Although once a wealthy, independent collection of city-states, Sembia was, as of 1479 DR, a vassal state of the Netherese Empire. Only the cities of Urmlaspyr and Daerlun remained independent.[3]

Prior to the Spellplague, Sembia was a young country of considerable wealth and prosperity governed by its merchants. It was located on the north-western coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars, which put it in the path of many trade routes.[4] Sembians were not particularly war-like, preferring to keep to themselves and their money, but they did go to war with the Dalelands and Elves in Cormanthor, allied with Hillsfar and Zhentil Keep. In the middle of the war however, they switched sides and fought with the elves against human and infernal armies alike. Miklos Selkirk was responsible for this shift.[citation needed] A person from Sembia was known as a Sembite or a Semmite. Sembite is used more commonly in the north of Sembia and the Dragonreach, whereas Semmite is used more commonly in the south.[5]

Selgaunt, a large city on the coast of Sembia, was governed by merchant lords called the Old Chauncel, comprising of prosperous households such as the Uskevren, Foxmantle, and others.[citation needed]


Main article: History of Sembia

Sembia was founded in 913 DR by Rauthauvyr “the Raven”, a human war-leader who gathered and commanded a standing army to police the roads of the fledgling human territory.[6]

A civil war was fought in the mid-1370s which weakened Sembia considerably. The Netherese took advantage of the situation and claimed the realm as a free protectorate. By 1400 DR, the Netherese had fully consolidated Sembia into their empire.[3]

In 1484 DR, cracks began to appear in the shroud of darkness that covered Sembia. This was due to the destruction of the Ordulin Maelstrom which had covered Sembia in darkness since the end of the Twilight War.[7] After the fall of Netheril, Sembia regained its independence and swiftly began building itself back up to the economic power it once was.[8]

Cities and townsEdit

1479 DREdit

Daerlun was a free city state of 40,000 souls which gained independence from the Netherese in 1439 DR due to Cormyrian plots. Rather than become a part of Cormyr, the Daerlunians declared themselves a free state. Daerlun's most notable feature was a magical 500 foot tall curtain wall erected by the Netherese.[3]

The former capital of Ordulin was obliterated when a planar rift tore away part of the Shadowfell. The area where the city stood became a swirling black whirlpool of shadow material. A Shadovar citadel on an earthmote hangs over the city and was the site of Netherese experiments to restore the Shadow Weave.[9]

Saerloon was a port city with a population of 50,000 and was considered to be the least politically stable of the Sembian cities.[3]

Selgaunt was the capital of Sembia and has a population of 60,000. It was considered the flagship city of Sembia by the Netherese and had the largest temple of Shar in all of Sembia.[3]

The port city of Urmlaspyr suffered greatly under the Netherese. The city resisted the Netherese attempt to outlaw the worship of any gods other than Shar and was severely punished for its recalcitrance. Conditions improved since the city threw off the Netherese yoke although shadow creatures continued to haunt some areas of the city.[9]

Yhaunn was nearly annihilated by the Spellplague when the cliffs towering over the city broke away from the land and became earthmotes. The Netherese rebuilt the city which boasted 25,000 residents.[9]

Yuthgalaunt was a settlement on the road between Ordulin and Yhaunn.[10]

1372 DREdit

The Sembian metropolis of Daerlun (population 52,000) was the closest to the nation of Cormyr to the west. The hub city of Ordulin (population 36,000) was the location of Sembia's mint and a site of great political importance. Saerloon's gothic architecture was a result of its origins, having been created by Chondathan colonists, while Selgaunt was the wealthiest of Sembian cities, having been ruled by merchants. Urmlaspyr and Yhaunn were also major cities of Sembia.[11]

Navy and seafaringEdit

Sembian vessels were all named after types of coin, like Bicentan Sail, Three Falcons Volant or Yulthaari Hunter.[12]


Fishermen fishing in Sembian waters were required to pay the local authorities.[citation needed]

Since Netherese rulership,[as of when?] Sembians were required to give the netherese a percentage of their earnings by trade. This was primarily done through Sembian ports.[citation needed]


By 1479 DR Sembia was a vassal state of the Shadovar, after losing its independence during the Twilight War of 1374 DR. They were also frequently at odds with the nation of Cormyr.[citation needed]

Food and drinkEdit

As of around 1350 DR, it was known that gnomes living in western Sembia brewed mint ale, which was available elsewhere in the Realms.[13]



See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit


  1. Ed Greenwood (August 1992). “The Everwinking Eye: Words To The Wise”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 14–15.
  2. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 176. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 196. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  6. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Warning: edition not specified for The Godborn
  8. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  10. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  11. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  13. Ed Greenwood, The Hooded One (2011-09-01). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2011). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2018-02-24.