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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2020 :  09:50:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good finds, cheers I shall have to look up the size of pine trees in northern Russia or Canada as that is the approximate climate to icewind dale and this oak tree has pines around it.

If some women are going to compare things to trees it's no wonder men exaggerate size.

From the description it sounds like the pine trees around the accursed tower grew after the great thaw, I'm guessing permafrost melted and the trees grew in the muddy ground. I wonder if that also caused the Lonelywood to grow as well. It would have about 30 years of growth before the humans of illusk arrived and I think the barbarians used to travel through here before then and I reckon kinnuki is something of a druid in training. I've not decided how he has survived for over a hundred years but perhaps he is cursed like the rest of the accursed tower.

It will be interesting to try and link time of the frostmaiden to the accursed tower lore. I wonder if kinnuki could be Anga the druid that is awakening all these animals. Perhaps Anga is a title because Kinnuki was effectively the King of his tribe and Anga could be a corruption of and old northmen title for king (Kong to Kang, to Ang to Anga).

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 27 Oct 2020 09:51:33
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 27 Oct 2020 :  12:18:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Only because, like I said, at present I'm looking into that stuff

https://www.arborday.org/trees/righttreeandplace/size.cfm

Looks like most oaks and pines are usually around the same size, but some pines grow taller than oaks. Looks like except for abnormal specimens, most trees start topping out at 70-80 feet. Some average a little higher at top maturity by reaching 100 feet. Some rare pine specimens reach 150 to 200 feet, but so far only the redwoods and giant sequoias have exceeded 200 feet (some reaching 300 to 370 feet).

In comparison, the tallest known oak tree in the UK is only 132 feet
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-19402113#:~:text=The%20132.5ft%20(40.4m,of%20The%20Tree%20Register%20charity.

So, oaks are strong, and they get relatively thick, but they don't grow hugely tall (taller than some trees mind you). Pines on the other hand seem to grow taller (if they don't snap), because they grow fast and straight up rather than around. Still, firs, ash, gums, sequoias, redwoods... these all seem to be the really tall trees of the world with specimens in the mid to upper 200's and even 300's of feet tall.

Just a little aside... one of the things I noted was that some redwoods have just the bark being 3 feet thick... that's wider than me turned sideways. Maybe one day I'll head out to California and see them for real instead of just reading about them. Its definitely got to be an unusual sight.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 27 Oct 2020 12:28:41
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2020 :  11:20:09  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So the Great Thaw wa caused by two fiends summoned by Damien Morienus who was a master of summoning supposedly.

Was randomly looking at Icewind Dale's history and noted the two fiends, Belhifet and Yxunomei appear prominently in the history of the computer game.

Now the computer game events are pretty bad with respect to history and canon, they make use of the Crystal Shard before it appears in the book and add in gates to hell in the settlement of Easthaven.



Buuuuuttttt, what if Damien Morienus is the one that summoned Belhifet and Yxunomei. They were supposedly exiled from their respective planes (baator and the abyss) as part of their feud against one another, it could be that they were forced to cooperate with each other by Damien and were exiled for it. When Damien was slain they were freed to do what they wanted in Faerun.

Damien could have created the gate to Avernus (with Belhifet and Yxunomei's help) where Easthaven would stand a few years later, then when the migrants from fallen Illusk arrive the lead priest (named Jerrod) could have sacrificed himself to close the gate.

Aihonen the barbarian hero that slew Icasaracht would have been a Reghedmen barbarian. The slaying of Icasaracht could have led to a great war between white dragons that ultimately led to Icingdeath becoming the prime dragon of the region. His imprisonment then leads to a brief battle for the domain which Arauthator wins.


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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2020 :  19:20:45  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I might have to play the icewind dale computer games. I realise they are not canon, but when there is precious little detail about the region anything helps.

I've already got Aihonen and Icasaracht the white dragon which have added some flavour. I'm sure there will be other bits.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  11:01:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do we have any experts on Icewind Dale the computer game (and the enhanced edition) who can perhaps help quote history and conversations from the game (save me playing them).





