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ORVA

The corruption of a woodland paradise


Lost Realms of Cormanthor Volume VII
Compiled, edited, adapted
& in parts written by
Snowblood

The Rise & Fall of a Utopia Lost


-1000 DR until -701 DR
Two millennia ago, most of the area forest, plain, and swampland now known as Cormyr
was under the nominal control of a small, principality named Orva. That nations capital, sat
at the confluence of the Diamond and Shadowsil Rivers. The patron deity of the city (and
realm) was a deity called Chronos, a little known aspect of Labelas, and said to be a fierce
rival of Corellon, whose temple dominated the central plaza of the resplendent metropolis.
A city of sprawling villas and tree homes, Orva boasted, according to its Sun Elf inhabitants,
all the splendour of Cormanthor, with none of the corrupting influence of outsiders. Ruled
by the arrogant and xenophobic Reithel clan of Sun Elves, the Realm of the Wolf was
regarded by them as sacred and worth protecting at any cost. To this end the Laranlors of
the realm paid little head to the dictates coming out of Cormanthor. To further their
interests and in the belief that they were protecting their way of life from the corrupting
ways of the rulers of Cormanthyr, the Princes of Orva built Orvaskyte as both a bulwark
against their enemies and as a place to conduct their insane experiments, in isolation and
peace.

The Destruction of Orvaskyte -700 DR


Orvaskyte served as an outpost that marked the northernmost boundary of the nation and
also a place where magical experimentation was undertaken. Orvas final Laranlor, a petty,
power-hungry tyrant with delusions of empire, ordered his high-mage advisors who resided
in the keep to devise a means of expanding Orvas borders with minimal effort.

Unfortunately, in their haste to please their Prince and also to avoid the fatal consequences
of failure, they manufactured a gate that ruptured the fabric of the Prime Material Plane.
The gate opened to the plane of Baator, specifically Minauros, the layer of greed, the layer
of swamps and mire. The first result of the opening was a massive explosion that killed most
of the high-magi. Next came a great sucking wind that pulled the surviving high-magi and
the newly arrived priests into Minauros. Then a rebound effect spewed a massive torrent of
vile swamp from Minauros into Orva, carrying with it a horde of vile abominations, curses,
and diseases. In a single, horrifying night of blood and slime, the tiny kingdom of Orvas was
annihilated and the Vast Swamp became doubled in size, to more or less its present
dimensions.
The last high-mage, a scion of House Amaratharr fled east with the surviving members of
her house, from the flooded ruins of Tethalwyrr. Sailing east Genevaera Amaratharr
eventually made her way north to Cormanthor where she informed Coronal Tannivh Irithyl
of the unfolding disaster that was engulfing the Realm of the Wolf. Before the elves could
react, Aavenglas became a hell-blasted ruin. The High Mages sent to bring this vassal realm
to heel undertook the clean up work to seal the gate/portal between the region and the
Nine Hells and to do what they could to ward the surrounding lands from the evils that were
created in the cataclysm. Wrecked and twisted, Orvaskyte Keep now serves as a breeding
ground for all manner of vile swamp-dwelling monsters. Also, the separation between the
Prime Material Plane and Minauros is particularly weak here, and temporary gates are
known to open up spontaneously on rare occasions.

1048 DR
Horus-Re battles Set and becomes chief of
the Mulhorandi. Sets tower in Skuld is
destroyed, the god himself is exiled to Hell
and the incarnation of Set (along with
many of his followers) is forced to flee.
After years of being hunted, The Great
Crocodile aspect of Seth establishes itself
within a secluded, flooded forest upriver
from the mouth of the Shadowsil River.

