Old FR Campaign reposted

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This came up in a discussion in another thread, so rather than clog up that one, I decided to post the timeline here.

I wrote this when 3.0 first came out, so any Realms material since then was not taken into consideration. If anyone would like to offer criticisms or helpful advice, I'm always happy to hear it. I did have a bit in there about Halaster and the Twisted Rune, but it was pointed out to me that given their history, those two would not work together.

I'd still like to get a mad Halaster walking around somehow though.

Also, there was something bad connected with Sylune's ressurection, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Anyone with ideas feel free to shout out.

And if someone could give me a thumbnail sketch on the recent happening in the 4th ed realms, I'd be grateful as well. I know it has something to do with Shar and the weave ripping or something, but I haven't been able to get a copy of the book to read about it.

Anyway - Here is (or was) my version of the Forgotten Realms (who knows, I may dig it up and run it again one day):

Found the old timeline. I'm not sure what the post size limit is so I may post it year by year.

The campaign is set during the year 1381 - Year of the Starving. At the time I figured that was far enough ahead of the canon to give me plenty of breathing room.

I had 4 main goals for the world:

1) Remove Elminster from all world events.
2) Give all other powerful and well-know NPC's "something to do" so they can't be bothered by minor things such as bands of adventurers.
3) Bring the races of Faerun into a more diverse mix: 30% human, 20% elf, 20% dwarf, 10% halfling, 10% gnome, 7% half-elf, 3% half-orc.
4) Increase the general risk/evil presence across the Realms. Large cities, like Waterdeep or Baldur's Gate can maintain a clear radius around them for about 20 miles. Smaller villages may have a clear radius of about half a mile. Outside of those havens, wandering bands of brigands / goblins / undead / evil patrols should make travel difficult and dangerous.

A prelude:

In the Year of Wild Magic, a dispute arose among the deities of Faerun after their power became based upon their number of worshipers. Some deities, like Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh, have followers in both Toril and also on Oerth, giving them a much greater power base, since the other deities could not affect their Flaeness followers.

When the conflict threatened to turn bloody, Ao intervened. He stated that any Faerunian deities who wanted to proselytize on Oerth were now free to do so. But he also warned them that the converse was also true, and that so they may find competition from new quarters.

Now the timeline:

1372 - passes as described in the published settings.

1373 - Year of Rogue Dragons. during this year, flights of dragons launched from the Forest of Wyrms, travelling in three main paths. One went north across the High Moor and followed the coast to the Spine of the World before returning. The second went east over the Sunset Mountains to Cormyr, then into Sembia, then north into Cormanthyr, and finally westward home. The third flight went south, following the Sword Coast from Baldur's Gate to Castle Tether before turning inland and returning north.

Elminster was still in Hell this year, but Khelban and the Sisters did what they could to save their homes and major cities with aid from other powerful mages and adventurers. The Red Wizards stepped up to the plate as well, with each enclave doing its best to defend the cities and towns they were located in or near. The Wizards gained much respect and favor with many lands due to their actions in this crisis, a fact which did not go unnoticed by those who care about such things.

Each flight of dragons had between 100-150 large wyrms, and many smaller ones, so much damage was inevitable. The humans were hardest hit, with estimates putting the death toll at well over 100,000 across the Realms, with the other races suffering losses as well.


Now that the way was clear for deities to move between Toril and Oerth, the shifts in power began. The Faerunian deities who tried to "break in" to the power structure of Oerth didn't get very far. Erythnul threatened to slaughter the lot of them out of principle, and even the brothers Hextor and Heironeous temporarily stood side by side (very temporarily) against this "invasion". Bane was particularly weakened, allowing Cyric to rise in power once again. Going the other way, none of the deities in Oerth really cared about going to Faerun, as they would not gain much power by that. Except for two...

1374 - Year of Lightning Storms - This year will be remembered for centuries as a major turning point in the Realms' history, similarly to the Time of Troubles. Iuz saw this moment as a golden opportunity to act and decided to relocate the seat of his empire to Faerun. He either found or created a large portal leading into Amn to bring his armies with him. Amn was already reeling from the dragon raids and the divisions of the years before, so could put up little resistance.

Elminster returned from his sojourn to the lower planes (sans his hat) and went to challenge the cambion immediately upon hearing of his presence. No one knows whether Elminister misunderstood Iuz' physical presence as opposed to an avatar, or if he was still weakened by his trials. In any event, his soul now rests trapped in a large brilliant diamond worn about the Old One's neck.

