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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.[8][9] Turmish had a good reputation, with its warriors, and merchants especially, being respected and well-liked.[10] Its welcoming people, peaceful nature, fertile countryside, and focus on commerce over warfare earned it the nickname of the "heartland of the Reach."[1] While Turmish suffered many hardships in the Wailing Years, it recovered admirably following the Second Sundering and the ending of the The Great Rain in the late 15th century DR.[citation needed]

Geography[]

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.[11] 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.[12] One mountain pass—Lilit Pass—crossed through the Aphrunn and allowed direct access to the Vilhon.[13]

The mountains surrounding Turmish had many active volcanoes. 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,[14] Andrus destroying the fearsome Candlekairn clan of orcs in 517 DR,[15][16] and Ugruth causing the downfall of house Gestin in Hlondeth in the Year of the Speaking Mountain, 257 DR.[17][18]

Running through the center of Turmish was an ancient road called the Halondar.[19] 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.[11]

Turmish was a beautiful country, full of vineyards, gardens, orchards, picturesque villages, and well-tended farmland.[11] In the mid–14th century, there were only two cities in the whole country: Alaghôn and Gildenglade.[11] 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.[11]

While it was sometimes said there were no large rivers in Turmish,[11] in fact the Alaoreum River ran from the Alaoreum Mountains to Evenstar Lake.[citation needed] There was also an abundance of small streams in the country.[citation needed]

Climate[]

The weather of Turmish was similar to that of the Vilhon Reach, namely sub-tropical and humid.[19] While temperatures could drop in winter months, snow was rare,[19] instead winter would come with heavy rains.[20] Summer months were often very hot and humid, and spring came early.[20] The humidity abated somewhat in Autumn.[20]

Government[]

During the late 14th century DR, 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.[7] 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.[21]

Despite the central rule of the Assembly of Stars, as of the Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR, Turmish was somewhat politically fragmented.[22] The other cities of Turmish were free to govern themselves however they liked, so long as they paid their share of taxes.[1] While cities were nominally expected to follow the laws of the Assembly, in practice they were left alone, with the Assembly focusing on national concerns.[1]

Legal System[]

The law of Turmish was based on the Code of Enlil.[22] 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.[22] Furthermore, there were no extensive customs patrols in Turmish, allowing smugglers to operate widely.[22]

Foreign Relations[]

Turmish had a strong commercial partnership and alliance with the city-state of Hlondeth.[23]

Trade[]

Turmish was famous for its merchants. They were known to be fair-dealing, close-mouthed, and well-armed.[11]

Major sea routes ran from the Dragon Coast and Sembia to near the coast of Turmish, where they either proceeded on to the Alamber Sea or turned more sharply to enter the Vilhon Reach.[24] The strategic location of Turmish gave it the saying "Turmish is the gateguard of the Vilhon."[11]

Turmish was unique in the Vilhon Reach for outlawing the slave trade.[13] Whenever Turmish won the Southsand Games, it freed the slaves it won.[13]

Mercenaries and Warriors[]

The hordes of Turmish are as numerous as the waves upon the Inner Sea.
— Common saying in Starmantle[25]

A Turmishan warrior displaying her ornate armor.

Turmish was famous for its mercenaries and warriors, who were known to be honorable, impartial, articulate, and battle-skilled.[8][11] Intelligent and charismatic, Turmishan warriors were often conspicuous and stood out in a crowd.[26]

Turmishan warriors were known to wear beautiful, ornate, and intricately crafted armor.[1][5] This armor blended both human and elven styles and was customized with spires, embossing, and fluted curves on the joints and shoulder plates[27][8][28][5] and often had a pointed helm.[29] All Turmishan warriors, regardless of their means or rank, kept their armor in excellent condition and adorned with embellishments.[1] Armor was a status symbol in Turmish, and expensive gold inlays or gem adornments were not uncommon.[1] Armor was valued as much as one's beard.[1]

Turmishan sellswords were so common throughout Faerûn that many people believed that Turmish must be overpopulated, or a place people wanted to escape from.[9] The real reason for their ubiquity was that Turmishans were good soldiers and enjoyed adventure and travel in foreign lands.[8][11]

Turmishan warriors tended to be tall, graceful, and handsome.[28] They were carefully groomed and often wore colognes and pleasant fragrances to cover up the smells of travel, fighting, and general soldiering.[28] 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.[28]

Adventurers[]

Turmish was a country known for producing heroes.[30] Restless young Turmishans seeking adventure would often leave home for seven years before returning, often serving as a mercenary in foreign lands.[9]