Lord Carnaegyr leads his people south into


Arnothoi looking for a place to establish a
religious community based upon the
teachings of Chronos. After years of
wandering, Reithel scouts locate a hidden
river valley and soon Lord Carnaegyr
proclaims that visions from Chronos have
confirmed that the flood plain at the
confluence of two rivers is the perfect
place to build a new perfect city.
-980 DR

-1006 DR
The heretical Lord Carnaegyr Reithel (high
priest of Chronos) is summoned before a
full conclave of temple heads within
Cormanthor. There he is asked to recant
is misguided beliefs or face banishment
for himself and his followers.
-1004 DR

Geomancers raise the first towers of the


Palace Beyond Time. High Magi loyal to
the Reithel clan raise a mantle over the
palace that effectively slows aging to a
crawl within the palace grounds.
-954 DR
Lord Carnaegyr and his wife are slain by a
huge red dragon whilst hunting giant

owlbears in the forested foothills of the


Thunderpeaks.
In searching for his
missing father, Prince Zefrial Reithel
encounters what he calls a living vision,
where Chronos appears before him on the
banks of the Upper Shadowsil. Returning
to Aavenglas, the new Laranlor, and his
companion, the Mage Royal Setinfaor
immediately order the construction of a
fotress ot the sighyt of his vision.
-950 DR
Orvaskyte Citadel is completed, part
laboratory, temple, fortress and prison
the garishly decorated keep is set up to
display the vast wealth and audacious
treasures of the realm. The main spire
towers over the landscape. Dripping with
gold and jewels, the keep is still a fully
functioning fortress.
-900 DR
With an expanding population, those
elves seeking a life away from the
fundamentalist rules of Aavenglas move
down stream establishing a new utopian
settlement, Tethalwyrr, on the shores of
Slivermoon Bay.
-853 DR
Major floods pour down the Shadowsil
valley inundating vast tracks of forest,
whilst at the same time a king-tide forces
a storm surge up river flooding the
lowlands
around
Aavenglas
and
Tethalwyrr. The city remains flooded
evermore and the elves begin establishing
a system of rivulets and canals to control
the increased flows of seasonal flooding.
-821 DR
The first nobles to show dissent and
question Prince Zefrials increasingly

fundamentalist rule begin disappearing,


later their torn, battered and souless
bodies begin to appear, floating down
river into the sea past the villagers of
Slivermoon Bay.
-799 DR
The increasing paranoia of Prince Zefrial
begins to cause him to doubt even his
closest advisors, after accusing his wife of
being a Cormanthan spy and having her
burned alive, the mad prince is arrested
and thrown into dungeons below
Orvaskyte, upon the orders of the Mage
Royal. Installed in his stead is the
avaricious and fanatical nephew of the
Laranlor, Prince Ashalwyth Reithel.
-766 DR
Suffering from increasingly vivid and
debilitating visions, Prince Ashalwyth
leaves the day to day running of the realm
to his trusted lieutenant, The Mage Royal.
The mad, petty, power-hungry Laranlors
fractured mind is filled with delusions of
empire. Acting upon the the advice of his
chief retainer Lord Ashalwyth orders his
high-magi who reside within Orvaskyte to
devise a means of expanding Orvas
borders with minimal effort.
-745 DR
Disgusted at the increasingly violent and
paranoid actions of their lord, several
noble and pious families attempt to
overthrow their tyrannical prince. After a
brief and bloody civil war the surviving
rebellious nobles and their many followers
are sacrificed one and all, young and old,
upon the alters dedicated to Chronos the
Destroyer in Orvaskyte.
-701 DR

Acting upon the orders of Prince


Ashalwyth, and under the direction of the
Mage Royal, Armies of smartly dressed
troops stand to attention outside the
walls of Orvaskyte, as a quartet of robed
magi and a trio of clergymen in vestments
covered in gold and jewels, hover in the
air just above the keep. Over their heads,
a winged hourglass shines golden light
down on the whole scene. Activating the
enchantments laid upon the cupola the
High- Magi open a gate that ruptures the
fabric of the Prime Material Plane. With
the manipulation of the Mage Royal the
gate opens to the plane of Baator,

specifically Minauros, the layer of greed,


the layer of swamps and mire. The first
result of the opening is a massive
explosion that kills most of the high-magi.
Next comes a great sucking wind that
pulls the surviving magi and the newly
arrived priests into Minauros. Then a
rebound effect spews a massive torrent of
vile swamp from Minauros into Orva,
carrying with it a horde of vile
abominations, curses, and diseases. In a
single, horrifying night of blood and slime,
the tiny kingdom of Orva is annihilated
and the Vast Swamp doubles in size, to
more or less its present dimensions.

