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A Player's Primer to the Silver Marches

As researched by Our Majesty's most humble servant, Elmair Wellenthor 16th of Eleasis, 1372

Geographical Overview

Where the whole of the Silver Marches stretches over 110,000 square miles, our civilized holdings occupy much less than this expansive area. The true heart and life blood of the confederation courses in the river Rauvin, which begins in earnest just south of Sundabar and heads south-west through the Nether Mountain's Moon Pass and then roughly west through the Upper Rauvin Vale between the northerly western Nether Mountains and the northern edge of the High Forest It is in the Upper Rauvin Vale that the river begins marking the southern border of our realm. At the city of Everlund it turns sharply to the north, along the edge of the foothills of the western edge of the Nether Mountains while the Silverwood grows upon the river's west bank. Upon reaching Silverymoon, the river turns again to the west, through the Lower Rauvin Vale, and marks the northern border of the Evermoors. Ten miles past the small village of Rivermoot marks the end of the River Rauvin, and the western edge or the Silver Marches, as well as the beginnings of the river Surbrin.

The second major artery of the Silver Marches is the road, known as the Silverymoon Pass between Silverymoon and Sundabar, which is nearly always closed during winter, and as the Fork Road to the east of Sudabar. When the Fork Road reaches the Fork, it turns north along Adbar Road for over a hundred miles to Citadel Adbar. Within the foothills of the Nether Mountains, the arm of the law reaches only some ten miles to either side of the road. Once out of the foothills, patrols often range out to a distance of twenty miles. Once past Sundabar and the town of Newfort, control of the lands once again narrows to a mere ten miles which remains the norm until one approaches Citadel Adbar where control once again extends out to approximately thirty miles around the dwarfhold.

The grasslands for thirty miles north and forty-five miles west of Silvermoon is the home to many farmsteads and tends to be the most heavily patrolled. Yet once the village of High Hold is reached, the Argent Legion patrols for only ten miles along the northern edge of the river Rauvin, and not at all along the edge of the Evermoors, until just south of Rivermoot.

Outside these regions, little is controlled by the Silver Marches and they are predominantly dwarfholds. Mithral Hall marks the farthest north-west corner of the realm in the Frost Hills. The recently recovered Citadel Felbarr has improved travel from Sundabar to the north along the river Redrun, at least as far as the dwarven citadel stands.

Of wilderness and wildlands, there is abundance in the Silver Marches. The Frost Hills is safe only in the central hills where Mithral Hall stands. The southern hills are held by Black Raven Uthgardt. Where some of these humans, as those found at Black Raven Camp, are little more than skilled bandits, others groups have often shown outright murderous intentions towards the dwarves of Mithral Hall and patrols from the Argent Legion. North of Mithral Hall, orcs, frost giants and other, more fearsome creatures, stalk the land.

The Evermoors, or more commonly known as the Trollmoors, were home to an endless supply of trolls and hill giants, but of late more trolls than is common have been encountered in the areas outside the moors. We feel that those behind the siege of Nesme, a city to the west of the moors and south of Rivermoot, is also behind this migration of trolls. The land of the Evermoors is dominated by a mix of steep-sided tors, the streambeds between them, and marshy bogs.

The southern tip of the Moonwood is relatively safe as it is home to several small villages who log the outskirts of the forest or who make their home just inside the wood's borders such as Quaervarr. The southern Moonwood is also home to several small tribes and clans of moon and wood elves. Farther north of Quaervarr the forest looses all claims of security. Werewolves and wereboars have been growing ever more common as Uthgardt tribes begin to have less of a presence in the woods. Reports of orcs, trolls and giants are rare from scouts entering the northern portions of the dense wood which is odd considering their overwhelming numbers in the surrounding territories.

The Silverwood is home to numerous trolls and is otherwise a dense, overgrown, former arm of the High Forest severed from that enormous wood by the logging and woodcutting of Everlund's past.

