The Severed Hand, formerly the Hand of the Seldarine, was an elven fortress, located in a canyon at the base of The Spine of the World across from the Fields of Slaughter. It was built in circa 900 DR, as a place for which the occupants could rule the surrounding lands.
Layout[edit | edit source]
The fortress was separated into four floors. The first floor was the greeting hall and where the slaves worked, and the second floor was the guild floor (where the library, workhouses were). The third floor was essentially a huge throne room, and the fourth floor contained the lodgings (i.e. barracks and slave quarters).
On this final floor, there were four towers and a fake tower that lead to nowhere. This is where the name Hand came from, as it resembled the five fingers of a hand. The four towers were the Wizard tower, the Cleric tower, the Officer tower, and the War tower. Each of these towers, similarly, had four floors.
History[edit | edit source]
Beginnings[edit | edit source]
It was originally known as the Hand of the Seldarine by the elves, but the locals always knew it as the Severed Hand due to the five towers arranged like a humanoid hand reaching towards the sky. It was due in large part to the elves presence there that the local orc population was restrained from successfully forming a horde and sweeping into the lands south of the mountain range. The elves' hippogriff riders plus excellent swordsmen, archers and mages slaughtered the orcs whenever they massed. They also forged a close alliance with the Dwarves of Dorn's Deep and together, crafted some of the greatest magical arms, armour and other items of that age. For centuries, elves lived in peace in the fortress.
Inner turmoil[edit | edit source]
After a while, it was discovered, to the astonishment of the elves, that several orc tribes were armed with those magical weapons forged by the elves and the dwarves. Larrel, the current archmage and ruler of the Hand immediately blamed the dwarves for supplying the orcs and broke off all ties. Even while the hostilities between the erstwhile allies were escalating, an orc horde descended upon the Hand, all equipped with the alliances items. A battle took place first on the soon-to-be-named Fields of Slaughter (named after the battle), then, finally, in the halls of the fortress itself.
Larrel's daughter, Evayne, had fled the citadel to appeal to the dwarves, after Larrel struck her when she argued with his decision. She successfully lobbied the dwarves to listen to an elven offer of peace, but the dwarven scouts had already reported that the horde had grown larger and was moving on Dorn's Deep. The dwarves put up a valiant defence, but ultimately, Evayne and the dwarves were all killed.
The mythal[edit | edit source]
In the final moments of the Hand, when the horde already had seized the first three floors of the fortress. The elven archmage Larrel, and his associate wizards, attempted desperately to cast a mythal to save the Hand from the invasion. However, it went awry and transformed every living creature in the building, orc and elf alike, into undead beings, frozen in the final moment of battle. This caused all but Larrel to haunt the place as ghosts, unaware that any time had passed since the spell was cast. Those who had already died in the battle also began to rise as hideous undead. Larrel himself was turned into a Baelnorn and soon went mad with only ghosts for company.
In approximately 1281 DR, adventurers came out of Easthaven to defeat Belhifet and Crenshinibon. They wished for guidance from Larrel, and entered the Severed Hand, revealing the citadel's history.
Restoration[edit | edit source]
The aforementioned adventurers aided Larrel, brought life back to parts of the citadel, and freed the ghosts to the afterlife, before moving on to complete their quest. They later discovered that the unscrupulous drow merchant Nym had stolen the alliance items from Dorn's Deep's treasury. He had sold them to the orcs and precipitated the fall of the elf and dwarf strongholds by himself.
Occupation by The Legion of the Chimera[edit | edit source]
Around 1306 DR, the cambions Isair and Madae brought their army to the abandoned fortress, and made it the base for their legion and a temple to Iyachtu Xvim. After enslaving hundreds of men and women, a huge restoration project commenced. Isair and Madae sent emissaries to the Ten-Towns to create some a peace treaty for trading. The mayor of Bryn Shander sent his emissary with pastries filled with holy water to the twins. The twins, being half-demon, were burned by the holy water. This event ignited a war.
Final downfall[edit | edit source]
Soon, a band of adventurers that had sailed from Luskan, to aid Targos, made their way to the fortress. They found a huge slave population, which they freed by slaying the glabrezu guard. They met a mage named Orrick the Grey, who informed them the whole fortress was collapsing into limbo because of the intense changes the twins had been setting on the fortress. When the adventurers went to battle Isair and Madae, the twins began to be sucked into limbo themselves. As the Hand shifted into Limbo, most of the fortress was destroyed.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Hand of the Seldarine article at the Icewind Dale Wiki, a wiki for the Icewind Dale game.
- Severed Hand article at the Icewind Dale Wiki, a wiki for the Icewind Dale game.