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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2017 :  21:01:05  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm aware of the various descriptions in the various sources but I'm wondering really how to portray this area to my players.

Can someone give me a real world example?

Are there ANY trees? What is the primary vegetation? Heather? Grass?

Every picture I see of "moors" is near the coast of something and that doesn't fit geographically with where the Evermoors sit.

It is hilly as well as rocky?

What is a tor exactly?

I'm thinking it's like Scotland. But I'm looking for information.

I'm really struggling with encounter distance in the Evermoors. Theorhetically, the party could see enemies from miles away, and vice/versa.

Any advice is appreciated.

Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2017 :  22:18:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought this would be easy to answer, but strangely, it has ZERO entry in the OGB, and the one in The North is barely an entry at all (just re-affirming the area exists, and thats about it). I can't believe it was never described.

There was some pretty good descriptive text in one of the Drizzt novels. All I recall is it was pretty wet/swampy in large areas, with clumps of trees acting like 'islands' scattered all about, and it gets VERY foggy (visibility was very bad, at least in the story).

There is a fairly large lake in the middle of it, which tends to get left-off most maps.

I personally picture it as a very wet version of the Stonelands. Maybe something like THIS. but with some scrub-oak (and rocks) sprinkled in.

EDIT: Here's a moor with rocks - some parts of it might be more like THIS. They could also be Quite Beautiful at times.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 22 Jan 2017 23:34:37
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2017 :  23:56:08  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks that does help. I'm seeing it as rocky hills separated by low lying boggy areas. I get that it's wet, but only in the sense that the bedrock is close to the ground and the low lying areas are poorly drained. There are many pictures of "moor lands" that are high and relatively dry, with rocky cairns lying about....very rocky, lots of heather. I haven't seen any legit picture of a moor that had any trees. Heather, ferns and grass yet, but not trees...yet.

Like this

http://www.southdownswalking.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Postbridge-Dartmoor-Devon-63-e1441980810853.jpg



Also I wonder what a moor, vs a fen, vs a down is.

Edited by - Cards77 on 22 Jan 2017 23:58:05
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2017 :  03:52:12  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
vs a marsh, vs a swamp, etc, etc... I think scientists like to come up with names for every slight variation.

The best I can guess its that Moors are very much like 'wetlands' (river basins with poor drainage), but at higher altitudes (so rocky valleys between hills/mountains) . I guess sort of like a marshy plateau. I have found a couple with trees, but because of the rockiness mixed with standing water, that doesn't happen very often (so the 'clumps' of tree-islands the novel described might work).

I've also found pics of people using stilts to walk through them in England, which I really have to work into some lore somewhere.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Jan 2017 03:52:36
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5707 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2017 :  14:27:25  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is a bit of information and a pretty cool local landmark in Ed's "Elminster's Guide to the Realms" article in Dragon #292: The Sleeping Dragon.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 23 Jan 2017 :  18:03:07  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The first paragraph is a really good description of the Moors themselves. Not exactly how I pictured it, and it doesn't sound the same as RAS's description, but the Evermoors are HUGE, and different areas could look very different.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2946 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2017 :  14:37:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Proooobably the best source on the Evermoors is Silver Marches.

There are small, stunted trees; most of the high rock plateaus that make up the moors are covered by grasses. It looks like gently rolling grassy hills, split up by small stream-gullies and sucking bogs. There's a lot of water in the Evermoors, and it actually largely comes from underneath - there's tons of water upwelling out of it, and the Laughingflow's source is actually within the Evermoors themselves.

A tor generally means rocky peak; since the tops of the tors in the Evermoors are used as landmarks I'd guess they're taller and are largely clear of dirt and grasses.

I'm remembering that the waters of the Evermoors are heated as if there's some volcanism underneath, but I'm not exactly sure where I remember that FROM.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2017 :  20:00:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which actually shoe-horns perfectly with RAS's version, which was very foggy all the time - all that warm water welling-up from below and hitting the cooler air above.

The 3e campaign Guide also has a good description on pg.169 -
quote:
THE Evermoors: A region of bog-pocked hills, long rolling vistas, rocky ridges, and small peaks hiding deposits of valuable ores, the Evermoors are notorious for their numerous troll bands. Few humans have ever tried to tame this region, though it might be good land for sheep-herding or prospecting.
In recent years, giants from the frigid lands to the north of the spine of the World have taken up residence in these wild lands. Most are savage hill giants little better than overgrown ogres. The citizens of Nesmé, and as many adventurers as they can recruit, are too busy fending off the trolls displaced by the new arrivals to deal with the giant trouble.

