Ghaerim is a world very much like the established setting for D&D's Forgotten Realms, Faerun.  Consider it a parallel universe.  In addition to being mere letters apart in name, the two share virtually everything else in common: Geography, population, resources, and most of their history.  The Shining South is still a land of magical opulence and luxury, overshadowed by the presence of half-breed decendants of the dark elves known as Drow.  The Unapproachable East is still a secluded realm, ruled largely by the iron fist of the Red Wizards of Thay.  And Waterdeep, home to almost 150,000 people, is still the City of Splendors.

This world differs in one key area: There are no monsters.  True, the Goblinoid races still assault caravans and raid the relatively isolated village.  And yes, the Drow still plot from their home deep in the Underdark, spitting curses at their light-skinned breathren on the surface.  And wolves, lions, sharks, and other natural predators are still the ever-present threats in their respective environments.  However, there is no dragon named Flametooth in the Small Teeth mountains.  No Beholders lurk in the shadows, watching everything around them with their various eye-stalks.  Aboleths in the deep, primordial waters of the Lower-Dark?  Such things are mere fairy tails told to children to keep them in line.

And there are many such fairy tells, oh yes.  Lumberjacks who live near, and work in, the Wealdath Forest all know the story of the woodcutter who found that the woods became a labyrinth around her, and was stalked to death by some unknown entity.  And every Dwarf child has heard of the ghastly, rotting figure, neither alive or dead, that skulks their tunnels for Dwarvlings who dally behind.  And Halfling grandmothers will swear upon their hearth that their great-aunt's cousin (twice removed, on their mother's side); well, their father's neighbor once had his town razed by a great flying beast.  Every region, it seems, has a tale all their own.

But where do these tales come from?  Why are they so persistent, repeated with such consistency generation after generation?  They say that every falsehood contains a fraction of truth…

Your adventure will begin in the village of Darrowmar. Follow the link to learn more about some of your neighbors.

 

What Dreams May Come