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Yartar (pronounced: /ˈjɑːrtærYAR-tarr[7]) was a prosperous and increasingly crowded fortified city located in the Dessarin Valley region of the Savage Frontier.[2][8] It was a member city of the Lords' Alliance, and held a number of allies throughout the North.[6]

The city was alive and full of trade, day and night. Competing trade caravans and trade barges loaded for bear passed through its walls at all hours.[3][9] Beyond the hustle and bustle of honest citizens and traveling merchants was an unsavory criminal element, whose schemes and power hampered the city's ability to become one of the truly influential city-states of Faerûn.[1]

DescriptionEdit

The city was connected by a fortified bridge wide enough to accommodate two wagons with room to spare[2] to a citadel on the west bank. There, the Evermoor Way (linking Triboar and Silverymoon) crossed the Surbrin. Yartar was a crossroads trading town, so it was always bustling with caravans entering and leaving its walls.[3][10] It was renown as a place for merchants, smugglers, mercenaries, and spies from all over the North to meet and conduct business.[11]

As of the late 15th century DR, the population had grown to the point that older structures were torn down and new, taller, buildings needed to be erected, some as high as four stories.[2]

GeographyEdit

Yartar

Area surrounding Yartar c.1372 DR

Yartar was situated on the Evermoor Way, on the eastern bank of the River Surbrin, overlooking the nearby River Dessarin.[2][12]

The Surbrin Trail ran north from the city through the hills on the other side of the Dessarin Valley toward the ruins of Nesmé. The trail hugged the eastern bank of the River Surbrin rather than enter the Evermoors. Yartaran soldiers patrolled the road.[13]

GovernmentEdit

The ruler of Yartar, the Waterbaron, was elected for life. The Waterbaron in 1366 DR was Belleethe Kheldorna.[14] This position was previously held by Alahar Khaumfros, who had inherited the position from his father and who was later revealed to be the leader of the Kraken Society.[4]

The Waterbaron in the years around 1491 DR was Nestra Ruthiol, a Tethyrian noblewoman woman in her fifties with a reputation for being shrewd and farseeing. Nestra believed that the Lords' Alliance was necessary for Yartar's survival and prosperity. She was aware of the Harper and Zhentarim presence in the city, but chose to intervene only when the wellbeing of her citizens is at risk.[15]

DefenseEdit

The city was served by a mounted fighting force called the Shields of Yartar, that were headquartered in the Shield Tower.[9]

RelationsEdit

Yartar was a member of the Lords' Alliance.[16] A trade agreement with Goldenfields brought grain and produce to the city.[17]

Yartar was the historic rival of Triboar and animosity between the two communities was pervasive. While it was typically held in good nature, if occasionally escalated to violence.[18] The feud began when residents of each town blamed the other for the disappearance of the Lost Guide, a caravaneer that was transporting a large amount of gold between them.[19]

Trade & IndustryEdit

Smuggler

Someone bringing supplies to Yartar.

Due to its unique location, on a major road near the crossing of two rivers, Yartar enjoying a thriving fishing community. An abundance of locally-caught crab, eel and other types of seafood, helped the industry thrive.[9]

It was known for its barge-building operation.[9]

Yartar was an important way stop for caravans and traders traveling between its allied city of Silverymoon, and the great metropolis of Waterdeep. As such, many of its business catered to caravaneers, merchants and other Faerûnians that regularly traveled the roads of the North.[9]

HistoryEdit

In the Year of Maidens, 1361 DR, Baron Alahar Khaumfros attempted to further a plot to provoke the Lords' Alliance (particularly Waterdeep) to war against Ruathym on behalf of the Kraken Society and Luskan.[16] He was foiled in his attempt when Liriel Baenre, Fyodor, and Caladorn Cassalanter discovered the plot.[20]

Around five years later, four illithids murdered Alahar in the Waterbaron's Hall for his fraudulent dealings of the Kraken Society's funds.[4][6]

In the Year of the Scarlet Witch, 1491 DR, Yartarans were abducted by the elemental cults for conversion or sacrifice. These were mostly people who would not be missed; the poor and drunkards. The victims were held in the Temple of Howling Hatred.[15]

That same year, members of the Hand of Yartar acquired a devastation orb from the Lord Protector of Triboar's vault. They attempted to auction it off to the highest bidder.[21] Lord Khaspere Drylund, a member of the Kraken Society, sought to bribe or blackmail corrupt officials to support his efforts to become the next Waterbaron.[22]

Yartar3

The nautiloid flying over Yartar

The following year, a nautiloid appeared over Yartar. It destroyed one of the city's tallest buildings and ensnared Yartarran citizens into its hull with its tentacle-like appendages. The illithid ship was quickly forced to teleport away by three githyanki warriors riding atop red dragons.[23]

