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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2905 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2017 :  17:57:04  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shoondale! Have the Leader be a descendant of Manshoon the Great!

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 15 Jun 2017 17:57:56
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3502 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2017 :  18:01:57  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The northern moonsea people are also of part netherese stock so technically zhentil keep is somewhat of a successor to teshar anyway

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Helm
Seeker

United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2017 :  18:49:10  Show Profile Send Helm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So I'm guessing the Zhents could dig up a heir from the populace...using their detect DNA spells?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30284 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2017 :  19:40:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Helm

So I'm guessing the Zhents could dig up a heir from the populace...using their detect DNA spells?



I'd expect it would be more like finding a distinctive item known to have belonged to a specific person -- it would likely be an heirloom passed down within a family. Once you find it, you can check back thru local histories and such to find the connection.

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Helm
Seeker

United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2017 :  08:15:26  Show Profile Send Helm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah that sounds like a good adventure hook. I can imagine the PCs getting involved in a struggle to locate this heir. Maybe he or she has fled Teshar with a harper agent (possibly wounded in the process), with Zhentarim in pursuit. Maybe he/she is privy to some secrets Teshar don't want the Dales to know. I can imagine a chase adventure with the PCs racing to meet with the Dales Council for him or her to speak.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  23:38:08  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To tell you the truth (as a guy who names fantasy geography all the time), I like just 'Zhentil'. It sounds fine.

EDIT:
Or, conversely, you could steal a page from Runequest and call it 'The Lunar Empire' (because its around the Moonsea), or even just the 'Empire of the Moon' (but that would make people think its a 'force for good', because of the connection to Selūne).

EDIT2:
Oh, and the Moonsea used to be called The Dragon Sea, a millennia or so ago. It is called that in at least one entry in the 1e FRCS, and I confirmed it with Ed that that is indeed the case. Thus, you could do something with that... but of course, 'dragon' is nearly as over-used as 'Moon' in FR names (or 'Star', for that matter).

You know, a lot of places (and people) have 'Shar' in the names as well. 'Shardragon' sounds pretty nifty (say it fast as one word, not as its two component words).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Jun 2017 23:44:28
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  07:27:33  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An article by Brian and Matt James in Dungeon #170 described the ancient kingdom of Barze not far to the northeast, a Netherese successor state that was eventually brought low by Tyranthraxus. Perhaps a new kingdom in the area could be inspired by the artifacts of that era, and be called Barze as well, or "New Barze" or some such.

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

Edited by - KanzenAU on 30 Jun 2017 07:33:33
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3502 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  08:37:53  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately i think barze is almost completely erases from the realms.

The kingdom was conquered by tyranthraxus and his hordes.

Anyone not killed and still living in the region was drained of life and magic when a black dragon named embrurshaille performed a ritual to empower herself.

I believe barze is now inside the wasteland that is Thar and that ritual is why it is a wasteland.

The buildings would then have been occupied by the ogre kingdom of thar and the orc kingdom of thar but they all likely crumbled to dust long ago.

Id be very surprised if any magic or people or buildings survive to today. The only ones that likely escaped ended up in northkeep and embrurshailles brother destroyed that

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  15:44:36  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And it may or may not have been the same group/kingdom that was 'The People of the Black Sails', which also ruled over the Moonsea area for a time.


Didn't the Zhents pretty-much control the entire Moonsea by the end of 3e? Or was all that for nothing, because they were immediately nuked by the Shades (who were then nuked themselves)? I should really read that series about the retaking of Myth Drannor.

So in 5e, how does all of that stand? As it was in the 1e/2e era? Or are the Zhents even less powerful than they were then (geo-politically, I mean)?

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


Edited by - Markustay on 30 Jun 2017 15:53:08
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  04:52:43  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You could always expand upon Zhentil Keep by changing its old surname to more pronounced and grandiose surname, such as Zhentil Citadel, Zhentil Fasthold or Zhent Stronghold.




"We're not out of here in 10 minutes, we won't need no rockets to fly through space." -Parker, Alien.
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Helm
Seeker

United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2017 :  09:25:06  Show Profile Send Helm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks again for the suggestions and info.

As for the 'state' of Zhentil Keep by the 5e era. To my knowledge it had been destroyed by the Shades (maybe during 4e?). Later the capital city of the shades-Thultanthar (sp?) was destroyed and crashed onto Myth Drannor. The surviving elves have retreated to other settlements in Cormanthor.
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2017 :  10:57:55  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's some info in another thread about the current state of Zhentil Keep.

As far as the rest of the Moonsea area goes, that's the territory of the first four seasons of the Adventurer's League. I haven't played any of it, but I've tried to get a general idea and I've bought some of the material. As far as I can tell:

Phlan was in a bit of disarray with the recent death of its lord, got taken over by a dragon, but then Jhessail Greycastle, commander of the Black Fist (Phlan's militia), rallied some allies and retook the town. Unclear what the current situation is.
Mulmaster is involved in the Elemental Evil storyline, and I've seen "pre and post devastation" maps about. I think in the ultimate adventure of the Season, the city may get very badly damaged by a massive explosion, but it's also possible to avoid it. I think the city is ruled by either High Blade Jaseem Drakehorn or High Blade Rastol Shan, depending on how the Season goes.
Hillsfar capitulated to the Zhentarim (was this in the Myth Drannor retaking series? I forget). Then a senate ruled it with the Shadovar watching closely, then First Lord Torin Nomerthal came to power after beating back the Netherese. I think he gets assassinated during the Rage of Demons storyline and a guy called Vuhm Yestral, formerly of the Red Plumes, comes to power. I think.

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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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2017 :  16:59:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So basically, they've turned back the clock with the Moonsea as well (a bunch of citystates, some of which control others for a time, but basically chaos and criminality abound, and things can change on a whim).

And I think Zhentil Keep was a 'secret city' in 4e, sort of. I recall reading something that said most folk of the Realms still think Zhentil keep is completely destroyed, when in reality, the Zhents have been returning, little by little (so as not to attract attention), and have at least the dockward section rebuilt, and use it as a 'pirate town' of sorts... but its all hush-hush, because they don't want to draw attention to the fact that they ARE BACK.

At least, thats how I think things stood in 4e.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Jul 2017 17:01:38
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30284 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2017 :  18:00:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

So basically, they've turned back the clock with the Moonsea as well (a bunch of citystates, some of which control others for a time, but basically chaos and criminality abound, and things can change on a whim).

And I think Zhentil Keep was a 'secret city' in 4e, sort of. I recall reading something that said most folk of the Realms still think Zhentil keep is completely destroyed, when in reality, the Zhents have been returning, little by little (so as not to attract attention), and have at least the dockward section rebuilt, and use it as a 'pirate town' of sorts... but its all hush-hush, because they don't want to draw attention to the fact that they ARE BACK.

At least, thats how I think things stood in 4e.



I don't recall reading that, but I only read the 4E campaign book once, and I was -- as noted in the review I posted at the time -- rather underwhelmed by it.

Canon or not, though, it's a really nifty idea. I like it.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2017 :  18:23:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Its not from the out-set of 4e - I believe it was something they 'back-peddled' on later in the life-cycle of 4e.

I truly doubt its from a Dragon (DDi) article, since I never subscribed to that. However, I have seen a couple of things from that source, and I can't figure out where else I would have gotten that impression (unless it was something one of the designers said on the WotC forums, before those got shut-down... but once again, that doesn't feel right either).

Maybe from the Blades of the Moonsea trilogy? Unfortunately I no longer have those books... even my signed copy of the first one. {sigh}

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

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