Turmish was a republic with the capital of Alaghôn, and was located in the north of the Vilhon Reach. The approximately 1,700,000 inhabitants were mainly humans, most of whom are Turami, but dwarves were common as well, along side minorities of halflings, elves, gnomes, half-elves and half-orcs.
Turmish was known throughout the Sea of Fallen Stars as the "heartland of the Reach" due to its peaceful nature and concentration on commerce over warfare. Its capital, Alaghôn, served as the most popular port-of-call along the southern fringes of the Inner Sea.
Officially, Turmish was ruled by the Assembly of Stars, a group of freely elected men and women chosen from the everyday population of the region. Each served a term of three years before another election brought a fresh group of Turmishans into political life. This kept "professional politicians" to a bare minimum, since the decision to run for office was not a personal choice to make, but rather the decision of one's peers. (That is not to say that the decision to elect someone to public office couldn't be political.)
The job of an assemblyman was not easy. Long hours and extensive travel throughout the Reach was normal. By getting a successful merchant elected to the Assembly, a competitor vastly increased his chances to expand their own wealth.
From the ranks of the Assembly, one member was elected to the position of Lord of Turmish. The lord's responsibilities included protecting the country from invasion, securing the waterways against piracy, and generally making sure that Turmish continued to thrive as a nation of merchants.
Lord Herengar was the last noted ruler of Turmish, a post he had held for more than nine years as of 1372 DR. Before his popular election, he controlled a large force of mercenaries that performed odd jobs around the region for the highest bidder. He was still the official leader of the Call of Arms company while in office, but he had little to do with their activities.
The individual cities of Turmish were free to govern themselves as they see fit so long as they paid their share of taxes to Alaghôn. They were also expected to follow the dictates of the Assembly, but for the most part they were given plenty of space. The Assembly concentrated on national interests and allowed the cities to handle their own problems.
Turmish was probably one of the most well-defended nations in the Reach, protected on all sides by some force of geography. Mountains surrounded it on every side but the seashore. Any advancing army would have found it difficult to get itself into a good strategic position.
Since the Turmians are known for respecting their land, they often buried valuables, partly as gifts to Chauntea and partly as "seeds" to grow future wealth. It is frowned upon to be found digging in Turmish.
The people of Turmish were tall, mahogany-skinned, and generally well-educated, especially in business and agriculture. Custom dictated that the male merchants of Turmish had square, neatly trimmed beards. This custom gave rise to the phrase "as square as a Turmishan's beard," used to indicate a fair deal throughout the Reach.
Since the founding of the Academia Vilhonus in 300 DR, the Turmishans usually wore chalk marks on their foreheads to announce their personal abilities. One indicated that the wearer could read, two that the wearer could write, and three that the wearer could use magic. Because visitors often did not follow this custom, some inhabitants assumed that they were illiterate. It was quite common for one to be challenged on the street and asked to prove one's level of ability. If one couldn't prove their ability to read, write or use magic, as indicated by the dots, the punishment might be death.
The warriors and mercenaries of Turmish prided themselves on their intricately crafted armor. From the most prominent noble to the least known militiaman, fighters of Turmish kept their armor in exquisite condition and frequently adorned them with embellishments. Such embellishments were usually expensive additions, such as gold inlay or gems. To the people of Turmish, their armor was a status symbol. Valuing one's armor as much as one's beard was quite common among merchants.
A visitor in Turmish was expected to have a grasp of local customs and traditions. This expectation was especially true for merchants and businessmen trying to ply their wares in the kingdom. It was a long-standing custom for a visitor to another's home to bring an exotic dish to share. These dishes were called "greetings gifts" and were used to express gratitude for the host's hospitality. Greeting gifts could range anywhere from vintage Nimpeth wine to a skull full of snails (called a skullcap treat in Turmish). The value of the gift should have reflected the stature of the guest - peasants were hardly expected to bring expensive wine.
Burying a sacrifice of one's gold and gems was also a long-standing tradition in Turmish. By seeding the earth with your wealth, it was believed that your bounty would be returned to you "tenfold". By and large, this tradition was a personal ritual, performed at a time that was important to the individual. It might be during a wedding anniversary, a birthday, the anniversary of an owner's first day of business, or even upon the birth of a loved one. This custom led to some treasure-seeking by unscrupulous individuals. However, the act of digging up a gift to the earth was heavily frowned upon in Turmish to say the least. Officially it was a crime punishable by one or more years of hard labor. Unofficially, the act of digging up an offering was considered thievery, and many thieves died at the hands of angry merchants. Regional superstition held that a stolen treasure bodes ill fortune for the coming year.
