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FR16 The Shining South (2e)

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Far off in the south exist countries of legend. Here live the powerful, reclusive mages of Halruaa, the cheerful halflings of Luiren, and the traders of Durpar and Var the Golden. Come along on a risky visit to Dambrath, a country ruled by an alliance of drow and the priestesses of Loviatar, or to Ulgarth, where the only true coffee in the Realms is grown.

Prepare to shop the fabulous markets fo Durpar, break bread at the bakeries of Luiren, or see the horse fairs of Dambrath. The lucky among you might even catch a glimpse of a Halruan skyship, floating through the skies above the Great Sea, or witness the breathtaking, seemingly choreographed Dance of the Dolphins.

This sourcebook contains the necessary gaming information for a Forgotten Realms campaign to expand into the countries collectively know as the Shining South.

This accessory is suitable for use by all levels of play.

Product History

FR16: "The Shining South" (1993), by Tom Prusa, is the sixteenth and final book in the "FR" series of sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms. It was released in April 1993.

Ending the "FR" Sourcebooks. "The Shining South" marked the end of an era. When it began in 1987, the "FR" series was groundbreaking for its in-depth depiction of a fantasy world — something matched only by the Mystaran "GAZ" series, which preceded the Realms books by several months back in 1987, but ended years earlier in 1991. Like the majority of its predecessors in the "FR" series, "The Shining South" was a geographic splatbook that filled in the many lands and cultures of the Forgotten Realms. In the end, the "FR" series ran sixteen books, making it one of D&D's longest-running series, alongside the "DL" books (1984-1988).

Though "The Shining South" marked the end of the "FR" line, it didn't mark the end of Forgotten Realms sourcebooks. They started right back up later in the year with FRS1: The Dalelands (1993). The change from "FR" to "FRS" was likely the result of TSR management deciding that higher module numbers kept buyers from purchasing books. (After 1993, TSR's module codes disappeared entirely, so The Dalelands would officially be the last of its line.)

Expanding the Realms. "The Shining South" depicts several lands that lie along the southern coast of Faerûn. Running from west to east, they are: the magocracy of Halruaa; the half-drow land of Dambrath; the halfling realm of Luiren; the mercantile lands of Durpar, Var, and Estagund, jointly called the Shining Lands; and the buffer land of Ulgarth. For the most part, these lands were new to the Realms, though they adjoin many of the Realms' earliest published supplements — lying near FR3: "Empires of the Sands" (1988) in the west and near I3-5: Desert of Desolation (1987) in the east. Ulgarth also lies close to two of the Realms most-farflung lands: Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (1988), which gained new prominence during the Empires event (1990), and Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures (1992).

Future History. These Southern lands were later depicted in several novels. Halruaa is the most popular, appearing in Murder in Halruaa (1996) and the "Counselors & Kings" trilogy (2000-2002), while the "Utter East", including Ulgarth, was the focus of Faces of Deception (1998).

The D&D game revisited most of these lands years later in Shining South (2004), which covers all of these lands except Ulgarth, but adds new details on the Shaar.

About the Creators. Prusa wrote just a handful of supplements for TSR in the '90s. He'd return to the Realms for his last book, Kidnapped (1998).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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December 17th, 2023
Heads up, the background makes the printed copy very difficult to read. [...]
December 31st, 2022
Gave 4 stars due to it being a little hard to read. The speckles on the pages are black and so are the words while the background color is grey. Overall satisfied. [...]
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File Last Updated:
December 29, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on December 30, 2014.