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The Great Sea was one of the larger seas of Toril, lying between the continents of Faerûn and Zakhara,[5][6][2] and, after the Spellplague of 1385 DR, between those two continents and the new continent of Laerakond.[7]

GeographyEdit

The sea stretched from the southern coastline of the Chultan Peninsula in Faerûn to the northern coastline of Zakhara and narrowing far to the east where Faerûn and Zakhara joined.[8][2][3] It was roughly triangular in shape, nearly 2000 miles (3200 kilometers) long along the northern shore and almost as much wide in the west. It joined the Trackless Sea in the west south of the Chultan Peninsula, but it was unclear where to define a border.[2][9] After the Spellplague of 1385 DR, the continent of Laerakond appeared in its northern boundary.[7]

In the far east, the Golden Water in the Shining Lands of southeast Faerûn was considered an arm of the Great Sea. South of it, the sea lashed against the dry rugged shore of the Utter East, leaving in its wake whirlpools and maelstroms.[8]

LocationsEdit

Tartyron Unbound Tartyron 3

A view from the Utter East out to the Realm of Tides.

In Faerûn, the Great Sea lapped at the southern shores of the lands of Halruaa,[10] Dambrath, Luiren, and the Shining Lands of Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden.[11] Nimbral was the most notable island in the Great Sea.[5][6][12] Other known islands far out in the Great Sea on the Faerûnian side were, from west to east, the Beacon Rocks (five islands), the Stormtails (an island chain), the Shipgrave Isles (an island chain), the Red Giant, Ward's Islands (three islands) the White Rocks (a single island), Naarlith (four small islands), Far Nermoree (two small islands),[5][6] and the Realm of Tides off the coast of the Utter East.[13]

In Zakhara, the eastern tip of the Sea's shore touched the Land of the Yak-Men.[14] It ran to the southwest along the area of the city-states of North Zakhara, then at the edge of the High Desert beyond the Mountains of the Lizard's Tongue, and presumably on to mysterious Akota.[1][15][16] Two groups of islands lay within the Great Sea on the Zakharan side: the Corsair Domains, and under variably strong Qudran influence, the Dancer, the Bird, the Fortress, Lahib and Dahab Island.[1][17][18]

In Laerakond, the southern edge of the Dragon Sea, as well as the southern shores of the Dusk and Windrise Ports, and the Daggertooth Isle were located in the waters of the Great Sea.[7][19]

ClimateEdit

The Great Sea was heated by strong warming ocean currents. These kept it noticeably warm south of Halruaa and in the eastern end,[10] but here the sea cooled the land of Ulgarth[20] and breezes off the sea provided cooler nights in Dambrath.[21]

Deadly winter storms hurtled north into Faerûn, such as into the Shining Lands[22] and Dambrath.[23] Such storms were caused when warm humid air from over the ocean was blown onto the land and up the sides of the coastal mountain ranges, leading to frequent, furious thunderstorms.[24]

FaunaEdit

Dolphins were found in the Great Sea. When a major storm came north, they sought shelter in the Bay of Dancing Dolphins in Dambrath.[23]

HistoryEdit

In the Year of the Agate Hammer, 1174 DR, Dambrathan pirates went along the shore of the Great Sea, attacking and raiding the coastal cities of Durpar, Estagund, and Veldorn.[25]

Seeking new realms and riches, Durpari merchants went across the Great Sea and discovered the continent of Zakhara. The sea's currents and the habits of its storms were still being learned by 1367 DR.[22]

InhabitantsEdit

Beneath the waves dwelled sea elves of a distinct ethnic type, having deep-green skin coloration and irregular brown patches and stripes.[4]

There were a large number of pirates and corsairs that operated out of the Great Sea. They were a menace to the trading organizations of coastal and port cities around the area. Sometime around the year 1372 DR, these pirates began operating with a cooperation and coordination that was unusual for their kind. This included obtaining exact information on naval shipments and sailing patterns and extorting protection payments from the other pirates with whom they were colluding.[26]

TradeEdit

Most of those who ventured across the Great Sea around 1367 DR were Zakharan adventurers and merchants in search of new lands and markets.[27] However, Zakharan corsairs also harassed the eastern waters of the Great Sea.[2] In turn, some Dambraii merchants went across to Zakhara,[28] and their own pirates raided far and wide.[29]

Circa 1367 DR, most travel on the Great Sea went to Halruaa and points further west.[22] However, merchants plying the Great Sea visited the port of Beluir in Luiren to buy up produce and local handiworks by 1372 DR.[30]

Halruaan skyships flew over the waters of the Great Sea.[31]

LegendsEdit

In the legend of the Last March of the Giants, the fallen star that had formed the Sea of Fallen Stars rolled across the land and tumbled into the Great Sea, chased after by a titan king and all his followers. They all disappeared into the depths.[32]

In ancient times, the Great Sea was believed to lead to the Lower Planes.[22]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Maps). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560763291.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 146,231. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nicky Rea (1994). Corsairs of the Great Sea (Cards). (TSR, Inc), p. 1. ISBN 978-1560768678.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9,12. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), pp. viii–x,8–11. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South (Map). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 201. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), pp. vii,3. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  9. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 174. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 78,79. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition (map). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. Tachyon Studios (1996). Brian Fargo. Blood & MagicInterplay.
  14. Wolfgang Baur (November 1997). “Campaign Classics: The Roof of the World”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #241 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 88–95.
  15. David Cook (October 1992). Golden Voyages (Map Booklet). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560763314.
  16. Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  17. Nicky Rea (1994). Corsairs of the Great Sea (Map). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560768678.
  18. Nicky Rea (1994). Corsairs of the Great Sea (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 978-1560768678.
  19. Chris Tulach (June 2009). “Adventurers of the Realms: Tarmalune and the Windrise Ports”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #376 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48.
  20. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  21. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), pp. 32,54,62,65. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  24. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  25. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  26. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  27. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  28. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  29. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 40. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  30. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 196. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  31. Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. back cover. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  32. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 79. ISBN 978-0786903849.