BARONY OF HULLACK
The Barony of Hullack is
essentially the Hullack Forest. The specific land area is all of
the land in the triangle formed by the Immerflow, the Thunderflow
and the Thunder Peaks, with a few minor exceptions:
A small stretch of land on the west bank of the Immerflow, 3.25 mi
N-S × 1 mi E-W (2080 acres) and centered on Masoner's bridge, is
also part of the barony. This area is prime farmland.
- On the East Way in the foothills of the Thunder Peaks thre is an L-shaped plot of land (0.5 mi N-S × 2 mi E-W, connected on the east side by 1.25 mi N-S × 0.5 mi E-W, 1,040 acres total) that is a grant to Lord Raynor.
- Near the L-shape thre is a mountain containing mineral deposits. A circular area 2 miles in diameter centered on the mountain is also a grant to Lord Raynor.
- There are a number of small manors in the foothills and Thunder Peaks that are grants to other noble families. These grants are always small, seldom much more than the immediate surroundings of the manor or castle, and are mainly used by the nobles for retreats.
The eastern border of the
Barony, and of Cormyr as a nation, is defined by a line going down
the center of the Thunder Peaks. The western slopes belong to
Cormyr, while the eastern slopes belong to Cormanthor, Deepingdale
and the High Dale.
Life and Society
The Hullack forest has only
recently been settled, so life here still has very much of a
frontier feel to it. The people have settled only in a few
places, leaving most of the barony relatively untouched, and the
baron encourages this. The barony is the personal fief of the
baron, Lord Roderic Tallman.
Purple Dragons make up a
sizeable portion of the residents of Hullack; in fact, the
population of the barony has a higher proportion of military to
civilian people than any other part of Cormyr. The civilian
population is concentrated in two areas: the Masoner's Bridge
settlement (newly incorporated into a town) and Hullack Town.
Most of the civilians at Masoner's Bridge are farmers and millers,
with some supporting craftsmen. Most of the civilians in Hullack
Town are either craftsmen supporting travellers and the Purple
Dragon garrison or foresters and lumberjacks.
Even though the forest is the
most important part of the barony, the trade in lumber is smaller
than one might expect. Lord Roderic strictly regulates the
cutting of trees. He has strict rules about the size, type and
number of trees that may be cut, and prohibits clear-cutting of
any kind. He constantly walks a narrow line between satisfying
his portion of the lumber needs of Cormyr and the preservation of
the forest in as primeval a state as possible. The great majority
of the logging is done in the southern part of the forest, south
of the East Way, and even then only a very small proportion of the
trees in any given acre are cut. Lord Roderic strictly enforces
his decrees regarding lumbering, and it is not uncommon for a
logger or two to pay fines or even spend time in his jail until
they learn what trees not to fell.
Major Geographical Features
The terrain of the barony
ranges from relatively flat at its western end to rugged high
mountains at its east. There is a narrow strip of cleared land
between the Immer river and the western edge of the forest which
is farmed. The central region is predominately thickly-forested
rolling hills. The Hullack Forest is the most primeval forest in
Cormyr, with dark valleys and hidden vales that have gone unseen
for decades. The western half of the forest is mostly deciduous,
but the eastern half shows a steadily increasing portion of
coniferous trees as one approaches the Thunder Peaks. The trees
in the lower elevations of the mountains themselves are mostly
The Hullack forest itself is a
bit over 5400 square miles (3,456,000 acres) in size, more if you
count the trees extending up into the Thunder Peaks. The densest
and most primeval section of the forest is the north-central and
northeastern section of the forest.
The East Way
This is a major road and trade route. It connects Arabel to the southern dales and Sembia. The road is normally open as far east as Hullack Town throughout most of the winter, but is usually closed a few times per winter due to snowstorms.
Hullack Town (Village, 570)
The town of Hullack lies on the East Way almost dead-center in Hullack Forest.
