In this series I will be looking at each of the individual nations of Faerûn in turn, in alphabetical order. This series is based around the status of each nation as of 1371-72 Dalereckoning (at the end of D&D 2nd Edition and the start of 3rd Edition). The maps are drawn from The Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas CD-ROM and their respective 1st and 2nd Edition sources. They are not necessarily current for the 5th Edition of the setting (which is set c. 1496 DR).

A map of Luiren. Please click for a larger version.
  • Ruler: Devout Voice Faran Ferromar
  • Capital: Beluir (pop. 27,210)
  • Settlements: Ammathluir (10,000), Chethel (15,512), Crimel (1000), Djannath, Fasruil (3000), Krenadir, Lluirvale, Otennath, Shoun
  • Population: 838,080 (92% halfling, 4% human, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% misc.)
  • Area: 175,783 miles² (455,275.88 km²)
  • Military: Town militias, a small navy, the marchwardens (frontier guards)
  • Languages: Common, Dambrathan, Durpari, Halfling (Luiric/Lurienal)
  • Religion: Brandobaris, Tymora, Yondalla, the halfling pantheon
  • Exports: Ale, beer, grain, fruit, produce
  • Imports: Metalwork items, livestock
  • Sources: The Shining South (Tom Prusa, 1993), Demihuman Deities (Eric L. Boyd, 1998), Shining South (Todd Gamble, 2004)


Luiren, the Realm of Halflings, is located on the south coast of Faerûn. It lies south of the Eastern Shaar and the Toadsquat Mountains, which form its northern boundary, and consists of the lands in, around and between the Lluirwood and the Granuin Forest. To the south it is bordered by the Great Sea and the Luirenstrand. The realm is bordered to the west by Dambrath and to the east by Estagund.

Luiren is a hot, humid land sweltering on the shores of the Great Sea, although during the winter it becomes more pleasant. The nation mostly consists of a coastal plain immediately surrounding the Luirenstrand. These plains are dotted with villages, towns, hamlets and some old-fashioned halfling burrows, as well as the capital city of Beluir. Most buildings in Luiren are built to halfling standards, meaning average-sized humanoids may struggle to even enter some buildings. Only the larger cities have buildings suitable for average-sized humanoids, as well as grandiose halfling buildings (usually temples, town halls and palaces) that others can fit inside comfortably.

The Lluirwood covers much of Luiren and is said to be the ancestral homeland of all halflings in Faerûn (although some sages are sceptical of the claim, pointing to halfling slaves of the djinni lords of Calim existing more than three millennia before the earliest signs of settlement in the Lluirwood). The forest originally thickly covered the entire region, but it was partially cleared in the Ghostwar and subsequent settlement, eventually dividing the forest into two sections. The Lluirwood or Long Forest proper lies to the north and the Granuin or Southern Lluirwood to the south-west. The eastern Lluirwood is more hazardous and is home to various monstrous creatures, some of which have come down from the Toadsquat Mountains. The western Lluirwood is much safer, thanks to the efforts of clerics of Sheela Peryroyl, led by the cleric Nola Treestump. The Southern Lluirwood is patrolled by militia, rangers and druids keen to defend the western border with Dambrath, although isolated beholders and yuan-ti are rumoured are live in the forest depths.

The Mortik Swamp is the largest area of marshland in Luiren, lying at the southern end of Hambone Bay. The swamp is forbidding and harsh, and the Luirenese mostly avoid it, although occasional militia expeditions to pacify its denizens are necessary. The greatest dangers in the swamps are merrows and scrags. In recent years these creatures are reported to have been organised by an ogre shaman known as the Bog King, for purposes unknown.

Luiren also maintains the Great Trader’s Way, which runs from east to west across the length of Luiren’s northern border in the foothills of the Toadsquat Mountains, but the distance to the heart of Luiren around the Lluirwood has precluded heavy settlement of the area. There seems to be little or no enthusiasm for cutting through the Lluirwood directly to link the heartland with this area.

Luiren also includes several offshore islands, most notably the long, thin Island of Passion, Quelthiir. The islands are uninhabited, with Quelthiir effectively forming the longest offshore sandbar on the continent, with limited resources.


In the most ancient of times, the Lluirwood was part of an extensive area of forest and jungle spreading across much of Faerûn’s south coast. This area also included the Forest of Amtar. This region became the home of the jungle elves, who founded the realm of Ilythiir here almost 28,000 years ago.

As recounted in the epic sagas of the Crown Wars, Ilythiir fell into shadow and evil, and in 10,000 BDR (Before Dalereckoning) the Seldarine cast out the Ilythiiri, transforming them into the accursed drow. Cursed with an intolerance of sunlight, they were forced into the darkness of the Underdark.

For millennia afterwards, the region was unsettled. Wild elves moved into the Forest of Amtar, but left the (now separate) Lluirwood alone. What is known is that by around 6000 BDR, the Lluirwood had become home to the halflings.

The origins of the halfling race on Toril are obscure, with the earliest records indicating halflings existed in Calimshan many thousands of years Before Dalereckoning. Some have suggested that halflings are a derivation or subrace of humans (a notion that the halflings regard with scorn), possibly created by one of the Creator Races in the dawn of days. Others have indicated that halflings are of dwarven or gnomish origin, although apart from their shared short stature, they do not have much in common. Others have suggested they are their own race, but not native to Toril and came via gates from some other world. The halflings themselves are not particularly bothered by such musings.

