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 The Border Kingdoms, Shaar, and the Underchasm
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vythvutha
Acolyte

Canada
5 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2023 :  18:36:36  Show Profile Send vythvutha a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hello and well met friends,

I'm currently working on a home-brew campaign for my players to venture south from Thay to the Shaar, primarily by boat and I have a few questions maybe some of you could help me with.

I know that there were quite a few major geographical upheavals with the Second Sundering and the Spellplague, and then some of them were reversed in later events. However, my questions are thus:

1 - is the Sharksbane Wall from Delthuntle to Brassune still largely intact except for a portion? Is it still visible above the water?

2 - Are there any rivers navigable from Vilhon Reach to the Sea of Steam?

3 - With the Underchasm filled in, what is the state of the Drow communities that were in that area? If there are underground canyons, etc., are they still accessible from the surface?

Thank you for your time and consideration in humouring my curiosity.

Werthead
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
158 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2023 :  18:55:43  Show Profile  Visit Werthead's Homepage Send Werthead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1: The assumption is that it returned to its late 2E/3E state, so it's no longer visible above the surface and it remains intact apart from the breach where Iakhovas's forces poured in.

2: No. The closest navigable stretch is where the Nagaflow comes closest to the far eastern end of the Lake of Steam at Shipwreck Neck. In 3E there was a project to build a canal from the Nagaflow to the Lake, via Kurrsh and Innarlith, but it was never completed. The other likely route would be from the Lake of Dragons to the Chionthar via the Tun River, Proskur and maybe Iriaebor.

3: That's a good question. In 4E the assumption was those areas were destroyed, but in 5E it appears that the Second Sundering reversed the destruction, and many of the "destroyed" areas had in fact merely been swapped onto Abeir, and had survived the intervening 100 years, and then returned to Toril intact. For example, it was assumed that Halruaa had been obliterated but it's back in 5E and apparently fine. So the drow cities etc should be there again and intact.

The general rule of the Second Sundering is that it made it so like that the Spellplague never happened and reversed all the effects, bar the dragonborn are still around and in some cases some of the political changes to the map have endured (Luruar falling, Tymanther existing, Mulhorand retreating from Unther). But the physical changes to Faerun and to Toril have basically been retconned out of existence and Faerun restored to its status as of the end of 2nd Edition (even the 3E geophysical changes have been undone).
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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

467 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2023 :  08:08:28  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Underchasm I can share my opinion. Supposedly in a book (I researched this ages ago) the Underchasm got filled in after a quest of adventurers trecked deep into the Orsraun mountains to awaken the power of Grumbar, who then magically filled the underchasm over some period of time.
And by the underchasm, I mean the vast crack in the world from 4th edition that was centralized on the ancient Shaaran landmark. The 5th edition map decided to return to 2nd edition designs, and used Grumbar to erase 4th edition's big hole (and possibly all the other 'holes' and chasms that 4th edition introduced- chasms with no lore that the DMs were supposed to come up with stories around because there was nothing on them in the campaign guide) which means that the underdark probably completely returned magically to the same exact way it was before the spellplague.
I would assume it wasn't so much 'filled in' as magically made to be how it was. The dwarven ruins and drow settlements would likely look as they did before the underchasm happened.

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vythvutha
Acolyte

Canada
5 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2023 :  12:15:21  Show Profile Send vythvutha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bow to both of you learned members and greatly appreciate you both answering my questions so fulsomely. There is so much information in the world and so many incomplete or outdated maps it can be difficult to know how the world is at any given time! I want to make a fun campaign but also make sure it adhere's somewhat to the established lore and both of you have greatly helped me with the latter issue.

Werthead, you mentioned the canal, which was fantastic, and i became very curious about it and found a very brief mention of it in the Grand History of the Realms book that it had been completed in 1380 DR. If you hadn't mentioned it I doubt I would have found any mention of it at all. So, this will help me keep the players on the boat and the campaign moving a little more smoothly.

I greatly appreciate both your theories about the Underchasm. I'll use what I can find about the Great Bhaerynden as it seems like things are relatively intact, or wholly so.

