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Elvenblood Pass

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Elvenblood Pass was a major pass through Earthfast Mountains in the Vast, linking the northern and southern halves. The High Trail ran through it to connect Procampur and Ravens Bluff.[1][2][3]

DescriptionEdit

Elvenblood Pass was a rugged mountain pass, crossed by over a dozen narrow ravines, each thick with trees. Rockfalls were a frequent hazard, and it had many spots for ambushes and deliberate rockfalls.

The pass was also haunted by a variety of predators: from stirges, wyverns, and other mountain-dwelling predators on the hunt; to two-legged threats like orcs and bandits. The bandits and most of the flightless creatures dwelled in the forested ravines.[2]

UsageEdit

Despite its dangerous reputation, Elvenblood Pass was heavily used, more so than the longer, safer Glorming Pass in the east.[2]

HistoryEdit

ElvenbloodPass

A horde of orcs descending upon the forces of Westgate.

During the reign of King Glaurath the Great of Westgate (−301−291 DR),[4] thieves stole the royal treasury of Westgate and fled by ship to the Vast. They anchored at the spot where the city of Procampur would later lie, and went up into the Earthfast Mountains. However, the Court Wizards traced the thieves and slew them with magic, one by one, as Westgate's elite soldiers pursued them. The thieves made a stand in the pass, launching ambushes against the soldiers and triggering avalanches, but they were outnumbered thirty-to-one and outmatched in magic. The thieves were defeated, either slain or captured. However, the battle had drawn the attention of the local orcs, and a thousand of them assaulted the Westgate forces from the mountain caves and ravines. Bloody fighting broke out, and the soldiers and wizards of Westgate were doomed. But before they were slaughtered, the Westgate forces and remaining thieves worked together to hide the treasury somewhere in the pass.[2]

The wizard Naer Tlarra was entombed somewhere around the pass around the 4th or 5th century DR.[2]

Later, in the early 7th century DR, at the southern end of the pass, the forces of Roldilar, a dwarven kingdom that once dominated the surface lands, constructed Sarbreenar as a defensive outpost of the nearby city of Sarbreen. Its purpose was to control access to the pass to the city, to ward off surprise assaults through the mountains, and to maintain an overland link with the city of Procampur in the southern Vast.[5]

Beluar, the elven hero of the war against the orcs during the fall of Roldilar in 649 DR, later led a small band of elven riders down the pass. They were set upon in an orcish ambush, and Beluar and his band all died in battle. The pass was thereafter known as "Elvenblood Pass" after the battle.[6][7][5]

Rumors and legendsEdit

There was one morbid remnant of the ancient battle between the orcs and the Westgate soldiers in Elvenblood Pass. A wizard made a desperate last stand in which he sacrificed his life to fuel an everdance spell that sucked a dozen orcs into the air and spun them around and around until they died. The spell remained in effect for centuries, even while the trapped orc corpses decayed and their bones crumbled to dust. The gruesome debris continued to spin over a forty-foot-high (12 meters) ledge at the middle of the pass by 1370 DR.

Treasure tales of the pass told of coins and trinkets dropped or taken from victims of the monsters and bandits, and buried or stashed inside crevices. However, there were two major treasure tales of note.

The first was the royal treasury and regalia of Westgate, thought to still be hidden in the pass by its defenders and thieves. The royal auditor's report listed: six strongboxes and twenty coffers and small chests of necklaces of gems, four gem-encrusted crowns, a ceremonial chalice, a magical scepter carrying three fist-sized rubies, and a collection of fancy masks adorned with filigree and jewels. The tale was given impetus when a wizard was caught dead wearing such a gem-adorned mask at a party held by a Cormyrean noble in Ravens Bluff in 1374 DR. Sages examined the deceased's mask and identified it as coming from the old royal court of Westgate—but pointed out that nobles of Westgate had their own, similar masks, and that the craftsmen frequently disassembled the masks to create new ones. The theory remained that someone had discovered the royal treasury in Elvenblood Pass, and was taking away and selling items one at a time so as not to draw attention.

The other treasure tale was the tomb of Naer Tlarra, built around the 4th or 5th century DR, and either buried or heavily overgrown somewhere in Elvenblood Pass. His coffin was supposedly protected against thieves by bound creatures and several spells. Among his treasures were his spellbooks, staff, wands, and a magical crown that allowed one to use up to twelve magical rings simultaneously, with at least two particularly rare and powerful rings still on it.[2]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 150–151. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 214. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  6. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  7. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.

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