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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:19:19  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
The following are several Wizard of War NPCs I've created for use in my Realms games and for my own enjoyment.

The inspiration for many of them came from Volo's Guide to Cormyr, as well as other sources of Cormyr Realmslore.

I hope they are of some use to you, whether for your own games or as something interesting to read for a few moments here at the 'Keep.

NOTE: I constantly tinker with these write-ups. If something seems slightly different, it's likely because I changed it.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave comments or suggestions, and let me know if/how you use these NPCs.

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WAR WIZARD NAMES LIST:

Baerdrin Ongalor

Ombrier Thurlkast

Tashlara Shimmerstar

Jathos Indemeir

Jorbril Rammastar

Forthin Andramar

Authkant "Old Codpiece" Melevor

Anduala Jhansibur

Mindala Jhansibur

Orthos of Greatgaunt

Orgreth Dinsimer

Faerthin Seshore

Eltagar Ironhand

Almarr Massingham

Bindil Blackfeather

Imdar the Stout

Haerldoun "Six Fingers" Hornscar

Mindra Theld, War Wizard Out Of Time

Interlude: Unknown War Wizard

Taltar Battlestorm

Tanthil Oakfist

Jassur Bralhost

Ulskan Hammantle

Alorae Ruldragon

Feldran "Doraunk" Durvorkar

Lhornara Blacktower

Imcharla "Windyrobes" Darphon

Savander Kiriag

Welvore Hammerfist

Ammandra Jhansibur

Dornal Thresk

Calador Arcandle

Worwand Gauntblade

Haspra Handmane

Haelrorn Fireweather

Allastra Redhorn

Dantar Blackbrook

Bramas Downjack

Shaltara of Dawngleam

Samdras of Athkatla or Samdras the Peacemaker

Imbre of Mistrim or Imbre of Westgate]


Mod Edit: Added some adhesive to the scroll.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 14 Jul 2015 06:12:04

Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:21:17  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Baerdrin Ongalor

Baerdrin Ongalor is a War Wizard in service to Cormyr. Baerdrin is old, battle-wise and experienced, and possesses all of the qualities sufficient to make him a suitable commander of all the War Wizards of Cormyr, second only to the Royal mage Ganrahast himself.

Or so Baerdrin sees things.

Despite a lifetime of loyal and dedicated service, often at personal cost of loved ones and friends, Baerdrin has twice been passed over by Ganrahast in his choice of a War Wizard to be his second in command--the War Wizard Vainrence most recently assumed this role.

This cruel turn of events has left Baerdrin a bitter and disloyal man, and one of Cormyr's newest and deadliest enemies.

Through a chance encounter with Erzoured Obarskyr, Baerdrin has come to see the King's nephew as unfairly estranged from his proper position of authority as well.

Thus, Baerdrin has gathered around himself a small, loyal cadre of similarly disaffected War Wizards and Purple Dragons, and he seeks no less than the deaths of King Foril and Ganrahast, that he might elevate Erzoured to the throne and himself to the position of Mage Royal.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 12 Apr 2014 10:10:40
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:22:32  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ombrier Thurlkast

Ombrier is a dedicated War Wizard in service to the crown of Cormyr. Though still young, his record of success and accomplishment has earned him additional responsibilities and rights of access to the secrets of Cormyr that are usually reserved for more experienced or older War Wizards.

Ombrier's duties involve personally relaying messages of vital importance from the Crown and the Royal Mage to Cormyr's local lords and war wizard garrisons. For this reason, Ombrier utilizes Cormyr's still functioning network of gates as a means of traveling the length and breadth of the Forest Kingdom.[1]

It was one such mission that found Ombrier face to face with the ghost of Spellguard, Lady Saharel.[2] Ombrier dutifully relayed to the apparition a request from King Foril for the opportunity to speak with her at length, whereupon the spirit replied that she would accept the King's request, so long as Ombrier and no other would accompany the King on his trip.

Despite the Mage Royal's vehement protests, King Foril agreed to Saharel's terms and departed with Ombrier to the Scepter Tower of Spellguard, where the ghost of Saharel laired.

To this day the details of that meeting are a secret known only to Saharel, King Foril and Ombrier, much to Ganrahast's consternation.


[1] Of old Netherese construction, though some are newer and have been rebuilt in the wake of the Spellplague at the cost of many war wizard lives, such as the seven that were lost to make a gate connection the Royal Court to the king's tower in Marsember functional again ("Bury Elminster Deep." Hardcover edition. p.54).
See "The Door From Everywhere" in Dungeon #88 for an example of gates of Netherese make.

[2] This journey accomplished by traversing a gate located in the High Castle. A reference to this gate can be found in the first footnote on page 161 of Volo's Guide to the Dalelands.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 23 Dec 2014 07:27:20
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:23:41  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tashlara Shimmerstar

Tashlara Shimmerstar is a stern, forbidding war wizard of some fifty winters, who bears such a perfect resemblance to the former Dragon Queen Filfaeril, wife of King Azoun IV, that were Tashlara to stand next to a painting or illusionary depiction of Filfaeril in her prime an observer would find no difference between them save for the clothes they wore.

A strict disciplinarian, Tashlara brooks no jokes or humor at gatherings of war wizards, particularly during Council of Mages meetings chaired by Ganrahast or his second in command, Vainrence. Possessed of a long memory and wits to match, Tashlara has reduced elder war wizards to tears with harsh rebukes and reminders of their past failings, particularly if those failures had anything to do with the guardianship of King Azoun V, King Foril or their families.

Tashlara is tireless in her pursuit of traitors to the Crown and threats against the King. Many are the death sentences that would be hoisted onto Tashlara's head were each of her mind-reaming activities ever to be discovered[1]. Ganrahast has considered appointing her to the post of alarphon, but hesitates from doing so only because she is so regularly effective in uncovering conspiracies against the Crown and tracing them back to their roots before striking them down.

Rarely can Tashlara be found walking the side halls and deep passageways of the Royal Court, quietly singing to herself songs of love, of lives lost and of acts of valor from the time of the war against Nalavara the Devil Dragon to the dawn of the Spellplague.

"Tashlara sings" is a watchword amongst the Purple Dragons who guard these parts of the Royal Court. With swift and practiced ease they quietly depart their posts for a time, to give Tashlara a wide birth and privacy.

It is well they do this, for many ghosts of the Royal Court—including the ghost of Alusair Obarskyr—gather as Tashlara wanders the halls, silently shedding ethereal tears and feeling the echo of times past in her song.

It is said that Tashlara is not the first Shimmerstar to serve as a war wizard. A handful of elder Crown mages recall the name Valantha Shimmerstar: a pranksome mage who served in Vangerdahast's and Caladnei's time and was said to be a favorite of King Azoun IV and his family.[2]

But like so many other mages Valantha disappeared and was presumed lost when the Spellplague ravaged Faerûn.


[1] Tashlara can mind-ream a subject without fear of losing her sanity or causing madness in the subject. She has taken great pains to keep this ability hidden from other war wizards and Ganrahast in particular.

[2] See Volo's Guide To Cormyr, page 224.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 23 Dec 2014 07:30:52
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:24:39  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jathos Indemeir

A long, thin scar runs the width of Jathos' neck, a gift from a would be killer who attempted to strangle Jathos while he operated alone and under cover of night within the prison city of Wheloon.

Jathos still carries the murder rope--itself salvaged from the remnants of the old Rallogar Hardware shop by the man who tried to kill him--as a reminder of his time as a watch wizard on the ramparts overlooking Wheloon and as a spy and assassin for the Crown within its walls.

From those high walls Jathos has fought to keep the prisoners of Wheloon locked within and departed for a time to track and slay any who escaped. Jathos has infiltrated Wheloon to quietly slay prisoners who became too influential or attempted to unite the prison population, and has regularly sown discord and distrust amongst their numbers.

By Jathos's reckoning he has slain more Cormyrean citizens than outside enemies of the realm and this bitter fact is never far from his thoughts. Nor is the black irony that his accomplishments have caused him to rise in authority: Jathos now commands the war wizard contingent at Wheloon and personally reports to Ganrahast on the status of the prison city every tenday.

Jathos long ago buried his pain and anger over his actions behind a resolute and dutiful facade and is regarded by his peers as cold and emotionless. In his heart, however, lurks a furnace of anger and contempt for King Foril and Ganrahast. For each he nurtures a dark hatred and has come to believe both have turned their backs on Cormyr and its people.

Jathos is a conspirator with Baerdrin Ongalor and has supplied the later with several loyal-to-them-only purple dragons from the ranks of his prison guards, each man eager to be the first to put a blade through the King.

When Baerdrin initiates his plot to slay King Foril, Jathos intends to manufacture a revolt in Wheloon to occupy all the war wizards and Purple Dragons under his command so as to keep them out of the coming conflict in Suzail.

In the tumult that follows Jathos plans to slip away by means of a Linked Portal to Suzail and join Baerdrin and their fellow war wizard conspirators to slay Ganrahast once and for all.

Unbeknownst to Baerdrin, Jathos sees himself as a fitting replacement for Ganrahast and fully expects to be appointed Royal Magician after Ganrahast's death.

His first act in this new post will be to personally open the barred gates of Wheloon and set its people free.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 01 Oct 2013 08:36:22
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:25:27  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jorbril Rammastar

Jorbril is one of six War Wizards stationed in Eveningstar who are tasked with watching over the Eveningstar side of the Blueleaf Gate[1]. These six wizards (known as Blueleaf Sentinels for their assigned duty) watch over the Blueleaf gate in pairs for eight hour shifts. Jorbril, as the most experienced War Wizard of his group, is known as the Blueleaf Warden.

By standing order (and long tradition) the War Wizards who watch do not challenge those who use the gate; rather they observe and report. Each sentinel reports to Jorbril in person or by magical sending at the end of their shift any news of the comings and goings of those who travel using the Blueleaf gate.

Jorbril catalogs these reports along with his own observations in a journal. Once per month Jorbril travels via the Blueleaf gate to the Royal Gardens in Suzail to hand-deliver the prior month's journal to his Blueleaf Warden counterpart (and immediate superior), so that the two sentinel's reports may be added to the ever growing mass of records and paperwork kept in the Royal Court. He obtains a fresh journal for the coming month and aside from a few moments of shared pleasantries and the receipt of any new orders from Ganrahast Jorbril departs as quickly as possible for home.