This is a stone bridge across the Immerflow. There has bee a fort containing a garrison of Purple Dragons here since 1363. There is a new town forming at Masoner's Bridge on the east side of the immerflow. There has been a fort containing a Purple Dragon garrison here ever since Lord Roderic was given the barony, and farms grew up around it. There has been one water-powered grist mill here to serve the farms since the spring of 1365 (Lord Roderic authorized the construction in Marpenoth of 1364), but as of late construction on several other mills has begun and King Izak has formed a town here.
This is the only practical passage through the Thunder Peaks between the High Dale and Tilver's Gap. There is a fort here to guard the passage. A 30-foot high stone wall spans the pass now and a garrison of Purple Dragons guards the one gate through it. The wall was built as a defense against Sembia and for a while became less strategically important since Sembia was defeated and occupied. Now, with the resurgence of the Drow in Cormanthor the garrison is quickly increasing in importance. The pass is closed to access by land from about mid-Marpenoth to the beginning of Tarsakh each winter due to the severe weather. The fort and garrison is maintained in these months through teleportation magic, although there is not yet any gate or portal established here.
Wanton Wyvern Inn
This inn, mentioned in the novel "Crown of Fire," is on the Thunder Trail within sight of the Immerflow, at the northwest edge of the Hullack Forest.
[I have purchased the novel Crown of Fire and will read it at some point in the future to get more detail.]
This is a site, mentioned in the novel "Crown of Fire," in the northern forest, about 13 miles southeast of the Wanton Wyvern Inn.
This is the ruined castle of Mirt's great-grandmother (a number of times removed - she lived before the founding of Cormyr). Duskreene, the Lady of Tethgard, exists still as a watchghost.
[I have purchased the novel Crown of Fire and will read it at some point in the future to get more detail.]
This site is about 20 miles north-northeast of Hullack Town.
[Eric L. Boyd states that this site was described in Dragon #164, if he recalls correctly, in the discussion of the Tome of the Wyvernwater Circle. He also hints that a good deal of words about this site might (no promises) appear in an upcoming product.]
Falls of Tumbling Stars (from Faiths and Avatars)
This site is is the most prominent center of the faith of Mielikki. It is a hidden mountain valley where the Immerflow srpings out of the Thunder Peaks and falls down the mountainsides to feed the river leading to the Wyvernwater. In this little-known valley, guarded against intrusion by rangers and helf-elf archers of deadly skill, Hawk of the Lady Neretheen Jalassan, a priestess of Mielikki, and Hawk of the Lady Lord Ranger Beldryn Stormstone lead a small community of powerful rangers and other Walkers of the Forest Way in worship of the Lady of the Forest. To this holy place, the hurt and the favored of Mielikki's faithful are brought by secret ways. In the vale are holy bathing pools where the wounded are restored by the magic of Meilikki, and from this hidden vale the most powerful Walkers of the Forest Way fare forth to make pilgrimages to the distant Unicorn Run, where a gateway to Mielikki's realm is said to lie, and to work Mielikki's will across Faerun.
Realm of Wailing Fog
[Eric L. Boyd states that this site is one of several random place names appearing on the Cormyr supplement map.]
[The novel "Stormlight" calls this Firefall Keep, and the surrounding vale Firefall Vale, and describes it as the landhold of the Summerstar family, a minor noble family.]
These sites are small hamlets in hidden valleys inhabited by humans who have little or no contact with the rest of the world. Further information might be gained from Urgar Hurlstone, who owns Frogfoot's Provisions in Highcastle in the High Dale.
Thunderholme was once a great city of the dwarves. Legends state that the city was home to the finest and noblest miners and metalsmiths in the Realms. Now, it is a ruin and the lair of Aurgloroasa the Sibilant Shade, a dracolich and priestess of the draconic god Null. Aurgloroasa was once a gigantic ancient female shadow dragon who is rumored to have mastered magic enough to defeat many an archmage.
[Most of the following may not be known to characters.]
