Campaign Setting Background
The World: Toril
The character players will begin their adventure in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting on the world of Toril, an earth-sized planet that is dominated by oceans surrounding a handful of continents.
In the Year of Blue Fire (1385 DR), a magical disaster called the Spellplague changed the face of Toril. Flesh, stone, magic, space, and perhaps even the flow of time were infected and changed.
Most scholars believe that the Spellplague was the direct result of the murder of the goddess Mystra at the hands of Cyric, which Shar engineered. This popular theory holds that magic was bound so long in Mystra’s Weave that, when the goddess died, it spontaneously and ruinously burst its bonds. Areas of wild magic, already outside the constraints of the Weave, touched off first, but the plague raged on and on in ever-widening spirals, devastating some places and leaving others untouched. It even tore through the realms of demons, gods, and lost souls before the end.
Ten Important Facts that describe the biggest changes to the world of Toril since the previous edition of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
The Land: Faerun
The core of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting is situated on the continent of Faerun, the largest of the continents stretching more than 8,500 miles east to west. Surrounded to the west and south by enormous oceans known as the Trackless Sea and the Great Sea, to the north by cold arctic wastes, and to the east by vast steppes, Faerun is a place of many extremes.
The Region: Gray Vale
Beneath the mysterious Star Mounts, at the southern edge of the ancient High Forest, the Gray Vale straddles the river Delimbiyr in the North. It’s a prosperous region thanks to river traffic, merchant caravans from distant lands, and other travelers looking for treasure amid the wreckage of lost kingdoms.
The Gray Vale has grown into a trade center in the North in large part due to the success of Loudwater. Rich and arable farmland enables the community to thrive. Most merchants in the vicinity use the river to transport goods, making Loudwater an ideal nexus for nearly all commerce in this part of the world.
Although Loudwater and other small settlements enjoy some prosperity, the threat of danger checks their growth. Displaced savages from beyond the High Forest are a constant peril. Goblins infest the Southwood, snatching cattle, supplies, and the occassional child before retreating to the dim shelter of their foreboding forest. Whispers of Najaran serpent folk fill the taprooms as locals peer suspiciously at strangers, ever watchful for these sinister infiltrators. All of thiese dangers and more ast a pall of fear and mistrust over the Gray Vale.
The City: Loudwater
The adventurers begin their journey in the town of Loudwater, situated approximately 350 miles inland of the Sword Coast and at the confluence of the Delimbiyr and Grayflow rivers.
Loudwater offers a well-defended rest stop for caravans and riverboats. Nearby communities such as Llorkh and Zelbross lie in ruins, yet Loudwater survives, albeit with a diminished population, which holds steady at about 2,000. To the north stand the brooding trees of the High Forest. To the south is the High Moor, infamous for monsters that lurk in the mists, guarding the ruins of bygone kingdoms. Loudwater feels like a frontier town despite having once boasted a greater population. Its days of boundless prosperity are a century gone, and most of the town’s current residents, which include primarily humans and half-elves, are not old enough to recall them. Loudwater never fully recovered from the disruption of trade brought about in the wake of the disastrous Spellplague, yet unlike many towns, it at least still stands.
The player characters could be visiting Loudwater for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are in search of adventure or employment, visiting a friend or family member, or just simply passing through. One thing is common though; the characters have been based in Loudwater for at least a few days, so they are familiar with the layout of the town as well as some of it’s key residents such as Curuvar the Brazen, Zark, and Lady Moonfire.