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Aiseth
 
PostPosted: Thu, Jan 07 2016, 1:19 AM 

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I decided since Halruaans remain a playable race in Amia, I wanted to set all my notes free for those of you looking to 'Go East of Wizard Eden' and play as a Halruaan in the desolate muggle peasantry that is the Trackless Sea! I hope you find this both fun to read and informative. I encourage people to make these sorts of guides too for your other playable races.

History: Halruaans are the descendants of two cultural groups. Their original ethnicity comes from the Lapal (forebears of the Tashalans), a people who fled to this region after escaping their yuan-ti masters in the jungles near the Lapal Sea. More than three millennia ago, these escaped slaves settled a sheltered valley region that sat along the southern coast of Faerûn, surrounded on three sides by high mountains and the Great Sea on the fourth. They established an uncomplicated life of farming, animal herding, and fishing. The Lapal had few cities and many monster problems, but their existence was secluded and undisturbed for over a thousand years. The Lapal people typically ranged from black-haired, to white, brown, or blonde-haired (as if bastards of yuan-ti creatures).

When the empire of Netheril was shattered by the folly of Karsus and the magic of the phaerimm, a number of wizards, along with their families, servants, and extended clans, fled the northland, led by the archmage Raumark. They traveled southward by way of skyships, looking for a place where they could both hide from the Phaerimm and settle into a life of magic once more. Eventually, they came upon a broad valley set between three mountain ranges that even their Skyships had difficulty traversing. There they found the simple Lapal people, still farming and fishing. Within three generations, the two groups had merged into one culture. The Netherese taught the ways of magic, and the Lapal offered the secrets of using the land's resources. In the centuries since then, the Halruaans have enjoyed a good life while preparing for invasion from elsewhere, always expecting either the phaerimm or other jealous nations to come and try to take their magic away. In the years after the arrival of the Netherese, Halruaa grew and prospered as a nation of wizards in relative isolation. But although its citizens have never shown much interest in occurrences beyond the Walls of Halruaa, the converse has not been true - Halruaa's neighbors have made numerous attempts at conquest despite the country's fabled defenses. Envious of Halruaa's riches and magical treasures, the Dambrathans have been the most frequent pests, invading Halruaa for brief periods on several occasions. In 585 DR. a fleet of Dambrathan galleys attacked Halruaa's coasts and occupied the country south of Lake Halruaa for several months, until the great Halruaan wizard-king known as Mycontil defeated the invaders and slew their leader. The last serious invasion occurred about one hundred years ago, when a charismatic satrap of Lapaliiya led a great raid through Talath Pass. The Halruaans drove off these invaders easily.

At one point late in the second century DR, a small faction of Leira worshipers broke from the wizards of Halruaa and relocated to the island of Nimbral. Though they are Halruaan by blood, they are a distinct culture separated from their kin by many miles of ocean. It lies southeast of the Moonshaes.


Expanded Timeline
-1732 Lapal tribes begin to settle the Lake Halruaa basin.
-339 Year of Sundered Webs Karsus causes the fall of Netheril, and the archmage Raumark leads a cadre of Netherese south. This group eventually finds and settles Halruaa.
-125 Year of Banished Wisdom Hetel Hastalhorn, a prominent Halruaan archmage, founds Mhairhetel, now known as the City of Renegades, in the southern tip of the Mhair Jungles.
147 Year of Iron Colossus Azuth worshipers formally break with the Church of Mystra and establish the House of the High One Ascendant in the mountains near Lhair.
173 Year of Screaming Sharn Several followers of Leira, dissatisfied with the stranglehold that worshipers of Mystra and Azuth have gained over the Council of Elders, depart Halruaa in skyships. These wizard lords eventually settle in Nimbral.
426 Year of Black Dawn Ongild, a wizard of some renown, crafts a magic gem that stores spells and gives it his name. The Ongild eventually winds up in the belly of a red dragon named Hoondarrh.
546 Year of Rusted Sabre Gulkuluster begins creating a series of powerful wands, one of which is currently in the possession of a sapphire dragon named Malaeragoth, who lairs beneath the Graypeak Mountains.
553 Year of Gnashing Tooth Arkaiun barbarians from Dambrath invade the coast of Halruaa and occupy numerous cities for several months.
554 Year of Waving Wheat Mycontil, the Wizard-King of Halruaa, assembles an army to drive the invaders out. During the battle, he slays the barbarian king, Reinhar I, with a devastating spell that also consumes Mycontil and his circle of apprentices.
585 Year of Ogling Beholder A fleet of Dambrathan galleys attempts to sail into the channel leading to Lake Halruaa and conquer Halagard. Devastating magic launched from both shore and skyships sinks almost every ship.
638 Year of Menial Phrases First rumors of a temple dedicated to Grumbar, hidden in the West Wall, arise on the streets of Halruaan cities.
827 Year of Sacrificed Fortune Wizard Omm Hlandrar of Halruaa engages a Red Wizard named Velsharoon in a spectacular magical battle in the skies over the Shaar. The contest ends in a draw.
973 Year of Emptied Lair Crinti shadow marauders begin raiding the Nath Valley through the pass connecting the two nations.
1144 Year of Giant's Maul Halruaan archmage Ootheraum Deirin slays the dragon Thokiastees over the Shining Sea east of Orlil in an aerial battle.
1146 Year of Tardy Guests Necromancer Akhlaur opens a portal to the Elemental Plane of Water, releasing the larakens into the swamp where his tower sits.
1260 Year of Broken Blade Lapaliiya attempts to invade Halruaa and is repulsed.
1262 Year of Black Wind Zalathorm, the current wizard-king, ascends the throne of Halruaa.
1263 Year of Tressym Netyarch Zalathorm moves the capital of Halruaa from Halagard to Halarahh for defensive purposes.
1312 Year of Griffon Thongameir "Stormspells" Halargoth acquires a young bronze dragon as a mount and is frequently seen flying to and from his secluded mountainside keep, known as Narthtowers.
1321 Year of Chains Darsson Spellmaker, later renowned for creating numerous spells, is born.
1332 Year of Sword and Stars Hansandrar Ilmeth, an archmage of Halruaa, creates the Mighty Rune of the Master, a magic "spelltome" of Deneir.
1355 Year of Harp Dwalimar Omen, an agent of Zalathorm, departs Halruaa in the Realms Master, a special skyship equipped with the Astrolabe of Nimbral, to collect dangerous artifacts across Faerûn.
1357 Year of Prince Netyarch Zalathorm goes briefly mad while divining the Time of Troubles and is replaced on the throne by Gabrela for a period of two weeks.
1372 Year of Wild Magic Wizardwar occurs. Akhlaur and Zalathorm, who owe their long lives to certain magic they created together in their youth, face off against one another. Zalathorm destroys the red gem around his neck that houses the last remaining portion of their life-extending magic, killing them both. Immediately afterward, the survivors of the battle, together with the Cabal - a group of elf spirits recently freed from another, larger gem - resurrect Zalathorm.