The Simbul, who had travelled with Elminster, witnessed her lover's defeat. She went insane. She threw bolts of lightning at Iuz, but was unable to penetrate his defenses. She then went on a rampage across the Realms. Storm clouds traveled with her, throwing down lightning as a rain of death wherever she went. Iuz pressed his advantage and conquered the lands from the Small Teeth to the Cloud Peaks, and as far east as the Snow Flake Mountains. The nations banded their armies together and came south to meet him, but were slowly being pushed back by his armies as this year draws to a close. This year also marks the decline of the worship of Mystra, as many of the common folk were not so happy about magic in general (and her Chosen in particular).

1375 Year of Risen Elf Kin - While the war with Iuz raged on in the south, another one began. The drow, who had long had a small presence in the forest of Cormanthyr, finally launched a full scale assault. There was one silver lining to Elminster's defeat. As he was defeated, he was able to channel enough of his power to ressurect Sylune.

At this point, the Simbul had disappeared from the Realms, and the other people of power were forced to choose between between protecting the Dalelands or the Sword Coast. In the end, the divided, with some going one way, and some the other. Most of the Dalelands fell, with only Shadowdale standing free. The drow also managed to alter the mythals of Myth Drannor, bringing darkness across the whole of the ancient elven woods, making a large, permanent, drow population possible.

Iuz' forces pressed north, crossing the SnakeWood and heading for the coast. They were finally pushed back in what would be known as the Battle of the Friendly Arm. The greatest warriors and mages battled Iuz' hordes and legions of orcs and humans. The dwarves came out in force, turning the tide of battle. Iuz was forced to retreat back to Amn, but not before sacking Candlekeep and carrying off many of the tomes from its libraries.

1376 - Year of the Bent Blade - With the armies of the land fighting two wars at opposite ends of the Realms, it was only natural that others would take advantage of this weakness and seek to fill the void. In this case, it was the other humanoid races. First were the kobolds. Led by four mighty sorcerers and their ranks filled with disciplined monks, they claimed the lands west of Cormyr - from the Far Hills to the Storm Horns - as their own. They pressed out across the Reaching Woods, but were turned back at Berdusk. Much of the Woods, and all the mountains in the area are under their control.

In the north, King Obould Many-Arrows achieves his dream of an orcish empire, building one that stretches down from the Spine of the World to Neverwinter Wood and over to the border of the Silver Marches. Alustriel uses all her strengh to hold them back, where she remains to this day.

Throughout the Realms, other bands of hobgoblins, bugbears, and ogres begin marauding the heartlands, but none are as successful in maintaining a long term presence in any area as the two races named prior. Still they continue to maraud. The Zhents have not been idle, and have an iron grip on the lands surrounding the Moonsea, up to Shadowdale and the drow in Cormanthyr. They now move west, securing everything from along the way to the Anauroch.

Elsewhere, Iuz makes a decision that may yet prove to be his downfall. Tempted by the lure of the Nether Scrolls, he attempts to invade Evermeet, using the knowledge gleaned from the tomes of Candlekeep. He is eventually repelled without gaining the scrolls, but the elvish attitude of isolationism is broken, and many elves return to Faerun - not as singers and bards and happy little elves, but as elves with a deadly focus, and armed for war. At this point the other races and people will gladly accept whatever help they can find so all are readily accepted wherever they choose to return, whether by portal or any other method.

The open worship of Loviatar begins to make great strides, with many large temples built in cities, and even shrines in smaller towns and villages. The Lady of Pain is easily understood by many in these harsh times. Wee Jas also begins to gain worshippers, many of whom were disillusioned by Mystra's apparent failures, and others who are not at ease with decidely "good" bent. The large number of mages among the evil humanoids - particularly the kobolds, is also a factor.

Another Interlude: The Harpers

Things have not gone well for Those Who Harp. Already weakened by the split between Cylyria and Khelben's Moonstars, their power was further eroded when several of their agents were uncovered in Amn immediately before the arrival of Iuz. While no one may ever be sure what those agents had done or what they intended to do, their timing could not have been worse. The Harpers were publicly blamed for most of the calamities that followed - a small fire constantly fanned by Iuz. Those Who Harp lost many sympathetic friends in the times ahead.

1377 - Year of the Haunting - Sammaster returns. He is now a lich, and has been waiting for the proper time to reveal himself once again. He has a new ally now: the great wyrm Klauth has transformed into a dracolich and is ready to begin his reign as king of the world. The North is thrown into more turmoil as he and the Cult of the Dragon begin their conquest of the High Forest and the Savage Frontier.