Wizards[]

Turmishan wizards had a customary dress of green-and-black light cloth robes often tied with high-quality sashes.[5] They also commonly wore gold jewelry, especially earrings and chokers.[5] Wizards and other educated folk were respected and admired in Turmish.[31] 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 nature.[31] Turmishan wizards also gave much advice and their free time to their country.[31] Turmishan wizards, like Turmish merchants, were famous throughout the Vilhon Reach for being fair and honest.[32] Turmishan wizards were wise and noble, and used their intelligence and skills to collect information to protect their friends and allies.[32] Turmish wizards tended to be diviners and excelled in the use of scrying magical items, such as a crystal ball.[32] However, the peaceful nature of Turmishan wizards meant they were even worse at close combat than other wizards.[32]

Culture[]

A Turmishan merchant with square-cut beard.

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,[33] 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.[citation needed] Turmishans dealt harshly with those that despoiled their land.[9]

Turmishans were friendly and readily aided their countrymen, even strangers.[9]

Like much of the Vilhon Reach, the Turmishans shared the custom of painting dots on their foreheads to mark whether an individual could read (one dot), write (two dots), or use magic (three dots). This was linked to the founding of Academia Vilhonus in Chondath in the Year of the Late Sun, 300 DR.[34][7]

Large mirrors were outlawed in Turmish due to the fear of fetch, predatory creatures of the Abyss who used mirrors as portals to the Prime Material plane. An unsettling Turmite folk song about fetch was a popular explanation of the strange mirror-banning law.[35]

Burying Valuables[]

Since the Turmishans were 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.[36] Thus it was frowned upon to be found digging in Turmish.[34]

Classless Society[]

The people of Turmish were generally unconcerned with wealth or status, instead judging an individual's character based on their individual merits.[37] 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.[37] As Turmish was a republic, the citizens often took pride in their pragmatism, their lack of elaborate ceremony, and general absence of aristocratic pretensions.[38] They could be a serious and business-minded people unconcerned with the luxuries of social niceties.[14]

Square-Cut Beards[]

The measure of a man's worth can be seen in the cut of his beard.
— Old Turmishan saying[1]

Male Turmishan merchants customarily wore long, square, neatly trimmed beards.[39][1] The phrase "square as a Turmishan's beard", signifying that a given deal was fair,was common throughout the Vilhon Reach.[40][1] Warriors of Turmish tended to be clean-shaven, so as not to be mistaken as a merchant.[28]

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.[41]

Guest Dish[]

The people of Turmish customarily brought a guest dish when visiting another. A popular dish was an upturned skull full of snails.[11]

Inheritance Practices[]

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 the 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's likely that the Turmishans' reputation as brave warriors and fair-minded traders came from this unusual inheritance practice.[42]

Archery[]

Archery was commonly practiced in Turmish, with many farmers being quite skilled with a longbow.[43]

Religion[]

Turmishans worshiped a number of gods, including Chauntea,[44] Lliira,[44][45] Silvanus,[44] Eldath,[44][45] Helm,[44] Talos,[45] Tyr,[44][45] Loviatar,[44] Nobanion,[44] Selûne,[44] and Tempus.[44] The evil sea-goddess Umberlee was despised in Turmish[46] and worship of Talos was outlawed in Alaghôn.[47]

Lliira's following in Turmish grew greatly during the Time of Troubles after Waukeen was held hostage and unable to answer her worshipers' 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 mid-to-late 14th century DR, the Lliiran church had a major temple in Gildenglade.[48]

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.[11]

There was a great temple of Loviatar in Turmish that was destroyed in during the Godswar in 1358 DR.[49]

Festivals[]

Feast of the Moon
Also known as the "festival of lovers", this joyous celebration was celebrated throughout all of the Vilhon Reach during Highsummer.[50][51]
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.[51]

History[]

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.[citation needed]

Turmish 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 governed as a republic.[citation needed]

The Spellplague of 1385 DR 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 vampires or Erlkazar made Turmishans wary of outsiders.[citation needed]

Following the Second Sundering in the 1480s DR 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.[citation needed]

Notable Locations[]

Map of Turmish circa 1360 DR.

Cities[]

Ruins[]

Geography[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

Further Reading[]

Appearances[]

Novels
Referenced only
Azure BondsSong of the SaurialsThe Ring of WinterTymora's Luck

References[]

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  2. 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.
  3. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
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  41. Warning: edition not specified for The Reaver
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Connections[]

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