Jorbril is accomplished at quiet meditation (often sitting for hours at a time while on watch), ritual casting and renewing the "hanging spells" that silently alert any sentinel when someone steps near the Blueleaf gate or when the gate is activated.

A tall, well built man with deep brown eyes, long black hair and a full beard to match, Jorbril can only be found in his war wizard robes while on duty at the gate. Otherwise he dresses as a simple commoner and spends his days walking through the King's Wood and tending with practiced hands his field of plantings at the small hovel located in the High Pasture just outside of Eveningstar that he calls home. When in need of supplies Jorbril travels by foot to Eveningstar, quietly humming to himself the lyrics to bard's songs of Cormyr's past. Songs that feature the mythical Sword Heralds[2] are his favorite and for reasons he doesn't understand he finds most of these tales to be quite funny.

Because of his simple habits and appearance, Jorbril is often mistaken for a commoner and has been sometimes treated rudely by traveling merchants, Purple Dragon patrols and nobility on the road to Eveningstar. Few Evenor beyond the King's Lord of Eveningstar, senior Purple Dragons and his fellow war wizards know Jorbril is both a capable and most dangerous mage.

Jorbril is aware of the tales of how the Blueleaf Gate came to be. He keeps a small shrine to Mielikki in his home and prays to the goddess regularly that the Blueleaf Gate continue to function safely for all who utilize it. The other sentinels have reported seeing a lone, horse-sized stag lurking in the woods near the gate recently. Jorbril has taken this as a sign that Mielikki has heard his prayers and watches over the Blueleaf gate to this day.

Of late Jorbril has been troubled by blackouts on his walks through the wood and to Eveningstar, and on more than one occasion has awakened alone and with his clothes in tatters in the strangest of places: before a massive stone slab deep in the King's Wood, before the doors to a noblewoman's wardrobe (herself asleep in bed at the time, the sheets on her husband's side of the bed turned aside and him thankfully elsewhere) and standing on the precipice of the Stonecliff overlooking Eveningstar.

At each awakening Jorbril found himself staring into a soft, silvery glowing light that quickly faded, it's departure heralding the arrival of an edged weapon that appeared in the air before clattering to the ground at his feet. The sound of the blade striking the ground possessed Jorbril with the overpowering urge to collect the blade and flee with it as though his life were at stake.

Six such blades now reside in his home, each a question that Jorbril wishes desperately to answer.


[1] See Volo's Guide to Cormyr, page 230.

[2] Volo's Guide to Cormyr, page 225.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 09 Apr 2014 08:21:50
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:28:46  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Forthin Andramar

"The Bel's Blade?[1] Yes, I've seen her. You come upon her thinking she's a half-sunk merchant cog, but as you approach she moves towards you as fast as any ship in the wind while blade-wielding skeletons crawl out of her black hold and disappear like phantoms, only to reappear aboard your ship to visit swift, brutal death on you and your crew. Her captain stands as tall as a giant and no mundane blade can harm him.

Yes, I've seen that murderous ship and have the scars to prove it."


--from the journal Thirty Years At Sea, by Forthin Andramar


Forthin Andramar is an ocean going War Wizard who has spent the last three decades serving aboard a variety of ships in various capacities, whether providing magical support aboard one of His Majesty's fleet of Blue Dragon vessels or investigating the mysterious disappearance of a merchant ship's captain on the route between Marsember and Suzail.

Forthin is fit for his age and a disciplined man. This shows in his appearance: graying hair and salt and pepper beard well kept and cut to accent his wide face and keen blue eyes, his War Wizard robes unwrinkled and kept perpetually clean and new by means of his magic. Forthin exudes a commanding presence that belies his average height and build. He maintains a calm and precise tone, speaking with a clear voice of authority earned through years of experience and service.

Forthin never took to the idea that War Wizards should exclude themselves from the work of others aboard a ship and actively discourages this behavior by War Wizards who come to be under his command and/or tutelage. More than one arrogant young mageling has sat before Forthin, their soft hands blister-ridden and sore after a tenday of hoisting masts and scrubbing decks, and been admonished that one's status as a War Wizard is insufficient to earn one's place on a ship.

As a skilled sailor Forthin is ready to take over a fallen man's position and prefers to stand and work with his fellow sailors to keep a ship seaworthy in lieu of using his spells for that purpose. In the past Forthin has taken command of captainless vessels and guided such ships safely to their home port.

Forthin eagerly hunts for The Monolith[2], ghost ships like the Bel's Blade, dragon turtles, sahaugin and all manner of sea based dangers and oddities. He is not above working with adventurers and has taken the liberty of granting "field charters" to ocean-going adventurers who put down pirates and other dangers of the Dragonmere.

Forthin is currently serving aboard the Lammath Drios, a small, swift vessel crewed by veteran Blue Dragons but disguised as merchant ship that plies the northern coast of the Dragonmere, fast sailing cargo between the ports of Suzail, Teziir, Palagarr (on the isle of Prespur) and Marsember.

I have not used Forthin in my Monday Realms game yet.


[1] Ed Greenwood talked about the Bel's Blade and other haunted ships that ply the waters of the Realms over at Loremaster.org, but sadly that post was lost. Thanks go to Matt James for hosting that Ed Q&A as I got some pretty good ideas from it.

[2] See the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, page 106.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 31 Oct 2014 05:17:19
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:29:55  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Authkant Melevor

Nicknamed "old codpiece" for his lusty behavior and avarice in relating to the female gender of all races (particularly his ability to patiently suffer through stern refusals involving kicks to the groin and hurled objects) Authkant Melevor is a wily old War Wizard specializing in battle magics of the "blow up everything in sight" variety.

"Let's slay them all tonight, for I've a bed to warm before the morrow" is Authkant's motto. He eschews ritual magic and when not pursuing his amorous interests is constantly researching and devising new ways to destroy things as efficiently as possible with his own spellcastings.

Authkant can be quite charming to those he's just met, but is too quick to reveal his intentions and lacks any real sense of tact when it comes to the opposite sex. Authkant is a braggart and will not hesitate to share tales of his magical prowess on Cormyr's many battlefields, often slipping in subtle-as-bricks hints that grand spellcastings are not the only thing he's highly proficient at.

Authkant resides in the fortress city of Arabel and has in his free time made himself something of tour guide. He gives "tours" to unmarried and widowed noblewomen, promising to safely guide them through, "the wild, harsh and dangerous lands to the north, betwixt our fair and strong Arabel and the lightning-tossed peaks of the Stormhorns".

On such tours he teleports the noblewoman as near to danger as possible and materializes himself a few moments later, ready to hurl spells and over-worded invective at anything daring to endanger a (now terrified) noble lady of the realm.

In some instances Authkant will feign weakness and terror himself, then plead with the noble lady to grant him the "strength of the realm" through a passionate kiss and embrace, for he is, "drained of the vigor necessary to cast mighty battle magics and save us both!"

Such "swoon and save" tours (as he calls them) have been quite successful for Authkant; he has yet to lose a charge and shows no sign of slowing down.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 12 Apr 2014 10:28:07
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:31:35  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anduala Jhansibur

Anduala Jhansibur is a woman of some twenty winters who stands half a head taller than most Purple Dragons. A fresh recruit into the War Wizards, Anduala ("Dala" to those whom she befriends) was born and raised in the prosperous war town of Thunderstone and is the youngest of five sisters (all but one serving the crown in some capacity). She came to admire both the Purple Dragons, adventurers and War Wizards at a very young age.

Anduala grew up on adventurers tales of encounters with magical beasts of the Hullack Forest, as well as bard's tales of noble Cormyrians battling wicked Sembians and dark Netherese mages all around the Vast Swamp, from Besert to Highcastle to Battlerise to Azoun's Hold.

Tall though she may be, Anduala rides even taller in the saddle and has become quite expert at hurling blades and axes from horseback. She lets her long auburn hair loose to flow behind her and loves the feel of the wind in her face when riding at a full gallop.

In addition to spellcasting (a talent she was disappointed to learn she possessed, as she'd imagined herself becoming a Purple Dragon soldier in service to the King and did not want to be "just like her sisters") Anduala loves fine edged weapons of all types and owns an impressive collection of magical daggers and hand axes for such a young non-adventurer. She delights in sword play as much as spellcasting and is not afraid to take a hit, nor throw a punch.

Anduala despises arrogance and brutish, bullying behavior in others and will not hesitate to put a stop to it. She has already earned some measure of respect from the Purple Dragon garrison in Suzail after having literally pulled a Dragon off his horse and hurling him to the ground subsequent to that fellow insulting[1] a pair of lost uplander magelings who'd asked directions of the solider while trying to find their way in Suzail.

Initially trained as a War Wizard, her skill with a blade led her instructors to cease her regular arcane studies and enroll her in training as a Swordmage. Anduala deeply enjoys immersing herself in the study of combinatory magic and blade work, and looks forward to the day when she and her fellow Swordmages stand against the Eldreth Veluuthra and route them from the Hullack Forest once and for all[2].

I have not used Anduala in my Realms Campaign yet. If I had the chance to play a Swordmage of Cormyr, though, Anduala would be the character I'd make.


[1] "You're certain you're not from Zundle?" were the words that sent her into a rage. See Volo's Guide to Cormyr, page 126.

[2] See Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, page 108.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 09 Apr 2014 08:27:15
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:32:46  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mindala Jhansibur

Mindala Jhansibur is the eldest of five sisters and a semi-retired, veteran War Wizard. Mindala has spent the latter half of her career posing as a merchant based in Marsember who specializes in the acquisition and sale of ritual components and ritual scrolls of all types.

A petite, middle aged woman with mousy lips and short, curly brown hair, Mindala is exceptionally talented at casting eavesdropping magics and is fully capable of casting all the scrying rituals found in the Player's Handbook except for View Creature. When not posing as a merchant she spends her free time spying on nobles, merchants and the shadier doings of less reputable folk in Marsember and knows better than most that spices are not the only powders one can purchase there.

