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Sheirtalar, also known as the Shining City by the Sea, was the capital city of Lapaliiya in southwest Faerûn in the mid–14th century DR. The gateway for trade between the Shaar and western Faerûn, it was one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Shining South.[1][2]

GeographyEdit

Shaar

A map of Lapaliiya circa 1358 DR.

Lapaliiya

A map of Lapaliiya circa 1372 DR.

Sheirtalar was a coastal city located on the eastern end of the Shining Sea,[4][5][6] at the head of Sheir Bay, which was on the northern side of the larger Talar Bay at the foot of the Sheir Peninsula. The land descended toward the coast with a slope so steep that those on approaching ships could view almost the entirety of the city.[1][2]

Government & ReligionEdit

Sheirtalar was the capital of the Lapal League, the confederation of city-states that made up Lapaliiya, and was the biggest and most powerful of them. It was ruled by the Overking of Lapaliiya, who in turn ruled the other cities via complicated arrangements.[1][2][7]

The civic deity of Lapalgard was Waukeen.[1][2]

TradeEdit

The majority of trade goods from the Shaar bound for western Faerûn went through the port of Sheirtalar, bringing it much wealth and culture.[1][2]

The Seven Suns Trading Coster had a regional base here, run by the merchant Dzunn of Sheirtalar, in the mid–14th century DR.[8][9]

InhabitantsEdit

The city was a metropolis with a population of 52,135 in 1373 DR.[1][2]

DescriptionEdit

It was named the Shining City for all the gold and silver that gilded the domes of Sheirtalar's most important buildings in a display of excessive opulence. Greatest of these was the Domed Palace of the Overking, which stood proudly on a massive granite in the city's upper third. A close second was the Gilt House of Gleaming Coins, the temple of Waukeen.[1][2]

On the eastern side lay the Liongirt District, a seedy and crowded neighborhood. Once, this area was the site of Liongirt Tower, the home of the mage Onsilur Maerdrathom, and its walled gardens wherein lions were kept. Though the tower crumbled and the lions and gardens gone, the area remained known for concealed teleport links and portals and for sudden and unpredictable triggered spells.[2][10]

The city of Sheirtalar hosted a small Shou Town (an enclave or embassy) by the mid-1370s DR.[11]

There was a temple of Gargauth hidden below the streets of Sheirtalar.[12]

After the Spellplague, by the late 15th century DR, Sheirtalar was a half-sunken city, its streets and buildings flooded by brackish, oily water, though it kept its overall shape and size.[13] No longer maintained and beset by rough weather, its shining domes became cracked and dull. The Domed Palace of the Overking was dragged down into a deep and winding fissure, never reached by daylight. Upon the old throne lay a self-aware aboleth, outcast from its kind and never one of the Abolethic Sovereignty, which commanded the creatures of the dank palace.[14] Above, terrifying monsters lurked under the water and within the waterlogged buildings, taking any chance to strike and preying even on one another.[14][13] Nevertheless, the wild elves of the local Abn'dak Tribe came here to scavenge wood and stone and other useful items, retreating hurriedly before they disturbed the creatures.[13] The lost treasure vaults remained untouched in the ruins.[14]

HistoryEdit

Facing attacks from the yuan-ti, in the Year of Fragile Beginnings, −690 DR, the Lapal tribes on the Shining Sea coast united in the nation of Lapaliiya. They adopted the settlement of Sheirtalar as their capital.[2][15]

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 southern shore of the Shining Sea. The Calishites had a civilizing influence on the northern Lapal tribes, triggering a golden age of prosperity, and tribal villages like Sheirtalar grew into cities.[2][16]

Lapaliiya later became a possession of the Shoon Imperium. Onsilur Maerdrathom of Sheirtalar, the self-styled "Ruling Magister" (321326 DR), successfully forced the imperial satraps of the Tashtan Coast to grant legal protections and positions to mages. While this might've limited their spell-duels and feuds, and the rulers wanted the peace and prosperity that result, few appreciated a mage's dictates, nor the hassles that would result from every mage having special status. So, at the demand of Qysar Shoon VII (who preferred the Cities of the Seabreeze to be divided by such disputes, not united against his rule), a number of satraps secretly many mages from Mulhorand and neighboring lands to slay Onsilur. Onsilur's reforms were significant yet brief, but as his fate was uncertain, it was some years before the satraps reversed them.[10]

In the Year of Willing Sacrifice, 435 DR, revolts erupted in Lapaliiya, slaying puppet rulers and occupying soldiers. Sheirtalar was even free of Shoon rule for a brief period over 436/437 DR. However, Qysar Amahl Shoon VII dispatched Hakam yn Sarak el Sallah and seventeen ships of troops to crush the rebellion. In the Seven Burnings campaign of 438440 DR, they arrived in Sheirtalar's port and Sallah massacred anyone who had a sword, and many who didn't, killed on sight before razing the city, before doing the same to five other cities, even after they surrendered. They retook the Lapaliiyan and Shaaran lands, and sent a shocking message to all would-be rebels, and the Bloody Qayadin remained in what was left of Sheirtalar to govern. However, the troops were forced to withdraw again and the empire fell a decade later. In the Year of Unleashed Fears, 451 DR, when word of the collapse came and emboldened the citizens, a mob of vengeful widows attacked Sallah, their bare hands tearing him apart.[17][2][18]

In fear of gnoll attacks, the city-states of Lapaliiya united in the Year of Peaceful Seas, 656 DR, forming the Lapal League, with Sheirtalar again its capital.[2][19]

In the aftermath of the Rage of Wizards, the ruling houses of Sheirtalar and Lushpool formed a union in the Year of Glad Tidings, 1147 DR. Their leader, Haliim, became the first Overking of Lapaliiya.[1][7][2][3]

In the Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR, the aged Overking of Lapaliiya died of heartstop and his son, Shaliim Wyrmslayer, succeeded him.[20][21] However, when a black dragon was sighted swimming in Talar Bay in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, Shaliim stayed sheltered within the Domed Palace. Unable to represent the realm in person, Lapaliiya's trade suffered and concerns were circulated privately around the court.[20]

Elfharrow 1479 DR

A map of Elfharrow circa 1479 DR, showing the ruins of Sheirtalar.

In the Year of Blue Flame, 1385 DR, the Spellplague struck Toril and a cataclysm destroyed neighboring Halruaa. This smashed a gap through its North Wall, and Lapaliiya was flooded with toxic waters and rampant wild magic.[22][23] Sheirtalar was flooded and devastated,[13] with the Domed Palace dragged down into a deep fissure.[14] Afterward, the climate changed drastically, turning the land to near desert in but two decades. The confederacy of Lapaliiya dissolved and its people died or were forced to flee, leaving the ruins of their cities behind them.[23]

The desolated lands were later occupied by wild elves from Misty Vale and the region became known as Elfharrow by 1479 DR. The Abn'dak Tribe claimed several miles of Shining Sea coastland as their territory, including the ruins of Sheirtalar. Because of the fiercely xenophobic reputation of the wild elves, and tales of them haunted, nobody dared to loot the ruins of the once-wealthy city-states, but the elves had no interest in them either.[23][24][25]

Notable InhabitantsEdit

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  4. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South (Map). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  5. Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9, 10. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  6. Map included in Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 98–99. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), pp. 55, 100. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  11. Eytan Bernstein (2007-05-09). Eastern Classes. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2018-03-24. Retrieved on 2016-05-21.
  12. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), pp. 32, 44. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 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.
  24. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  25. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786965809.
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