Ruler Usually tyrants
Government Independent city-states usually under oligarchic rule
Religions Bane, Cyric, Loviatar, Mask, Talos, Talona, Umberlee
Population 1,745,280
Races humans 69%, orcs 10%, half-orcs 6%, halflings 5%, dwarves 5%, ogres 2%, gnomes 2%
Imports Food, textiles
Exports Forged metal, furs, gems, lumber, raw minerals, slaves
Inhabited Yes
Organizations Zhentarim


The Moonsea proper is a deep natural lake located north of the Dalelands and west of the Vast, connected to the Sea of Fallen Stars by the shallow, swampy River Lis.

The name “Moonsea” applies to both the lake and its environs, which stretch south as far as the mouth of the Lis where the river flows into the Dragon Reach, west to the Dragonspine Mountains, north to the frigid steppes of the Ride, Thar, and the Tortured Land, and east to the Galena and Earthspur Mountains.

The Moonsea region holds a huge amount of mineral wealth for those hardy enough to brave peril to win it. The area is infamous for its bleak landscapes, harsh winters, ravaging dragons, pirates, and rapacious local governments. Some of the most aggressive cities in Faerûn rise from the Moonsea shores (see below). Wherever a government exists in the Moonsea, it rules with an iron grip.

The West Branch of the Moonsea extends west from Elventree, turns north, and ends at Zhentil Keep. Many mapmakers and sages also include the inland cities of Voonlar and Teshwave that lie to the west, Yûlash inland south, and the Citadel of the Raven inland north, which is tucked away behind the Dragonspine Mountains.

This section of the Moonsea coast contains great amounts of farmland. The southeastern edge of this area borders on the Dalelands and Cormanthor, the ancestral home of the Elven Court, and the northern edge borders the wild lands of the Ride.

hillsfar.jpgLocated on the southern shore of the Moonsea, Hillsfar vies with Zhentil Keep for control of the region. Like many of the cities of the Moonsea, Hillsfar is crouched behind a circular, ringed wall with a single great gate high above the sea.

Access to the city is restricted to individuals approved by the current government. Hillsfar welcomes only humans; dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and elves (and any combination thereof) are forbidden. Anyone who seems in any way different is usually thrown into the Arena for the amusement of the local toughs.

zhentilkeep.jpg The first human city built on the Moonsea north coast, Zhentil keep has always been rich thanks to the mines of the northern Moonsea, whose ores and gems flow through it. Perched at the western end of the Moonsea, Zhentil Keep was once a walled metropolis with a population of nearly fifty-seven thousand. It was (and remains) one of the major ports of the Moonsea.

Zhentil Keeps is located at the mouth of the River Tesh. The north section of Zhentil Keep was sacked and destroyed in 1368 DR, along with both of the city's bridges.

Now more than ever, Zhentil Keep is under the iron hand of the Zhentarim. They have rebuilt both bridges and repaired the harbor facilities on the north bank of the Tesh.

The Citadel of The Raven is a large, well-protected chain of interconnected fortresses on the north slopes of the western edge of the Dragonspine Mountains. The fortress chain stretches for some ten miles and can house a large number of troops.

The citadel was nothing but a series of ruined fortresses from a long-forgotten kingdom until 1276 DR, when the complex was rebuilt by the combined froces of Hillsfar, Melvaunt, Mulmaster, Thentia, Yûlash, and Zhentil Keep as a bastion against assaults from the north. Garrisoned by the combined forces of these cities, the fortress repulsed constant ogre and orc attacks.

In 1355 DR, through a combination of bribery, threats and treachery, Zhentil Keep gained control of the citadel, expelled all other forces, and raised the banner of the Zhentarim over the site.

The North Coast of the Moonsea is a rough, harsh place bordered by the ogre kingdom of Thar, the West Galena Mountains, and the nation of Vaasa. The North has been defined as everything from Phlan (including the Sorcerer’s Isle upriver on the Stojanow) to Sulasspryn. Farming is not widely practiced here. The people—as harsh, cold, and tough as the climate—engage in mining, trading, and fishing.

The North Coast has taken the brunt of abuse from nonhuman forces. Whether it be flights of dragons, humanoid invasions, or even the predations of troops or thieves from their fellow Moonsea cities, the North Coast cities have endured more than their share of woe.


The South Coast is the smallest of the Moonsea’s three regions. Within it flows the River Lis, a dividing line separating the two radically different natures of the western and eastern halves of the coast. The mouth of the River Lis is guarded by the town Elmwood.

This area of the Moonsea provides a very militarily strategic position, since it controls entry and exit into the sea. Cities like Mulmaster have attempted to control it, but to no avail. It seems that all of the cities feel that no one city should control the waterway.

Another interesting thing about this area of the Moonsea is that it has managed to avoid most of the ravages that affected the other cities, especially those on the North Coast.

The other welcome feature of the South Coast is its warmer, more tranquil climate. The winds do not blow quite as hard and the storms are not as fre- quent or as long-lasting as in other places along the Moonsea.

Elmwood is a town of peace and dignity, surrounded by fertile, rolling farm lands. Beyond its tranquil borders to the south lie the forests of the former Elven Court, called Cormanthor, and the heart of the Western Heartlands, the Dalelands. This is a place of blissful quiet, a holdover from the times when humans and elves worked together.