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Loudwater was a city that sat on the confluence of the Delimbiyr and Greyflow rivers. It was a pleasant and thriving community home to humans and half-elves.[3][7][4][5][6][1]

HistoryEdit

Early HistoryEdit

The area was originally settled by Netherese human refugees fleeing the downfall of Netheril, sometime after its fall in the Year of Sundered Webs, −339 DR. Their communities were the progenitors of the city of Loudwater, as well as other cities of the North.[8][9][10][note 1]

The area was once the site of a community of elves, part of the nation of Eaerlann.[3][7][4][5][6] The great dwarf craftsman Iirikos Stoneshoulder and his team of dwarves from Ammarindar built an ornate bridge across the Delimbiyr River at this site for some elven friends in the Year of the Dwarf, 149 DR.[3][7][4][5][6][1][11][12] These elves, who were members of two moon elf families who followed Labelas Enoreth, built a school of philosophy on the north bank of the river. Constructing homes around the school, which they named the Velti'Enorethal, the site grew into a small town. The population grew again when Earlanni sun elves applied to join the school.[citation needed]

Later on, further settlement of the Loudwater and Llorkh region, as well as Longsaddle, Secomber, Triboar, and others, was undertaken by human pioneers from Waterdeep after the establishment of the Lords of Waterdeep there in 1032 DR. These pioneers were sponsored by noble and mercantile Waterdhavian families.[8][13][14][note 2]

The humans discovered the town and built their own houses, bringing human ideals to the expanding settlement. Though most of the humans lived separately from the elves on the south bank of the river,[citation needed] the growing human population upset the elven natives and in the Year of the Bloodrose, 1100 DR, desiring to escape, the elves began leaving their homes for Evereska.[15][16]

Fifty years later, in the Year of the Scourge, 1150 DR, a family from Calimshan called the Renshas, led by Ibun Rensha, together with a mercenary army, conquered the Delimbiyr Vale, centering their power in Loudwater.[15][17] Though they made Loudwater a much more prosperous town by exploiting the Vale's natural resources and expanding its limits, they despoiled much of the pristine beauty of the area and the amoral Renshas also committed several atrocities in pursuit of their magic.[citation needed]

The Renshas ruled for 165 years before a Nimbrali mercenary working for them named Nanathlor Greysword rebelled against the rule of Pasuuk Rensha in the Year of Spilled Blood, 1315 DR.[15][18] Nanathlor was a noble of Nimbral who'd desired to establish a realm of his own in the North, and found one that needed him[3][7][4][5] after receiving a message from the goddess Mielikki, who was angered at the Rensha's actions within the Vale, which she considered sacred.[citation needed] He became the Green Regent.[15][18]

Modern HistoryEdit

The two-year-long War of the Returned Regent freed the Vale from Rensha rule.[15][18] Finally, in the Year of the Wandering Wyrm, 1317 DR, Nanathlor Greysword defeated Pasuuk and the Renshas' forces at the battle of Tanglefork and became the ruler of Loudwater.[15][19] However, some histories marked his reign as commencing four years earlier, circa 1313 DR.[7] In either case, the start of Nanathlor's reign marked the official founding of Loudwater.[4][note 3]

In Tarsakh of the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, on a number of separate occasions, the residents of farm holdings on the outer edges of Loudwater's domain heard eerie howling and later discovered corpses near their lands. These were identified as various wicked beings, including two drow and some fish-like humanoid, and all carried bite marks. Nanathlor was notified and he formally reported the news. A search of caves in the Delimbiyr valley showed sign of recent occupation, but no connection to underground. Later that year, in Eleasias, a mysterious healer of the High Wood called Radoc helped victims of an orc raid and escorted them to Loudwater. His odd appearance, taciturn nature, and purchase of supplies with crystals made him the subject of rumor before he departed.[20]

Nanathlor ruled in relative peace for 52 years until Malarite lycanthropes attacked the city after a blood-red moon appeared in the sky over the Vale. Nanathlor himself was on his deathbed but the citizenry, led by a young man named Stedd Rein saved the town when Stedd opened his father's stock of silvered weapons.[citation needed] Kalahar Twohands, Gauntlet of the western marches, replaced Nanathlor, who didn't survive to see his city saved. Kalahar oversaw the most turbulent years in Loudwater's history since the war, including a mass migration of orcs, threats from a bandit army and their illithid allies, dragons and several attacks from the Zhentarim.[citation needed]

Along with Secomber, Loudwater was the only settlement of any size in the area to survive the effects of the Spellplague,[21] though it was much reduced in size and had been almost completely abandoned by the elves.[22] Still, it managed to resist the dangers of the surrounding area. What it struggled to cope with was internal troubles. There was barely enough trade to keep the town afloat[21] and dangerous criminals replaced the small-time thieves guild that had been operating there.[23][24] Many foundlings discovered on the shores of Highstar Lake came to live and grow up in the town, unknowingly the spawn of some fishlike creature who dwelt beneath the lake's waters.[25]