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Geography of Halruaa: Halruaa is almost completely encircled by the three Walls of Halruaa, a series of mountain ranges that form the eastern, northern, and western borders of the country. The coastline of the Great Sea forms its southern boundary. Halruaa stretches approximately 500 miles from east to west, and more than 350 miles from the coast to the northern foothills. The vast majority of the country consists of flat, windswept plains, broken only by broad, sluggish rivers and the occasional unusual feature.

For the most part, Halruaa is a hot, humid land, with temperatures ranging from more than 100 degrees in the summer to between 80 and 90 degrees in the winter. The mountains trap the moisture that rolls in off the sea, producing sudden and frequent thunderstorms. The higher foothills and valleys of the Walls of Halruaa are cooler and more comfortable than the lowlands in the middle, and the mountains are even colder, with permanent snowcaps on the highest peaks. Winter often brings snow to the temples on the mountain slopes as well, though never to the inland plains. The winds blowing off the mountains make life inland more bearable, though the weather patterns produced when they meet over Lake Halruaa make the lake a tricky place to sail. Because of this, the nation of Halruaa is perhaps the single most isolated country in Faerûn, with the possible exception of some island kingdoms. Great mountains tower over the central plains, their snowcapped peaks tantalizingly out of reach of those who live in this hot, windswept land. High, narrow passes through these severe mountains provide some measure of contact with the rest of the world, as does shipping from the Great Sea to the south. For the most part, however, the wizards of Halruaa live in comfortable dissociation from those around them.


The Walls-Three mighty mountain ranges known as The Walls bound Halruaa on the west, north, and east, creating an isolated nation that is most easily reached by sea. The Walls are breathtakingly high, and each range boasts several peaks towering 20,000 feet or more above sea level. Only five major passes though these-mountains connect Halruaa to the often hostile kingdoms beyond.

The mountains on the west side of the country are known as Lhairghal, or the West Wall. This range spans more than 350 miles from its southern end, which borders the Great Sea, northward to Talath Pass. The West Wall is split in two by the Mhair Pass, which links Halruaa with the Mhair Jungles on the other side. Where the West Wall meets the North Wall, in the northwest corner of the nation, Talath Pass connects Halruaa with Lapaliiya. The northern range, including the mountains surrounding the Nath, is called the North Wall, or Nathaghal. This stretch of mountains and steep hills runs from Talath Pass on the west to the Nath Pass on the east, spanning a distance of more than 600 miles. The North Wall is divided by the Bandit Pass, which connects Halruaa with the Bandit Wastes to the north. The Nath Pass in the northeastern section of the country provides a corridor between Halruaa and Dambrath. The East Wall is known as the Muaraghal. Like the West Wgll, it stretches more than 310 miles and, like both of the other mountain ranges bordering Halruaa, it is split by a pass. The Azhal Pass lies just south of the river Maeru and connects Halruaa with the Great Swamp, Rethild. The Muaraghal is richly veined with some of the purest gold deposits in Faerûn. Mining in the hills and mountains of the East Wall is perhaps the second most valuable industry in Halruaa, next to magic.

The mountains surrounding Halruaa - particularly those that cradle the Nath Valley - are home to the country's various temples of magic. Mount Talath, in the western half of the North Wall, houses the high temple to the deity Mystra and contains one of the largest libraries and storehouses of magic in Faerûn (see Mount Talath, below). Thousands of Mystrans each year are permitted to pilgrimage to Mount Talath to visit the great temple of Mystra, but this is a seasonal allowance that is highly exceptional for Halruaan commerce that is only allowed every seven years when the constellation of Mystra's Circle realigns. It is a highly significant event for many Faerunians to make this trek. All told, the mountains are uncommonly threat-free, at least on the Halruaan side, where long years of careful defense have largely tamed them. The opposite slopes, however, are much wilder, and more dangerous. On the west side lurk nagas, yuan-ti, and other threats from the Mhair Jungles, while a variety of monsters - including bestial gnomes and bandits - roam the north side. On the eastern side, Crinti raiders from the plains of Dambrath and creatures from the Great Swamp, including lizardfolk and mysterious serpent beings, plague the lower slopes. Furthermore, ogres, tall mouthers, giants, perytons, and stray outsiders all call the entire set of mountain ranges home. Most of these creatures, however, know better than to tempt the wrath of the Halruaan wizards, so they rarely brave the high and forbidding peaks to reach the other side of the mountains.


Lake Halruaa-This central body of brackish water connects the land's river ports to the sea. Though strong and unpredictable winds blowing in off the mountains make sailing and fishing in the lake tricky - and flying over it in a skyship even trickier - Lake Halruaa is the central hub for the majority of trade and travel passing through the country. Each of Halruaa's major rivers ultimately feeds into Lake Halruaa, and every ship that moves along one of these waterways skirts the lake, hugging the shoreline to avoid the worst of the choppy water and capricious winds before moving into a new channel and completing its route. Because of this heavy shipping traffic, most of the nation's population is concentrated in communities on or near the shores of the lake, including the capital city of Halarahh.

