Turmish was a republic located north of the Vilhon Reach on the Sea of Fallen Stars. Turmish was a densely populated nation, famous for its mercenary companies and fair-dealing merchants that traded across all of Faerûn. Despite the fame of its hireswords, the country itself was peaceful, prosperous, and civilized.[6][7] Turmish had a good reputation,with its warriors, and merchants especially, being respected and well-liked.[8] It's welcoming people, peaceful nature, fertile countryside, and focus on commerce over warfare earned it the nickname of the "heartland of the Reach."[9] While Turmish suffered many hardships in the Wailing Years, it had recovered admirably following the Second Sundering and the ending of the The Great Rain.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Turmish? Make sure ye take a map -- or a hire a guide ye can trust... or ten winters from now, ye'll still be trying to find yer way out o' that land. Most folk give up, I hear, 'an just settle down. Ye can find worse places in the Realms.

Turmish was shaped like an arrowhead, with the Orsraun Mountains on one side, the Aphrunn Mountains on another, and the Sea of Fallen Stars on the third.[10] The Aphrunn Mountains ranged on Turmish's southeastern border and served as a defensive barrier between the kingdom and the warlike city-states along the northern shore of the Vilhon Reach.[11] One mountain pass -- Lilit Pass -- crossed through the Aphrunn and allowed direct access to the Vilhon.[12]

The mountains surrounding Turmish had many active volcanos. The Aphrunn contained Mount Kolimnis, the Orsraun contained Mount Andrus, and to the southwest was Mount Ugruth. Their periodic eruptions would play decisive roles in the history of Turmish, with Kolimnis burying the city of Gildenglade in 1423 DR,[13] Andrus destroying the fearsome Candlekairn clan of orcs in 517 DR,[14][15] and Ugruth causing the downfall of house Gestin in Hlondeth in the Year of the Speaking Mountain, 257 DR.[16][17]

Running through the center of Turmish was an ancient road called the Halondar.[18] The road began at Alaghôn, the capital of Turmish, and continued southwestwards through the country until reaching the City of Serpents. Besides the Halondar, however, there were very few roads in Turmish. Instead, the country was covered in a maze of small country lanes, making Turmish a country that was easy to get lost in.[10]

Turmish was a beautiful country, full of vineyards, gardens, orchards, picturesque villages, and well-tended farmland.[10] In the 14th century there were only two cities in the whole country: Alaghôn and Gildenglade,[10] with the latter city being destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the Year of Thundering Hosts, 1423 DR.[19] Cities were so rare in Turmish because people preferred to live close to the land. Most Turmishans lived in small villages in their beautiful countryside, enjoying their proximity to nature.[10]

There were no large rivers in Turmish, although there was an abundance of small streams.[10]

Climate[edit | edit source]

The weather of the Turmish was similar to that Reach, namely sub-tropical and humid.[18] While temperatures could drop in winter months, snow was rare,[18] instead winter would come with heavy rains.[20] Summer months were often very hot and humid, and spring came early.[20] The humidity abates somewhat in Autumn.[20]

Government[edit | edit source]

During the late 14th century the republic of Turmish was governed by the Assembly of Stars, who in turn would appoint a Lord of Turmish. As of 1370 DR, the position was filled by Lord Herengar.[21] While all citizens were free to vote, by the late 15th century, in practice the country was ruled by wealthy merchants, under the watchful eye of the druids of the Church of Silvanus and the Emerald Enclave.[22]

Despite the central rule of the Assembly of Stars, as of the Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR Turmish was somewhat politically fragmented.[23] The other cities of Turmish were free to govern themselves however they liked, so long as they paid their share of taxes to Alaghôn.[9] While cities are nominally expected to follow the laws of the Assembly, in practice they are left alone, with the Assembly focusing on national concerns.[9]

Legal System[edit | edit source]

The law of Turmish was based on the Code of Enlil, which was used by the Chessentan Empire.[23] According to the letter of these laws, both piracy and smuggling were severe crimes. However, the enforcement of the law was lax and punishment was unlikely.[23] Furthermore, there were no extensive customs patrols in Turmish, allowing smugglers to operate widely.[23]

