Luz e Sombra
Netheril - Common Knowledge
The Empire of Netheril has risen from the desert sands of Anauroch, a land wreathed in shadow that dominates the northern reaches of Faerûn. The float- ing cities of Shade Enclave and Sakkors rule the great basin between the High Ice and the Stonelands, and hold the nearby land of Sembia in thrall.
The Empire of Netheril has been reborn, thanks to the return of its residents from their centuries-long exile in the Shadowfell. Under the strict rule of the Twelve Princes, the returned Netherese, now call- ing themselves Shadovar, are ascendant, having defeated old enemies and reclaimed what they see as their rightful place in Faerûn. The region is growing increasingly verdant with each passing year, and its enemies remain at bay, fearful of Netheril’s potent magic but unable to contain the tendrils of shadow spread by Netherese infiltrators.
Netheril is a vast and sprawling land undergoing a rapid environmental transformation. Its borders stretch from the High Ice to the Stonelands and from the Graypeak Mountains to the Desertsmouth Mountains. Four major cities have been refounded: Landeth, Orofin, Rasilith, and Oreme. Scattered through the empire are smaller settlements built atop ancient Netherese ruins or in regions with sufficient fertility to support a small population.
Oreme: The City of White Towers has been brought back to life. The serpentine coils of its spi- raling towers suggest that its origins predate even ancient Netheril. The new Oreme is home to the descendants of Bedine tribesfolk and their Shadovar lords. A large underclass of asabis and krinths (see “People of Netheril”) inhabits the warrens below the city. Rumors of mummified serpentfolk in the depths are given little credence by the Netherese.
Orofin: The City of Magicians consists of villas and orchards clustered around a central core of canals, parks, and a fortress with crenellated ram- part walls. The descendants of Bedine tribesfolk now inhabit Orofin, and other races commonly encoun- tered in Netherese cities, such as krinths and asabis, are relatively rare here.
Rasilith: This city is encircled by walls of thick gray stone. Inside the walls, alabaster towers ring a central fortress of more recent construction. At the center lies a great well of unfathomed depth. Rasi- lith has been reclaimed by the Netherese, with the descendants of Bedine tribesfolk claiming the upper reaches of the city and tribes of asabi servitors inhab- iting the lower portions.
Sakkors: The city of Sakkors is built on a floating, inverted mountaintop. The skyline is dominated by clusters of thin spires stretching from the shadowy grounds of walled estates. The city’s wide boulevards see little use except during the dim periods of dawn and dusk. The entire city is entwined in tendrils of shadow that cling like damp seaweed, and the walls have been worn by the city’s centuries-long submer- sion beneath the Sea of Fallen Stars.
Shade Enclave: This floating city is the heart of the Netherese Empire. Home to the ruling Twelve Princes, this grim, foreboding city is located on an inverted peak that hovers above the Scimitar Spires. On the backs of flying, wormlike creatures known as veserabs, agents of the Shadovar fly to and from the farthest reaches of the growing empire, enforcing the writ of the Most High of the Princes of Shade.
People of Netheril
The Netherese proudly trace their ancestry back to ancient Netheril, though in truth their culture is the product of many influences. The ruling upper class consists primarily of Shadovar, descendants of the Netherese who spent centuries in exile in the Shadowfell. The middle classes include the com- mingled human descendants of Bedine nomads, Tunlar savages, tribesfolk of the Ride, and those not of Netherese stock. The lower classes consist of krinths (humanoids descended from mixtures of humans and shadow demons) and asabis (lizardfolk who favor hot, dry climates and cool, subterranean caverns).
The Netherese are proud of their accomplish- ments and feel that they are gradually reclaiming the land that was stolen from their ancestors. They have little sympathy for the savage tribes that over- ran their ancestral lands, and fear that those tribes seek to bring Netheril low again. The Netherese view Sembians with a measure of disdain, eyeing their commercial inclinations with suspicion but acknowledging their contributions to the Empire of Netheril. Elves and humans in Luruar, Evereska, Cormyr, and Myth Drannor are viewed with great distrust, if not outright hostility.