Now, if it were me doing a 'history of The North', I would tie this recent (now a century past) phenomena to either Obould's rise (orcs displacing those giants to the north), or tie them to the Icespire Ogres (from the Giantcraft supplement, and the Twilight Giants series) who were also recently badly defeated even further north. I personally prefer the latter, because those ogres were described as being 'larger and smarter' than your average ogres, so they sound an awful lot like these 'giants' arriving in the Trollmoors. Plus, we already have tons of Obould (Drizzit!!!) lore shoved down our throats, and we really need some more stuff tying Hartsvale more firmly into The Realms.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Jan 2017 20:05:25
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2017 :  03:26:06  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the real world, a traditional more is wet because of a perched water table. The bedrock (and hollows/flat areas) prevents excess water from draining through the entire soil profile. "Upwelling" isn't a thing in moors I don't think but I'm willing to incorporate it. SOunds like Ed was thinking of it like a sort of Moor and badlands mashup.

Moors usualy are very gentle and rolling without the deeply dissected sorts of land types that he is describing in the article and alluding to in other places.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2017 :  04:10:58  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I think our (FR) 'moors' are much more like 'badlands' then RW moors, which are actually more like rolling hills (with trapped water, as you said). Since the 1e/2e maps weren't very pretty, and the 3e map's artistic style didn't allow for 'rolling hllls', there was pretty-much very little difference between the moors and the other type of 'badlands' we had (like the Fallen lands, etc). The badlands were just a dryer version of FR's 'moors'. There is also quite a bit of confusion between what is a swamp, and what is a marsh (on FR maps).

I think the biggest difference between a normal, flat marshland and the moors is altitude (and the fact that moors aren't flat). Almost the entirety of the High Moor is very dry, and therefore much more like the 'badlands' terrain type, and is on a humongous mesa (plateau). I almost feel as if Miyeritar wasn't so much 'destroyed', as it was just completely buried.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2946 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2017 :  09:28:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The interesting thing is that the Evermoors do drain. A LOT. They're where a lot of water in the Darklake comes from, and there used to be even more water down there before Gracklstugh did a lot of civil engineering projects in the area. So there's something producing tons and tons of water underneath the Evermoors, the question is what?
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2017 :  19:19:35  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, if we ignore *magic" and the Underdark, perhaps the evermoors are a lowland - the depressions between the rolling hills may actually be lower than (or at least 'at') sea level, and since the whole of The North is mostly mountains and hills, it could be the place where a LOT of natural drainage is winding up (not that the river systems display that). There is a very large lake (Everlake) near the center of them, with a river (The Laughing Flow) feeding off of it into the The Surbrin and eventually into the River Dessarin, so I would assume that lake is the center of the 'drain' where all the water is funneling, and perhaps some of that is even making it into the Underdark before it flows out into the river system.

And maybe whatever 'pumping' the dwarves are doing down below, its winding up on the surface as well, which would explain some of that 'heated water' oozing on up out of the ground.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jan 2017 19:24:27
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
761 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2017 :  00:16:29  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or maybe the "Ever" part of the Everlake is purposeful, and indicates the lake is an everlasting supply of water... perhaps due to some ancient High Magic ritual, or the intervention of a deity. Magic/Gods is admittedly a weak explanation, but it would be interesting if the lake was the cause of the "moors"...

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2017 :  01:15:01  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Well, if we ignore *magic" and the Underdark, perhaps the evermoors are a lowland - the depressions between the rolling hills may actually be lower than (or at least 'at') sea level, and since the whole of The North is mostly mountains and hills, it could be the place where a LOT of natural drainage is winding up (not that the river systems display that). There is a very large lake (Everlake) near the center of them, with a river (The Laughing Flow) feeding off of it into the The Surbrin and eventually into the River Dessarin, so I would assume that lake is the center of the 'drain' where all the water is funneling, and perhaps some of that is even making it into the Underdark before it flows out into the river system.

And maybe whatever 'pumping' the dwarves are doing down below, its winding up on the surface as well, which would explain some of that 'heated water' oozing on up out of the ground.



The only way it makes sense to me, and how I describe the Evermoors in my game is that it's a huge depression, hence why it's so wet. There are steep ridges on 3 (or 2 and a half sides). The north is a steep ridge dividing what drains into Evermoors and what drains into the Rauvin. This is something commonly seen in glaciated valleys, which is what the Rauvin is.

This is necessary otherwise all the northern Evermoors would drain north into the Rauvin, rather than south into the Laughingflow.

Likewise on the East following the curve of the glaciated valley in which the Rauvin contained, there is a large forested ridge in the Silverwood that divides drainage into the rauvin near Silverymoon, and drainage westward into the Laughingflow.

So the Silverwood actually extends downslope a short distance into the moors until the ground becomes too wet for trees to grow.

As with most changes in vegetation, it occurs along a gradient gradually giving way to treeless vegetation types, rather than a line such as the impression given on the maps.

This cresent shaped depression is the bounds of the topography of the Evermoors.

On the western side, it has more gentle rolling hills dividing the drainage into what flows SE into the laughingflow and what flows SW and joins the Rauvin near or below Nesme.

So I describe the topography as if you enter the moors from the N or E, you are gently descending into a poorly drained moor. While if you enter from the W it's more rolling hills trapping the water. If you enter from the south, you actually would very slighty gain elevation as you move northward toward the Everlake, which would have to sit somewhat higher than the southern area into which it drains.


