Capitol: Sheirtalar

Population: 1,217,642 (humans 95% [Shaarans 50%, Calishites 36%, Tashalans 12%, Chultans 1%, Halruaans 1%], yuan-ti 2%, rock gnomes 2%, wild dwarves 1%)

Government: Limited monarchy

Religions: Amphisbaena the World Serpent (Sseth [See]), Bhaelros (Talos), Deneir, Chauntea, Eldath, Garl Glittergold, Ilmater, Kelemvor, Lliira, Seltine, Silvanus, Tempus, Tiamat, Umberlee, Waukeen

Imports: Armor, beef, gems, fruit, iron, jewelry, pottery, weapons

Exports: Olives, pearls, roe, seafood, spices, wine, wood

Alignment: LE, NE

The Lapal League is a confederation of city-states along the southeastern shore of the Shining Sea. Loosely ruled by the Overking of Sheirtalar, these small realms are sometimes known as the Cities of the Seabreeze, though that phrase technically also includes Narubel, Tashluta, Ormpur, and the ruins of Procalith. Lapaliiya stretches from the eastern end of the Delphin Mountains to the Sheir Peninsula, and from the shores of the Shining Sea to the northern edge of the Mhair Jungles, the Great Wall of Halruaa, the western edge of the Bandit Wastes, and the peaks of the Dun Hills.

Life and Society

The inhabitants of Lapaliiya are zealous warriors and industrious merchants who place tremendous value on personal honor and propriety. Duels and feuds over slights that folk of other lands might readily dismiss are common. Almost all positions of power are dominated by Tashalans, despite their minority status in the country as a whole.

Ophiophobia is common here. Serpentfolk are slain on sight if they reveal themselves as such, and overt dealings with them are punishable by death. Nevertheless, the serpentfolk wield considerable influence in Lapaliiya, and officials routinely overlook suspicious dealings involving persons with significant political strength.

Each city-state in the Lapal League has a civic deity, and its citizens discourage all other faiths. Conflict (whether overt political disagreements or covert skullduggery) occurs more frequently within the confederation than with its neighbors. Clerics and monks enjoy positions of respect and authority in Lapaliiya, while arcane spellcasters are viewed with some suspicion - an attitude that dates back to the Rage of Wizards (1142 DR). The dark god of Lapaliiyan myth is Amphisbaena the World Serpent, who has wrapped the world in his coils and is slowly crushing it into pulp as he devours himself.

In centuries past, Lapaliiya was a nation only in name, ruled by an essentially powerless Grand Council made up of the satraps of the five most powerful city-states. The union of the ruling houses of Sheirtalar and Lushpool in the Year of Glad Tidings (1147 DR), occurring as it did in the immediate aftermath of the Rage of Wizards, led to the installation of a ruler - the Overking of Lapaliiya. In addition to ruling the cities of Sheirtalar and (through the heir to the throne) Lushpool, the overking theoretically governs all of Lapaliiya with the consent of the Grand Council, which can vote yea or nay but not initiate its own decrees. In practice, however, the overking must still secure unanimous consent from the representatives of Sammaresh, Ithmong, Lushpool, Sheirtalar, and Uzurr, which usually means negotiating with the reigning Shoonsar of Ithmong and the satraps of Lushpool.

Major Geographic Features

The area around Lapaliiya features a variety of terrain types and points of interest.

Bandit Wastes: In the shadow of Halruaa's North Wall, the fertile vineyards of Lapaliiya give way to the desolate barrens known as the Bandit Wastes. This region has traditionally provided a home for outlaws fleeing the reach of Halruaan or Lapaliiyan justice. At present, the worst such group is the Blood Screamers, a band of savage gnome dire weremoles led by a gnome vampire called the Blood-Curdling Scream (CE male rock gnome vampire illusionist 9). This group maintains a lair in a warren of tunnels dug by giant ants in the barrens east of Lapalgard, and its members raid as far afield as the Rathgaunt Hills and the Nath.

Dolphingulf, The: Known as the Delphingulph in the local vernacular, this long, shallow bay is frequented by pods of dolphins drawn here by the bountiful schools of fish. A tribe of aquatic elves dwells in the underwater hills that mark the northern edge of the bay, and its members frequently sell rare treasures from the sea floor in the markets of Sammaresh. According to legend, an ocean strider protects the Dolphingulf, although no reliable reports attest to the creature's existence.

