Sea of Fallen Stars
The largest inland ocean of Faerûn, the Sea of Fallen Stars is also called the Inner Sea. It continues to be a crucial trade way, despite its diminished expanse, and even in spite of the ever-present threat of the Soaring City, Xxiphu. Below the surface is another world, with undersea kingdoms and strange beings embroiled in conflicts both new and very old.
The Sea of Fallen Stars is bordered by Aglarond, Akanûl, Chessenta, Cormyr, the Dalelands, the
Dragon Coast, the Great Dale, Impiltur, Sembia, Thay, the Vilhon Wilds, Thesk, Threskel, Turmish,
Tymanther, and Vesperin.
Sea of Fallen Stars Lore – A character knows the following information with a successful skill check.
History DC 10: The former expanse of the Sea of Fallen Stars was altered when wide portions of
the landscape collapsed. A portion of the Inner Sea drained into the Underdark, forcing port cities to keep pace with the retreating water by building new dockside facilities. When the sea level reached its new equilibrium (after about 10 years of gradual draining), the average drop in water level measured nearly 50 feet. Once-submerged features were exposed to the air, as well as the tops of various formerly drowned ruins. The partial draining of the sea was one of the most traumatic effects of the Spellplague in Faerûn. The character of the shoreline changed everywhere, though the overall shape of the sea remains as it once was.
All older seaside trade cities contain an “old wharf ” portion of town, no longer useful except
as cheap real estate, as well as more recently constructed working ports.
Streetwise DC 15: Life on the Sea of Fallen Stars is hard both for shore-hugging fishers and merchant sailors who brave the passages in order to transport goods. Pirates are the biggest threat to travelers and traders. The sea raiders lair mostly in the many fjordlike cuts of Pirate Isle, a perfectly named landmass home to dozens of warring pirate clans.
Below the surface, water-breathing fey called sea elves are the dominant civilized culture. Myth
Nantar is the name of their marvelous aquatic city. The sea elves’ most prolific and tenacious enemies are the sahuagin tribes that dominate the eastern stretches of the Inner Sea.
Sea elf, sahuagin, and pirate alike dread the appearance of Xxiphu in the turbulent clouds over
the water. On occasion, they have made common cause when the Soaring City unexpectedly arrived.
More often, they temporarily break off any conflict to flee.
Settlements and Features
Drowned graves and ruins litter the bottom of the
Sea of Fallen Stars in the hundreds. Some of them
were revealed as the sea receded.
Sea Elf City; Population 35,000
This city is the center of sea elf society and the capital of an ever-growing undersea kingdom, and it is protected by a powerful mythal. Despite the lurking presence of the Abolethic Sovereignty above the water, the sea elves have enjoyed decades of relative peace below. Myth Nantar, now partly revealed by the lower sea level, lies both above and below the waves. With some of its accommodations completely free of water, sea elves and surface races can and do mingle here, both for trade and for councils regarding the threats facing modern Faerûn.
Lawless Land of Privateers and Villainous Scum Pirate Isle lies about 100 miles from the coast of
Sembia. A great mountain known as the Dragonspur dominates the isle. The Dragonspur shelters two
excellent natural harbors that have been fortified, destroyed, and then fortified again by generations of pirates. Several other secure anchorages are scattered around the island. At any given time, between twenty and sixty pirate vessels anchor on the main isle or on one of the many islets that surround the main landform.
Reports of kuo-toas on the decks of pirate ships by survivors of such attacks is a growing concern. Are the pirates becoming servitors of the Abolethic Sovereignty in return for freedom to sail the seas? Or are the pirates capturing kuo-toas as part of some strange scheme to ward off attacks by the aboleths?
Wall across the Inland Sea Built by sea elves to contain the sahuagin kingdom in the eastern reaches, the top of this 135-mile-long wall was originally far enough below the surface that ships could pass over it and not even know it was there. Now, however, the water has drained to the point that the wall now towers some 30 feet above the surface. It traverses the straits south of Thay and continues for miles inland to both north and south. Beneath the water, the wall is patrolled by sea elves on the west and by sahuagin to the east.
Soaring City, Seat of the Abolethic Sovereignty. The most feared sight in the Sea of Fallen Stars is the movable citadel Xxiphu. The city was roused from the drowned depths by prophecy, perverted priests, and unwise delvings. Because Xxiphu can change its location at will, its influence could conceivably stretch anywhere. No one knows where it might appear next, though most sightings of it are over or close to the Sea of Fallen Stars.
Xxiphu is a glyph-scribed obelisk wrapped in an eternal storm that soars over the surface of the world. Tentacles slither and crawl in cold rookeries encrusting the vast object’s sheer sides. A writhing frieze carved on the age-worn exterior depicts thousands of interconnected images. The inscriptions constantly shift and change, as if invisible artists swarm across the stone face, inscribing atrocities to the beat of a mad drummer. The full meaning of the evolving inscription invokes concepts too ghastly for mortal minds to comprehend and remain sane.
Aboleths freshly wakened from an age-long slumber creep within the obelisk’s hollow interior
along with their servitors. But many of these are as children compared to the few enormous elders that shamble within. These ancients do not think or plan as do other beings, and their altered consciousness is inimical to all creatures not part of their ancient Sovereignty. Reality bends in the city’s vicinity, unfettering vast monsters of the deep to master the sky as they before hunted the sunless seas.
The aboleths of the Sovereignty are not like those previously known on Toril. The solitary aboleths of Faerûn’s Underdark were startled by the appearance of this mythical city from their primeval past. In fact, a few skirmishes broke out between Faerûn’s aboleths and the newcomers when Xxiphu first burst up from the Sea of Fallen Stars. Now an uneasy peace exists, in that the Underdark aboleths avoid those of the Sovereignty.