Of Frost and Fortune
The High Moor
Largest of the open moorlands in western Faerûn, the High Moor is infamous as the haunt of monsters who loom out of the cold mists to consume wayfarers. The High Moor is a rocky wilderness, vast and uninhabited aside from its fearsome monsters – notably trolls, though travelers who’ve actually crossed the moor talk more of orcs and hobgoblins.
The High Moor is bounded on the west by the Misty Forest, whose dim blue glades and deep groves have always carried a fey and deadly reputation, and on the east by the Serpent Hills, where snakes and yuan ti lurk. These crag-studded, rolling lands are said to hide the ruins of long-fallen kingdoms – but just which kingdoms is a topic over which sages argue furiously. Minstrels sing colorful but contradictory ballads of these lost realms (“The bones and thrones of lost lands” is a favorite phrase, all that’s left of a long-forgotten song.) What is certain is that the moor holds its share of ruined castles, stone tombs, and caverns, almost all of which have yielded treasure to the bold and fortunate.
Wolves and leucrottas are scarce on the moor, since trolls, bugbears, and hobgoblins have slain the other large beasts of prey. The relative scarcity of natural predators allows hoofed grazing animals of all sorts to flourish, from small rock ponies to shaggy sheep. Large, well- armed bands of coastal farmers and down on-their-luck merchants venture onto the moor in warm months, seeking horses to round up for training and sale elsewhere, or livestock that can be taken away. The greedy are warned that hobgoblins and worse always find and ambush large-scale intrusions, and small human bands pay for these raids with their lives.
Like the Evermoors north of the Dessarin, the High Moor is studded with moss- and lichen-festooned rocky outcrops, breakneck gullies, and rivulets of clear water that spring from rocks, wind across the moor for a time, then sink into the soil. The moor is also shrouded by frequent mists, since the prevailing winds are gentler than the chill, mist-clearing winds of the North.