Mindala has embraced her dual role as a merchant/spy and is quite sociable. She can regularly be found at gatherings of nobles and merchants (particularly those events hosted by the self styled "Spice Lords" who rule the spice trade) where she rubs shoulders with the moneyed of Marsember. Mindala gathers and passes along gossip and information at these revels and enjoys dishing out subtle barbs and insults when engaging in wordplay with noblewomen and the wives of merchant's she dislikes.

When the need arises Mindala will let slip false rumors and news that she "just happened to hear and could not let remain unused" by her good friends. Such tellings are targeted at merchants or nobles who are suspected of dealing with spies, slavers and worse. Those who have acted on her information have revealed themselves to spying War Wizards and Highknights, stationed to observe who takes the bait and who does not.

Her identity as a War Wizard is known only by a few senior War Wizards based in Marsember[1], select Highknights who Mindala trusts[2] and the King's Lord of Marsember. Mindala has an extremely cool relationship with Ganrahast and would have left the War Wizards years ago, were it not for Vainrence's timely intervention.

Mindala's business is self sufficient as it brings in large amounts of coin, much of it coming from the coin purses of adventurers. Mindala is skilled at manipulating adventurers so they blunder into all sorts of trouble, often resulting in battles that give the watch cause to enter warehouses and property that Mindala suspects of housing illicit goods.

One of the Spice Lords who has been hardest hit by Mindala's manipulations suspects her of passing on information to the Crown (but does not know she is a War Wizard) and has set his agents to watching her and the goings on around her shop closely.

Player characters are as likely to find themselves working for Mindala (in exchange for discounts on ritual components and scrolls) as they are to be working for the Spice Lords in an effort to uncover information about her.


[1] Of the five senior War Wizards who know her true identity, three pose as merchants in Marsember, just as Mindala does.

[2] Two such Highknights work for Mindala, posing as errand runners and assistants. One Highknight is always in attendance at Mindala's Menagerie and both are ready and willing to stand fast against any threat.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 09 Apr 2014 08:28:39
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:34:20  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Orthos of Greatgaunt

Orthos, along with the work chamber and study located in a long disused wing of the Royal Court where he conducted his research, is officially recorded as dead and lost over ninety four years ago when the Spellplague decimated the ranks of Cormyr's War Wizards.

Orthos was a specialist in the art of researching and testing new spells designed to thwart eminent threats to the Forest Kingdom. His latest research focused on devising a means to magically detect and repel the last Ghazneth known to exist, with spells and wards that could overcome those creature's innate magic-absorption abilities.

When the Spellplague hit Orthos quickly realized some sort of magical catastrophe was decimating his fellow mages while literally rocking the world around him. He rushed back to his research chambers and once there took up a Ring of Three Wishes, wishing that both he and his work chamber be forever untouched by whatever was going on around him, "...as though it be immune to the ravages of time itself!"

Immediately the shaking and rumbling stopped. Confident in the ring's magic, Orthos went on with his research for the day, not having realized the ring had shorn Orthos and his dwelling out of the Royal Court and into a fixed-time demiplane.

The next day Orthos remembered the theories and ideas that he came up with the day before, as though they were fresh ideas that dawned upon him when he awoke, but no other memories remained in his mind beyond the sight of his fellow Wizards of War dying or being driven insane by the ravages of the Spellplague.

His work chamber showed no signs of use from the day before, his tomes bereft of the prior day's writings and his alchemical experiments magically reset to be just as they were when he made his wish, with Orthos none the wiser.

Every few years or so Orthos will come to decide he needs an alchemical reagent or spell component not found in his well stocked work chamber. In such instances he walks from his work chamber to his study, then exits into the Royal Court to go in search of what he needs.[1]

Over time he's been seen in increasingly out of date robes while wandering about the halls and passages, wondering out loud why the storage chambers have been moved and remarking at how relieved he is to see that no more of his fellow War Wizards are exploding in their boots.

"Ah, one of the lucky ones I see. Still have all your arms and legs, do you? Good, good! I don't suppose you can guide me to the components chamber, could you? I'm all turned around and seem to have lost my way."

During the war with Sembia, Orthos helped repel a Shadovar Archmage and her host of Umbriri swordmages who'd battled their way into the Royal Court. Orthos let loose with an unexpectedly adroit non-ritual casting of Planar Portal that ensnared the archmage and her escorts and whisked them all off to the Abyss. Orthos swiftly departed the scene of the battle to resume his research before anyone could stop him to offer congratulations, much less ask of him how he cast the spell so swiftly.

"Oh if Vangerdahast had had that spell when he came upon his first Ghazneth! This is proof I'm on to something, I tell you. So back to work. We mustn't keep Caladnei waiting!"

On another occasion Orthos was accosted by an angry noblewoman barging through the halls of the Royal Court. Orthos tried to ignore her and go on his way, but she demanded he delay his business to help locate her husband immediately.

"Oh I suppose I have a free moment or two, if it's for the good of the Realm as you say. May I take your hand, my dear?"

Thoroughly enspelled by an overpowered Sunite love charm, the noblewoman's desire switched from her husband to Orthos as soon as she took Orthos's proffered hand and the charm's magic came into contact with one of Orthos's personal (and very much experimental) anti-Ghazneth wards.

The magical conflagration that followed several breathless moments later shattered walls, floor and ceiling. When asked, the noblewoman (who wishes to remain unnamed in this tale) could not recall traveling to the Royal Court, much less how she came to be found safe and sound in the center of a whole building wing's worth of rubble.

Fortune (if not exactly Sune) favored the noblewoman that day, for she bore twins some three seasons later.

Sometimes Orthos will do no more than open his study door to toss out the leavings of a meal or set out a chamber pot. Such events have driven several generations of stewards and chamberlains bat-crazy.

Ganrahast suspects that Orthos is alive and well in some fashion and has also noticed subtle (and entirely unauthorized) improvements to the Full Wards that protect the Royal Court, but the demands on the Mage Royal and the infrequent sightings of Orthos have kept him from pursuing the matter any further.

*******

[1] The magic of the wish selects at random any closed door of the Royal Court and links it to Orthos' study.

A word of roleplaying advice, should you choose to use Orthos in your campaign: If you're familiar with professor Horace Slughorn from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (esp. as portrayed by Jim Broadbent in the movie adaption), Orthos is quite like him, save that where Horace is keen to keep a dark secret, Orthos is just as keen to perfect his Ghazneth warding magic.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 12 Apr 2014 10:40:41
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:35:42  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Orgreth Dinsimer

Orgreth is a short, stocky man with wide shoulders, close cropped brown hair, bushy eyebrows and a thick beard that all turn a deep red after several days under the sun. He has wide, flat hands and similarly proportioned feet, and is of such a square build that he can easily be mistaken for a dwarf at a distance.

Orgreth enjoys eating, drinking and good living. He is not a hedonist, nor a glutton, but takes pains to gain as much from each experience as possible, whether it be the simple act of eating or the complex task of penning a new ritual scroll.

Blendel Arcandle, Orgreth's father, impressed upon his son at a very young age that life was meant to be lived. For many life was far too short and often ended painfully, so it was best to live in the moment as much as possible and take all that one could from each experience.

This outlook, along with the early death of Orgreth's mother in childbirth, served as a great inspiration for Orgreth. While growing up in Gladehap, Orgreth experienced all the village had to offer. He's hurled himself across the sturdy cords that run between the village buildings on both sides of the dell where Gladehap is located, leaped off of Gladehap Rock to see whether the ring he'd just bought was truly a Ring of Feather Fall, learned to dress animal carcasses and prepare meats at the hugely popular Wyrmkindler's Carvery (formerly Wyrmkindler's Sausage Works) and learned the nature of commerce and demand from various Gladehap shop owners (Gladehap is still a prime destination for merchant caravans and nobles from Suzail).

In his teens Orgreth was both delighted and a little terrified to learn he could cast minor spells without the aid of a spellbook. News of his talent spread to his father, who insisted his son leave Gladehap to join the War Wizards. Though sad to leave his home, Orgreth headed his father's wishes and has yet to regret his decision.

Orgreth enjoys the thrill of battle and has matched spells with Cormyr's foes on several occasions. He prefers to ride in support of a charging company of mounted Purple Dragons formed up in a V formation, with Orgreth busily hurling battle spells from its center to soften up the enemy ranks before the Dragons crash through them.

Orgreth is currently stationed along Cormyr's eastern border at Azoun's Hold, between the free city of Daerlun and the village of Battlerise.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 25 Aug 2014 07:18:39
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:36:40  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Faerthin Seshore

Faerthin Seshore was born in the formidable fortress keep of Hornshield[1] and raised to continue on with the long tradition of crafting, metalwork and glasswork that Hornshield's artisans are famous for.

A tall, thin man with a rather square head and a long, freckled nose who tires quite easily, Faerthin moves about in an ungainly, not-quite lumbering sort of way and sits with a bit of a slouch owing to much time spent as a youth leaning over a workbench while doing fine, detailed metalwork and engraving. For all his clumsiness Faerthin possesses exceptionally nimble hands and is skilled at manipulating small objects such as lock tumblers, artisans tools, clockwork gears and spell components.

Faerthin grew to despise the idea of a life lived in solitude, where endless hard work, long hours and the never ending dictates of the council of elders who collectively rule over Hornshield would come to rule his own adult life. He vowed to free himself from Hornshield and pursue his own interests.

The discovery of his arcane powers led Faerthin to secretly pursue his magical studies, believing this to be a gift from the gods meant to remove him from a life of endless toil and servitude. He masked his interest in magic as no more than curiosity about how the group of mages who magically transport goods to other parts of Cormyr conduct their business, just as he claimed his interest in the long-dead mage Aumrathar Uernhands, who once resided at Hornshield, as a passing curiosity about Hornshield's history.

Faerthin diligently pursued the art of crafting locks and the creation of ornate metal work, eventually earning himself his own workspace. He learned to quickly create objects of surpassing quality and used his remaining time alone to secretly study ritual scrolls and a single tattered old spellbook he'd stumbled upon after getting himself lost in the depths of Hornshield's catacombs.