By 1491 DR, a new High Lord had been chosen, but Telbor Zazrek, a northern wizard, was a corrupt puppet of the Zhentarim, who took hefty kickbacks in order to ensure Zhentarim trade goods were the only ones most folk could afford.[26]

GovernmentEdit

The town was ruled by the High Lord of Loudwater. By 1357 DR, High Lord Nanathlor Greysword had reigned for a half-century and was loved by the people as a careful administrator and just ruler. He was still in power by 1370 DR.[3][4][6] Nanathlor resided in High Lord's Hall, the seat of power in the city.[citation needed] The half-elven Lady Moonfire was never documented as being referred to as High Lord, but her successor, Telbor Zazrek, was.[citation needed]

The High Lords were served by two Gauntlets who commanded the city's militia.[3][7][4][5][6] Each Gauntlet was given the responsibility of protecting Loudwater's territory (known as the "marches"), either east or west of the city.[citation needed] By 1357 DR and through 1370 DR, the two Gauntlets were Harazos Thelbrimm and Kalahar Twohands.[3][7][4][5][6] In 1372 DR, the Gauntlet of the eastern marches was Harazos Thelbrimm and the Gauntlet of the western marches was Isyan Kiy'sisnos, who succeeded Kalahar Twohands when he became High Lord.[citation needed] It is unknown whether High Lords were only chosen from among the Gauntlets.[speculation]

The militia of Loudwater comprised 300 warriors, divided into patrols of 20.[3][7][4][5][6]

Although they coexisted (relatively) peacefully with the humans south of the river and were ruled by the High Lord along with everyone else, the elves of Loudwater had a largely independent noble class before they abandoned the city.[citation needed]

The lands claimed by Loudwater stretched for two days' ride up and down the river. The army patrolled this domain.[3][4][5][6]

RelationsEdit

Through the 1360s DR, Loudwater remained an independent settlement, but Zhentarim agents were scouting the place.[4] The local people in and around Loudwater were counted as experienced fighters against Zhentish forces.[27] The Zhentarim were unable to conquer Loudwater weakening their grip on Llorkh, and the Harpers, allies of Nanathlor, dispatched exposed Zhentarim agents. The Zhentarim smuggled goods through the town.[28] By around 1372 DR, Zhentarim agents operating out of nearby Llorkh plotted to subvert Loudwater to their control.[1]

Law & OrderEdit

It had a small thieves' guild.[29][30]

TradeEdit

The local people made a living through farming and fishing, as well as by providing services to caravans.[7][6][4] They often ate szorp, a fish caught in the Delimbiyr.[31] The Loudwater Vale region was known for making the richest cheeses in the North, such as the translucent mist cheese. These cheeses were ripened in local caves.[32][33] Hardwoods were also produced in the area; such woods were fine carved for the "Avatar" chess set sold by Aurora's Emporium in the 1360s DR.[34]

In the mid–14th century DR, Loudwater was a significant stop on the trade route along the Delimbiyr.[1] Formerly, in the days of Eaerlann, most trade through Loudwater went north overland, past the Shining Falls, but in the 1360s DR, it went east to Llorkh, where caravans were assembled.[3][7][5] From Loudwater to Llorkh, all trade was tightly controlled by the Zhentarim.[35] Zhentish trade through Loudwater and neighboring Llorkh helped prominent local merchants grow rich. The city offered a safe place to rest to both caravans and riverboats; merchants and travelers often passed through the first two times but stayed on the third.[1]

After the Spellplague, Loudwater took an entire century to cope with the loss of trade that followed[21] and ironically was saved by the Zhentarim, who came to control all of the trade through the town via unfavorable tax rates for their competition.[26] Much reduced since its heyday, by 1479 DR, it was still a secure stop for merchants, despite the ruination of its neighbors after the Spellplague.[citation needed]

PopulationEdit

From 1357 to 1370 DR, Loudwater was recorded as having a population of about 4,000. They were largely human but almost one-quarter were half-elves, arising mostly from the descendants of Eaerlann, who had a habit of marrying other half-elves.[3][7][4][5][6][35][36] Their ancestors were moon elves.[15][16] Others were the descendants of wild elves.[37] Few of the original elves remained.[3][5] In 1372 DR, the population was recorded as 8,137, humans and half-elves still.[1][note 4]

DescriptionEdit

It was a splendidly picturesque garden town, with every spare patch of ground and any available surface adorned with lovingly tended greenery and full gardens and bowers to be found all over town. The wooden buildings—of all shapes and sizes, no two of which were alike—were overgrown with vines and decorated with hanging plants, with plants both inside and on the roof. Even the streets were planted with tanglemoss (though it wore down to bare dirt on busy routes), and they curved and meandered to provide a good view or an interesting route. Giant ancient trees lined the green grassy banks of the river. The town didn't even have defensive walls, only a ditch and earthen rampart, both covered with planted flowers. Loudwater seemed to melt back into the forest or to have grown out of it. It was a gardener's joy.[3][7][4][5][6]

Just like the meandering roads, life took a slow and measured pace here, where one preferred to enjoy the view than hurry.[4][6]