The Nether Mountains are comprised of four short mountain ranges connected by rough foothills. The two ranges that straddle Silverymoon Pass hold few intelligent or organized creatures along the Pass itself, but in the higher altitudes, and along the far north and south slopes orcs, giants, goblins, trolls, and dragons are overly abundant.

The small range just to the east of Moon Pass, is home to two large orc tribes. They fought with one another, and our patrols, for control of the Rauvin's waters through the pass, but recently they have become quiet and have not bothered trade along the river for nearly three months now.

The furthest east range of the Nether Mountains is home to more monsters than nearly anywhere else within the Silver Marches. The most eastern peak is home to the Morueme Clan of blue dragons, which have caused destruction as far west as Everlund.

The Rauvin Mountins, which lie due north of Sundabar, are treacherous and imposing. At least three immense orc tribes occupy the northern slopes, while three impressive goblin warrens thrive on the southern slopes warring with themselves, the orcs to the north, the dwarves from Citadel Felbarr and travelers along the Fork Road.

The Moonlands lie to the east west and south of the Moonwood, North of the northern most Nether Mountains, east of foothills of the Rauvin Mountains and South of the Night Trees. These lands, if not under our control, are predominantly the home of the Uthgardt barbarian tribes. Other creatures, far worse than the Uthgardt, travel these lands, but do so by avoiding the Uthgardt. While generally speaking the Uthgardt are no allies of the Silver Marches, without their presence the Moonlands would be home to more orcs, goblins and hill giants that one could imagine.

The Cold Wood is avoided by even most Uthgardt as it is home to countless orcs, tribes of giants, and is even rumored to be the hunting grounds of abyssal spawned demons.

The Ice Mountains are home to Citadel Adbar, the oldest standing dwarven stronghold in all the north. Outside its sphere of control the mountains there are far worse than orcs, most notable of which is the weather.

The southern border of the Upper Rauvin Vale is marked by the beginning of the High Forest. Its edges are home to wild and wood elves yet fouler creatures often stalk the borders. The treants guided by the venerable Turlang, make their home further in the forest, and it is they who helped destroy our ancient enemies of Hellgate Keep and keep its ruins from being re-inhabited. Though because of this, many of the demons that escaped have fled into the surrounding wilderness and some have been spotted near Everlund and Sundabar.

Peoples of the Silver Marches

While predominantly human, dwarves make up the second largest demographic of the Silver Marches. Elves come in third, where most have embarked upon the Retreat, to their island realm in the far west. Though many half-elves still live within the confederacy. Gnomes and halflings are rare, but not uncommon. While there are many half-orcs, most fall in with their orcs parents.

The most abundant humans are the tall, fair-skinned, Illuskans, though the more tawny-skinned Chondathan's are also quite common. Of late some black haired Damarans have been making their homes in the Silver Marches, due mostly to the migration of those peoples and Chondathans from the distant Moonsea. Most other humans are Uthgardt, though they have no allegiance with the Silver Marches.

Shield dwarves comprise the vast majority of the dwarven folk. Gold dwarves are rare, if not unheard of save by other dwarves or dwarven scholars.

Of the elves, moon and wood elves are the most common. Of the nearly two hundred thousand elves living in the cities of the Silver Marches, most are moon elves. While most elves claiming no allegiance to our confederacy are wood or wild elves living in the surrounding forests. Gold elves are in the minority, though several live in Silverymoon.

Centers of Civilization

Auvandell (population 500+): Authority: High Sheriff Jortheyn Serpentbane. Both a small mining town and a community of shepherds, Auvandell trades in both smelted ore, mainly copper, iron and lead, as well as goats, goat milk and sheep. Despite the rugged terrain, Auvandell also has apple and cherry orchards. The fact that it is build upon the ruins of an old dwarven keep, and is situated on the Silverymoon Pass road, Auvandell is well defended, though the with nearly a hundred and twenty miles separating it and Sundabar, the village would be in dire straits if hard pressed.

