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The Shaar was a stretch of grassy plains and gently rolling hills that measured more than 1,500 miles from east to west, and about 250 miles from north to south.
By 1479 DR, due to the Spellplague, the Shaar had become a vast desert wasteland known as the Shaar Desolation. In the center of the Shaar Desolation lay an enormous area called the Underchasm where huge swathes of land around the Great Rift collapsed into the Underdark. Bordering the Underchasm to the east was a region called the East Rift.,
Its western end touched the very eastern tip of the Shining Sea, and its eastern end butted up against Veldorn, the Land of the Monsters. It was bisected by two significant geographical features, a cliff face called the Landrise and the Great Rift, a gouge in the earth 200 miles long and half that wide.
The southern border of the Shaar was made up from the adjoining Channath Vale (a series of woods and mountains along the river Channath), the Forest of Amtar and the Toadsquat Mountains.
The otherwise featureless plains of the Shaar were dotted with isolated forests and a small collection of hills. Several shallow rivers and streams crossed the Shaar, but these waterways tended to become sandy-bottomed gullies during the dry season.
The Shaar received scant rainfall, so little other than coarse grass, cacti, and thorny bushes grew on the plains. During daytime it was blistering hot, while at nights it grew uncomfortably cold. Both geographically and meteorologically, the Shaar was a land of extremes.
Nomadic human tribes roamed the Shaar since recorded history began, but little in the way of civilization existed there. From time to time, other powers assumed authority over certain regions of this grassland, and even built settlements to manage trade, but only the crumbling remnants of their efforts remain.
Aside from humans, wemics, centaurs, thri-kreen and loxo also roamed the Shaar, hunting the great herd animals and constantly squabbling over water rights. From time to time, gnolls, perytons, manticores, wyverns and dragons challenged the nomads for supremacy of the area.
Sites of interest Edit
Strewn accross the Shaar lay several geographical sites, worth mentioning here:
- Azulduth: In the southeastern reaches of Mulhorand lies the Lake of Salt, a shallow, highly salinated body of water drained by the River of Swords.
- The Channath Vale: A narrow stretch of land along the southern side of the Shaar, where the River Cannath flowed west into the River Talar.
- Council Hills: A cluster of hills, sitting like an island in a sea of grass, found in the middle of Eastern Shaar.
- The Great Rift: A wide canyon near the western end of the Eastern Shar, not far from the Landrise, home for the gold dwarves.
- The Landrise: A steep cliffside marking the border between the Shaar and the Eastern Shaar.
- Lake Lhespen: A lake not as salty as Azulduth, but still a mineral-laden body of water with salt-crusted shores that was unsuitable for other uses.
- The Rathgaunt Hills: Wedged between the Lake Lhespen on the west and the Landrise on the east, this rocky crag domminated the southern half of the plain of the Shaar.
- The Riftwood: This small isolated forest lay just east of the Great Rift and generally north-northwest of Delzimmer.
- The River Shaar: Originated from the icy-cold Riftlake in the Great Rift, flowing underground in the Deep Realm.
- The Shaarwood: A dry and dusty forest just north of the River Shaar.
- The Sharawood: Also called the Drakewood, this forest sat in between Azulduth and the Toadsquat mountains.
- Uthangol Mountains: A chain of peaks stretching eastwards from the tip of the Chondalwood, forming a barrier between the Shaar in the south and the Black Ash Plains and the Green Lands of Unther in the north.
Most communities in the Shaar were nothing more than trading centers. Small in size, they were usually dry and dusty, but close to a water source for their survival. Gold Dwarves from the Great Rift had their own cities, some on the surface, most underground, which differ greatly from the trading centers of other races, since the races don't share their ideas readily.
The following cities could be found in the Shaar:
- Blaskaltar: Actually a rumoured city that once stood in this hot sun-baked area with no written records on it.
- Delzimmer: A small free-trade city, ruled by four powerful merchant families.
- Eartheart: A dwarven metropolis, divided into two sections, one inside the walls, the other on the outside.
- Hammer and anvil: A small tent-city outside the western walls of Eartheart, filled with workshops.
- Hardcastle: A small town, nothing more than a fortified trading camp.
- Khôltar: A small city, known as the Iron City because of its unusual iron-covered walls.
- Lhesper: A ruined town, near the northern tip of Lake Lesphen in the heart of the Shaar.
- Peleveran: Today nothing more than ruins built into the side of the Landrise.Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), pp. 23–25. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
- Shaarmid: A large free-trade city, which forms a safe haven for merchants because of its stout walls and formidable defense forces.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. Fold–out Map. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. Fold–out Map. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.