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The Tortured Land, also called the Tortured Lands, was a barren area in the northernmost Moonsea region in north Faerûn.[13][10][14] In one language, it was called the Lee-wai (or Leewai[6]), meaning "land-in-pain" or "land-of-caused-pain", becoming "the Tortured Land" to peoples further to the south as recorded in the The History of the North. It was also known as simply the Waste.[7][8][9][5]

GeographyEdit

It lay beyond the Moonsea, north of the Ride and just below the southern edge of the Great Glacier, west of the northern Galena Mountains and east of Anauroch and the northern tip of the Border Forest, sandwiched between the Abbey Mountains and the White Peaks.[15][16][6] There was no clear border with Anauroch; only where the plants ended and bare rock began marked where one had left the Tortured Land.[13]

Flowing southwest into the eastern half was the River Pelauvir, which was joined by the tributary Shattersoul River. It was crossed by a trail from Ilinvur called the Way of the Powrie, which led onto the Great Glacier.[6]

The landscape was formed from lava flows left by ancient volcanic eruptions that were then carved by flowing glacial ice. Scattered around were weird stone pillars and rock formations, which were smoothed by the wind into natural sculptures, with jagged parts where bits broke off.[10] There was also ice, similarly wind-carved.[13] In the west, the land was dry and rocky, and cut through by deep canyons. In the east the ground was cold and hard, where frozen sand formed dunes in strange and broken shapes[14] and tundra stretched from the Pelauvir north to the Frozen Forest.[17] All over, the terrain was unforgiving and the temperature changes dramatic.[14]

It was a tenday's ride north of the Varm lands.[7][8][9][5]

Flora & FaunaEdit

The Tortured Land was much more moist than the desert of Anauroch, which permitted a lot more plants to grow,[13] though it was still considered a barren wasteland,[7][8][9][5][18] uninhabitable to the majority of people.[14]

There were small prey animals and strangely shaped and savage monsters.[10]

InhabitantsEdit

Few outsiders went into the Tortured Land, and fewer still lingered there long enough to explore, let alone map it. It was believed to be a cold and harsh wasteland of rampaging monsters[13] and an evil land shunned and little-spoken-of by even the Riders of the Ride.[7][8][9][5]

However, in a secluded part of the Tortured Lands there lived the ondontis, a community of pacifist orcs dedicated to the goddess Eldath. Fifteen tribes lived in harmony with the land through farming and foraging.[2][3]

In the icy northeast, where the Way of the Powrie crossed the River Pelauvir at the bridge called Maram's Span was the settlement of Frozen Flindyke,[6] the home of gnolls who claimed the tundra from here to the Frozen Forest.[17]

In the late 1360s DR, a Moonstars agent based in Whitehorn monitored events in the Tortured Lands, Anauroch, and Frozen Forest.[1]

Notable LocationsEdit

Beside Frozen Flindyke stood the ancient stone giant citadel of Moch-Fanan, fashioned of rune-inscribed iron and long abandoned by the jotunbrud. They built this and the bridge later called Maram's Span. For thousands of years, it guarded trade into the south of their realm. It was later claimed by the gnolls of Flindyke.[17]

Two mysterious locales in the heart of the Tortured Lands were the Oubliette of Madness and the Cenotaph of Lost Gods.[6]

Somewhere in the heart of the Tortured Land there was once a glowing spring. Once a year in the month of Ches, the Riders were said to come to venerate the spirit of this spring.[7][8][9][5]

HistoryEdit

According to the Sage Archembald of Yûlash, in the last years of the Age of Dragons (−30,000 DR to −24,000 DR), the stone giants reluctantly gave up Moch-Fanan and went into the Abbey Mountains. After them came the gnolls, who built Frozen Flindyke around the citadel and bridge.[17]

Circa −2274 DR, a shield dwarf clan dwelling in the Tortured Land declined to join a dwarven war party in raiding peaceful settlements of the Border Forest. Convicted as traitors by their kin, they were exiled from the Tortured Land and migrated north onto the Great Glacier. After a year-long journeyed, they settled in Novularond, but only four members of the clan had survived. They went on to found the Innugaakalikurit clan, the modern-day arctic dwarves.[11][12][note 1]

A legend of the northern tribes told that a being of fire called Tirantikus—Tyranthraxus the Flamed One—emerged from the Tortured Land.[19] Tyranthraxus, together with Edranka and Torath, were generals of the Twisted Ones, unholy creatures employed by the glowing pool. In the Year of Stale Ale, −356 DR, they raised armies and conquered, destroyed, and reigned over the northern lands.[7][8][9][5][20] From out of the Waste, Tyranthraxus led the Riders to conquer Barze, Horreb, and the Vane before being defeated, for a time.[7][8][9][5] In the Year of Craven Words, −350 DR, Edranka led a horde of goblinoids, 100,000 in number, out of the Tortured Land and attacked the minotaur kingdom of Grong-Haap, based at Ironfang Keep. They were annihilated when the priest-king Haask summoned the elder evil Hargut of the Gray Pestilence.[4][21]

After the fall of the Netherese survivor states, a group of pacifist refugees from Rulvadar passed through the Tortured Lands and settled in the neighboring mountains near the Border Forest. Joining the people of Yrlaancel, in the Year of the Dancing Deer, 351 DR, they founded the city of Ondathel, later Myth Ondath, a city dedicated to Eldath. The people adopted a group of orphaned orc children and raised them in the faith of the Green Goddess. When that city was destroyed by the Ice Queen and the Gatekeeper's Crystal in the Year of Chasms, 633 DR, these orcs were among the few survivors.[18][22] They lived on in peace in the Tortured Lands as the ondontis.[2][3]

The ondontis were discovered unexpectedly by a scouting party out of Zhentil Keep in the Year of the Lion, 1340 DR. Shortly after their first meeting, fourteen of the fifteen tribes were captured by Zhentilar raiders and taken to the Citadel of the Raven to be used as slaves and breeding stock for a new army. The final tribe left, isolated at the time, escaped into deep seclusion and avoided later raids. They employed the divine magic of their clerics to conceal themselves from the slavers. Thus they remained by 1369 DR.[2][3]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Demihumans of the Realms places this "2,200 years ago", perhaps miscalculating the conversion of the Ulutiun calendar used in The Great Glacier. However, other sources give other, very different dates for arctic dwarf settlement

ReferenceEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Steven E. Schend, Sean K. Reynolds and Eric L. Boyd (June 2000). Cloak & Dagger. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-1627-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Monstrous Compendium). (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Jon Pickens ed. (November 1996). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0786904496.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Brian R. James (November 2007). “Realmslore: Ironfang Keep”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 79, 80.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Mike Breault, David "Zeb" Cook, Jim Ward, Steve Winter (August 1988). Ruins of Adventure. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 26, 27. ISBN 978-0880385886.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Strategic Simulations, Inc. (1988). Pool of Radiance. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7  (1988). Pool of Radiance Adventure Book , link:[1]. (Strategic Simulations, Inc.).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 159, 165. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Roger E. Moore (January 1999). Demihumans of the Realms. (TSR, Inc.), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-1316-9.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50, 51, 62.
  15. 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.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 117, 127. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–63.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  19. Mike Breault, David "Zeb" Cook, Jim Ward, Steve Winter (August 1988). Ruins of Adventure. (TSR, Inc.), p. 62. ISBN 978-0880385886.
  20. Mike Breault, David "Zeb" Cook, Jim Ward, Steve Winter (August 1988). Ruins of Adventure. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 978-0880385886.
  21. Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80.
  22. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 71, 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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