One early legend has it that, at the time the hin settled the Lluirwood, the area was home to ogres. A halfling adventurer named Kaldair Swiftfoot confronted an avatar of the ogre god Vaprak the Destroyer and run him ragged with a chase around Hambone Bay for ten days and ten nights. Finally, the exhausted god agreed to a trial of strength: whomever could pull a tree intact from the ground intact would win dominion over the lands. Vaprak uprooted several trees but had to tear and destroy the roots in the process. Kaldair proceeded to a pull a sapling from the ground with its stem intact. Vaprak was incensed but was bound by his word, and the ogres abandoned the Lluirwood. According to some variations of the legend, Kaldair was actually an avatar of Brandobaris.

The halflings of the Lluirwood, or the hin as they called themselves, were mostly content to keep to themselves and other time divided into three kindreds: the curious, quick-footed lightfoots; the martial, disciplined stronghearts; and the reclusive, mysterious ghostwise. The three kindreds existed in peace for centuries or millennia, but around 102 BDR a ghostwise cleric named Desva was won over to the worship of Malar, the Beastlord. Her followers became more savage and violent, and started hunting peaceful creatures for sport. When their violence turned against the other halflings, around 68 BDR, the stronghearts and lightfoots allied together and fought the Hin Ghostwar. The conflict lasted for three years, until the strongheart hero Chand slew Desva in combat in 65 DR.

The remaining ghostwise left Luiren for the Chondalwood, vowing to atone for their savagery. The lightfoots, horrified by the conflict and taken with a desire to explore the world, underwent a diaspora and spread across Faerûn, settling in many lands alongside other races. Most halflings encountered outside of Luiren are lightfoots.

The stronghearts remained and began clearing the forest and building the first major towns and then cities of the region. The city of Beluir was built on Hambone Bay in 14 DR, and was followed by Chethel (47), Shoun (116), Krenadir (218) and Ammathluir (383).

The history of Luiren is remarkably free of incident. In 148 DR merrow from Mortik Swamp attacked Chethel and burned half the city to the ground before they were repulsed. In 328 the halflings embarked on a logging and road-building spree that saw the Lluirwood split in two at the Ammathvale and Luiren connected by road with the Arkaiun tribelands to the west and the Eastern Shaar to the north.

In 447, Luiren was invaded by a tribe of ogres down from the Toadsqauts. They rampaged through the Lluirwood before being halted at the Battle of Three Stumps in 450.

 In 461, the Arkaiun and hin jointly founded the town of Ammathtar to facilitate trade between their two realms. The town was destroyed by a beholder in 636, but eventually rebuilt.

In 545, Warchief Reinhar unified the tribes and towns of the Arkaiun into the Kingdom of Dambrath and almost immediately invaded Luiren, overrunning and conquering the nation by the end of 546. Luiren was under occupation for eight years before Reinhar was slain by Mycontil, the Wizard-King of Halruaa. Dambrath withdrew from Luiren and the other invaded lands in 554. In response to the war, Luiren reluctantly decided it was necessary to create a better defence, founding the order of marchwardens in 572. The marchwardens proved their worth in 922 by turning back a large-scale raid by Dambrath at Ammathluir.

In 1105, Luiren was ravaged from the sea by a monstrous storm. Beluir was partially destroyed and Chethel and Krenadir suffered heavy damage, although all was eventually repaired.

In 1264, the evil druid Voolad Espiral attacked and destroyed Thruldar, an Estagundan border town on the north-eastern edge of the Lluirwood. Luirenese marchwardens relieved the town by slaying Voolad, but were unable to kill him, only imprison his spirit within the ruins. Estagund abandoned the town.

Luiren’s recent history remains as much of it has: peaceful, relaxed, with moderate trade with the surrounding lands.


Luiren has a very relaxed hierarchy, with each town and city electing its own mayor which has responsibility for the city and the surrounding area, and the mayors of other settlements communicate with one another to resolve wider problems. There are guilds to regulate working practices.

Luiren’s national government, as much as it has one, is represented by the Devout Voice of Yondalla, currently Faran Ferromar. Ferromar adjudicates wider problems and deals with foreign dignitaries when required. Some outsiders believe this means that Luiren is a theocracy, but whilst the gods and their clergies are respected in Luiren, they do not have day-to-day control of the nation.

Each town or village in Luiren has a small militia, usually used to defend against bandits or monsters out of the forest or mountains. The closest thing Luiren has to a standing army is the order of marchwardens, independent fighters, druids and rangers who patrol the frontier to look out for trouble. They are highly capable, and often underestimated by outsiders.

Luiren maintains friendly relations with its neighbours, especially Estagund to the east. They regard Dambrath warily, as the nation has a poor reputation and once occupied Luiren for close to a decade (albeit eight centuries ago). Luiren’s western town of Ammathluir is resultingly heavily fortified against a possible Dambrathan invasion, with the Abbey of the Bountiful Horn (an abbey dedicated to Yondalla) serving as a frontier fortress and the surrounding Ammathvale dotted with supply caches and secret redoubts. However, Dambrath seems to have little or no interest in Luiren bar as a trade partner, possibly out of concern of the much greater power of Halruaa to its west.


Fairly obviously, the halfling pantheon is the most popular form of worship in Luiren. Brandobaris and Yondalla are particularly warmly worshipped across the entire nation.

The human deity Tymora, Lady Luck, is also very popular in Luiren and is worshipped in the aspect of a halfling. According to the halflings, Tymora is a halfling goddess who has hoodwinked her way into the wider Faerûnian pantheon. This is treated with scepticism by most, although Tymora’s capricious nature does make discerning the absolute truth difficult.

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