Breath of Zehir
North of the Moonsea lies the Great Gray Land of Thar – a windswept, broken moor stretching a hundred miles from the shores of the cold blue Moonesea to the snowcapped peaks of the Galenas Mountains. This bleak upland is good for little more than grazing scrawny goats and sheep, and breeding hard, cruel warriors with a taste for plunder. Dozens of tribes of orcs, ogres, goblinkind, and other such savage warriors live in this wild and desolate land. Most are quite small – thirty or forty orcs claim an old ruin as their “keep,” or perhaps a dozen ogres lair in a cave they found amid one of the rocky outcroppings that dot the moorland. But some of the tribes are quite large and can muster hundreds of ferocious warriors.
Thar’s humanoid tribes spend much of their time (and blood) battling each other, but they also pose a threat to nearby settlements. Erathis Watch and Thentia are much too large to attack directly, but bands of raiders sometimes prey on caravans bound to or from Glister or winding along the coastal track. Others occasionally plunder the smaller villages and homesteads in the upper reaches of the Stojanow Vale, or lonely mining camps in the Galenas foothills.
The evil tribes would likely cause even more damage, but several factors keep them in check. First, various merchants and lords of the nearby cities strike deals with one tribe or another to let their goods pass in peace. Such bargains are often short-lived and uncertain, but a few are usually in force at any given time. Second, small bands of rangers and scouts patrol the borders of Thar, hunting down orc or ogre marauders, while the barbarians of the Ride viciously slaughter any such creatures they find out on the open steppe. Finally, any tribe that succeeds in some bloody or spectacular feat of plunder often earns deadly retribution – the human cities nearby hire adventuring companies armed with powerful magic or simply bribe rival chieftains to punish a tribe that goes too far.
Troglodytes, lizardfolk, and other reptilian humanoids lair on nearby coasts and in the Moonwatch Hills, sometimes threatening the human cities of the northern Moonsea. Recently, the Thrasher tribe destroyed the Kordite abbey of Martyr’s Mount and launched an attack against the small village of Mogg. The monsters were ultimately repulsed with heavy losses. The lesser tribes of lizardfolk are now scrambling to establish dominance, given the power vacuum created by the Thrasher’s setback. Manticores, giant lizards, bulettes, and other terrors also roam the land.