Gone through my notes on the novel Crystal Shard.

Heafstaag conquered Termelaine twice and slew Raag Donnig. Because Raag Donnig is the only barbarian with two names, and because i've gone with Anga as the barbarian name for King, i've decided that Raag is a title and roughly translates as Overking.

So i figure Heafstaag takes charge of the Tribe of the Elk in his early twenties, sacks Termalaine the first time and based upon that success he attacks the Tribe of the Bear and kills Raag Donnig. The Tribe of the Bear suffers greatly in the attack and is now only the 3rd largest tribe.

I figure the last attack by the Tribe of the Elk on Termalaine was 10 years ago (1346 DR) and that is when Cattie-Brie was orphaned as a small girl of 5 or 6.

Heafstaag, thrice killer of the Great Bear is an interesting title. Sounds like he killed it and it kept coming back for more. Is the Great Bear some kind of totemic animal or was it Raag Donnig he killed 3 times. He also lost his eye to a deer so i might mix that with legends of the Great White Stag from Rime of the Frost Maiden.


Thus far i have the following tribes
Tribe of the Elk
Tribe of the Wolf
Tribe of the Bear
Tribe of the Great Cat (renamed from tiger because there are no tigers in Icewind Dale and so i figure its a striped variant of a crag cat that has been incorrectly named by southern zoologists).
Tribe of the Hoar Fox (one of my own creations to account for Kinnuki's story from the Accursed Tower)
Tribe of the Great White Worm (i came across this reference in Legacy of the Crystal Shard, they live far out on the Sea of Moving Ice).


Given that there are more than just the 4 tribes mentioned in the Crystal Shard novel, i dont think the attack on the Ten Towns (the 2nd one) was as catastrophic for Reghedmen numbers as it was claimed. Perhaps the tribes that lost most of their warriors mixed with other tribes that had different migration patterns and lived further away from the Ten Towns.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  11:27:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Legacy of the Crystal Shard has Black Ice where Crenshenibon or the Cryshal Tirith have touched.

Rime of the Frostmaiden has Chardalyn where Crenshenibon has touched.

I had a look through Volo's Guide to All Things Magical and could find no ice based crystals that fit the bill, although Chalcedon and Obsidian had some material or magical characteristics that slightly match some of this new black ice material.

Looking through other books i found Stygian Ice, which is hellish infused ice. I figure why not have a fiendish variant that comes from Errtu's involvement in the creation of Crenshenibon.

So i'm going to use the name Charsidyan which is a bit like Chardalyn, a bit like Obsidian and Chalcedony. It would be easy enough for people to confuse Charsidyan with Chardalyn in terms of nomenclature and some of their shared properties. I think its important to make the two be separate materials though because Chardalyn already has an established role in realmslore and it does not fit with the Chardalyn from Icewind Dale.

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sleyvas
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USA
9738 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  12:45:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So Legacy of the Crystal Shard has Black Ice where Crenshenibon or the Cryshal Tirith have touched.

Rime of the Frostmaiden has Chardalyn where Crenshenibon has touched.

I had a look through Volo's Guide to All Things Magical and could find no ice based crystals that fit the bill, although Chalcedon and Obsidian had some material or magical characteristics that slightly match some of this new black ice material.

Looking through other books i found Stygian Ice, which is hellish infused ice. I figure why not have a fiendish variant that comes from Errtu's involvement in the creation of Crenshenibon.

So i'm going to use the name Charsidyan which is a bit like Chardalyn, a bit like Obsidian and Chalcedony. It would be easy enough for people to confuse Charsidyan with Chardalyn in terms of nomenclature and some of their shared properties. I think its important to make the two be separate materials though because Chardalyn already has an established role in realmslore and it does not fit with the Chardalyn from Icewind Dale.



