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History of the North - 1369, Year of the Gauntlet

The tumultuous climate of Hellgate Keep continued to provide adventuring activity. A group of Harpers infiltrated the city using cloaking magic and revealed that Tanta Hagara was actually an annis. This revelation did nothing to hamper the Blue Bear's respect for their powerful chieftain however, and 'the city responded to the unmasking by attacking caravans en route to Sundabar. In addition, a few expeditionary forces of tanar'ri were sent to harass the Citadel of the Mists, Sundabar, and Silverymoon.

Tanta Hagara informed her "loyal troops" that gates existed in these cities that could allow other tanar'ri to "join us in the glorious battles to come as we take control of all of the North!" Alustriel cast powerful magical spells in the defense of Silverymoon against the raiding tanar'ri, and the city itself suffered no damage from their attack. The Mistmaster of the Citadel of the Mists likewise aided in the defense of his citadel, though reports still rage about the assistance of the treants of the High Forest. Sundabar suffered from Hellgate Keep's attack, as the fiends broke through the walls and raised havoc along the city streets. While adventurers battled the fiends, Helm Dwarfriend led a large contingent of the city guard to drive the remainder from Sundabar.

Still, the fiends from Hellgate Keep left the city with 'the satisfaction of knowing that it was burning in their wake. Within two days, however, the fires were extinguished, and Sundabar has since rebuilt from the attack. By mid Eleasias, rumors that Turlang, the powerful treant who resides in the northern High Forest, was actively defending the woodlands near the Citadel of the Mists reached the ears of Tanta Hagara, the hag-ruler of Hellgate Keep. News that Turlang was aiding the Mistmaster did not escape her notice, and the belief that the Citadel of the Mists was holding an extra-planar artifact only added to the hag's interest.

Tanta assembled a large force consisting of more than 100 tanar'ri and other fiends as well as 500 members of the Blue Bear tribe to raze the Citadel of the Mists. But as the evil forces marched their way into the High Forest, the Mistmaster put his own plan into motion. Two Harper agents, a bard named Cryshana Fireglen and a priest of Mystra known as Spellviper, infiltrated Hellgate Keep disguised as members of the Blue Bear tribe. Each carried with them part of an extra-planar artifact called the Gatekeeper's Crystal. The Gatekeeper's Crystal is an artifact shaped like a three-pointed star that is made of onyx and an unknown metal that entwines itself through the gem.

Each point of the star is a separate piece that can be combined together to create the artifact or separated to form three powerful magical items. While the crystal can be used in different manners, it was primarily created to bring down wards, including mythals and other powerful protections. According to legend, it was created by a powerful lich who used it to render clerics powerless, stripping them of their ability to turn undead and nullifying necromantic magic within a 50-mile radius. The Mistmaster had a different use for the Gatekeeper's Crystal, but he needed volunteers to aid him in placing two shards of the crystal at precise locations within the warded city of Hellgate Keep.

In particular, he needed two people who would be willing to trade their lives to exterminate the fiends of Hellgate Keep forever. Spellviper and Cryshana agreed to the suicide mission. Holding the pieces of the crystal, the two Harpers waited for the Mistmaster to activate the magic with his third piece, initiating the magic that would tear Hellgate Keep asunder. When a blazing beam of purple energy illuminated the skies over the keep, no one within the fiend's stronghold had time to wonder what was happening. The power of the Gatekeeper's Crystal forced the wards to cascade upon the city, causing an implosion that shook the ground for more than 100 miles. As quickly as the wards surrounding Hellgate Keep collapsed, the crystal released the magical energy in an explosion that leveled every building in the city, leaving nothing but fist-sized chunks of rocks where Hellgate Keep once stood. Not a living creature stirred in the remains; all was silent and lifeless.

The force of tanar'ri from Hellgate Keep was unsure what had happened but had felt the tremor when the Gatekeeper's Crystal had been activated. They were fighting for their own lives, however, as the treants, korred, centaurs, satyrs, dryads, and other creatures of the High Forest - including defenders of the Citadel of the Mists - battered them into the moist earth. One of the North's most notable rulers fell in the battle, however, but he took at least six tanar'ri with him to his grave.

Faurael Blackhammer, the lord protector of Triboar, fell along-side his troops near the conclusion of the conflict. Within weeks after the final battle with Hellgate Keep, treants blocked passage farther north at the joining of the Heart-blood and Delimbiyr rivers. While the treants care little for hunters and adventurers passing through the area, all caravans seeking passage north to Sundabar have been repulsed - and this is not a matter that the treants wish to negotiate. In another mishap blamed on Turlang, Tumstone Pass was blocked by a tremendous avalanche. This final calamity sealed the Upvale from any major force of men.

Travel into the area formerly occupied by Hellgate Keep is now limited to adventurers and other brave travelers. The Mistmaster has been questioned repeatedly by some of the most powerful wizards in the Realms, including Elminster of Shadowdale and Khelben Arunsun, about the current location of the Gatekeeper's Crystal. Most sources claim that the pieces of the crystal have been scattered amongst the planes again, but no one is certain. Near Nesme, the source of the trolls' exodus is revealed. Fog and cloud giants have taken up residence in the moor, driving the trolls from the giants' new "homeland."

While it is unknown how many giants have taken up residence in the High Moor, estimates range up to several hundred. A thick mist continually hangs in the air of the Evermoors now, even more persistent and thick than the mist before the giants' arrival. Many believe that these new mists are the work of the cloud giants, but none can be certain. Alustriel of Silverymoon sent a detachment of guards to investigate the eastern borders of the moor, and the guards returned with news that a gathering of around 20 fog giants who were "of good nature and quite friendly" had taken up residence in a formerly troll-infested area.

Guards from neighboring Nesme were not so fortunate, however, running into a clan of violent, boulder-hurling fog and cloud giants who nearly decimated their unit. In addition, a group of adventurers crawled into Nesme with terrible burns, reporting that they had run into a black dragon at a fog giant encampment. Overall, it appears that both good and evil giants now call the moor their home.

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