Thanks to the bridge over the river, Loudwater spread out on both sides of the Delimbiyr. Part of the river flowed over upthrusting rocks, producing some noisy rapids that gave Loudwater its name. However, a wide pool was dug into the bank of the river, providing an area for lading cargo, serving as the harbor. Barges, coracles, and flat-bottomed skiffs used for fishing and trade clustered here. The only ugly things in town were those left bare by practicality: four warehouses by the harbor and the cooperworks beside them on the west.[3][7][4][5][6]

The bridge was a spectacular and beautiful arching stone structure.[3][7][4][5][6] It was decorated with fanciful carved stone heads, with snarling, pig-snouted faces said to be those of dragon turtles. They watched over the warehouses, giving the business its name: the Watchful Turtle.[4][6]

ReligionEdit

The local temple of Lathander ministered to the majority of matters of faith in the city, at least among its human population. The elven citizenry worshiped Labelas and the rest of the Seldarine at the Velti'Enorethal. As the chosen of Mielikki, the Green Regent was an important religious figure in the city, but the Regents and their Scions tended to provide practical aid, rather than acting as any kind of divine emissaries. During the late 15th century, Loudwater saw the rise of the faith of Silvanus and members of all good faiths came to congregate in Silvanus' temple.[22]

As the people depended on the forest, they favored woodland gods like Silvanus, Mielikki, and even Shiallia.[38][39]

OrganizationsEdit

Zhentarim agents were known to scout out Loudwater in the 1360s DR.[4]

A regional agent of the Moonstars was based in Loudwater around 1370 DR.[40]

LegendsEdit

In the mid–14th century DR, it was told that old elven magic still lay hidden in the grassy burial mounds that Loudwater's oldest quarter had been built on. The cellars of some houses had secret doors connecting to the tombs. Both Harpers and Zhentarim hunted for this lost magic.[4]

Notable LocationsEdit

Loudwater-Town

A map of the town of Loudwater circa 1479 DR.

Manors
High Lord's Hall
Businesses
Jolym's Barrels & PackingRisen Moon MarketWatchful Turtle
Inns
Enchanter's EcstasyScarlet Shield
Taverns
Merry Mer-SheOld Owl
Shrines
All Faiths Altar

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The texts of both The Savage Frontier and The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier say "Netherese founded Llorkh and Loudwater", implying a formal founding around the same time, but this date is unknown. The same paragraphs also refer to events from −333 DR to −298 DR, implying both Llorkh and Loudwater were founded in or after this period. The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, page 170, revises this to Netherese settlements being the progenitors of Loudwater and others.
  2. It is unclear how or why Loudwater and the other settlements were settled again and what happened to the existing Netherese settlement. The Savage Frontier says these towns were "resettled", but the later sources simply say "settled". It may be simply another influx of people into the area, before any true town was established.
  3. In The Savage Frontier, Nanathlor Greysword is said to have ruled for 45 years by the setting date of 1357 DR, putting the start of his reign in c. 1313 DR. Volo's Guide to the North, set in 1365/1366 DR, says Nanathlor had been ruling for "the last fifty-odd years", which, while uncertain, implies a date before 1315 DR. However, Lost Empires of Faerûn and The Grand History of the Realms state that he started ruling in 1317 DR. Taken together, it may be that Nanathlor's influence and rebellion began two years before the formal outbreak of the war.
  4. The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3rd edition) saw widespread significant population changes, though it is not clear why. The larger figure of 8,137 may refer to the population of the surrounding land that Loudwater controls, while 4,000 may only be those people within the city itself.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Loudwater was not particularly detailed in any sources until the Legacy of the Green Regent RPGA campaign began, the majority of which took place within the town and its environs. Loudwater then had an entire chapter dedicated to it in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide for 4th-edition, more than any other location in the 4th-edition campaign book.

However, the layout and description of the city here were a significant departure from how it was presented in 1st- and 2nd-edition sources and the 3rd-edition Legacy of the Green Regent campaign, and this fact was acknowledged a few times in the source. The next official mention of the settlement however, in Storm King's Thunder, paints it much more like it was before the release of the FRCG.

AppearancesEdit

Sourcebooks
Adventures
Video games

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 169. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 101, 2nd paragraph. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 190–191. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 17–18. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  9. slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 170. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  12. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  13. slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  14. Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  20. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  23. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  24. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  25. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. In Kim Mohan, Michele Carter eds. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  27. Ed Greenwood (1991). Anauroch. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
  28. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  29. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  30. slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  31. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 13. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  32. Anthony Pryor (1994). Marco Volo: Departure. (TSR, Inc.), p. 22. ISBN 1-5607-6848-7.
  33. Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.
  34. Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.
  35. 35.0 35.1 slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  36. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  37. Roger E. Moore (January 1999). Demihumans of the Realms. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-1316-9.
  38. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  39. slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  40. Steven E. Schend, Sean K. Reynolds and Eric L. Boyd (June 2000). Cloak & Dagger. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-1627-3.

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