That's assuming the netherese knew everything there is to know about chardalyn and its uses. If there's one thing history has taught me, its that people find something and start using it, but for something not quite the best use of it. Then later they find out there's a better use. For instance, when oil was first discovered to be of use, they were making turpentine I think first, and all the gasoline was just "useless run off" and they were just burning it to get rid of it. I wouldn't be surprised if in 50 years, the stored barrels of nuclear waste we have become a precious commodity that someone finds a use for (if they haven't already and I just don't know about it). Chardalyn might have a lot of fantastic uses, and maybe even some of them WERE discovered by the secretive Netherese, but they didn't share the information. Doesn't have to be that way, but before we go and start making even more crystal substances and how they all react all over the place, perhaps let's get a definitive list of what's already been created and see what's duplicated, what does what, etc....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  12:51:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Voles guide to all things magical is as definitive as it's going to get.

Eric and George have made Chardalyn a byproduct of the Spellweaver ritual that annihilated their race. Its concentrated on spellweaver nodes and colonies and as far as I'm aware there are no spellweavers in icewind dale.

I'm happy with their ideas as canon (more than I am with WoTC ideas being canon) I think WoTC got it right with this stuff being Black Ice, they just couldnt come up with a name in 4e and have now picked the wrong name in 5e.

Interestingly enough I think Cha prefix on gem names could be made to refer to a black colouring

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  15:01:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Legacy of the Crystal Shard claims that traders from everywhere come to Icewind Dale to buy and sell, spice traders from Calimshan, farriers from the Silver Marches, armourers and lumber merchants from the Moonshae Isles are just a few.

My question is why do they come to Icewind Dale. Traders only come to a place if there is some commodity to buy, or if it is a common meeting ground for many other merchants.

The settlements of the Sword Coast act as trading hubs for all the merchants from the Savage Frontier, and so merchants from Calimshan and the Western Heartlands also come there to trade.

Icewind Dale is definitely not a trade hub, nobody in their right mind would travel all the way to Icewind Dale to deal with merchants from elsewhere when they could do so in Waterdeep or anywhere else.

Icewind Dale also does not have a massively precious commodity. There is scrimshaw which represents a curiosity at best, where rich people from other lands might want an exotic scrimshaw carving to show off their wealth, but otherwise it is limited by the number of quality knucklehead skulls the ten towners can obtain and it is of limited use.

So why would merchants want to come here from such far off lands. Icewind Dale is not rich enough to buy armour or wood from the Moonshae Isles (the cost to transport such items through the Spine of the World mountains is astronomical).

The only thing i can think of is that there are magical treasures from long lost and exotic empires that are found every year, and the traders come in search of those. I'm thinking the remains of Ostoria on the Reghed Glacier get washed out via the same hot springs that feed Evermelt and then flow into the 3 lakes.

There is the fallen enclave of Ythryn that probably spread a good chunk of its debris across the icy tundra and it gets thawed out every few summers.

Dwarven fortresses in the Spine of the World were sacked long ago and taken over by orcs and goblins. The treasures from those same dwarves are still used by the goblinoids and occasionally they are taken by the Reghedmen that slay the goblinoids or Ten Towners that slay the goblinoids.

Exotic treasure would be a good reason for merchants to visit this isolated frontier. The Ten Towners end up trading priceless artefacts at meagre prices for the necessities of life, but the wealth it attracts allows them to survive in this hostile wilderness.


Oh and i reckon the dwarves dig up more than iron in their valley, its just that they keep it for themselves or they trade it with the dwarves of Ironmaster so nobody knows about it.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  16:01:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


I'm happy with their ideas as canon (more than I am with WoTC ideas being canon) I think WoTC got it right with this stuff being Black Ice, they just couldnt come up with a name in 4e and have now picked the wrong name in 5e.



Say that they're called balkaes or something similar, which means something in some other language, and that it was corrupted into black ice.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  16:36:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Balkaes in Reghed sounds good to me. Charsidyan in common and Balkaes in Reghed.



Decided on a founding date for Bryn Shander. It arose after caravans stopped at a waystop cabin on their way to Targos. All caravans come from Luskan and until 1302 Luskan was owned by the orcs.