Faerthin soon realized he had learned all he could from the limited means at hand and, as he was of age, he chose to rebel. In a burst of unexpected defiance, Faerthin revealed his powers of the Art, but made it clear to his immediate family that he'd not become another magemule, hidebound to the dictates of the keep and its need to have finished goods magically transported to warehouses in Suzail.

Before his father could have him run out of the castle, Faerthin begged transport from one of the mages who moved Hornshield's goods to Suzail, convincing the mage to take him to the next Council of Mages meeting so he could present himself as a fresh recruit to the War Wizards.

Fortune favored Faerthin, for his encyclopedic knowledge of Hornshield's activities, as well as his relative frailty, was sufficient to earn him a watch post at the Royal Court. His duty is to receive, catalog and meticulously store information and reports from War Wizard spies[2] who keep watch over all commerce in Cormyr. He reports to Vainrence once a tenday.

With the passage of time Faerthin has grown accustomed to sitting behind a desk, receiving information from War Wizard agents across Cormyr and forwarding the occasional order or decree from Ganrahast. Faerthin keeps to the Royal Court as much as possible.

Faerthin pursues his work diligently and with great care. His greatest nightmare is making a mistake that leads to him being stationed in the "outland" regions (that is, anything beyond Suzail and the Royal Court) or horror of horrors being forced to camp in the wilds with a pack of brutish Purple Dragons and their smelly mounts.

He greatly prefers having a roof over his head, avoids inclement weather and is ill at ease when there is no ready access to food, drink and a warm bed. He considers Suzail to be the epicenter of culture and civilization, its every part designed to keep him comfortable and safe.

His time in Suzail has given Faerthin something of an eye for architecture and how the finished products produced in his old home are used. He keeps in his quarters the old tools of his family's crafting trade.

In his free time he sits alone, patiently creating wood, metal and glass replicas of his favorite buildings in Suzail.

Faerthin idolizes the one-time Defender of Suzail (Maxer Hlaar) and is curious to recover any of Maxer's lost constructs and creations. As Faerthin is not one to go poking about into dangerous things on his own, he has instead quietly researched as much as he could about Maxer's creations and former abode and is considering approaching the Society of Stalwart Adventurers—by means of an agent—to enquire if any of its intrepid members would be willing to pursue the matter further on his behalf.


[1] See Volo's Guide to Cormyr, page 212.

[2] The wizard who transported Faerthin out of Hornshield, he was surprised to learn, was just such a spy.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 09 Apr 2014 08:29:59
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:37:34  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Eltagar Ironhand

Eltagar Ironhand is a War Wizard who specializes in magically repairing stonework and designing castle fortifications. Eltagar is part of a group of War Wizards tasked with continually fortifying, testing and improving the physical and magical defenses of Cormyr's various fortresses and castles.

Eltagar is a vociferous, opinionated wizard who firmly believes Azoun's Hold and Castle Acacia are simply not strong enough, nor big enough to handle future onslaughts by the Sembians and Netherese (it's only a matter of time, according to Eltagar). He often butts heads with crown officials who are not War Wizards and has more than once had to be physically restrained from magically burning to cinders senior courtiers who disagreed with him.

Eltagar sees enemies of the realm under every rock and in every shadow and views conflict as an eventuality. That war will return to Cormyr in some fashion is not an issue of if, but when.

To Eltagar's way of thinking Castle Crag and High Horn are the best examples of how a castle is built to survive and win and Cormyr should have at least six or more similar keeps all along its frontier.

Were Eltagar's more extreme ideas ever to be implemented, Cormyr would have a curtain wall stretching from the eastern edge of the Stormhorns all the way to the Thunder Peaks. There would also be a castle constructed along the southern edge of the Dragonmere between Teziir and Elversult.

Fortunately Ganrahast keeps Eltagar far too busy inspecting and improving the extant castles of Cormyr to ever find the time and support necessary to see his ideas to fruition.

Eltagar's interests are not just limited to Cormyr's castles. He is just as interested in the castles and fortifications of other nations, city states and organizations. He is particularly fascinated by the five hundred foot tall obsidian walls that surround Daerlun and eager to learn the history of how Darkhold was built.

The secrets of the former's construction are something Eltagar highly covets. He would pay handsomely for any information revealing the secret of how the Netherese created Daerlun's walls.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 08 May 2012 06:49:22
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Almarr Massingham

Almarr Massingham is a liar, a murderer and a scoundrel of the first order. He has been nearly drummed out of the War Wizards on at least three different occasions.

The latest near-expulsion occured under questioning over events that took place in the mining town of Hillmarch.

Almarr was (and still is) suspected in the murder of at least one noble: Blaise Hawklin, second in line to head the Hawklin family after his brother Berendor, who invested heavily of his own funds in Hillmarch to reopen an abandoned mine rumored* to have yielded up strange, magical ores.

Aside from murder, Almarr is believed to have blackmailed a successful sword maker into double paying fees for the inspection, sealing and transport of his blades through the realm. He has been accused of abandoning his watch post and other duties as well.

For all this Almarr has managed to successfully lie, implicate others, once eliminate a witness and generally do whatever it takes to pull himself out of the fire.

Ganrahast has chosen to keep Almarr in Suzail where he can keep an eye on him. This is well, as Almarr has prepared and secreted away in an abandoned mine north of Hillmarch a cache of secret Cormyrian documents listing known gates, portals and extradimensional hideaways created by the Sword Heralds of Cormyr, as well as their means of activation and known destinations.

It is in this mine that the last of Blaise Hawklin's considerable personal fortune may be found, as well as his moldering corpse.

Almarr's portal and refuge list is lengthy and in some cases damning. In the wrong hands it could lead a would be gang of criminals to untold hidden away riches belonging to several noble families and provide them with objects presumed lost, as well as incriminating documents that would allow such criminals to extort at least three extant noble families into ruination.

Almarr is being investigated and closely watched by the Alarphons and at least one Highknight. He is aware he's being surveilled and currently keeps a low profile, seeing to his assigned tasks with simple, unhurried efficiency.

His wish to be done with and gone from Cormyr grows with each passing day. Almarr is toying with the idea of hiring adventurers through his merchant contact in Arabel to retrieve his hidden cache, then have the merchant hire assassins or less scrupulous adventurers to eliminate the first party outside the mine and dispose of their bodies in one of its dark shafts.

Almarr has no interest in turning the list over to an enemy of Cormyr such as Sembia, Netheril or even Westgate, as this would be "wrong" to him. He is not, however, above selling the list to the highest merchant bidder. What they choose to do with it is none of his concern.


*Rumors supplied by Almarr's merchant contacts, with the strange ore no more than common iron ore enchanted by Almarr to seem rare and magical.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 01 Oct 2013 08:37:18
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:39:34  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bindle Blackfeather

Bindle Blackfeather is a small, thin man of with closely cropped black hair, inquisitive eyes that look out from under long, thin eyebrows, who sports a sharply cut goatee and moustache that wrap around small, forever pursed lips.

Bindle is a man of few words and highly efficient motions. He does not waste time with needless gestures nor long-worded sentences. He can convey by stance and posture alone his impatience with anyone he perceives is wasting his time and can easily communicate "get to the point" with but a look.

Protecting the ever busy Warden of the Eastern Marches (Warvred Emmarask, based in Castle Crag) is Bindle's responsibility. It is a task he takes very seriously.

The similar natures of the two men leads to a sort of mutual, unspoken understanding between them where gestures, looks and nods are sufficient to communicate volumes. Bindle admires Warvred's ability to digest, analyze and retain large amounts of information before issuing precise orders to the Purple Dragons under his control with a bare minimum of fuss and effort.

Warvred is forever moving about Castle Crag and the surrounding environs, often personally leading patrols of 40 to 60 Purple Dragons into the wilds between Gnoll Pass, The Redwoods and the eastern borders of the Hullack Forest to inspect merchant caravans and waylay anything the Warden perceives as a threat to Cormyr.

When not on patrol Warvred moves about by Gates and Linked Portal rituals to Arabel, Castle Nacacia and Azoun's Hold, constantly seeking information, asking questions, testing the readiness of the Purple Dragons based at these locations and keeping all in a state of battle readiness.

In all of these tasks Bindle is constantly challenged to stay one step ahead of the Warden, to anticipate his needs and decisions and make sure the way is clear and safe for him to proceed.

Ganrahast is most pleased with Bindle's efforts, having failed thrice before to find a Wizard of War amongst the Brotherhood capable of keeping up with Warvred while avoiding his easily-roused ire. With Ganrast's approval, Bindle was allowed to handpick eight other war wizards to serve as his assistants and extra bodyguards for Warvred.

Five of these eight remain alive. Three were slain along with several Purple Dragons while protecting the Warden from a large contingent of Eldreth Veluuthra who'd crossed the Immerflow south of Elfmound and ambushed a patrol the Warden was leading.

Sensing the unique threat posed by the Eladrin, Bindle is looking to replace these mages with highly motivated War Wizards skilled in the battle art of the swordmage or the various warlock pacts.

Much like Vainrence, both Bindle and Warvred believe the College of War Wizards should be militarized and turned into a spear wielded by the King to skewer Cormyr's enemies.

After nearly losing his life and that of his charge to the human hating Eladrin and Elves of the Hullack Forest, Bindle believes that spear should be pointed right at the forest's heart.

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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:41:39  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Imdar the Stout

Imdar the Stout was born in 1442 DR (the Year of Darkenbeasts Risen), in the village of Wormtower*, itself nestled between the Mistwood Trail and the Bluemist Trail, southeast of Kirinwood.

Imdar is called "the Stout" thanks to his wide build, solid features and protruding belly. Imdar's corpulence has often led others to mistake him for a soft, biddable man, or to think him no more than a lazy glutton.

While he does like to eat (Imdar can consume a whole basket of Kirinwood-raised apples in one sitting) he is by no means spineless. On the contrary, Imdar is a resolute man with a will of iron and an almost fanatical belief in the righteousness of Cormyr.

Like many youths of Cormyr, Imdar was raised on tales and legends of Cormyr's many conflicts and the prevailing glory of its wise rulers and way of life. But unlike other youths, the tales told to Imdar were imparted to him by the dragon ghost who dwells at the heart of the tower ruins that gave the village of Wormtower its name.