Dun Hills, The: This low stretch of hills shelters the Misty Vale from the coastal lands along the Shining Sea. The western slopes support scattered groves of olive trees, but little else in the way of vegetation. Small herds of goats - some wild, some not - wander this area. The central hills house many tombs, and undead continue to plague the region despite the efforts of Kelemvor's priesthood. The mist-shrouded eastern slopes of the Dun Hills are covered with frees that are nearly as impenetrable is the Misty Forest.

River Talar: Much of the Shaar drains into this wide, slow-moving river. For the last 10 miles of its length, the waters roar through a narrow, high-cliffed gorge, making the ever-churning river mouth nearly unnavigable. This gorge is home to a tribe of merrow aquatic ogres) and scrags (aquatic trolls) whose members hunt in the depths of Sheirtalar Bay. Repeated efforts by Lapaliiya's army to dislodge them have ended in failure.

The only bridge over the River Talar for hundreds of miles is the Mouth of Istishia, a natural arch wide enough for three carts to pass each other safely. Well-armed troops garrison small towers on both sides of the bridge to ensure that no one interferes with traffic across this crucial artery.

Sheir Peninsula: Surrounded by cliffs more than 20 feet high, this granite outcropping juts out into the Shining Sea. It is home to scattered thorps of shepherds, who are generally impoverished by the high rents they must pay the Overking to use the land. Inhabitants of this region avoid going anywhere near the Shining Sea, for fear of the harpies that inhabit the cliff faces and prey on passing ships.

Important Sites

Lapaliiya is a busy area with many important trading centers.

Abreon (Large Town, 4,680): The low, rolling hills around this inland town are dotted with vineyards and groves of olive trees.

The civic deity of Abreon is Lliira, and a council of wealthy farmers rules the town. More than fifteen centuries ago, Abreon was the site of a great battle between the armies of Serpentes and the beleaguered defenders of Lapaliiya. Ancient barrows dating back to that battle are scattered across the fields, and from time to time a few serpentine and humanoid undead emerge from them to terrorize the local population.

Dungar (Small Town, 931): Dungar lies along the trade route between Halruaa's Talath Pass and Lapaliiya's coastal cities. Numerous vineyards and olive groves encircle the settlement, which is populated largely by farmers.

The local civic deity is Chauntea, and the town is ruled by a family that traces its roots back to Felingar, a legendary Lapaliiyan bandit lord. Felingar's crypt lies beneath the rolling hills of Dungar and is reputed to contain the dowry of a long-dead Ormpurian chansreena (princess) who was stolen en route to her wedding to a prominent Halruaan archmage.

Ilyaport (Small Town, 1,923): Founded about 100 DR, this ancient town grew up around the Umberlant temple known as the Shell House. After the temple's destruction during the Rage of Wizards, Ilyaport began to decline. Today, this once-grand town is little more than a simple fishing village overshadowed by the city of Ithmong to the north.

The Bitch Queen is still the civic deity of Ilyaport, and the town is ruled by the highest-ranking Umberlant in permanent residence - currently Dread Wavelord Dumai Arachneie (CE male Tashalan human cleric 7 of Umberlee/waveservant 1). Adventurers are the most frequent visitors here because the ruins of Umberlee's temple are said to hold many treasures as yet undiscovered.

Ithmong (Metropolis, 46,729): The Stormwracked City of Ithmong bears the brunt of most storms that rage across the Shining Sea. Even so, the city is second only to Sheirtalar in wealth, population, and political power, thanks to the large volume of goods that flows through its port from Halruaa and the Lapalijyan hinterlands. The Stormwracked City lies at the head of Ithmong Bay, atop a 50-foot-high cliff. The docks are built inside a dozen linked seacaves that collectively serve as the city's subterranean port district.

The civic deity of Ithmong is Bhaelros (Talos), and the ruler is the hereditary shoonsar, a title currently held by Darhost "the Mongrel" Tharsuir (NE male Tashalan human fighter 14).