The City & Citadel that Time Forgot


Aavenglas City of the Crystal Spires
Population: 12500 (Sun Elf 85%, Moon Elf 10%, Green Elf 3%, Lythari 2%)
Products: Magic items, lore crystals, musical instruments, fine wines & liqueurs, art &
sculptures, water features, rare animals & plants, herbs & spices, flowers, weapons &
armour, seafood, pearls, leather goods, small ships & leaf boats, songs & poetry.
Who Rules: The Ruling Laranlor
Who Really Rules: The Laranlor & Mage Royal (Incarnation of Seth)
Armed Forces: The Knights of the Silver Wolf (Sunhorse mounted heavy cavalry), Archers of
the Eveningstar, Spears of the Shadowsil (medium infantry).
Notable Temples: Karonis (Labelas)-Royal Temple, Sehanine - Small temple, Hanali major
festhall & gardens, Corellon - minor shrine, Fenmarel - shrine, Rillifane - Sacred Grove &
lake.
Notable Magi: Sisters of Greenwaters High Magi Circle, The Mithral Griffons Royal High
Magi Circle, The Order of Azure Kingfishers Elementalists, The Tethlwr Wave Riders
Dualists.
Notable Organisations: Aasethlwr Brotherhood - Werecrocodile & wererat followers of
Chronos (Seth), Firefly Geomancers, The Suns Tears Boat Builders, Knights of Winters
Destiny Paladins/Crusaders of Chronos, Dashunn Tree Tenders & Shapers, Ostralythe Devil
Hunters, Imbaruul Mountain Guides, Ambyrlite Silk Growers & Weavers.
Notable Locations: The Royal Palace: At the heart of the sprawling tree and tower filled city
were grand halls and villas, set amongst towering fir, cypress and swamp oak trees was the
Palace Beyond Times Embrace. A meandering structure of crystal towers linked by lace like
skyways and filled with floating and flashing fairy lights day and night. The home of the
heretical Reithel clan, the palace with its 4 centrally buttressed towers is dedicated to the
worship of Chronos. Time is said to almost stand still within the walls of the palace and
indeed living things age at half their normal rate and inanimate materials are protected
from the ravages of times normal flow. Amara Hall, Glazaar Floating Gardens, Gathanss
Citadel, Highsun Festhall, The Great Sun Dial, The Bridge of Sehanines Tears, Starwater
Lake, Gildenglas Crystal Makers & Glass Blowers, The Seers Plaza.
Local Lore: Said to be as large as old Cormanthor and situated at the confluence of the
Diamond and Shadowsil Rivers, Aavenglas was established by disaffected Sun Elves from
Cormanthyr, led by the exiled scions of House Reithel, banished from Cormanthyr for their
heretical beliefs in the Dark God of Destruction and Rebirth Chronos (an aspect of Labelas).
Their many followers left the Elf Woods and established themselves on the southern shores
of a great cypress filled wetland. The magi of the city grew their towers from the crystalline
bedrock, creating glowing, glass-like spires of impossible beauty and lacy delicacy.
Countless ponds and water gardens were connected by rills and streams of cool, clear water
filled with crustaceans and schools of rainbow coloured fish, and covered in all sorts of
flowering water plants such as moon lotus and eppanirises. The citys defenders relied upon
the Water Mantle to protect their city, the many canals and streams took the place of most
paths and roads with individual villas being set upon permanently dry islands, or perched
amongst the impossibly tall swamp cypress and swamp oaks.

The citys fall was as swift as it was unexpected, with the destruction of Orvaskyte, and
deadly miasma drifted quickly down the Shadowsil Valley, its sickening green and yellow
clouds quickly engulfing and destroying the lower city and all of its inhabitants. The miasmic
cloud bank transformed survivors into undead thralls of the devilish monsters that appeared
in its wake and the few hundred survivors quickly found themselves fighting a growing
horde of devils and their undead slaves. The only building to survive unscathed was the
Rulers Crystal Palace. Today it sits surrounded by towering swamp giants and is overgrown
with epiphytes, moss, lichens, and sprawling bloodvines. The rest of the city is a tumble
down ruin over-grown and quickly being reclaimed by the miasmic corruption of the Vast.
Its only permanent inhabitants today are the wandering will-o-wisps, lacedons, swordwraiths and banshees of the citys former inhabitants.