Thunderholme's downfall began in 989 DR, when miners broke into the lair of Aurgloroasa, a very old shadow dragon, and awakened her. She killed the miners and collapsed the tunnel they dug, then began to work her fell magic on Thunderholme. In 1001 she began corrupting the High Old One Dagan, Thunderholme's high priest of Dumathoin. She engineered the death of the son of King Emerlin III in 1034, and the king died shortly thereafter. Dagan became Regent of Thunderholme and began work on a temple nominally to Dumathoin. The temple was completed in 1054, at which time Dagan (influenced all this time by Aurgloroasa) dedicated it to the draconic deity Null the Death Wyrm and summoned Aurgloroasa as Null's "avatar". Aurglorasa came and destroyed the city, then laired there.
Aurgloroasa was first approached by the Cult of the Dragon by her own machinations in 1305, and underwent the transformation to a dracolich in 1332.
College of Rune Magics
College of Shaping Magics
[From the DragonQuest module DQ1: The Shattered Statue (TSR 9221)]
Cormyr claims the eastern part of Volkumburgh Vale, although the village of Volkumburgh itself is well east of the border.
[I assume this site is mentioned in the DragonQuest module DQ1: The Shattered Statue (TSR 9221) because of its proximity to the other DQ1 sites, but that is only my assumption.]
Library of Mysteries
The Library of Mysteries is a temple to Mystra located on a remote mountain in the Thunder Peaks. The temple is almost entirely underground, in rooms hewn out of the rock of the mountain. The temple is most known for a great library. Many tomes both non-magical and magical are kept here. The library is not as large as the world-renowned Candlekeep, of course, but it is among the top five libraries of the world and contains many volumes not found elsewhere. The temple was only recently rededicated to Mystra after a long period of being lost. Then-Queen Alynna, a Chosen of Mystra, led a small group of adventurers to clear the temple of evil in 1364.
Multi-faith Cathedral (unnamed)
In 1376 at the request of several faiths, King Izak authorized the construction of a new cathedral in the Thunder Peaks near the Library of Mysteries. It is intended to be a place where priests of different faiths can gather to worship and debate in peace. Construction is scheduled to start at the beginning of summer in 1377.
Monastery of the Mind
On an even more remote mountain is a small monastery where psions train and study. Young newly-discovered talents come here to learn how to control (and hide, when necessary) their powers, and some psions stay to perfect their talent away from the eyes of fearful or hostile non-psions.
The barony was, until
recently, a wild and untamed wilderness. The previous Baron
Hullack, Lord Kalmer (Jenni Kalmer's father) not only utterly
failed to make the forest safe from monsters and bandits, he was
discovered to be one of the leaders of the bandits himself. King
Elron promptly executed him upon discovering this in Hammer of
1363 and ennobled his commoner friend Roderic Tallman to his
With a concentrated effort and
the help of a large detachment of Purple Dragons the new Baron
Hullack was able to clear out the bandits and most of the
monsters, and make the East Way much safer for travellers. Lord
Roderic built a keep on the East Way at the center of the forest
to make this newfound safety permanent.
The town of Hullack started
growing around the keep after Lord Roderic's brother Henric
finished building the Hullack Inn in the fall of 1364.
Plots and Rumors
There is some evidence that the Drow from Cormanthor may be making moves into the region. Drow scouting parties have been sighted deep in the forest.
Shadow-weave-using agents of Shar are rumored to be increasing their activities in Hullack.
A knightly order calling themselves the Brotherhood is becoming active in Cormyr in general but in the Hullack in particular. This order devotes itself to the racial purity of humankind. They wish to force the races to work and live separately and to exterminate all those of mixed blood. There is some indication that the Cult of the Dragon is actually behind the Brotherhood.
It is rumored that King Izak plans to sieze the eastern slopes of the Thunder Peaks north of Thunder Gap to prevent the Drow of Cormanthor from gaining a solid foothold there from which to threaten Cormyr.
It is an annual rumor that Lord Roderic will either choose to, or be ordered to, cut a road through the forest from Hullack Town to Thunderstone. So far, this rumor has always been proven groundless.