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The Western Heartlands was a region located in the western portion of Faerûn. It stretched from the Sword Coast region at water's edge of the Sea of Swords in the west, to the Storm Horn Mountains in the east. The region extended north until the Lizard Marsh of the Delimbiyr Vale, including the High Moor to the northeast, and went as far south to the Lands of Intrigue of Amn, Tethyr and Calimshan.[1][2]

The region was home to perhaps Faerûn's grandest metropolis of the 14th and 15th century DR, the city-state of Baldur's Gate.[3] Between the "miles and miles of miles and miles" of rolling hills, grassy flatlands, impassable marshes and monster-filled forests[1] the region was dotted with isolated villages and hamlets, trading stops and lonely castles.[4]

For centuries, the western heartlands had never been to home to a unified kingdom. The separate but amenable towns along the Trade Way and Uldoon Trail exiting in relative peace and reservation from one another. This dynamic changed after the Tormish clerics and paladins of Elturel united the surround towns and villages into the Kingdom of Two Suns, Elturgard.[5][6] Over the next century later, the serpentfolk kingdom of Najara grew in influence and power, with the yuan-ti and lizardfolk of the Serpent Hills and Forest of Wyrms uniting under the rule of King Jarant in the year 1474 DR.[7][8]

RegionsEdit

BacklandsEdit

Aside from the Savage Frontier to the northwest, the Backlands were considered the largest swath of wild, untamed frontier land in the western realms of Faerûn. It was infested with goblinoid raiders, malevolent beasts from the nearby Marsh of Chelimber and horrors from beyond Toril. While dangers could be found among the old ruins of ancient Netheril, the presence of a an unusual number of gates was postulated by sages as the cause of the region's exorbitant number of monstrous beasts.[9]

Geographic features
Landmarks
Settlements

ElturgardEdit

Geographic features
  • Fields of the Dead: This expanse of verdant farmland earned its name from the great number of old battles fought on its soil, dating from before the 9th century DR.[1]
  • Reaching Woods: A number of humanoid races, including elves, humans and even gnolls maintained shrines to their respective deities within this large forest.[19]
Landmarks
Settlements
  • Elturel: Resting on a hill under the warm illumination of the Companion, the capital of Torm's kingdom was a beacon of vigilant safety that extended out to the surrounding towns.[5]
  • Scornubel: The City of Caravans was a haven for the rough-and-tumble outlanders, wayfarer and merchants of the Western Heartlands and beyond,[20] much to the chagrin of the High Observer of Elturgard.[21]
  • Soubar: This stopover settlement located on the Trade Way was home to the Black Abbey, a long-abandoned monastary of Bane.[22][17]
  • Triel: Located on the Trade Way, this stockaded village acted as a grain repository for the farmers for the region.[23]
Roads
Trade WayUldoon Trail

NajaraEdit

Despite its vast expanse, the Kingdom of Serpents, comprised of nagas, yuan-ti, lizardfolk and other scalykind, existed merely as rumors and hushed warnings to the other denizens of the Western Heartlands.[8] In the late 15th century DR, King Jarant sent yuan-ti ambassadors to neighboring kingdoms and city-states with a clear message that declared their sovereignty and dictated the terms of their diplomatic relations.[24]

Geographic features
  • Forest of Wyrms: This dark and dense forest of great redwood and pine trees was home to a great number of monstrous serpents, yuan-ti and even green dragons;[1] it was believed one of these wyrms changed the inherent physiology of these serpentine creatures.[13]
  • High Moor: These dense and untamed wetlands were home to a the typical beasts of the regions, as well as hobgoblins, orcs and a handful of human barbarian tribes.[25]
  • Highstar Lake: Located within the High Moor, this pristine and beautiful lake was an anomaly among its surroundings.[26]
  • Marsh of Chelimber: This vast marshland, full of noxious sulfurous pools, was home to a number of tribes of lizardfolk that have often been subjugated by various factions and kingdoms.[24][13]
  • Serpent Hills: These desolate, red clay hills had labyrinth of subterranean tunnels that were used by the Najaran serpentfolk to travel throughout their realm.[24]
Landmarks
Settlements
  • Ss'khanaja: Located mostly beneath the Winding Water, this subterranean city served as the capital of the Najaran kingdom, where King Jarant held court.[24]