Foreign Relations[edit | edit source]

Turmish had a strong commercial partnership and alliance with the city-state of Hlondeth.[24]

Trade[edit | edit source]

Turmish was famous for its merchants. They were known to be fair-dealing, close-mouthed, and well-armed.[7]

Major sea routes came down from the Dragon Coast and Sembia, coming nearby the coast of Turmish to either proceed onwards to the Alamber Sea or turn more sharply to enter the Vilhon Reach.[25] The strategic location of Turmish gave it the saying "Turmish is the gateguard of the Vilhon."[10]

Turmish was unique in the Vilhon Reach for outlawing the slave trade.[12] Whenever Turmish won the Southsand Games it freed the slaves it won.[12]

Mercenaries and Warriors[edit | edit source]

The hordes of Turmish are as numerous as the waves upon the inner sea.
— Common saying in Starmantle[26]

Turmishan Warrior

Turmish was famous for its mercenaries and warriors, who were known to be honorable, impartial, articulate, and battle-skilled.[6][7] Intelligent and charismatic, Turmishan warriors were often conspicuous and stood out in a crowd.[27]

Turmishan warriors were known to wear beautiful, ornate, and intricately crafted armor.[9][4] This armor blended both human and elven styles, customized with spires, embossing, and fluted curves on the joints and shoulder plates.[28][6][29][4], and often had a pointed helm.[30] All Turmishan warriors, regardless of their means or rank, kept their armor in excellent condition and adorned with embellishments.[9] Armor was a status symbol in Turmish, and expensive gold inlays or gem adornments were not uncommon.[9] Armor was valued as much as one's beard.[9]

Turmishan sellswords were so common throughout Faerûn that many people believed that Turmish must be overpopulated, or a place people wanted to escape from.[31] The real reason for their ubiquity was that Turmishans were good soldiers and enjoyed adventure and travel in foreign lands.[6][7]

Turmishan warriors tended to be tall, graceful, and handsome.[29] They were carefully groomed and often wore colognes and pleasant fragrances to cover up the smells of travel, fighting, and general soldiering.[29] Despite their pleasing appearance and ornate armor, Turmishan warriors, like their countrymen generally, were unconcerned with fashion. They were particularly amused by those who wore clothing inappropriate for the situation -- such as wearing silk finery while in the sewers, or bright clothing when trying to be stealthy.[32]

Adventurers[edit | edit source]

Turmish was a country known for producing heroes.[33] Restless young Turmishans seeking adventure would often leave home for seven years before returning, often serving a mercenary in foreign lands.[31]

Wizards[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Vilhon Reach, wizards were distrusted due to the destructive plagues and other calamities that had befallen the region.[20]


Turmishan wizards had a customary dress of green-and-black light cloth robes often tied with high quality sashes.[4] They also commonly wore gold jewelry, especially earrings and chokers.[4] Wizards and other educated folk were respected and admired in Turmish.[34] Turmish wizards did their best to earn this respect and admiration from their countrymen, maintaining high ethical and moral standards and tending to be of good alignment.[34] Turmishan wizards also gave much advice and their free time to their country.[34] Turmishan wizards, like Turmish merchants, were famous throughout the Vilhon Reach for being fair and honest.[35] Turmishan wizards were wise and noble, and used their intelligence and skills to collect information to protect their friends and allies.[35] Turmish wizards tended to be diviners and excelled in the use of scrying magical items, such as a crystal ball.[35] The peaceful nature of Turmishan wizards meant they were even worse at close combat than other wizards.[35]

Culture[edit | edit source]

The people of Turmish had a rich history and developed culture, with many influences from neighboring countries, peoples, and religions. Turmishan culture had strong early influences from ancient Jhaamdath, the nomadic tribes of the Shining Plains[36], Chondath, and Unther. Later in the history of Turmish, the Church of Silvanus and the Emerald Enclave played an important role in the development of Turmish culture, especially its veneration and respect for nature.