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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11670 Posts

Posted - 24 Feb 2023 :  16:19:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding the Shaar and dark elves and expanding on some of what some of the other guys have said:

It's not expressly stated yet, but I assume that what people "knew" in 4e was incorrect. Things didn't so much collapse and create the underchasm so much as "large amounts of the Shaar went to Abeir, just like nearby Chondath".

Over the past few years, I've had a lot of fun playing with the concept and basically had it that on Abeir that this new land appeared where a gaping hole had been previously. Some believe that this gaping whole had previously been an area destroyed by Pandorym / Entropy the Godswallower. Many sections of Chessenta and Chondath also transferred to Abeir, and many of those places had Thayan enclaves. Many Thayans, chessentan born mulans and other chessentans/chondathans, fled south from Abeiran residents. They ended up in a dragonfire ruined cliffside city in the shaar in a river valley that exits the face of the landrise and proceeds into the western Shaar. This city was Peleverai and was the capitol of the kingdom of Peleveran (see Gargauth entry in Powers and Pantheons for some interesting history).

When they arrived, they found that the ruined city was occupied... by 3 Crintri princesses and their thousandfold servants who had been holding a competition to see who could gather the largest herd of wild horses when the Shaar transferred to Abeir. So, since they couldn't return to Dambrath, they found the same old city that all these humans were fleeing to. Both groups finding themselves in a tenuous situation, they do something unexpected... they agree to share the city.

So, two extremely racist groups, each thinking their own special combination of genes is "the right set" build a new society together. Each continues to believe that theirs is the best way. They then discover that this cliffside city has tunnels that lead into the underdark. They find some of these drow cities, and they are in disarray without Lolth to guide them. The Crintri princesses capture drow males and females and bring them back to the city of Peleverai in chains. These drow slaves become literal breeding stock for the Crintri, and the female Crintri establish harems of drow males. Former drow priestesses of Lolth are forced to give birth and their children are taken from them, and those who don't produce children are tortured to death by the Loviatar loving Crintri.

Eventually, I have it that many of these Loviatar worshipping Crintri turn to a new deity who actually answers their prayers... a goddess who Zakharans believed to be "dead", but who was still actively worshipped by cat folk in Katashaka. This deity is Kiga the Predator, and the former whip wielding Crintri start to favor a "cat o'nine tails" form of weapon.. but one with four whips tipped by a metal claw so that it resembles a leopard paw. Kiga the Predator is a leopard goddess who in many ways resembles a female version of Malar. These crintri, who formerly were so focused on horses, become focused on training all kinds of animals (horses for hunting, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hunting falcons, etc...). Fast forward to the second sundering, and this subculture of female Crintri Kiga worshippers stranded in Abeir returns to Toril and finds a culture of non-elven blooded male dominant Malar worshippers have taken over their former homeland.... and they decide they need to start hunting.

I've posted some of my other ideas for using Peleverai in these forums if you are interested. Search for Peleverai or Peleveran and you're likely to find them.

I guess part of the main reason I've posted all this is.... a hundred years have passed, so don't assume that in that intervening time things didn't change with these communities while it was in Abeir. I view this as a great opportunity to build out something new. Also, while I put forth an idea of SOME of these Crintri seeking to return to Dambrath and restore their rulership.... I also like the idea that others are like "we like this city we've rebuilt... and we're staying". In short, factionalism... multiple groups having returned and they don't all have one set of cohesive goals. Some want to maintain what they built. Some want to return to their old homelands and see what's changed, whether that be Chondath, Dambrath, Chessenta, Unther, Mulhorand, etc.... Meanwhile, they are also taking in a new batch of refugees fleeing as a result of the second sundering, as some of the High Imaskari fleeing "Returned Mulhorand" come to this newly returned city and request asylum in return for fealty. So, the human magocracy that existed from the Thayans that helped establish this city in Abeir accept members of another magocracy in order to increase their own power AND knowledge of this "new world" that surrounds them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 24 Feb 2023 16:30:24
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