Lapalgard (Large Town, 3,701): The Fortress of Lapalgard was built in the decade after the founding of Lapaliiya, to mark the unity of the Lapal tribes in opposing the serpentfolk of the jungles. Today, this ancient stronghold stands just as strong as it did a millennium ago, although it has not seen war since the fall of the Shoon Imperium. Lapaliiyan troops based in Lapalgard spend as much time patrolling the' Bandit Wastes as they do the northeastern Mhair Jungles. Caravans passing to and from Halruaa via the Talath Pass account for the prosperity of the town that now surrounds the fortress.

The civic deity of Lapalgard is Tempus, and the Knight-Commander of the Fortress rules the town.

Lhazantal (Small Town, 925): The City of Smiths is actually a small town that lies along the Lapal Way near one of the few iron mines in resource-poor Lapaliiya. Most of its businesses involve metalworking, and its craftspeople produce serviceable suits of mail, stout weapons, various farm implements, and ironmongery. Most Lapaliiyan gnomes who do not dwell in Zashuma live here. The civic deity is Gond, and the town's leader is an exiled master smith from Lantan named Lambrac Dinelstrand (CG male Lantanna human expert 9).

Lushpool (Large City, 17,265): The City of Shimmering Pools lies in the sheltered lee of the Ithmong Peninsula, by the mouth of Talar Bay. Lushpool is built on a seven-terraced hillside, with the lowest terrace serving as the city's wharf district and the topmost one as the exclusive preserve of the Prince Royal.

Lushpool's civic deity is Eldath, and the city is renowned for its moss-draped pools and beautiful hanging gardens. These pools are used to raise several rare kinds of freshwater fish whose roe is a gourmet delight throughout Faerûn. It is this product more than any other that has brought Lushpool its prosperity.

The Prince Royal of Lapaliiya is the titular ruler of Lushpool, although a council of satraps handles the day-to-day governance of the city. Since nine of the sixteen satraps are yuan-ti purebloods from the Hazim'tar clan of the Eselemas tribe, Lushpool is effectively in the hands of the yuan-ti, as it has been for more than two centuries.

It was the Hazim'tar who brought in the breeding stock for Lushpool's rare, pool-bred fish, which are native to the depths of Lake Lemas and thus largely unknown to humans. A two-way portal below the Palace of the Prince leads to the ruins of Ss'dath'in'ssatath, on the western shore of Lake Lemas. All passage through the portal requires a key - in this case a snakeskin, which may be shed, on a live snake, or part of the body of a serpentfolk. Lapaliiya's rulers and closest advisors are aware of the source of Lushpooi's prosperity and the true nature of the Hazim'tar, but they have turned a blind eye to both facts for generations.

Malaxer (Large Town, 4,103): Woodcutters and hunters who dare the northern edges of the Mhair Jungles live here, along with a handful of wild dwarves who have fled their homelands for one reason or another. Most expeditions into yuan-ti territories begin in Malaxer because the town boasts the greatest concentration of skilled guides-for-hire in Lapaliiya. Of course, a not-insignificant fraction of those guides are yuan-ti agents on the watch for adventurers who might pose a threat to the serpentfolk or possess any items that the yuan-ti might desire.

The civic deity of Malaxer is Silvanus. High Lapalyth (baron) Tormar o' the Axe (LN male Tashlutan human ranger 7) rules the town.

Mierskar (Small Town, 1,617): This small farming town lies in the shadow of Lushpool. Mierskar is known for its library, which rivals any on the Tashtan Coast. During the reign of the Shoonlmperium, a far-sighted imperial satrap ordered all extant lore regarding the yuan-ti to be assembled in a single place of learning. Mierskar was selected to house the collection because a prominent school of wizardry dominated the town at the time. Although the school was destroyed during the Rage of Wizards in 1142 DR, the Great Library of Mierskar remains inviolate. The library is open to all Scaleless Ones, and anyone perusing the stacks for at least an hour receives a +5 circumstance bonus on all Knowledge and bardic knowledge checks related to the yuan-ti and their history on the Chultan Peninsula.

The civic deity is Deneir, and the town is a vassal of Lushpool.

Ormpur (Large City, 24,612): Also known as Ormpar in the local vernacular, the City of Saffron lies at the head of Ormpur Bay on the eastern end of the Shining Sea. Ormpur has long been a powerful and independent city-state, thanks to a long-standing alliance with a clutch of chromatic wyrmlings. This alliance allowed the city to fend off the lizardfolk armies of Serpentes while the rest of Lapaliiya fell to the Scaled Ones. Even during the era of the Shoon Imperium, Ormpur retained its nominal independence via careful diplomatic maneuvering in the court of the qysars and the unspoken threat posed by its wyrmling-mounted cavalry.