Turmishans were friendly and readily aided their countrymen, even strangers.[31]

Burying Valuables[edit | edit source]

Since the Turmishans are known for respecting their land, they often buried valuables, partly as gifts to Chauntea and partly as "seeds" to grow future wealth. The burying of such gold coins and gems were thought to make the land more fertile.[31] It was frowned upon to be found digging in Turmish.[37] Turmishans dealt harshly with those that despoiled their land.[31]

Classless Society[edit | edit source]

The people of Turmish were generally unconcerned with wealth or status, instead judging an individual's character based on their individual merits.[38] Accordingly, Turmishans rejected any sense of social classes and special privileges. Fashions were not followed in Turmish, save for in the capital city of Alaghôn, which was more beholden to cultures across the wider Sea of Fallen Stars.[8] As Turmish was a republic, the citizens often took pride in their pragmatism, their lack of elaborate ceremony, and general absence of aristocratic pretensions.[39] They could be a serious and business-minded people unconcerned with the luxuries of social niceties.[40]

Square-Cut Beards[edit | edit source]

The measure of a man's worth can be seen in the cut of his beard.
— Old Turmishan saying[9]

Male Turmishan merchants customarily wore long, square, neatly trimmed beards.[41][9] The phrase 'square as a Turmishan's beard' was common throughout the Vilhon Reach and signified that a given deal was fair.[42][9] Warriors of Turmish tended to be clean-shaven, so not to be mistaken as a merchant.[29]

By the late 15th century, the Turmishan square-cut beard was not as ubiquitous as earlier. Traditionalists continued to wear the beard, but it was not uncommon for men to go clean-shaven.[43]

Guest Dish[edit | edit source]

The people of Turmish customarily brought a guest dish when visiting another, a popular dish being an upturned skull full of snails.[7]

Inheritance Practices[edit | edit source]

Turmishans in the countryside had unusual inheritance practices. It was common for farmers around the age of forty to leave their farms to their inheritors and leave to go pursue a life of a merchant or soldier. Some stayed near their farm and tended to a nearby wood, and others joined the farmland monasteries that were common across Turmish. These 'retirees' tended to be patient, calm, and confident in battle, with their bodies strong from a life of hard work but not broken by overwork. It is likely that the Turmishans reputations as brave warriors and fair-minded traders come from this unusual inheritance practice.[44]

Archery[edit | edit source]

Archery was commonly practiced in Turmish, with many farmers being quite skilled with a longbow.[45]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Turmishans worshipped a number of gods, including Chauntea[46], Lliira[46][47], Silvanus[46], Eldath[46][48], Helm[46], Talos[48], Tyr[46][48], Loviatar[46], Nobanion[46], Selûne[46], and Tempus[46]. The evil sea-goddess Umberlee was despised in Turmish[49] and worship of Talos was outlawed in Alaghôn.[50]

Lliira’s following in Turmish grew greatly during the Time of Troubles wherein Waukeen was held hostage and unable to answer her worshiper's prayers. The many merchants of Turmish began to switch their supplications to Lliira, Waukeen’s friend and ally, making Lliira's church one of the wealthiest in Turmish. In the 14th century the Lliiran church had a major temple in Gildenglade, before that city’s destruction in 1423 DR.[51]

Deep inside Turmish’s rolling pastoral countryside were several large garden-monasteries dedicated to Selûne, Chauntea, and Loviatar. Worship took place at outdoor altars, often located in glades, and focused on fertility rites.[7]

Festivals[edit | edit source]

Feast of the Moon
Also known as the festival of lovers, this joyous celebration was celebrated throughout all of the Reach during Highsummer.[52][53]
Reign of Misrule
Beginning on Marpenoth 10, a tenday after Highharvestide, the citizens of Turmish would break their religious and mercantile vows by yelling and fighting with one another in the streets, so long as they didn't kill anyone or cause serious harm or destruction. Non-natives were prohibited from joining in these revelries.[53]

History[edit | edit source]

Main article: History of Turmish

Built on the ruins of ancient Jhaamdath, the beginnings of Turmish lay in the founding of Alaghôn in the Year of Patriots, −37 DR. Yet it was not until the rise of Dempster Turmish to power in the Year of Thirteen Prides Lost, 132 DR and his subsequent expansions that the modern nation was formed.