So 1309 DR for Bryn Shander's first settlement. 1313 DR when it was destroyed by a trade feud and so 1313 DR for its second settlement and the wall being built and the creation of the Council of Speakers.

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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
130 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  18:59:19  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FR wiki has some good articles on settlements and sites from Icewind Dale I & II. Such as Kuldahar (a pastoral village ruled by druids that was blessed by Silvanus with an eternal summer), Dorn's Deep (an abandoned dwarven fortress), the Hand of the Seldarine/Severed Hand (an abandoned far north ancient elven outpost), Vale of Shadows (an ancient burial ground of a Myrkulite barbarian king known as Kresselack), Rilauven (a small drow city under the Spine of the World, formerly under the control of priestesses of Lolth, now taken over by Vhaeraunites), Z'hinda Citadel (formerly ruled by drow, now taken over by illithids)

Edited by - deserk on 31 Oct 2020 19:00:09
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2020 :  19:04:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've read through the wiki but I need quotes from conversations and the books found in the games. The wiki provides statements about what is there but nothing that I can try an extrapolate an origin from.

For instance aihonen slays icasarcht, nothing gives any indication as to his origin except for the thankful inclusion of a date which predates the ten towns and so thankfully implies reghedmen origin.

I'm hoping there are some hints as to Dorns Deep or the Myrkul temple or the Vale of Shadows, I know they exist but who built them, when, why, etc.


I've decided the Vale of Kuldahar is hidden in the spine of the world (probably off the North South Pass.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 01 Nov 2020 :  22:14:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Decided to make law and order mich more frontier than is represented in the 4e and 5e modules.

If you wrong someone they will seek revenge. This type of rough justice is what led to Bryn Shander being burned down in 1313 DR (and led to the wall being erected and the speakers). So in Bryn Shander, if you want a dispute resolving you go to the sheriff. He decides who is right and who is wrong. The right party gets to decide a punishment and the sheriff decides if it is appropriate or not.

However, because this is frontier, if you pay more money you get more justice (are more likely to be right and have the punishment you want). Buuut, wealthy, powerful, or popular wrongdoers also skew the justice, so if someone popular asks for justice then the sheriff may have to find in his favour, but if the wrongdoers is rich or well connected then the sheriff will not allow harsh punishments and might only impose a fine.

Lots of crimes dont go to the sheriff though and are settled with a knife in the back.

The Ten Towns have no code of laws so crime and punishment is all adhoc.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 03 Nov 2020 :  15:12:45  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm thinking the local economy of the ten towns is run on barter. Only the merchants deal in coin, and even then that's a rarity.

I reckon you have merchants that do a circle of the Ten Towns and they trade with the locals, taking all their scrimshaw, gemstones, treasure, salmon, knucklehead, etc and trade them food in return (food will be the most precious commodity in icewind dale as you cant grow much that far north and if you try to love on fish alone you will get sick pretty fast).
These local merchants then head to Bryn Shander and sell trade the goods to Luskan merchants (for more food).



I have noticed a large temple to the triad in bryn shander. Why would the triad want a temple this far north. It would cost a lot to keep running. The temple was dwarven made so I'm thinking it's a building from early in bryn shanders history (the speakers palace was also dwarven made).

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 03 Nov 2020 :  15:57:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


I have noticed a large temple to the triad in bryn shander. Why would the triad want a temple this far north.


Why not? If there are people there, then there is worship. If there's enough people to support a temple -- as there apparently is -- then why wouldn't a deity want a temple?

Besides, temples have plenty of ways to defray their operating costs, not the least of which is providing healing.

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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

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1739 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2020 :  23:17:35  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Dallison,

quote:
I have noticed a large temple to the triad in bryn shander. Why would the triad want a temple this far north. It would cost a lot to keep running. The temple was dwarven made so I'm thinking it's a building from early in bryn shanders history (the speakers palace was also dwarven made).


I would imagine it is there as a response to some of the goings-on of that area after the Spellplague, such as, but not limited to, the War of the Silver Marches and the Errtu battle with Master Tiago. There was likely already an understandable frontier mentality to dealing with "law breakers" and in the midst of rebuilding post-Spellplague, Tyrran clergy probably felt the time was best to strike to push their argument to the people up there.