In the Year of Thunder (1306 DR), on a day known to Ormpurrans as Bloodsword, Chansreena (Princess) Macrildarraine, foster daughter of High Suikh (king) Askulder, slew her father, who was known as the Hand of Tiamat. After proclaiming herself queen, she ordered her knights to set the royal temple of the Dragon Queen afire. This act precipitated a holy war that eventually cost Maerildarraine her throne and her life and reduced Ormpur from a great city to the lesser community it is today. Although it still retains its nominal independence, Ompur is increasingly falling under the sway of the Overking of Lapaliiya.

Ormpur Bay is the only spot in Faerûn where the crocus flower needed to produce saffron grows in abundance. Unlike Lapaliiya to the south, the majority of the human population here is of Tashlutan origin. The difference in ethnicity stems from the fact that Ormpur has never been conquered by Shaaran nomads - primarily because those folk have always been welcomed in the city's markets.

Ormpur is now ruled by High Suikh Helbareim "the Storm Wind" Alanasker, who overthrew Queen Maerildarraine with the backing of the church of Tiamat. Alanasker is the last of his line, now that his only daughter and heir is missing. The tradition of a civic deity is less strong in Ormpur than in the cities to the south, but Tiamat is accorded that title in the City of Saffron thanks to her church's backing of Helbaerim.

Sammaresh (Large City, 21,912): The City of Dancing Dolphins lies at the eastern end of the Dolphingulf, nestled among three low hills that spill out into a wide, sandy beach. This community marks the western frontier of Lapaliiya, although the border technically extends to the foothills of the Hazur Mountains. Sammaresh's docks extend out nearly a half-mile into the shallow bay, since only there is the draft deep enough to accommodate ships. Sammaresh's economy is based on fishing and the harvesting of emerald oysters, which produce brilliant green pearls (base value 500 gp) unlike those found anywhere else.

The civic deity of Sammaresh is Seldne, and its populace makes regular pilgrimages to the Abbey of Tharynd, which lies just across the border in lands claimed by the Tashalar.

Sammaresh is ruled from the Mantimera Throne by Lady Ilnara Mremman (CG female Tashlutan human sorcerer 11/archmage 1). Traditionally, a creature known as the Whispering Serpent acts as advisor to the ruler. Said to be the ghost of a fallen couatl, the Whispering Serpent is actually a LG male couatl sorcerer 16 employing ethereal jaunt. This creature seeks to marshal the defenses of western Lapaliiya against the omnipresent threat of the yuan-ti. From time to time, the Whispering Serpent manifests before a band of adventurers and asks them to perform a dangerous task designed to counter the plots of the yuan-ti.

Sheirlantar (Small City, 7,306): The Tomb City of Sheirlantar lies on the western slopes of the Dun Hills, along the road that runs from Sheirtalar to Kormul. Wealthy, upper-class Lapaliiyans have always buried their favored dead in the hills above Sheirlantar, and this region of the Dun Hills is now littered with crypts dating back many centuries.

The civic deity of Sheirlantar was originally Myrkul, but Kelemvor now fills that role. (The town elders never did acknowledge Cyric.) The Keeper of Crypts, traditionally a high-ranking priest of the god of the dead, rules the city, serving at the pleasure of Lapaliiya's overking. Currently, that office is held by Antara o' Bones (LN female Shaaran human cleric 5 of Kelemvor/Doomguide 4).

Sheirtalar (Metropolis, 12,135): The Shining City by the Sea sits at the head of Sheir Bay on the northern end of the much larger Talar Bay, which is located at the foot of the Sheir peninsula. The land slopes sharply down to meet the waters, allowing those arriving on ships to see almost all of the city at once. The city's apt nickname arises from the fact that most of the prominent buildings are domed and leafed in silver and gold.