Turmish has alternated between being ruled by merchant families, strong lords, wizard conclaves, and dragons. However, following the resignation of dragonslayer-made-king Corwin Freas in the Year of the Cockatrice, 1248 DR and the establishment of the Assembly of Stars, Turmish has been governed as a republic.

The Spellplague and the ensuing Wailing Years hit Turmish hard, though they escaped the destruction that befell Chondath to the south in what became known as the Vilhon Wilds. The shrinking of the Sea of Fallen Stars harmed Turmish's trade, which was bitterly felt in a country so dependent on commerce. Constant raids from the vampires or Erlkazar made Turmishans wary of outsiders.

Following the Second Sundering and the concurrent Great Rains, many crops failed in Turmish and famine was widely felt. The Emerald Enclave and chosen of Lathander Stedd Whitehorn performed a great ritual that hastened the rains, bringing the inner sea to the level it was prior to the spellplague, and magically restored the farmlands and crops of the country.

Notable Locations[edit | edit source]

Map of Turmish circa 1360 DR.

Cities[edit | edit source]

Ruins[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Several sourcebooks talk of a Turmishan custom oh painting chalk on their foreheads to mark whether an individual could read, write, or use magic. This was linked to the founding of Academia Vilhonus in Chondath in the Year of the Late Sun, 300 DR.[37][21] However, in all subsequent novels and settings following, and all art depicting people from Turmish, these chalk marks are absent. It is likely the story of Turmish wearing chalk on their foreheads comes from Akabar Bel Akash who, though claiming to be from Turmish, in all likelihood was influenced by the culture of Calimshan, even including his Calishite name. Many of the stories of Akabar Bel Akash are inconsistent with the culture of Turmish.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Novels
Referenced only
Azure BondsSong of the SaurialsThe Ring of Winter

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ed Greenwood (May 1995). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Well-Hidden Treasures”. In Dave Gross and Duane Maxwell ed. Polyhedron #107 (TSR, Inc.), p. 6–8.
  2. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 William W. Connors (November 1995). Wizards and Rogues of the Realms. Edited by Anne Gray McCready. (TSR, Inc), p. 67. ISBN 0-7869-0190-X.
  5. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 5.
  11. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  13. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  14. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  16. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  19. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 215. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  22. Richard Lee Byers (July 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786965428.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Curtis Scott (March 1992). Pirates of the Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 978-1560763208.
  24. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  25. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  26. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  27. John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  28. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 86. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  30. Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 5–6.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Poly96-p6" defined multiple times with different content
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named W+PoR-p52"
  33. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 William W. Connors (November 1995). Wizards and Rogues of the Realms. Edited by Anne Gray McCready. (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-0190-X.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 William W. Connors (November 1995). Wizards and Rogues of the Realms. Edited by Anne Gray McCready. (TSR, Inc), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-0190-X.
  36. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named VRPG-p4
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Rand Sharpsword (2002-05-08). More of the Vilhon Reach. Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved on 2012-03-10.
  38. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named W+PotR-p53
  39. Richard Lee Byers (August 2005). Queen of the Depths. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3737-8.
  40. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. p184. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  41. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 86. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  42. Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 5–6.
  43. Richard Lee Byers (July 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786965428.
  44. Ed Greenwood (June 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Mysterious Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #96 (TSR, Inc.), p. 5–6.
  45. Ed Greenwood (November 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: Turmish Customers and Festivals”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #101 (TSR, Inc.), p. 22–23.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 46.4 46.5 46.6 46.7 46.8 46.9 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  47. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PG-p15”
  49. Richard Lee Byers (August 2005). Queen of the Depths. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3737-8.
  50. Template:Cite book/The Vilhon Reach/Dungeon Master’s Reference
  51. Template:Cite book/The Vilhon Reach/Dungeon Master’s Reference
  52. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
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  54. 54.0 54.1 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  55. 55.0 55.1 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
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