and, even after the gnolls fell into intertribal strife and their attacks dwindled in the Year of the Shrouded Slayer, 671 DR, the Lapal League stayed together. Nonetheless, it was only nominally a nation; the satraps of the five most powerful city-states made up the Grand Council, but it had little actual power.
Over the next several centuries, every few decades, a Shaaran nomad tribe would arise and invade Lapaliiya. However, they would usually overrun a coastal city or two, then be assimilated as new citizens while the merchants continued business as usual. With such influxes, Shaarans became the majority human ethnicity in Lapaliiya, while the existing Tashalans became a dominant minority and rule stayed with the satraps descended from the Imperium governors.
In the Year of the Sword's Oath, 1142 DR, the Coiled Cabal, a group of yuan-ti pureblood mages, awoke from centuries of somnolence and attempted to reconquer the Cities of the Seabreeze. They were opposed by over two dozen archmages of Lapaliiya and Tashluta, who fought first the yuan-ti, then each other as they vied for their own power. For a full season, in a conflict called the Rage of Wizards, they waged wild spell battles up and down the Tashtan Coast. By its end, the cities of Lapaliiya and the Tashalar had suffered gratuitous destruction, but not one wizard or yuan-ti had won a single crown. Disgusted, for centuries after the Lapaliiyans would see wizards with suspicion and instead treat the clergies with much greater respect, leading to the establishment of the civic faiths, as well as the faith-based relations between the cities.
In the Year of the Broken Blade, 1260 DR, a charismatic, power-seeking Overking[note 3] decided to attack neighboring Halruaa, probably to steal its great magic. He made alliances with bandits of the Bandit Wastes and led an invasion down the Talath Pass. But the Halruaans, with their larger army, wizards, skyship, and their magic, effortlessly routed and repelled them. This was to be the last serious invasion of Halruaa by anyone for a century.
After four years of adventuring, Prince Royal Shaliim returned to Lushpool in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR. Over the following decade, he fought countless thieves who came for the treasures he brought back.
In the Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR, the aged Overking of Lapaliiya died of heartstop and his son, Shaliim, was crowned in his place. Shaliim sought a bride who was his equal in sorcery and swordfighting.
In the Year of Blue Flame, 1385 DR, the Spellplague struck Toril and a cataclysm destroyed Halruaa. Due to the powerful wild magic spreading through a newly formed gap in Halruaa's North Wall, Lapaliiya was partially drowned. The climate in the lands of Lapaliiya was drastically changed because of the chaotic wild magic and by 1405 DR the region had finally become a desert. Because of this extreme change, the confederacy of Lapaliiya was eventually dissolved.
The desolated lands were later occupied by wild elf tribes and the region became known as Elfharrow. Because of the reputation of those wild elves, nobody dared to loot the ruins of the once-wealthy city-states.
Every town and city in Lapaliiya had its own civic deity, a god adopted as the patron of the community and whose faith was glorified there. In a settlement with a civic deity, all other faiths were actively discouraged. Some settlements were outright theocracies. The civic deities of Lapaliiya and their respective settlements were Bhaelros (Ithmong), Deneir (Mierskar), Chauntea (Dungar), Eldath (Lushpool), Garl Glittergold (Zashuma), Gond (Lhazantal), Ilmater (Uzurr), Kelemvor (previously Myrkul; Sheirlantar), Lliira (Abreon), Selûne (Sammaresh), Silvanus (Malaxer), Tempus (Lapalgard), Tiamat (Ormpur), Umberlee (Ilyaport), and Waukeen (Sheirtalar).
Government & RelationsEdit
The nation of Lapaliiya was a fractious confederation or league of various city-states, loosely ruled over by a council or monarchy of only limited power and influence. In past centuries, Lapaliiya was no more than a collection of independent city-states, a nation in name only governed by a Grand Council comprising the satraps of the five most powerful, but with practically no real power. Since the union of the rulers of Sheirtalar and Lushpool in 1147 DR, it was ruled by the Overking of Lapaliiya, from the capitol of Sheirtalar. The system of government was complex. The Overking ruled directly over Sheirtalar and, through their heir the Prince Royal, Lushpool. With the consent of the Grand Council, the Overking also officially governed the remaining city-states of Lapaliiya; the Grand Council could vote on the Overking's decrees, but could not make its own. However, in practice, to enact a new policy, an Overking needed the unanimous support of the representatives of Sammaresh, Ithmong, Lushpool, Sheirtalar, and Uzurr, and typically had to negotiate with the satraps of Lushpool and the Shoonsar of Ithmong. It was an open secret among the rulers and top advisors of Lapaliiya that the Lushpan satraps were mostly infiltrated by Hazim'tar yuan-ti and the city effectively under their control, giving them great influence in the realm. From 1371 DR, the nation was ruled by Overking Shaliim Wyrmslayer. The satraps who governed the cities still mostly claimed descent from the governors of the Shoon Imperium.
Owing to the tradition of civic deities, the relationships between the towns and cities tended to reflect those between their respective gods, with both alliances and rivalries. The league was highly fractious; conflicts occurred more between the city-states than with other countries. These were generally open political disputes or underhanded scheming.