Though few Halruaans care to venture out into the wild, hazardous central portion of the lake, more than a few unusual beasts call these waters home. Some of these creatures are likely native to Lake Halruaa, while others migrated up the wide channel connecting it with the Great Sea to the south. Whatever the case, sightings of such creatures are common enough that they cause little stir among the populace. Once in a while, however, an aquatic beast ventures close enough to shore to stir up some excitement. When a real threat is discerned, the local wizards waste little time chasing the interlopers back to the lake's central depths. In the past year, a few unusually large sharks, octopi, and dragon turtles have been spotted, and quite a few folk have reported a mysterious winged beast diving into or soaring out of the midst of the lake, usually at night.


The Nath- The Nath, an upland basin of gentle hills in the northeast corner of Halruaa, is known for its herds of wild rothé and auroch, both of which are raised for food. Rothe milk and auroch meat are a huge staple of the Halruaan diet. Considerably higher in altitude than most of the rest of the country, this area boasts a slightly more temperate climate. Temperatures in the Nath rarely reach 100 degrees, and the rains, though more frequent, are much gentler, nurturing the meadow grasses upon which the herds graze.

Perhaps the most significant features of the Nath Valley are the temples situated on the lower slopes of the mountains that surround the valley. Each of these temples focuses on one school of arcane wizardry above the others. The sects are small because while most in Halruaa profess at least a passing devotion to Mystra or Azuth, few feel the need to cement their connections to the divine through ceremony. The clerics and wizards who tend the temples are the few who have been called to serve the deities of magic in a more formal way.

Other than the temples, the valley holds little of significance. The Nath is a rugged, wild country compared to the rest of Halruaa, and those who live here must be prepared for threats from many directions, though by far the greatest threat comes from the east. Crinti riders occasionally sneak through the Nath Pass to harass the herders or raid the temples in the hills. Sizable Crinti forces have invaded this area on more than one occasion, but the powerful magic of the Halruaan aristocracy has always forced them back before they could get much beyond the mouth of the valley. Even so, the folk who by proximity serve as a first line of defense remain ever-watchful for the gray-skinned riders.



The Ahkhur Swamp- This 4,000-square-mile swamp to the west of Lake Halruaa is a warren of dangerous creatures and long-forgotten magic. Named after an ambitious necromancer who set up his hidden and magically defended fortress-home at its center, the Akhlaur wasn't always the size it is today. When the necromancer first went into seclusion, the swamp that flanked the River Ghalagar covered only half the territory it does now. Until recently, the lowlands around the swamp continued to flood at a slow but steady pace, expanding the swamp's boundaries by perhaps 100 feet a year, though the river drained off more than enough water to maintain equilibrium.

Most Halruaans knew that the swamp was flooding because of a portal to the Elemental Plane of Water, but few know the whole truth. Akhlaur was an ambitious wizard who focused his attention on researching interplanar connections. When one of his experiments with a connection to the Elemental Plane of Water went awry, the magic he had set in motion went out of control. Magically charged water began to pour through a never-closed portal from that plane, flooding Akhlaur's laboratories and overflowing into the swamp. The portal pumped more water into the swamp than the river could drain effectively. Had it kept expanding, Akhlaur Swamp would eventually have reached the coast, swallowing Halagard in the process. Recently, however, a wild elf magehound named Kiva moved the portal to the Nath by means of a magic device similar to a portable hole, stopping the expansion of the swamp. Later, a sorceress named Tzigone closed it during a battle between the Halruaan wizards and some Mulhorandi invaders. Just before it sealed, Kiva managed to bring Akhlaur back through from the other side.

Today, the swamp remains at the size it was when the portal was moved, but many concerns remain - the most important of which, at least to those who know the swamp well, is the presence of the larakens. These bizarre creatures from a distant plane began to appear at about the same time that the flooding began. Few know for sure whether they originated from the Elemental Plane of Water or were simply pulled through from another plane at about the time the portal was opened. Whatever their origin, the larakens present a deadly danger to wizards everywhere because of their magic-draining abilities.

The larakens are not the only dangerous creatures dwelling in Akhlaur Swamp. Snakes, crocodiles, and schools of piranhas hide in the shallow areas, and numerous undead - some the results of Akhlaur's strange experiments and others spawned from doomed expeditions - lurk everywhere in the interior of the swamp. Despite these threats, wizards and adventurers often enter the swamp in search of Akhlaur's fabled magic treasures.


The Riverlands- The major rivers of Halruaa spring from the mountains of the Walls and empty into Lake Halruaa. Most of them widen considerably in the flat plains, often spreading several miles across as they meet the broad lake: At such points, the rivers flow calmly and shallowly, appearing more like channels or inlets of the lake than rivers in the strictest sense.

River Ghalagar, on the west side of the lake, is the only runoff from the West Wall that runs through the Akhlaur Swamp. Because of the extraplanar water source that has until recently fueled the Akhlaur's bizarre expansion, the lower Ghalagar is rather swift. The Rivers Halar and Aluer, both of which drain the North Wall, are the widest, most trafficked waterways in Halruaa. Countless villages and towns line the banks of these two rivers, receiving their goods from the merchant ships and barges that pass back and forth along their courses. To the east, connecting Lake Halruaa to Lake Maeru, the River Maeru flows down out of the East Wall. This waterway serves as the main shipping avenue for the vast quantities of gold mined from those mountains, and it too is lined with communities at regular intervals. Like the lake they feed, these watercourses occasionally sport an unusual creature or two. For the most part, however, they host nothing more dangerous than large schools of fish.

Halruaans: Perhaps because they are descendants of the mighty Netherese wizards, Halruaans have never lost their love of and fascination with magic. It permeates their lives, affects every facet of their existences, and provides a standard of living found nowhere else in Faerûn. Though not all Halruaans have mastered the Art, everyone feels comfortable around it. The nation's wizards pursue the Art with fanatical devotion and consider all other studies to be inferior pursuits. Thankfully, the Halruaans have thus far avoided the soul-blindness that doomed Netheril, and if they remain vigilant against such hubris, they might enjoy the fruits of their labors for many years to come.