As a boy Imdar chanced upon a small, oval shaped stone with a strange rune carved into one side, with a mithril loop jutting out from its top and a chain of the same material running through the loop. He found the stone half buried in the earth near the border of the village where Wormtower's cobblestoned lanes and hedgerows end.

Not knowing any better, the lad set the chain around his neck and placed the stone beneath his woolen shirt. As he made his way down the path, the stone warmed over his breast and a voice spoke in his mind, ’Finally..."

Curious, but not yet scared, Imdar said aloud, "Finally what?" To which the voice in his head replied, "Finally one has come who is worthy and can be taught. Seek me in the ruin, boy. I trust you know of which ruin I speak?"

At this Imdar did know fear. Try as he might, he couldn't remove the necklace, his fingers flowing through it and the pendant as though they were made of air. Imdar rushed home to get help, not caring for the consequences levied on him for getting a strange magical thing stuck around his neck. Yet when he did find his parents and tore his shirt off no necklace with a pendant could be seen, though Imdar could still feel the weight of it on his neck and its warmth on his chest.

In bed later that night the voice came to him again, "Come to me, boy. I have much to teach and your lives are too pitifully short. Come. Now. Hesitation is for the weak."

Anxious to be rid of the pendant, Imdar snuck out of his home and visited the ghost dragon that night at the ruins of Wormtower, where the voice beckoned him to come forth and sit before the massive skeleton of the dragon. The five tower spires that girded the ruins did not rain lightning down upon him, though he greatly feared they would. Nor did he get turned into a bat or a toad or a rock and then disappear like so many before who'd dared tresspass Wormtower.

That night the ghost dragon told Imdar of its birthplace in the Eastern Stormhorns, of how mages of Anauria and Asram slew its parents and carried away its brothers and sisters while they were still in their eggs, of how the men discarded the dragon's egg upon seeing it damaged, and how a now-dead goddess appeared before the struggling hatchling with the gift of vigor and the means to survive alone.

It told Imdar how the goddess taught it secrets of the Art, then bade the dragon go forth to find humans who were not like those of the now-dead Netherese survivor states, but were worthy to learn the Art and could be taught by the Dragon as it saw fit. The ghost dragon told him of how it and others like it taught free mages the art of Dragon Lair Magic and how to create extradimensional safeholds to secret away truly valuable things.

Fascinated, Imdar returned the next night and the night after that. In all the tales told by the ghost dragon of its many centuries of teaching magic to humans of Cormyr and the surrounding lands, it wove in the story of Cormyr's long history, the nature of the pact between men and elves that binds the Obarskyrs and the people of Cormyr to the land, of its many rulers, its heroes, its mistakes and its struggle to grow, fight and survive.

When not telling tales, the ghost dragon taught Imdar secrets of the Art. He taught the boy that the power of magic came from the land, the oceans and life itself and flowed through all things, and that from this was born the Weave. He taught Imdar that until recently the Weave was the best means to access this magic, but in its absence great magic was still possible.

The ghost dragon tempered young Imdar's impatience to learn new magic with threats to withhold its tales of Cormyr. The boy learned well under its tutelage.

When Imdar came of age the ghost dragon told Imdar the story he'd long wanted to know: How the ghost dragon died and why it slew the mage Nendar Thrinn, whose remains lay beneath the bones of the ghost dragon in the ruins of Nendar's former tower.

Imdar had great pride in the nation of his birth, but this last accounting inspired in him such love for Cormyr that he resolved to travel to Suzail and present himself before the Council of Mages to be accepted as a War Wizard.

Ganrahast almost lost newly minted Wizard of War Imdar to the King after the Mage Royal commanded Imdar to deliver a message of minor importance to his majesty, then return swiftly for his next assignment. A group of sages were imparting to the King information about the known history of dragons lairing in the Stormhorns as Imdar entered that particular chamber of the Royal Palace.

His interest piqued, Imdar waited patiently and listened to each sage's remarks. But upon hearing the sages confidently declare the number of dragon lairs to be found in that region of Cormyr, Imdar politely interrupted and good-naturedly corrected them, noting there were at least sixteen other dragons, now dead and gone, whose lairs in the Stormhorns the sages had failed to include--of which ten were infested by beholders** and one the lair of the dragon whose bones sat at the center of the Wormtower ruin.

Surprised and more than a little put out by the fat, ruddy faced young Wawr wizard's bold claims, the sages went on the offensive by peppering Imdar with a series of difficult questions regarding dragons, intending to betray his ignorance and drive him off. But the young man answered with ease and levied his own questions at the sages.

The coterie of learned sages could not answer even half the questions Imdar asked.

King Foril was on the verge of reassigning Imdar to the Royal Court when an impatient Ganrahast appeared in the chamber and spirited his fellow mage away from the King and his advisors.

Imdar's duties revolve around advancement of the Art and the creation of new spells and magic items that can mimic the power and efficacy of rituals (which take much longer to cast and are quite costly). He works in the fortress barracks shared by the Purple Dragons and the War Wizards and has personally researched over twenty battle spells now in wide use by the Brotherhood.

Imdar still bears the last passage stone created by Nendar Thrinn, which according to the ghost dragon is bound to Imdar until he dies or becomes unworthy. When in need of coin (the ghost dragon has opened its hoard to Imdar) or advice on the Art, Imdar conceals himself by means of his magic and visits the ghost dragon of Wormtower.


*Information on Wormtower can be found on pages 118-120 of Volo's Guide to Cormyr.

** See Ed Greenwood's Eye On the Realms article: Xrarnuarr Will Triumph, Dragon #406

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 05 May 2012 20:05:15
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Haerldoun "Six Fingers" Hornscar


"Haerldoun Walks the Royal Court"


Magic no longer flows smoothly or easily. Men (and elves, dragons and worse) are still relearning its ways. Like a used woman in tattered clothes, magic stands abused, torn and wild, and will not always bend to one's will, no matter how strong that will may be.

A key on a ring, the ring attached by a tassel to a wrist. The ring is wide, it fits in his hand as he curls his fingers around it. His arm hangs leisurely at his side, the key dangling like an extra finger.

Magic is willful. Its parts are disjointed, like a broken mirror that cannot be fit back together. Shattered is too staid a word for magic as it is now. Old ways no longer work. If you follow them, you will find death. The edge of a broken shard of magic will cut you down as surely as a blade through the heart.

The key is enchanted; a thing of old magic. The ring itself is a like a calling stone. If the key is lost or stolen, the ring can recall it, much like a magic weapon once thrown or hurled will return to its owner's hand. This is how the Blackstaff wanted it. If the key is destroyed...

But broken pieces mean broken rules. A proper reflection in the mirror of magic is now a thousand separate reflections, each showing the same thing in a different way. Some reflections are bigger, others smaller, some show this and some show that.

Haerldoun lost the key. That is, the key fell prey to a purple dragon, too hasty to bar Haerldoun's way upon his unlocking a door and unexpectedly finding the King himself in the midst of a heated discussion with the Mage Royal and the heads of the families Silver.

Cast a spell in the old manner and it can turn out any of a thousand slightly different ways.

The purple dragon grabbed Haerldoun's wrist firmly and pushed him back. Wrist attached to tassel, tassel to ring, ring to key and key in the keyhole.

Learn those differences and you discover the keys to power.

The key snapped. A flash, a bang. Half the key remained on the ring, the other half in the keyhole.

Learn which pieces fit and you unlock the old secrets.

A ring of black, charred flesh left in Haerldoun's hand as the key ring glowed red hot.

Discover which pieces fit in new ways and you stand higher than any master of the Art.

Haerldoun attempted to repair the key. Would that he used his other hand, the one not charred, to complete the ritual.

Remake the mirror and you awaken the goddess of magic.


Haerldoun has no key and no key ring, but he possesses a sixth finger. It's on his ring-scarred hand, a twin of his ring finger.

Or the god of magic, if Asmodeus has his way.

Haerldoun walks the Royal Court. When he touches any locked door with that extra finger, then wraps his scarred hand around the door handle, the door always—always—opens.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 03 May 2012 07:46:35
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  07:56:57  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
NOTE: This writeup is presented in story form.



Mindra Theld

Mindra Theld's eyes opened. Her mind was thick with the fog of sleep, the whole of her body heavy and warm with the weight of a long, restful slumber. She was happy to have awakened. A Wizard of War of her advanced years had far fewer days ahead then days left behind in the wake of time.

She threw aside the large bedsheet and let her legs dangle over the side. The chamber her bed occupied was one of several that comprised the inner spaces of a tall, many-leveled stone tower that jutted up from the grim walls of the College of War Wizards.

Half-remembered thoughts and images played through her mind as she breathed slowly and ordered her thoughts. Memories of concerned junior War Wizards—her apprentices all—bidding her farewell and a safe journey to whichever god would claim her; the last rights administered by a wandering priest of Mystra, Goddess of Magic; a dream image: awakening on a cool, hard surface and the grim, sharp face of a man looking down at her with cold, calculating eyes; a massive, many-eyed and tentacled thing floating before her, gobs of drool falling from teeth the size of daggers as it dragged her kicking and screaming by the leg, one of its tentacles lifting her up and then depositing her into a great, fang-filled maw. Then…here, resting as though from the most peaceful, trouble free slumber she'd ever had.

Ha! The feebleminded dreams of an old, doddering war wizard—one well past her prime and too near to death. Her apprentices would just have to be patient, she thought to herself. Mindra Theld, retired Court Wizard of all Cormyr and senior member of the Brotherhood of the Wizards of War was not done drawing breath in this world just yet.

She stood up and padded along the floor, then frowned as she looked down at her feet. Why was she dressed in brand new riding boots? And why in Mystra's name had someone dared to place a huge, bearskin rug at the side of her bed? The head of the beast was still attached, its open mouth pointing towards the only door set in the wall of her chambers.

As the light of the rising sun washed through the multicolored glass of the tall window that stood opposite the door, Mindra slowly turned and beheld a room that was not of her own making.

The old ironwood desk that sat for years against the curved wall near the foot of her bed was not there. In its place a tall wooden armoire stood, its two doors shut and fastened together by a complex set of locks and dials. Its clockwork arrangement was unlike anything Mindra had ever seen.