Orvaskyte Citadel
Population: 750 (Sun Elf 75%, Human 10%, Devil 10%, Other 5%)
Products: weapons & armour, magic items & devilish devices.
Who Rules: The Mage Royal Incarnation of Seth
Armed Forces: 500 Knights of the Golden Scythe
Temples: Shrine to Chronos Trimvirate of high priests & laity.
Notable Magi: The Corvynnth Assembly Four High Magi followers of Chronos (Seth)
Notable Organisations: Nil

Notable Locations:
1. Front Gate.
3. Central Courtyard.
An ornately carved basalt & red
granite gate way covered in gold leaf
fillagree and brightly painted forest
scenes. The black cedar gate are fixed
with polished adamantine hinges,
studs & bolts, and stand 20 high and
14 inches thick. A pair of statues stand
silent watch a short distance past the
gate.

The courtyard is entirely paved with


flat stones, exotic plants and vines
cover most of the unpainted stone
surfaces within the yard. A large,
ornately decorated citadel lies directly
in the middle of the courtyard. Against
the walls along the perimeter of the
keep are some small buildings
adjacent to the walls.

2. Flanking Statues.
4. Blockhouse.
A pair of statues seven feet tall stand
near the entrance to the keeps
courtyard. They are mirror images of
each other. Each statue shows a male
elf clawing away the skin from his
chest and exposing his heart and rib
cage. Each face is contorted in wildeyed terror, each mouth open in a
silent scream of horror.

This small building guards the


entrance to the lower caverns and
halls. The interior is all one room. A
set of stone stairs descends into the
darkness.
5 Central Citadel

This very large building is the center


complex where the high-magi cast
their binding spells of power. The
entire central citadel is the focal point
for all major castings undertaken
within the complex.
7. Minor Blockhouse
This building houses the upper guard
room, smithy and armoury. Wracks
inside the building hold dozens of leaf
shaped shields, elven longswords, and
suits of glittering scale mail armor.
8. Corner Barracks, Storehouse &
Mess.
9. Main Barracks
10. Temple to Chronos
Inside beautifully decorated room is a
statue of a winged, robed elf clutching
an hourglass in one arm and a scythe
in the other. The hourglass is on a
chain, and the chains other end is
attached to a neck collar, forever
linking the figure and the hourglass.
The deity answers to the name
Chronos the Darkness Bringer - and he
is the god of time, destruction,
renewal and change.
11.Great Kitchens & Feast Hall.
Central Firepit surrounded by chairs
tables, food preparation areas and
storage vats, jars, cooking utensils,
cauldrons, sideboards and long carved
tables lined with high back chairs for
the nobles and coarse benches for the
rest.
14. Master Bedchamber of the Mage
Royal

A huge, ornate four poster reverie bed


dominates the room, an expensive
roll-top desk covered in gems, vials &
scrolls, book shelves, a glass case filled
with rare and powerful magical items.
Covering the walls are magical
tapestries showing symbols & charts.
The tapestries radiate abjuration
magic and are ready to destroy the
unwary.

15. The Wellspring

17. Stairway room.


The stairway about 20 feet long. You
are standing in a perfectly square
room, with a single wide-open
wooden door leading out.
18. Document Room.
The air in here smells dry and dusty
mingled with the odours of velum,
parchment, inks, oils & papyrus. The
room contains wooden shelves, many
of them filled with rolled-up scrolls
and other information storage devices,
many hearkening back to lost
Uvaeren. A single wooden stool, a
small table, and a lantern are the only
other objects in here. This is the
records room for the citadel. All of the
documents are written in Thorass, a
language not normally used by elves.
If the scrolls are read, they identify
this place as Orvaskyte Keep, the
northernmost point in the Kingdom of
Orva. The documents have their own
dating system, but references are
made to corresponding dates on the
Mulhorandi Calendar. The last entry
has a Mulhorandi date of 1434 MC
and refers to dire portents and

instructions for the construction of a


portal cupola for the opening of a
portal to a source of boundless power,
evil and might. The missive from the
Grand Temple of Seth in southern
Mulhorand
puts
the
keeps
destruction at -701 DR.

sarcophagi with heavy stone carved


with the life like likenesses of the
deceased fill this chamber. The dead
are warded against animation and
great curses wait for those who
disturb the dead who have dedicated
their lives to Chronos.

