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Maerimydra was a large drow city located below the Dalelands in the Deep Wastes.[2]

GeographyEdit

Maerimydra was situated in the Middledark[2], roughly ten miles below the southern border of Mistledale.[8] It resided in a cavern roughly three quarters of a mile from north to south and half a mile from east to west with many smaller caverns surrounding the city itself. Numerous plateaus separated the city, with the highest level being in the north-west corner.[9]

Connections to the SurfaceEdit

Winding away from the city were Underdark passages, some of which led to the surface. There are noted connections to the surface that connect to Maerimydra; one within the Dordrien crypts in Daggerdale; one near the Elven Court in Cormanthor; one beneath Haptooth Hill in Battledale; and one that leads into the sewers of Zhentil Keep.[10] It should also be noted there are underdark connections to the Shadowdark beneath the Twisted Tower of Ashaba in Shadowdale, though since 1367 DR this entrance has been sealed off by Mourngrym Amcathra.[11]

TradeEdit

Prior to its fall, Maerimydra was still actively trading with duergar in the Underdark near Zhentil Keep.[10] The drow were buying dwarven slaves from these duergar and using subterranean rivers that connect from the Moonsea to the Shadowdark beneath The Old Skull Tor to ferry them.[11]

DefencesEdit

The city itself only had three main points of entrance from the rest of the Underdark. Each was guarded by enormous iron gates and barred by a metal bolt. The northernmost gate was destroyed in the assault by Kurgoth Hellspawn.[1][12][13]

HistoryEdit

Early HistoryEdit

Shortly after the founding of Maerimydra, a group of rebels staged a coup of the city. This uprising was stopped but not after many casualties. The bodies of the dead rebels were thrown into the large lake in the city, forever tinging it red and polluting it, this lake became known as the Lake of Blood.[12]

In −2600 DR the Matron mothers of Maerimydra commissioned the building of the Twisted Tower as a beachhead in the Realms Above. Despite repeated attacks and attempts to stop them by the elves, the drow completed the Twisted Tower in −2549 DR and claimed the surrounding surface territory, which became known as the Land Under Shadow and as a base for Underdark-based slavery.[14]

In −331 DR, the Land Under Shadow was freed by the forces of Cormanthor, which included the armies of Cormanthyr and Rystall Wood, and a group of Eilistraee-worshiping drow. The latter were then given the permission to occupy the Twisted Tower, which they turned into a temple of the Dark Dancer (the Tower of the Dark Moon).[15][16] Before retreating however, the drow of Maerimydra stole the Warblade from Lord Orym Hawksong and ferried it from the Twisted Tower to a secret vault beneath the Courtyard of Lolth.[17][18]

In the Wake of the Weeping WarEdit

By 714 DR, in the wake of the fall of Myth Drannor, Maerimydra reconquered the Land Under Shadow once more.[19] During this period, Maerimydra expanded in other directions. Notably in 800 DR, a champion of the city defeated the nearby lich, Vournoth, to establish an well-patrolled campsite in Vournoth's Mire. This also laid the groundwork for the establishment of Szith Morcane in 804 DR.[20] This expansion continued many years until 906 DR when the water wizard Ashaba led an army of dalesmen and cormytes to drive the drow out of the Twisted Tower.[19]

Interim YearsEdit

At some point around 1136 DR, the Jaezred Chaulssin,[21] a group of vhaeraunite assassins with the goal of freeing the drow race from their slavery to Lolth,[22] founded one of its major fosterages in Maerimydra.[21]

Silence of LolthEdit

Gates of Maerimydra

Broken gates, by Rebecca Guay

When the Silence of Lolth began in 1372 DR on Eleasis 28,[23] it caused growing unrest among the drow, until the city's archmage, Duneth Wharreil, used the confusion to launch a coup on the remaining houses through an alliance with the half-fiend Kurgoth Hellspawn and his army of goblins, ogres, fire giants, and demons.[24] On Eleint 23, the city was sacked by Kurgoth. Most of the drow inhabitants of the city were killed or enslaved, with some escaping into the surrounding Deep Wastes. The single drow house to survive with any assets was House Dhuurniv, because most of them lay outside Maerimydra.[25]

The Jaezred Chaulssin in the city under Vesz'zt Auvryana[22] also put their plan in action, aiming to destroy Lolth’s matriarchy and then to take Maerimydra to restructure its society. However, the plan backfired and allowed Kiaransalee’s followers to prevail.[26][note 1] While the mage and Kurgoth's army were destroying the city's strongholds, the local cult of the Revenancer took over Castle Maerimydra, the home of House Chûmavh, which at the time was the ruling house. The leader of the cult, an albino drow named Irae T'sarran, killed Duneth and, under her god's direction summoned Kiaransalee's Undying Temple to the Prime Material Plane. She then focused on using the temple's negative energy to research a new spell that would raise all of the corpses in and around the city simultaneously as a singular horde of powerful undead, all under her command.[27]