Halruaa is predominantly (90%) a human nation, and Halruaan humans make up 80% of the human population. In the country's earliest days, the great valley formed by the three Walls of Halruaa was sparsely populated by Lapal tribes that had fled the jungles to ,the west. With the fall of Netheril, a group of Netherese led by the great wizard Raumark moved southward, arriving in magnificent skyships to find a land that seemed like paradise. Within a generation, they had begun to blend with the natives. Not long after that, waves of Arkaiun tribespeople who had come west from Dambrath intermingled with the early Halruaans, creating the ethnic group that exists today.

Most modern Halruaans are dark-haired - a trait shared by both their Netherese and Lapal ancestors. Though the fair-skinned Netherese originally dominated the population, the darker, olive-colored skin tones of the Lapal tribes proved more suitable for the sunny clime and became a dominant trait. Today, the typical Halruaan has dark hair and skin in any shade from, ruddy to deep olives though an occasional paler-skinned child is born with pale hair. Eye color ranges from black to chocolate brown to deep green. Halruaan men average about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and women about 3 inches shorter. The remainder of the nation's population consists primarily of dwarves and halflings. Most of the dwarves live in the mountains that form the eastern perimeter of the country, where they work the gold mines and they all tend to worship Grumbar to some degree. Some adventuresome strongheart halfling traders from Luiren have settled in trading communities near the coast, while small populations of lightfoot halflings have been established in Halruaa's urban centers for several generations. These creatures are kind of despised in the cities however, and are treated with a great deal of racism for being 'gypsy thieves' or typically treated as their own 'ugly' or an 'untouchable' caste.

Halruaans speak Halruaan, which is simply a modern dialect of ancient Netherese. They employ the Draconic alphabet in their writings. All Halruaans can read and write Draconic and most can even speak it. A good population of Halruaans are also versed in Loross. But given that wizards are so academic, they tend to learn many more languages on top of these.


Halruaan Life: Most folk who have never been to Halruaa hold a couple of mistaken assumptions. The first is that all Halruaans are wizards. Though far from true, this assumption has doubtless been fostered in the minds of foreigners by the few Halruaans with whom they have had contact. In fact, only about one-third of all Halruaans have the gift of wizardry; and they tend to live mainly in the cities. The other two-thirds just act as though they do. The second bit of misinformation shared by those not native to Halruaa is that all the country's wizards seclude themselves in dark, brooding towers built in desolate areas, where they cackle gleefully while working on their latest magical experiments. Again, though this notion is quite understandable, it isn't accurate. In truth, Halruaans live their lives in much the same way as other people in Faerûn. They marry, have families, and live in communities where they have friends and engage in trade and gossip, just like other folk. The difference is that magic pervades their lives on an everyday level, and they don't think twice about its presence. In most of Faerûn, those who understand magic are considered mysterious outcasts, but in Halruaa, they have the inside track to health, wealth, and happiness, and those who don't have the spark of magic feel as though they're on the outside looking in. Although it is not necessary to practice magic in order to live well in Halruaa, it does help - a fact that might explain why so many Halruaans at least pretend to know a bit of wizardry.

Of the third of the population with magical skill, approximately two-thirds have never been able to get beyond a simple trick or two (as noted in the description of the Magical Training feat). The rest - a little more than 10 percent of the total population - actually understand the intricacies of casting spells. And these Halruaans tend to have a better place in society. To Halruaans, the true Art is wizardry - they view sorcery as a dangerously undisciplined and primitive approach to magic. Those few Halruaans whose gifts lead them to sorcery instead of wizardry either downplay the extent of their powers or leave the country. Initiatives have been taken to try and domesticate sorcerers in Halarahh's Academy; giving specialized alternative programs for sorcerers to fit better in a world of wizards, but mostly, sorcerers are treated as rogue-ish or problem-children of the nation of which whom the Magehounds are accustom to profiling in many minor to criminal charges. With all that magic at their fingertips, it's no wonder that Halruaans practice exaggerated courtesies with one another. Halruaan social interactions usually involve lengthy declarations of intent, ritual sharing of spell components, and other elaborate niceties, usually as part of formal visits to one another's homes. Such practices might be considered ail unnecessary waste of time in a society that doesn't feel the weight of magic every day, but for Halruaans, they represent self-preservation as much as politeness. To the eyes of visiting outsiders, these courtesies initially seem to be a whirlwind of gestures, bows, and ritualistic exchanges that are too rapid and confusing to figure out. Eventually, though, patterns become discernible, and visitors soon learn to follow along and participate.

The Halruaan government is also set up around the influence of magic. The netyarch, or wizard-king, of Halruaa is generally accepted to be the single most powerful magic-wielding individual in the entire nation, culled from an elite group of wizards called the Council of Elders. It is the wizard-king, with advice and assistance from the elders, who determines the policies of the land. A netyarch certainly recognizes the value of evaluating decisions from evey angle, but everyone understands that decrees handed down favor those with the gift of the Art.

Appearance is everything among Halruaans, the flashier the better. Folk measure one another by their dress, responsibilities, and transportation, impressed all the more if magic is a part of all three. Halruaans prefer to dress in bright colors, lavishly adorn themselves with trinkets and magical effects, and ride in luxurious vehicles. Conveyances are often magic items, such as a skyship or carpet of flying. In the countryside, flamboyant ways are not so important, but the use and display of magic still is. Rural folk value the practical application of magic more than magic for its own sake. A spell or item that can harvest the crop or herd the sheep and rothe more efficiently is esteemed more than flashy wizardry. Halruaan architecture is also typically gaudy and loud with great artistic value: Generally more open and airy, less shadows and dimly lit areas. Lots of windows, openable ones of which also have electrum mesh screens (of Dwarven make). Chimney based cooling (a chilling chamber spell 3/day and cooling breeze constant effect) that allow for pleasantly cool temperature all day.

