As you know, my version of Faerun has some technological advancements, especially in the earlier inventions that would be archaic compared to us today. One of the most used ‘cutting edge for the Realms’ tech is the telegraph, which is promoted by the Lord’s Alliance (although the Zhentarim has piggy backed on it.)
Events of the two most recent modules, Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss has caused an expansion to this Telegraph network, which I want to discuss here for a reference.
This map shows the three telegraph lines that exist in the North region, superimposed over the map included in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. I’ve added important cities as my campaigns permit.
The main spine of the Telegraph System is the Sword Coast Line, going from Luskan through Neverwinter, Waterdeep, Daggerford, and eventually toward Baldur’s Gate and Candlekeep. This is the telegraph line that existed the longest, during the short-lived campaign of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle. (I’m considering making this into a fiction story.) It has saved several lives during it’s existance from that module onward through the official launch of 5th Edition.
The two extentions began construction by the start of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, the first of which is the Secomber Line. This line begins in Daggerford, goes past Secomber, and through the Graypeak mountains through southern Anauroch (formerly Netheril) and finally Arabel in Cormyr. It has recently extended northward through Cormanthor and eventually into the Moonsea Region, where its first messages were of the catastrophies that evnetually make the Faerun Refugee Crisis (I refer to the cannonized results of the Expeditions series of modules.)
The second extension and third line was the line to Mithral Hall. However, it managed to reach Red Larch first, which became vital in its preparation for the second appearance of the Elemental Cults (Princes of the Apocalypse: Second Strike). The Mithral Hall Line will end up reaching Silverymoon as well, but two cities along the line will have their own stations by the second half of Out of the Abyss:
Westchester has been around for some time, situated on top of a direct passage to Blingdenstone in the Underdark. Mithral Hall dwarves and drow of House Neo’Durdren constructed a temple to cover the cavern opening, and eventually constructed a village there. As of this coming session, People of several factions are constructing the first of several mental health institutions made to address the madness and insanities that is spilling out of the Underdark. These installations will be more than just insane aslyums, they will also research more common mental illnesses, like Depression, “The Psychic Itch” (their answer to OCD) and “Mindcrush” (An easier way to say ‘schizophrenia’.)
But Shepstage comes into play in the next session. Shepstage is a Watchtower village overlooking the Evermoors and a vital part of the Mithral Hall line. However, remember what I said about the Zhentarium using the Lord Alliance’s telegraph for their own purposes?
This Watchtower sits on top of another passage to the underdark; a direct path to Mantol-Derith no less. The Black Network agreed to allow the Lord’s Alliance–and the party–to use this passageway to get to the Underdark and set up telegraph lines there. (And so that the Zhents can use it as well.)
The party will progress from Gauntlgrym over land to Shepstage and then use the passage to Mantol-Derith. Their next session will begin when they reach the underground village.