Most Turmishans set aside one day out of every nine to "chase the sun." This day was reserved for pursuing personal interests such as learning the harp, practicing spells, spending time with the family, or other pursuits. When a Turmishan said they would get to something "on the ninth day," it typically meant "when they had time."
Guesthouses were the most popular of Turmish customs. These buildings were small cabins built alongside trails and roads to provide shelter for travelers. They were free for all to use. The only requirement of using the house was that you replenish what you used. Local militia patrols checked on guesthouses regularly and used the cabins themselves when a sudden storm arose. Some guesthouses even had a roofed-over hay pen for stabling horses, but most were simply small structures capable of providing shelter for up to six travelers. Except for the ornamentation of the armor, most folk in Turmish cared little for fashion. Clothes that may very well have been the rave in Arrabar were just as likely to be laughed at in Alaghôn. Fashions were very slow to change in Turmish.
There were two major Turmishan festivals: the Feast of the Moon and the Reign of Misrule. During these times, businesses and most government offices closed. All of Turmish celebrated.
Feast of the MoonEdit
During Highsummer, one night after Midsummer, the men and women of Turmish gathered for a night of drinking, dancing, and debauched revelry. This was the Feast of the Moon, also known as the "Festival of Lovers." While many who participated in the feast were married, this was the time of year that many choose to consummate new marriages. The week leading up to the Feast of the Moon was rife with marriages. Some even chose to marry on this night. Lovers were required to seek each other out in places that were strange to them. Agreeing on a specific meeting place, lovers took different routes to their rendezvous. Some of the more popular rendezvous spots were the Lake of Drifting Stars, Evenstar Vale, Starfall Stream Pool, and Bare Bones Hill.
In the years since the Time of Troubles, militia patrols had to be increased due to the prevalence of the cult of Malar, who hunted down lovers as the opportunities presented themselves. Indeed, it was not uncommon for lovers to be carrying weapons for their own protection.
Reign of MisruleEdit
Ten days after Higharvestide, the Reign of Misrule began. This festival allowed Turmish natives to break the oaths of their guild or faith so long as they didn't cause death or destruction. Non-natives of the Reach were never excused for their actions during the Reign. During the Reign of Misrule, it was not uncommon to see rude paladins involved in knock-down, drag-out barroom brawls, monks of various faiths talking and laughing freely with others (breaking their vow of silence), and other shocking sights.
The Reign of Misrule normally lasted only that one day, but the memories it provided were everlasting. It was a crime in Turmish to discuss anyone's actions during the Reign, and the custom was so ingrown in the culture that even children understood the rules of the Reign of Misrule.
The Turami people migrated to the region from their native lands around the Alamber Sea when they were displaced by the Mulan after the fall of Imaskar in -2488 DR. After finding these sheltered fertile lands, they settled down.
The coast of what became Turmish was once home to the nation of Scarbala, a country of fisherfolk and pirates. When Scarbala tried to expand inland and was met with raids from angry satyrs, concurrent attacks from vengeful victims of their piracy and several years of harsh winters destroyed the nation. The coast was also subject to attacks from koalinth and ixitxachitls.
In -37 DR, the port city of Alaghôn was founded on top of the ruins of a dwarven mining settlement, and soon became a major trading hub of the Sea of Fallen Stars. In 132 DR, a mercenary leader named Dempster Turmish declared himself mayor of the city. This precipitated a brief civil war that Dempster's mercenaries swiftly won for him. Dempster expanded the lands that he controlled, conquering all of the towns and villages that surrounded his city for thirteen years. However, the city of Hlondeth stalled his wave of expansion. Over five years, Dempster and his men tried to take Hlondeth three times, but all three attempts were foiled by the city's defenders. Dempster died in his sleep in 150 DR and his wife Florentine took over from him. Florentine was far more interested in mercantile ventures than continued expansion, ordering a halt to the wars of conquest. Florentine was assassinated after only four years in power, leading to a leadership contest that lasted one hundred-and-sixteen years.
An attempt from Chondath to conquer Turmish united the country behind Alesam Mischwin. This war, known as the Stalemate, ended in one but the stability caused by a leader finally being chosen remained. Chondath would try to take Turmish on two further occasions over the next few decades, failing both times. House Illistine proposed a mock war every Shieldmeet between Turmish and Chondath, the winner of which would gain a reward of slaves, resources and trading privileges, while ensuring that the two nations would remain at peace.