Sheirtalar is the capitol of Lapaliiya and the largest and most powerful, of the confederated city-states. Its ruler is the Overking of Lapaliiya, Shaliim Wyrmslayer (CN male Tashlutan human fighter 5/sorcerer 5/eldritch knight 7). The Domed Palace of the Overking, the most prominent of Sheirtalar's landmarks, sits atop a granite outcropping in the upper third of the city. Because most trade goods exiting the Shaar for western Faerûn pass through this port, it has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the South.

The seedy Liongirt District, which lies along the eastern edge of Sheirtalar, is named for the long-vanished tower of Onsilur Maerdrathom, who styled himself "The Ruling Magister" from 321 DR to 326 DR. Onsilur forced the imperial satraps of the Tashtan Coast to give all arcane spellcasters legal protection and quell the worst of their skirmishing. His influence was significant. but short-lived. Shortly after Onsilur's victory with the satraps, Qysar Shoon VII demanded that his vassals hire a large number of mages to slay the Ruling Magister, thus ensuring that the Cities of the Seabreeze would return to squabbling and not pose a unified threat to his throne. Even today, however, the district has a reputation for hidden portals and unexpected spell-triggerings.

The civic deity of Sheirtalar is Waukeen, and her Gilt House of Gleaming Coins is second only to the Palace of the Overking in over-the-top opulence.

Untisczer: Once one of the Cities of the Seabreeze, Untisczer now lies in ruins. Its remains are located on a now-drowned point of land east of Tashluta that once extended north of the Lapaliiyan city of Malaxer. A terrifying display of military and magical might by troops of the Shoon Imperium destroyed the city during the Tashalar Campaigns in the Year of Wasteful Pride (285 DR). Most of Untisczer's tumbled and plundered stones have since been carried away, but some still lie about a mile offshore, choked in shallow mud. The haunt of scrags, sharks, morkoths, giant octopi, and other monsters, this site is rumored to hold a great deal of "drowned treasure."

Uzurr (Small City, 10,305): The City of Toiling Monks sprawls across three hilltops on the west side of the Lapal Way. Ilmatari missionaries from Calimshan founded the Cloister of St. Uzurr on this spot during the Shoon Imperium. In the centuries since, the city of Uzurr has grown up around the walled monastery.

The Order of St. Uzurr strives to further the Crying God's teachings along the Tashtan Coast while supporting itself through the production of olives, wine, and various spices. The Abbot of St. Uzurr, Kadar al Ilmater (LG male Calishite human monk 14) is the titular ruler of Uzurr, and Ilmater is its civic deity.

Zashuma (Small Town, 1,399): Zashuma lies along the Lapal Way, overshadowed by the city of Ithmong to the north. Like many inland towns in Lapaliiya, Zashuma is a farming community specializing in the production of wines and olives. The fact that the majority of its citizens are rock gnomes sets it apart from the many similar communities in this area. The ruler of the town is Clanlaird Burinn Riven~tone (NG male rock gnome warrior 5), and the civic deity is Garl Glittergold.

Regional History

The great couatl-led migration of humans to the Jungles of Chult in -2809 DR prompted the long-enslaved human tribes of the eastern jungles, known as the Lapal, to rebel against their serpentine masters. In -1732 DR, after centuries of intermittent clashes with the ruling yuan-ti, the Lapal fled north and east from their villages along the shores of the great inland lake that now bears their name. They settled on the southeastern shores of the Shining Sea and in the lands that would one day become Halruaa.

In the Year of Fragile Beginnings (-690 DR), threatened by renewed attacks from the yuan-ti, the Lapal tribes along the Shining Sea came together and established the nation of Lapaliiya, naming the city of Sheirtalar as its capitol and designating the Fortress of Lapalgard as the symbol of the citizens' common cause. Dwarfed by the empires of Calimshan and Jhaamdath to the north and the omnipresent threat of the yuan-ti to the southwest, Lapaliiya remained a barbaric backwater on the southern shores of the Shining Sea, known only for warlike tribesmen who harried the Calimshan's easternmost colonies during the first half of that realm's Third Age (-900 to -200 DR).

In the Year of Silken Sabers (-569 DR), Calishite trading ships laden with unknown luxuries docked at Sheirtalar's docks for the first time. This event ushered in an era of trade and prosperity along the shores of the Shining Sea. The influence of the Calishites had a civilizing effect on the northern Lapal tribes, transforming their tribal encampments into cities. In the Year of Plentiful Wine (-553 DR), Tashluta was founded by Calishite merchants and Lapal fieldhands.