Edited by - Cards77 on 31 Jan 2017 01:21:11
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Wenin
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581 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  02:14:34  Show Profile Send Wenin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Issue 144 of Dungeon has an adventure called The Muster of Morach Tor. Within that adventure there are several maps, all indicating that the Evermoor is VERY swampy.

Chatper Two has a description of the trip on a road through the moor
quote:

An old stone road slopes up from the town onto the hills of the high moors. Steep streambeds and small plateaus of tall grass and bare rock cover the moors for miles before fading into the gray mist on the eastern horizon.

The road winds through the moors and passes a few small sheep ranches that eventually give way to destroyed farmsteads, razed down to their foundations.


later on describing another section of road...

quote:

This smaller road is the shortcut to Morach Tor, and winds through the marsh from one reed-covered island to another, crossing the collapsed remains of rotting wooden causeways.

The rocky peak of Morach Tor is visible from where the shortcut across the marsh valley meets the main road, almost tow miles away.




It's a rocky, crappy land with huge water problems, and a few bits of land that can be used for something other than soaking your boots. =)





Session Reports posted at RPG Geek.
Stem the Tide Takes place in Mistledale.
Dark Curtains - Takes place in the Savage North, starting in Nesmé. I wrapped my campaign into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it takes place in 1372 DR.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2017 :  03:09:48  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice find thank you Wenin
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venn
Acolyte

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  01:50:02  Show Profile Send venn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Made an account just so I could say thank you for this topic! I've been hitting my head on this very problem for the past two weeks and this discussion has actually made sense of the area for me!

Clearly, whoever wrote the initial description of the EverMOORS just read Hound of the Baskervilles, which has a specifically unusual wet moor area, and thought that's what they were all like. And then they just went with it.

It is a crazy-huge area, so I'm just going to describe some of the more out-lying regions as having the drier, more actually moor-like aspect (probably the area Cards77 described as
quote:
If you enter from the south, you actually would very slighty gain elevation as you move northward toward the Everlake, which would have to sit somewhat higher than the southern area into which it drains.

and that's why people gave the area that name - and then they went a little further and were like, aw well.
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BenN
Senior Scribe

Japan
372 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  12:21:41  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To get a good idea of what moors and tors look like, do a google image search of "Dartmoor", one of the most famous moors in the UK; in this case, in the south-west of England.

Example:

https://www.rgualtphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/MG_8665-Edit-Edit-Edit.png

Also, for tors, think 'Weathertop' in Lord of the Rings.

Edited by - BenN on 10 Feb 2020 12:23:27
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
701 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2020 :  03:55:47  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenN

To get a good idea of what moors and tors look like, do a google image search of "Dartmoor", one of the most famous moors in the UK; in this case, in the south-west of England.

Example:

https://www.rgualtphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/MG_8665-Edit-Edit-Edit.png

Also, for tors, think 'Weathertop' in Lord of the Rings.



Thanks that's a great picture. Kinda strange rock stacking.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1968 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2020 :  09:29:21  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The High Moor is covered in Elminster's Ecologies, Appendix 2. And it's a separate can of worms, in part thanks to its origin. As to the Evermoors...

quote:
from The North / The Wilderness:
The Evermoors
Also known as the Trollmoors, this barren, upland area ...
Trolls still lurk in the hills and bogs, but not in vast numbers as of old.
Flintrock
This bleak ancestor mound in the moors east of Longsaddle is situated on a gnarly knob of flinty stone. The cairn rings and

The High Moor
Like the Evermoors north of the Dessarin, the High Moor is studded with lichen-festooned rocky outcrops, moss, break-
neck gullies, and small rivulets of clear water that spring from the ground, wind among the rocks for a time, and then sink
down again. It's also shrouded by frequent mists.

So there are hills and stones, with the low areas between them fairly wet, with small brooks being common and some places being boggy.
Maybe all the rocks help to extract water, too.
This Longsaddle reference is weird, however.

quote:
from The North / Cities & Civilization:
The folk of Mornbryn's Shield are a hardy lot. Day after day, they face the fury of the Evermoors which sends howling
winds from the northeast, cloaking them in damp, clammy fog that conceals creeping trolls.

Wet winds from Evermoors to SE.

quote:
Originally posted by Arivia

The interesting thing is that the Evermoors do drain. A LOT. They're where a lot of water in the Darklake comes from, and there used to be even more water down there before Gracklstugh did a lot of civil engineering projects in the area. So there's something producing tons and tons of water underneath the Evermoors, the question is what?

Maybe not only the moors as such.
A lot of water comes from Surbrin and Rauvin (and other tributaries), but Surbrin after Evermoors cuts through the hills (which also count as the moors, as on the map it's clear Flintrock is right in the middle of the hills E of Surbrin, and it's said to be "in the moors") S from Mornbryn's Shield. What if this offers enough of resistance to the flow that water doesn't drain easily enough, and is diverted into flooding low areas - such as nearby bogs or underground rivers that go both into lower caves and under the moors?
At least in the N and W parts of Evermoors (SW part has the Laughing Flow).

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 11 Feb 2020 16:59:11
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