The Dragon Coast is a collection of independent citystates along the southwest coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars, ranging from Proskur in the west to Starmantle in the east. The region is lawless and piratical— commerce is king, and graft is queen. The area is also a cultural hot spot. As the western termini of the sea routes leading to the Golden Way—a continental trade route from Thesk all the way to Shou Lung (see “Eastern Lands,” page 143)—Westgate and Teziir have grown large and prominent Shou-towns much like those in eastern trade cities. An entire nation of Shou formed even farther west: Nathlan. All manner of eastern wizards, monks, spirits, and even living Shou deities (or so it is claimed) can be found in the region.
Dragon Coast Lore: A character knows the following information with a successful skill check.
: The receding waters of the Sea of Fallen Stars spelled ruin for Ilipur and Pros; those small trading towns dried up and blew away. Proskur has fallen under Cormyrian dominion, and Purple Dragon lords now hold sway over most of the southwest coast of the Dragonmere. Teziir is likewise a protectorate of Cormyr, but Westgate rebuffed both Cormyr and its rival Sembia.
: Westgate is the most well known city along the Dragon Coast. The city proved too large and powerful to be drawn into the orbit of either Cormyr or Sembia. A shadowy group known as the Fire Knives has a strong presence there.
Settlements and Features
Dragons, dungeons, and ruined cities abound along the Dragon Coast. An adventurer who can’t find an opportunity or item here isn’t looking hard enough.
Wilderness Realm; Population 7,000
Gulthandorans respect the sky and the wilderness; they look to nature for inspiration and power. Natives revere all trees, especially groves of cedar and pine. They admire limpid pools, flowing rivers, and the nearby sea. They believe the isolated hilltops that rise above the forest canopy are holy places.
The forested realm of Gulthandor is controlled by a circle of druids who meet in Cedarspoke. The circle never numbers more than thirty-three, and its members change with the seasons.
Humans, elves, and half-elves are the dominant humanoid residents of the region, though natural forest creatures of every type, as well as awakened trees, satyrs, and Feywild visitors, are common.
Feudal Shou State; Population 18,000
The County of Nathlan (capital Nathlekh City) runs along the shores of the Long Arm. It is a small feudal state inhabited chiefly by several strong Shou clans. Towns such as Westgate and Telflamm feature large Shou-dominated districts, but some clans savor independence.
A Shou clan shares a common surname, a mutual ancestor, and an ancestral village far to the east. A few clans wield far greater power than the others. One such is Clan Neng. It was once a “consort clan,” a group whose close ties to the Shou emperor garnered it special privileges and power. When representatives of Clan Neng and its allies reached the western end of the Golden Way hundreds of years ago, they settled in Nathlekh City. In the intervening years, the city garnered more and more Shou settlers until this onetime “City of Cats” became predominantly Shou, and grew to govern the larger region now called Nathlan.
Although friendly to trade, Nathlan is suspicious of non-Shou, particularly nonhumans. None but Shou are allowed to live permanently in Nathlan, and visitors are restricted to a special section of Nathlekh City.
City Built on Trade; Population 40,000
Westgate is the major trading city on the Sea of Fallen Stars. It is an open city—open to all races, all faiths, and all coin. Westgate is the one coastal city that has never suffered from the far-ranging aboleths of Xxiphu—it’s whispered that some horrible deal was made to insure such immunity.
The vampiric Night Masks thieves’ guild was driven out long ago. A new syndicate, the Fire Knives, now employs the majority of the assassins, extortionists, enforcers, and spies in Westgate. House Bleth controls the Fire Knives, and the head of that family, Jaundamicar Bleth, is the First Lord of the city. The Bleths are hard at work transforming Westgate from an oligarchy back to a monarchy. Jaundamicar would prefer to change his title from First Lord to King.
The Fire Knives are opposed by a group out of Westgate’s growing Shou District—the Nine Golden Swords. The Swords claims to be an organization of the people, though its roots in the criminal organization of the same name in Telflamm make this statement dubious. Still, the Nine Golden Swords in Westgate has publicly opposed the Fire Knives’ worst affronts against those too weak to defend themselves. Consequently, the group, criminal or not, enjoys the popularity of the working class.
Giant’s Run Mountains: The high places in these mountains are hollowed to admit the towering forms of their residents. The peaks are carved in great steps suitable only for massive treads. The giants have answered to the same monarch for the last fifteen hundred years: Dodkong, an undead stone giant whose seat of power lies in Cairnheim. The undead king reanimates each clan chieftain who dies, forming the Dodforer, a council of “Death Chiefs” who serve him.
Cairnheim is a city of tunnels and caverns. The city’s lower depths open directly into the Underdark, though the giants impose hefty tolls to restrict surface access for creatures of Faerûn’s lightless underbelly.