|Religions||Chauntea, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Eldath, Mystra, Tempus, Torm, Tymora, Waukeen|
|Imports||Glass, luxury goods, salt|
|Exports||Copper, grain, iron, livestock, nickel, parchment, silver, textiles|
The Vast is a region in North Faerûn that rests along the north coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars. It is a temperate realm of farmlands, which includes the Earthfast Mountains and forests along the eastern border with Impiltur. The Vast is home to the large cities of Calaunt, Procampur, Tantras and Raven's Bluff. The land was previously ruled by gray orcs, with some still inhabiting the mountains.
The Earthspur Mountains, along the eastern boundary of the Vast, are riddled with caverns: natural, orc-hewn, and dwarf-made. These days, the dwarves are almost entirely gone (and their treasures with them), and the orcs dwell in those many, many caves and passages. The individual tunnels and chambers may be small, but I'd judge their combined space, with all levels added together, to be easily equal to the surface area of the Vast. (Mount Grimmerfang is one of the more northerly Earthspur peaks, and almost certainly not one of those "on the edge" of the open Vast.) There could be any amount of orc treasures scattered throughout this vast orc kingdom, but orcs aren't much for baubles. They often use gold coins as lures for humans (so trails of spilled coins and the occasional merchant's chest of wares can sometimes be found in caverns easily accessible from the Vast, but such finds are always guarded by orcs who can roll or rain boulders down on humans who come looking -- after all, a hungry orc doesn't mind a meal of tenderized meat).
In my opinion, most riches of Rolidar would long ago have been carried away by the retreating dwarves, and most dwarf holds and tombs of any sort long since broken open and plundered by orcs. An orc would covet a good weapon (of a sturdy sort like a sword), so finely-made or magical blades may well be carried by orc chieftans and war-leaders in the Earthspurs. However, I'd not expect to find enough treasure in the entire range to make the risk of battling through thousands upon thousands of orcs worth it.
As for dwarf holds, I know that a few small family holds (defensible clusters of caverns, with roll-rock doors and entry traps) are still (sparsely) inhabited in the Earthfast Mountains (where the might of the orcs has been broken, and surviving tuskers are few and scattered). Most of these dwarf-holds are self-sufficient, and have little directly to do with humans (individual dwarves sometimes make long treks to surface-connected caverns to go trading in Tsurlagol or Priapurl, but they take care not to be tracked back to their holds). I'd say most such holds have total populations of not much more than 70, of 4 families at most.
Certain intrepid dwarves do travel from hold to hold, trading medicines and carrying news. Elminster has given me two names of such 'farfarer' dwarves: Ethskrin 'Stonebrow' Shiverstone (a merry, reckless, agile sort "who acts almost like a halfling taken with drink!") and Maurhoun Sunderfist (a short, stout, magnificently black-bearded down to his toes grim traveler who forgets nothing, and can draw detailed maps from memory).
There are much larger dwarf-holds well to the east, in Impiltur, but they'd not come to the rescue of any Earthfast hold that suffered attack, or even trade regularly with each other.
A few of the Earthfast holds have veins of gemstone that they mine from time to time when they need wealth to sell (typically taking ship in Tsurlagol for Sembia, to unload the gems there for coin to buy boots, raw leather, textiles, preserved foods, and books -- yes, books: it seems many dwarves are avid readers of romantic and humorous human sagas (of the sort that are all the rage among young men and women of wealth and much leisure time, in Cormyr and especially Sembia).
As for the city-states, Calaunt and Tantras have sparred (little skirmishes in the farmlands between them, nothing larger) many times (the reason their road-patrols were started was to give warning of each other), but --since the current regime took over in Calaunt -- settled into a wary state of ignoring each other. One gets rich faster that way than by hacking at one's neighbour every night. :}
Calaunt's current rulership took power by poisonings and stabbings in the night among the self-styled lords of that city, until the present incumbent (and the evil mages who back him, making his rule supreme) could openly take control. The folk of Tantras, a wealthy and bustlingly prosperous lot, were busy at the time squabbling over whether or not the Church of Torm should be allowed so much power and influence over the city (a bloodless struggle that the Tormites eventually won, but not before some of the most unscrupulous coin-chasing Tantrans ["Let there be no laws that stand in the way of the coins that are rightfully mine! If I'd wanted to live under the yoke of Torm, I'd have gone to live in a temple of Torm -- let that temple not come to me, and raise its hand over MY city walls, and declare all that is free and Tantran to henceforth bow to the writ of Torm! This is no one-god city!"] had decided to relocate to Scardale or Sembia).
Major geographical featuresEdit
- The Flooded Forest
- A sunken, fetid swamp.
- The grandest and most influential of the cities in the Vast.
- A wealthy port city located on the western region of the Dragon Reach.
- Ravens Bluff
- This port city is important in that it is the major site where the exports of the Vast are distributed. The city is as wealthy in it's material goods as it is in history.
- A port city that acts as a sort of crossroads between the Vast, Impiltur, the Old Empires and the Vilhon Reach.