The Chained God
About the Setting
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Campaign, and Players Guides.
The Chained God takes place in the Forgotten Realms world of Toril. Our group of adventurers find themselves in the remnant city of Gheldaneth in the nation of High Imaskar. The reinvigorated realm of High Imaskar claims old Mulhorandi lands that were wiped clean in the Spellplague. The realm is peopled by distant descendants of the infamous Imaskar Empire toppled thousands of years ago. The new realm retains elements of original Imaskari culture, though it renounces slavery in all its forms (unlike the old Imaskari, whose slavetaking led to their downfall). It is widely believed that those born of Imaskari blood possess a special talent for magic.
Few landscapes are as turbulent as High Imaskar’s crazed realm. Its wild extremes, filled with towering peaks, echoing chasms and drifting earthmotes, make navigation difficult without aid. Trade is accommodated between various urban centers using huge flying beasts known as redwings. These dragonflylike creatures, bred by the Imaskari, transport both trade goods and passengers on great gondolas strapped to their undersides.
Despite High Imaskar’s example and stated intentions, nearby countries deeply distrust this revived empire. After all, its ancient namesake was one of the most hated reigns of all time. Radically reduced in size from the metropolis it once was, Gheldaneth yet persists, the sole surviving bastion of ancient Mulhorand. Despite its grand history, Gheldaneth proclaims fealty to High Imaskar. A detachment of Imaskari vengeance-takers has a permanent post in Gheldaneth, ensuring that the city obeys the dictates of the Empress in Skyclave. The two rules most at odds with the previous way of life in Gheldaneth are the ban on owning slaves and the ban on worship of the Mulhorandi pantheon. Several bitter, bloody conflicts have been fought by vengeance-takers and Gheldanethi loyal to Imaskar against slaver syndicates and priests of banned deities. Despite these controversial edicts, social status remains important to the average Gheldanethi. Many citizens shave their heads and paint circles upon their brows. One circle indicates someone of the middle class, two an arcane spellcaster, and three an honored historian of lost traditions. The middle class consists of artisans, craftsfolk, traders, mercenaries, and scribes.
A high concentration of tieflings lives in Gheldaneth. Many of them claim that they are mortal descendants of ancient Mulhorandi deities, though most believe they are scions of slaves who made deals with devils in an attempt to escape their bondage. Gheldaneth is composed of relatively modern stone buildings and streets squatting on the ruins of a metropolis that once numbered over 170,000 residents. Only a few of the grand structures the city once boasted remain in use—the rest were buried in the upheaval that obliterated the greater part of Mulhorand. Submerged structures include Mulhorand’s Great University and Wizard College, temples great and small, and grand tombs of previous rulers. At one time, Gheldaneth was known to house the largest collection of relics and magic items in the area. Precious few have been recovered. All those buried structures and treasures make modern-day Gheldaneth a hub for adventurers who dream of lost riches ripe for the taking just below the city streets. The city’s economy is booming, mostly serving hopeful salvagers and adventuring companies from all across Faerûn.