The Netherese, also known as the Neth, were an ethnic group of dark-haired, fair-skinned humans that resided in the ancient magocratic nation of Netheril. Many cultures and ethnic groups in Faerûn were either descendants or absorbed into the Netherese people, such as the Shadovar, the Halruaans, the Bedine, and the Illuskans, among others. Only a few select groups of pure-blood Netherese still existed on Toril as of the 14th century DR, over a thousand years after the fall of the great Empire of Magic.
The Netherese had always lived in a hierarchical magocracy, that was seperated into the flying enclaves of High Netheril and the cities of Low Netheril located around the Narrow Sea. While the people shared a common script of draconic alphabet, the people of Low Netheril spoke Netherese while the nobles of High Netheril spoke Loross. The reason for two languages was due to separation of the classes.
Following the fall of the High Netheril in the 4th century before Dale Reckoning, the survivors of three cities of High Netheril, Anauria, Asram, and Hlondath, along with the commoners of Low Netheril spread out from northern Faerûn across the rest of the realms. The enclave of Thultanthar managed to survive the cataclysmic destruction by magically shifting into the Shadowfell.
- High Netherese
As the "Netherese survivor states" continually fell to external forces, Anauria in 111 DR and Hlondath in 329 DR, the last-living people of High Netheril migrated south into what would be Cormyr and east into the Moonsea region. They were absorbed into the burgeoning Chondathan and Vaasan ethnic groups of humans.
- Low Netherese
The people of Low Netheril, referred to as the free folk, mostly endured Karsus's Folly, but had their essence and life force drained by the Phaerimm. Sometime around the mid-5th century DR they began migrating westward, fracturing into two groups in the process. One group moved northwest to the Savage Frontier and merged with the Illuskan people, while the others went southwest into the Western Heartlands where coalesced with the native Tethyrian tribes.
As of the 14th century, only four groups of pureblood Netherese humans were known to exist on Faerûn.
- Marsh Drovers of the Farsea Marshes in Cormyr were believed to be descended from the people of Anauria who never integrated with the Chondathan population.
- The barbarians of the Tunlands were descendants of the Rengarth tribe, cousins of the commoners of Low Netheril.
- There was a tribe of nomadic barbarians in the Ride, north of the Moonsea, whose distant ancestry could be traced back to Low Netheril.
- The Netherese of Thultanthar survived for over a thousand years in the plane of Shadow, and came to be known as the Shadovar.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Clayton Emery (May 1996). Sword Play. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0492-5.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
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