Between the great window and the armoire, the stone bookshelf that had long been a repository for her spellbooks, spell scrolls and magic items still stood, but its contents were not hers. Spellbooks resided there, but she recognized none of them as her own. Where a bundle of battle wands should have been, spell scrolls sealed in green wax were piled up. Steel vials of healing potions once stacked neatly on the topmost shelf had been replaced by disorganized piles of spell components.

Uncertainty welling up in her breast, Mindra rounded the foot of the bed to the window and threw the catch. She cranked the window open and beheld Suzail, capitol of Cormyr and seat of the Dragon Throne.

Only this was not the Suzail she knew. The rising sun illuminated a city twice the size of the one she'd gone to bed in. The docks held row after row of tall-masted ships, their sails painted hues of gold and pink in the sunrise light. Warehouses and buildings stood where once small copses of trees and grass stood. The great wall that surrounded the city stood taller—and further out—than she'd ever seen.

Her view included the Royal Palace of the King of Cormyr. The walls appeared to have been built over, with new wings and towers added. The College of War Wizards had seen change as well. Once a single tower housed all the mages sworn to protect the realm. Now four towers of equal height stood, one to a corner of the College.

The Royal Court had grown too, becoming a sprawling, many-winged and towered mass that had swallowed all the land before the great hill upon which the Royal Palace stood.

Mindra closed the window and turned away from the view of a city now alien to her. She leaned against the stone window sill, taking in the room and pondered her situation.

What madness was this? Had her chambers already been reassigned. Would they dare remove her possessions and replace them with her successor's, with her dead in her own bed?

Or was this all a mind-image, spellwrought upon her by an overly concerned priest of Mystra, that she might in her last moments see a future Cormyr in all its radiant glory? If this was a dream meant to placate her, it was doing a damned poor job of it.

Whether real or fake, there was little sense in staying in her chamber. She raised her right hand to favor the War Wizard ring she'd worn for almost the entirety of her service to the Crown. Even if asleep or in the midst of an arcane mind trap, Mindra could call upon the ring to carry a message from her mind to all of her apprentices who wore the other four rings that comprised the full set of five.

Only the ring was not there. She quickly raised her left hand and found it bereft of rings as well.

But her hands...these were not her hands! Mindra had walked for nearly six decades in this world, forty of those in service to the Crown and these were not the hands of the old, near-to-death crone she'd become. They were not stained by spell inks from the countless spell scrolls she’d penned, nor did the shape of her finger bones show through paper-white skin that should have been wrinkled and sagging.

These hands were flush with youth, the skin taught and tanned.

She reached to unclasp her robe and found that it was of a burnt orange color, with a round red badge over the right breast. A black sphere with five wavering tentacles was depicted on the badge. Each tentacle carried one item: rod, staff, wand, sword and crown.

This was no heraldic device she'd ever seen. Nor was this the robe she’d gone to sleep in, thinking—nay, hoping—this would be her last rest in these chambers. The robe had pouches sewn along the inside where spell components, wands and small weapons could be concealed, but all were empty.

She hastily threw off the robe. Underneath she was clothed in a simple cotton shirt and pants held up by a belt with extra loops that could hold magical rods, wands and a sword scabbard. A potion bandolier looped over her chest from left shoulder to right hip. She could feel thin but comfortable socks clothing her feet inside riding boots that felt well worn, but looked entirely new.

This was garb for battle, not a funeral. By Tempus was there a war on that nobody had informed her about?

She took one last look at the outfit before she sat on the bed, kicked off the riding boots and removed the bandolier. Then she stood and disrobed.

She turned from side to side, taking in as much of her naked form as she could with her eyes while feeling the shape of her body with her hands. This was her body, but years younger. The scars along her right arm where she'd been blasted by lightening were there, as were the trio of white marks that showed where she'd taken three crossbow bolts in the gut. But the deep, puckered scars that should have run the length of her thigh and up her hip where the hydra had bitten her did not exist. Nor the ragged scar where her thigh bone had burst forth as the hydra crushed her leg. The white slash of a scar on her left arm where she'd stopped an assassin's blade meant for her throat was absent too.

Mindra was thrilled to find the ever-present aches of age were gone. She stood straight up, the hunch in her back absent as though it had never been. Her breathing was no longer a ragged labor. She could actually lift her arms over her head and even bend them at the elbows to touch her back between her shoulder blades. She brought her hands up to her hair and lifted it up to her eyes: it was long, brown and thick, with just a hint of the grey that would turn silver in time.

The delight of newfound youth was replaced by concern: what game was this? How had she come to stand in a younger body, while all around her Cormyr appeared much older?

A bolt was thrown and the door it held shut opened partway. The sounds of bustling feet and voices flowed into the room as Mindra dashed forward more swiftly then she'd moved in the last twenty years, gathering her robe, clothes and bandolier and pulling them down to the floor at the side of the bed.

The confident voice of a man mingled with the din in the hallway beyond and rolled over the bed to Mindra's ears. "I care little what the patron of the Truesilver family has told you. The Suzail Writ binds King, noble, war wizard and commoner alike. If Lord Truesilver believes those commoners who farm his lands have banded together to steal a portion of his crops and sell them for their own gain, then a crime has potentially been committed outside the jurisdiction of the nearest local lord. By law a war wizard and not the King’s Lord of Arabel—or of Eveningstar, for that matter—must be sent to oversee the creation of a jury to determine whether Lord Truesilver's accusations are true.”

“But,” said a lesser voice, “Lord Truesilver has declared he will only accept the judgment of men he’s ridden into battle with.”

The voice of the man at the door became stern, “The power of judgment belongs to the jury, within the bounds of the Writ as adjudicated by a wizard of war and not whichever local lord the aging head of the Truesilver family has gone to battle with.”

“Couldn’t whomever of our Order is assigned to the Truesilver family adjudicate this matter?” the young voice asked.

“Yes. But, as Ganrahast has told us all, the War Wizards are to remain as neutral as possible in all legal matters over which the Writ holds sway. Another must adjudicate this matter and that war wizard is you, Thurldinn. Lord Truesilver anticipated your appointment which is why he dispatched a messenger to warn you away.”

A brief pause, then the voice added, “Find a saddle and requisition an escort of Purple Dragons. Lord Truesilver's holdings are far west of Arabel. You'd best be on your way and stay well ahead of his lordship's retinue. He's not known for his patience and will likely leave Suzail to try and outrace you once he learns at this morning’s session of Petition and Redress that I have already dispatched a war wizard to oversee his complaint.”

Mindra tensed at the sound of someone stepping into the chamber.

“We cannot have nobles dispensing their particular brand of justice in our place, Thurldinn. And fear not. Lord Truesilver is more bluster than real threat. He will not have the next uninvited Wizard of War who sets foot on his lands be drawn and quartered."

"May it be as you say. Many thanks, Master Vainrence. I shall depart at once."

"Safe journey, Thurldinn."

The door was closed with more force than necessary. Mindra could hear the one called Vainrence speak an impatient word of magic that caused the bolt on the outside of the door to slam home.

"Greetings, old bear," said Vainrence as he walked past the the bearskin rug to the armoire.

Mindra heard the ticking sound of swiftly turned dials and the winding of gears. Peering around the foot of the bed, Mindra spied thin metal clasps unlock as the two wooden doors of the armoire parted slightly before Vainrence.

The wizard, for he could not be anything else, impatiently opened the right hand door and shrugged off the simple blue robes he was wearing. He hung them on a peg inside the armoire and then selected a formal set of robes striped in black and purple, which he donned swiftly and belted firmly at his waist.

A large oval mirror girded in silver filigree hung on the inside panel of one door. Mindra's eyes grew wide at the sight of it as Vainrence regarded his reflection with a critical eye.

The mirror had belonged to Mindra, once.

“Lord Truesilver is finally realizing his word does not hold sway at Court as it once did,” Vainrence said to his reflection.

An elderly female voice answered from within the mirror, "Lord Truesilver was once a great warrior who served Cormyr with distinction. But the passage of time—particularly the death of Azoun V—has left him bereft of contemporaries.”

“He’s the last of his generation and has no more battlefields on which to fight,” Vainrence stated matter of factly.

The surface along the edge of the mirror rippled as the voice emanated from it. “I cannot imagine one so old as he drawing breath much longer. Fortunately his sons are wiser and more patient than their aged father. The eldest has already put himself in charge of overseeing their holdings north of the King’s Forrest. He will be there when Thurldinn arrives and seek to tame his father before he can do too much damage.”

Vainrence grunted at this as he carefully weighed a pair of wands in each hand. He selected one and slid it into a sheath in his right boot.

The voice in the mirror continued, “Thurldrinn will adjudicate wisely. Consider: no matter how much he might fear offending the elderly patron of the Truesilvers, he is more afraid of displeasing you or Ganrahast. His judgment in this matter will be fair."

Mindra sat stock still, her hand over her mouth to stifle the gasp that threatened to lurch forth from her throat. The voice coming from the mirror was hers! And that could only mean…no. How by all the Watching Gods could she be dead when she was crouched to one side of the bed, hiding like some sneak thief?

Vainrence spoke to the mirror as though it were a colleague, "I would prefer a law appended to the Writ that all male nobles over the age of sixty be put down as a favor to the Crown. Or something to the effect that they be buckled into their best armor, given a sword and sent off on an equally old steed—roped down onto the saddle so they don’t fall off after the first ten paces, of course—to the frontier to do battle with brigands and worse until horse and rider are finally slain. Do you think His Majesty will see fit to add such to the Writ?" he asked the mirror in mock seriousness.

"Would that I had been placed in his Majesty's private chambers, I am sure I could convince him of the wisdom of your ideas," the mirror replied earnestly, playing along.

Vainrence smiled, "You are too valuable to be given over to his majesty. Impatient, battle-seeking Crown mages such as I have long benefited from your wisdom and council down the centuries."

Centuries!?

As Vainrence moved to close the armoire the mirror spoke, "Could you leave the door open towards the window? I miss the view."

"You know I cannot leave the window open. T'would render the tower vulnerable to intrusion as the wards over the window will remain inactive."

