Hoard of the Dragon Queen
The Spellplague was a disaster that struck the Realms on 29th Tarsakh, the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR. It was caused by Mystra’s assassination at the hands of Cyric and Shar. With the goddess’s death, the Weave, the universal structure of arcane forces, convulsed. It continued for a decade, leading to the Wailing Years, during which arcane magic ceased to function and the planet of Toril was transformed.
Effects of the Spellplague
Effects on arcane magic
- Despite the efforts, with the structure of magic out of balance, many spells failed or produced unreliable results.
- Most permanent magical items, such as artifacts, were left intact at the end of the Spellplague but charged magical items were either destroyed, warped, or simply ceased to function. Items with dormant magical qualities, which were manually activated, were largely unaffected by the Spellplague.
- The Spellplague affected the landscape, making the ground rumble and heave up and down like the surface of the sea. Curtains of blue flame swept the landscape, reshaping the land by cutting crevasses or lifting and sculpting the plain into hills and ridges.
- Waves of azure fires appeared everywhere, killing whatever they touched.
- A surge in the use of technology, divine magic, and worship of the Deities of Knowledge and Invention.
- Political upheaval across the land that resulted in many attempted coups, invasions, and uprisings. Especially against governments, and nations that had relied heavily on arcane magic for defense or controlling their population.
- Parts of Abeir and Toril switched planes, swapping Maztica and the continent of Laerakond, which became known as “Returned Abeir.”
- Mulhorand was completely destroyed, and the Mulhorandi pantheon disappeared. The land was later settled by Deep Imaskari and became the empire of High Imaskar.
- Unther was obliterated when a fragment of the dragonborn nation of Tymanchebar was transplanted from Abeir onto it, eventually becoming the realm of Tymanther.
- Chult became a large island.
- Halruaa was destroyed and turned into a land full of rampant spellplague.
- The Shaar became a wasteland called the Shaar Desolation.
- The region surrounding the Great Rift collapsed into the Underdark, creating an enormous cataract in the earth called the Underchasm.
- The halfling realm of Luiren was completely submerged underwater, becoming the Gulf of Luiren in the Great Sea.
- Lantan was hit by massive waves and flooded, killing all of its inhabitants. However the nation had resource camps in other locations, namely Chult, so not all Lantanese citizens and technology may have perished along with the actual island.
- The peninsula known as Var the Golden became a region of the Great Sea called Var the Drowned.
- The Spellplague has drastically altered the cosmos. The Spellplague broke out in 1385 DR (the Year of Blue Fire), the result of unfettered wild magic on thdeath of the goddess Mystra. Whole countries are gone, especially in regions south of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Even familiar lands have become magical and fantastic in appearance. Islands of rock called earth-motes drift through the sky. Weird towers and spires of stone jut from the landscape. Spectacular chasms and waterfalls abound.
All things were sustenance for the Spellplague’s insatiable hunger—it assailed and transformed flesh, stone, magic, space, and dimensional walls. Even the cosmos beyond Toril was affected. Some ancient realms returned that had been thought gone forever (such as the Feywild), and entire planes (such as the Abyss) shifted to a new cosmic structure.
- Portions of Abeir have fused with Toril. The Spellplague raged even beyond planar boundaries, and Toril’s long-lost twin world, cut off for tens of millennia, was also caught up in the maelstrom. Large parts of Faerûn exchanged places with equivalent land masses on Abeir, bringing their populations with them. Across the Trackless Sea, an entire continent of the lost realm reappeared, now called Returned Abeir.
- The number of gods has dropped markedly. During the last century, even deities succumbed to divine and diabolical plots or to the chaos of the Spellplague. Of those now absent, many died, some left, and a few were revealed to be aspects of already extant gods. Others lost so much power that they became exarchs,
lesser divinities who serve the other gods.
- The Spellplague left its mark on creatures. Some effects of the Spellplague persist to this day, especially in the so-called Plaguelands where wild magic yet rages unrestrained. After exposure to the Plaguelands, some creatures exhibit physical marks called spellscars. These spellscarred individuals develop unique abilities, but not without a price.
Victims of the original Spellplague were horribly changed, not simply scarred, their flesh warped in unimaginable ways. The abilities of the spellscarred, though unique, are never as monstrous and powerful as those of plaguechanged creatures. Luckily, such monsters are few, and of those, only a handful are
free-willed, mobile threats.
- Huge Underdark collapses have changed the surface of Faerûn. As the earth fell away, the level and position of the Sea of Fallen Stars shifted drastically. An enormous opening into the Underdark has formed south of the Chondalwood. In addition to this country-sized hole in the earth, underground shifting has made the Underdark much more accessible to the surface world.
- Thay has become a terrible undead threat. The former land of the Red Wizards is now under the control of a single power-mad regent: Szass Tam. He nearly succeeded in performing a ritual that would have made him an immortal being. Szass Tam failed, but in so doing he transformed Thay into a nightmare land of death. Now the regent is intent on expanding Thay’s borders so that he can attempt the ritual again.
- The ancient empire of Netheril has been restored.The Twelve Princes of Shade rule from their capital city, Shade Enclave, in a land newly reclaimed from the Anauroch Desert. Netheril is once again a major player and a threat to all the northern realms.
- Ancient elven lineages have returned to Faerûn. With the reappearance of the Feywild, its natives have begun exploring the world again. These fey folk collectively call themselves eladrin, and many Faerûnian elves have also adopted this name for
their lineage, though they have not forgotten their traditional cultural distinctions and names. In casual speech, the world “elven” collectively refers to the two branches of this fey people: elves and eladrin.
- Most portals no longer work. The breaking of the Weave destroyed most of the portals that crisscrossed Toril, because it destroyed the hard-won knowledge of arcane casters. Although arcanists have relearned their craft since the Spellplague raged, most portals remain nonfunctional or dangerously malfunctioning, broken relics of a legendary past.