However, Lapaliiya did have some quarrels with neighboring Halruaa via the Talath Pass. At times, the city-states raided Halruaa, most likely for its great magic, but the invaders were soundly defeated by such magic. Otherwise, they were content to trade peaceably in both directions, provided the Lapaliiyans stayed behind the border.
Economy & TradeEdit
Lapaliiya was a bustling realm with a good number of trading centers. Its settlements primarily exported foodstuffs like olives, roe, seafood, spices, and wines, as well as pearls and lumber. Meanwhile, they imported fruit and beef, gems, iron, pottery, jewelry, and weapons and armor.
Lapaliiya and Halruaa had healthy trade back and forth through Talath Pass. This would continue provided the Lapaliiyans respected the Halruaan border.
Around 1373 DR, Lapaliiya was recorded as having a population of 1,217,642 people, comprising 95% humans, 2% rock gnomes, 2% yuan-ti, and 1% wild dwarves. Of the human population, 50% were Shaaran, 35% or 36% were Calishite, and 12% were Tashalan, with 1% Chultan and 1% Halruaan. Although they were a minority compared to the Shaarans and Calishites, the Tashalans filled most positions of authority in the nation.
The majority Shaaran population spoke the Lapaliiyan dialect of the Shaaran language, which used the Dethek alphabet. The dominant language, however, was the Tashalan language. Those who knew multiple languages would speak the tongues of their neighbors: Alzhedo, Chultan, Halruaan; or those of their enemies, Gnoll and Yuan-ti.
Whatever their ethnicity, however, Lapaliiyans had a uniform character. They tended to be hardworking merchants and zealous warriors. They greatly valued personal honor and propriety, and would regularly wage feuds and fight duels over even minor offenses that outsiders would quickly dismiss or barely notice. Religious figures, such as clerics and monks, were highly respected and had much authority, while those who used arcane magic were treated with suspicion, ever since the Rage of Wizards of 1142 DR.
Ophiophobia, the fear of snakes, was commonplace. Humans saw serpentfolk like the yuan-ti as the major menace to both their lives and their property, and would kill them on sight if ever they appeared in the open. Even dealing openly with serpentfolk was a crime carrying the death penalty. Despite this, the yuan-ti maintained a significant but secret influence over Lapaliiya, and officials had a habit of not noticing questionable dealings between them and people of substantial political clout. Lushpool, for example, was effectively ruled by yuan-ti. Ironically, some Lapaliiyan humans had yuan-ti ancestry, enjoying enhanced reflexes and resistance to poison, while being slightly inhuman, counting as serpentfolk themselves.
Through long exposure, some Lapaliiyans could be highly resistant to poisons, able to shrug off even lethal venoms. Other Lapaliiyans were adept sailors and well balanced on a rolling deck.
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- ↑ Serpent Kingdoms, page 99, says this battle occurred "more than fifteen centuries ago" from a setting date of 1373 DR. Assuming this is 1500–1550 years (i.e., more than 1500 but not almost 1600), the battle would have taken place between −177 DR and −127 DR, some time after the main conquest. If so, the Lapaliiyan defenders may have been mostly from Ormpur.
- ↑ The Shoon Imperium's seizure of Lapaliiya is ambiguous. Serpent Kingdoms, page 102, briefly notes that Lapaliiya became part of the Shoon Imperium in 285 DR but was "effectively independent" during the reign of the later Qysara Shaani. Page 127 tells the story of the period in more detail, with the Shoon Imperium invading after the failed uprising in Untisczer, the chronology implying the uprising was against Tashtan rule. The The Grand History of the Realms repeats these events, but adds "The Shoon Imperium seizes control of Lapaliiya, though the region's cities remain effectively independent during the reign of Qysara Shoon V." This is placed before the Untisczer uprising (implying it is against Shoon rule) and changes the identity of the empress under which the cities were effectively independent. This appears to be due to error or misinterpretation of the history in Serpent Kingdoms, but it does not contradict it. In fact, it seems to better explain the sequence of events: taking both histories together, it implies the Shoon Imperium seized control of Lapaliiya via the garrisoned soldiers, the Untisczer uprising was against the Shoon forces, and this triggered the Tashalar Campaigns.
- ↑ The Shining South (1993), page 4, says the Lapaliiyan leader was a "power hungry king", but this was before Lapaliiya was developed. The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3rd edition, 2001), page 195, and Shining South (2004), page 132, say it was a "charismatic satrap". Taken together, it appears these are the same person, and that the position of Overking includes a satrapy. Serpent Kingdoms page 103 and The Grand History of the Realms page 128 do not mention the leader.
- ↑ Ormpur appears on the 4th-edition map with the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, but its status is unknown. It is not listed as ruins, however.
- ↑ 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 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 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.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 13, 17, 43, 44. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 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.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 102–103. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 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.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 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.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 99–102. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 93, 94, 96. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 120, 121. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 195. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Map included in Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 140, 143. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- ↑ Thomas M. Costa (1999). “Speaking in Tongues”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #4 (TSR, Inc), pp. 26, 29.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.