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Myth Ondath

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Myth Ondath, formerly known as Yrlaancel and Ondathel, was a ruined city located in the Tortured Land of north Faerûn.

GeographyEdit

Myth Ondath was located at the western end of the White Peaks that spanned the northern border of the Ride. To its northeast lay the Tortured Land, to its west the great desert of Anauroch, and to its southwest the Border Forest (then known as Rystall Wood).[2]

HistoryEdit

The city which would one day become a jewel of peace in the North had its beginnings in the far distant past, in the days after the end of the final Crown War and the fall of the elven kingdom of Keltormir. In -8210 DR, the non-gold sylvan elf clans of the realm of Ilodhar, in order to escape the depredations of ogres and orcs, relocated to Rystall Wood, and after eighty years they had there built the city of Yrlaancel.[6] For centuries, this peaceful settlement stood as a bastion, surviving the destruction of the Twelve Nights of Fire that separated Rystall Wood from the rest of Cormanthor[7][8], the fall of Illefarn and Siluvanede, drow raids, and the rise and fall of great human kingdoms such as Netheril. Its doors always stood open to refugees of all of these conflicts and disasters; even dwarves from Delzoun were welcomed when that realm was battered by both orc hordes above and Underdark attackers below.[9] And although the twelfth Rysar of Rystall Wood fell to giants and orcs in -64 DR, Yrlaancel endured, and was thus able to still be a refuge to those in need in the tumultuous years that followed.[5] [10]

When the dwarves of Tethyamar and humans of Hlondath[11] fled the goblin hordes attacking Rulvadar and made their way to Yrlaancel, they decided to join with the last remnants of the elves and the descendants of human refugees from the other Netherese survivor states, in a city where peace and inner tranquility would be the watchwords and the people would unite their talents for the prosperity and mutual advantage of all. Although guided by some of the underlying principles of the Seldarine, particularly Hanali Celanil and Rillifane Rallathil, the disparate backgrounds of the city's many denizens and their decision to put aside their differences for the sake of peace led them to move beyond the elven (and dwarven) pantheon and instead dedicate themselves to the dogma and goals of Eldath. And thus in the Year of the Dancing Deer, 351 DR, was born Ondathel, the City of Peace.[12]

For the next two hundred years, the people of Ondathel toiled industriously, determined that their hard work would protect them from the growing dangers of the North and to establish a place that not only exemplified the wisdom of the Mother Guardian, but proved that all peoples could dwell together, nurture one another, and reap the benefits of a pacifistic life that could then be shared with all. The success of their endeavor could not be discounted, nor could its import, surely a sign that Eldath's quiet but persistent blessing was upon them, as they continued to prosper throughout the conflicts and dangers that beset Ammarindar, Myth Drannor, and the newly formed Kingdom of Phalorm. Eventually the proud citizens, seeking both to preserve what they had wrought and to join in alliance with their neighbors to the south, directed their clerics and mages to erect a powerful mythal, and in the Year of the Dances Perilous, 555 DR, their city was renamed Myth Ondath.[2]

Sadly, however, this daring experiment in cultural and racial harmony, which had produced such peaceful coexistence (the Ondathyn had even, incredibly, taken in orphaned orc children from the surrounding tribes and successfully raised them in the ways of the Singing Waters), was not to last. Although many of their neighbors had reason to seek their downfall, whether out of jealousy or simple greed, Myth Ondath's explorers had managed to earn the enmity and wrath of Iyraclea, the self-styled Ice Queen of the Great Glacier and the preeminent cleric of Auril in the Realms. One attack after another was sent against the City of Peace, but the lich's armies were always repelled by the mythal's defenses. Seeking vengeance for her humiliating defeats, Iyraclea obtained the mysterious artifact known as the Gatekeeper's Crystal and, convinced she now possessed the key to victory, she directed her greatest general, the lich Vrandak the Burnished, to lay siege to Myth Ondath in Eleint of the Year of Burning Skies, 632 DR.[2][13]

For a whole year, her armies battered the wards of the peaceful settlement, and for eleven of those months her icy storms raged around it in an endless winter, thanks to the Frostmaiden's bequest empowering her cold magics to heights previously unknown. Finally, in her desperation, the Ice Queen sent Vrandak covertly into the city with two shards of the Crystal and, once he was in position, took the third to a pre-appointed place and activated its principal power. The mythal was indeed shattered—but Myth Ondath itself was also consumed, along with Vrandak and the entirety of her legion. Whether Iracylea too was slain by her own reckless use of the artifact was never determined, but while the Great Glacier continued to grow for the following centuries, the Ice Queen nevermore troubled the rest of Faerûn.[2][13]

The only remnants left of the City of Peace, aside from its rubble and ruins, were a few survivors who were scattered across the North in the years after, including the pacifistic orcs known as the ondonti.[2]

DefensesEdit

The powers of Myth Ondath's mythal were completely lost to history and remained unknown, although they were undeniably significant. The fact that Vrandak, upon entering the city by stealth, used his shards of the Gatekeeper's Crystal to deprive its defenders of necromantic power, however, was certainly suggestive.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  4. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 105, 134. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16, 17. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  8. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 26–27, 32–33. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  9. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  10. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  11. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 105, 127. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.

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