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Gary Dallison
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5318 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2020 :  21:09:40  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Up to Caer Dineval

The history of this place in 4e and 5e doesnt match the history of icewind dale up to then.

400 years ago cormyrians founded caer dineval, lost it to orcs and then a few years later the survivors formed an army to regain it.

This puts Cormyrians as the founders of Icewind Dale before the dwarves even arrived, which directly contradicts various statements that the dwarves were the first settlers in Icewind Dale (except for the nomadic Reghedmen).

So my proposal is that the Dinev nobles from Cormyr created a keep here, lost it to orcs and then the "several years" later mentioned in Rime of the Frostmaiden is several hundred years later when humans took the castle ruins from goblinoids (the original cormyrians all died out).



One thing i have found interesting is the Knights of the Black Sword. Rime of the Frostmaiden implies the Knights of the Black Sword are a recent secret society but there is no reason it cannot be historical.

During the trek to Icewind Dale, the Dinev family either find a magic sword, or bring one with them, or find it in Icewind Dale (perhaps a netherese relic). The sword is evil and possibly intelligent and attracts evil to it (hence the orc attack).
Might have to look up evil magic swords that are lost.
Also need to look at what is happening around 1050 DR as the Dinev family journey from Cormyr to Icewind Dale (hopefully lots of war and unrest to stop them from settling down elsewhere).

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 07 Nov 2020 :  11:42:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Had a look for Black Swords in all the sources.

The Black Sword of Imaskar, created to kill the emperor. I think i can discount this one as being the source of the Knights of the Black Sword on account of distance.

Found an interesting quote in the Complete Everwinking Eye series (repeated later in City of Ravens Bluff) regarding Iljak of the Black Blade who terrorised the settlements of the Vast during its early years (was slain in Procampur but could easily have been Proeskampalar in its earlier incarnation).

A tree was marked with a black sword symbol, beneath it was two stones marked with a black sword symbol, one of which saying "Moved it all, see me for your share".

Iljak was blasted out of a window by a sorceress and his sword lost in the waters off Procampur.


I think this is the most promising lead, both icewind dale and the above detail have stones marked with symbols of a black sword. Both seemed to be involved in nefarious doings. All i need to do is link the two.


I think i'm gonna have to go with Netheril. The sword is intelligent, perhaps possessed by some fiend trapped inside it. I could have it gradually end up in the Vast but perhaps it first ends up in Cormyr and is taking to Impiltur by the Obarskyrs (the ones that remain mercenaries and fight for Morlorn the Usurper King).

The Nightsword gets taken to the southern Vast during the many wars to conquer that region and ends up in the hands of Iljak the Black Blade, who establishes a band of brigands seeking to overthrow Impiltur's rule in the region.
Iljak is slain and the Night Sword is lost in the harbour of Proeskampalar.

440 DR the Nightsword is discovered during the reconquest of Proeskampalar by King Meldath of Impiltur.

From here it can either be lost again against the orcs of Vastar and is used in attacks on the elves of Cormanthyr, ultimately ending up in the Dalelands after the fall of Myth Drannor and then finally moving onto Cormyr.
Or it remains in royal hands in Impiltur and is taken with the royal entourage of 842 as it tours the Inner Sea lands trying to secure a marriage alliance (while the sword is evil and intelligent i dont think it would let anyone discover its true nature unless it could use them). It gets stolen in Cormyr and is one reason why a marriage alliance is secured between Impiltur and Westgate.


In Cormyr, the sword is gifted to the Dinev family of Arabel for services rendered. They later get found having supported Esparin during the war and so join the rebellion of Arabel in 1038 DR. When that rebellion fails the Dinev family is outcast and leaves Cormyr.

At some point earlier the sword learns about the enclave of Ythryn in Icewind Dale and so compels its wielder to seek out that land.