Halruaans as a whole are self-satisfied people more interested in staying at home than in exploring or exploiting the rest of Toril. Wizards enjoy pursuing their research in the privacy of their laboratories and don't see much need to get beyond the Walls. Those who do leave their native land are often merchants or agents in search of unusual spell components. A few such agents are important enough to travel in one of the fabled Halruaan skyships, but these flying vessels are fragile and so valuable that they are not sent outside the Walls for anything less than major missions. While Halruaan wizards do spend a substantial amount of time on their studies, they still manage to make time for family life, though they rear smaller numbers of children on average than citizens of other nations. As a result, children in this country tend to get more individual attention. Halruaans receive public schooling until at least the age of thirteen. Screening for magical aptitude occurs at age five, and magic-capable students often master cantrips by the time they are fifteen. After that period which is called 'primary school', readied young wizards and sorcerers will enter Halarahh Academy to study in a focus school. There are two castles here: one for boys learning and the other for girls. Then each tower is separated into classrooms based on each of the 8 schools. After completing of rigorous study and apprenticeship, the student is typically a full-fledged wizard or sorcerer of Halruaa and may find work in a volume of opportunities in their caste. There is one sad bardic college that is located in the old capitol of Halgard, but it is not given much credit.

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MuseReader: Aiseth Nosdivan- Master EnchantressImage


 
      
Aiseth
 
PostPosted: Thu, Jan 07 2016, 1:20 AM 

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Joined: 21 Dec 2011

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Economy and Government: Halruaa’s ruling body is the Council of Elders—a tumultuous body of more than four hundred powerful wizards headed by the netyarch, or wizard-king. Though all the elders are independent thinkers with widely differing opinions, they some how manage to work together well enough to govern the country effectively.There are 400 odd Elders, but quorum is only 39 -making legislative action entirely possible. Typical meeting attendance is around 150-200, conducted entirely via scrying pools and crystal orbs. To become an Elder, a mage must be of at least 16th level. Not all eligible mages accept the post.Those that donít accept say they don't want the hassles of being part of the council. Each Elder receives a skyship, and the secret of recharging it. This makes the position of Elder greatly desired among the lesser mages. Every family hopes for a son or daughter to become an archmage.

The leader of the council and current Netyarch of Halruaa is Zalathorm Kirkson (LN male human diviner), who is rumored to be several centuries old. His tower stands in the middle of the temple complex dedicated to Mystra in Halarahh. The Netyarch’s palace is an ornate building protected by a wide variety of magical guardians and defenses. When the wizard-king dies, or steps down, his successor is chosen from among the ranks of the Elders. The Elders pick the most powerful oftheir number to lead. A complicated system involving popularity, specialization (divination being the ideal candidate), and probably several other factors is involved in their voting process, the progress of which is announced by different coloured smoke being burned from the main fireplace of the temple complex.

Perhaps the greatest dangers in living in a society so steeped in magical ability are the threats of escalating magical combat and the effects such battles could have on innocent bystanders. Because Halruaans recognize the danger of the magic they wield, such awesome and deadly displays are few and far between. Nonetheless, magic seems to hang in the air of every village and town, and wizards of every persuasion magically check out anyone who might appear to be a threat. Scrying is common, and divinations of every sort are flung about on the streets of Halruaan communities like trinkets at a parade. The result is that for the most part, Halruaa is a self-policed nation. When a problem does arise, justice is swift but carefully measured. The Halruaan magehounds, who are tasked with enforcing the laws regarding magic, track down renegade practitioners and bring them to justice. No trial is convened without thorough wizardly research, and no case is ever presented without ponderous magical proof to back it up. Once sufficient proof has been offered that a person is guilty of a crime, punishment is not far behind - assuming that punishment is deemed appropriate. Intent figures significantly into the justice system, and an argument of, "He pointed something at me that looked like a wand, so I slew him," is an acceptable defense - provided that the defendant really thought her life was in danger. All the magical power at everyone's beck and call actually serves to make Halruaa a peaceful nation, at least internally. Few can expect to get away with crimes if people on every street corner have the means to magically force a confession out of the perpetrator.

To its citizens, Halruaa is truly a land of plenty. Much of its countryside consists of open plains that are well watered by frequent rains. Farming is a significant part of the economy, and because of the relatively sparse population, the farms around Lake Maeru and north of Lake Halruaa can produce most of the food the country needs. Fish abound in the wide rivers and along the shores of the lakes, and fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat are daily fare on most tables throughout Halruaa. The nation's largest exports are Electrum and Haerlu wine(this tastes like a really fine cabernet naturally mixed nicely with a strong spicy cinnamon flavor). Gold is mined out of the mountain's on the eastern side of the nation, and the wine is made in vineyards throughout the countryside. Some of the gold is smelted directly into ingots and used as trade bars, but a significant amount is crafted into fine works of art, either alone or alloyed with silver to form Electrum. Gold and Electrum jewelry and Haerlu wine fetch fine prices all along the southern coast of the Great Sea, and in nations such as Lapaliiya and Chondath.

Halruaans could rival the Red Wizards in the export of magic if they chose to do so, but oddly enough, spells and magic items do not often make their way beyond the country's borders. Halruaans are decidedly possessive about their magical creations and do not easily let them spread into the wider world beyond their borders. As it is, more than a few folk in prominent positions scowl every time they hear another tale of a skyship racing along somewhere beyond The Walls. Magic is perhaps first on the list of Halruaa's imports. The appetites of the Halruaan wizard's for new and unusual magic from other lands knows no bounds, and their habit of taking magic without giving any back doesn't seem to bother them in the least. In addition to arcane imports, Halruaa is also a viable market for precious metals and other rare and valuable goods - particularly those useful in the creation of magic, such as spell components. In a nation with such a high quality of life, the demand for exquisite jewelry and other fine art is always high, and ostentatious wizards prefer to craft their magic items out of the best materials. The common currency of Halruaa is the Skie (valued last at 5gp). This Electrum coin is minted at the Royal Mint in Aluarim, in the center of the country. The coins bear the image of the current wizard-king, so most of the coins in use have Zalathorm’s image. Images of Mycontil are rare, but form the majority of the rest of the skies.


Travel and Pet-keeping is very popular among Halruaans as well and is done in lavish style. Such modes of transportation include Skyships, Carpets of Flying, and Bonfire Towers, which allow users to travel between towers by way of Firestride. Most magicians in Halruaa have an exotic pet or familiar and the more exotic, the better. The latest fashionable pets this decade include: Rhinoceroses, Elephants, Purebred Dogs, Cheetahs, Boars, Leopards, Snakes, Lynxes, Behirs, Eagles, Owls, Pseudodragons, and Komodo Dragons, and many more strange creatures. They are also remain a popular import for Halruaans. Other chief imports include: Among foodstuffs from Luiren (Luiren Stout is very popular in Halruaa), silks from Durpar, coffee from Ulgarth, and metal goods and weapons from Durpar.


