The Golden Water

Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, the three trading nations collectively known as the Shining Lands, sprawl around the large bay known as the Golden Water, just off the Great Sea. These balmy countries soak up the warmth of the southern sun at what most folk consider to be the extreme southeastern end of Faerûn. Many assume that the Shining Lands mark the end of the civilized world, since all that lies beyond the bay is the Utter East – a collection of lands known to most of Faerûn only through legends too fantastic to be believed. Some claim that the Shining Lands have taken on many of the strange characteristics of their more bizarre eastern neighbors and as such are hardly recognizable as part of Faerûn at all.

Though Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden differ in their forms of government and internal operations, all three champion trade as a way of life. Merchant consortiums known as chakas provide products and services, and their leaders, known as nawabs, hold both political and economic power. All three nations also embrace the Adama, a combination of a religious belief and a code of conduct that guides citizens in their daily lives.

The Golden Water is a tranquil bay that forms the coastline for the majority of the Shining Lands. Protected from the harsher ravages of the sea by both land and barrier reef, the waters of this sheltered inlet are unusually calm and clear. The fishing in the Golden Water is sublime, and the daily catch keeps almost every table in the coastal settlements supplied with fresh seafood. At any given moment, scores of trading ships and naval vessels are visible from any point along the surface of the bay. Some of these ships carry cargo to the various ports along the shore; others keep watch for creatures that could menace the shipping.

The Golden Water contains certain minerals that give off a warm, golden hue when struck by the light of the rising or setting sun. This phenomenon is what originally gave both the bay and the Shining Lands their names, though now, most Faerûnians associate these monikers with the locals’ love of trade and the gold it brings them.

The Shining Lands stretch for nearly 500 miles, from the very end of the Toadsquat Mountains and the Lluirwood eastward to the nation of Ulgarth. From the Great Sea, which marks the southern boundaries of Estagund and Var the Golden, the territory rises gently until it reaches the southern slopes of the Dustwall, covering a distance of nearly 250 miles. Estagund occupies the western part of the plains, while Var the Golden extends out onto the peninsula on the south side of the Golden Water. Durpar hugs the bay along its southwestern, western, and northern sides, occupying a narrow, horseshoe-shaped strip of land between the water and two mountain ranges. Though technically not considered part of the Shining Lands, Veldorn (which is known as the Land of Monsters) sits closer to those three countries than perhaps any other region. It occupies, the grassy stretch of land just north of Estagund, wedged between the eastern limit of the Shaar and the Giant’s Belt Mountains.

Flat, sun-baked plains suitable for growing crops such as wheat, coffee, and warm-weather vegetables dominate the Shining Lands. Where the land hasn’t been tamed, the countryside consists of endless miles of gently undulating ground covered with coarse grass, cactus, and the occasional copse of squat, thorny trees. Dry gullies break up the terrain from time to time, but otherwise, the only limit to line of sight in this part of the world is the next distant rise.

Civilization in the Shining Lands clusters around the available water. Towns and cities hug the coast of the bay and the banks of any rivers large enough to continue flowing in the hottest, driest part of the summer. The areas farther inland are much more thinly populated, despite the generally pleasant conditions. Few humanoids live in any of the mountain ranges in and around the Shining Lands, since the monsters that claim the slopes fight fiercely for the limited food supplies there.

BENEFITS:

Languages:

Durpari

Equipment:

Weapons: Scimitar, Kukri, Falchion
Armour: Leather

Spells:

Drawmij’s Light Step
Disarm

Fighting Styles:

Finesse Fighting Style; Single Weapon Fighting Style

Favoured Deities:

Gond, Selune, Torm, Waukeen

The Golden Water

Forgotten Realms: Birthright Avanpallandt