In 352 DR, a fire in Alaghôn crippled Turmish's navy and destroyed its food stores, causing a rise in piracy and widespread famine. Turmish's noble houses, rather than working to help solve the issue, bickered with each other over who was liable for the damage. It therefore took over a decade of reconstruction to repair the damage. 374 DR saw the establishment of the House of Silvanus on the Isle of Ilighôn where powerful druids kept close watch on the ships travelling off the coast of Turmish.
Over a century of small incursions from orc and goblin tribes culminated in the War of 512 when the Candlekairn clan destroyed three Turmishan cities and carried off all of their accumulated wealth. When Mount Andrus erupted five years later, all hope of recovering that wealth was lost.
In 522 DR, druids from Gulthmere Forest and elves from Xorhun appealed to Arton Githsberry, the then ruler of Turmish, to stop logging in the forest in order to let the trees grow back. Arton appeased them with a show of consideration, but had no intention to stop collecting timber. The druids continued to pressure Turmish, becoming quite the thorn in Turmish's side by 552 DR. However, in 717 DR, the rulers of Turmish, a conclave of wizards calling themselves the Windlass, decided that enough was enough and launched an attack on both Cedarsproke and Ilighôn. Both attacks were halted before they could do any damage by the magic of the druids and their giant allies. The Windlass were executed, replaced by one of Alaghôn's merchant families. The druids of Ilighôn, now a formal organization known as the Emerald Enclave, had established themselves a force to be reckoned with.
922 DR saw the merchant families of Turmish lose their temporal power to a dynasty of warlords, the first of whom established Turmish a powerful military nation. Their martial strength saw them through the 1018 DR Rage of Dragons quite safely, but the ever-increasing population was feeling the pressure of running out of space so, in 1220 DR, the warlord Sjorn Sendreth initiated a war against Ironfang Deep. It was a protracted war that diminished Turmish's wealth to an unexpected level. Sendreth sent people out to bring back treasure which could fund the war effort - a tactic that worked spectacularly - Turmish was wealthy once more. Unfortunately, one such group of treasure hunters was tracked back home by the ancient blue dragon Anaglathos in 1242 DR, who slew Sendreth and claimed Turmish for himself, killing or charming any who opposed him. The next five years were known as the Time of the Wyrm in Turmishan histories. Anaglathos's rule was brought to an end by a paladin by the name of Corwin Freas, who led the rebellion against Anaglathos and personally slew the dragon. He was then acclaimed Turnish's king by a grateful populace. However, after a reign of only one year, Lord Freas dissolved his own monarchy and established the Assembly of Stars to rule Turmish instead.
With a few small exceptions (The Plague of Dragons in 1317 DR for example), Turmish had become a democratic nation that was peaceful, safe and happy, if occasionally a little overcrowded. The Spellplague changed Turmish's fortunes for the worse, as the Sea of Fallen Stars drained away, leaving Alaghôn's port miles from the new shoreline. Turmishans became xenophobic as bandit raids from Erlkazar terrorized them and they were cut off from their neighbours. Nonthal took over as Turmish's most prosperous city as Alaghôn became increasingly dilapidated, while Sapra became the nation's only port. In 1423 DR, the city of Gildenglade was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Kolimnis.
After the dissipation of The Great Rain, the Sea of Fallen Stars had risen to water levels not seen since before the Spellplague. Turmish's great cities were once again connected to the Inner Sea and its trading opportunities. This, along with a great agricultural boom aided by the Emerald Enclave, brought an upturn in the country's fortunes.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Rand Sharpsword (2002-05-08). More of the Vilhon Reach!. Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
Official Material Edit
- Robert Wiese (2003-04-02). The Portal Through Time (Part 1). Perilous Gateways. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
Alaghôn • Aphrunn Mountains • Centaur Bridge • Daroush • Gildenglade • Ironcloak • Jathrin's Jump • Lilit Pass • Morningstar Hollows • Mountains of the Alaoreum • Nonthal • The Orbrekh • Orsraun Mountains • Ravilar's Cloak • Xorhun
Arrabar • The Chondalwood • Hlath • Iljak • Samra • Shamph
Elbulder • Fort Arran • Golden Plains • Mimph • Naga Plains • The Nagaflow • Nagawater • Ormpetarr • Serpents' Holding
The Shining Plains
Assam • Cedarsproke • Deepwing Mountains • Gulthmere Forest • Lheshayl • Ormath • Rushing Hills • Urml • Wetwoods