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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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

TradeEdit

Prior to its fall, Maerimydra was still actively trading with duergar in the Underdark near Zhentil Keep.[9] 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.[10]

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][11][12]

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.[11]

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.[13]

The Land Under Shadow was freed by the forces of Cormanthor in −331 DR and the Twisted Tower was occupied by Eilistraee-worshiping drow. 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.[14][15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[16]

Silence of LolthEdit

Gates of Maerimydra

Broken gates, by Rebecca Guay

When the Silence of Lolth began in 1372 DR on Eleasis 28,[18] 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[19]. On Eleint 23, the city was sacked by the half-fiend Kurgoth Hellspawn and his army of goblins, ogres, fire giants, and demons. 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.[20]

While the mage and Kurgoth's army were destroying the city's strongholds the local cult of Kiaransalee 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.[21]

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. The Lolth-worshiping leaders were slain by Irae's two children who then organized raids on Daggerdale.[22]

Kiaransalee's followers were eventually defeated, as was Irae T'sarran, but not before tearing a hole in the weave and leaving many pockets of corrupted magic dotting the dales above. [23]

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.[14][24]

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.[25]

Post-SpellplagueEdit

By 1479 DR Maerimydra was firmly under the control of the fire giants, led by the fire titan, Queen Hledh Hellspawn. 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.[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.[26][4] After the conquering of the city by fire giants in 1372 DR, worship of Kossuth became common.[3][27]

Food and DrinkEdit

Local food was primarily produced in the fields around the city from herds of Rothé and fungus farms. [28][29] Clean water was mostly drawn from two small streams in the southern end of the city that fed the murky Lake of Blood.[11]

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.[30][31]

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.[11]

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. [32] 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.[33]
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.[34]
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.[32]
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.[28][29] During the fire giant occupation, the farms were cultivated by orc and quaggoth slaves. The mushrooms grew to about waist height.[29]
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.[11]
Noble's Plateau 
Dominated by numerous fortress-like citadels and palaces, this area was the home of the powerful noble drow houses of Maerimydra.[32]
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.[28]

AppendixEdit

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 3.5 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.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  5. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  6. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  7. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  8. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64–65. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  9. 9.0 9.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  10. 10.0 10.1 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  12. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  13. 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.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  15. 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.
  16. 16.0 16.1 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.
  17. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  18. 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.
  19. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  20. Eric L. Boyd (April 2007). “Volo's Guide: Cormanthor: War Amidst the Trees”. Dragon #354 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 70.
  21. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  22. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  23. Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
  24. 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.
  25. Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
  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), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Template:Cite book/Assault on Maerimydra
  30. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  31. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  33. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  34. 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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