The rest of the Realms remains in much of a holding pattern as all sides regroup. Iuz now raids Tethyr regularaly as well as sending bands as far north as Baldur's Gate on occasion, but he is confined to the region of Amn for the most part. The Zhents sit, and they watch, and they wait from their secure position near the Moonsea. The drow seem content to build their forces in Cormanthyr, and are building settlements. They appear to be settling down for a long stay...

Pirates have taken to openly raiding the Sword Coast: one band operating from Skullport, and the other from the Moonshae Isles. Between the two they control virtually all trade along the coast.

The Red Wizards of Thay are everyone's best friend: They help however they can from their enclaves, supplying minor magic items to the armies in abundance (for a nominal fee, of course). Magic arrows are very popular. They also enter battle themselves when their enclaves are immediately threatened. Most people simply cannot believe that some thought they were evil.

1378 - Year of the Cauldron - All of Faerun simmers and stews, waiting for something to give. People try to go about their lives under the shadow of war. Secretly, the Zhentarim have been gathering as many bodies as they can from the battlegrounds, animating them into undead armies. But for now, they wait.

At this point the racial mix of Faerun is about what I described in the beginning as the goal. The humans have been decimated, while the dwarves and elves have been coming out in large numbers. There are plenty of common foes to keep everyone working together for now.

Iuz' humanoid armies control most of the Wealdath and Dragons head, while in Anarouch the archwizards of Shade battle beneath the surface of the desert against the Phaerimm.

1379 - Year of the Lost Keep - The Zhentarim make their move. Crossing the desert with their armies of fighters and undead warriors, they sweep across the Western Heartland, avoiding only kobold empire in the mountains. By the end of the year, they control the lands from the Troll HIlls to just north of Baldur's Gate, as well as most of the High Moor and marshes. They invade Cormyr from the north, passing through the Goblin Marches and the Stonelands. From the other end of the Moonsea, they march south through the Cold Field and attack Sembia. Bereft of her eternal defender, she is ready to fall by years end with Zhentarim forces at both sides. The Zhents now control the middle slice of Faerun, save for Shadowdale and the drow occupied Cormanthyr. With Bane weakened in his struggle in Oerth, Cyric has risen to power again, and his temples line the streets and his clerics travel the highways band byways of the land.

In Cormanthyr, the drow are rebuilding Myth Drannor in their own image... The armies which had been fighting Iuz are force to return to protect what is left of the free cities and nations. Iuz moves east, taking the Turmish Peninsula and gaining a solid coastline of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

1380 - Year of the Blazing Hand - The Red Wizards decide to stop being friendly. Using all the money they have accumulated by providing arms to war machines (often on both sides), the wizards have amassed an arsenal of high powered magic and mercenaries. They quickly strike forth from their enclaves siezing control of key cities and towns. In many instances, this is a peaceful process as the people are quite happy to let the wizards handle things after all the help given over the last few years. This is especially true in smaller towns and villages. They gain control of the lands of Tethyr and across Mulharond and west toward Vilhon Reach.

When all is said and done, the Red Wizards control the southern shore of the Sea of Fallen Stars, the Zhents control the north of it, while Iuz owns Amn, Northern Tethyr, and the Turmish Peninsula. The Cult of the Dragon holds sway in most of the north, save for the Silver Marches and the Orcish Empire of King Obould Many-Arrows. The kobolds still rule the mountains in the heart of the Realms, with their sorcery and skilled monks and warriors.

Baldur's Gate, Waterdeep, and SilveryMoon still stand as free cities, as do many other towns and cities throughout the Realm, in truth. But all trade is now regulated by one of the powers mentioned above, and the vast empty spaces are now filled. Cyric and Loviatar are now the most worshipped deities in the Realms, and Mystra has fallen far beneath Wee Jas. The Drow are preparing to carve a surface empire in the face of Shadowdale, which still stands as a beacon of light in that dark forest. In Anarouch, the wizards of Shade have conquered the Phaerimm, who are now their slaves, and are beginning to turn their attention elsewhere. And far to the east, a great horde is growing.

Final Interlude:

The Harpers as an organization is destroyed. To be known as a Harper is to have a death sentence on your head in every land from Amn to Neverwinter all the way to Thay. The common folk despise you, and would rather have your head next their garden gnomes than your help. There are a few who still meet in secret, but the Harpers have now become as clandestine an organization as the Twisted Rune. And as always, the Twisted Rune sits in the shadows, with strings leading everywhere across Faerun, watching the puppets dance.

1381 - Year of the Starving - Some hungry would be adventuers are sitting in a tavern in Baldur's Gate wondering how they can make the Realms a better place...