The information kept here reveals that


the kingdom had extensive dealings
with Mulani from southern Mulhorand
who were instrumental in bringing
about the creation of the Portal
Cupola utilizing stolen Imaskari lore
and magical items. The extensive
records predate the arrival of the elves
and record the meeting up of the
religious exiles encountering an
avatar of Chronos, who commanded
them to build their city and establish
They also reveal that the keep had a
force of about 500 soldiers, several
high-magi and high priests of Chronos
and Seth, and a few alchemists and
other scholars.

24. Open Passageway.

19. Barracks.

29. Containment Room.

On the wall to the west is a set of


carved stone double doors that are
quite attractive, and to the north is a
pair of wooden double doors.
25. Stairs.
26. Summoning Chamber.
Carved into the beautifully polished
marble floor are the arcane symbols
necessary to summon and bind
powerful Devils and Seth Minions.
28. Stairway.

20. Arsenal.
Numerous stands and racks hold
scores of weapons, leaf shields, and
outfits of scale armour. There was
enough gear in this armoury to equip a
small army.

The light in this room comes from a


one-foot-diameter glowing globe set
in the ceiling. Near the floor, three red
gems hover three feet off the ground,
a thin line of flame connecting them in
a triangular pattern.

21. Storage Room

30. Mural Chamber.

Filled with chests, crates, boxes,


amphorae, jars, wracks, full of day to
day supplies needed for the running of
the keep.

The walls are covered with murals


showing a beautiful keep with a single
tower in one corner. Armies of smartly
dressed troops march in the
foreground, as a quartet of robed
magi and a trio of clergymen in
vestments hover in the air just above
the keep. Over their heads, a winged
hourglass shines golden light down on

23. Crypt.
Brightly painted wooden coffins lie in
carved floor to ceiling niches and

the whole scene. This room is the site


of another magical experiment, this
one involving illusions. In one distant
comer of the mural, a figure in royal
robes and a crown is hunched over a
pile of what seems to be gold and
people. The king is running his fingers
through this pile, a look of evil and
greed on his face. Behind him stands a
portal that glows red, and storm
clouds build overhead. The painted
portal has a hypnotic quality to it.
31. Dungeon.
The door to this room is solid iron,
with a small sliding door set into it
that is rusted permanently shut.

There are 20 sets of manacles &


shackles attached to the wall. It is here
that the Laranlor sends his enemies to
be experimented on by the Mage
Royal and her cronies. The bodies of
the formerly powerful and influential
are often left here for years as dried
cadavers before finally being animated
as zombie servants of the priests.
32. Torture Chamber.
A door of solid iron hides this blood
soaked triangular chamber. Set around
the room at different stations are
torture devices, all of them covred in
dried, black blood and gobbets of
what looks like jerkey.

Local Lore: Orvaskyte served as an outpost that marked the northernmost boundary of the
nation and also a place where magical experimentation was undertaken. Under the subtle
influence of the Cult of Chronos, Laranlor Gorvaeth Reithel ordered his high-mage advisors
who resided in the keep to devise a means of expanding Orvas borders with minimal effort.
Unfortunately, in their haste to please their Prince and also to avoid the fatal consequences
of failure, under the specific direction of the Mage Royal, they manufactured a gate that
ruptured the fabric of the Prime Material Plane. The gate opened to the plane of Baator,
specifically Minauros, the layer of greed, the layer of swamps and mire. With the opening of
the gate within the cupola Seth stepped back into the prime, allowed free access after his
exile 300 plus years before. The first result of the opening was a massive explosion that
killed most of the high-magi. Next came a great sucking wind that pulled the surviving highmagi and the newly arrived priests into Minauros. Then a rebound effect spewed a massive
torrent of vile swamp from Minauros into Orva, carrying with it a horde of vile
abominations, curses, and diseases. In a single, horrifying night of blood and slime, the tiny
kingdom of Orva was annihilated and the Vast Swamp became doubled in size, to more or
less its present dimensions. Freed from his Hellish prison, Seth abandoned all pretense,
slaughtering the survivors, using their life force to power is own resurrection. Fully reformed
Seth fled east seeking to Avenge himself upon his rivals, Osiris, Isis and Horus-Re.