"Yes, I know. But I miss even the sight of it. I need see only the window for now."

Vainrence looked into the mirror again and sketched a formal court bow, "As you wish, milady."

"Many thanks, kind sir," the mirror replied in the same courtly tone. "May your time as substitute Court Wizard be short, ere Ganrahast returns."

"May it be just as you say, milady. I prefer the wilds of the frontier, where blasting foes to bits and questioning their spirits after the fact are a permissible form of diplomacy. Such tactics, unfortunately, are frowned upon at Court."

Mindra heard the War Wizard called Vainrence chuckle at his joke as he walked to the door of his chambers and spoke a different word of magic to release the bolt outside.

Mindra waited until Vainrence had stepped onto the flagstone floor of the central tower stairway and closed the door behind him before she stood up on unsure legs and walked to the mirror.

The bolt to his chambers closed as Mindra’s reflection, wrinkled and bent with age, regarded her with milky blue eyes.

Each said to the other, "You should not be here."

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 01 Oct 2013 07:50:32
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Interlude: Unknown War Wizard -- also written in story form.

Like a fire devouring parchment the light moved slowly, its leading edge a ribbon-like band of white that flowed over tunnel walls, rocky ceilings and cave floors, spreading outward from the great central chamber where it originated to touch every conceivable surface in the closed-off expanse of the Underdark beneath Cormyr.

Whatever the light touched became radiant. The light exposed stone the color of chalk as it hounded the darkness deeper into the outer reaches of the caverns.

The light climbed up stalagmites, forming rings at their base and rising like water in a basin. When it reached each stone tip the light shone brightly. Soon the great central chamber was illuminated by hundreds of stone candles.

Further into the complex the light found what it was seeking.

Two bands of hard stone rose up from the floor of a small cave, like a pair of bridges arching over a river. They wrapped around the chest of a man half-interred in the floor of the cave. His eyes remained closed as the stone that held him glowed from within as the light flowed over it. Then, into it.

The stone shined brighter, its hard surface turning yellow then smoldering red as light poured into it. The silence in the cave was broken by a sound like thunder as the twin bands of stone burst apart in a fiery cascade of red hot motes of light.

The limp figure of the man rose up on unseen magical hands to float in the midst of the embers as they coalesced and began to rotate around him.

The air hummed as the motes spun faster around the man’s torso, arms and legs. Soon they were spinning fast as lightening, their circular orbit forming thick bands of red and gold that emitted wisps of sparkling thread.

The threads fell over the man, forming into boots, shirt, pants, and finally robes the color of burnt orange.

The swirling bands, now greatly diminished, slowed and then stopped above him. The few remaining motes of orange and red, now dim points of light, passed through the man’s clothes and into his body.

His back arched and his arms and legs spasmed, his mouth forming a wordless scream as blazing white light burst from his eyes, mouth and chest.

The eruption of light dissipated and the man's chest rose and fell of its own accord, drawing in the deep, full breaths of slumber.

Beneath the now sleeping man, the living radiance pooled in the oval cavity in the cave floor where the man had been interred.

The magic that held the man aloft ceased and he fell, disappearing into the pool of light.

The pool of radiance disappeared after the man. A recess of cold, hard stone in the shape of a humanoid form the only evidence that he'd once lain there.

The remaining light in the cave retreated quickly back along the tunnel walls, receding like an ocean wave falling back into the sea.

The winking lights on the tips of stalactites and stalagmites went out one by one as the radiance withdrew into the massive cavern where a great white orb, tall as a wizard's tower and wide as a castle keep, stood immobile. The light flowed over and into the orb, then disappeared inside it.

Darkness reigned again in the caverns far below the surface of Cormyr.

Up above, somewhere on the surface of the Forest Kingdom, another Wizard of War awakened to life after death.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 01 Dec 2013 08:36:00
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Taltar Battlestorm


To think of a foe is to find him.
--old Realmsian saying[1]


A native of Stonebolt Fields[2] (known formally as the Spurbright Steads) Taltar Battlestorm is not the sort of war wizard who avoids physical confrontations.

On the contrary, delivering a punch, breaking bones and causing physical harm are part and parcel of how Taltar prefers to perform his duties: up close and personal.

Rarely did Purple Dragons ride into the farm fields on either side of the Way of the Dragon north of Espar where Taltar grew up, and so there was no one to protect the farmers from the ever increasing demands of the coin-starved Spurbright nobles—these demands often as not delivered with violence by Spurbright bullyblades—to produce more for less coin.

By the time Taltar was born, his six older brothers and sisters were already living in squalid conditions and his family had grown poor under the strain of feeding several mouths. Fighting and squabbling with his siblings was the norm, but when it came to dealing with the Spurbrights, Taltar’s family presented a united front.

By the time he was twelve, Taltar knew how to unseat a rider and wrestle a man to the ground, there to break bones or sprain ankles, knees or wrists, either on his own or with the help of others.

Rarely did Taltar tend a field alone and in time, when the Spurbrights and their enforcers rode the fields, they did so in groups of twenty or more.

It wasn’t until shrewd investments in Sembia and a monopoly on unique magical lichens (discovered in the Upperdark around Plungepool by Spurbright-funded explorers) began to pay off that their stranglehold on the farmers lessened.

But the violence did not stop until the Crown formally intervened, once word traveled to Espar that the Spurbrights were beating—and in some cases abducting and torturing—commoners in violation of Crown Law and the Suzail Writ.

In his early days as a war wizard, Taltar earned a reputation for wading into fights and ignoring orders from Purple Dragons to hang back and let the soldiers do their work. He found himself at loggerheads with his superiors, who preferred subjects of the Crown to be subdued without injury (nobles in particular) whenever possible.

Taltar did not find his calling until he was posted to Irlingstar[3], a remote prison castle situated in the Thunder Peaks. There he watches over the very worst of imprisoned nobles and stands ready to deliver harsh punishment to those who step out of line.

He has perfected verbal component-only versions of the more common subdual spells (e.g. charm person, command, hold person, sleep) so that he can keep his hands free for fighting, and devised spells to harden his fists, knees and elbows for delivering punishment. He wears no less than three sharp daggers (belt and both boots), and keeps a potion of stoneskin on his person for when things get out of hand.

Amongst the noble prisoners of Irlingstar (and not a few Purple Dragons), word has spread of Taltar’s involvement in the disappearance—any Spurbright would say murder—of two Spurbright heirs and five of their cousins.

When not on duty, Taltar watches the four surviving nobles in his mind’s eye as they struggle to return to Cormyr from the far reaches of Faerûn—this ability a gift from the magical crown laced with emeralds[4] that rested briefly on his head after it and its counterparts whisked away the nobles all those years ago.



[1] See “Elminster Enraged,” hardcover edition, page 3.

[2] See Volo’s Guide to Cormyr, page 139. Also Greenwood, Ed. "Questions for Ed Greenwood (2013)" forum.candlekeep.com. 13 Oct 2013. http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17385&whichpage=39#434669.

[3] See “Elminster Enraged,” hardcover edition, page 57.

[4] See Volo’s Guide to Cormyr, page 141.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 19 Apr 2015 06:58:54
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Tanthil Oakfist

Tanthil Oakfist is an instructor at Stormhaven House[1]. He stands half a head taller than most men, wears a sharp goatee, long sideburns and regularly thanks the gods he still has a full head of hair. That hair is going from grey to white, as is his goatee and eyebrows, the later sitting over eyes that change color regularly, the tint of the irises visibly moving as their color shifts in unison from blue to black to silver to brass, like flame made to burn slowly.

Like the other instructors in attendance, Tanthil teaches the full spectrum of magecraft: casting spells, writing spells, using, identifying and creating magic items; identifying and dealing with wards; topics of arcana relevant to Cormyr, its neighbors and its foes; alchemy, war wizard history; Cormyrean law and Royal edicts regarding magic in Cormyr, and so on.

Tanthil also teaches battle tactics (referred to by students as “the class that teaches you how to swiftly hide behind the nearest Purple Dragon”).

Tanthil’s area of expertise is magic item creation and identification. Since prior generations of war wizards have let numerous minor magic items find their way out of Stormhaven House and into the various farms and dwellings in and around Espar, Thanthil will on occasion take one or sometimes two fledgling war wizards with him on long walks through the farmlands, around and up the knolls and along lanes connecting one Esparan’s dwelling with another, in order to meet with the locals and inquire about anything strange that’s been turned up while farming or discovered amongst the possessions of great aunts and uncles or grandparents that have recently passed away.

These polite inquiries rarely fail to yield a story or two about odd items, such as a sword plowed up in a pasture that emits an audible hum if you hold it in your left hand, but lets loose a shriek if you hold it in your right, or a strange locket that nobody knew old uncle Gorstag kept under his bed that’s deathly cold to the touch, but will open up if you breathe softly onto it and even reveal the image of a deceased friend or loved one if you say their name as you exhale, and so Tanthil and his student(s) spend their time visiting farms, poking around in old musty rooms and casting their most basic spells (detect magic, for example) to try and identify magical objects.

Most students assume all found items are to be confiscated, but Tanthil does not remove a magic item from the care of those who’ve found it unless he judges it harmful or dangerous. Instead he explains that by royal edict such items are to remain in the hands of their finders, unless their owners wish to be rid of the item.

Those who choose to keep found items are given basic information about the item, instructions on how to use it (if possible), safely store it (if unusable) and what to watch out for if it starts behaving strangely.

Tanthil’s duties are not limited to Stormhaven and its environs, as the Master of Stormhaven will pair up small groups of student war wizards with an instructor and a force of Purple Dragons (no less than twelve in number and led by a veteran firstsword), and order them all to depart by horse for a month’s training at any of several relatively safe waypoints in Cormyr where war wizards and Purple Dragons are garrisoned together.

In this way the mages see first hand many parts of Cormyr they might otherwise only learn about in the classroom, gain practical experience in their war wizard duties, learn to operate around Purple Dragons and, as Tanthil puts it, “grow some much needed calluses on their too-soft behinds.”

When Tanthil is given this duty he invariably selects Stonewatch[2] as the destination. He is a longtime friend of the Ornrion in command there (Lhornan Drakehar) and the two men share a common interest in the history, pedigree and current owners of the many blades that were crafted by Quiral o' the Blades at Stormhaven House over a century ago.