Lapaliiya's golden age came to a close in the Year of Clutching Dusk (-375 DR), when the same rat-laden Calishite ships that had brought prosperity two centuries before introduced the Empire Plague. Almost 30% of Lapaliiya's population died within a matter of months, and the realm all but collapsed. As a result, when Merrshaulk's avatar Sseth founded the yuan-ti empire of Serpentes in the Year of Erupting Crypts (-304 DR), human resistance was weak and disorganized. By the Year of Sunned Serpents (-189 DRI, the lizardfolk armies of Serpentes had conquered all of Lapaliiya except the city of Ormpur and brought in large numbers of Shaaran nomads as slaves. Lapaliiya remained part of the Serpentes Empire until 34 DR, when it became part of Tashtan (34 DR to 285 DR). It thereafter became part of Shoon Imperium (285 DR to 450 DR), although its cities were effectively independent during the reign of Qysara Shaani (367 DR to 427 DR). (See the histories of Serpentes and the Tashalar for details on these eras.)

In the Year of Willing Sacrifice (435 DR), the towns along Lake Lhespen and the River Shaar rose up in rebellion against the puppet rulers installed by the Shoon and the imperial garrisons that backed them. These colonies were the first in the empire to defy the rule of distant Shoonach, and for a short time (436 DR to 437 DR), no Shoon troops ruled over the central Shaar or the costal city of Sheirtalar. In response, Qysar Amahl Shoon VII dispatched seventeen troop ships to quell the uprising. During the Seven Burnings campaign, imperial troops rampaged through Sheirtalar, Sheirlantar, Kormul, Lhesper, Sebben, Rethmar, and Channathgate. However, the last qysar's death at the hands of Tethyrian rebels in the Year of the Corrie Fist (450 DR) marked the fall of the Shoon Imperium, and the imperial garrisons were finally driven from the Shaar and the Chultan Peninsula by the end of the Year of Unleashed Fears (451 DR).

The satraps of Lapaliiya's city-states remained in power after the departure of the Shoon legions, having wisely allied themselves with their local populations several decades before the Shoon Imperium's fall. In the two centuries that followed, the merchants of Lapaliiya traded with other ports along the Shining Sea, growing wealthy and content during their nation's silver age while Calimshan and the cities of the Arnaden struggled to rebuild.

In the Year of the Fanged Beast (640 DR), Yeenoghu's cult rose to rapid prominence among the gnoll tribes of the Shaar, largely displacing the worship of Gorellik. This increase in power among the savage humanoids precipitated a sharp increase in attacks against towns in the Lake Lhespen region during the decades that followed. The rise of the gnolls indirectly unified the cities of Lapaliiya, and the Lapal League was initiated in the Year of Peaceful Seas (656 DR). Once again, Sheirtalar was named its capitol. Thanks to the outbreak of intertribal strife amongst the gnolls, the confederation continued even after the threat posed by the gnoll raiders faded in the Year of the Shrouded Slayer (671 DR).

In the centuries that followed, Lapaliiya was periodically attacked by tribes of barbaric Shaaran nomads. Every few decades, a new Shaaran tribe rose to prominence and marched on Lapaliiya. More often than not, the barbarian hordes would conquer the coastal cities, only to be absorbed as citizens while the merchants of Lapaliiya continued their lucrative trade. Over time, Shaarans became the predominant human ethnic group of Lapaliiya, and the Tashalans (the admixture of Lapaliiyans, Calishites, Chultans, and Shaarans who had inhabited Tashtan) became a minority in their own land. Nonetheless, rulership of Lapaliiya's cities remained in the hands of satraps who could trace their lineage back to the era of Shoon viceroys.

In the Year of the Sword's Oath (1142 DR), after centuries of somnolence, the pureblood yuan-ti arcane spellcasters of the Coiled Cabal attempted to take Sammaresh as the first stage of a plan to reconquer the Cities of the Seabreeze. The plot foundered when their actions indirectly unleashed the heretofore-inhibited ambitions of more than two dozen Tashlutan and Lapaliiyan archmages. In a season-long orgy of spell battles along the Tashtan Coast, the so-called Rage of Wizards inflicted wanton destruction on the cities of Lapaliiya and the Tashalar, but failed to gain any wizard (including the yuan-ti) a single throne. It did however, elevate the respect with which Lapaliiyans treated the clergy, leading to the rise of civic faiths. This event also paved the way for the rulers of Sheirtalar and Lushpool to claim the newly created title of Overking of Lapaliiya five years later. Together, these two developments led to Lapaliiyan political divisions that mirrored the enmities and alliances among the cities divine patrons and an ill-fated invasion of Halruaa in the Year of the Broke Blade (1260 DR).

