One of the major features of Dark Faerun is the Char. Situated at the heart of land, it has also squarely inserted itself into the political landscape between the Empire, the Deadlands and the Fringe.
Best known as the source of rampaging demon hordes, the Char is first, and foremost, a place of danger; severe enough that its mere existence fomented the mercenary alliance between the Empire and the Deadland’s necromancer cabals. Unable to encompass the entire border it shares with the Char, the Empire contracts with the necromancers to maintain a tight noose on the Char, preventing demons from coming into contact with its lands. In turn, they refrain from expanding into the necromancers’ lands and provide them with a steady stream of supplies (farming in the Deadlands can be…difficult). Patrols of Empire soldiers or companies posted in watchtowers along the Char and the Deadroad are often accompanied by a necromancer.
Across the Char, the relationship with the Fringe is far more direct. Demons pour through Khuldas pass and make their way eastward on a fairly regular basis. Attempts have been made to build a structure to guard the enormous pass, but each attempt fails when a retaliatory strike spawns from the Char. There is simply too much space to build fortifications quickly – it would take an army to stave off attacks while construction occurred.
As such, the Free cities, especially Valderin’s gate, with their Winged Patrol, roam the areas near the pass, removing demonic threats as they come into contact with them. A number of smaller passes also exist to the north and south, but their size prevents a large incursion, though lone demons can and often do exit through them, or turn them into ambushes.
The Uruk’har also kill a large number of demons on the plains; many young half-orcs ascend to adulthood by bringing in their first demon kill. Similarly, Druidic enclaves in the Fringe maintain a kill-on-sight policy with anything looking vaguely fiend-touched (a policy which has proven unfortunate for many tieflings).
Inside the Char itself are a number of ruins related to bygone days. Dungeon delvers and treasurehunters ply their trades within the Char, seeking weapons, artifacts and knowledge from the past. Monster hunters seek rare kills to return with unusual crafting materials, spell components and trophies. Nearly all of them navigate by instinct, swearing that maps are useless in the Char. It is rumored that a chain of small outposts and holdfasts exists there, maintained by the brave souls who journey in and out.
These men and women return from their adventures with conflicting tales; some flee home with tales of endless smoking rifts spawning demons; others return home smiling and rich, carrying the spoils of a ruined tower. Still more wistfully recall golden faerie cities they barely escaped from but still long to return to. Outlandish tales of crystal valleys, wind-carved wailing canyons, and hills where time stands still scatter throughout the taverns of Valderin’s Gate. People brag of seeing the beautiful, the strange, the weird. Men with thousand-league stares tell of making deals with demons, or hags, or the Wishmaster, their expressions haunted. Occasionally you’ll even hear a tale that the elves were rediscovered inside the Char, though after hearing a description of the feral savagery accompanied by pointed ears, few believe them. The tales of the Char are many and varied; only those who have been there truly understand it, or know what to believe. Should you choose to enter…tread carefully.