Tanthil and Lhornan each own two blades of Quiral’s making and are eager to share news about and speculate over the many blades thought lost or missing.


[1] A “secret” college for war wizards. See Volo’s Guide to Cormyr, page 139.

[2] See "Eye on the Realms: Thormil’s Secret." in Dungeon #194.

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 19 Apr 2015 06:27:47
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Jassur Bralhost (Jassur the Unfortunate)

Jassur Bralhost, sometimes called Jassur the Unfortunate, is a War Wizard with a particular gift...or curse, depending on who you ask.

When Jassur is within ten paces (roughly 30 feet or six 5' squares distant) from undead of any kind, and regardless of intervening barriers (stone, earth, metal, etc...) he breaks out in hives on his face and arms.

Jassur's "gift"—one not known to his fellow War Wizards until he was already in the service to Cormyr—has earned him the honor of being dragged along on most any War Wizard errand where undead are suspected or thought to be encountered.

A native of Teziir, Jassur is a confident, headstrong and intelligent man of middle years, who joined the War Wizards after the loss of his farm and family to famine and disease. Jassur will not speak of his affliction nor his past, though fellow mages whisper that Jassur's ability to sense undead was caused by the sad, angry ghosts of his wife and children; something meant to drive him away from their farm on the Horse Prairie between Teziir and Elversult and on to a new life.

Jassur's ability has not gone unnoticed. Twice before Jassur has been singled out for assassination by undead operating in Cormyr, but has been fortunate to survive both attacks.

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Ulskan Hammantle

Ulskan is a soft-spoken, senior War Wizard based in Arabel, with distant familial relations in Waterdeep.

A short man of unremarkable looks, Ulskan is known for his lack of adornments, simple appearance and forthright manner. Ulskan is firmly loyal to the Crown of Cormyr and possesses average individual spellcasting talents, but is an accomplished ritual caster.

Ulskan prefers the cultured society of merchants to that of the nobility and cultivates a taste for fine wines. He believes that the farther away a wine comes from, the better it must be.

Inspecting merchant wagons and their goods is something Ulskan specializes in to the point of enjoyment. He uses his position in Arabel to track and purchase the very best wines from far off lands that a War Wizard can afford as each new merchant caravan makes its way through Arabel’s gates.

Rumor amongst wine merchants states that difficulties regarding the taxation and inspection of wagon loads of goods arriving in Arabel--particularly wine duties--can be smoothed over if the right War Wizard is presented with a “sample” of the farthest traveled bottle a merchant has in his or her wagon[1]. Rumor also states this War Wizard has very poor taste in wine and almost any swill will do, provided it appears to come from distant lands or cities.

For all his civility, an explosive but rarely seen temper dwells within Ulskan that prompts him to lash out violently at anyone he perceives to be a menace or a danger.

Ulskan is aware of his temper and makes a great effort to manage difficult situations through underlings and intermediaries. He cultivates friends, encourages courteous, professional conversation (i.e. Uslkan speaks the truth, but does not use it as a cudgel to put others down) and avoids arguments like the plague.

Of late Ulskan has learned something of the antics of his fellow War Wizard Authkant "Old Codpiece" Melevor and, to put it far too mildly, does not approve of Authkant’s dallying with ladies of noble birth, nor his willingness to put them in real danger as a means of winning their affections.

Preferring to avoid a direct confrontation with his colleague, Ulskan has engaged the services of at least one loyal battle mage apprentice[2] and her sword-comrades (one a former Purple Dragon) to spy on Authkant and determine if any of the more outrageous rumors of Authkant’s doings are true.

Autkant, for his part, cares little what uptight Ulskan thinks, so long as the Royal Mage Ganrahast and Lord Warder Vainrence are each happily busy at the Royal Court in Suzail and neither man is given reason to go poking his nose into War Wizard affairs in Arabel.

Authkant has heard rumors of Ulskan’s temper and is not above taking action (through the services of any of the several groups of chartered adventurers that are constantly traveling to Arabel before embarking on journeys to the wilder parts of Cormyr) in order to cause awkward or socially difficult situations that can provoke an embarrassing outburst from Ulskan in front of his merchant friends, should Ulskan interfere with Authkant’s “swoon and save” tours.


[1] For interesting ideas on just what kinds of wines with unknown (and perhaps even dangerous) qualities Ulskan or one of his merchant contacts may unknowingly possess, see Ed Greenwood's Eye on the Realms articles "A Surprising Vintage" in Dragon #407 and "Spellslayer Wine" in Dungeon #195.

[2] See "Character Themes: Heroes of Cormyr" by Dan Anderson in Dragon #407.

NOTE: If you'd like to read about how merchants smuggle wine and other liquids in and out of Cormyr and other lands, see the Eye on the Realms article "Jalander's Dodge" in Dungeon #191

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Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 09 Apr 2014 08:31:00
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Alorae Ruldragon


"Respect the dead. Head their advice. Listen to their stories."
...words used often by Alorae.


Alorae Ruldragon is a tall, round-faced woman with long hair the color of straw and eyes that are always open wide.

She wears an old, fraying stone-colored robe, the bottom of which drags along the floor behind her as she walks, with a voluminous hood and wide sleeves that hide her face and hands from view. An observant mage who says little, Alorae is known for quietly slipping into rooms in the Royal Palace and standing in alcoves or the shadows of empty suits of armor to watch and listen as unwary courtiers, nobles, Purple Dragons and even fellow war wizards speak with unguarded tongues.

When she has heard or seen enough, Alorae simply walks out of whatever room or place she was standing in, often to the surprise of the room’s other occupants. At such times Alorae has been mistaken for a wraith come wandering out of the haunted wing of the Royal Palace or the ghost of a long dead palace courtier.

None know what guides Alorae in her observations and her exact duties are a mystery to her fellow War Wizards. At least one bold palace chamberjack has followed her and claims to have seen her stop without warning in the middle of a room and stand there unmoving for a full hour while she carried on a conversation with someone or something unseen, then for some unaccountable reason move swiftly to another chamber, but stand for only a few minutes and speak not a word before departing for yet another room where she vanished.

As the courtier left to return to his assigned duties he was startled to see no less then three palace ghosts calmly watching him.

No active war wizard can recall ever leading Alorae on a mission, though she has been seen in the company of the Lord Warder (Vainrence). If rumor holds any truth then she has access to some means of translocation magic that allows her to travel swiftly from one end of Cormyr to the other, presumably to do the Lord Warder’s bidding.

A well-traveled officer of the Purple Dragons swears a war wizard matching Alorae’s description led a company of Purple Dragons out of Castle Nacacia at a fast gallop west along the Moonsea Ride.

According to the Swordcaptain, the ride of Dragons overtook a long line of merchant wagons bound for Sembia, and at Alorae’s order the caravan was made to halt. There she's said to have dismounted and rolled back one sleeve of her robe to reveal an arm wreathed in white flames as she walked the length of the caravan. She stopped, pointed at a merchant atop his wagon and as the flames shifted to black the merchant’s ruddy face wavered and then melted away, revealing the charcoal skin of a shadovar.

Said the swordcaptain, "Faster than any of us could react the shadovar spell-shifted behind the war wizard, threw an arm around her neck and spun her to face us. His eyes spoke equal parts murder and triumph as he plunged a dagger into her back."

"But his eyes went wide and he gasped his last breath and fell to the ground. We sheathed our blades and dismounted while the war wizard removed her hood and turned to watch the shadovar bleed out from the fresh dagger wound in his back."

The swordcaptain spoke carefully about what happened next, "The war wizard picked up the shadovar’s dagger and kissed the bloody flat of the blade. The blood flew from her lips and the dagger, born aloft by magic I have never seen worked before, and it separated into a halo of thick red drops. Then with both hands the war wizard sank the dagger into the ground and stood up. Then one by one the drops fell to the earth, each heralding a name spoken aloud by the war wizard. We waited without speaking as the Moonsea Ride drank the blood of the dead."

The officer could not recall all the names he overheard, but swears by the following list as he recognized a handful of noble surnames and not a few Purple Dragons:

Lord Draskar Handragon

Lady Lorlarantha Dauntinghorn

Lord Ambrace Stonestable

Lord Hardraego Huntingdown

Oversword Harjack Saladar

Lionar Tamsar Murengral

Ornrion Erligor Hallowdant

Swordcaptain Borath of Hilp

Swordcaptain Randelo Hawkshar

The swordcaptain insists that the “chill of death itself” emanates from the war wizard and that she watches those around her with eyes that “seem to bore a hole right down to your very soul. If the gods smile on me I’ll never ride with that one again.”

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 19 Dec 2014 05:26:00
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 03 May 2012 :  08:09:25  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Feldran "Doraunk" Durvorkar

Feldran "Doraunk" Durvorkar is an accident-prone War Wizard. Thought by some to be blessed with a double helping of luck and half a helping of wits, Feldran nevertheless succeeded in his lifelong desire to join the Brotherhood of the Wizards of War.

Feldran's (mis)adventures are many.

In one instance, Feldran was left to attend an injured, unconscious noble of Cormyr in the wilds north of the Hullack Forest.

By chance a group of elves happened upon Feldran's camp and asked to render aid. Feldran accepted their offer and took the opportunity to exercise his elvish language skills by speaking kind words about the noble lord entrusted to his care.

Feldran began in elvish, as follows: "His Lordship misses his wife dearly and longs to walk the sheep-filled pastures which his family cultivates, that are so bountiful."

The elves heard the following: "His lordliness avoids his wife effortlessly and prefers to lay with sheep on the ground, cultivating many offspring."

Seeing the elves smile and snicker under their breath did not deter Feldran. He took their laughter in stride and continued: "His Lordship is very discriminating in his taste. He selects only the finest things to fill his home. He says one must never overfill one’s home, lest he become happy to discover his house is on fire."

Roughly translated, the elves heard: "His lordliness discriminates against his tongue. His dwelling is filled only with shiny objects. He always makes sure his home is full before he happily burns it down."

More to follow...

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 01 Dec 2013 08:11:52
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