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Post by shadowgate » 24 Apr 2019, 23:30

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:03 am Post subject: Human settlements: southern (Shadow, Tharis, Tabor)    
City: Shadow
Location: central Shadowgate
Base alignment: LN
Rulership: Plutocracy (merchants' council with elected leader)
Symbol: Three interlocked rings, one each of gold, silver and copper

%^GREEN%^This notice is written on %^RESET%^clean parchment %^GREEN%^in flowing, practiced script and stamped with the seal of Shadow city - three rings interlocking, one each of %^YELLOW%^gold%^RESET%^%^GREEN%^, %^BOLD%^%^WHITE%^silver %^RESET%^%^GREEN%^and %^ORANGE%^copper%^GREEN%^.%^RESET%^


Political ties:
Since the advent of the merchant council, many of its once-hostile neighbours now hold somewhat friendly trade agreements, if not actual alliances. Stronger ties have been reformed with the Tsarven empire by way of Azha, following their temporary invasion and control of Shadow about a century previous, and with Torm (following its short invasion by Tonovi and Shadow's combined forces). It maintains contact as the sole trader with Verbobone and Seneca, whose isolated locations limit their other options. Ties have loosened to neutrality with Tonovi and Tharis, who still trade with the city, but share few other interests.

Religious ties:
Shaundakul, although only a small and relatively recent faith, already holds strong favor within such a trade-based city. Shadow also holds a degree of favor to Mystra, due to temple proximity and previous dealings with their faithful, including defense in attacks & rulership by several Mystran magistrates.

History/misc details:
Originally a LG region brought under the dominion of the Tsarven empire, they broke off more than a century ago as their own independent region. Passing through various magistrate leaders, the city became skewed towards darker motives and became involved in matters such as assisting transport of slaves from Tharis to Tonovi, and the invasion of Torm by an allied militant force of Shadow and Tonovi's armies. Following an attempt to overthrow Shadow by a powerful band of adventurers, and the untimely deaths of its latest series of magistrates, control of the city was taken by the merchants guild, under the leadership of Flugar. Under their rule the city was drawn back to a LN standing, and with several more recent agreements, has prospered further as the main hub of trade for the Shadowgate region.

NPCs of interest:
Flugar: smith, leader of the city's merchant council

Former Magistrates
Jacob - Half-elf fighter/mage of Mystra (PC)
Saradin - Human fighter of Lathander (PC)
Stefano - Human mage of Bane (PC)
Melistel - Human mage of Mystra (NPC)
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Re: Shadow

Post by shadowgate » 24 Apr 2019, 23:31

Some history for Shadow from Tiamat's notes, revised per our current history:

Shadow, crossroads of the World. Shadow the Great Whore. Shadow the Gateway. For all that can be praised or cursed of the name, few events shape the mainland without Shadow's influence turning the tide. If money talks, Shadow shouts loudly. Shadow can do with law and order what gardeners do with landscape; it plants seeds of rule, it shapes the land for its own benefit and it continuously cycles through periods of growth and decay.

Folklore would tell you that the site of Shadow was chosen by the gods at the creation of the world to be a place of great happenings. The legend of its founding says that a great diamond-shaped crater was left by a stone that could be used to communicate with the deities. The great bell in the Tower of the Immortals is believed to have been crafted by that stone. Disregarding the romantic story, Shadow does indeed play a vital role in the history of the Realms.

The original lands around what is now Shadow were known as the Hearthlands, and held the strongholds of an ethnic group of Northern peoples collectively referred to as Hearthlanders, which they are still known as to this day despite the region's name having changed. The prosperity of early Shadow was ensured by its strategic location between routes of travel to other dominions. In a short time, a family of warlords unified the strongholds into what formed the basis for the current Shadow region.

