The Moonshae Isles are a group of islands that form a roughly circular archipelago with the Sea of Moonshae in the centre. They lie roughly 400 miles (644km) West of the region of Amn and to the southwest of the Sword Coast. As of 1371 DR the majority of the Moonshae Isles are ruled by the High Queen Alicia Kendrick, who rules from the capital city of Caer Callidyrr on Alaron.
The Moonshae Isles are populated mainly by the Ffolk and the Northlanders, two human societies, but there are a small number of Llewyrr elves living in isolation on the islands of Alaron and Gwynneth. Dwarves and halflings also populate the Moonshaes although their numbers are far smaller than the human occupants.
The Northlanders are a violent, war-like society with little interest for or tolerance of the Ffolk’s monarchical ways. This creates a continuous tension between the two human peoples, with Northlander raids on Ffolk farmsteads a common occurrence. A large majority of the Ffolk worship druidic goddess the Earthmother, an aspect of the benign goddess of agriculture, Chauntea.
However, in recent years, the conflict between the Northlanders and the Ffolk has waned due to the hard work of the High King Tristan Kendrick and later through his daughter, High Queen Alicia Kendrick. Through their queen’s work for peaceful solutions to arguments between the Northlanders and the Ffolk, the Moonshaes have enjoyed several decades of relative peace.
The Moonshaes are a large collection of islands well to the west of the Sword Coast, divided into a collection of more than a dozen small, petty kingdoms unified under one high queen. Those kingdoms in the southern parts of the islands are held by the Ffolk, farmers and fishermen who were the original human inhabitants of the islands. The kingdoms of the northern regions of the Moonshaes are held by the descendents of Northmen raiders.
The Moonshaes are blanketed with many forests of oak, hickory, birch, yew, and pine. Much of the land is mountainous and rocky or low, flat bog. The coastlines are primarily rocky, and brutal winter storms sweep the islands during the winter months.
The Northmen invaders of the Moonshaes are descendents of the same stock as the people of Luskan and Ruathym, farther north. After years of raiding and pillaging the Ffolk’s lands, the two peoples now live in relative harmony.
The kingdoms of the Northmen are run by warlords (titled as kings) – strong and brutal people who have won their posts through a combination of might and cunning. Each of these kingdoms generates a subsistence level of food for itself (with no extra) through agriculture and farming. The Northmen feel that it is far more honorable to live a life of adventure than to farm- adventure that often leads them to pillage the nautical craft of other nations, the coastline of the North, and even the nonhuman- held lands of the Nelanther.
No single king of the Northmen rules the others, though the larger an army or fleet that a king can muster, the more influence he holds in the Northmen councils. Thelgaar Ironhand, Grunnarch the Red, and Raag Hammerstaad have been powerful kings of the Northmen.
The lands of the Ffolk are also broken into many small kingdoms. Unlike the Northmen, however, all of the kings of the Ffolk owe fealty to the high king or queen, who resides in his or her massive fortress at Caer Callidyrr, on the island of Alaron.
The Ffolk concentrate much more heavily than the Northmen on peaceful pursuits, such as farming, fishing, hunting, and trading. The lands they hold tend to be more hospitable than the domains of the Northmen, and consequently provide a wealth of agricultural produce, but also serve as an ever-present invitation to the raiders’ greed. The united Ffolk are capable, however, of defending themselves from any invaders.
The largest of the Moonshaes, Gwynneth, contains a small region still inhabited by the islands’ original residents. This region is a broad valley, with a huge, cold lake in the center called Myrloch. The entire region is referred to as Myrloch Vale, and rumors among both the Northmen and the Ffolk speak of the enchanted nature of the place. Here dwell small bands of reclusive dwarves, firbolg giants, and a race known as the Llewyrr, an elven people.
All of the dominant native races of the Moonshaes, including the Ffolk and excluding the Northmen, worship a goddess that is visualized as the mother of all life, and indeed of the world itself. She is often referred to as the Earthmother. The words of the goddess are spread through her druids. These druids tend to consider themselves a breed apart from those on the mainland of Faerun and are polite, though distant and reserved, in dealing with such druidic circles. The Great Druid here, mistress of all the druids in the North, is Robyn Kendrick, former high queen of the isles.
The Northmen worship a stormy aspect of Tempus, god of war, through their own shamans. These shamans promote those teachings of Tempus that support their view of the world as a victim waiting for the raiders’ plundering hands. In the recent past, clerics teaching the faiths of some of the other religions of the Realms have arrived in the kingdoms of the Moonshaes and have attempted to spread their own faiths.
These clerics have generally met with death among the Northmen, and an attitude of amused disbelief among the Ffolk. The clerics of these new gods have made a few converts among the Ffolk, but they by and large remain true to their ancient beliefs.
The Ffolk and the Northmen have struggled throughout their history, and only in the past 20 years has there been peace between them under the rulership of High King Tristan Kendrick of the Ffolk. Recently, the Ffolk, Northmen, and Llewyrr have united to defeat a plot of the god Talos to dominate the isles. Tristan has since abdicated his position to join his wife Robyn in Myrloch Vale, leaving the reins of government to his daughter, Alicia, and her husband, King Keane
- Humans 89%
Import(s) Coal, horses, minor magic items, ore, parchment, silk
Export(s) Armor, timber, weapons
Ruler-High Queen Alicia Kendrick