Unrelatedly to the Jaezred Chaulssin[22], Hamadh--a follower of Vhaeraun--[28]led a resistance group called the Hidden, with the goal to defeat both Irae and Kurgoth.[29] They managed to kill Irae,[30] (although not before she could tear a hole in the Weave, leaving many pockets of corrupted magic dotting the Dales above[31]), but the city was eventually lost to the giants, who eagerly sacked it.[4] Despite that, Hamadh and the Hidden continued their resistance work,[32] as did the Jaezred Chaulssin.[33]

A few small bands of drow refugees fled the sacking of the city. One party managed to travel the 100 miles to Szith Morcane (an old outpost of Maerimydra), which Lolth-worshiping leaders were slain by Irae's two children.[34] Other bands tried to find shelter among the duergar who lived under Zhentil Keep, but they ended up being killed by the grey dwarves.[6] The drow of Maerimydra--who used to oppose the Vhaeraunites of Cormanthor, especially those of House Jaelre and Clan Auzkovyn--lost much of their threat potential against their enemies.[8]

At some point in 1373 DR, after the Silence of Lolth had ended, members of House Dhuurniv tried to resettle Maerimydra, but after a few failed attempts they returned to the Skull Subterranes beneath Azmaer's Folly. Despite their failure, they still managed to recover the Ary'Velahar'Kerym from the secret vault beneath the Courtyard of Lolth.[17][35]

By 1377 DR, the city was reportedly home to hordes of undead while a small number of Maerimydran survivors had been aided by the Church of Eilistraee to rise to the surface.[36]

Post-SpellplagueEdit

By 1479 DR Maerimydra was firmly under the control of the fire giants, led by the fire titan, Queen Hledh Hellspawn, Graz'zt's granddaughter. Enormous amounts of rebuilding had turned most of the city into a domain fit for its larger residents by expanding much of the existing cavern. Hundreds of drow still remained in the city, albeit as slaves to their new fire giant masters.[4]

Post-Second SunderingEdit

During the 1480s DR, after the event known as the Second Sundering, the archmage Gromph Baenre of Menzoberranzan, tricked by Lolth, used a powerful summoning ritual which allowed many Demon Lords from the Abyss to walk the Underdark of Faerun, starting the Rage of Demons crisis.[37] Graz'zt was among the summoned entities, and he quickly decided to use the opportunity to extend his influence on the Material Plane.[38]

Knowing of the drow wizard Vizeran DeVir's plan to put an end to the Rage of Demons (a plan which consisted of summoning all the Demon Lords together to force them to battle each other, therefore banishing each other into the Abyss), Graz'zt worked to protect himself by using the magic still lingering in the abandoned Undying Temple (which was designed to research undeath and planar travel). Counting the support of his granddaughter and on his own power, the Demon Lord revived the Temple by creating a new heart for it--one fueled by the power of the Abyss, rather than necrotic energy. In doing so, he not only obtained protection from being forcefully summoned, he also gained the possibility to travel from the Material Plane to the Abyss--and vice-versa--through the Ethereal plane that the Temple overlaps.[39]

His spreading influence took a heavy toll on the drow of Szith Morcane and on the people of Elventree and Hillsfar, leading many organizations active in the Moonsea region and unlikely allies to band together to face demons and giants. Agents of the Harpers, the Zhentarim, the Emerald Enclave, the Lords' Alliance and the Order of the Gauntlet came to offer help to the local forces, which included: the drow of Szith Morcane, led by archmage Solom Ned'razak, the warriors followers Elanil Elassidil of the Hillsfar rebellion, the Red Plumes guided by First Lord Vuhm Yestral, the myconids of Sporedome, and the illithids of Ryxyg. A group of Sword Dancers, led by high priestess Saradreza Oussmtor, also saw this as a good opportunity to lend their help, and spread the message of their returned[40] goddess Eilistraee among the other drow.[39]

The alliance would eventually succeed, banishing Graz'zt and freeing Maerimydra from its former occupants. After the victory, the drow of Szith Morcane and the followers of Eilistraee settled within the city (the latter hoping to establish a good relationship between the drow of the Moonsea and other inhabitants of the region), while the myconids of Sporedome and the illithids of Ryxyg--along with the above-mentioned factions--joined the rebuilding operations and established small trading outposts.[3]

Culture & SocietyEdit

ReligionEdit

Worship of Lolth had been the preeminent religion for millennia in Maerimydra, though followers of both Kiaransalee and Vhaeraun were also secretly active in the city.[41][5] After the conquering of the city by fire giants in 1372 DR, worship of Kossuth became common.[4][42]