Sword CoastEdit

Geographic features
  • Cloak Wood: An ancient forest, home to vicious beasts and enigmatic fey, that was rumored to contain several portals that linked to other regions of Faerûn.[1]
  • River Chionthar: This key river allowed for the transport of goods from Baldur's Gate to cities of Elturgard and the Sunset Vale.[4]
  • Delimbiyr: This forking river flowed from the High Moor to the Lizard Marsh and the Sea of Swords.[29]
  • Troll Hills: Along with the forest to the north, these hills were overrun with a great number of trolls.[4]
  • Trollbark Forest: In addition to its namesake inhabitants, this forest was the hunting grounds to several species of lumbering beasts that could crash through its dense thickets and brambles.[4]
  • Trollclaws: The concentrated troll population of the Sword Coast continued southeast to this tangled landscape of rough hills.[30]
  • Winding Water: In the stretch around Boareskyr Bridge, the waters of this river flowed a foul black hue; this "Bhaal water" was a taint leftover from the destruction of the deity's avatar during the Time of Troubles.[4]
  • Wood of Sharp Teeth: This smaller forest was rumored to be the hunting grounds for a number of dire beasts, hydras and even dragons.[4]
Landmarks
Settlements
  • Baldur's Gate: The largest city in all of Faerûn, The Gate was a prosperous city of commerce an opportunity, that offered near-endless possibilities to its citizens.[36][3]
  • Beregost: Located on the Coast Way, this small town was protected by the nearby clergy of Lathander.[37]
  • Candlekeep: The library-fortress found at the end of Lion's Way was the greatest repository of written works in the Realms, be they simple song books, dusty old journals, or arcanabulae of famous wizards.[27]
  • Daggerford: This pastoral town was built around a castle, strategically located where the Trade Way intersected with the Delimbiyr river.[38][33]
  • Secomber: This quiet and peaceful town of fishers and farmers served as the de facto border between the Western Heartlands and the North.[7]
Roads

Coast WayTrade Way

Sunset ValeEdit

The rolling knolls and vast stretches of wilderness of the Vale were accentuated by a pair of large cities settled on the River Chionthar. The area between them, full of prosperous and well-protected farms, served as the bread basket for the surrounding lands, shipping their goods as far away as Amn. Roaming bands of bandits, goblins and wemics kept the roads well-traveled and acted as a buffer against possible invasions from the nearby powers of the Sea of Fallen Stars.[39] Some of the cities of the town willfully joined the kingdom of Elturgard to the west.[citation needed]

Geographic features
  • Far Hills: Nearly mountains themselves, these rocky crags west of the Sunsets were kept clear of travelers by the ominous presence of Darkhold.[1]
  • Greenfields: These open lush grasslands were regularly fixated upon by warlords and other would-be rulers trying to carve out a piece of the world.[10]
  • Sunset Mountains:[40]
Landmarks
Settlements
  • Asbravn: This small town on the Dusk Road acted as the marketplace for the farmers of the Sunset Vale.[43]
  • Berdusk: Dubbed the Jewel of the Vale, this Elturgaran city was a key trading hub and housed a great number of talented artisans,[21] as well as the western headquarters of the Harpers.[44]
  • Corm Orp: Nestled in the western foothills of the Sunset Mountains, this hamlet had a mix of human and halfling residents who lived in peace with one another.[45]
  • Hardbuckler:[46]
  • Hill's Edge:The "forgotten city" of the Vale,[47] was small but prosperous, thanks in part to their willingness to trade and deal with just about any group, including the Zhentarim and even the Red Wizards.[14]
  • Hluthvar:[48]
  • Iriaebor: The City of a Thousand Spires was an independent city-state that housed a number of rival merchant houses whose decades-long bickering prevented its leadership from having a greater influence in the region.[49][19][14]
Roads

Dusk RoadUldoon Trail

AppendixEdit

GalleryEdit

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 222. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 225. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  6. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  9. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 123. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 223. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 132. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 102. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 228. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  15. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  16. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 126. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  18. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 139. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  20. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  22. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  23. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  26. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 224. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  28. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  29. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  30. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 83. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  31. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 294. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  32. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 91. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 227. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  34. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  35. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 296. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  36. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  37. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 226. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  38. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  39. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 147. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  40. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 187. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  41. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  42. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  43. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 148. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  44. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  45. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 175. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  46. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 182. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  47. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 186. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  48. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 200. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  49. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 202. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.