The Savage North

The frozen desert plateau has been a dead land for centuries; now, the floating fortress-city of Shadovar hovers above, capitol of the New Netherese Empire. The cities themselves lead the most terrifying offensives, heralded by a blanket of smoky clouds and a rain of ashes and embers, and followed by the sudden appearance of the Legions within the city, conducting highly organized strikes against key locations.

Evereska – The elven fortress on the edge of Anauroch was dealt with wholesale, even before the first offensive began. Whatever the Empire did to it, there were no survivors, and not even ruins remain … as though the entire fortress and everyone within was plucked from the face of the earth.

Silverymoon & the Silver Marches
Silverymoon was the first major city to fall; the Empire’s forces fell on it suddenly, in the middle of the night, crushing all resistance before the city’s defenses could even be organized. After all city forces were broken in the initial assault, the Lady Governor and all surviving officers, as well as all wizards, priests, and elves, were arrested; many were executed in the streets, the rest vanished into the obsidian walls of the floating citadel, never to be seen again. The shocked populace sank into occupation without further resistance; those who were able to escape fled down the Sword Coast, only to be evacuated with those peoples to the Western Isles. After nearly a year of strict occupation, a Proconsul was appointed, and Imperial Law was officially instituted.

The Spine of the World
The dwarven strongholds of Citadel Adbar, Citadel Felbarr and Mithral Hall provided the first serious resistance to the Empire’s initial shockwave of attack, deflecting them to the south with smoky blasts of their defensive batteries, and effective 3-dimensional tactics adapted from fighting giants and dragons. For this, they were rewarded with a much darker fate: as the body of Imperial forces turned south, a circle of mighty archmagi arrived, and performed a great ritual to curse and poison the very rock and air of the fortified halls, killing the dwarves within few agonized days, and then calling them back into a tortured undeath to serve their murderers. The few who escaped the horrors have mostly fled into the icy mountains of farthest north. The masses who did not now serve as the dreaded Grim Legion, an army of dwarven wight-soldiers enslaved to the Empire.

Icewind Dale & Ten Towns
Their homes destroyed, their families murdered and enslaved, many of the rugged folk of the Dale took to the wilds, joining with the barbarian tribes there in opposing the Empire. The towns themselves, like most smaller communities, have been occupied and subjugated – or wiped out altogether.

Driz’zt Do’Urden and his companions were last known to have volunteered to buy time for the evacuation of the people of Ten Towns; not having been heard from since that time, the heroes are presumed to have perished or been captured there.

Barbarian Tribes
The uncivilized lands of the far north were largely ignored by the Empire in their initial campaign, and have been little more than an afterthought even since. While some of the (surviving) tribes in this region have been herded into settlements or outright exterminated, many remain free, evading and opposing the Empire as they can.

The High Forest
Decimated by the dark magicks of the Empire in their initial campaign, this cursed and defiled forest is now haunted by the tortured souls of slain elves and corrupted nature spirits. These malevolent entities do not obey the will of the Empire (yet), but are entirely unreasoned in their burning hatred for all that lives.

Kluath, a mighty and ancient red dragon, is known to have laired in the High Forest. His fate is unknown, but given the depths of his cunning, paranoia, and magical power, it seems unlikely that he simply perished without fanfare, or at least without leaving some unpleasant surprises for any who seek to despoil his home. Still, the riches and enchantments of his hoard make a tempting target for appropriation into someone’s war chest.

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The Savage North

Forgotten Realms: Empire of Ashes Lex