The Moonsea proper is a deep natural lake, surrounded by a fragmented patchwork of lands and city-states ruled by despots, humanoids, and savages. The area is infamous for its bleak landscapes, harsh winters, ravaging dragons, cutthroat pirates, and rapacious tyrants. Commerce exists between hard, heartless city-states such as Hillsfar, Melvaunt, and Mulmaster. Only the strong survive, however: Trading costers and merchant houses compete with knife, fire, and poison. Many notorious ruins lie in this region, including Zhentil Keep, the Citadel of the Raven, and spider-haunted Sulasspryn. Tombs, buried catacombs, and monster lairs also abound in the Moonsea hinterlands, drawing adventurers from every corner of Faerûn.
The Church of Bane is still strong in the region, its power base moved to the dark eastern metropolis of Mulmaster. The Great Gray Land of Thar remains a desolate breeding ground for orcs, ogres, and minotaurs. The brutish humanoids provide a buffer for the civilized lands against the growing predations of neighboring Vaasa.