ActivitiesEdit

In the three years between Shieldmeet years, Yartar would host the Hiring Fair on a field north of the city. This event would draw thousands of outcasts, wanderers, barbarians, criminals, and adventurers from the surrounding area to sell their labor to farmers, merchants, nobles, and anyone else that may have needed workers or bodyguards. It was common for adventuring bands to form at the fair.[1][24]

During Shieldmeet, the city was treated to a grand festival sponsored by the local Tymoran church. This grand event featured much drinking, revelry, and contests of chance and skill, such as wrestling and various forms of gambling.[1]

OrganizationsEdit

As famous as any group within the city, the Hand of Yartar was a fractious thieves' guild made up entirely of women. While they were as large a criminal organization as any found on the Sword Coast North, infighting was common and prevented them from gaining real influence.[24][21] The Hand of Yartar cooperated with the Zhentarim when it was advantageous to do so.[25]

The Lionshield Coster was a trading company based in Yartar. Their symbol was a lion's head atop a field of blue.[26]

A successful adventuring company called the Smiling Company operated out of Yartar for nearly a decade during this time. They made regular donations to the Happy Hall.[1]

Notable LocationsEdit

Defenses
  • Shield Tower: The tower was constructed on the west bank of the Surbrin River and was home to 150 mounted Shields of Yartar. It had its own covered docks where the Waterbaron's barge was normally moored.[4]
Markets & Shops
Temples
  • Happy Hall of Fortuitous Happenstance: The temple of Tymora was a grim fortress of forbidding stone with arched windows that sat on a small hill. By tradition, the temple sponsored many bands of adventurers to stir things up in the North. Adventurers were allowed to stay at the temple for up to nine nights and were provided food. The temple was also known as Two Hap Fort Hall and The Two.[33]
Inns & Taverns
  • Beldabar's Rest: This inn was located beneath the city, under the central market.[33]
  • The Inn of the Glowing Gem[34]
  • One Foot in the Boat: A popular midscale tavern that was frequented by adventurers.[32]
  • The Cointoss a rundown tavern frequented by locals trying to avoid intrigue and tourists. Anyone that could toss a coin through the eye slit of the helm hanging over the bar got their next glass for free. It was owned and operated by Tanataskar Moonwind.[32]
  • The Pearl-Handled Pipe: This inn was considered the best in all of Yartar. The Pearl-Handled Pipe could accommodate more than 600 guests and was lavishly decorated with antique furnishings, fine tapestries, and elegant works of art. It was operated by Elladuth Myristar.[35]
  • White-Winged Griffon: This creaking, run-down hostel was known as Whitewings to locals. It was run by a pair of old brothers that mumbled.[36]
  • Three Rivers Festhall: This festhall was a secret front for the Kraken Society.[34][37][38]
  • Wink and Kiss: The Hand of Yartar protected this large tavern and used it for clandestine dealings.[39] Its interior was constructed as a maze, with many secret doors and hidden passages to confuse pursuers.[36]
Others
  • The Grand Dame: Khaspere Drylund owned this opulently appointed riverboat. When not cruising the river, it could be found moored at the city docks. The boat housed the Golden Goose Casino, which attracted some of Yartar's most wealthy citizens.[40]
  • The Villa: The Harpers maintained a villa in the heart of Yartar. It was a safehouse with a secret teleportation circle hidden behind hallucinatory terrain. Kolbaz, an old Calishite mage and Harper, maintained the spells concealing the circle and scared away interlopers with his cantrips.[41]
  • Waterbaron's Hall: The Hall was the residence and court of the Waterbaron. Stocks carved in the shape of stone lions sat inside the building's stone colonnade.[33]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Adventures
Sourcebooks
Novels
Video Games

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 94. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  5. Dale Henson (as slade), Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays), Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 79. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  7. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  8. Dale Henson (as slade), Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays), Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
  11. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 175. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  12. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  13. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  14. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 217. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
  17. >Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  18. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 84. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  19. slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  20. Elaine Cunningham (March 2003). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2959-6.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 175. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  22. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  23. Larian Studios. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  25. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  26. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  27. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 101. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  29. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 102. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  30. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 25, 54. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  31. Wizards RPG Team (2014). “Lost Mine of Phandelver”. Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17. ISBN 0786965592.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 103. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 97. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Beyond Software, Inc. (1991). Designed by Don L. Daglow. Gateway to the Savage Frontier. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  35. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 104. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  37. Stormfront Studios (1992). Designed by Mark Buchignani, Don L. Daglow. Treasures of the Savage Frontier. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  38. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  39. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 176. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  40. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 216–219. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  41. >Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 978-0786966004.
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