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Mussum was an abandoned city in Chondath, lying on the southeast shore of the Vilhon Reach. It was a plague-ridden ruin,[1][2][3] but also home to the House of Holy Suffering, a major temple to Ilmater.[4]


Mussum had risen as a city by 50 DR, together with Arrabar and Samra, all lying on the trade routes of the Vilhon Reach.[1][2]

Over the next century, Mussum and Samra came to compete with the existing city of Iljak for trade. This culminated in war in the Year of the King's Destiny, 137 DR. On Flamerule 12, on the Sandshore outside Mussum, Iljak's army met Mussum's forces in battle. They fought for a whole fortnight, yet neither side could win the upper hand. Finally, early in Eleasias, the army of Samra sacked the city of Iljak then came to Mussum to assault the Iljak army's undefended flank. The Iljak army surrendered to Mussum and Samra, who then sold the survivors into slavery as their city was razed.[1][2]

By 139 DR, logging in the Chondalwood was well under way. Lumber came through the newly established city of Shamph and was dispersed through Arrabar, Samra, and Mussum.[1]

However, in the Year of the Smiling Princess, 143 DR, a large force of wild elves blocked all logging activity in the Chondalwood. At this point, the ambitious Lord Anthony Illistine established an alliance between the city-states of Chondath, including Mussum. In winter of the Year of the Fear and Flame, 144 DR, the allied forces invaded the Chondalwood, were victorious in the Battle of the Elven Tears, and burned the elven city of Ariel-than. Over 2000 elves were killed and the logging industry was restored. Less than six months later Arrabar, Mussum, Samra, and Shamph were united in the nation of Chondath under Governor Illistine.[1][2]

Mussum rose to become of the most popular ports in the Reach.[1]

However, in early spring of the Year of Full Cellars, 472 DR, Mussum was struck by the Panicked Plague. Over the course of a single night, known as the "Eve of the Panicked Plague", over three-quarters of the population suddenly perished, their skin turned green and disfigured by welts and abscesses. Natural and magical cures could do nothing to stop it. The terrified survivors fled the city so quickly they left all their belongings behind. They journeyed to Iljak, now a small village.[1][2][3]

Mussum remained plague-ridden, empty, and abandoned, even into the mid-to-late 14th century DR.[1][2]


Although initially an independent city-state, Mussum was a part of the nation of Chondath from 144 DR.[1][2]


By the 14th century, nine centuries after its abandonment, the buildings of Mussum were quite decayed, with most of the wooden structures collapsed and rotting. However, some magic remained in effect.[1] The people fled so quickly that they left behind their belongings and goods, as well as the bodies of the dead. Fresher bodies were left by those foolhardy explorers who succumbed to the plague. The only inhabitants were those monsters that could resist the plague and who gnawed on the bones of the dead.[3]

Notable locationsEdit

Surprisingly, the area of Mussum was home to the House of Holy Suffering, a major temple to Ilmater the Broken God by 1264 DR, and one with a quite active and turbulent history.[4] [note 1]


Few dared step foot inside ruined Mussum, and none lived to tell of it, as the Panicked Plague continued to stalk its streets. Occasionally, hapless travellers who'd entered the ruins were found dead on the road, afflicted by the plague, their skin turned green and covered in welts and abscesses.[1][3]



  1. Although Mussum was abandoned to plague in 472 DR and remained uninhabited, Prayers from the Faithful states that the House of Holy Suffering is located in Mussum by 1264 DR and generally uses "Mussum" to refer to the temple. The relationship between temple and city is unknown. The House of Holy Suffering most likely lies somewhere outside the ruined city, either remaining in use after Mussum's fall, or constructed later.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), pp. 4, 5, 9. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 61, 63, 88. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 296. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101–103. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.

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