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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2020 :  11:20:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Caer Dineval founded 1278 DR by refugees fleeing the collapse of Viledal's empire in the Korinn Archipelago, the majority ffolk refugees were pursued by a number of pirates (majority northmen). Both groups of ships entered the Sea of Moving Ice and ended up getting stuck and forced to beach on the shore of Icewind Dale.

With the help of the Ten Towns they retake the ruins of Castle Dinev from goblinoids (thus fulfilling the passage that says the people of the Ten Towns united to retake Caer Dineval, although i'm greatly extending the implied timeline).

The ffolk and norl live together in Caer Dineval, but ancient enmities cause conflict. The norl leader Konig proposes to build a watchtower at the end of Icewind Pass to guard against marauding goblinoids.

Konig takes the best warriors (all norls) to clear the pass entrance in 1284 DR. They build a watchtower and bring all their families to the site to establish the town, thus separating the ffolk and norl communities.

Unfortunately the norl were never great builders and they only learned rudimentary engineering from the ffolk, so the foundations begin to shift with the spring melt. In 1286 DR goblinoids raze the caer and so the people abandon the town and return to Caer Dineval.

In return for shelter the people of Caer Dineval force the norl of Caer Konig to agree to exact fishing territories, splitting Lac Dinneshere between the two (as soon as Caer Konig was established the norl and ffolk fisherment started fighting over choice fishing spots), this fulfils the statement of historic fishing agreements between the towns.

In 1287 DR the norl return to Caer Konig and retake it.

Around 1300 DR, when Luskan merchants begin arriving in Icewind Dale, the scrimshaw market begins to take off and so the fishing agreement breaks down as both groups try to get as much quality knucklehead as possible.

The growth of Easthaven later sees Caer Dineval and Caer Konig cooperate only to exclude Easthaven from the fishing territories agreed in the treaty of 1286 DR.

Hopefully that aligns with all the historic statements about the two towns, but maybe takes a few liberties with the term "several years" which in the case of Caer Dineval's founding and refounding extends out to several centuries (if only to be true to the original history of Icewind Dale before any 4e and 5e publications.

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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
130 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2020 :  12:35:22  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really like the idea of sizeable chunk of the Ten Towners being descended from the Ffolk, which corresponds well with certain settlement/character names in Icewind Dale. Though perhaps they should rather have arrived as thralls of the Norls whom managed to eventually revolt successfully against them? Instead of deciding to conveniently settle in the same neighbourhood as the Norls? The Ffolk could have been used as artisans and craftsmen to build much of the settlements and stonework in Icewind Dale. And perhaps as well they had agricultural knowledge that allowed them to produce enough food to allow an urban/rural population in such an otherwise inhospitable climate.

Edited by - deserk on 08 Nov 2020 12:39:54
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Gary Dallison
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5318 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2020 :  13:29:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would have preferred it that way as well, unfortunately 4e and 5e has introduced origins for each individual settlement that make such an event impossible.

There is also the reason as to why northmen raiders would take their thralls all the way to Icewind Dale. The typical pattern of Northmen settlement is they raid an area, and probably scope it out to see if it is worth eventual conquest. When the northman population grows enough they will take that region and enslave the people there. This is not really a concerted national effort, the individual ruler of a region would send out some viking raiders (probably led by their son or brother) to a region and if they conquered it then great, that new settlement would now be a vassal of the original, but distance could make such rulership unenforcible. The original nation certainly would not send slaves over to the new land as that would strengthen the new region and may make them strong enough to rival the old, leading to war. Instead the newly conquered region would be very much on its own.

Icewind Dale is far too far away to be considered or even scouted out for colonisation, it is effectively land locked thanks to the Sea of Moving Ice. So i figured the only way a colonisation could happen was if they ended up lost. If it was raiders and slaves, the likelihood is that the norl would work their slaves to death and little of the ffolk culture would survive (it would all be northmen naming). If however it were a dual ffolk and northmen landing then they might be forced together for survival but the chances of two groups becoming lost in the same place at the same time is minimal unless one group were chasing the other.

