The Rise of the Maleficarum
Anauroch (Population approx 110,000), the Great Desert, is a barren wasteland – a vast mass of steppeland, rocky wastes, and sandy desert – that has grown to split the north of Faerun into eastern and western halves. Over the millennia, it has crept south, swallowing the Narrow Sea and destroying ancient civilizations. Desert creatures and monsters often wander into the fringes of the desert. Nomad tribes from the desert visit the Heartlands on occasion, though such visits are few. The men of the desert often trade for goods with relics of ancient design.
The large forest known as the elven woods was once a much greater forest which reached the Storm Horns Mountains of Suzail and crouched hard on the Sea of Fallen Stars. This was known as Cormanthor, and was one of the great elven kingdoms of old. It is greatly reduced now from its halcyon days when the elves dominated the surrounding lands, but is still referred to by that name.
Cormyr (population approx 1.36M ) is an independent nation in Faerûn Heartlands founded over a thousand years ago benefiting from an enlightened monarchy, hard working citizens, and an advantageous location. Cormyr, once a beacon of light, is a shell of its former self mourning the death of King Azoun IV, weakened by warring noble houses, and strategically weaker and more vulnerable than ever before. Only the will of the regent holds Cormyr back from the precipice of the abyss.
The Dales are broad forest vales with rolling farmlands, linked by narrow trade roads running through beautiful woods. Blessed with fertile soil and a temperate climate (aside from harsh winters), the Dales are the breadbasket of the Heartlands. Eleven separate dales exist today, each with its own territory, government, militia, trading pacts, ambitions, and character. The Dalelands stands on a precipice with the alliance holding the Dales together fractured by internal strife and external pressures.
The Moonsea region (Population approx 1.75M ) is dominated by the large titular sea that is connected to the Sea of Fallen Stars to the south by the river Lis. The Moonsea is not necessarily a safe place to live and its settlers are driven and independent as a result. The area is infamous for its bleak landscapes, harsh winters, pirates, and is known for the tombs and ruins that dot its landscape.
Sembia (population approx 2.5M) is a young country of considerable wealth and prosperity governed by its merchants. It is located on the north-western coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars, which puts it in the way of many trade routes that they leverage to trade between the North and South of Faerun. Sembia conceives of itself as a young, aggressive and expansionist nation already co-opting one of the Dales, Moondale, to join its rank making Moondale the capital Ordulin.