East Van Stabbing Party
The Dalelands is set in the heart of the continent of Faerûn, far from the open ocean. Centuries ago, the entire area was a heavy forest named Cormanthyr, the predecessor to today’s Cormanthor. It was an empire of elves (or Tel’Quessir, as they call themselves), and their capital was Myth Drannor, located deep in the heart of the forest. Over 1300 years ago, the elves sought a pact of peace with migrating humans, and invited them to settle the lands around the forest. A stone monument was erected to this occasion, bearing the inscription “While there is even Tel’Quessir within the forest, the men of the Dales may settle the Cleared Lands around us. This stone and the Pact of Peace between our Peoples shall crumble if ever the Dalesman willingly reduce the woods or invade the lands claimed by the Tel’Quessir.” This occasion also marks the roll of years that humans use to mark their calendar. DR stands for Dale Reckoning, and 1DR marks the year of the erection of the standing stone. The current year is 1357DR.
This alliance let Cormanthyr prosper heavily, until around 660DR, when infighting and disunity split the elves. Reknown for their magical prowess, powerful elven wizards started departing the empire, taking their knowledge elsewhere. Cormanthyr’s magical defenses then weakened, and in 708DR, Myth Drannor was invaded and occupied by an army of evil beings. The ensuing war claimed most of the upper echelons of Cormanthyr, who either fell to the beings or fled before them. In one last act of desperation, the sealed the city with protective magic, locking the majority of the evil beings inside.
Cormanthyr kept slowly declining, and then in 1344DR, the elves began their retreat, reputedly migrating to the west, to the islands of Evermeet. Some elven communities still remain, but they are just a shadow of the former empire. Now that the elves have abandoned their home, tales have emerged of the splendors and horrors of the city of Myth Drannor. Rumours hold that it is still occupied by forces of evil, and yet it has yielded incredible treasure and artifacts for those brave (or foolish) enough to venture in.
The Dalelands themselves consist of a series of independent dales, each of which is represented at the Council of Dales. Most of them are very rural, agrarian locales, with most settlements being villages. People here are generally peaceful, good folk. Haranshire (where you’re currently adventuring) is part of Mistledale (the ‘capital’ of which is Ashabenford). Haranshire is located on the above map in the gap between the arms of the forest, just underneath the “Moonsea Ride” label.
In recent history, the lord of Scardale, Lashan, built himself an army, and conquered neighbouring Harrowdale, Featherdale, and, briefly, Battledale. He was defeated after attempting to occupy Mistledale and Shadowdale, who built a loose alliance with Cormyr, Sembia, the other Dalelands, and Zhentil Keep. Troops from this army now occupy Scardale to this day, but Lashan has fled, reportedly seen recently in Tilverton.