The Important Places:

Halarahh (The City of Flares): The seat of Zalathorm's power, Halarahh has a population just slightly above 8,000, making it the largest city in Halruaa. This wide, sprawling town is situated on the northern banks of Lake Halruaa, at the mouth of the river Halar. The city boasts lots of expansive public places for strolling, oratory, and celebrations.

Fully three thousand of the capital city's inhabitants, including seventeen members of the Council of Elders, are practicing wizards, giving Halarahh the largest concentration of magical prowess anywhere outside Thay. Hundreds of wizard's towers - lofty edifices built of colorful coral, stone, crystal, and magical force - dominate the skyline, jutting upward from an otherwise low-slung city profile. In past decades, each wizard tried to outdo his rivals by building the highest tower with the grandest and most breathtaking view of the countryside around the city. Eventually, however, the risks to both towers and skyships forced Zalathorm to actively discourage this "tower war," and the mad building spree halted. In hopes of currying Zalathorm's favor, some wizards have actually reduced the height of their towers, making the skies that much safer for skyships.

Because of its high concentration of wizards and the fact that the wizard-king and his council conduct business here, Halarahh is a difficult place for those not gifted in the Art to live. In all walks of life, favorable treatment and promotions come to those who have the spark but elude those who lack magical aptitude. The obvious exceptions to this rule are the Jordaini. These magically immune counselors vie for positions and prestige alongside their wizardly patrons in the never-ending game of politics that is Zalathorm's court. Though they cannot partake of the vast wealth - both fiscal and magical - that is available to so many others in the city, their stature in the eyes of everyone from the wizard-king down to the lowliest street urchin is affluence enough for them.

Arbor Square
Near the Netyatch's Palace in the heart of the city lies Arbor Square, an expanse of parks, rivers, pavilions, and gazebos designed for strolling, chatting, or orating. A wide variety of temperate to tropical trees, many of which are flowering or fruit-bearing, fills the square. Vine-covered trellises create spaces for private conversations, and bridges span man-made canal-rivers, giving Arbor Square the feel of a vast, perfectly manicured garden. Along the periphery, vendors sell wares ranging from edible treats and beverages to magic trinkets such as cooling caps (hats with minor chilling spells cast upon them) and dazzle stones (pretty colored rocks enspelled with cantrips to make them blink or spark.) The citizens of Halarahh come to Arbor Square regularly to converse, debate, or listen to passionate orations. Anyone is free to step onto a platform and begin pontificating on whatever subject most concerns him, but a few well-known speakers always draw the largest crowds. Some of the liveliest debates that have led to policy changes for the nation began as passionate speeches in Arbor Square. North of Arbor Square is Halarahh Acadamy, the most elaborate college of arcane studies in Faerun that is rivaled only by the concentrated enclave of Zenith in Thay. This is where all Halruaans come to further their mastery over the art by focusing into a specific school or trade and it is an essential part of growing into adulthood in Halruaa.

Dockside Square
As with other Halruaan cities, much of Halarahh has grown up along the shoreline. Its docks, however, are not the tight, noisy causeways abutted by closely packed warehouses that are standard for Faerûn's port cities. Instead, its broad docks quickly give way to an open park known as Dockside Square. This open plaza is paved in colored stone, and large trees provide good quantities of shade for strolling and chatting. Interspersed among the trees are numerous pavilions with brightly colored awnings. Dockside Square is the customary site for just about every festival and fair that takes place in the city. In the spring, when the Queen's Regatta is held over Lake Halruaa, crowds gather in Dockside Square to witness the spectacle and hopefully gain a bit of the scatted fortune dust that floats down during the traditional light shows. In the summer, the square hosts numerous monster fairs in which exhibitors offer their latest catches from all over Faerûn. Wizards interested in procuring fashionable pets, preparing new culinary delights, or simply restocking consumed spell components flock to these events to examine the wares. As one Durpari merchant said upon visiting Halarahh during a monster fair, "If you can eat it, cage it, put it on a leash, or chop it up for parts, like as not it'll be there."

The Ice House
Halruaa is a very hot place. In a low-slung building near the docks, numerous journeymen wizards are hard at work each day, using their magic to generate huge quantities of ice. Once created, the ice is promptly segmented into blocks, wrapped in insulating cloth, and delivered all over the city to those who can afford the luxury and to those who can't operate their businesses without it. Because the manpower needed to create so much frozen water is extraordinary, even by wizard standards, the possibility of securing a steady source of ice by creating a portal to the Ice Wastes in the Abyss has recently been under discussion. The cost savings in magic would be immense and immediately felt, but the potential dangers of such an option have thus far kept the proposal bottled up in committee among the elders of the council.

The Netyarch's Palace
Even in Halarahh, where wizards who mix magic with architecture vie with one another to create the grandest homes, the Netyarch's Palace is more dazzling than any other edifice. The sprawling structure is a masterpiece of architecture that features soaring spires connected by causeways seemingly suspended in thin air. Large facings and supports made of transparent material - or sometimes magical force - give the whole building an open, airy feel. Inside, the heavy-handed use of magic borders on the frivolous. Every room is decorated with a liberal sprinkling of magical enhancements. A night sky, an ocean-caressed beach at dusk, and an otherworldly scene of glowing flora from the distant Underdark are among the many lighted displays designed to resemble majestic outdoor scenes. Various chambers have been built to showcase the more interesting properties of sound, and the hallways are filled with magic constructs designed to frighten, delight, and awe the viewer. Life-sized mechanical dragons, complete with misty vapors issuing from their mouths, crouch in niches along the wide corridors, and specially created display cases filled with living, breathing, miniaturized versions of real creatures form dividing walls between rooms. Deep within the heart of the palace, a few special rooms illuminated with artificial sunlight feature thick rain forests populated by colored birds, snakes, and tree frogs. But not all the magic in the wizard-king's grand home is for show. The entire place is warded with untold varieties of protective magic designed to prevent entry by thieves and assassins, and to keep treasures safe. Several wings of the palace are strictly forbidden to visitors because they are replete with deadly symbols, animated guardians, and binding magic intended to destroy trespassers rather than just thwarting them.

