Narfell is a country in the eastern part of Faerûn. It lies in the Cold Lands region but was once the heart of a vast empire that stretched from the Giantspire Mountains to Lake Ashane which included the Great Dale, much of Thesk, part of the Plateau of Thay, what would become Impiltur, and other lands.
Not much is known about ancient Narfell, other than that it fell in a great battle between Narfell and Raumathar over 1,500 years ago. In the ruins that have been investigated of the ancient kingdom it appears that they were highly suffisticated, used a lot of magic and were great architects. They also had knowledge about a lot of things that were lost until recently.
The empire’s few survivors fled to Narfell’s current borders, vowing to rebuild their mighty realm. That dream, however, has long since faded. Now, Narfell is a frigid land of barbarian tribes who have little or no knowledge whatsoever of their grand and sinister past, preoccupied as they are with simply surviving the region’s harsh and bitter winters.
The remnants of Narfell’s magnificent empire still exist, the ruins littering the region’s plains. These ruins are often avoided by the Nars, for they have learned that the ruins usually contain ancient and long-dormant magical traps, as well as ghosts and wraiths. Once in a while, a group of foreign adventurers decides to explore the ruins. The Nars do not discourage this, as they can always pick up the pieces after the foolhardy adventurers set off any traps, which are usually lethal.
Trade is minimal, but merchants who do not wish to traverse the empire of Thesk sometimes pass through Narfell instead by way of the Long Road. The Long Road starts in Damara and enters Narfell through the pass in the Giantspire Mountains before intersecting with the Cold Road at N’Jast. From that point, the road continues on to Nathoud, which stands in the shadows of the Icerim Mountains in northern Rashemen. The Giant Gap, as the road is commonly called, is virtually impassable in the winter and is plagued by hobgoblins.
Bildoobaris, the unofficial capital of Narfell, is little more than an open plain that rests in the towering shadow of Mount Nar. For one tenday every summer, this plain turns into a bustling city consisting of over 30,000 Nars. Also called Bildoobaris, this festival is the largest and most important holiday in all of Narfell; even the cruelest and most fierce Nar tribes come to drink, feast, and trade together.
Dun-Tharos is a ruined city in the heart of the Rawlinswood that was once the imperial capital of Narfell. Raumathari battle mages laid waste to the city, leaving only ruined buildings and rubble.
In 722 DR (the Year of the Last Hunt), a powerful druid called the Great Druid of Leth took residence in the ruins of Dun-Tharos and claimed the title of nentyarch, an archaic Nar title of lordship. In order to cleanse the Rawlinswood of Narfell’s foul taint, he grew a living fortress of trees over the ruins. Recently, in 1371 DR (the Year of the Unstrung Harp), a being known as the Rotting Man and his army of diseased creatures drove away the druid and took control of Dun-Tharos. The nentyarch fled into exile at Yeshelmaar, and Dun-Tharos lay buried under masses of rotting dead and dying trees and vegetation. The Rotting Man occupied the ruins for 2 years before a mystical rite went awry and summoned scores of ancient demons to plague the forest.
Located at the far eastern edge of the Forest of Lethyr, Fortress Narder was a gathering point for Nar armies preparing to invade Raumathar in the days of the empire. A Raumathari spell reduced the fortress into a pile of rubble and broken stone.
A foul sickness currently permeates the ruins of Fortress Narder. This sickness seeps from the dungeon and poisons the surrounding water, soil, and air. The former Nentyarch of Dun-Tharos, with the aid of other druids, has been working to cleanse the area, but their efforts are hampered by frequent attacks from the hezrou demons that lurk in the fortress’s depths. The nentyarch suspects that a transplanted chunk of the Abyss or some other source of evil power lies at the heart of Fortress Narder.
Fortress of the Half-Demon
The ruins of the Fortress of the Half-Demon lie within the borders of Rashemen in the North Country, near Lake Ashane. The keep is built of magical and mysterious stone, which is said to have prevented its destruction at the hands of the Raumvirans. The stone comprising the walls of the fortress is icy cold and gives off a harmless, glowing green vapor. The entrance to the keep is an enormous iron gate in the shape of a demonic face.
A hagspawned creature named Losk now resides in the ancient fortress with his gang of ruffians and thieves, who are searching the dungeons for anything valuable.
Mount Nar is a massive, snow-capped peak that lies in the lands of Narfell. It is even visible from the crossroads at N’Jast.
The ancient kingdom of Jastaath, one of the small Nar kingdoms that existed before the rise of the Empire of Narfell, was ruled by powerful priest-kings who kept a fortress high atop the western slopes of Mount Nar. The magic of the mighty priest-kings was able to control the weather around the fortress, keeping it pleasant and warm even in the dead of winter. The ruins of this ancient city now lie lost beneath the everlasting ice and snow.
No modern expedition to the peak has ever found the buried ruins of the ancient castle. These expeditions are no doubt hindered by Kryonar, a white dracolich wyrm that resides in an icy cavern in the mountain’s northern face.
Shaundaular, now also known as the City of Weeping Ghosts, was once the capital of Ashanath, a minor Nar kingdom. The city’s ruins lie along the shores of Lake Ashane in the Great Dale. Shaundaular was destroyed in −946 DR by the Nentyarch of Tharos when its leaders refused to join the new empire, and now it is haunted by hundreds of wraiths and dread wraiths.