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Narfell was a country in the Cold Lands region of northeast Faerûn. It was once the heart of a vast empire that stretched from the Giantspire Mountains to Lake Ashane, which included the Great Dale, much of Thesk, part of the Plateau of Thay, what would become Impiltur, and other lands.
History[edit | edit source]
In its height of power, Narfell was ruled by evil priests. They maintained their power through horrid blood-pacts with demon lords, gaining the control of demonic armies. This once great civilization fell over 1,500 years ago in a terrific battle with its ancient enemy, Raumathar.
In −970 DR, Thargaun, the Nentyarch of Tharos, built his capital at Dun-Tharos and forged the artifact known as the Crown of Narfell. He then began to conquer the surrounding Nar kingdoms, bringing them under his rule. In −946 DR, the nentyarch's armies destroyed Shaundaular, the capital of Ashanath, and all of the Nar kingdoms were united into the new empire of Narfell. Circa −900 DR, both the Nar and Raumathari Empires rose to prominence. In Year of Clipped Wings, −623 DR, Narfell attempted to invade both Mulhorand and Unther by sea, which failed. In Year of the Stone Giant, −160 DR, Narfell and Raumathar began their decade-long war that involved the summoning of demon lords and an avatar of Kossuth. This final war resulted in the destruction of both empires.
The empire's few survivors fled back to Narfell, vowing to rebuild their mighty realm. That dream, however, had long since faded by the 14th century DR. By then, Narfell was a frigid land of barbarian tribes who had little or no knowledge of their grand and sinister past, preoccupied as they were with simply surviving the region's harsh and bitter winters.
Economy[edit | edit source]
Trade was minimal, but merchants who did not wish to traverse the land of Thesk sometimes passed through Narfell instead by way of the Long Road. The Long Road started in Damara and entered Narfell through the pass in the Giantspire Mountains before intersecting with the Cold Road at N'Jast. From that point, the road continued on to Nathoud, which stood in the shadows of the Icerim Mountains in northern Rashemen. The Giant Gap, as the road was commonly called, was virtually impassable in the winter and was plagued by hobgoblins.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
The remnants of Narfell's magnificent empire were ruins littering the region's plains. These ruins were often avoided by the Nars, for they'd learned that the ruins usually contained ancient and long-dormant magical traps, as well as ghosts and wraiths. Once in a while, a group of foreign adventurers decided to explore the ruins. The Nars regarded those who opened tombs and plundered ruins as dangerous fools who were all too likely to hurt other people with their reckless prying. Thus, the Nar tribes often went out of their way to drive off or kill any adventurers they caught exploring ancient Nar ruins.
Bildoobaris, the unofficial capital of Narfell, was little more than an open plain that rested in the towering shadow of Mount Nar. For one tenday every summer, this plain turned into a bustling city consisting of over 30,000 Nars. Also called Bildoobaris, this festival was the largest and most important holiday in all of Narfell; even the cruelest and most fierce Nar tribes came to drink, feast, and trade together.
Dun-Tharos, created in −970 DR, was a ruined city in the heart of the Rawlinswood that was once the imperial capital of Narfell. Raumathari battle mages laid waste to the city, leaving only ruined buildings and rubble. In Year of the Last Hunt, 722 DR, a powerful druid called the Great Druid of Leth took residence in the ruins of Dun-Tharos and claimed the title of nentyarch, an archaic Nar title of lordship. In order to cleanse the Rawlinswood of Narfell's foul taint, he grew a living fortress of trees over the ruins. Recently, in Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR, a being known as the Rotting Man and his army of diseased creatures drove away the druid and took control of Dun-Tharos. The nentyarch fled into exile at Yeshelmaar, and Dun-Tharos lay buried under masses of rotting dead and dying trees and vegetation. The Rotting Man occupied the ruins for two years before a mystical rite went awry and summoned scores of ancient demons to plague the forest.
Located at the far eastern edge of the Forest of Lethyr, Fortress Narder was a gathering point for Nar armies preparing to invade Raumathar in the days of the empire. A Raumathari spell reduced the fortress to a pile of rubble and broken stone. A foul sickness permeated the ruins of Fortress Narder. This sickness seeped from the dungeon and poisoned the surrounding water, soil, and air. The former Nentyarch of Dun-Tharos, with the aid of other druids, worked to cleanse the area, but their efforts were hampered by frequent attacks from the hezrou demons that lurked in the fortress's depths. The nentyarch suspected that a transplanted chunk of the Abyss or some other source of evil power lay at the heart of Fortress Narder.
The ruins of the Fortress of the Half-Demon lay within the borders of Rashemen in the North Country, near Lake Ashane. The keep was built of magical and mysterious stone, which was said to have prevented its destruction at the hands of the Raumvirans. The stone comprising the walls of the fortress was icy cold and gave off a harmless, glowing green vapor. The entrance to the keep was an enormous iron gate in the shape of a demonic face. A hagspawned creature named Losk resided in the ancient fortress with his gang of ruffians and thieves, who searched the dungeons for anything valuable.
The ancient kingdom of Jastaath, one of the small Nar kingdoms that existed before the rise of the Empire of Narfell, was ruled by powerful priest-kings who kept a fortress high atop the western slopes of Mount Nar. The magic of the mighty priest-kings was able to control the weather around the fortress, keeping it pleasant and warm even in the dead of winter. The ruins of this ancient city since lay lost beneath the everlasting ice and snow. No modern expedition to the peak ever found the buried ruins of the ancient castle. These expeditions were no doubt hindered by Kryonar, a white dracolich wyrm that resided in an icy cavern in the mountain's northern face.
Shaundaular, also known as the City of Weeping Ghosts, was once the capital of Ashanath, a minor Nar kingdom. The city's ruins lay along the shores of Lake Ashane. Shaundaular was destroyed in −946 DR by the Thargaun when its leaders refused to join the new empire, and it was later haunted by hundreds of wraiths and dread wraiths.
Val Murthag was a Nar fortress destroyed by Raumathari battle-magic during the final war between the two empires. Its ruins lay on the western edge of the Great Dale. Val Murthag was Narfell's unholy spiritual center of demon worship. All that remained of the surface structure were crumbling walls of stone, but in vaults deep below the surface resided trapped demons, undead, stolen Raumathari artifacts, and secrets regarding a ritual used to transform mortals into fiends. Circa 1374 DR, Branimern Rythil, a renegade Red Wizard, and her imp familiar explored the ancient fortress, hoping to learn about its demonic secrets. She avoided strangers for fear of retribution from her former master, Nevron, the Thayan Zulkir of Conjuration.
See Also[edit | edit source]
Appendix[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 67. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
Sources[edit | edit source]
3rd Edition D&D
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. Unknown. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. Unknown. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. Unknown. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
4th Edition D&D
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 000–000. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.