Starting since the 1480s DR, after the liberation of Maerimydra during the Rage of Demons crisis, the drow of Szith Morcane settled again within the city and started to rebuild it.[3] They were mainly followers of Vhaeraun, Kiaransalee and Lolth,[43] while the Sword Dancers led by Saradreza Oussmotor brought the faith of Eilistraee to the city.[3]

Food and DrinkEdit

Local food was primarily produced in the fields around the city from herds of Rothé and fungus farms. [44][45] Clean water was mostly drawn from two small streams in the southern end of the city that fed the murky Lake of Blood.[12]

Cuisine that could be found in Maerimydra, especially among the nobility, included: dried Rothé sausages , wheels of strong Rothé cheese (sometimes laced with green mold), pickled mushrooms and biscuits made from mushroom-spore flour.[46][47]

EntertainmentEdit

The drow of Maerimydra built a Coliseum to entertain themselves with battles between, exotic beasts, prisoners, and slaves. The building was considered, by the drow, to be the crowning achievement of Maerimydran culture.[12]

Areas of InterestEdit

Castle Maerimydra 
Standing atop a 100ft high plateau, the elegant curves and fluted battlements of this castle represented the epitome of drow aesthetics. [48] At 250ft tall and comprising of seven floors Castle Maerimydra was the heart of Maerimydra and the seat of the ruling House Chûmavh. Comprising of three basic structures, the Great Tower, the Lesser Tower and the South Column, Castle Maerimydra was by far the largest Noble House in the city.[49]
Coliseum 
The Maerimydran drow considered the coliseum as the crowning achievement of their city and the very height of their culture. The building itself is oval, with an outer wall over 60ft high that was topped by battlements. Inside, flickering continual flame torches lit the public gallery and grand staircases led off to armories, slave pens and even holding pens for great beasts. Over the centuries, thousands of prisoners, exotic beasts and slaves died here as entertainment for the drow.[50]
Courtyard of Lolth 
The Courtyard of Lolth housed Maerimydra's temple of Lolth. Shaped like an enourmous spider, the courtyard surrounded the temple, a single gracefully sculpted archway allowing access beneath stony fangs. Glowing, magical orbs of light at the entrance created an invisibility purge effect. An important security measure while the temple of Lolth stood.[48]
Fungus Farms 
The large fields of fungus dotted around the city's outskirts were the main source of food for the denizens of Maerimydra, both before and after fall to fire giants.[44][45] During the fire giant occupation, the farms were cultivated by orc and quaggoth slaves. The mushrooms grew to about waist height.[45]
Lake of Blood 
Situated in the southern part of the city this large murky lake earned its name shortly after the city's founding. Legends of the drow claim the red-tinged color of the water and acrid smell is due to a failed coup, after which the rebels' corpses were thrown into a heap in the lake. The streams that feed the lake are clean and pure though.[12]
Noble's Plateau 
Dominated by numerous fortress-like citadels and palaces, this area was the home of the powerful noble drow houses of Maerimydra.[48]
Shattered Tower 
This tower got its name because it had an aesthetic design that made its walls appear cracked like broken glass. The archmage of Maerimydra resided here with his apprentices.[44]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The exact nature of the plan wasn't clear. However, due to the Jaezred Chaulssin's modus operandi (which often relied on large scale destruction, on gaining the support of outside forces, and on leading dissatisfied people to rebel), and their recent actions in Menzoberranzan and Eryndlyn, there's the possibility that they were the ones who introduced Kurgoth to the archmage--although the consequences of such an action escaped their control, causing the city to be sacked and allowing Irae T'sarran to take over.

AppearancesEdit

Referenced only

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 160. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Greg Marks (March 2016), Assault on Maerimydra, Wizards of the Coast, p. 48.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  6. 6.0 6.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  7. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  8. 8.0 8.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  9. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64–65. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  10. 10.0 10.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  11. 11.0 11.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  13. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  14. Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
  15. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  16. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  18. Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
  20. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 3. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  23. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  24. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  25. Eric L. Boyd (April 2007). “Volo's Guide: Cormanthor: War Amidst the Trees”. Dragon #354 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 70.
  26. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  27. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  28. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  29. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  30. Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
  31. Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
  32. Robert Adducci (March 2016), Szith Morcane Unbound, Wizards of the Coast, pp. 9.
  33. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  34. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  35. Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
  36. Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
  37. Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  38. Greg Marks (March 2016), Assault on Maerimydra, Wizards of the Coast, pp. 5-6.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Greg Marks (March 2016), Assault on Maerimydra, Wizards of the Coast, pp. 5, 6, 10, 11.
  40. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23, 108. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  41. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  42. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  43. Robert Adducci (March 2016), Szith Morcane Unbound, Wizards of the Coast
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Greg Marks (March 2016), Assault on Maerimydra, Wizards of the Coast, p. 26.
  46. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  47. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  49. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  50. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 74–77. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.

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