Shaliim, the Prince Royal of Lapaliiya, returned to Lushpool in the Year of the Prince (1357 DR), after four years of adventuring with a band of Waterdhavian wildblades. On one of the worlds that the group had visited via a network of portals, Shaliim and his companions encountered the Black Wyrms, a band of aged black dragons who ruled a kingdom of humans and dwarves. These dragons captured the newcomers handily, but the band fought its way to freedom in a battle that culminated with Shaliim leaping into the mouth of one wyrm and slaying it from within.

In the decade since his return, Shaliim has battled numerous thieves who coveted the treasures he brought back with him. When his aged father finally died of heartstop in the Year of the Unstrung Harp (1371 DR), Shaliim succeeded him. The newly ascended overking continues to search for a wife, but he has yet to find a woman who is his equal in swordplay and sorcery.

Plots and Rumors

The rich lore of Lapaliiya provides a wide variety of opportunities for adventure.

Black Wyrms' Revenge: Although Shaliim returned safely from the world of the Black Wyrms, the great dragons did not so readily forget the thieves who had plundered their hoard. After a decade of searching, the dragons finally located the wildblades' homeworld and have been quietly slaying the members of the group that invaded their world. One by one, Shaliim's old adventuring companions have vanished. Word of the disappearances has finally reached Lapaliiya's latest overking, along with reports of a black wyrm swimming in the depths of Talar Bay. Shaliim is now holed up in his palace, desperately seeking a solution. His inability to represent the kingdom openly is hurting Lapaliiya's mercantile interests and generating numerous whispered discussions at court. In desperation, Shaliim has decided to hire a band of adventurers to penetrate the Mhair Jungles and see whether any lore remains from the ages past, when the yuan-ti battled the great dragons of Faerûn.

Missing Princess: Once a strict, almost tyrannical father, the High Suikh (king) of Ormpur is now a broken man. He has already expended much of his city's treasury in a series of failed attempts to recover his missing daughter, Chansreena (Princess) Alabhansree Alanasker. The chansreena disappeared in the Year of the Prince (1357 DR), along with a large quantity of saffron and many magical blades that were to serve as her dowry. At first, Helbareim suspected half a zen or so infamous thieves, then he hired a succession of adventuring bands to rescue her from the slave pits of Llurth Dreier, a drow city beneath the Shaar, based on reports that later proved untrue. No hint has ever reached Ormpur's ruler that Alabhansree actually escaped with her lover, the pirate Cairak Redbeard, or that the pair now dwells in a small tower in the Moonshaes. Their haven sits in a snug harbor at Eiresse, a tiny pirate cove near the southwestern tip of Corwell, facing the eastern cape of the isle of Flamsterd.

Agents of the Se'Sehen tribe have observed the High Suikh's obsession and consequent decline, and the tribal elders feel that the time is right to extend their influence into his court. In the past year alone, two highly, ranked courtiers have been secretly abducted and transformed into tainted ones, and both now have Helbareim's ear and confidence. But the yuan-ti will have to fight the beholders of the Alimir Hive (outcasts from the subterranean city of Zokir beneath the Almraiven Peninsula of Calimshan) as well as the elders of House Eselemas for influence over Ormpur. At least one Ormpurian noble family is actually a group of beholder mages employing magic to appear in human form.

Serpentine Suffering: A few years ago, the Abbot of St. Uzurr learned about the horrific yuan-ti practice of creating tainted ones and broodguards. Ever since then, he has been consumed with discovering a means to reverse the process, since he views restoring full humanity as the only way to relieve the victims' suffering. Although he has not yet succeeded, an Eselemas mole within the order has reported that he is drawing close to his goal. Thus, yuan-ti purebloods working on behalf of all the tribes have begun infiltrating Uzurr to assassinate the abbot.

Serpent Kingdoms