The Moonshae Isles
Capital: Caer Callidyrr
Population: 680,400 (human 89%, halflings 4%, elves 3%, dwarves 2%, half-elves 1%)
Religions: Chauntea (in an aspect as the Earthmother) among the Ffolk, Tempus among the Northlanders
Imports: Coal, horses, minor magic items, ore, parchment, silk
Exports: Armor, timber, weapons
Alignment: NG, N, NE
A cold cluster of rocky islands cloaked in mists and deep woods and sprinkled with abundant beasts, bogs, and soaring mountains, the Moonshae Isles are shared by two dominant races of human folk. The northern section of the islands is dominated by sea-faring Northlanders descended from raiders of Ruathym. A darker-haired darker-skinned human race known as the Ffolk, the islands' longer-term residents, control the southern part. The Ffolk thrive in a dozen petty kingdoms. In previous years Northlanders and Ffolk spent much of their time at each other's throats, particularly because the Northlander's penchant for bloody raiding. The rise of King Tristan Kendrick unified the two peoples of the Moonshaes. Tristan's daughter, High Queen Alicia, held her kingdom together through the usual wars between petty lords. Compared to the nations of the mainland, the Moonshaes have enjoyed several decades of relative peace.
Life and Society
All Moonshavians are shaped by the rugged striking landscape and harsh weather. The Ffolk revere the land (and the deity who is the land), long aware of the divine power present in the rushing streams secret pools, and mist-wreathed forests of their isles. The Ffolk adore their home with a deep abiding love hard for other humans to understand.
The Northlanders are less moved by the landscape. Their hearts are turned to the sea, and they tend to be boisterous and outgoing compared to their neighbors. Relations between the two peoples are often strained, even if they are better than ever before.
The Ffolk do not often welcome outlanders. To farmers, outlanders are trouble: brigands, thieves who imperil families, belongings, stock, and crops. To local lords and warriors, outlanders are rivals. If they abide by local laws, they are respected but watched. News from the Sword Coast travels fairly well to the Moonshaes, so the previous deeds and reputation of arrivals color their reception. Heroes may be fully accepted by warriors of the Ffolk as their own. The Northlanders have a stronger tradition of sea trade and travel and tend to be simply curious about visitors from the rest of Faerun.
Alaron: Ruled from the city of Caer Callidyrr, the island of Alaron is the most powerful of the Moonshae's kingdoms. The rugged Fairheight Mountains to the north of Caer Callidyrr separates the traditional lowland homes of the Northlanders.
Gwynneth: The largest of the southern islands, its northern half was settled by Northlanders from Oman's Isle and the southern part (which became the city of Caer Corwell) by the Ffolk.
Most of the Moonshae Islands boast at least one or two small villages. The major islands are home to dozens of settlements each, often divided by large stretches of rugged terrain. Large towns are:
Caer Callidyrr (Large City, pop: 21,486): Caer Callidyrr is a leftover of a previous civilization's peak, a mighty castle built on the island of Alaron above a sprawling port city.
Caer Corwell (Small City, pop: 11,459): The home region of the Kendrick family, occupying the south half of the island of Gwynneth, was the land first settled by the Ffolk. Its rocky shores and high moors make it an excellent place for strong minded individualists who prefer space to neighbors, or for druids who seek worship in the temple of the wild.
Iron Keep (Small City, pop: 5,730): The strongest fortress of the Northlanders perches upon the northern shore of Oman's Isle. Iron Keep was formerly the most feared and violent of the Northlander's kingdoms. It's still a warlike realm, but its inhabitants' aggressions are spent on other Northlander kingdoms, particularly the isle of Ruathym
Myrloch Vale: The sacred land of the Earthmother occupies the central portion of the island of Gwynneth to the north of the Myrloch, the island's central lake. Unlike the aspect of Chauntea known throughout the rest of Faerun, the Earthmother of the Moonshaes treasures unspoiled wildlands more than cleared farmland. Only druids and elves walk without fear in this place. The lands' primary occupants are centaurs, pixies, sprites, and the elves of the Moonshaes, known as the Llewyrr. Few of the Llewyrr joined the Retreat to Evermeet, owing nothing to the Elven Court and preferring their life in the Myrlock Vale. Though the Vale is sacred to the Ffolk, Northlanders still fear it as a place of dangerous magic.
For centuries, the cycles of history in the Moonshaes pivoted around the struggles between invading Northlanders and the Ffolk. Early in the 1300's DR, the islands' conflicts took on greater significance. The evil deities Bhaal, Malar, and Talos attempted to take possession of the Moonshaes from the Earthmother.
The evil deities were thwarted largely through the heroism of the Kendrick family and their friends and lovers. The Kendricks ascended to become a new dynasty of High Kings and Queens, expanding the High Throne's hold upon the islands and convincing the Northlanders to accord them fealty alongside of the Ffolk.