The Empire of Netheril stretches from the edge of the High Ice south to the Farsea Swamp, occupying the former desert land of Anauroch. Rivers now f low from the melting glaciers, rain falls, temperatures are moderate, and in some places vegetation is particularly lush. Netheril is a land reborn, despite its cruel overlords.
The Twelve Princes rule Netheril from their capital city of Shade Enclave (known also as Shade and, formerly, Thultanthar), the lone city of old that escaped ancient Netheril’s collapse. These incalculably powerful mages threaten all of Faerûn’s nations. A floating enclave, tentatively identified as the resurrected city Sakkors, is sometimes sighted hanging over Sembia in the dead of night. Stories of bloodshed and heartache follow in Sakkors’ wake.
Settlements and Features
Arid dustbowls are dotted with youthful forests; sparking streams wend through formerly wind- scoured rocky steppes; the thawed tundra is green with grass. Many Netherese vaults and forgotten towers of ancient days remain to be consolidated into the growing empire.
Capital City; Population 35,000
This city of black walls and high spires hangs suspended by mighty magic above the Scimitar Spires. Shade Enclave is peopled by descendants of ancient Netherese wizards now thousands of years old, sustained in life by magic and a connection to the Shadowfell. Legions of dark-armored swordmages patrol the city. The Twelve Princes of old, wizards infused with the power of shadowstuff, yet lead the city as they did before it escaped the empire’s fate. Shade represents one of the most potent concentrations of arcane might on the face of Toril. It has forged an empire of incredible size and power in just a few short mortal generations.
The Twelve Princes never cross each other. They are unified in their goals, or at least they present that public face. Each rules the confines of his own dark mansion much as a mortal baron oversees his com- munity. All the princes answer to the Most High.
All told, only a couple of hundred shades live in the city. Most of the Shadovar are still human. However, all have been touched by generations of living in the Shadowfell, and shadar-kai began to appear spontaneously in the generation following Shade’s return to Faerûn.
Resurrected City; Population 15,000
Unlike the city of Shade, Sakkors did not survive the original fall of Netheril—it crashed into the Sea of Fallen Stars and languished on the bottom. Over a hundred years ago, in the Year of Lightning Storms (1374 DR), the Shadovar raised the ruin, rebuilding and rejuvenating it, fashioning a second city approaching the glory of old.
Sakkors is built on a floating inverted mountaintop. Shadow magic is incorporated into its rejuvenated structure: Darkness twines around thin spires, over thick walls, along wide boulevards, and through the indows of shops, residences, and noble manses.
From time to time, Sakkors appears over Sembia in the dead of night, apparently not having crossed the intervening distance, or at least without being sighted by anyone in Cormyr or the Dalelands. This appearance, not part of any openly discussed or official Netheril policy or promise, might be designed to create fear. After such sightings, disagreements between the Empire and Sembian merchants, if any, fade away.