The Promenade
One of the most fashionable and enjoyable pastimes for the citizens of Halarahh is to see and be seen strolling the Promenade, especially at dusk. The Promenade is a wide walkway that runs along the tops of the city walls, which for the most part are ceremonial rather than functional, anyway. The path can be reached via several sets of wide marble stairs, making it readily accessible to the citizens. Every evening, hundreds of the city's well-to-do venture forth dressed in their best finery (which often bears magical enhancements) and perhaps walking their favorite Halruaan behir or other pet. These folk have made a game of seeing whether they can outdo one another, but simply being part of the crowd is the most important consideration.

House Jordain
Along the very southern coast of Halruaa, on a peninsula that juts out into the Bay of Taertal, a large, sprawling complex looks out over the Great Sea. This walled compound is House Jordain, home of the order that trains and indoctrinates all the magic-resistant counselors known as Jordaini. House Jordain boasts enough acreage to support large gardens and numerous fields of crops, plus provide plenty of open land for grazing herd beasts. In the center of the grounds stand several buildings that house barracks, a kitchen and dining hall, classrooms, and combat training facilities for the aspiring Jordaini who live there. Like other major plantations and ranches, House Jordain is entirety self-sufficient, though it maintains trade relations with the nearby city of Khaerbaal anyway, so as to acquire trade goods its residents cannot produce themselves. Not just anyone can come to House Jordain to learn the ways of the magic-resistant Jordaini; its recruits are literally bred for the task. Divination spells select parents that can provide the proper genetic makeup, and special elixirs ensure that the newborns resulting from such planned pairings have, an uncommonly powerful innate resistance to magic. Once a Jordaini is born and determined to be an appropriate candidate, every detail of his life is carefully planned out by the hierarchy of House Jordain. House Jordain serves as home not only to aspiring Jordaini but also to numerous wizards who serve as instructors and trainers. Each day, they present the Jordaini with a wide variety of magical challenges, honing their charges to physical and mental perfection. At the same time, they use other spells to teach the young Jordaini how to retain knowledge and become indispensable to their future patrons.


Mount Talath (The High Temple of Mystra): Considered by some to be the center of magic in Halruaa, Mount Talath is a small town located high on the slopes of one of the tallest mountains in the Walls. The town is really nothing more than a series of houses for the folk who work in the high temple to Mystra carved into the mountainside. The high priestess of the temple is Greila Sontoin, who is said to have gained unearthly wisdom and insight into all things magical through both her own magic and the favor of Mystra. Though Greila is very old and seldom leaves the temple anymore, she is still capable of powerful magic, and she could be a formidable challenger to Zalathorm should the two ever cross one another. Fortunately, the wizard-king and the high priestess are on good terms and communicate regularly because each trusts the other's judgment about most issues.

The Temple of Mystra is a magnificent structure with soaring spires that seem impossibly tall alongside the steep mountain slope. Like the grand towers of the wizards in the cities below, the temple is built primarily of stout stone, but it also includes crystalline walls and permanent walls of force. Anyone wishing to pay homage to the Mistress of Magic may enter here to worship, but those who come expecting to get their hands on unique spells or magic items are invariably disappointed. All items of true value are kept behind and beneath the temple proper, in a huge cavern complex designed to store centuries of magical knowledge safely. Gaining access to the temple storerooms is no easy matter. Visitors who wish to enter the storehalls must undergo a rigorous series of magical screenings. Those who pass muster are admitted, but the depth to which any particular individual may roam is strictly defined, and the temple staff might require the visitor to be escorted while inside. A member of the Council of Elders is permitted access to almost every section, but other natives of Halruaa are restricted to the more mundane areas. Visitors to the country can only scratch the proverbial surface, and each must pay a ridiculously high fee to gain access at any level. Travelers who return to their native lands from a trip to the temple at Mount Talath often speak of its wondrous libraries, not realizing that they have not seen a third of its treasures. Despite the best efforts of the priests, thieves and spies occasionally gain entrance, but ample abjuration magic is always in place to deal with such intruders. Many are not found for several days after they have been fried, frozen, or partially disintegrated. The complex has some degree of organization - visitors can usually locate any desired piece of magical knowledge with no more than five or six years' worth of diligent research. Halruaan wizards pride themselves on their ability to track down the information they need in Talath's caverns, and some diviners have actually devoted their lives to the goal of devising new spells expressly for speeding that process. In the end, though, no one in all Halruaa - except perhaps a lich or two with knowledge of such matters - has any real idea just how vast the body of information within Mount Talath is.


Halagard: (The old capitol):
With about 7,500 residents, Halagard is second only to Halarahh in population. Situated at the mouth of the Hselagard Channel on the Bay of Halruaa, the city boasts a sizable fishing fleet. The Bay of Halruaa is both a safe harbor and a productive fishing area, and fish is one of Halagard's major exports. About two-thirds of the fish taken from the bay go inland to feed the rest of the nation, and the other third is smoked or salted and packaged for shipping to distant lands. For many years, Halagard served as the capital of Halruaa, but a little more than a century ago, Zalathorm called the Council of Elders to vote on moving the capital inland, where it would be safer from potential invaders as well as the encroaching danger of Akhlaur Swamp. The vote was close, with a strong bloc led by the mayor of Halagard dissenting, but the measure passed, and the citizens of Halagard have never forgiven the wizard-king for this embarrassing slight. Despite the change, some residents of Halagard still think of themselves as the true bearers of the Halruaan spirit. In keeping with their stand against newfangled Halarahhan fashions (a means by which they silently protest their beloved city's demotion), wizards of Halagard generally specialize in conjuration or evocation rather than divination. The current mayor of Halagard is Eledric Omanrys, who is also a rather influential member of the Council of Elders. A conjurer of no small talent, Eledric is very fond of apprentices and counselors, so he makes a practice of surrounding himself with numerous conjurers-in-training and Jordaini advisors. The lives of his apprentices are not easy; he works them hard and expects a great deal from them. Despite his reputation as a difficult master, however, he never lacks applicants to fill vacancies on his staff, since he is one of the most powerful conjurers in the land. There remains also a bardic college in this area that does not do justice to many of the world's bards, but is loved none the less by the thespians of Halruaa whom come here to perform written plays and study music and Cantomancy. Twelve other elders also live in Halagard. The number of elders in residence briefly swelled after the capital moved, but the reason was clear: As the swamp to the west crawled inexorably closer to the outskirts of the city, the dangers it sheltered became more obvious. The situation had to be dealt with quickly to prevent Halagard from being swallowed up in the morass of wetlands. To that end, several prominent wizards moved to Halagard to study the swamp's progress and research ways of thwarting the encroachment. Still others came merely to provide some defense against the dangerous creatures wandering out of the swamp. Now that the portal to the Elemental Plane of Water within the swamp has been closed, most of the wizards who came to study the phenomenon have left, but a few, finding the city to their liking, remained.