Citadel Adbar (population 19,000+): Authority: King Harbromm. Build over a thousand years ago, Citadel Adbar is the last continuously occupied of the ancient kingdom of Delzoun. Standing upon an immense jutting peak of granite, the fortress can be seen, on a clear day, from miles away. Its great towers constantly belch the smoke from the smithies far below the surface where the majority of the dwarves live. Until Mithral Hall was reclaimed, Citadel Adbar was one of the last outposts where mithral was still openly traded. For the acquisition of that rare metal, merchants from as far as Waterdeep, Amn, and even the Moonsea are known to make the travel to the Citadel's remote location.

Citadel Felbarr (population 6,000+): Authority: King Emerus Warcrown. Once a dwarven stronghold akin to Citadel Adbar, Citadel Felbarr fell to a massive horde of orcs over three thousand years ago and the fortress was renamed the Citadel of Many Arrows. Only five years ago the citadel was reclaimed by dwarves and they have been consumed with the task of cleaning and organizing the former orc den.

Deadsnows (population 800+): Authority: Lady Arletha Icespear. Once just a small village of the past delusions of grandeur of a human warlord, Deadsnows has boomed since the discovery of gold in the spring streams just this year. Deadsnows has only just been granted admission into the Silver Marches.

Everlund (population 21,000+): Authority: Council of Elders. Situated along the Rauvin river, and at the point of entry along the road from southerly Yartar and Triboar (for those wishing to avoid river travel to Nesme and along the Evermoors), Everlund is the Silver Marches trading center with the rest of the world to the south.

Hawk's Nest (population 12): Not even a village, Hawk's Nest is simply a small keep located at the top of the Silverymoon Pass where it is manned by twelve soldiers of the Argent Legion when the pass is not closed due to heavy snows. In the spring over a hundred soldiers are sent to the keep in order to clear it out of any creatures who happened to lair there during the cold months. More than one white dragon has met its doom at Hawk's Nest. No soldier is allowed to be stationed at the Nest for more than two continuous years as the chance for surviving a third year, due to weather and marauding monsters, is less than five percent.

Hilltop (population 400+): Authority: Baron Jemelin Treesong. While situated in the hills north of the river Rauvin, Hilltop sees much trade along the way as the villages mines are never short on gold and silver pulled from the slopes of the Nether Mountains.

Jalanthar (population 200+): Authority: Village Council. Jalanthar is both a trade center, situated in helping caravans up and down the Moon Pass, as well as an outpost for druids and rangers of the area.

Kelmar (population 400+): Authority: Baron Urth Oldhorn. This small village is only a year old. After silver, gold, and a few precious gems were found in the surrounding foothills some residents of Sundabar left to make their fortunes. Several families escaping the strife of the Moonsea have also moved to Kelmar. While exceedingly new, Kelmar is exceptionally well build due to the high number of dwarven masons and minors that moved there.

Khelb (population 1,000+): Authority: Sheriff Telmon Gerenbrow. During the winter, the majority of Khelb's inhabitants travel back to Sundabar or Silverymoon. In the warmer months these people set up trading posts in which to sell and distribute the goods making their way across the Silverymoon Pass.

Lhuvenhead (population 600+): Authority: Lord Merkeh Lhuvenhead. A small village, Lhuvenhead sits near the banks of the Rauvin river and moves its trade goods, mostly iron and nickel. The Lhuvenhead family has, for over nearly a century and a half, operated one of the few platinum mines in the hills to the north.

Mithral Hall (population 14,000+): Authority: King Bruenor Battlehammer. This mithral producing dwarf hold was claimed by a shadowdragon over a hundred and fifty years ago. In 1356, the current king and his companions slew the dragon and reclaimed the dwarven halls and its mithral mines.