It is a shame that later editions did not check the history much or look at naming conventions, or do any homework of any kind. Having settlements founded independently by groups from Cormyr, Tethyr, Chult, the Moonsea, and elsewhere is a huge headache of migrations into a place that nobody would ever want to go (meaning we now have to figure out what people are looking for in Icewind Dale).

I'm having to ignore the fact that all the names in Icewind Dale are celtic in origin. Caer, Konig, Lac, Dellon-Lune, all those could be reasonable explained as being named by the ffolk or northmen, but Maer Dualdon is an oddity i can't explain because Maer sounds vaguely celtic but would already have been named by the illuskan migrants several decades before the ffolk arrived.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2020 :  13:39:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The population in such an inhospitable environment without any agriculture is a difficult one.

My explanation is one of history. Shortly before the illuskan refugees arrived and settled the Ten Towns region was the Great Thaw, which melted the permafrost and made the whole region a giant mud bowl.

I reckon this event upset the natural ecology for several decades and means that the Ten Towners could have had a small agricultural industry for 20-30 years, growing enough food to feed a few thousand people with root vegetables, tubers, fish, and hunted animals.

After 1300 DR the Great Thaw was over and ice had come back to Icewind Dale, freezing the ground solid and preventing agriculture anywhere except Bremen. However, by that time merchants from Luskan were coming to Icewind Dale and brought food in exchange for knucklehead ivory, gems, and treasure. This trade has allowed the Ten Towns to survive when they might otherwise have been wiped out by starvation. There are also the dwarves who i think are an important trade partner of the Ten Towns, but probably do so in secret (through tunnels into Bremen) to ensure the towns keep going to act as a buffer between the dwarves and the surrounding goblinoids.

I'm not sure about the population figures for the Ten Towns yet, but i would probably prefer less than 5,000 people in the entire Ten Towns region to make their continued survival more feasible.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2020 :  20:21:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Randomly started the Icewind Dale game, the introduction presents an interesting conundrum.

Some archmage called Arakon (i think) turns up in Icewind Dale and starts building an army.

A "shaman" called Jerrod unites the barbarian tribes against Arakon, the tribes start beating his army so he opens a portal to the outer planes (it mentions the hells at one point so presumably Baator) and brings forth a horde of fiends.

mercs and barbarians unite but are still losing so Jerrod hurls himself into the portal and is frozen for eternity at the point of his demise.




I'm not expecting Arakon is detailed anymore in the game, so who is he, where's he from, when did this portal and barbarian battle take place? it doesnt mention a timeframe at all i believe (other than "long ago") so i could pick anytime.

I'm thinking perhaps that Arakon is a wizard from the fallen enclave of Ythryn, he tried to carve out his own kingdom and then called upon fiendish allies when things went bad. That would mean this happens sometime before 0 DR.


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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1739 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2020 :  00:05:31  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Dallison,

quote:
Legacy of the Crystal Shard claims that traders from everywhere come to Icewind Dale to buy and sell, spice traders from Calimshan, farriers from the Silver Marches, armourers and lumber merchants from the Moonshae Isles are just a few.


I could see intermediary distributors getting goods up that way, directly from somewhat local places. It would seem odd to have Calimshan merchants going up that far north on their own unless there was something from that area specific to what they want, that makes cutting the middleman out of the equation for. The spices going north may also be sensitive to cold perhaps, and that if the Calimshan merchants are the ones in the know on how to transport the spices without damage, that could make the trip worth it for certain margins.

As to the lumber merchants, that is bizarre to me. I could only think that there is some rare lumber up in the Ten-Towns area that has some extremely valuable quality to it for perhaps boat building? My understanding is that the wood that comes from the Lonelywood is not enough for use in the Ten-Towns area, and thus they import lumber themselves. So, if lumber was being exported, likely from the Lonelywood, it must be of exceptional quality for certain uses, I surmise.

quote:
My question is why do they come to Icewind Dale. Traders only come to a place if there is some commodity to buy, or if it is a common meeting ground for many other merchants.