Faith and Organizations: Though religion has its place even in a society dominated by arcane magic, it is not at the forefront of everyday life in Halruaa the way it is in some locales. Nonetheless, almost all Halruaans offer at least a token nod to the gods, knowing full well the folly of turning their backs on the deities that granted them the marvels of magic. To believe that they could get by without such veneration would be the height of arrogance. Most Halruaans worship either Mystra or Azuth. The vast majority of the population pays homage to the Mother of All Magic, praying to her to watch over the Weave and thus ensure that the Halruaan way of life continues undisturbed. Every community of village size or larger has, at the very least, a shrine dedicated to Mystra, and an extravagant temple honors her in every major town and city. While some of these temples verge on ostentatious, they all pale in comparison with Mouth Talath, the center of magic in Halruaa. High on the mountain slopes along the north side of Halruaa is Mount Talath, the site of the largest temple to Mystra in Faerûn. It houses not only a grand worship center, but also one of the most complete and coveted archive and library in Faerûn - at least so far as magic is concerned.

Not everyone in Halruaa chooses to venerate Mystra - a sizable faction follows the teachings of the Lord of Spells. Indeed, the rise of Azuth's following during the earliest days after his ascension to godhood took place largely in Halruaa, and his worshipers here have constituted the nucleus of his church for more than a millennium. Their collective voice has grown stronger in the years since the Time of Troubles because more than a little dissent grew among the ranks of the Mystra-worshipers during that period, causing significant numbers of wizards - even among the elders - to shift their patronage. As if the rivalry between the two faiths did not create enough strife, rumors have begun to surface that a new secret cult dedicated to Shar has emerged in Halruaa. Such whispers suggest that some Halruaans - perhaps even a few elders - have heeded the Mistress of the Night's call and turned to the Shadow Weave. Although such tales might be exaggerated, they probably do contain seeds of truth. While the members of the Council of Elders traditionally have difficulty finding common ground on much of anything, those among them who have embraced the Dark Goddess are almost certainly united in their own dark causes. It is believed as well that some within House Jordani are wont to keepsafe a Sharran presence among them, but such reports are difficult to confirm given the arcane immunity that Jordani withhold.

Secondary Faiths are openly held in Halruaa such as Velsharoon, Savras, and Grumbar. Clerics of Velsharoon prayed for their spells at midnight, when the secrets of the night are best unearthed. For a relatively young faith, the clergy of Velsharoon had quickly established a large number of holy days and rituals. The Binding of the Crypt and the Pact of the Everlasting were two rituals performed by powerful clerics, allowing them to return as an undead creature or be raised from the dead automatically if they were slain. Both rituals involved numerous other horrible incantations and the foul sacrifice of numerous good-aligned Halruaans. The Church of Velsharoon was a new one, and what hierarchy existed was found within individual temples. Many clerics of Velsharoon spent their days in necromantic research, seeking to understand and expand the faith's collective knowledge of life, death, and undeath. Most had created hundreds of undead servitors, some of them unique. "support" activities for the faith —- grave robbing, embalming, or teaching, cure the minor ills of the populace to bring in funding or worldly supplies for the church, and to more easily gather information about its enemies. Savras followers in the region act mostly as ciphers. The benign Order of the Third Eye clergy are usually hired and work as archivists, to collect information, collect magic, collect lore, and even sometimes, rob graves. Grumbar is only considered to have a foothold in Halruaa due to the population of dwarves and halfings in the hills. These laborers take pride in their place in the world and often take solice in knowing that they are the heel of Halruaa's economy, who by their labor provide the cities with their rich Electrum supply. A hard day's work earns a hard night's joy is the pride of all Grumbarites in Halruaa. Smaller, secluded, faiths do exist in sect or cult form within the cities such as The House of Scarlet Thorns, which makes a business of masochism and sadism on a secular level in Loviatar's name. As well, there is a deal of followers whom revere Akadi in the mountains and near the skyships on the Promenade who ask the winds to be favorable for loved ones departing to the skies. There was once an order of Leirans as well, but they all but departed Halruaa to establish a new civilization for themselves in Nimbral. Oghma has a surprising lack of omnipotence in Halarahh, mostly due to rivalries of Savras followers and even the Mystran faith which bears an oppressive majority on all lore-materials in the realm out of political favor rather than greed. In the Nath, you will find some amount of Chauntean traditions passed down from Lapal natives who carry to this day a spoken respect to the seedmaker.

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PostPosted: Thu, Jan 07 2016, 18:47 PM 

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Why don't you make this IC info?

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PostPosted: Thu, Jan 07 2016, 19:02 PM 

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Because Halruaans wouldn't make this IC info. ;) Halruaans hardly talk about Halruaa outside of Halruaa. It's taboo.

This is for players who want to play the Halruaan subrace or are interested in the Nimbral subrace (prolly need a request to be a Nimbralese though)

If anyone has any other questions Halruaa I am probably able to answer them. Halruaa.

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