The region was damaged vastly during the Godswar as the armies of the realm swept across the area. In the decades following the Sundering of the ShadowGate in 0SG, those native Hearthlanders who remained to reclaim their lands, along with many drifters from the wars, led great efforts to rebuild. It was following this time that the first recognisable origins of what is now Shadow, were raised. The city proper was modestly defensible to the north and east, where the rugged, narrow paths through the Charu foothills and the vast arid waste provided considerable obstacles to invasion. In the south, what is now Darkwood, Yntala and Tharis Forest created a near impenetrable barrier at the time.

Shadow used its impressive financial and military means to form ties with other early nations of the Realms. It was said that one time that a king could not be crowned that the leaders of Shadow did not approve of. Shadow was like a black jewel in what was otherwise considered a frontier region of the world. Others lusted for what Shadow had. When invasion finally came from a more progressive, hungry empire, it struck from the west. When Shadow finally fell, it marked the height of power of the Tsarven Empire.

Tsarven culture had a mostly positive impact on the history of Shadow. It became an important holding of the empire for its trade routes and access to the Saakrune Sea. It was the also the staging ground for the Empire's push northwards, though Tsarven influence rarely reached further north than present day Torm. Much of Shadow's infrastructure today is still based on the remnants of Tsarven planning. The Empire impressed the virtues of Law and Good on the people of Shadow, but still very much allowed them to maintain their own identity. Still, cultures mingled and loved, giving rise to the diverse peoples that call the Realms home.

It is still poorly understood how the Tsarven decline began. It is a fact that the Empire's war with the Kinnesaruda escalated at this time. Some have suggested that they pushed the size of their empire too far and wasted too many resources in an effort to expand north. Others claim that, even then, psionics were appearing in the Tsarven population and drove the leadership mad. Regardless of the source of the decline, the greater Empire began to neglect their forces in Shadow and left them vulnerable. Shadow violently regained its independence in 525 SG. The Tsarvens were at this time unable and unwilling to mount a counteroffensive, abandoning Shadow for over one hundred years.

The Empire occupied Shadow a second time in history, under the leadership of Prince Caenil. Taking advantage of Shadow's state of chaos during its first influx of adventurers, the Prince was almost welcomed by those seeking order. The occupation lasted from the years 640 to 649 SG, but was eventually expelled as Tsarven troops were withdrawn to combat Intruder and the Kinnesaruda Empire . Since that date, the Tsarven Empire has continuously faded from much of the mainland, even forsaking the enlightened city of Tabor.

Although Shadow was able to retain its wealth and influence throughout the area, it rapidly declined into an age of chaos. The now infamous Shadow sewers failed, quality of life declined and corruption flourished. The roads fell into disrepair and monstrous creatures took advantage of the lack of patrols. On the verge of collapse, the reborn Shadow gambled on a new strategy: sponsoring the activities of adventurers, warriors, and other bold men and women capable of dealing with Shadow's new threats. Adventurer halls were rebuilt in the heart of the city. Museums and statues were built to recognize the deeds of heroes. Adventurer Guild halls were founded. In time, the business of adventurers brought even more prosperity to the city, but at the cost of law. People demanded order, and they turned to their heroes to change their fates. Thus began our stories and, shortly thereafter, the rule of Magistrates.
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Re: Shadow

Post by saqira » 14 Jan 2020, 14:06

Scott Federline (human, unknown) was the Magistrate of Shadow until his death in 675 SG, when Saqira Ebony(human, CN bard of Tymora) took up the mantle. With her compatriots, Deputy Magistrate Tara Arv (halfling, good thief of Mystra?) and advisor Darum (voadkyn, good ranger of Tempus), she banned slave trade in Shadow and strived to put a complete end to the trade between Tharis and Tonovi. Saqira also worked to put in place a democracy in Shadow, in order to leave the city in the hands of its citizens. No wonder she was assassinated! Fun fact: The assassination was carried out by Arken, aka Shadow aka Sandstorm of Juran (drow, class and faith unknown), who later carried her head around in a wicker baskete as a trophy.
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