I believe that Ten-Towns has exceptional scrimshaw to sell (which would be quite exotic I would imagine for other places) from the local Knucklehead trout which was unique to that area, specifically. In fact, a great quote from Volo's Guide to the North (p149) is:

quote:
The Ten Towns cluster about three lakes: Maer Dualdon, Lac Dinneshere, and Redwaters. These are the only known homes of the knucklehead trout, fish whose fist-sized heads and spiny body bones are akin
to fine ivory in hue and appearance. Even in summer, the lake waters are icy enough to kill anyone in the space of a few breaths. Greed brings the roughest rogues to this frozen land it is not a safe place for the idle traveler. The only real exceptions are the longrunners, folk who roam for food and bring firewood from the distant northern flanks of the Spine of the World. Scrimshanders, the skilled carvers of knucklehead scrimshaw, are important and respected craftsmen here, but everyone else is tolerated only as long they give no trouble and do honest business. In winter, troublemakers are usually slugged on the
head, tossed outside, and drenched with the contents of the nearest chamberpot. They#146;ll be dead of the cold before they regain their senses (The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier, p28-9).


quote:
Icewind Dale also does not have a massively precious commodity. There is scrimshaw which represents a curiosity at best, where rich people from other lands might want an exotic scrimshaw carving to show off their wealth, but otherwise it is limited by the number of quality knucklehead skulls the ten towners can obtain and it is of limited use.


Well, that isn't exactly accurate though, as evidenced below:

quote:
Icewind Dale is far to the north, sandwiched between the Sea of Moving Ice, the Reghed Glacier, and the Spine of the World. It's home to a few tribes of tundra barbarians, reindeer, polar bears, wolves, elk, the fierce tundra yeti, and a white dragon or two. In the west, as the mountains descend to the Sea of Moving Ice, the ridge falls sufficiently to provide a pass. Through this, caravans journey to transport the ivory scrimshaw carvings that make the Dale financially worth inhabiting. (The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier, p40)


It would appear that the scrimshaw is indeed more than a curiosity, as it appears to be the financial life blood of Icewind Dale, and specifically Ten-Towns.

quote:
So why would merchants want to come here from such far off lands. Icewind Dale is not rich enough to buy armour or wood from the Moonshae Isles (the cost to transport such items through the Spine of the World mountains is astronomical).


If they do use a partial barter system, then without the consistency of specie on certain trades, it becomes an issue of intrinsic, practical value of what is being exchanged. If the spices enhance the meals of the inhabitants of Icewind Dale, that is probably a pretty big deal. The high medieval Germanic period saw great monies exchanged for spices in Europe proper, and of course the spice trading of the Caribbean is well known in just how valuable spices are to nations/people. Wealthier nations may have such disproportionate trade power relative that they are valuing less in their daily lives commodities such as spices, and value the art of scrimshaw more. To the folk of Icewind Dale, the scrimshaw not being nearly as rare, likely consider the trade of it (being so simple to them) for the spices (which they literally don't have natural access too) to be a huge boon.

quote:
Exotic treasure would be a good reason for merchants to visit this isolated frontier. The Ten Towners end up trading priceless artefacts at meagre prices for the necessities of life, but the wealth it attracts allows them to survive in this hostile wilderness.


This completely makes sense to me. I mean, look at the Native Americans in the supposed trade of what is known as Manhattan for (60) guilders by Peter Minuit. I think perception matters a lot. The locals are looking at scrimshaw as just things they normally do, no big deal. People outside see it as very exotic and want it badly. At the same time, the locals may in fact find artifacts that mean nothing to them, may be useless, and in fact may be dangerous. Trading that for stuff they can use on a daily basis is likely a great bargain for them.

quote:
Oh and i reckon the dwarves dig up more than iron in their valley, its just that they keep it for themselves or they trade it with the dwarves of Ironmaster so nobody knows about it.


The Dwarves have to be a part of the trade economy locally. That is where specie of one form or another would be introduced into the economy, and would likely start producing significant gains for the folk of the Dale and the Dwarves locally.

Best regards,







Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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