Ruins of Orvaskyte Citadel

Tethalwyrr

Population: 3500 (Sun Elves 60%, Moon Elves 20%, Green Elves 10%, Lythari 5%, Sea Elves
5%)
Products: Seafood, small boats, chandlery, rope, nets & fishing gear, alluvial gold, timber
products, leather goods, fruits & vegetables, maps, cloth, trade goods.
Who Rules: Lord/Lady of House Amaratharr
Armed Forces: 120 Knights, 300 Archers, 200 Spear Bearers.
Temples: Chronos, Corellon, Rillifane, Deep Sashelas, Solonor.
Notable Magi: The Sisters of Merciful Silence, Order of the Cyprus Shield.
Notable Organisations: Golden Feathers - Fletchers & Arrow Makers, Calaels Leaf Boats,
Netters & Fishers of Sashaell, Screaming Arrows Archery School, The Chronographers.
Notable Locations: The Floating Palace home of the Amaratharr family, The Leaf & Bower
Festhall & Inn, The Emerald Lotus floating market, The Ambeswier & Fishers Pier.
Local Lore: Considered innocent & idealistic rustics by their kin to the north, the folk of
Tethalwyrr, are fishers & weavers. The silks they weave are considered second to none, but
they never trade them, preferring to offer the bolts of shimmering cloth as gifts. The rulers
of the settlement, the Sun Elves of Amaratharr stead fastly refuse to partake of the bitter
politicking of the capital, but are never-the-less unflinching in their loyalty to the realm and
its people. When rumours of blood sacrifice and treachery arrived upon the lips of fleeing
refugees, the sailors and traders of Tethalwyrr managed to save thousands by smuggling
them east to the wooded shores of Arnothoi. The knights of the Slivered Moon, the
resident order of blade singers and swordmagi are famous throughout the southwest as
hunters and tamers of dragons. When the gates to Hell were opened, the last high-mage of
the realm, a scion of House Amaratharr fled east with the surviving members of her house,
from the flooded ruins of Tethalwyrr. Sailing east Genevaera Amaratharr eventually made
her way north to Cormanthor where she informed Coronal Tannivh Irithyl of the unfolding
disaster that was engulfing the Realm of the Wolf.

The golden scythe of karonis


This 6 foot tall weapon with its polished ebony shaft and blade of shining gold is considered
the second most holy relic of Chronos. Normally held within the hands of the statue of
Chronos within the Palace Beyond Time, from time to time the Scythe has been wielded by
the faithful in defence of the realm. The artefact has powers that are always active and that
can only be summoned by the faithful of Chronos;
The bearer of the scythe is immune to aging effects including a ghosts touch and time
affecting powers & spells. The wielder by concentration can cancel out any time affecting
magics or powers within a 150 radius. This cancellation is permanent and will affect those
who have prolonged their lives through magic or psionics eg potions of longevity, the
preserving magics of liches and even those beings kept in temporal stasis.
2/day the wielder may use time stop, raise dead, time jump, temporal statsis and may use
the powers of the scythe to duplicate any time affecting power seen by the wielder. This
includes any priestly spell from the time sphere and many spells from the school of
chronomancy.
1/day the scythe wielder can invoke the following powers:
Time Duplicate
Reincarnation (even on a living being)
Holy Word
Time Jump (1d3 hours into the past or future)
Whilst the scythe wielder is immune to the effects of time and aging, every time they use a
power from the weapon for personal gain they age 1d10 years and this is irreversible. When
used in combat the weapon acts as a mace of disruption and causes triple damage against
all forms of undead. Against those beings with immortality the weapon causes double
damage and if slain by the weapon the creatures are permanently slain.

Resources Used
Grand History of the Realms
Four From Cormyr
Cormyr Tearing of the Weave
Volos Guide to Cormyr
Demi-Human Deities
Forgotten Realms Campaign Settings 1st -4th Editions
Lost Empires
Volos Guide to All Things Magical
Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves
The Fall of Myth Drannor
The Ruins of Myth Drannor
Elves of Evermeet
Complete Book of Elves
Forgotten Realms Adventures
Grand History of the Realms
Candle Keep Posts by George Krashos
Dragon 365 Backdrop Cormyr