Newfort (population 100+): Authority: Mayor Trevis Uhl. Settled only over a year ago, Newfort's citizens are nearly all relocated residents from the Moonsea region. Though not officially a part of the Silver Marches, and they have not petitioned to do so, Newfort has acted in the best interests of the Silver Marches since its creation.

Quearvarr (population 900+): Authority: Speaker Geth Stonar. Primarily a logging town in the southern Moonwood, Quearvarr also serves as a retreat for many of Silverymoon's nobles.

Rauvincross (population 800+): Authority: Sheriff Isobel Talonhand. Rauvincross is a trade town where many of the mule drivers and caravaners that travel from Sundabar to Silverymmon and back again via the Rauvin river call home.

Rauvinwatch Keep (population 2,400+): Authority: High Marshal Methrammar Aerasume. Where prior to the formation of the Silver Marches, Rauvinwatch Keep was little more than a small garrison of Silverymoon troops, with the creation of the confederacy it has become the headquarters of the Argent Legion. Due to the emergance of the nation of Illuskan to the west, and the rising floods, the normally 400 troops stationed at the keep has risen to nearly seven times as many people, many looking to enlist in the Argent Legion.

Silverymoon (population 37,000+): Authority: High Mage Taern Hornblade. As the 'Gem of the North,' Silverymoon is the foundation for the Silver Marches. It is the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city north of Waterdeep. Not only does Silverymoon boast the finest architecture, whether dwarven, human or elven, but it also has some of the finest universities, magical or otherwise, to be found anywhere. The former ruler, High Lady Alustriel, resigned her seat last year to head the newly created Silver Marches.

Sundabar (population 14,000+): Authority: Helm Dwarf-friend. Formerly a dwarven citadel, Sundabar is one of the wealthiest cities in the world not to flaunt it. Having survived several major orc invasions, the city boasts one of the best equipped and most experienced armies of the north as well as some of the finest wood workers and metalsmiths.

Brief History

1150 DR. A plague kills nearly half of Silverymoon's population.

1230 DR. High Mage Sepur ascends to the throne of Silverymoon.

1232 DR. High Mage Sepur disserts the city, afterwards mages fight for the right to rule, the populace elects a mayor.

1235 DR. The largest orc horde ever known sweeps the North as far as Waterdeep. The orcs besiege Silverymoon and breech its walls. Elves and Harpers, lead by Storm Silverhand and Alustriel, reach the city in time to save it. Alustriel becomes the first elected High Mage of the city.

1255 DR. Silverymoon's Spellguard is formed.

1344 DR. Retreat of the elves begins.

1355 DR. Helm Dwarf-friend becomes the sixth Ruling Master of Sundabar.

1356 DR. Mithral Hall is retaken by dwarves.

1358 DR. Time of Troubles, the gods walk the earth and all the world is severed from using magic.

1367 DR. Citadel Felbarr is reclaimed by dwarves from the two exhausted warring orc hordes battling over the fortress.

1368 DR. Nesme reports a rise in troll attacks.

1369 DR. Sundabar and Silverymoon are attacked by demons armies pouring out of Hellgate Keep. Sundabar's walls are breeched but the demons are finally forced back. Hellgate Keep is later destroyed, though many of its denizens escape into the surrounding wilderness.

1369 DR. Giants begin to appear in large numbers in the Evermoors.

1369 DR. Alustriel steps down from the seat of High Mage of Silverymoon, naming Taern Hornblade as the new High Mage, and begins work to create the League of the Silver Marches.

1371 DR. The League of the Silver Marches is formed.

1372 DR. Floating city seen over the High Forest and heads towards the Anauroch desert.

1372 DR. The god Bane returns from the dead.

1372 DR. Luskan and Mirabar form the nation of Illuskan.

1372 DR. Heavy summer rains cause flooding along the river Rauvin.

1372 DR. A new god is born to Kelemvor and Mystra.

1372 DR. Gold is discovered near Deadsnows.